Trip to Paris and Switzerland - Day 7 - Zurich

Holiday Inn Zurich - Wallisellenstrasse

Zurich is one of the costliest places in the world to live and hence finding a budget friendly hotel, with all the basic amenities, and closer to the main attractions,  may not be the easiest task. So after a lot of research and reading some great reviews on TripAdvisor by my hubby, we booked the Holiday Inn Zurich for 2 nights.  

Holiday Inn Zurich Messe
Reception at Holiday Inn Zurich

Rooms and Amenities: 

We had booked the King Bed Guest Room and the room had free Wi-Fi Access. The room was large and comfortable and had all the basic amenities that a budget hotel usually has .  The only downside that we noticed during our stay was that the Air conditioner did not work sometimes which made it a little uncomfortable.  However  the front desk was really helpful in resolving the issues.

Holiday Inn Zurich Messe Reviews
Decent sized room- Large Comfy Bed

Holiday Inn Zurich Messe Photos
You have a desk chair and Flat screen TV

Budget Hotels Zurich in City Centre
Cool and Chic- Newly furnished

Zurich Budget Accomadation
The Bathroom
Breakfast : 

The breakfast was complimentary and included along with the room. The breakfast spread was good and we enjoyed our breakfast on both the days.

Location : 

Holiday Inn Zurich is located conveniently located just a 5 minute walk from Zurich Oerilikon station and 15 minute tram ride to Zurich Hauptbahnoff station ( Zurich’s main station ).

Zurich main station
Zurich Hauptbahnoff Station is 15 minute tram ride away. 

Holiday Inn Zurich is a really good budget hotel that we would recommend for a short stay in Zurich.

The Swiss Transport System

I have heard a quote somewhere that nothing in this world is certain, other than death and taxes. Well probably the person who made the quote never has used the Swiss transport system, for if he had done, he surely would have included it to the list of certainties.

After travelling for 8 days extensively using the Swiss Trains,trams,buses and ships, we can say that travelling in Switzerland is a breeze and a joy.

Swiss public transport system tram system
Trams - An essential part of the  excellent Swiss transport system
The Swiss Pass – The Ideal Way to Travel in Switzerland

·   The 2 common Swiss Passes are the Swiss Pass and the Swiss Flexi  Pass.These passes are ideal for travelling within Switzerland and give  you unlimited access to the Swiss Travel network for a limited period of time,  while also giving you free access to large number of museums.    
  •       Swiss Pass :  Swiss Pass is available for 4, 8 15 and 22 days and is ideal  for people who are staying for longer duration in Switzerland. We were a  family of 6 and we took 2 Swiss Adult Passes  , 1 Swiss Youth Pass  and 1 Swiss Family Pass ( all for 8 days ) . Swiss Family Pass covers any child under 16  years. Separate ticket need not be taken for the child if travelling with at  least 1 parent.

    Tip : Swiss Pass can be used only for 4, 8, 15 or 22 consecutive days. One cannot be flexible with the days of travel. 
  •     Swiss Flexi Pass :  Swiss Flexi Pass has the added advantage of giving access to Swiss Transport Network on a fixed number of non consecutive days.    
     Validation of the Swiss Pass  :  

We had read in a lot of sites that the Swiss Pass needs to be validated before our first journey  to ascertain the period in which the pass will be  valid. We validated our Swiss Passes on a Saturday and the Swiss Pass was valid till next Saturday till midnight.  We validated our Swiss Pass at Zurcih Oerlikon station and we had to provide our passports at the office for verification. The whole process took 20-30 minutes.
Rhine Falls

No trip to Zurich is complete without taking the trip to the Rhine Falls, which is a short train ride from Zurich.  

·   How to get there ?  
    The fastest way to reach Rhine Falls from Zurich is by train. Train time tables can be got from 

rhine falls from zurich
Our first views of the Rhine falls- From the Train
What to do at Rhine Falls ?

Once you reach the Rhine Falls the whole area can be divided into 3 areas . You can arriving at either of the shores and other 2 areas are accessible by boat.

Schlossli Worth or Schlosschen Worth : 

From Schaffhausen, you can opt to walk along the river to Neuhausen or you can take the #1 or #6 bus from Schaffhausen Bahnoff  to Neuhausen. From here, the Rhine Falls are just a five minute walk away from the bus stop. We arrived at the Schlossi worth side of the Rhine Falls is a little distant away from the falls, but still offer beautiful views. There was a beautiful walk away with a few shops and benches where one can sit back, relax and enjoy the views of the Rhine Falls.

how to go to rhine falls from zurich
Schlossli Worth Side of the Rhine Falls.

trip to rhinefalls zurich
Rhine Falls as seen from the Schlossli Worth side

Schloss Laufen castle Zurich rhinefalls
Can you see the castle in the distance ? - It is the Schloss Laufen side which is closer to the falls

places to eat next to rhinefalls zurich
How about a softy while you enjoy the views ?

things to do in Rhinefalls Zurich
Various options to get to the other side or the middle island.

Middle Island : 

Middle island , as the name suggests,  is a rock right in the middle of the falls with a boat docking spot and stairs that take you to the viewing point. The stairs are steep and very narrow and when we went it was quite crowded.

places to see in Zurich
The middle island. It can be reached only by boat. 

Schloss Laufen :  
This according to us was the best place to experience the falls. There is a castle placed adjacent to the Rhine Falls with a viewing point where you could almost touch the water. Though you have to pay extra for the same,  it is really worth it.

travel tips blog Zurich Switzerland
Can you see the platform jutting out ? The best place to experience the falls

Zurich Rhinefall boat ride
The boat that we took to reach the Schloss Laufen side

things to do in rhinefalls Zurich boat ride
You are really close - You can nearly touch the water
Exploring Zurich Bahnofstrasse and Zurich Old Town

·       How to get there from Rhine falls ?

From SchaffHaussen we took the Regional Express train (which is the fast train )  back to Zurich Oerlikon station. As you exit Zurich Oerlikon the tram stop Zurich Sternen Oerlikon is just a 2 minute walk from the station. 

switzerland friendly locals  travel friendly
Large sized chessboard that we noticed outside Zurich Oerlikon- A popular timepass for the people

open fruit markets in Zurich farmer's produce markets
It was market time when we came back from Rhine Falls - Really fresh produce

We took Tram No 14 towards Zurich Tremli  and 12 stops ( 18 minutes later ) we got down at Zurich Lowenpltaz which was a short walk away from Bahnoffstrasse.

shopping in bahnofstrasse zurich
Bahnoff Strasse- Shopping Street in Zurich

shopping in bahnofstrasse zurich
H & M in Bahnofstrasse, Zurich

Shopping in bahnofstrasse zurich
Shops in Bahnofstrasse Zurich

Zurich Lake Cruise

panaromic view of lake zurich
Panoramic View of Zurich Lake
Just a short tram ride away from Bahnoffstrasse and the Old town of Zurich is the Zurich lake front.  You can take the tram 14 from Bahnoffstrasse and got down at Zurich Burkiplatz ( stop for the Zurich Lake front ).

zurich lake cruise timings
Zurich Lake
There are short , medium and long round trips one can take from the Zurich Lake front to explore this area.  Short round trip that we took was 90 minutes long and there were cruises every 30 minutes.

zurich lake cruise cost prices
Zurich Lake Cruise

zurich lake cruise stops
Lot of lake side parks- An ideal place to relax

If you have time and want to explore the surrounding areas you can take some of the longer cruises and hop on / hop off at places that you fancy. There are lot of beautiful lake side parks to sit back and relax while enjoying the views.

Tip : Zurich Lake cruise is complementary on the Swiss Pass with cruises from Zurich Lake front. 

lake zurich lakeside waterfront shops
Or you can grab a beer and relax at the waterfront like the locals

lake zurich lakeside things to do
Zurich Lake front

things to see in old town zurich
As the sun sets over the Old Town Zurich

Dinner at Malabar , Wallisellenstrasse Zurich

After our lake cruise we took the tram 11 towards Zurich Auzelg  that took us directly back to Zurich Sterner Oerlikon , a 5 minute walk away from the tram station.

Malabar at Zurich is an authentic Indian restaurant that specializes in South Indian ( Kerala ) cuisine. We had read great reviews on tripadvisor and had reserved a table online. The hotel is short walk away from Holiday Inn, Zurich. All the dishes that we tried were excellent, though a little pricey.  We were 6 of us and it cost us CHF 220 for dinner. Overall it was a great experience and a restaurant that we would recommend.

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