I arrived in Zurich somewhat expectant after the incredible trip we’d already experienced. Our journey from Italy took us through snow blizzards, over mountain ranges and through thick alpine forests. What we had seen and where we had stayed so far surpassed all expectations and I remember thinking, “Why have I not been here before?”. Too often we neglect to explore that which is practically on our doorstep.
Bozen to Zurich took us nearly 7 hours and by the time we arrived at our hotel, we were ready to pass out. We were lucky enough to be staying at Atlantis by Giardino, set just outside the city centre, at the foot of Zurich’s Uetliberg mountain. This hotel was one of sheer excellence and perfection. Not only did we have someone park our car but we were greeted with drinks and our bags taken to our separate rooms. This was luxury at an entirely new level: Neither of us were ready!
Hotel Atlantis was literally mind-blowing. Located in the small province of Friesenberg, it’s just a 10 minutes train ride from the city centre where you’ll find Christmas markets, the old town and more chocolate shops than you could even believe.
Why was I so impressed by Hotel Atlantis?
I’ve got to be honest, I probably spent far too much time in the pools, surrounded with views of mountain forests but it was the end of a long trip; I think we had earned it! The hotel felt incredibly fresh and new after its total renovation last December. As you walk through the reception and up towards the suites you come across subtle nods towards the past, hints that the legendary 1970’s vintage hotel still remains, in places like the spiral staircase right to the fourth floor. Hotel Atlantis was one of the most spectacular hotels I have ever stayed and probably will ever stay for quite some time. We ate at one of the Hotel’s resturants, ‘Hide and Seek’ and had a really memorable meal. I’m sure there were at least six different courses and from starter to the third dessert, all equally delicious.
Best Coffee in Zurich:
My favourite spot for coffee was actually a café called Spheres in Hardturmstrasse, downtown Zurich. The coffee there is great and you can sit encompassed by a library of books. There’s a really great vibe and atmosphere about the place and I’d definitely go back next time I visit Zurich.
Favourite thing about Zurich:
Zurich has a certain elegance about it. It reminds me of London quite a lot actually. For me, the best thing about Zurich (other than Sprüngli) is how brilliantly the neighbourhoods are connected. The transport systems: trains, metros, gondolas are all so fast, easy and efficient. That’s the impression I got from Zurich in general: stylish and super efficient. I really like that.
Best Chocolate in Zurich:
I thought it was important to check out at least four or five chocolate shops to be absolutely certain where to find the best chocolate in Zurich. Locals may disagree but for me, my favourite spot was Läderach. Watch as they pour and mould the chocolate at the back of the store; taste the chocolate before you buy, where they break off slabs of various flavours. It was a winner for me!
I had the best time exploring Zurich last month. It’s such a beautiful, ‘working’ city and it felt super festive when we were there. The Christmas Markets span all along the river from the last week of November and it’s something I’d be sure not to miss. That said, I can imagine Zurich is also a great spot in summer, with grass banks lining the river that runs through the centre of the city. If you have any suggestions of where to go and what to do in Zurich, feel free to share them below!
Photos by both Elan and myself. Check out Elan here: