Credit

Courtesy of bluejayphoto/iStock / Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Zurich

Zurich boasts of Dadaism, more than 100 art galleries, several renowned museums (like the Museum of Art and the Swiss National Museum) and world-famous architecture, both old and new. But for those who aren't art enthusiasts, Zurich also offers a number of active pursuits that range from swimming in clean Lake Zurich (in the warm months) to hiking on nearby Uetliberg Mountain. For a more relaxed pace, there's Lindenhof. Local historic treasures include the Minster of Our Lady, Old Town and the Great Minster. And a visit to Zurich wouldn't be complete without checking out the haute-couture shopping along Bahnhofstrasse and the variety of animals housed at Zoo Zurich.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated March 12, 2018

  • #1
    Lake Zurich (Zurichsee)
    View all Photos
    #1 in Zurich
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Backing lower Lake Zurich is a tangle of parks and gardens, collectively known as the lake promenade, that make for a picturesque place to spend an afternoon. And in warm weather, the lake is peppered with boats, while the banks are filled with picnickers and sunbathers. If you're a jogger, the area is also one of Zurchers' favorite places to pound the ground.

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Uetliberg Mountain
    View all Photos
    #2 in Zurich
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Standing an impressive 2,858 feet above sea level, Uetliberg Mountain offers some of the best views of Zurich and the surrounding Alps. Once at the top, travelers will find multiple trails for hiking, biking and sledding. Paragliding at the mountain's peak is another popular pastime here.

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Old Town (Altstadt)
    View all Photos
    #3 in Zurich
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Zurich's Old Town is the historic part of town – and by historic, we mean medieval. Winding cobblestone alleys run alongside quintessential Zurich attractions like the Great Minster. You'll also find several acclaimed museums – such as the Swiss National Museum and the Museum of Art – and hotels in and around the district.

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Bahnhofstrasse
    View all Photos
    #4 in Zurich
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    One of Zurich's must-dos is a stroll along the sleek storefronts of Bahnhofstrasse. Stretching across Old Town from Hauptbahnhof station to Lake Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse features a variety of high-end shops, including Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Chanel and Giorgio Armani. Swiss shops like the dessert-focused Confiserie Sprungli and the jewelry-centric Gubelin AG can also be found here.

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Museum of Art (Kunsthaus Zurich)
    View all Photos
    #5 in Zurich
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    With its assortment of works, some say the Museum of Art, or the Kunsthaus Zurich as it's called in German, is one of – if not the – best museums in the city. Among an interesting collection of Swiss artists, the museum also hangs works by Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall and Claude Monet.

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Lindenhof
    View all Photos
    #6 in Zurich
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Whether you want to play a game of chess, relax after exploring Bahnhofstrasse or take in some superb views of Old Town, the Great Minster and the Limmat River, odds are you'll appreciate Lindenhof. What was once the location of a fourth-century fort is now an elevated park with Linden trees, benches and giant chess sets.

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Swiss National Museum (Landesmuseum Zurich)
    View all Photos
    #7 in Zurich
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Swiss National Museum resides within a historic, castle-like building in the northern tip of Kreis 1. The museum surveys Swiss art, history and culture from as far back as the fourth century B.C. Exhibits cover everything from medieval and religious frescoes to weapons and Swiss furniture. There are also several ornate rooms to explore during your visit.

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Great Minster (Grossmunster)
    View all Photos
    #8 in Zurich
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located in Kreis 1 in the Old Town, the Great Minster church was the starting place of the Protestant Reformation in Zurich. Preacher Huldrych Zwingli initiated the movement from this austere church's pulpit. But the history of the Grossmunster goes back even further. According to local legend, Charlemagne is said to have founded this magnificent church, which is believed to sit atop the graves of the city's patron saints of Felix and Regula.

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    Zoo Zurich
    View all Photos
    #9 in Zurich
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Nestled within Kreis 7 is Zoo Zurich, where more than 380 animal species from all over the world reside. The zoo features several areas, including an elephant park, a petting zoo and a miniature rainforest.

    ...Read More »
  • #10
    Minster of Our Lady (Fraumunster)
    View all Photos
    #10 in Zurich
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Known to Zurchers as the Fraumunster, the Minster of Our Lady church is popular to visit thanks to its graceful spire (which tops Zurich's skyline) and its Marc Chagall stained-glass windows. The church was founded in the ninth century by Emperor Ludwig, Charlemagne's grandson, though the property's iconic spire wasn't added until 1732. And in 1970, Chagall's famous stained-glass windows were added.

    ...Read More »
  • FIFA World Football Museum
    View all Photos
    Museums, Sports
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sports
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • MyKugelhopf Sweet Zurich Tour
    View all Photos
    Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you have a sweet tooth, then no visit to Zurich would be complete without sampling some world-renowned Swiss chocolate during a Sweet Zurich Tour. This MyKugelhopf excursion takes participants on a two-and-a-half-hour journey around the city to check out a variety of specialty shops. Some of the items you may try include chocolate-dipped hazelnuts, hot chocolate and, of course, truffles and chocolate bars.

    ...Read More »
  • Toptrek Zurich Bike Tours
    View all Photos
    Recreation, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

Explore More of Zurich

Recommended

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019

15 Epic Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy Across America

Plan an unforgettable trip in your own backyard or on the opposite coast.

Will WalkeyMarch 12, 2019

The 30 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Explore the globe in search of these intriguing historic sights.

Gwen PratesiMarch 11, 2019

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2019

U.S. News ranked 3,877 top properties for 2019. Check out the 50 best.

Zach WatsonFebruary 5, 2019

30 Hot New Hotels to Check Out in 2019

See which new properties offer surprising and fun features.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 5, 2019

10 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the USA

Go all-in for these luxe resorts flush with amenities.

Will WalkeyFebruary 5, 2019

The Caribbean Comeback: 12 New and Renovated Caribbean Hotels to Visit

These island properties are sure to impress travelers.

Erin ShieldsFebruary 5, 2019

17 Amazing Kid-Friendly Hotels

Discover which properties offer ample amenities for children.

Christine SmithFebruary 5, 2019