Love Zurich. Here’s what I wrote while I was there.
Hotel Allegra in Kloten. $135 per nights via hrs.de hotel booking service. Checking booking.com and venere.com as well. Close to airport free van rides. 24 hour ticket from Kloten to Zurich HBF (Main train station) 12 CHF. You may be able to purchase a Zurich Card with unlimited transportation but we didn’t investigate this. Nice modern hotel with restaurant and bar. Breakfast is 18 CHF but has lots of options. Vans run every half and hour to the airport. Prearrange with front desk. Wifi is available but expensive. Rooms are large with large bathroom. There is a fitness center and a place to iron clothes in the main hall. Perfect place for 1-2 nights in Zurich.
Old City – Dining Brauerie good food lots of choices including some healthy options. Exit the train station to the south and then make a left. Cross the water and then bear right. You will enter the old city. There beer hall is on the left. There is a group of 3 or 4 of them. Further down to the right there is Mexican food but we didn’t try it. Looked pretty good.
Near Lake Zurich – If the weather is good as you walk along the river down to the lake you will see a large beer garden. Food look good and there are plenty of beverage options. Great place to hang out and rest your legs after a long walk. On Lake Zurich there are boat rides but I thought they were excessively expensive. $24 for 90 minutes. Paddle boats and other small boats are also available to rent.
Cheaper Eats – Look for take away places. There you will “only” spend $9-10 each for a meal. Stores like Migros and Co-Op also have their own restaurants. Buffet style with grilled selections, salad bar, etc. Most of the grocery stores like CoOp have pre-made sandwiches and salads or you can build your own. If you head to McDonalds for internet access a meal deal will cost around $12! Yes, $12 to eat a burger, fries and a drink. Switzerland is just plain expensive.
Freitag Store – Well these are the hip bags you can purchase which are made out of old truck cargo covers. In Europe it is common for cargo trucks to be open but covered. Freitag was invented as a way to recycle these durable materials. The bags are each unique but are ridiculously expensive. $200 for a messenger back. Laptop sleeves were $90 and even a stupid key chain was $25. So if you must look hip at any price head to the Freitag store. 20 min walk from the main train station or street car can get you closer. If you exit at (insert stop name here) walk south in the opposite direction. Do not cross the river. That is the wrong direction. The street where the store is located will be on your left. About a 5 min walk. The store is made out of shipping containers stacked really high and is easy to spot.
Free Internet – McDonalds in Switzerland will offer you 30 minutes of free access per day. Not a bad deal. Starbucks will also offer you 30 minutes but you have to ask for an access code. We were nice and got 2 cards. Plenty of time to catch up on things if you are organized and have your own laptop. Most internet cafes were 3 Euro for 15 minutes. So somewhere around $12 an hour. Too pricey for me.
Riding trains for free – i.e. not paying. They do a pretty good job checking tickets in Zurich. I wouldn’t ride black as they call it. $80 fine if you are caught. Pleading ignorance will do no good. So check to see if there is an unlimited pass. I would image there is but we weren’t in Zurich long enough to make it worth our while.