High Five to the Zurich Tour Guide

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of leading my sister, Lauren, around Zürich. I got to show off some of the fun facts I learned during a recent "Archeological Windows" tour as well as partake in some touristy fun-seeking that I had yet to experience.

At 8 am, I picked her up at the airport upon which she asked, "What's with the cow noises on that airport tram?"

"It's your official welcome to Switzerland."

Next, we rode the S-Bahn into the city, and after we stored a giant backpack at the main station, we set off on your typical walking tour: down Bahnhofstrasse, up to the Lindenhof, then down along the river, over to St. Peter's Church and the largest clock face in Europe (pictured above/left), a peek at the Roman bathhouse ruins, and finally a stop at Café Schober (a.k.a Péclard) for a classic hot chocolate and some R&R.

The fog had still not cleared by 11 am, so the Salon Rouge at Café Schober was the perfect way to warm up and catch up. Sister was very impressed, and so was I! I had never been to this Zürich landmark, but I'll be sure to stop by again very soon. The hot chocolate was perfect: not too sweet and not too hot. (Just like in the kid's holiday movie the Santa Clause, remember?)

"Mandy," that's what my family calls me, "this place is great. I am so glad you brought us here," my sister declared. "High five to the tour guide."

We lounged around on red velvet chairs for a couple of hours, and then decided to move on to our next sight: The Grossmünster. 187 steps to the top of one of the towers lead us to a terrific view of the city. The best part? The sun had finally decided to join our little tour!

After that, we had St. Galler sausages at Vorderer Sternen Grill. "This is the best Bratwurst I've ever had," my sister proclaimed.

I was on a roll!

Then we hopped on a tram and a bus to Langstrasse, or the seedy part of Zürich, to give a more balanced idea of what this city's got going on. From there we meandered our way back to Bahnhofstrasse on foot, walking through Helvetiaplatz, stopping into Coop to stock up on snacks, and finally passing through Bärengasse.

We sat by the lake for a break, admiring Zürich by night -- and it was only 5 pm! (Darn those early sunsets...) For dinner we headed to the Zeughauskeller where I tried the venison (in gravy sauce with grapes and chestnuts -- YUM -- and a side of spätzle). It's kind of a touristy place, but the decor and boisterous atmosphere so early in the evening were totally worth it!

We made our way back to the main station by 8 pm so Lauren could catch an overnight train to Amsterdam and I could catch my train back to Au. All in all, we had a great day exploring and re-exploring Zürich. I was so happy to see my sister, and after she runs around Amsterdam and Paris for a week, I'll get to see her again when Isaiah and I pick her up in Interlaken next week. I can't wait!

To all my blogger friends in Zürich -- thanks for all of your great posts about places to go in Zürich. Without your helpful posts, I'd have been lost on where to take Lauren!


  1. Hi Amanda,
    Great post - I loved all the detailed info. I live so close to Zürich, yet never really go there. I might now and retrace your steps - hey, I could book you as my tour guide! Have a great weekend.

  2. Sounds like you have the ultimate tour down-pack! Well done. I think you hit up all my favorites. ;)

  3. Yes "high five to the tour guide" is right! Max and I still can't get over how well you know the city. We wish you could be our tour guide for the rest of our trip. We keep getting lost in amsterdam, everything looks the same! Thank god for gps on he iPhone. I don't think we would be able to make I back to our hotel without it. Thanks again sister! We can't wait to see you and Isaiah in interlaken.... Max is still trying to loose weight. Pretty nervous about skydiving.

  4. Velvet chairs and perfect hot chocolate? I'd hire you as my tour guide any time! The pix of Zurich are stunning.

  5. What a way to spend the day in Zürich. You just might have to come back to Zürich and give ME a tour to this city I live in!

  6. Vicky, Juanita, and Fly Girl - I'd love to show you "my Zurich"!

    Jessica - Glad I have your stamp of approval :)

    Lauren - you're both so welcome. Can't wait to see you too!


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