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Saturday, January 4, 2020

I love Zurich for its sober, urban, chic and contemporary atmosphere, during all year long, but I love it especially at the end of December, when I find that it's simply enchanting. The whole city is bathed in a warmer light, and what's more, Zurich's hoteliers throw fantastic parties on New Year's Eve. As we did in past, we sojourned at Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville, amid the grand style of its luxurious 19th century architecture and tastefully furnished rooms, since we like this privileged location in the centre of the old town.

The skies above Banhofstrasse twinkle with Christmas lights, a light frost covers the rooftops, and the delicious smell of roasted chestnuts from the stalls selling "Heisse Marroni" and strategically positioned all around the city tempt the passers-by. But besides the truly magical atmosphere that the city exudes during this period, I love shopping in Zurich, where the choice of home decoration objects and fashion accessories is varied and sophisticated. 
There's nothing better in the wintertime, when it's bitterly cold outside, than to warm up with a cup of tea, cocoa, or coffee with a some delectable patisserie in a cozy café. Useless to say, my favourite is the Sprüngli Café and Restaurant, the most representative of historical café-salons, centrally located in Paradeplatz and very near the Savoy Baur en Ville, with its Confiserie boutique on the ground floor, where I never miss to buy light and airy Luxemburgerli macarons. On New Year's Eve, the choice of glamorous indoor parties is varied,  but for open-air festival-loving tourists, Zurich hosts the largest New Year's party in Switzerland, whose centrepiece is the massive fireworks display let off from two anchored boats in the lake at 20 past midnight, after allowing the city's church bells to ring in the new year first. So from the windows of our room we could enjoy the atmosphere of partygoers heading to the lakeside streets to watch live music, partake of a bratwurst and some glühwein and join in the general merriment, since, after fireworks, celebrations continue until 3 am not only in the elegant salons of the hotels, but also on the lakeside.
And in the afternoon of the first day of the year, what's better than having a short corroborating walk from the Old Town to the Kunsthaus, a first class art museum with a great collection of Swiss artists, such as Hodler and Giacometti, as well as international artists, such as Monet, Picasso and many others.

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