Rounding up my series of blogs on Switzerland is Zurich. Most people think that Zurich is the capital of Switzerland, but it is not. The capital city is actually Bern. However, Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and is the center of finance and industry in the country. It is also the gateway to Switzerland as the international airport is located here and linked to Zurich main train station which forms the central node of the entire rail network in Switzerland.Despite it’s importance and size, I never spent much time in Zurich except to use it as a hub for getting in and out of the airport, or to change trains at the main station. I must have only went site seeing a couple of times here. Somehow, big cities don’t really attract me.
Although Zurich is quite large, the main train station is within walking distance to the Old Town, lake promenade and tourists attractions. So you don’t need to travel far just to get to the attractions. If you want to go further there are the public trams, buses and S-Bahn.
As is with most European cities, the Old Town is usually the most preserved and interesting part of the city. In Zurich, the Old Town runs along the sides of the Limmat River. Besides, walking along the river side, visitors can also climb Lindenhof, a small hill in the Old Town, and get a good view of the city.
From Grossmünster, it is a short walk to the lake promenade beside Lake Zurich, from the city gets it’s name.
Besides the day activities, Zurich is also well known for night life and there are lot of pubs, bars and restaurants that open until late at night. We even once found ourselves in a topless bar.
Zurich is quite safe as in the rest of Switzerland. However, being a big city and also the main hub for travelers coming to Switzerland, petty crime like pickpockets and thieves are common around the main train station. I’ve also seen that the small park beside the main train station is a popular gathering place for drug addicts to get their daily fix, with discarded syringes lying all around.