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Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

Birmingham, Alabama
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Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

My family and I will be in Zurich for a few days this summer. I know it's one of the priciest cities anywhere, and we're prepared for that, but we also want to keep costs as reasonable as we can. Is it possible to sightsee and dine around Zurich without spending a fortune? Any suggestions for inexpensive restaurants and free or nearly free things to do (kid-friendly)?

We're using Marriott Rewards points to cover our hotel stay, so that will eliminate one big expense.

Because we'll be traveling elsewhere around Switzerland, we plan to buy Swiss Passes. Will those cover transit in Zurich as well?

Thanks in advance!

Zurich, Switzerland
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1. Re: Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

If your accommodation is already covered, then a good part of the expenses on a Zurich trip is already covered. I'm not an expert on train passes but I think that trams and busses in Zurich should be included in your Swiss Pass as well as trains around Zurich.

A few ideas for inexpensive family activities:

The lake: A big bonus on warm summer days. You can stroll along the shore through the parks. Bring towels and swimming gear as you are allowed to sit on the lawns and take a swim. The water is absolutely clean and the kids will have fun. There is a huge children playground for free next to the China garden on the left bank of the lake. If you need facilities there are a few public swimming pools along the lake too and the entrance doesn't cost a fortune. I also recommend a boat cruise on the lake or on the river Limmat (for free with Swiss pass?)

Museums: Swiss Pass includes the entrance to hundreds of museums throughout the country. I'm sure there are some which are attractive for kids too. Such as the transport museum in Lucerne - but you only get a 50% reduction for this one.

Zoo: Zurich zoo is very attractive and includes a giant rainforest hall, which is a good option with rainy weather.

Walking: If your kids like to move, then take them up to Uetliberg, the small mountain above town, reachable by train. There is an observation tower on top and the views are nice if the weather is good and clear. Do it the Swiss way: Buy sausages or meat in town and grill it on a fire in the woods (only allowed on public fireplaces). You could walk downhill until the edge of the city and take the tram back from there.

Inexpensive meals:

The best way to save your bucks is to buy cheese, cold meat and bread (or anything else) in stores such as Migros or Coop and do your own picnic for instance somewhere along the lake or on Lindenhof, a peaceful square with many benches on top of a small hill in old town.

There are self service restaurants in department stores, which offer inexpensive but quite good food for lunch, for instance Manor or Jelmoli along Bahnhofstrasse or Migros on Löwenstrasse.

If you like Pasta, then go to Restaurant Tschingg on Oberdorfstrasse in old town. Prices are really attractive, you can eat there or take the food away.

There is no lack of fast food places here. I recommend to avoid the usual chains like McDonalds or Burger King and try one of the local Sausage grills, where you can order a Bratwurst or Cervelat.

Birmingham, Alabama
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2. Re: Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

Thank you so much! This is really helpful.

Zurich, Switzerland
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3. Re: Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

Just discovered one fault: the childrens playground is actually on the right bank, following the current - or with other words on the northeast shore. The area is called Tiefenbrunnen.

Birmingham, Alabama
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4. Re: Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

Great. Thanks again!

Limassol Cyprus
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5. Re: Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

Any solo male gay travellers out there who can tell me a thing or two about Zurich including area and hotels??? August....x

Edited: 04 August 2012, 20:03
Anchorage, Alaska
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6. Re: Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

Hi,LambrosCY, welcome to Trip Advisor. I suggest you start a new thread so that it will get noticed and will receive replies. Also try the forum for Gay Travel here on Trip Advisor

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12358-Gay_Trav…

Hope this helps.

new england
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7. Re: Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

Hi Famof3. Your Swiss pass will cover the trams in Zurich as well as the cruises on the lake excepting the"water taxi" which I believe is slightly reduced with the pass, perhaps half off. Definitely do a cruise on the lake....and I echo Ollers other great suggestions. A day trip o the Rhine Falls would also be fun.....transport covered with your pass except for the boat ride to the "rock" but thats not too pricey. Schaufhaussen is a pretty city worth exploring. The Cervalot sausages are great......there is even a good, reasonable vendor right in the Bahnhof, as well as a great spot down near the lake. The coop store on the Bahnhofstrasse has a grocery on the bottom floor and you can purchase food to make your own picnic by the lake as mentioned. There is also a self serve restaurant with lts many reasonably priced options on the top floor, seating options include outdoor rooftop seating! There is a grocery/ specialty store on the right hand side of the Bahnhofstrasse as you walk towards the train station...just a few "blocks" from it that has a wide variety of prepared food that is very tasty. Some sold by weight, some sold by piece, fairly inexpensive again good for take away. My husband is particularly fond of the sausages in the pastry there. Zurichs a great city and so much fun to explore. Best wishes for a wonderful trip!

new england
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214 posts
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8. Re: Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

Hi Famof3. Your Swiss pass will cover the trams in Zurich as well as the cruises on the lake excepting the"water taxi" which I believe is slightly reduced with the pass, perhaps half off. Definitely do a cruise on the lake....and I echo Ollers other great suggestions. A day trip o the Rhine Falls would also be fun.....transport covered with your pass except for the boat ride to the "rock" but thats not too pricey. Schaufhaussen is a pretty city worth exploring. The Cervalot sausages are great......there is even a good, reasonable vendor right in the Bahnhof, as well as a great spot down near the lake. The coop store on the Bahnhofstrasse has a grocery on the bottom floor and you can purchase food to make your own picnic by the lake as mentioned. There is also a self serve restaurant with lts many reasonably priced options on the top floor, seating options include outdoor rooftop seating! There is a grocery/ specialty store on the right hand side of the Bahnhofstrasse as you walk towards the train station...just a few "blocks" from it that has a wide variety of prepared food that is very tasty. Some sold by weight, some sold by piece, fairly inexpensive again good for take away. My husband is particularly fond of the sausages in the pastry there. Zurichs a great city and so much fun to explore. Best wishes for a wonderful trip!

9. Re: Zurich on a moderate budget...possible?

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