While in the planning stages of my last Italy trip, it occurred to me how close Switzerland was; specifically how close Zurich was to Milan. Since I was traveling with my then 9 year old daughter and my mother, I thought it would be cool to see another country we hadn’t originally intended to see on this trip. Plus my daughter being a California girl through and through would love the opportunity to catch some snow if the December weather cooperated.
From Milan, we took Trenitalia for a 3.5 hour ride to Zurich. Let me tell you, looking over at my daughter writing in her journal as we ride past the Swiss Alps……full circle moment for me. For sure.
The first thing I noticed about Zurich was the extreme cleanliness in the city. It was the most pristine place I’ve ever been. We didn’t catch any big snowfall but there was a nice layer of bright white snow on the ground. This added to the overall beauty of the city. The first thing we did was get money from the atm and my daughter was so impressed with the bright, colorful swiss francs. They seemed too pretty to spend. We were staying in the city center and decided to get out and explore. The main area near our hotel was the Bahnhofstrasse. This is the main shopping area that is full of high end designer stores. There’s a tram that goes down the middle of the street that’s fun to ride. We were able to do this and get a good view of the city while taking advantage of the warmth of the tram.
Next up was Old Town. By this time, the sun was setting and the city was getting darker. Since this was mid December, Christmas celebrations were in full swing. Christmas decorations lit up the city while sprinklings of carolers and Santa’s filled the streets. The outdoor vendors were lined up selling Christmas goods and other things such as jewelry, souvenirs and food. The shops open along the way were really nice and really expensive, and this wasn’t the Bahnhofstrasse anymore. Anyway, our night ended shortly after this walk and we returned to our hotel to get some rest.
We spent another full day here before returning to Italy. Overall I was extremely impressed with this beautiful city and would definitely return. I'd love to visit in the spring or summer to enjoy long WARM walks, but Zurich in the winter was certainly a magical trip that is recommend to anyone.