07/08/2016

Travel Diary: Zurich, Switzerland

Why Zurich?
A couple of weekend's ago, my sister and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to the beautiful city of Zurich, Switzerland. Why Zurich I hear you ask? After all, it is not exactly the first place that comes to mind when you think European city break - but that's exactly why we chose it. I wanted to visit somewhere a bit different that remains largely "off the grid" in terms of tourist saturation. Since graduating and now working for Urban Outfitters in head office full-time, I certainly like to make the most of my weekends! Plus after a super busy few weeks in London, it was great to escape for a couple of day. And we certainly made the most of our time... although we only stayed in Zurich for one night, we managed to get a really early Saturday flight there and a late Sunday evening return. 
Things to know
- Switzerland are not part of the EU so operate their own currency: the Swiss Franc.
- Zurich is famous for its art and culture, but is also the global centre for banking and finance.
- Various languages and spoken in Switzerland but in Zurich they speak Swiss German which is an adapted dialect incorporating elements of French and German.
- The weather in Zurich isn't too dis-similar to that of the UK. Summer is warm - but you never know when you might get a storm or a shower!

Where to stay? 
When it comes to travelling, I have to admit, I'm a bit of a control freak. I like to have everything in order and take control of the bookings, itinerary and whatever else! However, this time my sister Lindsey found and booked us a hotel and I have to give it to her... it was probably the best hotel I've ever stayed in! Overlooking Lake Zurich with breathtaking panoramic views, Hotel Belvoir was everything we needed and more! Not only were we situated in luxurious rooms but the hotel has fabulous facilities for guests including a outdoor jacuzzi with a view of the lake and evening its own bowling alley! Plus, amazing staff who were ready to cater to your every need.

What to do?
Lindsey and I had only booked our trip to Switzerland a couple of weeks beforehand so very little time was spent researching things to do but I really feel like the great thing about Zurich was that it had a bit of everything - the city, the lake and the mountains. On our first day we took a train up to Uetliburg which is the highest point in Zurich with a wonderful lookout point sitting on top of a hillside. Although this part of Zurich is fairly busy with tourists, its 100% worth a visit and one of my favourite moments from the weekend. Following visiting Uetliberg, we went for a wander tori cough the woods and trails before finding a cable car the could take us down the hill side. The landscape across Zurich and the surrounding areas is stunning - I couldn't recommend seeing this part of the world enough!
The following day we went for a boat trip on Lake Zurich itself from by our hotel towards the city. In the height of summer you can also swim in the lake or rent small boats and paddle boards nearby. Boats run like public transport and you can jump on and jump off from anywhere around the lake for a very small fee. As we arrived in the city, I was in awe of the beautiful architecture and Switzerland's super clean and well kept streets lead down by the adjoining river. For a city (Switzerland's largest in fact), Zurich is a fairly quiet place without the hustle and bustle like that of London or New York for example. Its a lovely peaceful place to visit and one that I'm so glad I did!
What did I wear?
I found this little gem of a dress in my old bedroom at my parents house a couple of months ago and it hadn't seen the light of day for quite a few years! I bought it from ASOS about 5 years ago and I definitely feel like its a piece I'll continue to wear in years to come. When visiting Zurich it was fairly cloudy but still very humid so the open back detail and sheer fabric made this dress an easy breezy option for exploring. My other outfit was a navy off the shoulder top pair with a lace silk underskirt. The underskirt used to be my Mum's but I've been making it work as a piece on its own and really love the cream colour paired with the navy and topped off with a red lip.
I love adding travel posts to my blog so please let me know what you think and if you're planning a trip to Zurich anytime soon!

Monica x


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