How do you turn one trip into two? Did I skip breakfast in favor of fabulous desserts at a famous Swiss confiserie? Is a travel blog the right platform to show off one’s alliteration skills? These questions might or might not be answered as you read this post 😊 Or you can just look through the photos. Either way, thanks for being here! And I would LOVE to hear from you. If you leave a comment below you’ll make this travel writer quite happy! 💕
OVERVIEW & LINKS:
– Tip: How to turn your layover into a bonus trip
– We used Limos4 Zurich car service to get from Zurich airport to our hotel
– We stayed at Central Plaza Hotel Zurich and dined at King’s Cave
– We treated ourselves to plenty of Swiss sweets (Confiserie Sprüngli and Läderach
were our faves) while exploring the historic center on foot
– For my videos, please see my Instagram Stories saved under “Zurich Nov2018”
– If you’d like to see more of Zurich, I learned a lot from this video
HOW TO TURN A DREADED LAYOVER INTO A BONUS TRIP
While I always dream of a “beam me up, Scotty!” type of a transporter or even flying direct (just get me there already!), oftentimes the most economical (and also the most adventurous!) option is choosing a flight with a stopover. Not the kind of stopover where you have to kill a few hours at the airport while descending into madness. No. I’m talking about a longer one where you can visit a whole new place and wind up having 2 trips for the price of one!
Tip: Did you know that if your stop is under 24 hours it technically counts as the same trip? The airline won’t charge you extra!
Tip: Visit Google Flights (they find the best/cheapest flights, IMHO) and check “multi-city” option, and keep the stopover under 24 hrs. Or just book your trip like you always do and look at longer layover options while searching.
Tip: Beware that some airlines make you pick up your bag during the layover (and might not even have airport luggage storage available like during my Hawaii layover in Honolulu), while others will not let you pick up your bag at all! Find out in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises 🙂
Anyways. When I was looking at our flights to Italy, I noticed that a Swiss Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Rome (and back) with a stop in Zurich was almost half the price. That’s when I knew this was our chance to check out Zurich, a city which wasn’t even on my “wish list” (shame on me). But I am SO glad I took the chance to see this beautiful and historic city as Nick and I both loved our time there.
GETTING TO ZURICH AND GETTING PICKED UP AT THE AIRPORT BY AN EXECUTIVE CAR (THANKS TO LIMOS4!)
After a long day of travel (2.5 hours in LA traffic + 1.5 hours in the airport complete with long lines and security checks + 13 hours on the airplane) I knew we’d be in a zombie-like state once we landed (and we were!). Add a nine hour time zone difference, totally different climate and no sleep and you get yourself some exhausted travelers.
I booked a chauffeured car with Limos4 Zurich (www.limos4zurich.com) to pick us up and take us to the hotel. Instead of scrambling for a ride in a sleep-deprived state we were greeted by a Limos4 driver (lovely Mira) and taken to our hotel in style. All we had to do was recognize my name on the sign that our driver was holding, then walk a few steps to the curb and plop into a comfy Mercedes-Benz. The ride was smooth!!! There was complimentary water, Swiss chocolates and Ricola for us. A perfect welcome to Switzerland. Thanks, Limos4 Zurich!
(Limos4 operate in many other cities, check out www.limos4.com for locations)
Click on the first photo to see full size and then click next.
OUR HOTEL: CENTRAL PLAZA HOTEL ZURICH
Nick and I stayed at Central Plaza Hotel Zurich during both layovers. The first room we had was perfectly lovely, but the second room (#611) was simply AMAZING (Dr Bellows fans, anyone?)! It was a wonderful room on the top floor with an absolutely gorgeous view of the whole city.
Taking hot showers after the long flight from Los Angeles and laying down for a few minutes before exploring the city made me feel like a hundred dollars (an obscure Caddyshack reference – you’re welcome!😊). And taking another hot shower after walking around the city (it was upper 30s F and drizzling) was really really nice too (and I loved the little Swiss rubber duckies in the bathrooms!). What a difference a little bit of rest makes!
Here is the 1st room:
And here is the second room (#611) on our way back from Italy:
We had dinner booked at our hotel at their fabulous King’s Cave. However, there was a glitch in the reservation (they didn’t have my name!) and they were fully booked. So we ate upstairs (same food but different atmosphere). The food was really great but I so wish we could have been seated in the gorgeous setting downstairs as it is quite special (fit for a king!). See the photos below.
THE CITY, THE SIGHTS AND THE SWISS SWEETS
Since our hotel’s central location made it easy to explore, we walked everywhere. Zurich is a city with gorgeous and varied architectural styles spanning over a millennium. Two of the buildings dominating the cityscape are Fraumünster (9th Century church with quite surprising Marc Chagal’s 1960s stainglass windows) and the double-towered Grossmünster Church (built in 1106 in Romanesque style). And two of the places that dominated our palates were Läderach (a chocolate shop operating since 1962) and Confiserie Sprüngli (a bakery which has been open since 1836). There are plenty of other shops but these two are the most respected, revered and recommended by dessert-aficionados (of which I consider myself one 😊). If you’re ever in Zurich – please do yourself a favor and indulge. And yes, Nick and I got up early just to speed-walk to Confiserie Sprüngli before having to leave for the airport. We shared several divine desserts back at our hotel while packing. It was a lovely morning.
The verdict? Yes on long layovers, yes on Zurich, yes on sweets!
While our Limos4, Central Plaza Hotel Zurich and King’s Cave dining experiences were complimentary, all views and photos are entirely my own. I stand by every word – as always.
Have you ever been to Zurich?
What did I miss? What should I see next time? Please let me know so I can mark it on GoogleMaps for future travels! Also.. if you find any typos, please let me know. I am obsessed with proper grammar and spelling but…. I type too damn fast and sometimes simply space out:)