If you happen to be spending a day in the financial capital city of breathtaking Switzerland, there’s a lot more you can do in the city than you thought you could. Don’t believe me? Here’s my 1 day in Zurich travel itinerary to prove my point.
First of all, Zurich has a lot to do. Lakes, museums, hiking trails, churches, and a lot more. It appeals to travelers seeking nature, culture, and the taste of Swiss life. However, at the same time, it is objectively expensive and thus spending more days in the city than absolutely needed may not be for everyone. So whether you are a business traveler with an extra day, a long commute traveler with a lucky layover, or a budget traveler with a knack for more, this itinerary is for you.
Let’s answer a few fundamental questions first:
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit is summer- between June and August where the temperature is between 15 and 25 degrees celsius. You can even go swimming in the lake (dedicated areas) during this time. However, any other time is just as pleasant in this chilly but ever so quiet and lovely city.
How to get around?
Zurich has a great public transport network and the city is super walkable, too. I recommend taking the 1-day pass to go around on the tram and walk in the city center and around the lake shores to save time.
1 day in Zurich:
09:00: Local Breakfast
Dine at one of the many local cafes in the city for a fulfilling breakfast. Be sure to try some local chocolates and dishes before you gear up for an exciting day. Zurich has many great options for vegetarians (like me), too.
10:00: Pick a Museum
First, stop at one of the many museums in the city. My top three picks are:
Fifa Museum: For football lovers
Museum Rietberg: Fineart museum with great city skyline views
Swiss National Museum: See all of Switzerland’s rich history in one place in this picturesque building
12:30: Lake of Zurich
Head to the most celebrated landmark of the city- the Lake of Zurich. Walk around its shores or take a dip (in summer) in this clean, beautiful lake. For lively crowds and even some local music, the left-hand promenade is the way to go. For a more peaceful and green-filled walk along the lake, head right where you will eventually come to a park filled with locals.
13:30: Relaxing Lunch with a view
Take a relaxing lunch with a view in one of the restaurants with the Lakeview or in the parks around the lake. Just spend your time taking in the beauty and appreciating the serenity as you enjoy an unforgettable meal.
15:00: Walk around the Old Town
Like in many other European cities, the old town of Zurich has not changed much in centuries. It spans along the Limmat River that runs right through the heart of Zurich. You can spend hours in the streets finding shops and cafes, or just soaking up the atmosphere. The Niederdorfstrasse (heart of old town) is definitely a place to start from and below are a few stops to be made when walking around here:
Church of St. Peter
17:30: Climb atop Lindenhof
A part of the Old Town, the Lindenhof is a moraine hill and a public garden located in the historic center of the Swiss city of Zurich. You have one of the most iconic views of the city from the top of this hill. I recommend enjoying the view here and staying till the sunset to breathe it all in.
19:00: Swiss Cheese Indulgence
There are many fondue places in Zurich. I mean, there’s even a Fondue Tram dedicated to this experience. So, either take that or head out to a local Fondue place to experience something so local.
20:00: Dinner, followed by drinks at a local pub
Get a comfortable dinner in one of the places in the inner city and then head to a local bar for some drinks. Honestly, the fondue meal can be quite filling so you can skip the dinner or move on to the next step.
22:00: Go Partying
Dance the Night out at one of the many high-end clubs of the city. Yes, it may be unexpected but Zurich has a great nightlife. Be sure to pre-booze as the clubs and thus the drinks may be expensive. Reach before midnight to get cheaper entries, too.
Choose any one of the following places:
What should I definitely do if I have an extra day?
Visit Uetliberg Mountain
This is definitely a no brainer for me as this was a choice of the locals no matter who I asked in the city. Situated right at the edge of Zurich, Uetliberg is covered in preserved forests with functional hiking trails. It has a viewpoint at the top and a restaurant, too. It promises views along the Zurich lake all the way to the distant chain of Alps.
Take the public transport till “Triemli” then walk up or you can take a train most of the way to the top, then walk the last 15 minutes or so. In winter, this path also becomes a local hangout for sledding.
What I wore?
In the spirit of this being travel in style blog, let me also share my outfit with you. I wore a Belted Satin Dress With Bow from the premium line of my partner site Shein over a turtleneck jumper with boots, an oversized faux leather jacket and Fabric Headband under my woolen cap in the dead of December. I didn’t see many people in dresses there because of the cold in my 1 day in Zurich but I definitely felt pretty & chic.
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And that’s all from my itinerary of 1 day in Zurich. If you have any other suggestions or picks, do leave them in the comments below.
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For more of my travel in style adventures, keep following ERTSY. Till then, keep experimenting & stay stylish!