Exploring Zurich

To round out our trip to Germany and Switzerland we were spending three days in Zurich. While both Mrs. ATX and I have spent time in Switzerland before, this was our first time in the city. After dropping our bags at our hotel, we headed out to explore the city.

Our hotel was in the Enge district, close to Lake Zurich and the Limmat River, and was a short walk from many of the sights in the city. We had dinner reservations at a restaurant overlooking the river later in the evening so we headed that direction to start our evening.

The Limmat River at sunset with the Grossmünster in the background

Along the river we found an open air bar, Café Rathaus, next to the police headquarters. We stopped here for a drink prior to dinner and watched as boats cruised by along the river and locals went for a swim.

a group of people walking in front of a building
a glass of beer on a railing
a body of water with buildings and trees
a boat in a river with buildings in the background

After finishing our drinks we walked across a nearby bridge over the Limmat to the Hotel Storchen where our restaurant for the evening, La Rôtisserie, was located on the 2nd floor.

Hotel Storchen, Zurich, Switzerland

We checked in at the hostess stand and were shown immediately to our table. La Rôtisserie has both an indoor dining room and an outdoor terrace. The weather outside was fantastic and most guests were dining outside, though the dining room would still have been pleasant place to enjoy a meal.

a restaurant with tables and chairs
a room with tables and chairs

On the terrace we were shown to a table overlooking the river and the Grossmünster, a 16th century Protestant church. The view from our table was great and, with a slight breeze, we couldn’t have asked for a better night to dine outside.

View of the Limmat from La Rôtisserie in Zurich

As soon as we sat down we were handed the menu for the evening as well as an amuse bouche. I don’t remember exactly what it was, some sort of foam crema, but it was very good.

a menu open in a restaurant
a bowl of food on a plate

After the amuse bouche, bread was brought out which was served with fresh whipped butter and our drink orders were taken. We both decided on champagne to start.

Pre-Dinner Bread at La Rôtisserie in Zurich

After the bread, our orders were taken for dinner and another round of amuse bouches were brought out. I had no clue what either one of these was, even after they were explained, but both looked and tasted amazing.

La Rôtisserie Zurich Amuse Bouche

Next up were appetizers. Mrs. ATX and I both had the Summery Tartlet. It was light, fresh and enjoyable.

La Rôtisserie Zurich Summer Tartlet

For our mains, Mrs. ATX went with the dinner portion of the veal shank ravioli while I had the Australian Wagyu short rib which was served with a side of fried rice. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to get a photo of Mrs. ATX’s meal.

Short Rib of Australian Wagyu at La Rôtisserie in Zurich

By this point in our meal, the sun had fully set leaving us with a wonderful nighttime view of the river and the buildings on the opposite bank. It’s times like this where Mrs. ATX and I sit back and remind ourselves of how lucky we are to be able to have these experiences.

The Limmat River in Zurich at Night

To wrap up this feast, it was time for dessert. I’m not a big fan of sweets so I grabbed a spirits menu while Mrs. ATX looked over the dessert options. I had a bourbon while she had a chocolate dish featuring ice cream and bacon that she enjoyed.

a menu with black text and numbers
a plate of food on a plate

Stuffed from our meal we asked for the check. When our waiter brought it out there was yet another treat from the kitchen accompanying it. It was unexpected but, like everything else tonight, delicious and we ate it quickly.

Dessert Amuse Bouche at La Rôtisserie in Zurich

Stuffed from dinner, we started the walk back to the hotel through the streets of the old town. The streets were fairly empty but we did come across a lively little cocktail bar, the Old Crow, along the way that specialized in whiskey and bourbon.

flags on the side of a building
a building with windows and a sign

We headed inside and grabbed a couple of seats at the bar. The bartender was extremely friendly and spent time chatting with us about where we were from and what types of drinks we liked. The selection they had available was absolutely massive and racks covered the entire back wall of the bar. We hung out here for a bit and had a few cocktails before calling it a night and heading to the hotel.

a room with shelves of liquor and a table with a lamp
a bottle of alcohol with a label
two glasses of different colored drinks on a table
a glass of wine on a napkin

For our first full day in town we decided to visit the Kunsthaus Museum. After breakfast at the hotel, we made our way to the nearby tram stop to head across the river towards the museum. After a 10 minute ride we found ourselves at the entrance to the museum. Mrs. ATX had already purchased our tickets online and we were checked in quickly.

a trolley on a street
a building with a glass door

Our tour started here, with works from the Giacometti family that included various statues and paintings. While there were some other Swiss artists mixed in, the Giacometti pieces took up massive sections on multiple floors.

a painting of a woman in a black frame
a sculpture of a person in a museum
a room with a wood floor and a sculpture of a horse
a group of stone cubes on a black floor

On the opposite side of the building were a variety of old masters works from around Europe. There were also a few statues and tapestries scattered throughout the exhibits. While I couldn’t photograph it all, the space was expansive and you could get lost in here for hours.

two framed paintings on a wall
a painting of flowers and fruit on a table
a room with a statue and paintings on the wall
a statue of a woman in a room with paintings on the wall
a framed picture of a forest
a framed painting of a woman in a room

On the upper floors of this building were works posy-1945 and featured Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s Soup Can painting as well as other modern statues and works of art.

a sculpture in a room with many paintings on the wall
a framed picture of a soup can
a shelf with various objects on it
a black bombs on a white surface

We finished our tour of the first building before heading downstairs to the basement level and the connector to the second building. When the museum expanded in 2020, this passageway was opened to connect the two buildings underground, instead of making patrons cross the Heimplatz. The new building was large and much more open than the original, with a large atrium that had exhibition wings coming off on either side.

Kunsthaus Extension Atrium in Zurich

The exhibits in this building appeared to rotate more often and were only on display for a limited time. The majority of the works in the main building seemed to be permanent. While much of the artwork was modern, including a large black room filled with LED lights that changed to the music, there was a small van Gogh exhibit tucked away on the backside of the upper floor.

a group of colorful lights from the ceiling
a wall with pictures on it
a table and chairs on a wood floor
a room with a projector screen and chairs
a chain of balls on a wood floor
a couple of framed paintings on a wall

After the Kunsthaus it was time for lunch. We headed back to the tram and rode over to Mrs. ATX’s office in Zurich for some free lunch. While we were there we explored the campus and found what may be the coolest break room ever, an airport style lounge complete with a live feed to the departure board at Zurich Airport and airline beverage carts.

a red counter with chairs and a picture of an airplane on the wall
a group of chairs next to a window

We took the train from her office back to Zurich Hauptbahnhof and headed north through the Platzspitz. The park was full of people enjoying the beautiful fall weather. There were enough people out swimming that, for a brief second, I thought about jumping in with them.

a body of water with buildings and trees
a statue in a fountain

At the end of the park we found the confluence of the Limmat and Sihl Rivers. We grabbed a couple of waters from a nearby vendor and sat on a bench overlooking the river.

a river with trees and buildings in the background
a building with a tower and a body of water

Relaxed from our time in the park, we started walking along the Limmat back towards the Zurichsee. Unfortunately, I needed to take a work call so we ducked into a riverfront cafe to have a drink while I took my call.

a sidewalk with trees and a street and a body of water
a body of water with buildings and trees
people sitting on benches near a river
a body of water with buildings and trees

With my call completed, we climbed the hill towards the Lindenhof, a hilltop park located on the site of an old Roman fort with views out over the city. Even though Zurich is a major financial hub, from here it seemed like a quaint little village.

a river with buildings and a church on the side
a river with buildings and a bridge

After visiting the Lindenhof, Mrs. ATX wanted to do some shopping. We headed down the hill towards the Bahnhofstrasse where, thankfully, our American Express made it out relatively unscathed. She did however add a few things to her list which will come back to bite me at the holidays.

a narrow street with buildings and people walking
a street with flags and people walking in the background
a person walking down a street with flags
a person walking down a sidewalk with trees and buildings

With our shopping on the expensive side of the river complete, we crossed back over the Limmat and headed in the direction of the Opera House. We did a bit of window shopping along the way before stopping for a drink at a local bar on a side street.

a group of people sitting at tables in a street
a glass of beer and snacks on a table

While the bar staff was friendly, the alley was rather dark so we headed to a nearby market to grab some snacks before walking over to the lakefront. We took a seat along the seawall and enjoyed our snacks as the sun started to set.

a large white building with statues on top of it
a group of boats in a body of water

We made our way from the opera house back around the lake towards the hotel. Along the way we found a large clock made out of flowers that overlooked the lake, though the time was definitely not accurate.

Clock Statue along the Zurichsee

We relaxed for a while at our hotel before heading out to get some dinner. In what should come as no surprise, I was craving schnitzel. Mrs. ATX located a place near the Bahnhofstrasse that looked promising and we arrived at the Zeughauskeller just after dark.

Exterior of the Zeughauskeller Zurich

The hostess quickly checked us in and showed us to our table. The place was lively and felt like an authentic German beer hall, though it was clearly geared towards tourists.

a group of people sitting at tables in a restaurant
a group of people sitting at tables in a restaurant

I had the schnitzel which was a bit greasy but tasted great. Mrs. ATX had a wurst which was served with a side of hash browns that she enjoyed.

a plate of food with a lemon wedge on it
a plate of food on a table

Full from dinner, we decided to take a stroll through the old town to walk off our feast. Along the way we found a square where someone was entertaining nearby diners by dancing with fire. I’m not sure of she was part of the restaurant’s entertainment or just passing by and looking for tips.

a fountain with a large metal sculpture in the middle of a city
a person playing fire with people around

We made our way down towards the river and walked along the waterfront for a bit before we came across a beer garden located on the water. We ordered a couple of drinks and sat on the patio overlooking the river. There were a few rats running around that had clearly been feasting on the food so we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

a bridge over water with a building in the background
a sign on a fence at night
a group of people sitting at tables outside at night
a bridge over a body of water at night

For our final day in Zurich, we took a day trip over to Liechtenstein which I’ll cover in a separate post. After we returned we made the short walk from our hotel down to the lakefront. It was Friday evening and the area was packed with people enjoying the weather. They even had signs that made me feel like I was back in Texas.

a group of people sitting on a sidewalk
a sign with text on it

We didn’t have any real plans on where we were going until we stumbled upon Samigo, a lakefront eatery, so we stopped for a bite to eat. The menu looked good but the place wasn’t really our style so we ate and then headed back out to walk along the waterfront.

a group of people sitting at tables outside
a bowl of fries and burgers on a table

By this point the sun had set and we headed back towards our hotel. The waterfront was still full of people enjoying the beginning of their weekend and a few groups even had barbeque pits going which made us consider getting some real food.

Boats on the Zurichsee at Night

Mrs. ATX found a local sandwich spot, called The BAB, and we grabbed a couple of sandwiches before heading to a nearby bar, Dr. Zhivago Bar, that we found online for a nightcap.

a burrito on a plate
a sign on the sidewalk

Unfortunately the bar was closing early for a private event but ,since we only wanted a drink, they sat us on the patio and the server spent time explaining to us how they make all of their liquors in house. He took our likes and dislikes and returned with two fabulous cocktails along with some popcorn to snack on. I was very impressed with both the drinks and the service and will return on our next trip to Zurich to get the full experience.

a group of people sitting at a table in a room with red lights
a glass of ice and a bowl of popcorn

We had an early flight the next morning so we headed back to the hotel to pack. While we spent three days in Zurich, we left feeling like there was more to explore and will definitely return. Hopefully sooner rather than later.


Over our three days in Zurich we managed to cover a ton of ground but felt like we had just scratched the surface. We left feeling like the city was a place that we could see ourselves staying long term and would return at any opportunity.

In This Trip Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post
a two men standing outside of a building

Review: Neues Schloss Privat Hotel Zurich, Autograph Collection

Next Post
a train at a train station

A Day Trip to Liechtenstein