Explore Zurich: A Virtual and Accessible Tour
This week we are heading to an exciting and beautiful region of the world — Zurich, Switzerland. Known as a center for international banking and picturesque scenery, Zurich promises tourists a truly memorable travel experience.
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Visit the Museums and Sites
Continuously inhabited since the times of the Roman Empire, Zurich has a rich cultural history and a host of interesting places to visit. For a general overview of the city’s sites, be sure to tune into the podcast from Holidays to Switzerland. A quicker podcast from NPR also provides a little overview of the city and its surrounding nature.
One such stop is the Kunsthaus Zürich, one of the biggest art museums in Switzerland. The museum houses some of the most important collections of art history, with over 4,000 paintings and sculptures. To explore the Kunsthaus Zürich, go though the virtual tour on the museum’s site and watch an exploratory video of the museum. The video comes with closed captions.
Another famed site is the Grossmünster, a Romanesque-style church that is known as a major landmark of the city. Serving as one of the four major churches in the city, Grossmünster hosts some incredible stained glass windows, a crypt area, the choir loft, and other areas for exploration. To learn more about Grossmünster, visit the blog from Trip Aim and watch a Youtube video about the site. The video comes with closed captions.
For a more natural feature near the city, look no further than Uetliberg. The Uetliberg is a mountain that offers a spectacular panoramic view of the whole city of Zurich, as well as Lake Zurich. To learn more about Uetliberg, tune into the vlog about the site and read the blog from Saltwater Vibes. The video comes with closed captions.
Lake Zurich, which extends the southeast portion of Zurich, is another commonly visited spot for tourists. Locals often swim in the clean waters, and visitors take boat tours for a more in depth look at the region’s history. For more information about the lake, watch a fascinating video about the site and read the blog from The Simple Travel. The video comes with closed captions.
Albeit smaller than the Kunsthaus Zürich, Pavillon Le Corbusier is a fascinating, specified museum that focuses on the works of Swiss architect Le Corbusier. The space embodies Corbusier’s philosophy of open floor plans and adaptable spaces to allow for flexible living, and the museum takes on an educational approach to the works featured. To learn more about Pavillon Le Corbusier, check out the video exploring the space and the blog from Ignant. You can also view a virtual tour of the museum. The video comes with closed captions.
Finally, if you are interested in seeing the birthplace of world renown Lindt Chocolates, then be sure to journey into the Lindt Home of Chocolate in Zurich. Boasting an interactive chocolate tour as well as a history of over 100 years, the museum is a perfect place for chocolate lovers of all creeds. For more information about the Lindt Home of Chocolate, read through the blog from Team Thomas Travels and watch a vlog about the space, which comes with closed captions. To learn about this museum as well as other Swiss chocolate experiences, tune into the podcast from Holidays to Switzerland.
Tune in to Shows and Movies About Zurich and Switzerland
There are many shows and movies set in Zurich and Switzerland that are sure to appeal to a variety of audience members. Besides these picks, there are many, many more that have subtitles and are generally accessible.
If you are interested in a film that brings together drama and sports, then Olga may be for you. The film follows Olga, a young Ukrainian gymnast, who is exiled to Switzerland and dreams of Olympic gold. As she prepares for the European Championships, the Maidan Revolution begins and she must turn her attention towards everyone she cares about. The film is available to rent on Apple TV and comes with English subtitles.
Vitus is another captivating film set in Switzerland, tracking the life of highly intelligent yet troubled boy Vitus. As a child, Vitus showed signs of genius in piano, but pressure from overbearing parents made it difficult to continue his music career. To learn more about Vitus’ story and how it unfolded, you can watch the film on YouTube. The film has English subtitles.
The Awakening of Motti Wolkenbruch is a heartfelt and funny dramedy that features a young Orthodox Jewish man who falls in love with a woman that his family will never approve of. Go on a journey of unlikely romance and intrigue by watching this film on Netflix. The film features closed captions in English and German, as well as audio descriptions in German.
A well-loved classic, Heidi is a touching family flick that follows an orphan girl as she tries to get back home to her grandfather. After being stolen by her ruthless aunt and sold as a servant, Heidi and her grandfather journey to be reunited again. Heidi is available on Vudu and comes with closed captions.
Another family friendly option is a claymation cartoon Pingu. Join in watching the little penguin Pingu on all his hijinx and misadventures, geared to make the whole family laugh. The show is available on Amazon and comes with closed captions.
A more intimate and drama heavy show, New Heights explores the life of business consultant Michael Wyss who inherits his late father’s farm. Though he is accustomed to his new life, he must travel back and confront his rural past. The show is available on Netflix and comes with English closed captions. The show also has audio descriptions for Swiss German, German, and French speakers.
For those who want to get a better feel for the film industry in Switzerland be sure to check out the Zurich Film Festival podcast. These episodes feature interviews with the stars of today
Get Lost in Books About Zurich and Switzerland
Zurich and Switzerland have served as the backdrop to some incredible stories, both fiction and nonfiction. We have listed a few here, but there are many more examples.
One such fascinating book comes through in Hotel Du Lac: A Novel by Anita Brookner, a piece of romance that is sure to entice. Protagonist Edith Hope flees to Hotel du Lac in Switzerland to restore herself after her love life starts resembling the characters’ lives in her books. However, she only finds more love casualties and a potential new interest she can’t seem to escape. The book is available on Amazon, and has a Kindle version.
If you would like to learn more about Switzerland, then Essential Switzerland from Fodor’s Travel Guides may be a good fit for you. The book goes over anything a tourist may be curious about — which areas to look into, food, and updated information on sites. Essential Switzerland is available via Swiss bookstore Buchhaus and has an e-book version available.
An international bestseller, Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman offers a fictional collage of stories around Albert Einstein’s dreams as he is working in a patent office in 1905. In one story, time is circular. In another, time stands still. For all, however, the idea of time, life, and humanity are reflected upon based around Einstein’s own perceived imaginings on the subject. Einstein’s Dreams is available on Amazon. There is both a Kindle and Audiobook version of the book available.
For a witty and charming tale, look no further than the young adult book A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier. The book finds protagonist Sophie working as an intern in a grand Swiss hotel steeped in tradition and splendor. However, she soon finds herself in the midst of a perilous adventure — one where she may lose her job and her heart. This book is not too dense or lengthy, and is perfect for a night or two of exciting adventure. Check the book out on Amazon, where there is a Kindle and Audiobook version available.
Readers who are interested in the financial roots of Zurich may also want to take a look at The Zurich Axioms: The Rules of Risk and Reward Used by Generations of Swiss Bankers by Max Gunther. Gunther delves into the advice and pillars of investment bankers in Switzerland that may help readers uncover how best to approach their own financial endeavors. The book is available on Amazon, and has a Kindle and Audiobook version.
Bring Zurich and Switzerland to Your Kitchen
Zurich is home to a variety of delicious dishes and enjoyable recipes that you can try. Even those with allergen concerns can try out Swiss cuisine with the vegan and gluten free recipes we have gathered below.
A great breakfast option is found in rösti — a Swiss potato pancake that was commonly eaten by farmers in the canton of Bern. The Vegan Society recipe for a vegan and gluten free rösti is sure to make your mornings brighter and that much more scrumptious.
Another wonderful dish for breakfast or brunch is zopf bread, also known as Swiss braided bread. The treat is extra fluffy and satisfying, making it perfect for french toast or to snack on by itself. Be sure to check out the vegan zopf recipe from Aline Made. To make it gluten free, use coconut flour or oat flour.
Known around the world, the Swiss roll might be Switzerland’s most famous food item. The Swiss roll is sweet, rich, and beautiful to look at due to its intricate design. For a vegan and gluten free Swiss cake roll recipe, use the recipe from Green Smoothie Gourmet and enjoy!
Where to Next?
Thanks for wandering Zurich with us virtually. Join us next time as we explore Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.