Zurich was founded by the Romans. Here they collected taxes from everyone who came by so it really has always been about money. Today there are 250 banks in Zurich and many of them are based around Paradplatz. To accompany the banks are many stores where you can spend all the money from the banks: luxury watches, shoes, bags, suits.
But this area wasn’t always been so expensive. What is now a meeting place of banks and trams used to be a pig market. When the pigs left and the bankers came in, they weren’t so impressed with the name of the area so they asked the city to change it and they did. There has never been a parade go through Paradeplatz but there is a never ending stream of trams, both the old ones that the locals complained made too much noise, and the new ones that the locals now complain don’t make enough noise (meaning you don’t hear them and cross the road).
On Pig Plaza there is another very famous spot, one hundred and seventy five old Sprungli. Take a walk through Sprungli and you will be overwhelmed with beautiful looking desserts to try. But the one everyone comes here for are the Luxemburgerli. Sixty or so years ago there were many different chocolate shops and Sprungli was looking for something to differentiate. They contacted a man from Luxembourg to create a little cookie that looks and tastes remarkably like a miniature macaroon. The owner were going to call these little treats kisses but then felt it would be inappropriate if his wife had to go up to the cash and ask the staff for a kiss. So they named if after the man who invited it, or at least the place her came from. These little Luxemburgerli are available in a wide range of flavours and people were lined up to buy them by the box load.
Over on the side Sprungli has a little café where you can order a hot chocolate which is very nice. They use a house blend which is still based on the original founder, David Sprungli’s original recipe using 70% Grand Cru chocolate. It has the best of what I found was a signature part of the Swiss hot chocolate: chocolate milk foam. In many other places if there is foam on top of a hot chocolate it is plain milk foam. Here is it the chocolate milk and ¼ or so of the cup is this rich chocolate foam. It mixes with the hot chocolate as you drink it all the way to the last sip and makes it both decadent and very light at the same time.
After your hot chocolate walk straight to the Fraumunster Church. The church itself is pretty bare but the reason almost every person enters is to see the beautiful stained glass windows designed by Marc Chagall in 1970 at the age of 73. For 5CHF you can enter, pick up an audio guide and admire the colourful windows. The plaza that the church is on is a great place to grab a chair and just watch everyone walk by. There is a fountain on one side of the plaza that is rumored to have wine coming out of it on special occasions. Keep you eyes open and your glass ready.
Verdict: Great hot chocolate which you can order with espresso, with whipped cream, with alcohol, with caramel syrup or even cold. If you love it you can buy tins of hot chocolate mix to make at home. Splurge on a Luxembergerli (because, when in Zurich…) and watch the bankers go in and out of shoe store across the street. Hot Chocolate Fr. 7.50. Confiserie Sprungli, Bahnhofstrasse 21, Zurich, Switzerland. Zurich, Switzerland