Switzerland Part I: Zurich & Lucerne

exploring zurich.jpg

Slowly but surely, I am combing through photos from our two week trip in Switzerland and Italy. It'll come in four parts and in this first installment, I'll be focusing our the first have of our Switzerland trip where we spent time in Zurich and Lucerne. Read on to find out more about where we stayed, what we ate and what we saw!

ZURICH

Restaurants and Coffee Shops

 A recommendation from a friend of a friend, Dan and I made reservations at  AuGust  and it did not disappoint! It was a bit sad (foe me) not to be able to eat any of the charcuterie :( Pictured here is my starter, avocado on a puff pastry with tomatoes. Next level avocado toast. Dan had the beef tartar, another item that made me so sad......

A recommendation from a friend of a friend, Dan and I made reservations at AuGust and it did not disappoint! It was a bit sad (foe me) not to be able to eat any of the charcuterie :( Pictured here is my starter, avocado on a puff pastry with tomatoes. Next level avocado toast. Dan had the beef tartar, another item that made me so sad......

 This was my main entree. Stay with me here: minced beef and elbow mac with a side of apple sauce. It sounds very strange but it was delish! I really enjoyed the sweet and savory aspect of this dish. Dan ended up going with the local sausage which he paired with their in house mustard.

This was my main entree. Stay with me here: minced beef and elbow mac with a side of apple sauce. It sounds very strange but it was delish! I really enjoyed the sweet and savory aspect of this dish. Dan ended up going with the local sausage which he paired with their in house mustard.

 For a quick breakfast, we stopped by  delish cafe , which is nestled in the Martgasse Hotel. We grabbed a few pastries and cappuccino's before we set out for the day.

For a quick breakfast, we stopped by delish cafe, which is nestled in the Martgasse Hotel. We grabbed a few pastries and cappuccino's before we set out for the day.

 We heard that  Conditorei Schober  served the best hot chocolate so we had to check it out. It was yummy and a bit rich so I'm glad Dan and I shared one. The pastries all looked really yummy too but I wasn't quite hungry for sweets. There's great outdoor seating out front - perfect for people watching.

We heard that Conditorei Schober served the best hot chocolate so we had to check it out. It was yummy and a bit rich so I'm glad Dan and I shared one. The pastries all looked really yummy too but I wasn't quite hungry for sweets. There's great outdoor seating out front - perfect for people watching.

 Dan and I wanted to try some traditional Swiss food at a restaurant that locals go to. In talking to our concierge at the  Park Hyatt  (where we stayed for two nights on points!), she recommended  Morgarten , one of her faves.

Dan and I wanted to try some traditional Swiss food at a restaurant that locals go to. In talking to our concierge at the Park Hyatt (where we stayed for two nights on points!), she recommended Morgarten, one of her faves.

 It was definitely a local's restaurant. Our waiter had to dig out the English version of the menu. Excuse the quality of this pic (it was getting dark in the dining room) but here we have risotto with olives and walnuts and the lamb shank with apple coleslaw.

It was definitely a local's restaurant. Our waiter had to dig out the English version of the menu. Excuse the quality of this pic (it was getting dark in the dining room) but here we have risotto with olives and walnuts and the lamb shank with apple coleslaw.

 In Dan's research for brunch places, he found  Gasthaus Zum Gluten Gluck . I really liked the minimal cool decor complete with a sit in counter. The top dish is Dan's: pancake with bacon, onion and a fried egg. I went with the pufferli with butter and sugar (mini swiss pancakes).

In Dan's research for brunch places, he found Gasthaus Zum Gluten Gluck. I really liked the minimal cool decor complete with a sit in counter. The top dish is Dan's: pancake with bacon, onion and a fried egg. I went with the pufferli with butter and sugar (mini swiss pancakes).

  Bros Beans & Beats  was a hip little coffee shop we found. The coffee was good and I absolutely loved the space. They also serve food but we had already eaten lunch so did not get to try any of the food.

Bros Beans & Beats was a hip little coffee shop we found. The coffee was good and I absolutely loved the space. They also serve food but we had already eaten lunch so did not get to try any of the food.

 This was an amazing cup of iced cappuccino that was enjoyed on a very hot day.  Vicafe  is a coffee shop that is located in the Viaduct neighborhood (which I'll talk about later on in the post). This was worth the stop!

This was an amazing cup of iced cappuccino that was enjoyed on a very hot day. Vicafe is a coffee shop that is located in the Viaduct neighborhood (which I'll talk about later on in the post). This was worth the stop!

 While exploring the Viaduct neighborhood, we stumbled upon a food hall. Needing a snack (which happens about every few hours or so), I stopped by  The Pie Shop . So many mini pie options and if I recall correctly, I went with a curry flavored option. The food hall was also a great place to duck into to cool off with some AC!

While exploring the Viaduct neighborhood, we stumbled upon a food hall. Needing a snack (which happens about every few hours or so), I stopped by The Pie Shop. So many mini pie options and if I recall correctly, I went with a curry flavored option. The food hall was also a great place to duck into to cool off with some AC!

SHOPS & SITES

 Dan and I did a ton of walking to explore the various neighborhoods in Zurich, including Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich West, Langstrasse and Alstadt (Old Town Zurich). This was an art installation we found down a random ally while exploring the Viaduct neighborhood.

Dan and I did a ton of walking to explore the various neighborhoods in Zurich, including Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich West, Langstrasse and Alstadt (Old Town Zurich). This was an art installation we found down a random ally while exploring the Viaduct neighborhood.

 While traveling, we always try to find at least one museum we'd like to go to. We chose to visit the  Kunsthaus Museum , which some would would say is the MoMoa of Switzerland. I am a fan of modern art so I really enjoyed this museum.

While traveling, we always try to find at least one museum we'd like to go to. We chose to visit the Kunsthaus Museum, which some would would say is the MoMoa of Switzerland. I am a fan of modern art so I really enjoyed this museum.

 For just a few Swiss francs, we got some amazing views of Zurich from the Tower of the  Grossmunster Cathedral . We went on a beautiful clear day and it was worth every franc!

For just a few Swiss francs, we got some amazing views of Zurich from the Tower of the Grossmunster Cathedral. We went on a beautiful clear day and it was worth every franc!

 Since Dan has a major sweet tooth and the Swiss are known for their chocolates, we stopped by a ton of chocolate shops. One of them being  Confiserie Sprungli . So much to choose from and we walked out with a small bag of an assortment of truffles.

Since Dan has a major sweet tooth and the Swiss are known for their chocolates, we stopped by a ton of chocolate shops. One of them being Confiserie Sprungli. So much to choose from and we walked out with a small bag of an assortment of truffles.

 Continuing along with the chocolate theme, we also stopped at  Laderach . The big thing here seemed to be the chocolate bark. As such, we bought a few flavors to try, including popcorn, hazelnut, cornflakes and florentine. These were definitely my favorite. As I am writing this post, I'm dying for some.

Continuing along with the chocolate theme, we also stopped at Laderach. The big thing here seemed to be the chocolate bark. As such, we bought a few flavors to try, including popcorn, hazelnut, cornflakes and florentine. These were definitely my favorite. As I am writing this post, I'm dying for some.

 Upon walking into  John Baker , I immediately wanted all the breads!!! Hello carb-city. We grabbed a few smaller baked goods to save as snacks for our travels. They also make some amazing in house drinks and I grabbed a refreshing lemonade to quench my thirst on yet another hot hot day.

Upon walking into John Baker, I immediately wanted all the breads!!! Hello carb-city. We grabbed a few smaller baked goods to save as snacks for our travels. They also make some amazing in house drinks and I grabbed a refreshing lemonade to quench my thirst on yet another hot hot day.

 The  Viaduct  area was very cool. As you can see, tucked under each archway is a boutique, restaurant or coffee shop. I absolutely loved exploring this area. It was so hot that I stopped into one store and picked up a dress (or at least that was the excuse I used). This was also where we found Vicafe and the food hall. This is area is a must!

The Viaduct area was very cool. As you can see, tucked under each archway is a boutique, restaurant or coffee shop. I absolutely loved exploring this area. It was so hot that I stopped into one store and picked up a dress (or at least that was the excuse I used). This was also where we found Vicafe and the food hall. This is area is a must!

 Another friend of a friend recommendation, we stopped by the  Freitag Flagship store . I had seen these bags before but didn't realize that they were made here. The flagship store itself was pretty neat; it is made up of a series of shipping containers. Right outside the flagship store was an open air market that we also passed through.

Another friend of a friend recommendation, we stopped by the Freitag Flagship store. I had seen these bags before but didn't realize that they were made here. The flagship store itself was pretty neat; it is made up of a series of shipping containers. Right outside the flagship store was an open air market that we also passed through.

 Zurich, you were good to us and now we are off to our next stop: Lurcerne.

Zurich, you were good to us and now we are off to our next stop: Lurcerne.

LUCERNE

STAY

 We unexpectedly spent our first night in Lucerne at the  Burgenstock Hotels & Resort.  During our last night in Zurich, Dan decided to check our hotel reservations for when we head to Lucerne. As he was looking at the email, he realized he had booked our stay for the wrong nights. In an effort so salvage our existing reservation and not have to pay a no-show fee, we booked one night here and reduced our original reservation down to one night (I'll talk about that hotel next). Our stay here was definitely a 'treat yourself' stay and it was worth every penny! The views from our room were incredible. It was actually nice staying at this resort and having everything we needed right on site, making it a very relaxing stay.

We unexpectedly spent our first night in Lucerne at the Burgenstock Hotels & Resort. During our last night in Zurich, Dan decided to check our hotel reservations for when we head to Lucerne. As he was looking at the email, he realized he had booked our stay for the wrong nights. In an effort so salvage our existing reservation and not have to pay a no-show fee, we booked one night here and reduced our original reservation down to one night (I'll talk about that hotel next). Our stay here was definitely a 'treat yourself' stay and it was worth every penny! The views from our room were incredible. It was actually nice staying at this resort and having everything we needed right on site, making it a very relaxing stay.

 The pool here was the best part! We took an evening dip and took in the views before we headed down to dinner at an on site restaurant.

The pool here was the best part! We took an evening dip and took in the views before we headed down to dinner at an on site restaurant.

  Hotel Villa Honegg  is where we were  supposed  to stay. We loved the Burgenstock but Villa Honegg was a lot smaller, which we liked. It also boasts an amazing pool!!

Hotel Villa Honegg is where we were supposed to stay. We loved the Burgenstock but Villa Honegg was a lot smaller, which we liked. It also boasts an amazing pool!!

 A delicious breakfast with a view! Don't worry, the top tier was reserved for Dan ;)

A delicious breakfast with a view! Don't worry, the top tier was reserved for Dan ;)

EATS

 On our last night in Lucerne, we dined by the lake at  Wirsthaus Taube . Making reservations is highly recommended if you want to sit outside. I went with the schnitzel over a massive bed of fries and Dan had the puff pasty with mushrooms and meat (I forget what kind). We were both full and completely content with our choices.  While we were out exploring Lucerne, we stopped by a bakery called  Bachmann . You can find a few of them scattered about. They were perfect for grabbing snacks on the go. I loved their baked pretzels.

On our last night in Lucerne, we dined by the lake at Wirsthaus Taube. Making reservations is highly recommended if you want to sit outside. I went with the schnitzel over a massive bed of fries and Dan had the puff pasty with mushrooms and meat (I forget what kind). We were both full and completely content with our choices.

While we were out exploring Lucerne, we stopped by a bakery called Bachmann. You can find a few of them scattered about. They were perfect for grabbing snacks on the go. I loved their baked pretzels.

SITES

 Dan and I did the  Golden Round Trip , which is a tour up and down Mount Pilatus. It was quite an adventure that involved a boat ride, a cog wheel ride and a few cable car rides to complete the trip. Expect to spend a little over a half a day for this. We lucked out and had a beautiful day so the trip was worth it. Make sure to check the weather before setting out. If it's a cloudy day, I'd say it's not worth the trip as the views would be greatly obstructed.

Dan and I did the Golden Round Trip, which is a tour up and down Mount Pilatus. It was quite an adventure that involved a boat ride, a cog wheel ride and a few cable car rides to complete the trip. Expect to spend a little over a half a day for this. We lucked out and had a beautiful day so the trip was worth it. Make sure to check the weather before setting out. If it's a cloudy day, I'd say it's not worth the trip as the views would be greatly obstructed.

 While we were waiting for our boat ride to start our journey on the Golden Round Trip, we walked over to the  Chapel Bridge . Dan informed me that it is the world's oldest truss bridge. It's a very pretty bridge with all its flowers and you can get nice views of some of the colorful buildings along the lake.

While we were waiting for our boat ride to start our journey on the Golden Round Trip, we walked over to the Chapel Bridge. Dan informed me that it is the world's oldest truss bridge. It's a very pretty bridge with all its flowers and you can get nice views of some of the colorful buildings along the lake.

Stay tuned for the next installation of our trip. In the meantime, you can catch much more of our trip on the "Switzerland" highlights reel via my Instagram.