Day 1: Art and the Old Town
Zurich is home to a number of museums, of which the Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum), the biggest in Switzerland, is by far the most visited, with a permanent exhibition on the History of Switzerland and a beautiful park out the back. Art lovers should head to the Kunsthaus gallery to marvel at works by modern Swiss sculpturer Giacometti and works by Monet, Fuseli and Dada, followed by the Rietberg Museum, with its impressive collection of Asian arts.
Admire the gothic Fraumunster church and the Romanesque Grossmunster medieval church, two of the city’s most important landmarks, as you stroll across the river and clamber the Grossmünster tower for a great lookout over the city.
Spend the afternoon wandering around the Niederdorf district in the old town, where the pedestrianized streets are chock-full of antique bookstores, hip clothing boutiques and art stores, and you can appreciate the area’s rich architecture from the comfort of a café. If you’ve still got some energy, make the climb up the Uteliberg hill (or hop on the funicular railway) and enjoy the panoramic view from the observation tower as the sun sets over the city and the distant Alps.
Day 2: Relax by day, party by night
One of Zurich’s biggest attractions is its vast lake, and the best way to experience it is by taking a boat trip, many of which head up the river and afford some great views of the riverside sights. If the cool, still waters don’t pack enough of a punch, it’s an easy 45-minute train ride to the Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe and a pleasant location for a picnic lunch.
Tonight’s the night to hit the town, but before you do, tuck into local specialty Zürigschnätzlets, veal in a cream and wine sauce, and order a side-dish of fondue (melted cheese) to complete the experience. With proportionally the highest concentration of clubs in Europe, night owls are spoilt for choice in Zurich. The bohemian-chic Café Odeon is the location de jour for the young and hip, or the oriental-themed Club Inochine is a popular choice. If glitz and glamour is what you’re after, you won’t go far wrong at the lavish Kaufleuten.
Day 3: Shopping in the city
Zurich’s main shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse, is renowned throughout Europe, and it would be rude to leave the city without indulging in at least some window-shopping (which, unless you’re feeling flush, is probably all you’ll be able to afford here). Luxury designer boutiques line the streets, flanked by the city’s two major department stores, Globus and Jelmoli where the exquisite window displays are like fashion-forward installation art.
Alternatively, head to the Viadukt for some more affordable shopping, including the large indoor Market Hall, home to a varied farmer’s market, where you can sample and stock up on an array of tasty local produce.
If you’re in the market for souvenirs, it’s likely that Swiss chocolates will be at the top of your list and this is one time that you should definitely try before you buy! The Sprungli Café is the city’s most famous chocolate joint, where you can sample all sorts of chocolate concoctions, as well as Zurich’s trademark Luxemburgeli, a local macaroon-esque sweet. If you fancy getting a bit more acquainted with the brown stuff, Chocolate Frey offers factory tours where you can discover the ‘bean to bar’ process, or else the Lindt factory store offers some good bulk bargains, although they have sadly stopped running their tours.
Great tour. Enjoyed the day very much.
It was all we expected and more!!
The bus was super comfy and very clean. The only thing disappointing was that we couldn't go on the train, because of the weather on that day. But the guide made that up by taking us on the cable car ride up to the top of the mountains. It was magical, and the views we saw from there was super amazing, and looked like a post card everywhere we went. No words to express how fantastic the view was..
The guide was very helpful and funny. He made the trip exciting, and explained everything very well. Will definitely visit again, if the chance arises.
Weather was perfect and views were awesome.
Find Recommendations by Type
- Cultural Experience
- Good for Kids
- Good Place to Eat
- Good Place to Shop
- Holiday Activity
- Live Music
- Monument - Historical
- Nature & Wildlife
- Off-the-Beaten Path
- Photo ID required
- Pop Culture
- Shopping / Entertainment Center
- Sunrise / Sunset
- Tip - Family Travel
- Tip - Transport
- Town / City