Zurich: Chocolate, Culture and Cheese – Switzerland, Europe
Lindor Milk, the classic Swiss chocolate, is a popular pick in Lindt’s chocolate factory shop south of Zurich. When you savor its smooth and creamy filling you will understand why Switzerland has the highest rate of chocolate consumption in the world. Available in multiple flavors, the Excellence chocolate bars with a high content of first-class cocoa butter is another delicious Lindt chocolate.
You can reach Lindt’s factory shop in 11 minutes with the S-bahn (l0cal train) from Zurich Hauptbahnhof to Kilchberg or make use of the city’s free bike scheme and lend a bike at the railway station for a pleasant cycling ride to Kilchberg along Lake Zurich.
If you have a penchant for high-quality chocolate, drop by Confisserie Sprüngli, Zurich’s oldest pastry shop, on the Paradeplatz square along Bahnhofstrasse. Lined with jewelry, watch and high-end fashion stores, this renowned pedestrian street is one of the most exclusive shopping avenues in the world. The avenue begins at the railway station and stretches all the way to Bürkliplatz, where you can see snow-covered mountain tops in the distance.
In November thousands of people gather at Bürkliplatz to attend Zurich’s annual Whiskyship festival. Last year over 6,000 visitors came to try the selection of Scotland’s finest blends and single malts. The festival is held on six deluxe ships, this year a floating casino and a golf course will provide further enjoyable activities.
The lake area is loved among Zurich’s residents, especially during the summer months. Remember to visit the Chinese Garden in Zurichhorn Park (Bellerivestrasse) in the attractive Seefeld zone. The garden was a gift to the city from Zurich’s twin town Kunming in southwest China and offers a peaceful atmosphere with plenty of photo ops.
Zurich isn’t bigger than a single district of Paris and easy to explore on foot. The city has an impressive number of galleries and about fourteen of Zurich’s 50 museums are devoted to art. The Swiss National Museum, situated in a park near the railway station, and Kunsthaus with its modern art collections and nonstop exhibitions are the most visited.
The river Limmat divides Zurich’s old town in two contrasting halves. You’ll find Lindenhof, the oldest part of the city, on the west bank of the river. Its quiet square offers a gorgeous panorama over the rooftops. The trendy Niederdorf district on the east bank of the river is filled with hip clothing shops, cozy cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs. Zurich has a dynamic club scene with styles to suit every taste: how about salsa, hiphop, reggae, R&B, techno or pop?
For dinner you can’t go wrong with cheese fondue, Switzerland’s famous specialty. Best combined with pieces of crusty bread, the dish includes the traditional ingredient kirsch and a mix of fresh cheeses, typically Emmentaler and Gruyère. Walliser Keller is one of many restaurants where you can order the cheese fondue. As a multilingual country, Switzerland takes the best from the German, French and Italian cuisine, making Zurich an excellent destination for foodies.
Erica Johansson is a freelance writer based in Sweden. She blogs about travel on Blissful Travel.