On this Wednesday I’d like to explore one of my wanderlust wishes that is to see Zurich, Switzerland! I was in conversation with someone about places to see and travel to and they mentioned Zurich was on their list. It struck me as one of those places that I can definitely see myself wanting to travel to, but had almost forgotten about while pondering other, non-European locales. Between my own research and talking about it with others, it’s clear that Zurich has a lot to offer as a destination!
“Why Zurich?” I asked in regards to why one would rank it as a must-see location.
“Because of the history, it’s got fantastic Swiss food and chocolate, and it’s by the mountains and a huge lake so there’s hiking and outdoors stuff,” is the reply I received.
It became suddenly clear to me that Zurich met a lot of my “requirements” as a location (that’s not to say a particular place does or doesn’t “make the cut” based on any exact thing) since I tend to value outdoor adventure and history a lot. If I can learn and have fun while seeing some cool sights, I’m in!
Zurich certainly has a ton of history, even more so than many places throughout Europe that are “old.” Located in north central Switzerland, Zurich is a city that’s pretty much been around for over 2000 years in various forms. Just exploring that history is a feat unto its own (and something I honestly wouldn’t mind doing!). Like most European cities and towns, shifts in politics, wars, human migration, and climate has played a large role in molding Zurich to the city it is today.
The language in Zurich is fairly unique because, also the standard “formal” language is German, there’s a spoken dialect of “Zurich German.” Like many Swiss cities, though, one can hear many different dialects of German spoken, which I always find personally intriguing (the history behind the development of varying dialects in a particular region always really interests me). I don’t speak any German, unfortunately, but there is a high percentage of English-speakers in Zurich, as well.
I love cities that have geographical points of intrigue and Zurich certainly delivers! Lake Zurich sits on the south of the city, offering gorgeous views and lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Swiss Plateau also nestles against the city, providing trails for hiking and fantastic sightseeing. There are even gondola rides up the mountainsides. I’m a sucker for outdoors things like these!
Especially since we’re now entering the holiday season, it’s a point to note that Zurich is home to some wonderful Christmas markets and is done up to look absolutely gorgeous during the season. When it starts to snow, it really looks postcard-perfect!
Between the vast history of the city, the outdoor activities, and the chance to experience some aspects of Swiss (and partly German) culture, Zurich truly is an ideal city to visit. I always find that there is a certain charm to these types of old European cities that I find really appealing. The history probably draws me in more than anything – the rest is just icing on the cake!
If you’ve ever been to Zurich (or Switzerland in general), leave a comment with your experience below! Happy travels!