Friday, November 25, 2016

Zurich: The Hauptbahnhof and the Locker Situation

Railway stations in Europe are magnificent architecture showcases and sights to behold of. For many visitors into art and architecture (like me!), this is where the journey truly begins.


Alfred Escher statue in front of Zurich HB facing Bahnhofstrasse.


If I must think of all the railway stations I have visited in the continent, and I indeed have visited a lot of them, then I have to admit that the Antwerp Central Station (in Belgium) would probably be the most impressive of them all. The cathedral-like design of the central station and its grand ambiance will totally stimulate your sensory glands.

Another favourite of mine is the Sao Bento Railway Station in Porto (in Portugal) with its walls and ceiling beautifully decorated with scenes depicting local history painted on blue tiles called azulejos. Which by the way reminds me of Delft Blue.

And although not the grandest of them all, I still find the Zurich Hauptbahnhof quite a remarkable sight to behold of especially if you enter the building from Bahnhofstrasse where you can find a big monumental statue of Alfred Escher, the co-founder of modern Switzerland. I really liked the arch designs in the atriums and windows, and the high walls and ceilings of this circa 1847 neo-Renaissance building.

Zurich HB as it is often called is the largest railway station in Switzerland. It has a big underground shopping centre and a part of the station is currently undergoing a massive renovation and extension. When I arrived from the airport, I had to ask for help to find my way to the platform of the train service going to Uetliberg where I am staying for the weekend.

It used to be that public transport in Switzerland was cheaper than in the Netherlands. Well this was several years ago before the Swiss Franc became stronger, or rather, before the Euro became weak. Unfortunately, the country has become very expensive than expected, and although the locals have a higher buying power now when they go abroad, many export businesses were not grinning from ear to ear.

Like most central stations, there is a locker facility here as well which I am very thankful about. My flight was leaving in the evening and I have to check out of my hotel by noon, and then I will have brunch with the girls, and after this I will then spend the rest of the afternoon into the early evening in the city. It is going to be a long and busy day and I can’t be moving around with a luggage in tow.

The baggage lockers section in the station is very easy to find. From the main hallway you will see the baggage sign pointing to the underground level. You just have to go down 1 level on the escalator and you will find the locker area to your right.

Locker rental is priced at 6 Swiss Francs and payable only in cash – coins. There are much bigger lockers available as well that could fit in several luggage in it. I cannot remember how much they cost but for sure more than I paid with the smaller locker.

Tip: To make sure you do not forget which locker you took, take a picture of it!


The entrance to Zurich HB railway station from Bahnhofstrasse.


Grand ceillings and interiors. Beautiful.


A flying balloon of a colourful and hip angel.


Bistros and cafes inside the train station.


The locker area of Zurich Hauptbahnhof.


Tip: Take a picture of your closet, just in case you will forget the number.


Travel Period: September 2016
Destination: Zurich, Switzerland

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All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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