Excursion tips and sights in and around Zurich
Zurich, the experience metropolis with a view of the snow-capped Alps on the horizon, offers a unique mix of experience, enjoyment, nature and culture. In Zurich you will find everything your heart desires: culinary delights of the finest, shopping paradises with international labels, over 50 museums and more than 100 galleries. Zurich is rich in cultural highlights. Many architectural sights can be explored here. Thanks to its location, Zurich also offers a good starting point for various day trips.
Our HITrental team has collected the best excursion tips and sights in and around Zurich for you. Take a look at our selection and let yourself be inspired by Zurich’s flair.
Day trips in good weather
Lake experiences for young and old: boat trip to Rapperswil
A boat trip on Lake Zurich from Zurich to Rapperswil is an experience for all the senses and for young and old. You will be offered various round trips and ships. You can choose whether you want to make a shorter trip of two hours or a longer one of up to seven hours. Different ships will spoil you with culinary delicacies: For example, you can choose between the Chäs-Fondue (cheese Fondue) or Fondue-Chinoise ship, there is a fire-stone ship and every Sunday there is a brunch ship. All available ships and further information can be found on the website of the Zürichsee Schifffahrtsgesellschaft.
Visit the Atzmännig Park in Goldingen
A visit to the Atzmännig Park in Goldingen promises you a unique leisure experience. The park offers fun and entertainment for the whole family. In addition to a rope park you will also find a toboggan run, a leisure park with a large playground and a petting zoo.
You can easily reach the start of the toboggan run, the Spatz Männi adventure trail, the mountain restaurant and the hiking paradise of Atzmännig by chairlift. All offers and information about the park can be found on the Atzmännig Park website.
On the way to the world’s first revolving cable car: Sattel-Hochstuckli
If the weather is nice and you have some time, we strongly recommend a day trip to the Sattel-Hochstuckli excursion area. The world’s first revolving cable car is located here. the cable car takes you from the valley station to the mountain station in about eight minutes. Up here you can walk over the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Europe. The excursion area also offers a summer toboggan run and an attractive bouncy castle for children.
The Sattel-Hochstuckli region is an excellent starting point for various hikes. We recommend, for example, the Mythen Circuit Trail from Sattel to Rottenflue.
The highest mountain in the Alpstein: Säntis
Säntis is the mighty mountain in Appenzell and at the same time the highest mountain of the Alpstein. An excursion to the Säntis is not only worthwhile because of this, but also because of the beautiful way to get there. It leads you through the beautiful Appenzellerland. If you plan enough time for your excursion, it is worth stopping on the way to Säntis to visit the village Appenzell with its characteristic houses.
With the Säntis cable car you can reach the Säntis summit from the Schwägalp in a few minutes. From here you can enjoy a magnificent view of six different countries: Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and Italy.
Further excursion tips in good weather
- Excursion to Zurich’s local mountain Uetliberg; Planet Trail Uetliberg-Felsenegg
- Visit of the old town of Baden, Aargau
- Visit to the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall
Day trips in case of bad weather
Visit to the National Museum Zurich
The National Museum in Zurich is the most visited museum of cultural history in Switzerland. It shows the history of Switzerland from its beginnings to the present day. In addition, temporary exhibitions offer insights into current topics.
Slide fun and wellness oasis: Alpamare in Pfäffikon
Alpamare is the largest water park in Switzerland. If you are on holiday with the whole family in Zurich and the weather is not so good, we recommend a visit to the Alpamare in Pfäffikon. The Alpamare offers you four different baths and various spectacular slides. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, you can relax in the wellness area.
Visit of the Grosssmünster
The Grossmünster is a Protestant Reformed church and is one of the most famous churches in the city of Zurich. Its characteristic twin towers are the real landmark of Zurich.
Attractions in Zurich
The famous Zurich Niederdorf
The Niederdorf is a part of Zurich’s old town and offers various sights, culinary delights and shopping. This part of the old town is car-free – here you can stroll through the small alleys. During the day, the pedestrian zone invites you to go for a shopping tour. In the evening, the Niederdorf with its various localities turns into an entertainment district for a mixed audience.
Part of the glacial moraine: Lindenhof
The Lindenhof is a Zurich hill range and an oasis in the middle of the city of Zurich. The Lindenhof can look back on an eventful history: in the 9th century, the grandson of Charlemagne, for example, built a royal residence here.
From the Lindenhof district you can enjoy a magnificent view of the old town with Grossmünster, the Limmat, the university and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
One of the trendiest districts: Zurich-West
Zurich-West was once an industrial district, today it is gradually being transformed into an attractive urban district. Halls where ships were once built have been converted into multifunctional buildings with theatre squares, restaurants and cafés and music clubs. Zurich-West captivates with its unpolished charm and is full of contrasts.
Coziness in the middle of the city: Sechseläutenplatz
The Sechseläutenplatz is situated on the edge of Zurich’s old town between Bellevue and Zurich Opera House and is a place for relaxation. Trees, seating and water elements give the square its cosiness. It is a place that combines tradition and modernity. Every year in spring, for example, the traditional Sechseläuten takes place here.
Switzerland’s largest money-handling center: Paradeplatz
The Paradeplatz is the heart of Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse. Major Swiss banks are headquartered here – which is why the Paradeplatz has made a name for itself as Switzerland’s largest money transfer area. There is also a Confiserie Sprüngli store on the Paradeplatz where the famous Luxemburgerli can be bought.
Further attractions in and around Zurich
- Zurich lake promenade
- Freitag Tower
- Ritterhaus Bubikon
- Giacometti Hall
- Chinese garden
- Island Ufenau
- Urania Observatory
- Zurich Town Hall
- Water Church
Annual events in Zurich
Sechseläuten in April
Every year on the third Monday in April, the city on the Limmat transforms into a large, colourful procession of members of all Zurich guilds in historical guild costumes to chase away winter and welcome spring. At 6 p.m. the so-called Böögg, a symbolic snowman, is burned. In the evening, further events invite you to relax and celebrate.
Caliente Festival in July
The Latin Music Festival Caliente always takes place on the first weekend of July. On this weekend, the Kreis 4 is transformed into a zone with a tropical ambience and a fiery atmosphere. Top-class national and international DJs perform non-stop at the Mercado Mundial and present hot South American rhythms. In addition to the spectacular dance shows and concerts, more than 200 market stalls and bars with their tropical drinks, spicy dishes and all kinds of handicrafts from all over the world invite you to spend some time.
Street Parade in August
The Street Parade is the largest techno party in the world and takes place every summer along Lake Zurich. At walking pace, around 30 Love Mobiles with large music systems, DJs and party people drive around Lake Zurich. Along the route there are also seven large stages with top DJs, live acts, multimedia and dance animation. The Street Parade is still a demonstration of love, peace, freedom, generosity and tolerance.
Knabenschiessen in September
Every year on the second weekend in September, the Knabenschiessen takes place in Zurich. It is the oldest folk festival in the city of Zurich with roots dating back to the 17th century. The festival takes place at the Albisgüetli shooting range. The highlight of the three-day autumn festival is a shooting competition for all 13- to 17-year-olds from the Canton of Zurich. In addition to the shooting competition, the fun fair (Chilbi in Swiss German) is an attraction of the festival. It is one of the largest and most attractive fun fairs in Switzerland and attracts many festival visitors every year.
Other annual events
- Werdinsel Openair
- Zurich Festival
- World Class Zurich
- Zurich Film Festival
- Spring Wine Fair Expovina
- IRONMAN Zurich Switzerland
- Live at Sunset
- Züri Fäscht (every three years)
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