I landed at Zurich airport just after 6:00 am. Although I was excited, I did not know that I would later find out how to avoid panicking in a new city!
The ticket counter was open, so I immediately bought a Swiss Pass and went downstairs to wait for the train to Zurich.
It didn’t take long to come, and soon I was on my way! It was the first time I was traveling solo for a while, and I was looking forward to discovering more of Switzerland in the next few days.
Arriving in Zurich
The train from the airport to Zürich’s HB (Zurich’s central train station) took an hour. When I arrived, I was the only person at the station. It was too early for anything to be open.
Finding my hotel in Zurich
I tried to use the map of Zurich to find my way to my hotel, but what I had not realized earlier was that I had not saved the maps for offline use! The travel office right in front of me was closed, so I could not get a map of Zurich! I had a small printed map, but it only covered the area around the hotel and not where I was!
I decided just to start walking. Outside was slightly cold but pleasant for an early morning walk. Zurich was beautiful! Zurich’s many churches and the bridges were stunning!
Then I decided to just walk in a direction with a printout of the map to the hotel in my hand. Eventually, I crossed a bridge that had many locks on it. Later on, I heard that this was common in Europe and when a couple left a lock on these bridges, it was supposed to seal their love forever!
I didn’t see any street names that was on the map making me feel panicky. My thoughts were running amok and I started thinking telling friends and family about how I panicked when I first arrived in Zurich. At least I could now give them tips for them to avoid panicking in a new city! Lucky I realized that I was going the wrong way! I was quite upset with myself – by this time I had walked further than my hotel was from the station!
BUT the important thing was that I had found my way!
How to avoid panicking in a new city
Fortunately, I have learned my lesson after panicking in Zurich. There is no need for such things to happen! Now I use apps with downloadable maps to make sure I avoid panicking in a new city. There are several options to have offline maps available on your mobile phone:
- Maps.me is a useful and free app to use for downloadable maps!
- You can even download specific google maps to your phone! Just open google maps and sign in. Search for the city you want, then the particular location you want to visit. Click on more, then click on download! Voila! Now it is available as an offline map.