incredible scenery in Zurich

Zurich, Switzerland: The Viking River Cruise Land Days

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Seeing the beauty of Zurich, Switzerland, was a dream come true as we ended a 12-day Viking River Cruise from Paris to the Swiss Alps.

Eddie (my husband) and I ended up in Zurich, Switzerland, at the end of our Paris to the Swiss Alps cruise with Viking River Cruises. I had been to Switzerland before but not Zurich. Viking delivered us from the cruise ship to the hotel (included in the cruise price) and the airport at the end of our trip. 

Zurich is fascinating, very beautiful, and even more expensive. We explored as much of the town as possible in our two days and participated in the complimentary walking tour and boat ride from Viking River Cruises. Take a look at what you can expect on your visit to Zurich. 

Zurich Switzerland downtown scenery

The Scenery

Amazing scenery encompasses every inch of Zurich. From stately architecture to colorful rows of historical buildings, snow-capped Swiss Alps to cobblestone streets that meandered to and fro, your camera is destined to get a workout.

It is such a cool city to walk around. We logged seven miles on our Fitbit one day and didn’t even realize how much walking we had done because it was so enjoyable. 

Zurich Switzerland scenery

Zurich’s Food

Switzerland is famous for one of my favorite foods: cheese! You’ll find exotic cheese offerings everywhere you go. Having fondue in Switzerland was a must for me, so Eddie and I went to Swiss Chuchi Restaurant in the heart of old town for world-famous cheese fondue. We chose the traditional recipe with Vaudois cheese, white wine, cherry liquor, and garlic. It was everything I had imagined!

cheese fondue in Zurich Switzerland

Another trendy cheese favorite around Zurich is raclette, which has recently started infiltrating our American eateries. We saw raclette shops all over town. If you aren’t familiar, you will smell it long before you see it. 

The food is exceptionally costly in Zurich. Simple meals were $24 and $4 to $7 for a small bottled soda at our hotel. Beer was much cheaper than both bottled water and soda. We found Blue Monkey, a tasty Thai restaurant with cool decor and a lunch buffet for $26 per person in the old town. I highly recommend it.

Zurich Switzerland typical restaurant
Zurich Switzerland restaurants and food

Sightseeing in Zurich

Eddie and I loved roaming around Paradeplatz (Parade Square) in downtown Zurich. This is the high-end part of the city known for great shopping and people-watching. Fashion and accessories take center stage in Parade Square while home accents are a close second.

If you aren’t staying downtown, getting there is super easy on the tram, and that is coming from someone who rarely ever uses public transportation. Tram stations have instructions printed in English and take credit cards. They are clean, efficient, and a great way to get around Zurich. Pay attention to the stately architecture and magnificent blooms as you travel through the city.

walking Zurich restaurants and shops
walking Zurich flowers and shops

The Lake

Our Viking River post-cruise excursion featured a boat ride around Lake Zurich. Bürkliplatz is where the boat tour starts from and lasts around 90 minutes. There are indoor and outdoor seating and spectacular views of the lake and snow-capped mountains on the ride. Our route took us to Rapperswil, an adorable medieval town with a lovely hillside 12th-century castle across the lake. We could hop off in the city of Rapperswil and catch a later boat back into town if we wanted. 

boat ride with Swiss alps in the background

All-in-all, the scenery all along the boat ride is excellent, and the fresh air feels fantastic. Plus, the boat cruise was free to Viking River Cruise guests, so ensure that you take advantage of the opportunity.

feeding ducks at Lake Zurich

Our Hotel

Viking River Cruises put us up at the Sheraton Zurich Hotel for two nights. The hotel is sleek and stylish with two restaurants and excellent service in a cosmopolitan neighborhood. The rooms offer a sitting area, perfect beds, an ergonomic desk and work area, a mini-fridge, and a refreshing shower.

Viking offers complimentary breakfast for cruise ship guests in a private space at the hotel. That was a real money saver! The Sheraton is also within steps of Toni-Areal (the local tram station), so that opened up all sorts of possibilities for exploring the city. 

hotel in Zurich Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland: One for the Books!

Zurich is a lovely city to visit for the scenery alone. Switzerland is a breathtaking country with loads of things to see and do. Zurich has been my favorite city there thus far. 

Visiting Zurich was a great way to close a fantastic cruise and 12 days of fun with Viking River Cruises

Zurich Switzerland walking tour
Switzerland flag flying in downtown Zurich
the butcher restaurant in Zurich
Zurich Switzerland buildings
boat ride in Zurich
savoy hotel Zurich Switzerland
incredible scenery in Zurich

 

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Read more from our Viking River Cruises:

12 Day Paris to the Swiss Alps

Things to Know for your Viking Cruise

The Cruise Ports of Linz and Melk, Austria

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