21 February 2010

I love Zurich: Why in a Top Ten

I love Zurich: why in a Top Ten

Why do we love a city and hate another? In a trial to summarize what I love about Zurich, here is my ( I know it’s not so original!) Top Ten of Zurich:

- There are lots of pedestrian areas: along the Limmat, in the old town and along the lake. It’s both very relaxing and useful, as it’s quicker to walk everywhere than drive in the center.
- The choice of restaurant is amazing for such a small city (my top ten to follow).
- Again for a city this size, the cultural choice is fantastic (and why not write a top ten on that as well -to be continued…)
- Everything works: from trains running on schedule to registering at your Gemeinde to postal services (yes, your A-Post letter will arrive a day later anywhere in Switzerland… Amazing!).
- Zurich has history. Perhaps not so great for Europeans, but amazing to the Canuck that I am. Everywhere you walk you feel it. Best places: Lindenhof (the Romans were there. Can you believe it! They surely were not in Canada!), Niederdorf, Oberdorf.
- The city is clean and agreable. You can still be theorically in Zurich but be on the top of a mountain with a great view (Uetliberg), be swimming in the Limmat or cruising on the Lake. Which other city has this all?
- This one is really personal, but I love the fact that Zurich has so many fountains. They are everywhere, look great and give a great look to the city. I’m thinkin about writting another Top Ten just about that!
- Zurich is very Swiss and very cosmopolitan. I know it’s contradictory, but it just feels this way. And the mix is exactly what I need.
- Life in Switzerland, so including in Zurich, is very much season oriented. The year has several events, one after another which give life here a certain rhythm. You have to go through a whole year (or perhaps several of them) here to realize that. For example, on 11 November at 11:11 we have the carnival start in Zurich (but not the real carnival, just the start of it), then days get shorter and darker and it’s Rabeliechtli, and then Christmas (and all the markets) and Sylvester with fireworks, and Carnival, etc. There are all these customs who are regulars to all Swiss calendars. It’s both interesting and comforting. It gives you something to look forward to, at any given time of the year.

Okay then, it was Top Nine! At least something original about it! So tell me: why do you love Zurich? All answers are welcomed (perhaps not if you love the dialect though...). Cheers!


  1. Hi I'm Aaron, an exchange student from Oregon living here for the next 6 months. I'd love to ask you a couple questions about zuri! Email? matneyaaron@mac.com

  2. these are all quite spot-on!
    The seasonal rituals & rhythms... cosmopolitan but full of "Gemuchlichkeit"...