20 Best Things To Do In Zurich

Zurich, Switzerland is a beautiful city that offers its visitors many exciting things to do. From exploring the Old Town and admiring historical architecture to indulging in delicious Swiss cuisine and relaxing on the banks of Lake Zurich, there are endless activities perfect for a weekend getaway or longer vacation. Whether you're looking for an adventure or just a leisurely stroll, this article will provide an overview of some of the best things to do in Zurich.

1. Lake Zürich

Lake Zürich Pin

Lake Zurich in Switzerland, is one of the most beautiful and scenic lakes in the country. The lake, which is about 16 miles long and three miles wide, has a maximum depth of over 300 feet. With its deep blue waters surrounded by striking mountains, Lake Zurich is truly breathtaking to behold.

The cities surrounding the lake are also filled with stunning historical sites as well as plenty of shops and restaurants to visit. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake or simply swim around while admiring the scenery. For those looking for more active activities there are several trails that are perfect for biking or hiking; which offer spectacular views of the lake below.

2. Museum of Art

Museum of Art in Zurich Pin

The Museum of Art is one of the best things to do in Zürich for anyone visiting the city. The kunsthaus houses one of the largest and most comprehensive art collections in Switzerland, boasting over 4 million pieces of artwork from both Swiss and international artists such as Monet. From sculptures and artifacts to paintings, drawings, photographs, videos and more, visitors will find something that appeals to their taste. The museum also features special exhibitions throughout the year showcasing contemporary works from emerging artists as well as established masters.

The staff at the Museum of Art are incredibly knowledgeable about all things related to art. They are always available to advise visitors on how best to explore the museum’s vast collection or answer any questions they may have about an artist or artwork. Whether you are a novice looking for some guidance during your visit or an expert seeking out new perspectives on classic works, this museum provides invaluable resources for everyone who visits.


Address: Heimpl. 1/5, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 253 84 84

Best Flights To Zurich

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Zurich. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Zurich.

3. Altstadt (Old Town)

Altstadt (Old Town)- Zurich Pin

When visiting Zurich, one of the most interesting places to explore is the Altstadt or Old Town. Located in the heart of the city, it is the oldest part of town and contains many significant landmarks. A stroll through this area reveals interesting shops, beautiful architecture, and a variety of cafes and restaurants.

The cobblestone streets wind alongside charming buildings with brightly colored facades while the River Limmat flows gracefully nearby. Notable Zurich attractions include Fraumünster Church, whose stained glass windows were crafted by Marc Chagall in 1970; Grossmünster Church with its two prominent towers; as well as Lindenhof Hill which provides stunning views over Zurich’s old town. Visitors can get a real sense of history here that cannot be found anywhere else in Zurich – it's easy to imagine what life was like here centuries ago.

4. Lindenhof

Lindenhof park in Zurich Pin

The Lindenhof park in Zurich is a place that has been steeped in history for centuries. The park, which is located on the ridge of Zürichberg and on the bank of the Limmat River, serves as an unofficial town square and has been popular since the Roman times. It was around 1294 when the first Lindenhof castle was built by Rudolph I of Habsburg, adding to its rich heritage.

Today, Lindenhof remains a popular destination in Zurich for visitors who are looking to explore its historic sites, take in some beautiful views of the city skyline or just relax under one of its many trees. On any given day, you can come across tourists taking pictures with local landmarks such as the Stadelhoferbrunnen fountain or enjoying a nice picnic lunch while sitting on one of its many benches.

5. Swiss National Museum

Swiss National Museum Pin

The Swiss National Museum (SNM) opened in 1898 and is dedicated to showcasing the cultural history of Switzerland and one of the best places to see during your visit to Zurich. The permanent collection consists of over 1 million objects from prehistory to the present day and it hosts numerous special exhibitions throughout the year.

The museum offers visitors the chance to explore different aspects of Swiss culture and history through its various collections. Visitors can learn about architecture, art, costumes, furniture, coins and medals, weapons and armor, as well as musical instruments which are all part of their displays. In addition to this there is also an extensive library with rare books and manuscripts related to Switzerland's history which can be explored by researchers or those who have a personal interest in learning more about Swiss history.


Address: Museumstrasse 2, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 218 65 11

6. Grossmünster

Grossmünster church Pin

Grossmünster is a Romanesque-style Protestant church that stands as one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city and has been a part of its history and culture since the 12th century. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1405, and reconstruction began soon after. Funds for its repair were collected throughout Europe and by 1519, it had been rebuilt to its current shape with two towers that overlook the river Limmat below.

The interior of the Grossmünster is awe-inspiring, with high ceilings made from beautiful stained glass windows, intricate mosaic flooring and columns crafted from stone. Its organ has over 5200 pipes which are used to add an ethereal atmosphere during services.


Address: Grossmünsterplatz, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 250 66 51

7. Zürich Zoo

Zürich Zoo Pin

The Zurich Zoo, located in Uetliberg, is one of the most renowned zoos in Switzerland. With its wide variety of animals from all over the world, it promises a fun and educational experience for people of all ages. Visitors can explore over 45 hectares containing more than 4500 animals belonging to 230 species – ranging from elephants and giraffes to meerkats and hippos.

The zoo also offers an interesting range of activities apart from simply observing the animals. Educational programs are available for kids where they can learn about animal behavior and conservation efforts by the zoo. Special events with talks on wildlife preservation are also periodically organized at the zoo grounds, giving visitors an insight into their efforts to protect endangered species.


Address: Zürichbergstrasse 221, 8044 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 254 25 00

Best Flights To Zurich

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Zurich. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Zurich.

8. Uetliberg

Uetliberg mountain Pin

Uetliberg is a mountain located in the Swiss canton of Zurich, and it's an incredibly beautiful natural landmark, perfect for a day trip. It stands 869 meters above sea level and is one of the most popular destinations for hikers, nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts in Switzerland. With its stunning views over Lake Zurich, Uetliberg has become a beloved spot for locals and tourists to enjoy the great outdoors.

The trails at Uetliberg are well-marked, making it easy for hikers of any experience level to explore the area safely. There are plenty of other recreational activities available as well, such as mountain biking and paragliding. Additionally, if you're looking to have an educational experience while visiting Uetliberg, there's a wildlife reserve located on the south side which houses various species of animals including ibexes, chamois and marmots.

9. Niederdorf

Niederdorf village Pin

Niederdorf is a small village along the Sihl River between the cities of Zurich and Rapperswill. Niederdorf has a population of just over 500 people. The main attraction in Niederdorf are its quaint houses and cobblestone streets that give it an authentic Swiss charm.

On any given day you can take a leisurely stroll around the village and visit its many shops, cafes, and restaurants. There’s also a wide selection of outdoor activities available such as hiking, biking, and fishing in nearby lakes. If you’re looking for some downtime there are plenty of scenic spots to sit back and relax with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa. Despite its size, Niederdorfs offers plenty of things to do.


10. Rietberg Museum

Rietberg Museum Pin

The Rietberg Museum in Zurich is a world-famous art museum and a must see destination for anyone interested in exploring the history of non-European culture. It is home to an impressive array of exhibits that showcase the cultural heritage of regions such as Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. Founded in 1952 by Eduard von der Heydt, the museum is one of the most renowned institutions for non-European art in Europe.

As a visitor to the Rietberg Museum, you can enjoy explorative tours and educational programs such as lectures and guided tours through its extensive collection. You can also take advantage of special events like workshops on photography or interactive games with children from different cultures to experience their stories first hand.


Address: Gablerstrasse 15, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 415 31 31

11. Bahnhofstrasse

Bahnhofstrasse shopping street in Zurich Pin

The Bahnhofstrasse is one of the world's most luxurious shopping streets. Located along the banks of Lake Zurich, this renowned retail area stretches for a mile and is lined with designer boutiques, international flagship stores, and exclusive jewelers. It’s easy to spend the day browsing through high-end fashion labels, sampling gourmet Swiss chocolates, or admiring the art galleries that line the street.

The idyllic setting is ideal for people watching and shoppers can take a break at one of many outdoor cafes to enjoy a meal or snack while admiring the best views of the nearby alps and lake. After dark Bahnhofstrasse comes alive with its illuminated shop windows making it an ideal location for evening entertainment or romantic strolls. There are also occasional street performances by musicians during summer months creating an inviting atmosphere throughout the area.

12. Beyer Clock and Watch Museum

Beyer Clock and Watch Museum Pin

The Beyer Clock and Watch Museum is an impressive facility dedicated to the history of timepieces. Located in Zürich, Switzerland, this museum houses one of the world's largest collections of clocks and watches from around the world. Visitors to the museum can explore different galleries that showcase iconic designs from renowned watchmakers like Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Audemars Piguet and many more.

There are also interactive displays that allow visitors to experience how clockmaking evolved over time with various demonstrations of traditional techniques used by craftsmen throughout history.

Aside from showcasing a variety of historical artifacts, the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum also offers educational workshops that teach visitors about horology - the science of measuring time - as well as how certain watch models were created.


Address: Bahnhofstrasse 31, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 43 344 63 63

13. Fraumünster

Fraumünster & St Peter church Pin

One of the things to see during your stay In Zurich is the Fraumünster, a famous Romanesque-style church located in the center of Zurich, Switzerland. Built in the 800s and restored in the 1100s, the Fraumünster church in Zürich is known for its iconic stained glass windows by Marc Chagall, which were installed between 1970 and 1972. The windows depict images from the Old Testament as well as Swiss landscapes and religious symbols. In addition to these amazing pieces of art, the church also contains numerous other works of art from renowned artists that span centuries.

The interior of the Fraumünster is just as impressive as its exterior. Its huge pillars create an atmosphere of awe and reverence, while its beautiful frescoes and sculptures captivate all visitors who enter its doors.


Address: Münsterhof 2, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 250 66 33

14. FIFA World Football Museum

FIFA World Football Museum Pin

The FIFA World Football Museum is a must-visit for any football fan. This interactive museum offers more than just a behind-the scenes look at the sport. It takes visitors on an incredible journey through the history of football and its impact on global culture. With 11 different galleries, each dedicated to a unique topic such as technology or female players, it's easy to lose track of time exploring the many exhibits.

Guests enter the museum with a FIFA Passport issued at the entrance that allows them access to exclusive content and activities throughout their visit. There's also plenty of educational material about the latest developments in football technology and strategies for aspiring players or coaches.


Address: Seestrasse 27, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 43 388 25 00

15. St. Peter

St Peter church Pin

St Peter is a beautiful and historic church located in the heart of Zürich. The church was originally built in 1100, although it has been renovated several times over the centuries due to its age. Today, the church boasts impressive Gothic architecture with its twin spires reaching skyward and its striking rose windows. Inside, you can admire intricate wood carvings along with rows of Baroque-style stalls and an elaborate pulpit crafted by the renowned German sculptor Hans Leu der Mühle.

St Peter’s also offers stunning views of Zurich from atop one of its towers. The top of the tower is accessible via an elevator or a staircase that winds up through one of Switzerland’s oldest clock towers.


Address: St. Peterhofstatt 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 250 66 33

Best Flights To Zurich

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Zurich. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Zurich.

16. Pavillon Le Corbusier

Pavillon Le Corbusier Pin

Pavillon Le Corbusier is an iconic structure that stands as a representation of the Swiss heritage in the city of Zürich. This landmark pavilion was designed by the legendary architect and designer Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier. He designed the structure to portray his philosophical vision of modern architecture and to redefine how people interact with their environment.

The pavilion itself is known for its stark white walls, glass ceiling panels and open plan design. It was constructed out of reinforced concrete and integrated into its surroundings using natural materials such as stone, wood and metal - a true example of modern architecture at its finest.

The Pavilion has been widely praised for its revolutionary approach to design which has since become an industry standard across the globe.


Address: Höschgasse 8, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 43 446 44 68

17. Zürich Opera House

Zürich Opera House Pin

Since its opening in 1891, the Zurich Opera House has been a cornerstone of Swiss culture and the arts. Located in Switzerland’s largest city, this historic building is renowned for its world-class operatic performances and grand architecture.

The opera house was designed by celebrated Swiss architect Karl Moser and his cousin Robert Curjel. It features an exterior with decorated Renaissance-style window frames and columns lined with golden reliefs which add to its elegant beauty.

Inside, the auditorium boasts Art Nouveau decor including large crystal chandeliers suspended from gilded ceilings as well as pink marble walls with decorative elements of carvings, mirrors, and stained glass windows.


Address: Sechseläutenpl. 1, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 268 66 66

18. University of Zürich Botanical Garden

University of Zürich Botanical Garden Pin

The University of Zürich Botanical Garden is one of the oldest in Europe, and it has been a part of the university since 1819. It covers an area of 3 hectares and includes more than 11,000 species of plants from all over the world. The garden also serves as a research center for botanists and plant ecologists who are interested in studying biodiversity.

The garden also provides educational opportunities to visitors from around the world with various events such as gardening workshops, lectures on environmental topics, and guided tours. It also offers recreational activities such as bird watching or simply appreciating nature by taking strolls among its gardens that offer stunning views across Lake Zurich.

The garden's café serves delicious seasonal dishes made with ingredients sourced from the garden itself - truly a unique experience.


Address: Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 634 84 61


19. Zoological Museum

Zoological Museum in Zurich Pin

The Zoological Museum in Zurich is an impressive space that showcases the incredible biodiversity of animals from around the world. This museum has been around since 1875, and it houses a collection of over two million specimens, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

Here you can explore a range of exhibits as you make your way through the museum, which are divided into eight sections including Classics of Evolution and Systematics & Biodiversity. Each exhibit is designed to provide comprehensive information on individual species in a visual and interactive way - perfect for inquisitive minds.

In addition to the permanent exhibits at this museum, there are also various educational activities that take place throughout the year such as guided tours and workshops. These activities are great for tourists of all ages who want to learn more about animals and their natural habitats.


Address: Karl-Schmid-Strasse 4, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 634 38 38

20. Dolderbahn

Dolderbahn in Zurich Pin

Taking a ride on the Dolderbahn in Zurich is an excellent way to take in the beautiful city sights of Zurich. The Dolderbahn, or "old timer tram" as it's sometimes referred to, is an old-fashioned funicular train that offers spectacular views from its two parallel tracks. It has been operating since 1932 and today still operates out of its original station at the top of Adlisberg Hill. The hill gives passengers a birds-eye view of Zurich’s cityscape, including Lake Zurich and the many churches located around it.

The journey begins at the foot of Adlisberg Hill, where riders can purchase tickets for a one-way trip or roundtrip ticket up to the top station near Hotel Adler.

Best Flights To Zurich

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Zurich. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Zurich.


Q: How many days are enough to see Zurich?

A: To truly experience the highlights of Zurich, I would recommend spending at least three full days in the city. This will allow you sufficient time to explore the top sights such as Lake Zurich, where you can take a relaxing boat ride or simply stroll along its picturesque promenade. Additionally, dedicating a day to visit the famous Bahnhofstrasse – one of the world's most luxurious shopping streets – is a must for any fashion enthusiast or window-shopper.

Another day should be set aside for exploring Zurich's cultural offerings. The Kunsthaus Museum houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, while the Grossmünster church showcases stunning architectural beauty and provides panoramic views from its tower. And don't forget to indulge in some Swiss chocolate at one of Zurich's many delectable chocolatiers!

Q: Which month is best for Zurich?

A: If you are looking for the best time to visit Zurich, August stands out as an ideal month. With its mild temperatures and long daylight hours, Zurich truly comes alive during this time. The streets are bustling with activity as locals and tourists take full advantage of the pleasant weather by enjoying outdoor festivals, concerts, and exploring the city's many attractions.

One of the main reasons why August is considered the best month for visiting Zurich is because of its vibrant festival scene. The renowned Street Parade takes place during this time when people from all over Europe flock to Zurich to experience one of the world's largest techno music parades.

Additionally, the Zurich Openair Music Festival attracts music lovers with its diverse lineup of international artists performing against a picturesque backdrop of Lake Zurich and its beautiful parks. 

Q: Is Zurich an expensive city?

A: Zurich is often regarded as one of the most expensive cities to visit. With its high standard of living and strong economy, it is no surprise that costs can be quite steep for travelers. Accommodation rates in Zurich are significantly higher compared to other European cities, with even budget options being relatively expensive. Additionally, dining out in Zurich can also take a toll on your wallet. Restaurants and cafes tend to have higher prices for meals and drinks when compared to other European destinations.

Transportation expenses also contribute to the overall cost of visiting Zurich. The Swiss public transportation system is highly efficient and well-maintained; however, it comes with a price tag that may seem quite hefty for some tourists. Trains and trams can be relatively costly, especially if you plan on moving around frequently within the city or taking day trips to nearby attractions like Lucerne or Bern.

Q: What is the main food in Zurich?

A: One of the most popular dishes in Zurich is Zürcher Geschnetzeltes. This mouthwatering dish consists of sliced veal cooked in a creamy mushroom sauce and served with Rösti, a classic Swiss potato dish. The rich flavors and tender texture of the veal combined with the earthy mushrooms create a delightful combination that represents the essence of Zurich cuisine.

Another beloved food in Zurich is fondue. Fondue typically involves melting cheese (often Gruyère and Emmental) together with white wine and garlic to create a thick, gooey mixture. It is then served with chunks of bread to dip into the melted cheese.

Q: Is Zurich a walkable city?

A: With its well-maintained sidewalks, pedestrian-friendly streets, and an efficient public transportation system, you can easily explore this vibrant city on foot. The compact size of Zurich’s downtown area makes it particularly conducive to walking. Within a short distance, one can encounter numerous historical landmarks such as the iconic Grossmünster church or venture into the lively Bahnhofstrasse shopping district.

Q: Are people friendly in Zurich?

A: Some visitors find the people in Zurich to be reserved and distant, while others have experienced genuine warmth and hospitality. It is important to consider cultural differences and the Swiss approach to social interactions when assessing friendliness in this city.

On one hand, Zurich's residents may seem aloof due to their emphasis on privacy and respect for personal space. Some individuals might interpret this as unfriendliness or coldness, especially if they come from more outgoing cultures where strangers readily engage in conversation. Additionally, Swiss people tend to value punctuality and directness in their interactions. They may not engage in small talk or exchange pleasantries unless there is a specific purpose or topic at hand. This can create an initial impression of reserved behavior that some perceive as unfriendliness.

On the other hand, beneath Zurich's initial reserve lies a strong sense of community and genuine goodwill towards others. While it may take time for locals to warm up to strangers, once a connection is established, friendships are often long-lasting and meaningful.


Book Your Hotel In Zurich

You can book your hotel in Zurich with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like guesthouses, hostels and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Zurich

Use Skyscanner to find your flights to Zurich. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Zurich?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best car rentals in Zurich here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Zurich?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Zurich, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Zurich.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Zurich without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you visit Zurich. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Switzerland:

Be sure to visit our Switzerland Travel Guide for even more travel tips.

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