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A Honeymoon Filled With History and Memories in Zürich, Switzerland
Zürich may be the largest city in Switzerland, but its streets are filled with a juxtaposition of rich history and high-tech innovations. The perfect place for a luxurious and romantic honeymoon.
In the heart of Switzerland, resting on the banks of the serene Limmat River, Zürich beckons travellers with its seamless blend of old-world charm and contemporary vibrancy. Switzerland’s largest city, Zürich, captivates visitors with its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and a dynamic cultural scene. From its medieval old town to its cutting-edge architecture and world-class museums, Zürich offers a captivating journey that reveals its multi-faceted character. Prepare to be enchanted by a city that effortlessly marries tradition with innovation, creating an experience that is both timeless and avant-garde.
We ended three blissful nights in St. Moritz and were ready to leave the snow-covered fairytale land. After checking out of Hotel Waldhaus Hotel Sils-Maria, we arrived at St. Moritz train station and were greeted by an Alpine Classic Pullman carriage, which can be chartered to add on to any scheduled train. This journey will take us from St. Moritz to Zürich.Leaving St. Moritz Station
It was an amazing experience to enjoy the breathtaking view on board a vintage railway carriage in the charming art-deco style of the early 20th century. The armchairs were roomy, while the bay windows and teak fittings make the journey so enjoyable and comfortable. The Bernina Express, which the Alpine Pullman Classic carriage we were on was attached to, took us on the Rhaetian Railway and across the spectacular Landwasser Viaduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being a part of this fascinating piece of railway history and masterful engineering was a check on the bucket list for me.
Swiss Travel SystemImages courtesy of Switzerland Tourism
The wonderful thing about travelling via trains in Switzerland is that, not only are the trains always punctual and offers great connectivity, they also take you on a trip that reveals snow-capped peaks, charming mountain villages, awe-inspiring vistas, pristine lakes, and lush meadows. Each journey on the Swiss Train System unfolds like a living postcard, with every curve of the track revealing a new breathtaking tableau. With the Swiss Travel Pass, you can enjoy unlimited travel across the entire network, seamlessly.
Swiss Opulence at its Finest: The Dolder Grand, Zürich
Arriving at Zürich, we were taken to The Dolder Grand, which sits on top a hill overlooking Lake Zürich. The Dolder Grand stands as an iconic symbol of timeless elegance and sophistication. With stunning panoramic views of the city and the serene Lake Zürich, this Swiss luxury hotel exudes a charm with its rich history, exquisite architecture, and world-class amenities.
Originally opened in 1899, The Dolder Grand has undergone several transformations throughout its illustrious history. In 2008, a comprehensive renovation and expansion project, designed by the esteemed architects Foster + Partners, breathed new life into the grand dame, blending historic elements with contemporary flair. The hotel effortlessly combines its storied past with modern luxuries, resulting in an ambiance that pays homage to its history while embracing the demands of the present-day traveller.
The palatial exterior, with its Belle Époque façade, showcases intricate detailing and stately columns that beckon guests to step inside. The interior is no less impressive, featuring opulent décor, marble floors, and elegant furnishings that exude a sense of refined grandeur. Its luxurious rooms and suites are adorned with tasteful artwork, fine linen, and lavish amenities. Some suites offer private terraces with breathtaking views of the surrounding natural beauty, ensuring an unforgettable stay that epitomises Swiss sophistication.Image of the spa courtesy of The Dolder Grand
The Dolder Grand is not only a haven for those seeking luxurious comfort but also an oasis of art and wellness. The hotel boasts an impressive art collection, featuring masterpieces by world-renowned artists such as Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol. The blending of art and hospitality elevates The Dolder Grand beyond the realm of mere accommodation, creating an immersive cultural experience for its guests.
For those seeking rejuvenation and relaxation, the Dolder Grand’s award-winning 4,000 sqm spa is a haven of tranquility. With an array of bespoke treatments, state-of-the-art facilities, and serene surroundings, the spa offers an escape from the rigours of everyday life, promoting holistic well-being. My companions and I spent half a day on the first evening purging the fatigue out of our bodies in the sauna and then relaxing and chatting in the spacious lounge areas.Waking up to this light and view in the Junior Suite Welcome pack of chocolates and mask pack from The Dolder Grand A relaxing bath before breakfast Ordered room service for the second morning
The Dolder Grand is a culinary destination in its own right, boasting several outstanding restaurants that cater to diverse palates. The Michelin-starred The Restaurant offers contemporary cuisine inspired by international flavours, crafted by Chef Heiko Nieder. Guests seeking a more casual experience can indulge in Mediterranean delights at Saltz, which was where we had dinner on the first night, while The Bar beckons with its extensive collection of cocktails and fine spirits, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration.Saltz Restaurant in the evening
Whether it’s strolling through the lush gardens, or simply revelling in the breathtaking views from the gorgeous hotel room (and pressing all the buttons in there), The Dolder Grand offers a symphony of delights that captivates all who step through its doors.
The Dolder Grand is located at Kurhausstrasse 65, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland. For more information about their rates and spa, visit their website.
Zürich City Tour
The next day, we set out to tour Zürich’s old town, but before that we needed to get one thing out of our systems: Chocolate.
Stepping inside the Lindt Home of Chocolate, we were transported into a chocolate lover’s paradise—a captivating fusion of history, innovation, and delectable creations. The Chocolate Heaven exhibit beckoned us to delve into the roots of Swiss chocolate craftsmanship. Vintage cocoa grinders, antique moulds, and cocoa tales from centuries past came alive, narrating the rich heritage that laid the foundation for Lindt’s unparalleled mastery. If you are lucky, you will also get a glimpse at the state-of-the-art machinery that lovingly transforms raw cocoa into the luscious delicacy we adore at the large pilot plant.Images courtesy of Lindt & Sprüngli AG
The highlight of our visit was undoubtedly the Chocolate Tasting Room—a haven where we indulged in a symphony of flavours and textures. You get to taste cocoa from various origins and savour the subtle notes that differentiate each creation, as well as follow every step of the process that transforms the beans into cocoa liquor, then into liquid chocolate, and finally into perfect bars and pralines. We left the chocolate shop with bags full of chocolate with this newfound appreciation for the chocolate bar.
If you have more time to spare, you can unleash your inner chocolatier in the Chocolateria. Under the watchful eye of master chocolatiers, you can craft truffles and pralines and adorn molten chocolate with your unique touches at the workshops.
Lindt Home of Chocolate is located at Schokoladenplatz 1, Seestrasse 204, 8802 Kilchberg, Switzerland. For more information on tickets, workshops and opening hours, visit their website.
Right across the road from Lindt Home of Chocolate, we were able to take the public bus to Stadthausenlage, a large square with a giant Ferris Wheel. From here we started our walking tour of the old town.
Zürich’s Old Town is a living testament to the city’s storied past, with historical landmarks that serve as tangible links to its heritage. The twin towers of Grossmünster Cathedral dominate the skyline, their majestic presence a symbol of Zürich’s religious and cultural importance. Step inside the cathedral and marvel at its beautifully preserved interior, adorned with stunning stained glass windows. Nearby, the Fraumünster Church, with its elegant blue spire, houses a remarkable collection of Chagall windows, infusing the space with ethereal light and vibrant colours. These architectural marvels are touchstones of Zürich’s historical identity, offering glimpses into its artistic and religious legacies. As you wander, you’ll encounter hidden courtyards, charming boutiques, and traditional Swiss eateries serving up delectable delights. Allow yourself to be transported back in time as the old town weaves its spell, immersing you in centuries of history and culture.
Zürich’s Old Town is also a haven for art lovers, with a thriving artistic community that has flourished within its medieval walls. Explore the charming streets surrounding the Kunsthaus Zürich, one of Switzerland’s most prominent art museums, and immerse yourself in a world of artistic masterpieces. From classic works by Swiss painters to contemporary installations, the museum’s collection spans centuries and genres. Nearby, the Cabaret Voltaire pays homage to the birthplace of the Dada art movement, hosting performances, exhibitions, and events that celebrate the avant-garde spirit.View from Lindenhof
Going uphill, we arrived at the picturesque Lindenhof, a leafy hilltop park offering panoramic views of the city. From this vantage point, you can admire the medieval rooftops and towering church steeples that dominate the skyline. On your way down, as you descend towards the Limmat River, the cobblestone streets of Niederdorf beckon, inviting you to wander through its narrow alleys. Here, traditional Swiss eateries, charming boutiques, and local artisans’ workshops line the streets, creating an atmosphere that is quintessentially Zürich. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine streets, where each corner reveals a new architectural gem or a hidden café, preserving the city’s timeless charm.
The Guild Houses of Zürich – A Place for Gatherings and Commerce
And the one thing that has stood the test of time in Switzerland is the guild house. Among the narrow cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings, lie the city’s enchanting guild houses. These architectural treasures, dating back to the Middle Ages, stand as a testament to Zürich’s rich history and the legacy of its guilds. Beyond their impressive facades, these guild houses offer a glimpse into a bygone era, where trade, craftsmanship, and tradition flourished.Image courtesy of Zürich Tourismus
Zürich’s guild houses showcase a remarkable array of architectural styles, each bearing witness to the tastes and trends of its respective era. From the Gothic grandeur of the Haus zur Zimmerleuten to the Renaissance splendour of the Haus zur Saffran, these buildings stand as living testaments to Zürich’s architectural heritage. Admire the intricate details of the facades, with their ornate carvings, colourful frescoes, and majestic coats of arms. Every guild house tells a story, weaving together the threads of Zürich’s past, and showcasing the craftsmanship and pride of its inhabitants. As you explore their interiors, you’ll discover beautifully preserved meeting halls, adorned with rich woodwork, antique furnishings, and captivating artefacts that offer a window into the city’s history.Images of Zunfthaus zur Waag courtesy of Zürich Tourismus Image of fountain at the Münsterhof courtesy of hellozurich.ch
Zunfthaus zur Waag is located at Münsterhof 8 8001 Zürich. For more information about the guild house and its history, visit their website.
While many of Zürich’s guild houses retain their original functions, some have been adapted for modern use while preserving their historical character. The Zunfthaus zur Waag, once the home of a linen weaver’s guild, is now the place for culinary delights in its elegant dining room . It stands directly facing the Fraumünster, which attracts tourists and locals alike with its breathtaking Chagall windows. In 2008, the Münsterhof, on which the guild house sits, was redesigned. In the process, a fountain was once again integrated into the design of the historically significant square. In addition to the large fountain bowl, the possibility of wine supply was incorporated for the small drinking fountain, so that the fountain can be used by the guild innkeeper of the Waag as a wine dispenser. This has proven to be a popular activity for wedding events held at the guild house terrace during the summer months!
Beyond their historical significance, Zürich’s guild houses often hide hidden gems within their walls. Venture into the Haus zum Rüden, and you’ll find a charming courtyard with a beautiful frescoed facade that captivates the eye. At the Haus zum Widder, a historic hotel and restaurant, you can indulge in culinary delights while surrounded by centuries of history. The Haus zur Meisen, once the home of the silk merchants’ guild, is now a renowned museum dedicated to Swiss ceramics, showcasing exquisite porcelain and vibrant faience. These adaptations demonstrate Zürich’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage while embracing the evolving needs of a modern city.
Zürich, with her captivating blend of old-world charm and contemporary allure, invites travellers to embark on a journey through time and culture. From its medieval old town to its cutting-edge architecture, this vibrant city unfolds like a canvas where history, art, and natural beauty converge. Zürich’s ability to seamlessly fuse tradition with innovation creates an experience that is both awe-inspiring and dynamic. Whether you are drawn to its historic streets, cultural enclaves, or natural landscapes, Zürich offers a tapestry of experiences that will leave an indelible mark on your heart. Prepare to be enchanted by a city that embraces its heritage while embracing the future—a city where the timeless and the avant-garde come together in perfect harmony.
Swiss Travel Pass
To fully immerse yourself in the Swiss experience, there is no better way than to embark on a journey with the Swiss Travel Pass—a golden ticket that opens doors to unrivalled convenience and limitless adventures. The Swiss Travel Pass is the ultimate passport to exploring Switzerland’s treasures. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an art aficionado, or a lover of scenic train rides, the pass allows you to craft your own adventure and create lasting memories.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Swiss Travel Pass is the freedom it grants travellers to traverse Switzerland’s transportation network effortlessly. From iconic Swiss trains, boats, and buses to nostalgic mountain cable cars and panoramic funiculars, the entire country is yours to explore. Marvel at the snow-capped peaks from the Glacier Express, embark on a scenic boat journey across Lake Geneva, or venture into the heart of the Jungfrau region aboard the cogwheel railway—all you need is a QR code and your passport.
The Swiss Travel Pass goes beyond offering a gateway to Switzerland’s treasures—it is designed to make your journey seamless and stress-free. Enjoy the convenience of unlimited travel within the validity period, eliminating the hassle of purchasing individual tickets. Take advantage of exclusive benefits, such as free entry to more than 500 Swiss museums and discounts on various activities. The pass also covers the majority of panoramic trains and scenic routes, ensuring you experience the very best Switzerland has to offer.
Credits: Feature image copyright of SingaporeBrides
Special thanks to: Switzerland Tourism, Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau, Swiss Air, Swiss Travel System, The Dolder Grand, Zürich Tourismus
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