To be completely honest I wish we had just skipped Zurich and spent more time in a smaller more scenic town in Switzerland instead. Zurich is known to be the finical hub of the country and to the whole of Europe, home to large corporations, banking giants, world’s biggest stock exchange, which makes it the wealthiest city in Europe.
We had bad luck starting the minute we got off the bus and it went on from there. We couldn’t find a money exchange when we arrived (Switzerland isn’t on the euro) and we also realised that they have different power points meaning we couldn’t use our Europe adapter plugs. We also quickly learnt that our “hotel” was far from it, and got stuck out side our building not knowing our booking code (we don’t have international simcards we just rely on wifi) and because labour very expensive in Switzerland, they didn’t have a reception or any staff on the premises. After a long day travelling to THREE countries in ONE day (Austria for breakfast, Germany for lunch and Switzerland for dinner), safe to say we weren’t in the best of moods by bedtime haha.
Here’s why I was disappointed with our time in Zurich:
1- EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE
From food, to accommodation, to public transport to sight seeing activities, everything is crazy! Little did we realise, Zurich is one of the most expensive places to visit in the world, topping London and New York! Our Accommodation was a nightmare. We booked a cheap hotel to stay in, as there were very few hostels and were all extremely expensive. So upon our arrival, our “hotel” turned out to be a block of apartments with NO reception or any staff (as wages are very expensive here). To get our room key, we had to enter our booking number into a machine and because we don’t have overseas sim cards always relying on wifi, we couldn’t get the email to see this information. Anyway, we stood outside for a while in the dark, luckily a lady came out of the building and lent us her phone to get the code and then we finally got in. But it wasn’t an ideal situation to be carrying 6 bags between us, we just wanted to get in our room and relax!
2- THERE ISN’T A LOT TO DO
We sat on Google trying to find interesting things to do and see and nothing really tickled our fancy. I mean, we got a few nice photos of the main town area, but we wanted to do more than just walk around looking at buildings for 2 days. I honestly the thing to do here is to eat at nice restaurants and drink coffee in fancy cafes, certainly not for the budget traveller! We found a few museums but nothing we would come specifically to see. We were disappointed!
3- PUBLIC TRANSPORT IS CONFUSING
As I already mentioned everything is expensive, but it’s also very confusing. Even though they do have an English button on the ticket machines, there are that many options of different types of tickets to get, it’s hard to tell what one to choose and if you are buying the right one! The train to our accommodation was 14 euro for the both of us for 2 stops (about 3.5 kms), which is just ridiculous! So the next 2 days we opted for walking everywhere and ended up walking about 15kms a day.
There are some nice lake views and cool buildings here but in my opinion it wasn’t worth our time or money visiting Zurich. This was pretty much the only place in Europe I was really disappointed about.
Please tell me in the comments below if you had a different experience! Sorry for a bit of a dull post but I want to be 100% honest informing other travellers my opinions.
Next post is a brighter one I promise 😉
NEXT – OREGON USA, MY FIRST EVER WHITE CHRISTMAS!