What better way to ring in the new year than exploring a brand new city with some of your closest friends? This has become a new tradition for me. I am always looking for inexpensive trips during the holidays and New Year’s Eve is no exception. Surprisingly, I scored a cheap flight to Zurich, Switzerland to start off 2017! Early June 2016 a sale through American Airlines came up. I instantly checked a departure date of December 29 and return of January 2 and booked a roundtrip flight from DC to Zurich for $433.00! I asked a few friends if they were interested in joining me and was so excited when 4 of them agreed and booked instantly!
Here are a few notes about how I brought in the New Year in Zurich, Switzerland.
My friends and I booked an Airbnb in the Bellevue area, which was right next to all the NYE activities. The apartment fit the five of us perfectly. It was also walking distance to the train station that provided easy access to and from the airport. There was also a tram and bus stop directly outside the building. I’d definitely recommend this area if you’re staying in Zurich for the holiday! Just keep in mind that you’ll need to book your stay a few months in advance because they fill up quickly.
Getting around Zurich was extremely simple. I purchased a 72 hour pass (Zurichcard) at the airport for unlimited bus/tram/train access during my stay. Public transportation was extremely easy to navigate. I’d suggest downloading the apps CityMapper or Transit CH to assist you in figuring out routes.
Things to Do
This bar is known for their selection of absinthe. Now this is a no judgement zone, so I can say that that’s what drew me in. But then I began to read up on this bar and it amazed me just how much history it entailed. This bar was created by artists, Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings, who were refugees to Zurich during World War I. They opened this cabaret, which featured dance, jazz, and more. This establishment represents the Dadaist movement.
My friends and I absolutely loved our visit here. It may have been my favorite place in Zurich! The drinks, the people, the vibes…it was all so impressive.
Take a stroll along the beautiful streets
Honestly, I really just enjoy walking around the streets of European cities with no destination in mind. You can truly take in the beauty and not be in a rush to be somewhere. Winter in Zurich is absolutely gorgeous with lights strung all along the alleys and roads.
Visit the Kunsthaus Museum
This art museum was a great stop in Zurich. It contained art pieces from a variety of movements. Traditional pieces as well contemporary pieces. You could get lost in there for hours. I loved seeing artwork from artists like Monet and Van Gogh. Check our their website for hours and prices.
Soak in the Thermalbad Spa
The rooftop thermal bath & spa is a must visit in Zurich if you love relaxation. Although we caught it on a gloomy day, it was still extremely enjoyable. Phones are actually not allowed in the spa area, but I was able to snag a few pics before getting yelled at. The cost for a day admission into the thermal bath area is 36 CHF. You can find all information here.
Eat at Zeughauskeller
Get some delicious eats and huge beers at this Swiss-German style hall. This was such a fun dining experience with my close friends. I loved the environment and the beer selection was great. Order the Gallus 612 Flambe and prepare for flaming show. But you’ll probably need some help finishing the drink!
Indulge in Chocolate
Swiss chocolate? That’s enough to get me on a plane to this amazing country. You hear everyone rave about this sweet treat and you won’t be disappointed. They definitely do it right here! I purchased tons of treats to bring home with me for friends and family to enjoy. Be sure to check out a Lindt store because they offer so many different flavors from what’s available in the US. Also, Sprungli is a popular chocolatier shop with delicious truffles. You can even find one of these shops at the Zurich airport!
Attend the New Year’s Eve Festival
Zurich hosts a NYE celebration outside around Lake Basin. There you will find music blasting, the streets filled, and vendors set up all over. Bring cash for yummy eats and drinks. Or you can fill a flask for these outside adventures. There’s a firework display at 12:20AM over the lake. Unfortunately during our visit, the skies were gloomy so the fireworks weren’t as visible. Nonetheless, we had an amazing time conversing with locals and visitors from around the globe. It is cold out during this time, so be sure to bundle up!
My friends and I had such a great, fun time in Zurich celebrating the new year together. The people were friendly and the views were amazing. My friend Kelli and I were able to check out Lucerne and Mt. Titlis on New Year Day while my other friends (Alida, Regina, and Patrick) headed off to Davos to go snowboarding. Stay tuned for my future post about our tour of the cute town of Lucerne and breathtaking Mt. Titlis!