Zurich

With northern Italy bordering Switzerland, taking a weekend trip from Milan to Zurich by train was fast, convenient, and relatively cheap. Although Zurich isn’t the capital, it is the largest city in Switzerland and home to the country’s busiest airport and railway station. I stayed in Old town Zurich, which is filled with lovely boutiques and pretty cafés. A great café to visit in this area is the Café Schober, which has quite unique yet beautiful decor as well as delicious brunch items.

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Confiserie Sprungli is also not to be missed; I recommend eating at the largest one by Paradeplatz on their upper level restaurant. Their macaroons are heavenly and they have a wide selection of treats to choose from.

Further up from the Old Town is West Zurich (or the Frau Gerolds Garten area), which is quite hip and reminded me a lot of Berlin. There is even a secret club in this district labeled “supermarket.”

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I would highly recommend taking a half-day trip to Uetliberg from Zurich, which is about 20 minutes away by train. In Uetliberg, there is an easy hiking trail leading up to a mountain for a spectacular view of the alps.

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We brought some ciders and enjoyed the view on a cliff by the main viewpoint.

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There’s also a café/restaurant up on the mountain, which offers an amazing panoramic view as well.

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We were also recommended to try some specialty cheese dishes in Switzerland, such as raclette and fondue. You can get a raclette dish for less than ten euros at the Raclette Factory; I highly suggest trying the smoked option.

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Raclette cheese at the Swiss Chuchi restaurant was also fun to make. They give you slices of cheese to grill in small pans in a mini broiler, and then you scrape them onto veggies and bread once the cheese begins boiling.

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I didn’t have too high of expectations for cheese fondue; to be honest, I thought it would just be gooey cheese in a hot pot. However, not only was it evenly creamy but the traditional one that we ordered had a wonderful heavy aroma of white wine.

On Sunday, we took it easy (most stores and restaurants are closed), and grabbed drinks and a delicious pretzel sandwich to enjoy by the canal. We also joined in on a boat ride into Lake Zurich.

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I really enjoyed my time in Zurich, and hope to explore more Swiss cities soon!

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