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The Needle park in Zurich

The Needle park in Zurich

January 2020 · 6 min read · Zurich

We had a great time in Slovakia and The Netherlands, but I am really happy to be back home. We arrived last night, and I can't wait to build my daily routine again. This year can finally start for me!

We came late, all shops were closed, and our fridge was empty. Well, it still is empty as the shops are closed on Sunday. We had no choice but go out today. We decided to go to Zurich and spent a lovely sunny day there. It felt like early spring, so we had a quick bite and went for a walk. There are many options for long walks in Zurich and it's difficult to choose. We like to experience new things, so we wanted to go somewhere that we haven't been before. This was easy as we don't spend that much time in Zurich.

Where did we go?

After listing our options, we went in the direction of the Landesmuseum (The Swiss national museum). It's a huge complex with a beautiful park. We didn't go inside of the museum as it would be a pity to spend such a lovely day inside, but we went to the park instead.

The Platzspitz park is situated in the heart of Zurich and placed between the rivers Limmat and Sihl. The park became a popular recreation area because of its central location. It is very easy to reach from the main train station and it's a beautiful place to meet up with your friends for a walk. In summer, you can also enjoy lunch on a bench, or you can put your rug on the ground and spread some goodies from your picnic basket.


We came from the train station and crossed the bridge to get to the park. From here we could see part of the park already.


If you travel to Zurich, you should make sure to visit The Landesmuseum as your trip would be incomplete without learning about the history of Switzerland.

The museum looks like a medieval castle, but this is just its look, so don't get confused. The Swiss national museum was built in 1898 in order to mark the 50th anniversary of the Swiss federal constitution. It was designed by Gustav Gull. There are many different permanent and temporary collections inside of the museum and you can easily spend there one full day without getting bored. But we came to enjoy the sun today, so let's go to the park!


Limmat's water was quiet today but there are many water sports competitions throughout the year held here. You can see swimmers competing for good causes, or simply to win. Once, we saw a competition with the craziest swimming costumes. It was a fun to watch! We don't have a sea in Switzerland and people enjoy their rivers and lakes very much.


I haven't been here before and I was surprised to see such large trees. They were gigantic! For comparison, you can see that tiny person in the red jacket next to the tree.


Even in winter there were some people enjoying lunch on many benches across the park.



The Platzspitz park has a long and dark history too! It looks idyllic today, but it hadn't been always like this!

In 1990's, the park became a popular meeting point for drug addicts from all over the world. There were thousands of them meeting up here every day. This is the reason why it became known as Needle park. In 1992, the park was closed for one year and during this time it was cleaned up and renovated. The foreign drug addicts were sent back to their home countries to avoid the same situation occurring again. However, it didn't go as easy as the project leaders wanted as the addicts found a new place where they were continuing their activities up to 1995.

The park is still monitored and even closed during the night. We saw a police car driving around the park today as well.


There are several statues placed across the park. I liked the bird feeding house next to this one. There were many birds inside, happily chirping and loving the food.



The Platzspitz was open from 1987 and its history dates back to the 15th century. It was used for different festivals at that time. In 1780, the trees were planted in the area. The path and the music pavilion were added in the 19th century. Today, the pavilion was empty, but it is buzzing with life in the summer months.



Now, it's time to enjoy the park. It's interesting to see that there are no signs of what happened here 30 years ago. It's just well-maintained paths, lots of grass and gigantic trees.


As it's situated in the heart of Zurich, you get to enjoy some views of beautiful historical buildings.


There are many fountains in the park. I liked this one as it looks like they were dancing. When you're in Switzerland and you're thirsty, don't be afraid to drink out of the fountain. All fountains should be filled with drinking water and if not, there would be a sign that would inform you that you are not allowed to drink the water. I've been living here for 9 years and haven't seen such a sign yet. I have only heard about it.


At the end of the park you will come to a point were Limmat and Sihl come together and blend into one river which is Limmat.


Same place, different perspective.


All these benches create some kind of a tunnel. Can you see it too?


There is a bridge across the river Limmat which will bring you to the other side. We didn't go there as there is a lot of traffic and we wanted to enjoy the greenery for as long as we could. I however walked on the bridge to show you the view in the direction of the main train station.


And now we are coming back to the museum from the other side of the park. If I would give a name to this photo it would probably have something do to with 'shadows'.


And this is the river Sihl. The sunshine was tickling our faces and when I think about it I can almost feel it...


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They don't even fit in my photo! And look at those people on the left. They are so tiny!


My husband studying the bust. I guess that if I would ask him now about it he would know nothing about that guy 😊


And the last glimpse of the park before going back to the car.

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There were so many people around and it was lovely outside. I think it was around 10 degrees which is unusual for January. Let's see if it will get colder 😊

Thank you for visiting!


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