3. Explore its parks, green areas and gardens
Some might argue that Zurich is hardly a city and more like a big garden. Not only is it cradled between the two thickly forested ridges of Uetliberg and Zurichberg, but it also makes space for some truly fine pockets of green and parks in its heart. When the weather is warm enough these green spaces become valuable spots where to picnic or munch on your affordable take away meal of choice on lawns which are definitely made to step on to and fully enjoy. The arboretum and Zurichhorn park hugging the banks of Lake Zurich get extra charm points because of their location, and the Old Botanical Gardens for their bang-in-the-middle-of-the-city appeal which draws scores of office and bank workers in suits to it during lunch time. The Old Botanical Gardens are particularly stunning in those two weeks of Spring when their many flower trees and shrubs burst into bloom like so:
To come across even more green, you just need to head a little bit further out of the city centre. The beautiful Rietberg Museum also comes with a large undulating stretch of park land where people are allowed to picnic and play, and just a short walk away is the largest of Zurich parks, the Belvoir, where the sounds of the (admittedly small, by international standards) city completely disappear, muffled by the radiant green.
And finally, a 20-minute train ride from the mainstation is Uetliberg, a forested ridge on the far Western side of the city which, when hiked, takes you not only into quiet forests and hills, but also lets you take in a bird’s-eye view of Zurich from its top:
And then, of course, there’s the Masoala Rainforest at the Zurich zoo, your own little pocket of tropical paradise in Europe. You don’t have to be into zoos to fall in love with it.
-Text and Photography by Denise Pulis @ www.theartofslowtravel.com