Whether we are traveling for work or for leisure sometimes we just can’t help that our time in a certain city may be limited. It’s especially unfortunate when you happen to be in destination as beautiful as Zürich, Switzerland. During a 3 week trip through western Europe, I was able to carve out some time to make a stop in Zürich before returning home. Thanks to my strict planning skills I didn’t realize 48 hours wasn’t much time to do and see everything this Swiss wonderland had to offer. So if you’re like me and want to make the most out of a lot, you’ll appreciate this guide! I’ve listed some great ways to make the most out of little time, but also some of my favorite places to eat, play and stay to help you plan your quick trip to Zürich like Swiss clockwork.
The Martkgasse Hotel is a chic boutique hotel located in the heart of Zürich’s old town which is great because this is exactly where you’d want to be! The hotel is just a stone’s throw from Bahnhofstrasse (a popular shopping area) and not far from tourist attractions and Zürich’s central station. The building itself is over 600 years old but maintains every bit of charm and sits cozily on the corner of Marktgasse. I noticed that everyone who passed by couldn’t resist taking a peek inside Delish, the corner café located inside the hotel.
After spending three hours at the airport waiting for my missing luggage, I was pretty bummed that my 48 hours in Zürich was starting on the wrong foot. I arrived at the hotel much later in the evening than expected, but because the staff anticipated my arrival they were prepared to make me feel right at home. I was checked-in right away and shown to my room: their cosy suite conveniently located by the elevator and drinking fountain on the second floor. There are 39 unique rooms at The Marktgasse Hotel, and several different common areas to serve travelers of all types. Delish the hotel’s café, serves small bites, specialty beverages and pastries (of course!) Guests will also find that the hotel has the cutest library for those who need a meeting room or a disciplined workspace.
Despite not having any of my belongings, I was quickly put at ease. My suite was equipped with Aesop’s body wash and body lotion, towels and even some pastries from the café. The staff so kindly provided me with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and adapters so I knew my 48 hours in Zürich would turn out just fine.
Rooms at the Marktgasse Hotel start at 215 CHF nightly, and breakfast at Delish will cost 19 CHF. It is cheaper to book directly with them here!
You can start, have a quick bite or end your day here but you must make time to have a meal at Baltho. Baltho is conveniently located right next to Delish and on the ground floor of the Marktgasse. I started my day with their breakfast and it was one for the books! The breakfast included your choice of coffee your way, fresh orange juice, fruit, cereal, and an assortment of meat and pastries arranged on a tiered platter. Bartho has both indoor and outdoor seating. It provided the perfect atmosphere to map out my time in the city and catch up on reading. Baltho also serves lunch, dinner, and a variety of drinks at their craft cocktail bar.
For vegans or just plain veggie fanatics like myself, you may be pleased to know that the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant is located in Zürich. Yep, that’s right Haus Hiltl has been operating since 1898 and lives up to its large reputation. Located at Sihlstrasse, Haus Hiltl, boasts both a large buffet of over 100 international dishes and the option to order à la carte. I ordered the kale ravioli and let’s just say I don’t think I want to eat ravioli any other way. You can easily make reservations for breakfast, lunch or dinner here!
Zürich Free Walking Tour
The best way to knock out a lot in a short time is by joining a free walking tour. Luckily Zürich has one that operates every single day, and two that operate during the weekend. Check out Free Walk Switzerland here to see what tours they have operating and where they meet. The best part about these tours is that they are extremely comprehensive and FREE. However, don’t forget to carry some cash so you can tip your guide! Tours are also in Spanish daily and various other languages on request.
Please, I beg you, do not visit Zürich and forget to take advantage of their FREE bike rentals! Yes, you heard me right. You can rent a bike for free thanks to Züri rolt, a free bike initiative. The best part is that you have the option to rent a city bike, an e-bike, or a bike for your little one too! However, you will need to show your passport and leave a 20 CHF deposit that you will be returned once you return the bike. Download the app to find out where bikes are avaialble so you can discover Zürich the scenic way!
Chocolate Tour Your Way
Switzerland is best known for two things: it’s cheese and it’s chocolate. Take a stroll down Bahnhofstrasse and stop in at the various chocolate shops. Make a stop at Confiserie Sprüngli and try their famous Luxemburgerli macaron, or have a field day at Läderach where you will find a generous amount of chocolate samples.
Take A Ride on The Polybahn
As you near Zürich University you may find small, red trams zipping back and forth to the Polyterasse. The Polyterasse is arguably one of the best outlooks of Zürich and could be the perfect place for a photo op to remember your short time in such a beautiful city. Just remember to ride the Polybahn, you will need a Zürich transit ticket or pass, a ZurichCARD, or a Swiss Pass.
Whether you choose to seize every opportunity to taste, see and feel in this city or if you simply choose to relax, Zürich is a city that is sure to pull you in with its serene atmosphere and subtle Swiss charm.
Until Next Time,
The Pint Sized Traveler
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Marktgasse Hotel, however, all opinions expressed in this article are my own.