|Zurich : the east bank|
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It’s a walk of only 100m from the station across the Bahnhofbrücke to the east bank of the Limmat and a large square bedecked with tram wires, known as Central. From here, the Niederdorf district stretches south along the riverside for about 1km, but a more engaging walk than the busy riverside Limmatquai is to fork onto the narrow pedestrianized Niederdorfstrasse one block east. The tackiness of the initial stretches – replete with fast-food stalls and lowlife beerhalls – soon mellows, and there are plenty of opportunities for random exploration of atmospheric little cobbled alleys, many of which open onto secluded courtyards adorned with medieval fountains.
A short way down on the left is Rindermarkt, where Gottfried Keller – generally thought of as Switzerland’s national poet – lived (at no. 9) and drank (at the Oepfelchammer opposite). A little further along, Spiegelgasse enjoyed a burst of fame during World War I: Lenin and Krupskaja stayed for fourteen months at no. 14, in the home of Titus Kammerer, a cobbler, before returning to Russia in April 1917 to lead the revolution; while diagonally opposite, a pub at no. 1 (long since renovated) housed the original Cabaret Voltaire, birthplace of the Dada art movement.
Niederdorfstrasse, which becomes Münstergasse, leads on to the Grossmünster church and beyond, as Oberdorfstrasse, out to the open Bellevue plaza, dominated on its south side by the lavish opera house. A short distance up the hill to the left – by the main Rämistrasse or any of the back alleys (tiny Trittligasse is the most beautiful) – lies the Kunsthaus, while a pleasant riverside walk south along the quay will bring you after 1km to the Zürichhorn park.
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