So this takes us to our third and final day in the beautiful city of Zurich.
To make the most of your Zurich pass, I would certainly recommend taking the hour boat ride around Lake Zurich departing from Zurich Burkliplatz. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting as the boat tour is merely a sophisticated mode of transport for the locals, rather than a guided sightseeing tour. Don’t expect any landmarks to be pointed out! We felt it if it hadn’t been included within our Zurich Pass, we wouldn’t have spent an hour and 12chf per person cruising around the lake. However, the views of the Alps in the distance and gently rippling waves were a great way to start our morning off and provided a great background to plan our last day. On board, they offer teas, coffees and soft drinks as well as a selection of traditional Swiss pastries. Lunch and dinner can also be eaten on board from the boat’s kitchen.
Our original plan in visiting Zurich was to stop by the Thermlabad & Spa Zurich to relax and unwind after a busy few days. We soon realised that unfortunately on this occasion we weren’t going to be able to visit as the spa is based around 15 minutes out of the city centre, along the left bank of the lake. However, I shall cover it quickly as I feel it is a must visit for any couple visiting Zurich (purely for the novelty factor!).
Thermlabad & Spa was opened in December 2010 to provide a bathing temple for rest and relaxation. Utilising the 100 year old vaulted stone arches of the Hurlimann brewery, the spa offers a unique experience fusing modern and age old architecture together with traditional thermal bathing rituals and present day beauty treatments. The heated water comes from the natural spring below the spa and is packed full of minerals closely associated with health and well-being. One of the main reasons why I was so keen to visit was to use their outdoor rooftop pool which offers a fantastic view of the city.
Thermalbad opens at 9am – 10pm every day and costs 32chf pp to have unlimited access to the thermal baths. They also offer many modern day beauty treatments such as massages, body peels and body wraps. Some of these are also included within the spa packages available, such as the traditional Irish-Roman spa package (55chf pp.) and private couples’ spa day. Bathrobes, towels and swimwear are also available to hire for a small charge. A word to the wise: Tuesdays are ladies only days – so bear this in mind to avoid disappointment.
Following our boat trip, the boy and I decided to grab a bite to eat at a Christmas clad patisserie overlooking Lake Zurich. Felix am Café Bellevue is situated on the corner of Bellevueplatz only a few steps away from the Zurich Opera house, and has been tipped as one of the best cafes in Zurich. The opulent interior was made even grander by the large Christmas tree and festive decorations. A wide spiral staircase with red carpets and mistletoe wound around the banisters was the first thing to greet us. This café is a feast for all the senses! Make sure you brush up on your German before entering as trying to decipher the menu was near on impossible (there was no English translations in sight)! We ended up ordering two blinis, ham and roast beef sandwich and Café Felix’s homemade apple strudel and cherry strudel, both complete with vanilla sauce. Exceptional quality but comes with a hefty price-tag!
No trip to Switzerland would be complete without coming away with a large slab of Swiss chocolate. After sampling the products of Switzerland’s best chocolatiers at Geneva’s annual Chocolate Fair, we found that my favourite, Laederach, had a shop on the Bahnofstrasse. This chocolatier makes some of the most delicious chocolate I’ve ever tasted, from individual truffles and pralines to huge pieces of swiss chocolate. Personal favourite of mine is the Fruchtemix – dried apricots, pistachios and salted almonds smothered in white chocolate. You can pick up gift sets which make perfect presents for any loved ones left behind.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed exploring Zurich and would certainly visit again – once the bank balance has recovered!
If you are planning on visiting Zurich, why not head to some of the places that I have recommended? Or if you have found any special gems of your own, feel free to share them below!