Banking on the Budget in Zurich: Tips For Cash Strapped Travelers in the Swiss City, IMG Cred: Suzy Guese

Zurich from Lindenhof!


As I wander through Paradeplatz in Zurich, home to several major Swiss banks, my guide remarks, “for me, it’s like walking on gold.” Zurich’s ties to money are always seemingly at the city’s feet for all of that banking business that has to go somewhere. For budget conscious travelers, Zurich isn’t always the first place that comes to mind for a weekend away, largely due to its big banking reputation. However it is possible to enjoy Zurich’s charms without forking over a gold bar or two.

Watch Chocolatiers Create Masterpieces at Läderach: Right in the center of Zurich, you can witness chocolate masterpieces in the works, free of charge. The Läderach confectionery store in the heart of Zurich is one of the few spots in town where you can watch an artist turn molds into true chocolate Santas. In the back of the store, after you weed your way through several employees offering samples, you can see what you taste come to life. The chocolatiers at Läderach demonstrate the fine art of making truffles, pralines and just plain old chocolate. The Läderach brand was founded in 1962 and today has a leading role as the biggest Swiss confectioner. While this Zurich stop to see chocolatiers in action won’t cost you a Franc, being in the midst of chocolate fountains and boxes of truffles could induce a small purchase.

Take in the Views at Lindenhof:
The climb up to Lindenhof, an idyllic square on top of Zurich, might make thigh muscles grumble, but immediately upon viewing the city from this perch, the aches are forgotten. Lindenhoff offers a quiet in the middle of the city, with views of the Old Town, Grossmünster church, City Hall and the Limmat River. It has served as the stage for a number of historical events. In the fourth century, a Roman fort filled the space. In 1798, Zurich citizens swore their oath to the Swiss constitution. Today, the only noise amidst all of the linden trees is that of passionate chess players and view seekers. Zurich is at your hands, all without coughing up a Franc.

Admire The Colorful Windows of Fraumünster: For free admission, you can enter Zurich’s Fraumünster and be blown away by eye-popping color. With foundations in 853 and an easy-to-spot blue green spire, the mostly Gothic interior of the church is complimented by stunning stained glass windows by Augusto Giacometti and Marc Chagall. You can come and sit before Chagall’s series of windows and admire the rich blues, greens, yellows and peach tones radiating from Fraumünster’s side.

Visit Zurich’s Museums for Free and Appreciate Other Discounts with the ZurichCARD:
For cash-strapped travelers who want to experience all that the city has to offer, Zurich offers the ZurichCARD. Travelers on a budget who can’t get enough of museums will want to look into buying this card to save on admission costs. The ZurichCARD buys you entry into all of Zurich’s museums. You can frequent museums like the Kunsthaus with works by Gauguin and Giacometti or go the more whimsical route and head to the Money Museum or the Zurich Toy Museum. The ZurichCARD also lends discounts on shops and special additions at some restaurants. Holders of the card also enjoy free rides on trams, buses, trains and boats. You can buy the ZurichCARD for CHF 20 for 24 hour or for CHF 40 for 72 hours depending on how long you will be in the city.

If you want to experience Zurich on the cheap, check out airberlin’s routes to Zurich on CheapOair.


photo: Suzy Guese

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