Zürich Off The Beaten Path Tips by yumyum Top 5 Page for this destination
Zürich Off The Beaten Path: 127 reviews and 291 photos
The Elefantenbach is a small river going down from Zurich-Witikon to Burgwies in a ravine. The highlight is the concrete elefant standing in the middle of the ravine.
The area is excellent for families as children can play and are out in the nature. You can also picnic by the elefant.
How to get there:
Tram to Klusplatz, then trolleybus no. 34 to Loorenstrasse, cross the road and follow the yellow sign.
From Witikon along the Elefantenbach to Burgwies (Tram no. 11) it takes about 50 minutes. If you want to hike further, you just continue along the ravine through the pedestrian tunnel at Burgwies and soon you will be near the botanical gardens. Walk through the gardens and out on the other side and continue down all the way to the lake and along the lake further to Bellevue.
I consider the Botanical Garden off beaten track as it is not the usual tourist site. But if you are in Zürich longer then it could be a possibility to visit this place. There are 3 greenhouses with the themes savannah, subtropical and tropical. They are open all year round (in winter till 4 pm). Entry is free of charge. In the warmer seasons the gardens are also used as park for relaxing or eating a sandwich for lunch.
BTW, there is a cafeteria but it is only open Monday to Friday.
On trolleybus no. 33 there is a stop "Botanischer Garten" or alternatively take tram no. 2 or 4 to "Höschgasse" and walk up.
The greenhouses are currently closed as there is construction work going on. This was in May 2011 when I visited with 2 VTers.
This museum close to Bahnhof Tiefenbrunnen is about bread making ie flour making. This old mill used to be much bigger and one of the 3 mills in Zurich. The building dates back to the end of the 19th century. When we were there, there was also a special exhibit in one room about the food and power which was very interesting.
Since we visited on a Saturday afternoon we were lucky to see the machines running and had a short tour with explanations (in German only).
There is a slide (photo no. 3) where they used to let the flour bags down but if you are game enough you may slide down yourself on an empty flour bag.
This place is excellent to visit with kids.
Entrance fee for adults is CHF 9.00 and free with the yearly Swiss museum pass.
Phone: 044 422 76 60
The succulent collection is one of the most important ones with around 9000 spieces. The collection is open every day from 9 am till 4.30 pm and the entrance is free. Outside in the garden there are a few chairs for relaxation.
In the entry hall you will find a few plants for sale, a soft drink machine where you can buy something and toilets.
There are 6 greenhouses with various themes open to the public. On my visit in June 09 there were quite a few cactites in bloom.
Once a year the place is open at night time - on the night when the queen of the night is in bloom. The announcement is made on the local radio stations. Be prepared to line up if you happen to see that particular plant on that night.
To reach the Sukkulentensammlung:
It is a pleasant walk from the Buerkliplatz along the lake to get there. Alternatively, take bus number 161 or 165 from Buerkliplatz to the stop Sukkulentensammlung or tram no. to stop Brunaustrasse and walk down.
Phone: 043 344 34 80
When you mention "Loorenchopf" to a local, then they know immediately that you mean the wooden tower with a viewing platform sitting in the middle of a forest between the Zurichberg and Witikon.
The Loorenchopf was originally built in 1954 and is made of wood. It's 33 meters high and from the viewing platform you may see the Alps on a clear day, the lake of Zurich and the lake "Greifensee". You climb the tower at your own risk.
You will have to hike to this tower. From the Zoo tram station it takes about 45 minutes or you could first walk to the Degenriet, where you find a restaurant and then continue for another half hours or maybe a bit more as it's a fair bit uphill.
With my friend we did the loop: end of Dolder cog railway (coming from Roemerhof) to Degenriet to have a drink and then to Loorenchopf and back to the Zoo station
This is a “through” station with four tracks. It was modernized by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava in 1983/84. The station has an underground shopping mall with all kinds of shops. The supermarket is your Sunday bet in that part of town if you don’t want to go to the Hauptbahnhof or the airport.
When you arrive to Zurich by train from Bern or Basel you will see these 4 dominant brown highrise buildings. They are located near Albisriederplatz (tram 2 and 3 or (trolley)buses 33 and 72). Addresswise they are on Bullingerstrasse or Norastrasse. They have between 28 and 32 floors and are blocks of flats without any commercial use. They were built between 1976 and 1978 by the architect Max Peter Kollbrunner. The towers are between 72 and 92 meters high. I acutally used to live in one of them when they were first built for about 6-7 years. There are 5 flats per floor and 3 lifts. Families with children were only allowed to live there up to the 6th floor. It's rather anonymous to live there and we were only 3 minors in the one tower which was rather boring as a teenager.
These houses are named after the architect Hans Benno Bernoulli (17.2.1876-12.9.1959). He was an architect, city builder and professor at the ETH. These houses are a garden city project form 1928 and were meant to be sold without profit to the workers.
You will find the Bernoulli houses on tram line no. 4 between the stations Bernoulli and Hardturm.
old wooden bridge
You can walk along this small river to other villages and towns in the canton of Zurich. For instance, you could start from Auzelg station and walk downriver. Auzelg station of the now extended tram line 11 was only opened on 10th December 2006. If you walk along the river for a few minutes you will see an old wooden bridge. This bridge used to stand further upriver in Aubrugg (Schwamendingen - part of Zurich) and connect the other end of Auzelg to the rest of the city, but these days there is much concrete jungle including a motorway there so they moved it many many years ago. I actually remember it in the old place when I was a kid.
To any person in Zurich age 40+ "Strickhof" means something. This used to be a school where all aspects of farming would be learned. It opened in 1853 and in the 1970s a vote by the people of Zurich decided that it moves into the countryside as the area in Zurich, near Irchel, was too small. Today the school is in Lindau and the former buildings have been taken over by the university Irchel campus. There are still a few animals held there like sheep. If you take a walk in Irchel area why not take a look at this historical place where many a small kid in the old days went for a Sunday walk to see some animals for free.
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