A Short Stop In Zurich

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Taking The Train For A Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland

On our trip through Central Europe, we headed for a short stop in Zurich after Austria.

Our time in Salzburg Austria just flew by. While we were there for 3 nights, we really only had 2 days since we boarded an early train to Zurich.

At almost 6 hours, it was our longest train ride as we hopped from our stay in Budapest to Austria to Switzerland and then to to our final stop in Milan Italy. We packed the night before and had an early breakfast. It was a short cab ride to the train station. So we had time to relax in the business lounge before our train arrived.

It was grey and rainy for the whole trip to Zurich. But we went through some idyllic mountain scenery. When we went through Innsbruck we saw the Olympic facilities on the hills.

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Mountains towered over the tracks. Long tunnels cut through the mountains. And the train moved fast (at almost 200kph at one point). It was great eye candy even without bright sun.

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When the tracks flattened out and a large lake appeared beside the train, we knew we were close.

Walking In Old Town Zurich

One day we explored the city on our short stop in Zurich. We hoped for a sunny day but the weather turned. Skies were grey and almost every day it rained. Most days there were late day thunderstorms. We talked to a guy at lunch one day and wondered about visiting in the winter when the sky was winter crisp. He quickly stated that Zurich in the winter was often grey as well. We guessed that was the issue in low ground in a country filled with mountains.

We took the tram into the downtown area and walked around. The Opera House was a beautiful building on the river. We found the first of many statues as we wandered the pedestrian streets in this area.

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Old Town Statue.jpg

Old Town Statue - Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland.jpg

Old Town Statue Four Nymphs - Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland.jpg

Our next stop was the Grossmunster Church with its twin towers and interesting door. We saw these twin towers everywhere when we walked in the Old Town area. In the courtyard in front of the church there was a model of the church.

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Old Town Grossmunster Church.jpg

Old Town Grossmunster Church Model - Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland.jpg

Old Town Grossmunster Church Door - Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland.jpg

Everywhere we looked we saw interesting buildings and clock towers. We were in Switzerland after all! We even found interesting clocks as building decorations.

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There was much to see as we walked on a short stop in Zurich.

Heading Along The Water

The Limmat River ran from Lake Zurich through the city. Several different bridges crossed the river. Ferry boats ran to different stops on the water.

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Old Town Canal Ferry - Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland.jpg

We crossed into the Old Town and wandered the streets. We headed uphill to the Lindenhof viewpoint. This spot housed a Roman fort and then a large walled in palace in the time of Charlemagne. We found a large tranquil park with great panoramic views along the river banks.

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Old Town Lindenhof Views.jpg

Old Town Lindenhof Views - Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland.jpg

We were glad we headed along the water when we made a short stop in Zurich. The Lindenhof park was the perfect spot for reflection and great views.

Tasty Stops On A Short Stop In Zurich

We looked for lunch but were distracted by shops that sold sweet treats. The Honold Tea Room drew us to its window with its colourful and delicious looking treats. We pinned this spot for a return visit.

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Of course we found the Laderach Chocolate shop. This was the shop that had been recommended to us for the best Swiss chocolate. There was certainly a wide selection of chocolate. Most of the Swiss chocolate was milk chocolate so we found ourselves a little less tempted than we might be. But that didn’t stop us from adding yet more chocolate to our bags.

Old Town Food Laderach Chocolate - Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland.jpg

Old Town Food Laderach Chocolate - Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland.jpg

Even on a short stop in Zurich you will be tempted by chocolate and sweets!

Visit The Small Town Of Schaffhausen

During our stay in Zurich, we watched the weather forecast. When it looked like we would have a sunny day, we planned a trip out of town. It was an easy train trip to the small town of Schaffhausen. As we walked the town streets, we found so many delightful and colourful buildings.

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The Munot Fortress stood high above the town. We couldn’t resist walking up the 350 or more stairs for the best views around!

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Schaffhausen Munot Castle Views - Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland.jpg

On a short stay in Zurich, we were delighted we planned a day trip and visited Schaffhausen.

Don’t Miss the Rhine Falls

On our day trip to Schaffhausen, we made one more stop. The Rhine Falls were the biggest falls in Europe. We got our first view of the falls from above.

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When we headed down to the water level, we walked around and got various different views of the waterfall cascading down. A walk up the stairs beside the falls gave us another perspective.

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Rhine Falls - Short Stop In Zurich Switzerland.jpg

We made sure and planned a trip to see the Rhine Falls on our short stop in Zurich.

Plan A Short Stop In Zurich

The weather was not our friend on our short stop in Zurich. Our visit to Switzerland was in the last 2 weeks of a 6 week trip to Central Europe. The weather had been perfect for our first 4 weeks. So we were less inclined to head out into the rain at this point on our trip.

But as soon as the weather broke for a few hours, we headed out and saw the Old Town of Zurich. There were many sights to see in the city. And on a sunny day, we headed for the country and saw the charming town of Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls.

We had other day trip options for our short visit in Zurich. On the train trip from our stay in Salzburg, we passed through the tiny country of Liechtenstein. We wanted to go back for a day trip and get our passports stamped. It reminded us very much of the time that we visited the small country of San Marino in the middle of Italy! We also wanted to do a day trip to Lucerne.

But the weather beat us on this trip. Switzerland was a pretty small country and easily accessible by train. We hoped to visit Lucerne from our next stop in Bern.

Have you done a short stop in Zurich? What did you see in the city? What day trips did you take?

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About TravelAtWill 697 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!


  1. Absolutely gorgeous pictures. I love the art work on the building in Schaffhausen. My son was in Austria and Germany a few years ago. The alps are amazing.

    • Thanks for the comment on the pictures! It was a quick stop in Zurich but we did like all that we saw. And we loved the chance to get out of the city to the Rhine Falls and Schaffhausen.

  2. Zurich is beautiful and the Rhine Falls are quite impressive! Switzerland is worth a longer visit to explore and Schaffhausen looks gorgeous.

    • Thanks for the feedback on the photos ❤️ The Rhine Falls were an amazing day trip and we went for the perfect trip. But we sure did not miss on the great chocolate!

  3. I love the architecture in Old Town Zurich. Old cities that have rivers running through them are usually quite picturesque. And, the chocolates look fabulous.

  4. I’ve always wanted to visit Zurich, and hopefully I will one day. Your photos are lovely and bring the whole experience to life!

  5. I didn’t realize there’s a river running through Zurich. I like the colorful buildings in Schaffhausen. It looks so pretty! And the Rhine Falls is just amazing. I think you made a good decision by making a day trip from Zurich.

  6. Zurich looks like a wonderful city to explore with all the amazing architecture, statues and river! Plus I’d more be quite happy to sample several chocolates!

  7. Would love to visit Switzerland some day. Have always avoided it because of the costs. But, I’d head straight to the tea room!

  8. Zurich looks really fun to explore (and eat your way through!!) I mostly want to visit Switzerland for the mountains, but it looks like the cities are worth lots of time too. The Rhine Falls are spectacular aren’t they!?

  9. Zurich looks lovely & while reading I realised I had never been! The train journey there looks amazing & who wouldn’t love a place with an endless supply of delicious chocolate! Clearly I need to add a return to Switzerland to my ever increasing list!

  10. The sculptures, artwork, and cobbled streets in Zurich must give it an old town feel. A short stop there sound fine but I think I might like to stay longer.

  11. Your post about the Rhine Falls is perhaps my favourite one so far, and nice to see it referenced here. Zurich is a great place to visit, I think, if only it weren’t so prohibitively expensive haha… I used to work for a (nearby) Zug-based company and visited Zurich a dozen times, always liked the relaxed vibe, nice architecture and good food.

    • We did find all of Switzerland expensive but we also managed our costs with lots of walking and picnics. This let us save some money for the splurges we love. I do miss those days of travelling for business where I got to enjoy new cities. Although I suspect it will be awhile before business travel fully rebounds.

  12. What a shame it was so grey for your visit, but nevertheless, Zurich looks very beautiful. Schaffhausen looks like it was well worth making the trip too. What fabulous buildings! Great tip about going to see the Rhine Falls too. I did not know that these are the biggest falls in Europe.

  13. Zurich looks like a beautiful city for a short visit! It’s too bad you had cloudy weather, I always hate when that happens while traveling, but you still got some great pictures that day. Those pictures from Laderach Chocolate shop are making me crave something sweet, and I especially like those chocolate rabbits!

  14. I can definitely see why the Rhine Falls was high on your list of things to see, they are beautiful. I hadn’t realized they there known as the biggest. I loved the excursion of Schaffausen too, the architecture of the buildings would most certainly capture my interest. Not to mention the delicious chocolate you tried, it might be a pricey treat, but well worth the indulgence.

  15. I made this similar trip several years ago, really itching to get back again. Zurich has a good combination of old and new buildings. The contrast makes it an interesting place to visit.

  16. Beautiful trip and great tips. Zurich is a delightful city. Also, I was there only a short visit during my trip to southern Europe, and therefore I will gladly come back for a longer time. I didn’t have time to see up close and inside Grossmunster Church. I only admired it from a distance. I add a visit to the Laderach Chocolate shop to my list for the next time. I love sweets. I would also like to visit Schaffhausen. It’s so photogenic!

    • I am sure we missed a lot in Zurich. We still went out in the grey days but I am sure we would have explored more with some sunshine. Lots to do in this city with great day trips.

  17. Wow! You took a lot of pictures on your short stop! Good that you managed to see quite a lot of the town of Zurich. Luckily everything is quite walkable. Good also, that you found the Läderach chocolatier. Next time you are in Zurich you also have to try the Luxemburgerli – a speciality made by Lindt Sprüngli. Similar to macarons.

    • Thanks for the great suggestion for our next visit to Zurich. We are always looking for suggestions for great stops from locals. And something similar to macarons would be right for our taste buds.

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