A cracking weekend: Easter in Zurich

The month of April will see the vibrant city of Zurich transform with a flurry of Easter celebrations. With the city’s festivities ranging from the traditional to the outlandish, Zurich has everything you need for an egg-cellent weekend away.

Image: Zurich Tourist Board

Image: Zurich Tourist Board

Based at the minimalist-chic Marktgasse Hotel in the heart of the old town, Zurich’s plethora of Easter celebrations will be at your fingertips. Fuel up for a day of festivities with a hearty brunch (of eggs, naturally) at the hotel’s deli-style cafe, Delish, before setting out in search of cocoa-based celebrations in the land of Lindt.

Hotel_von oben

With your sweet tooth calling, head straight to the Mühlerama Museum, a century old mill, for an irresistible chocolate Easter Egg-making masterclass (and we won’t tell if you lick the bowl). If your cravings are still unsatisfied, visit the Sprüngli Cafe, Zurich’s most-loved chocolate emporium, where you can personalise your own Easter Bunny and try their tempting range of sweet treats, including their famous ‘Luxembergeli’, a Swiss take on the macaron.

Image: Sprüngli

Image: Sprüngli

Catering for Easter fanatics of all ages, Zurich’s offerings will have children (or just the child within) jumping for joy. Head to the Langenberg Wildlife Park to cuddle up to the Easter Bunny’s furry relatives at the perennially popular petting zoo, or if you’re hoping to get competitive in a traditional Easter egg hunt, the Zurich Train Museum are rolling out a historical steam train that takes scavengers into the depths of the lush Sihwald forest on a search for golden eggs. Alternatively, head to one of the popular nearby adventure parks, the Juckerhof or the Bächlihof, where there’ll be egg-foraging aplenty.

Wildnispark Zürich Langenberg, Feldhase

Langenberg Wildlife Park. Image: Zurich Tourist Board

Over in Uster, brave (or foolish) swimmers can take part in the Blue Egg Swimming Event, venturing out into the still-icy lake in search of a hidden blue egg, before warming up with hot tea and egg liquor… Sample at your own risk. When all the excitement gets too much, thaw out at the city’s natural Thermalbad with panoramic views across the city from the warming waters, before returning to the hotel to curl up for the night in the marshmallowy beds.

Marktgasse Hotel Junior Suite_print

Of course, it wouldn’t be Easter without indulging in so much food that you start to resemble a chocolate egg yourself. After a couple of days of exploring the city, spend Easter Sunday at the Marktgasse’s buzzy restaurant and bar, Baltho, for a round of tempting cocktails and a delicious three course Easter lunch. Making the most of spring’s seasonal ingredients, the menu will feature poached eggs with asparagus and strawberries, rack of lamb with peak morrel casoulette and an enticing rhubarb tarte.

Baltho Bar Moscow Mule Cocktail_print

If you’re sticking around for longer, the 24th April will mark the traditional spectacle of the ‘exploding snowman’ or ‘Sechseläuten’, Zurich’s spring time equivalent to Guy Fawkes night. Dating back to medieval times, this tradition sees a giant snowman figure -or ‘Böögg’ – plied with explosives and set alight, marking the end of winter and welcoming in warmer weather for the year ahead. Tradition goes that the time between lighting the pyre and the explosion of the snowman is indicative of the weather to come – a quick explosion promises a warm, sunny summer, and a longer burning brings a cold and rainy one. Unfortunately for the city’s sun-lovers, last year’s burning was the longest on record at a rather lengthy 43 minutes and 34 seconds. Fingers crossed for better luck this year…

Sechselaeuten, Böögg

Image: Zurich Tourist Board

The Marktgasse Hotel’s Easter package for two includes two nights accommodation, daily breakfast, a round of cocktails and a three-course Easter lunch and starts from £520.  For more information, visit http://www.marktgassehotel.ch/en.