Sunday in Zurich was going to be a day of exploring. A quick search online (surprisingly quick since you usually have to sift through a few things to find a good one) directed us to Free Walk Zurich. The site offered several different options for free walks around different parts of the city as well as a few paid options such as a pub crawl. We saw that we were able to take two different walks on the same day, so made a plan to check them out.
The first walk we took was the Downtown Zurich walk. It met at the same place as the Historic Walk, at 11:00 at UBS Paradeplatz. After seeing how the crowd split we went with the smaller group and ended up on the walk with Johnathan to learn a little bit about the city’s history but also receive a grander overview, including information about the military and food culture, both past and present, while seeing the city’s largest clock face and the Grossmunster (church) among other things. The tour was barely over an hour, a quick walk around with a few good views and interesting information (as well as some great humour on our guide’s part), but I suppose could have been closer to the prospected hour and a half had people been slower or asked more question. At the end Johnathan was very helpful in providing additional tips and hints, as well as maps, before we headed out on our own.
We had a few hours to kill before the next tour we wanted to take was to happen, so we headed in that direction and quickly found a great restaurant, b.good. The premise is getting ingredients directly from farmers and giving back to the community. Much of the food was vegetarian or vegan, and we opted for some kale and grain bowls that had almost too much food (which was good considering all the calories we were burning) and was very yummy! Then getting back on the path to the next tour resulted in a quick coffee by the water at No 1 to keep our energy up and enjoy some sun while it was out.
The second tour offered by the same company was the Zurich West tour. This one was supposedly one of mixed reactions as some people believe the area to be gorgeous while others find it ugly, and I could understand why there was a discrepancy as the area is still very industrial at its roots. You meet beneath the very modern tall building of Prime Tower at 15:00 and pass beneath some construction (common in the ever changing area) to a bunch of varying sects the showcased how the area was taking the old and making it new. There were things like a communal garden and restaurant/shop square (Frau Gerold’s Garten), a party corner (Hive), an old factory turned mall/apartments (Puls 5), a ship-building factory turned hall/restaurant/music venue (Schiffbau), and so many more things! It was a really cool tour that showcased things we might have never seen otherwise as the neighbourhood is just out of the old town and central, though well within walking distance. Granted we had the misfortune of taking the tour on a Sunday, which means basically everything except the occasional cafe was closed, so I would recommend going on any other day, but if that’s not possible you should definitely still do it.
From there we took a train back into town and got things for dinner back at our apartment. The massive lunch meant we would be having a late dinner (which doesn’t work too well on a Sunday in Zurich) and after all that walking a night in definitely seemed like the best idea. Turns out we were right as we chilled out and reflected on the incredible things we’d seen that day. All in all a very good day that showed us a lot of awesome things about Zurich.