Zurich for a weekend: travel guide for short trip

Our trip to Zurich started really unusual: we did not think about going to Switzerland some day. I was just sitting and looking for cheap flight tickets somewhere and then – BANG, bingo! Flight ticket from Moscow abroad for 999 RUR (16$). “I don’t care what will happen and why they are so cheap, but I am taking it!” – I thought. And this is how it started…

Why Zurich

These cheap tickets supposed to be from Moscow to Munich. Actually, the destination point was Memmingen – a small German town near Munich with the airport, working with low coaster companies. But there is a good transport connection between the cities, and I thought, that it is a good reason to visit Munich and spend there a weekend. In a couple of days, I realized, that I took tickets for Octoberfest period. “How lucky I am!” – I was excited. I have never dreamed of visiting Octoberfest. Actually, I was so happy for a couple of minutes, just before I started looking for a hotel. It should have been expected, but it was a bad surprise for me, that there were no hotels or private room in hostel cheaper than 850$ for a weekend. 850$, Carl! that was a bad news, because, as you understand, flight tickets for that price could not be refundable.

What to do? What to do? What to do? They say, Europe is not very big…Well, OK, let’s look at the map.

Map Memmingen countries destination

And that’s it! Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Stuttgart are all in less than 2 hours by car from Memmingen. Happiness and enthusiasm came back to my soul. That was a decision – we’re going to Zurich.

How to get to Zurich

As a high developed European city, Zurich has its own airport. The average price of one-way ticket from Moscow to Zurich is 321$, which is in 20 times more than I paid. To be honest, I paid 80$ for my return ticket to Moscow, but it is still very cheap, comparing with regular price. These tickets are available on Pobeda website. You just go to the website, choose the destination and look for the date with suitable price. Sometimes it takes time, but I found my 16$ ticket for 30 minutes.The only disadvantage here is that you can take only up to 10 kg bag with you. And it will be just regular, not cabin baggage.

Congratulations, you are in Memmingen.

Memmingen

There is a good transport connection from Menningen to Zurich. It is quite easy to buy a bus ticket on Allgaeu-airport-express online.

The main advantages of these buses:

  • They run several times a day;
  • The buses are quite comfortable with huge windows;
  • It is less than 40$ per ticket, which is not cheap, but much cheaper than train – the only alternative way;
  • It has wi-fi.

The buses come to the main railway station of Zurich in the city center.

zurich center

How much

Zurich is a very expensive city! I thought after Stockholm nothing can make me feel so poor. But Zurich could. Just be ready, that absolutely everything is in 3,5 times more expensive, then in Moscow. Just several examples:

  • BigMac – 11 Euro;
  • Small dinner for two – 72 Euro;
  • Public transport – 4.30 Euro for just one ticket
  • Chocolate in supermarket – 2.80 Euro

Where to stay

Zurich is full of hotels. Seriously, it is like all other European cities, you will not sleep on the street. But remember, that your accommodation will not be cheap (but not 850$, ha-ha!). I can strongly recommend one option – Swiss-star apartments. This is a company, which provides apartments. There is no reception, no helpdesk, no flat owners, getting the key is a fun quest, nothing complicated, just fun. We were staying in University district. It is important to point, there is no difference where you will stay, because:

  • in Zurich you feel safe everywhere;
  • it is not a very big city, you can walk everywhere.

What to do

To walk. This is almost everything you should do, if you come here for a weekend. You can walk 20-30 kilometers, but it totally worth it. There is a very good route on another website, which contains all the sights and a short description of them. We used it and we were more than satisfied. The complicated system of Zurich public transport is also explained there. To sum up: Zurich is divided into several zones, and if you want to move between the zones, you have to pay for all zones, that you visit.

It will be enough to walk in three primary locations.

City

The main sights in Zurich are located (as everywhere) in the city center, Every building was built in 13-17 centuries, but they look like very strong and study. And also it is very beautiful. If you use a prepared route just 3-4 hours is quite enough for your walk through the city center. It is so easy and nice just to wander around and drink coffee, looking on people, sitting in the city cafes.

zurich city

Do not forget to visit one of the hundreds of magic sweet-shops. But pay attention that they work till 6 p.m. or close even earlier.

zurich candy

 Lake

There is a huge and beautiful lake in Zurich. It is so well located, that you can walk along the lake, starting in the city center and then continue in a park – if you go from city center it will be on the left. The special entertainment on the lake is to feed big, beautiful and quite impudent swans. They eat right from your hands. It is amazing.

zurich swan

In the park on the lake you understand, that Zurich and Switzerland is an ideal place to live. It is clean, safe, beautiful, quiet, people walk with happy dogs, play with children (and children do not cry!). Local citizens seem very rich: I have never seen so many Teslas in one city, all cars are new and expensive.This is a piece of paradise. Even public bathrooms are fantastic (it is comic, but I recommend at least to look at them in the park).

Uetliberg

Zurich is sooo beautiful from a height. The best way to see it is to go up to Uetliberg – the beautiful small mountain near the city. The forest on the mountain is magic and fairy, but it is better to walk there on your way back: it takes 40-50 minutes to walk back to the city. It is possible to get to the mountain by city train from the main railway station. You can buy a ticket in the machine right on the station, but be informed: the way to Uetliberg goes through 3 transport zones, so, you will have to pay in three times more. But the view worth it.

uetliberg

uetliberg zurich

Bonus: Memmingen

There is a nice bonus in this kind of trip with the flight to Memmingen by low-cost company and transfer by bus to Zurich. The bus to the airport is very early, and you will come to the airport, having 3 or 4 hours before check-in. That is a good reason to take a taxi for 8-10 euro (it is better to cooperate with other passengers) and go to Memmingen – a nice small German town with fairy houses. Spending a couple of hours in that atmosphere will be a good addition to your great journey to Zurich – a part of an ideal world.

memmingen morning

Total cost for 2 persons:

  • Flight tickets: 169 Euro;
  • Hotel: 160 Euro;
  • Bus from Memmingen and back: 26 Euro + 26 Euro;
  • Taxi to Memmingen and back to the airport: 10 Euro;
  • Visa: 35 Euro + 35 Euro;
  • Public transport: 26 Euro;
  • Food and drinks + dinner: 140 Euro

Total: 627 Euro

More photos are always available in Photo Gallery

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