Summer Weekend in Zürich
Switzerland is always enticing for travellers with its pristine nature and pretty cities. Everplaces ambassador and guest blogger, Mela Mörtenbäck, is just back from Zürich and shares her discoveries in this wonderful Zürich collection.
Zurich – the city at the river Limmat is one of the most livable cities in the world. With considerable culture and shopping offers, the close-by Lake Zurich and the mountains, the 400.000 inhabitants-counting city has every kind of possibilities. If you’re spending a weekend in Zurich, be sure to not miss the upcoming neighborhood Zurich West besides all those classic sights.
Historic places, picturesque streets and districts, churches and art objects: that’s all visitors appreciate in Zurich. With all its small stores, cafés and restaurants, a stroll through the Niederdörfli is a must when visiting the Swiss capital. Continue your walk on the other side of the Limmat, through the Augustinergasse up to Lindenhof and enjoy a stunning view over the city up there. The popular district Schipfe is worth a stroll as well, as you’ll reach the numerous bridges across the Limmat to get a glimpse of the historic buildings from the water. Climb up the 187 steps at the Karlsturm to enjoy a 360-degree view over the city.
Apart from the historic city center there is happening much in other districts as well; particularly the developing district Zurich West is worth a visit. The recently opened 25hours Hotel Zurich West is the perfect starting point – both a design hotel in the middle of a trendy area and calm anchor. The former industrial district Zurich West is developing like no other district in Zurich and thanks to dedicated projects it’s becoming an attractive area.
A characteristic location is – without a doubt – the flagship store of the iconic label Freitag. Located right at the train station Hardbrücke, 26 cargo containers rise up to the sky and are both home for the world’s biggest selection of Freitag bags, as well as an observation deck. And this observation deck reveals the view over Frau Gerolds Garten – my personal highlight during a stay in Zurich. In summer 2012 Frau Gerolds Garten opened its doors and since then it became a popular city garden with a kitchen garden, a restaurant and bar, small shops and a place for artists and culture. Here fresh herbs, salads, vegetables and fruits are grown and directly processed in the own kitchen, which is offering daily changing menus. And at Gerolds Markt, young creatives sell fashion and accessories in small shops and in an American trailer.
Continuing the stroll through Zurich West, be sure to check out both Bogen33 and Walter Vintage Möbel and Accessories. You’ll find a great selection of second hand and vintage interior objects there. Also a must see in this corner are the Viaduktbögen. Underneath the railway viaduct you’ll find a bustling urban life: places to stroll around, to shop, to stay and to enjoy something to eat and to drink. 36 arches became a small shopping-paradise with a mixture of fashion labels, interior design, delicatessen shops and ateliers. And at the end of the viaduct, twenty farmers are selling regional products at the Markthalle.
Don’t miss the various locations at the water during a weekend in Zurich. Be it at one of the numerous “Bädli” at the river Limmat in the middle of the city or in one of the lake resorts at the Lake Zurich: everyone will find what’s right for him/her. The original art nouveau resort Frauenbadi in the heart of Zurich is a highlight for itself. During the day a resort only for women, it opens its doors for everyone in the evening and becomes a Barfussbar. And yes, you have to take it literally, shoes must be left at the entrance. To go for a swim, I personally prefer the lake like many locals do. Along the waterfront, you’ll find many official lake resorts or meadows to lie in the sun, take a nap or cool down in the sea. Some minutes out-of-town, Fischer’s Fritz is an unconventional location to hang out at the sea.
It is fair to say that Zurich is one of the most expensive cities of the world. Nevertheless it’s an appropriate alternative to other european million-metropolis in summer. Not too big but with every comfort you’d wish from a trendy city.
You can check out and save Mela’s Zürich collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Mela is a passionate traveller and hobby photographer from Tyrol, Austria. She loves to combine travelling and photography by exploring new cities. You can follow her adventures on Everplaces here.
Explore Undiscovered Montenegro
Our Community Manager, Ani, has just returned from her trip to Montenegro and judging from the photos it looks simply gorgeous.
Stunning is the only word that comes close to describing Montenegro. A country that despite its small size, houses so many pretty landscapes, from rugged, towering mountains to clear waters. Add to this its amazing and kind people, and the good and hearty food, and it is all you need for a perfect trip. It was love at first sight for me.
In spite of its breathtaking beauty and affordable prices, Montenegro has managed to escape the touristic radar of many, except the local Balkan visitors of course. To a large extent, I was very grateful for the lack of booming tourism. I would recommend traveling there in late May / June or the early autumn, when you are sure to escape the “crowded” summer months.
Here are my top picks when traveling in Montenegro:
Kotor Bay - breathtaking to say the least. The small villages dotting the bay coastline, the yachts flowing in and out, the beautiful mountains - it just has to be experienced! Pretty Budva, with its nice beaches, old town and famous nightlife, is the definite and the most popular, hence crowded, star of the Adriatic coast. However if you are in for a more idyllic time I would recommend staying in one of the small towns of the Kotor Bay, especially Perast or Kotor.
Kotor has a very charming old town that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a good place to base yourself for exploring the coastal area. Rent a car, it’s quite cheap and make sure to drive around. There are some amazing drives waiting for you, such as a 30-hairpin ride to Lovcen National Park or a very idyllic ride among olive groves and beautiful views of the bay to Luštica Peninsula.
Ostrog Monastery - during my travels I have visited many monasteries carved in the rock, I come from Armenia, a land famous for such monasteries, and I must admit Ostrog was quite impressive. A snow-white structure perched 900 m high up an almost vertical rock, you got to give credit. It is a very important religious site for the Orthodox Christians around the world. The drive up to the monastery is amazing in itself, with beautiful views of the mountains and the valley down making sure your adrenalin level is kept at high. Besides the religious value of the monastery, the view opening from its upper terrace was unbeatable.
Njeguš - During your gastronomic adventures in the country, you will often come across a famous item on the menu, called Njeguški prsut, which means Njeguški ham. It tastes similar, in my opinion better, to prosciutto. It is delicious, and comes from this little village. On your way to Ostrog make sure to stop at Njeguš village to taste the prsut.
Durmitor National Park - the second part of our trip was spent hiking in the beautiful mountain range of Montenegro, Durmitor, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Žabljak town makes for a great base for exploring this area. The hiking trails are well marked and color-dotted based on the level of difficulty. There are a few pretty lakes in the area and camping sites.
Tara Canyon - this natural wonder with its turquoise water is just mesmerizing. It is the second deepest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. It is famous among the lovers of rafting, so let your adventurous spirit loose and enjoy the experience!
Montenegro now has a very special place in my heart. Travel there before it becomes the next Croatia.
You can check out and save Ani's Montenegro collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
A Day in Barcelona with a Local
Planning a summer getaway to Barcelona? Look no further. Everplaces guest blogger and Barcelona native Emma Vila takes us on an exciting tour in her neighborhood Gràcia with this wonderful dawn to dusk Gràcia collection.
Gràcia is the neighbourhood in Barcelona where I’ve lived my entire and still short (hey, I’m still young, ok?) life. To me, it is the best neighbourhood in Barcelona (you could argue I’m a little biased), as it still has that sense of antiquity, that village atmosphere as though it wasn’t part of the busy, modern city that lies just a few minutes away.
If you are planning on spending a few days in Barcelona, Gràcia is, without doubt, one of the must-sees. I’ve prepared for you a one day trip in Gràcia, and all I can say is: I wish all my days were like this!
You could start the day having breakfast at La Nena, a chocolaterie where you’ll be able to taste one of the best hot chocolates in town (with a French croissant, just to make sure you take in all the calories possible). After refuelling, you can head over to the Park Güell, a magnificent park designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and the best expression of Catalan Modernism. There, you can soak up the art and enjoy a fantastic view of the city.
When you’ve taken all the possible photos you can imagine, you can start descending to the heart of Gràcia and maybe have an aperitif in one of the many little squares. My personal recommendation is to take a seat on one of the terraces in Plaça Virreina, one of my favourites due to its calm, lovely atmosphere. You can just imagine how life was 50 years ago while sitting in that terrace.
Now the time comes for what you’ve been waiting for all morning: lunch! Where should you have lunch? Well, Gràcia is full (and by full, I mean, literally!) of little restaurants from all over the world. I would feel bad just recommending one, so my advice for you would be to walk around Verdi Street (and its surroundings) and take a look at what you prefer: Egyptian? Syrian? Italian? Palestinian? You name it, you can find it. However, if you want to taste Catalan cuisine, I would suggest a visit to Cal Boter.
After eating properly, it wouldn’t be advisable to start wandering the streets again (especially if you’re doing this day trip in the summer!), so why not go to the cinema? Verdi cinema is my favourite theatre in the whole city. Wonder why? Well, first of all, all movies are shown in their original version, with subtitles – unusual in Spain as all movies are dubbed (I am a translator and I just hate dubbed movies!). Secondly, Verdi usually shows independent movies (as well as the occasional commercial one), so it gives you the chance to watch things that are a bit different.
Like to shop? Gràcia gives you that opportunity too. After the cinema, I suggest taking a walk in Astúries Street, full of little shops where you can buy jewellery (don’t get me wrong: Gràcia is kind of bohemian, so you won’t find the famous brands here –if you want that, go downtown!), clothes, shoes, natural food products, etc. I recommend taking a look at a shop called Olokuti. Apart from having sustainable products of all kinds, at the end of the shop there’s a little, lovely, calm garden where you can relax and have a drink.
If you fancy a drink before dinner, I suggest you go to La Cervesera Artesana, the best place to taste beers from all over the world - they are the experts! Although if you are not a fan of this drink, you could go to Canigó, one of the oldest bars in Gràcia (since 1922) - and always full of people. Please also consider having a drink just a few meters away, in Teatreneu. A theatre/bar that is absolutely charming. After that, you’ll be right in the heart of Gràcia again, so you can choose among many restaurants to go to, and, to finish the day, check out Heliogàbalfor a little music. Chill out… and enjoy.
(Only if you’re travelling in August: please don’t miss out the so-called “Festes de Gràcia”, when all streets are beautifully decorated!).
You can check out and save Emma’s Gràcia collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Emma is a blogger and content editor at Only-apartments.com, a global apartment rentals specialist based in Barcelona.
ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES READY TO BE SHARED?
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Start saving places you’d recommend to friends
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