You know, settling into the rhythm of Zurich is a joy in itself, filled with charming sights that spark wonder.
But what if we told you there’s more to experience beyond its bustling limits? We get it; we’ve worn those traveler shoes, too, and felt that burning desire for hidden gems sprinkled outside the city boundaries.
That’s how we found ourselves on this delightful mission – handpicking 21-day trips from Zurich that you can’t miss!
Offering everything from eye-popping natural landscapes and postcard-worthy towns to riveting cultural heritage sites, these escapes have repeatedly left us whispering, “Wow! Switzerland really does offer so much more than I ever imagined!”.
Mountains and Natural Landscapes
Explore the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps with day trips to Mount Titlis, Jungfraujoch, Grindelwald, Interlaken, Lucerne, Mount Pilatus, and Rigi. Experience the thrill of standing on Europe’s highest suspension bridge at Mount Titlis or take a scenic train ride to Jungfraujoch – the “Top of Europe”.
Don’t miss exploring the charming mountain villages of Grindelwald and Interlaken or taking a boat ride on Lake Lucerne. For panoramic views and outdoor adventures, visit Mount Pilatus and Rigi.
The mountains and natural landscapes surrounding Zurich offer endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.
1. Mount Titlis
Mount Titlis captivates travelers with its stunning alpine landscapes and thrilling activities. With the highest suspension bridge in Europe, it offers a breathtaking view of snow-capped mountains all year round.
In winter, skiing enthusiasts flock to its popular ski fields for unending fun on the slopes. An exciting ride on the Ice Flyer chairlift whisks you over deep crevasses and frosty ice boulders while delivering panoramic views of Central Switzerland’s icy wilderness.
Our recommendation: Viator Day Trip starting at $209
You can’t miss exploring the glacier cave, gliding down a long snow slide at Glacier Park, or trudging through icy pathways during your day trip from Zurich!
Embrace the thrill of ascending to “The Top of Europe” by taking a day trip from Zurich to Jungfraujoch. Plunging into the heart of the Swiss Alps, you glide through snow-capped peaks on a scenic train ride that sets your spirits soaring.
On reaching this majestic wonderland, don’t forget to visit the Ice Palace – an icy world full of sculpted beauty nestled within a glacier cave. Feast your eyes on panoramic views that seem right out of a storybook and soothe your soul with this unforgettable excursion amidst traditional Swiss houses and picturesque landscapes.
Our recommendation: Viator Day Trip Jungfraujoch and Bernese Oberland
The journey is nothing less than an adventure for mountain lovers!
Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Grindelwald earns praise as a breathtaking day trip from Zurich. The picturesque town captivates with its quaint villages and stunning landscapes.
From snow-capped mountains to traditional Swiss houses, there’s plenty to marvel at on this scenic ride. Skiers regard it as one of their favorite destinations, thanks to the famed peaks that make for an exhilarating adventure.
The journey doesn’t end on the slopes, though, as Grindelwald offers more than just winter sports activities! If you’re not much into skiing or snowboarding, hop onto a cable car for panoramic views that stretch across Central Switzerland.
With options such as hiking, dining on the terrace, and even exploring glacier caves, every traveler finds something to love about Grindelwald.
Interlaken is a picturesque town that should not be missed on your day trip from Zurich. Located between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, this scenic destination offers stunning views of snow-capped mountains and crystal-clear lakes.
You can explore the charming old town with its cobblestone streets and traditional Swiss houses or take a scenic cruise on one of the lakes for panoramic views. For adventure lovers, Interlaken is also known as the gateway to the Swiss Alps, offering hiking, skiing, and paragliding activities.
Don’t forget to visit Harder Kulm viewpoint for breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes. With its natural beauty and thrilling experiences, Interlaken has something for everyone seeking an unforgettable day trip experience in Switzerland.
Lucerne is a picturesque town that should be high on your list of day trips from Zurich. With its charming old town, stunning lake views, and vibrant cultural scene, Lucerne offers a little something for everyone.
Take a leisurely boat ride on Lake Lucerne to soak in the natural beauty of the surroundings or explore the well-preserved old town with its cobblestone streets and covered wooden bridge.
Don’t miss the iconic Lion Monument, which pays tribute to Swiss history and is truly awe-inspiring. Whether you’re interested in history and architecture or simply enjoying the scenic views, a day trip to Lucerne will not disappoint.
6. Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus is a captivating day trip from Zurich that offers stunning panoramic views and thrilling outdoor activities. Located near Lucerne, this majestic mountain can be reached by taking a scenic boat ride across Lake Lucerne and then hopping on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway.
Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of snow-capped peaks and the picturesque Swiss countryside. Adventurous souls can take a walk on Europe’s highest suspension bridge or try their hand at snow sports in winter.
With its pristine natural beauty and exhilarating experiences, Mount Pilatus is truly a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
If you’re looking for breathtaking panoramic views, a day trip to Rigi is a must. Located in central Switzerland, Rigi is known as the “Queen of the Mountains” and offers stunning vistas of snow-capped peaks, picturesque lakes, and charming villages.
You can reach the summit by taking a scenic train ride or hiking up one of the many well-marked trails. Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views stretching to Germany and France on clear days.
Don’t forget to explore the various viewpoints and take in the fresh mountain air before heading back down. It’s truly an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
Rigi is not only about stunning views but also offers plenty of outdoor activities. During winter months, it transforms into a winter wonderland with opportunities for snowshoeing, sledding, and even skiing on some slopes.
In summer, you can enjoy hiking through lush meadows filled with wildflowers or take a leisurely stroll around Lake Lucerne at its base. For those seeking relaxation after their adventures, there are wellness options available, including spas offering therapeutic treatments using locally sourced ingredients like alpine herbs and minerals found in nearby natural springs.
Historic Towns and Cities
Basel, Fribourg, Gruyere, St. Gallen, and Appenzell all offer a fascinating glimpse into Switzerland’s rich history, with well-preserved old towns and charming architecture that will transport you back in time.
Don’t miss the chance to explore these captivating destinations! Read more to uncover the hidden gems within each city and immerse yourself in medieval Switzerland.
Basel is a historic town on the Rhine River and one of Switzerland’s best-preserved medieval towns. It is known for its charming old town with cobblestone streets, picturesque squares, and beautiful half-timbered houses.
A visit to Basel offers a glimpse into the rich history of Medieval Switzerland, where you can explore its well-preserved architecture, including the famous Basel Minster and the 14th-century Rathaus (Town Hall).
The city also boasts a vibrant cultural scene with numerous museums and galleries, such as the Kunst Museum Basel and Fondation Beyeler. With its central location in Europe and direct train connections, Basel makes for an ideal day trip destination from Zurich for history enthusiasts and culture lovers alike.
Fribourg is a historic town in central Switzerland that is worth a day trip from Zurich. Known for its well-preserved old town and charming cobblestone streets, Fribourg offers visitors a glimpse into medieval Switzerland.
Take a stroll through the city center and admire the picturesque architecture, including the famous covered wooden bridge. Don’t miss the stunning views from the terrace overlooking River Aare, or explore the street front arcades with their colorful frescoes.
With its rich history and scenic beauty, Fribourg is sure to captivate any traveler seeking an authentic Swiss experience.
Gruyere, a picturesque small town in Switzerland, is a must-visit day trip destination from Zurich. Known for its famous cheese, Gruyere offers visitors a chance to explore its well-preserved old town and indulge in delicious Swiss cuisine.
As you wander through the cobblestone streets, you’ll come across charming medieval buildings and the impressive Hohenklingen Castle, with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Don’t forget to visit the Gruyere Cheese Factory to learn about the traditional production process and sample some authentic Swiss cheese. With its rich history and culinary delights, Gruyere promises an unforgettable experience for food lovers and history enthusiasts alike.
11. St. Gallen
St. Gallen is a historic town in Eastern Switzerland that is well worth exploring on a quick trip from Zurich. One of the highlights of this charming old town is the Abbey District, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Here, you can visit the Abbey Library, one of the world’s oldest and most beautiful libraries, with its stunning collection of ancient manuscripts.
Another must-see attraction in St. Gallen is the Abbey Cathedral, known for its beautifully preserved medieval architecture and intricate interior decor. Take a stroll along Multergasse, a picturesque street lined with colorful frescoes and traditional Swiss houses that will transport you back to the Middle Ages.
If you’re interested in history and culture, don’t miss out on visiting the Textile Museum, where you can learn about St. Gallen’s rich textile industry heritage. And if you’re looking for some retail therapy, take your time exploring Marktplatz (Market Square), where local artisans sell their handmade crafts and goods.
Appenzell is an idyllic town nestled in the Eastern Swiss Alps, offering a delightful short trip from Zurich. Known for its picturesque landscapes and well-preserved old town, Appenzell immerses visitors in traditional Swiss charm.
Explore the cobblestone streets and admire the charming half-timbered houses that line them. Don’t miss out on visiting St. Gallen Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning architecture and panoramic views of the surrounding area.
With its rich history and scenic beauty, Appenzell is a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic Swiss experience.
Cultural and Historical Excursions
Discover the rich history and vibrant culture of Switzerland with these day trips from Zurich. From the charming medieval town of Bern to the artistic haven of Winterthur, each excursion promises a unique experience that will transport you back in time.
So grab your camera and join us on this journey through Switzerland’s cultural heritage!
When visiting Zurich, a quick trip to Bern is an absolute must. As the capital of Switzerland, Bern offers a rich cultural and historical experience for travelers. Explore the well-preserved old town and marvel at its medieval architecture, including the famous clock tower with its astronomical clock.
Take a stroll along cobblestone streets lined with charming shops and cafes, or visit the impressive Bear Park, home to Bern’s beloved symbol – the bears. Don’t forget to take in panoramic views of the city from Rosengarten, where you can relax in beautiful rose gardens.
With its UNESCO World Heritage status and unique charm, Bern will transport you back in time while still offering modern delights.
Winterthur, located just a short distance from Zurich, is a hidden gem that offers a blend of cultural and historical attractions. This charming town is known for its well-preserved old town with cobblestone streets and traditional Swiss houses.
You can explore the city center, where you’ll find street-front arcades filled with local artisans and boutiques. Don’t miss a visit to the Winterthur Museum of Art, which features an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art by famous artists.
For nature enthusiasts, Winterthur also boasts beautiful rose gardens and scenic parks where you can relax and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. With its rich history and picturesque setting, Winterthur is definitely worth adding to your list of day trips from Zurich.
Schaffhausen is a charming town located in northern Switzerland, making it a perfect day trip destination from Zurich. It is most famous for its stunning Rhine Falls, which is the largest waterfall in Europe and definitely worth seeing.
As you explore Schaffhausen’s well-preserved old town, you’ll come across cobblestone streets lined with beautiful half-timbered houses, giving you a glimpse into medieval Switzerland.
Don’t forget to visit Hohenklingen Castle for panoramic views of the surrounding area. The city also boasts an impressive collection of art at the Museum zu Allerheiligen, showcasing works by famous artists from different periods.
Outdoor Adventures and Waterfalls
16. Rhine Falls
The Rhine Falls, also known as the Rheinfall, is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Located near Schaffhausen in Switzerland, it holds the title of being the largest waterfall in Europe.
The sheer power and beauty of the falls are awe-inspiring, with water cascading down an impressive drop. Visitors can get up close to the falls by taking a boat ride that takes them right into the basin, allowing for an immersive experience.
The surrounding area offers stunning views and walking paths where visitors can explore and appreciate the natural beauty of this remarkable attraction. Don’t forget your camera – you’ll want to capture this incredible sight!
Rapperswil-Jona is a charming town located on the shores of Lake Zurich, making it an ideal day trip destination from Zurich. With its picturesque setting and rich history, there’s plenty to explore in this vibrant town.
Stroll along the old town’s cobblestone streets, where you’ll find well-preserved medieval buildings and quaint squares. Don’t miss a visit to Rapperswil Castle, which towers over the town and offers panoramic views of Lake Zurich.
For art enthusiasts, the former monastery turned cultural center boasts exhibitions by famous artists. Nature lovers can enjoy a leisurely walk along the lake promenade or relax in one of the beautiful rose gardens.
Fun for Kids
For families traveling with kids, there are plenty of exciting options for day trips from Zurich that will keep the little ones entertained.
18. Klangweg Toggenburg Tone Trail
Toggenburg Tone Trail is a unique and interactive trip that offers a fun-filled experience for both kids and adults. On this trail, you can explore the beautiful Toggenburg region while enjoying musical instruments placed along the way. Here is what you can expect on the Toggenburg Tone Trail:
- Play Your Way: Along the trail, you will come across various instruments like xylophones, drums, and metallophones. Feel free to unleash your inner musician and create your own melodies as you walk.
- Scenic Surroundings: The Toggenburg region is known for its picturesque landscapes and breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains. As you make your way through the trail, take in the beauty of the surrounding nature.
- Family-Friendly Fun: The Toggenburg Tone Trail is designed to be enjoyed by the whole family. Children will have a blast exploring the different instruments and creating their own tunes.
- Cultural Experience: You can enjoy music but also provides an opportunity to learn about Swiss culture. Discover traditional Swiss music and immerse yourself in the local heritage.
- Hiking Adventure: The Toggenburg Tone Trail combines music with outdoor activities. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a scenic hike while discovering new sounds at every turn.
- Relaxing Atmosphere: The calm and peaceful atmosphere of the trail makes it an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take a moment to unwind, breathe in fresh mountain air, and enjoy the soothing sounds around you.
19. Pizol Heidi Trail
The Pizol Heidi Trail is a fantastic option from Zurich. It offers a combination of scenic beauty and outdoor adventure for travelers to enjoy.
Here’s what you can expect:
- A picturesque hike through the Swiss Alps
- Stunning views of snow-capped mountains and lush green valleys
- The opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Heidi, the famous literary character
- Charming alpine villages along the way, with traditional Swiss houses and cobblestone streets
- A chance to visit the Pizol Glacier Park, where you can slide down snow slides and explore ice caves
- Panoramic views from the top of Pizol Mountain offer a breathtaking perspective of the surrounding landscape.
20. Riesenwald, aka “Giants Forest”
Explore the Elm Theme Trail, an exciting adventure for outdoor enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the stunning natural surroundings as you traverse this unique trail. Feel the adrenaline rush as you navigate the mountain on a thrilling mountain scooter ride.
Marvel at the picturesque landscapes and enjoy the exhilarating experience of speeding down the slopes. Take in the beauty of Elm and create unforgettable memories on this fun-filled day.
21. Flumserberg Alpine Coasters & Climbing Park
Flumserberg Alpine Coasters & Climbing Park is an exciting trip option for adventure lovers. It offers a range of thrilling activities amidst the stunning Swiss Alps. Here’s what you can experience at Flumserberg:
- Alpine Coasters: Get your adrenaline pumping on the alpine coasters, which are toboggan-like carts that race down tracks. Enjoy breathtaking views as you speed through twists and turns.
- Climbing Park: Challenge yourself on the climbing park’s high ropes courses. Test your agility and strength as you navigate obstacles and zip lines suspended among the trees.
- Hiking Trails: Explore the picturesque mountain scenery by going on one of the many hiking trails in Flumserberg. Take in panoramic views, breathe in fresh air, and immerse yourself in nature.
- Mountain Biking: Grab a mountain bike and hit the trails at Flumserberg. Feel the thrill of downhill rides or enjoy a leisurely ride while taking in the beautiful surroundings.
- Paragliding: For those seeking an adrenaline rush from above, try paragliding at Flumserberg. Soar through the sky and witness breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys below.
Discover the wonders that await just a short distance from Zurich. Immerse yourself in stunning mountain landscapes like Mount Titlis and Jungfraujoch, explore historic towns like Basel and Gruyere, and indulge in outdoor adventures at Rhine Falls and Rapperswil-Jona.
With a variety of day trips to choose from, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant region of Switzerland. So pack your bags and get ready for unforgettable experiences just outside the bustling city of Zurich.
1. What are some popular Zurich day trips?
Popular Zurich day trips include a visit to the Natural History Museum, Glacier Park snow slide, Medieval Castle in the small town, or a city tour around the main street of Zurich city center. Additionally, popular Zurich day trips include visiting Lucerne, taking a scenic train ride to the Jungfraujoch for stunning alpine views, and discovering the picturesque town of Interlaken, or a visit to the historic city of Bern.
2. Are there any famous peaks I can visit from Zurich?
Yes, you can take a trip to Three Famous Peaks: Mettenberg, Hinter Tierberg, and Dammastock, which is among popular tourist attractions.
3. Can I enjoy winter sports during my day tours from Zurich?
Certainly! There are many ski resorts available for an entire trip near Central Europe’s mightiest falls in Rhine Falls basin and Titlis Cliff Walk for adventure seekers.
4. Is there any historical site that I should not miss on my day trip from Zurich?
Absolutely! You should definitely visit George’s Abbey, constructed in Moorish Gothic style, and the Lion Memorial to enrich your knowledge about Swiss history.