Zurich is my place to go whenever I visit Switzerland. As Switzerland´s biggest city, I always appreciate the vibrant atmosphere after spending some time in the stunning Swiss Alps. So, Zurich feels like my Swiss home and I normally spend about 2 days in Zurich before heading to other places again.

And if you are planning your Zurich itinerary and wondering about the best places to visit in Zurich in 2 days, then this post is perfect. Find out how to create the perfect itinerary for Zurich with tips on the best things to do + travel tips for your trip.

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At the end of the post, you will also find some general tips for your 2-day Zurich trip, but let´s start with the best activities.


If you start your day early, you can easily see all my suggestions and even do a bit more on day 1. If you arrive during the day, then the itinerary for day 1 is perfect anyway because it is not too packed.

Stroll Bahnhofsplatz – Bahnhofstrasse

  • Free thing to do in Zurich

Forget Dubai or any other place. When it comes to luxury, Zurich is the place to visit! Why? Though it doesn’t look overly fancy, Zurich’s main shopping street, the 1.4 kilometers (0.87 miles) long Bahnhofstrasse, is actually one of the most expensive retail properties in the world.  

Zurich points of interest - places to visit in Zurich - the Bahnhofsstrasse

I love this street not because it is extremely expensive but because it is – by Swiss standards – a rather busy shopping street with many cafes and restaurants – including the famous Sprüngli cafe, luxury shops, and some more affordable stores.  This makes Zürich’s main downtown street a perfect place for shopping addicts. Though I rarely shop when I am in Zurich, I still always stroll down the streets because it is still worth it.

I would not say it is a spectacular place yet it is a nice attraction – especially if you start at the central train station and go towards Lake Zurich.  When you walk towards Lake Zurich, stay on your left side and make a short stop at Lindenhof Hill first.

Head up Lindenhof Hill

  • Free Zurich activity

From Bahnhofstrasse head to Lindenhof Hill. 

One place I also always stop by is Lindenhof Hill which is located in the old town. I soak up lovely views and marvel at iconic landmarks such as Grossmünster Church, City Hall, and more – but that’s not all! If you’re interested in history, Lindenhof was also where the Helvetic Constitution oath was taken back in 1798.

And nowadays? It’s a popular place amongst locals and visitors for taking some time out from their day whilst enjoying an ad-hoc game (or two) of chess with locals or new friends.

Zurich @shutterstock

When I visit during lunchtime, I often encounter locals who have their lunch break at Lindenhof Hill. They bring their own snacks or grab some takeaway food and enjoy their lunch here on nice days. Maybe you want to do as the locals do?

No 2-day Zurich itinerary would be perfect without getting up here!  

  • It is a short 3-minute uphill “hike“. The walk up is not difficult but there are cobbled-stoned streets, so wear comfy shoes.

Then explore the rest of the historic city center in Zurich.

Explore Zurich Old Town

  • Another free activity to do in Zurich

Just walk down Lindenhof Hill and you are in the old town. Located between Lake Zurich, the train station, and the main shopping street (Bahnhofstraße) it is a great place to discover before arriving at Lake Zurich.

It has cobbled streets, and there are many cafes and restaurants, which makes it a great place to walk around aimlessly. 

Old town in Zurich in winter, Switzerland

Though it’s probably not the most beautiful old town in Switzerland, it is still colorful with charming houses. Especially the small boutique shops are intriguing and I often check out some of the shops, while also admiring the pretty historic and colorful buildings.

LUNCH: My tip is to have lunch here, given the number of restaurants (you will find all kinds of cuisines here, even vegan ones). Also, the restaurants often have outdoor- and indoor seating so it is perfect for any type of weather. Alternatively, buy some snacks from a small supermarket at the train station or the Bahnhofstrasse and have them at Lindenhof Hill.

Visit Grossmünster Church and Fraumunster Church

  • Grossmünster Church is free to visit – but for the tower, there is a CHF5 entrance fee. 
  • Fraumunster Church charges for entrance fee (5 CHF) for tourists but is free for people who pray.

There are several attractions in the city center of Zurich (just next to the old town), and two famous sights are churches.

Solo female travel girl in Zurich in 2 days with Grossmünster in background
Legend says that Grossmünster Church was built on the graves of the city’s patron saints, Felix and Regula. So, whether you look at it from afar or visit during the opening hours.

Close to the Grossmünster – also located on the Limmat river but on the other side – is the Fraumunster Church. With its green steeple, it is one of the most distinctive sights in Zurich. 

It is also very well known because of five stained-glass windows prepared by Marc Chagall in the 1960s and for the rosette in the south transept. “The Heavenly Paradise” (1945) by Augusto Giacometti, a stained-glass window, is another sight inside the church in the north transept. 

Realx at Limmatquai Promenade

The Limmat River commences at the outfall of Lake Zurich, in the southern part of the city of Zurich. You will come across Limmatquai when you visit the churches mentioned above.

Limmat river in Zurich with swans, one of the best places to visit in 2 days in Zurich

Here, like in the old town are many boutique hotels and There are also some small (boutique) shops which are quite charming and also more restaurants and cafes. The Limmatquai Promenade is also one of the best places to have dinner. Often, the restaurants come with nice views of the river, so try to grab an outdoor seat.

End the Day at Polyterrasse For Sunset

For nice sunset views, visit the Polyterrasse. It is a terrace at the ETH University with a gorgeous over Zurich.

Get up via the Polybahn (a small funicular) which takes, from Limmatquai 144 (in central Zurich), just two minutes to the top. Or you can also walk up. 

Polyterassen in Zurich, during autumn time

I often come here for an hour or two though it has been a while since I was a student. I appreciate the views, especially in the summer and fall months.

Extra: Lindt Home of Chocolate

If you are a chocolate fan like me, this activity might take your fancy – visiting Lindt Home of Chocolate. The Lindt Home of Chocolate is calling all global gourmands to the picturesque Kilchberg by Lake Zurich.

Lindt Museum near Zurich a must see

Get up close and personal with cocoa cultivation; learn about the fascinating history of this heavenly treat, as well as sample Swiss chocolates. Plus – gain insights into modern production tech at an awe-inspiring show factory!

After all the info (and some chocolate tasting), I had a coffee at the Lindt café, where you can also have waffles and chocolate concoctions while taking in the view of an impressive 9-meter (30 feet) tall fountain overflowing with liquid, velvety smooth chocolate! Check out tours and ticket prices here.

Extra: Swiss National Museum in Zurich

The Swiss National Museum in Zurich is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts – especially those who want to find out more about the history of Switzerland.

Swiss National Museum in Zurich

Located in a stunning castle-like building near the train station of Zurich, the museum showcases the rich cultural heritage of Switzerland. The moment I stepped in, I was greeted with a fascinating array of exhibits that span over 1,000 years of Swiss history.

Here are also various permanent collections, including artifacts from different regions of Switzerland – from medieval art and weaponry to traditional costumes and crafts.

The museum hosts temporary exhibitions that delve into specific aspects of Swiss history and culture. 

You can also participate in guided tours, and workshops, or attend special events organized by the museum. I did not join a guided tour but learned via an audio guide and info boards.


After the first, quite chill day, it is time for day 2 in Zurich. However, of course, feel free to swap the days – especially if day 2 in Zurich is not a full day and day 1 in Zurich is.

Get up Uetliberg

  • Free thing to do
  • If you get up by train, you will need a train ticket. The train ride is, however, also included in the Swiss Travel Pass or the Zurich Card

Though Zurich is not directly surrounded by the Swiss Alps, it is a good place to do a mountain excursion. Uetliberg is the “house mountain” in Zurich and part of the Albis chain, rising to 870 meters above sea level (2,850 feet) and towering around 450 meters over the city.

I enjoy some easy hiking and appreciate great views, so I love the Uetliberg (Uetli Mountain) – especially on sunny and clear days.

Uetliberg view in fall

Btw: if you are looking for my great mountain views in Switzerland (that come without any hiking), click here. It is easily accessible via train – from the train station, it is just a few more minutes (uphill) walk.

At the top, you will find a restaurant and great views of Lake Zurich and the city with the mountains in the background. 

However, there is an extra platform from where I enjoyed some even better views. It is a few extra stairs but the views are even better from the very top. They charge CHF 2 for the platform. TIP: Walk the first few steps for free and then have to pay if you want to get to the very top. 

I normally just come here for a few hours, but you could spend a full day here. However, with only 2 days in Zurich, I suggest only planning a few hours (3-5 hours) there and using the train for getting up and down.

  • If you want to hike up and down and enjoy a picnic at Uetliberg, you need more time.

Chill at Lake Zurich / BuerkliPlatz

  • Free activity 

After spending time in the mountains, I often go back to Lake Zurich (by train/tram). It is time to explore the area around Lake Zurich today. 

Bürkliplatz in Zurich, places to visit in Zurich Switzerland
Ganymede Statue at Bürkliplatz in Zurich in 2 days

Buerkliplatz is a little square on the northern shores of Lake Zurich. This is how I define “the starting point of Lake Zurich.” I do not think it is something official, but so that you know, “Rapperswil” (the southern shores) is my defining end of Lake Zurich. 

Something you should know about me: I am all about lakes (and views), which is why I adore Switzerland. I am a Lake Chaser. There are stunning lakes everywhere in Switzerland. Lake Zurich might not be the most stunning lake compared to all the other lakes like Lake Brienz or Lake Oeschinen. However, it is definitely a lovely lake.

You might have seen Lake Zurich on day 1 already as it just is at the end of Bahnhofstrasse and near the old town, but now you are going to spend some quality time here.

  • At Buerkliplatz, you have boats and beautiful views of the lake and the scenery.
  • Close to the Bürkliplatz is also the (a) boat station. More on that later, so this is most likely the place where you will start a Lake Zurich boat cruise – if you have one planned.

Swim in Lake Zurich

  • Swimming in Lake Zurich is free

On a warm day, swimming in Lake Zurich is a must-do activity.  The lakes in Switzerland are pretty clean, and it was in Switzerland where, for the first time as an adult, I voluntarily hopped into the lake water.

Zurich what to do - end your day at the lake

One of the best places to swim in Zurich is close to the Rentenanstalt. If you are at Bürkliplatz looking at the lake and the Ganymede Statue, take your right side and pass the boat station. Walk a few hundred meters and you will get to the Rentenanstalt. You could also take the tram from Bürkliplatz for one stop.

There is plenty of greenery and space – bring a towel and your bathing suit. You get to enjoy a wonderful day at the lake.

There are some kiosks selling snacks and drinks. Swimming in Lake Zurich or at least chilling here on a warm and sunny day feels like a beach vacation!

TIP: Bring a water bottle and refill it at the water fountain near Bürkliplatz. Water from the kiosks is expensive!

Places Around Lake Zurich

  • With the Swiss Travel Pass you can do all of these boat tours for free (you might have to pay a surcharge of 5CHF).

Of course, I have to mention doing a boat tour of Lake Zurich (Zürichsee in German). Lake Zurich itself is one of the biggest lakes in the country – this almost banana-shaped lake is bordered by the cantons of Zurich, St.Gallen, and Schwyz. At the western end lies Zurich – and here we go with a Lake Zurich boat cruise.

Zurich boat tour at sunset in 2 days in Zurich

Depending on my mood, I choose between a short, medium, or long cruise on Lake Zurich. The short cruise is free with the Zurich Card (it still takes more than one hour).

There are several stops where you can get off to have a break. Just make sure not to miss the last boat back to Zurich Bürkliplatz!

If I have more time, I opt for the long tour (that only runs twice a day, so check times before), and get out at Rapperswil – which is on the southern shores of Lake Zurich (or the end of Lake Zurich as I normally call it). Rapperswil is a tiny cute village and stroll it for an hour or so before I take the boat or the train back to Zurich.

Lake Zurich in the Evening

The best way to end a day in Zurich is at Lake Zurich. Normally, when I travel, I tend to go home quite early, but I try to stay out a bit longer in Zurich – because Lake Zurich is a wonderful place to end your day. Especially on a warm and sunny day, I enjoy a wonderful evening at the lake.

Lake Zurich, Switzerland best areas to stay

On nice days, there is always a lot going on, with musicians playing music and many people walking around having a good time which creates a great atmosphere.

  • To get here, you have to walk towards Bürkliplatz and then take your left side, passing the Opera District.
  • There you will also find small pedalo boats to rent and more.

Dinner on Day 2

For dinner, I suggest grabbing a snack and having it at the lake or heading to the old town and choosing from the many restaurants there. 

Though Switzerland surely is not a vegan-friendly place, there are some great affordable vegan restaurants in Zurich.


Here is some info for your 2-day Zurich trip and answers to the FAQs for a Zurich itinerary.

How to Get Around


  • Zurich is a very walkable city. Most of the time, you can just get around on foot.
  • If you are tired, you can hop on a tram for a stop or two.
  • If you wear comfy shoes (also because of the cobbled-stoned streets) you should be fine with walking.
  • The only time I highly recommend using public transportation is when you head to Uetliberg.


  • Zurich has amazing public transport. So I recommend getting around by tram/bus. With the Zurich Card, you can use public transport, which is great for exploring much of the city. Public Transport is pretty good, and you can rely on it. You also have free entry to several museums in Zurich. Click here to find out more and check out prices for the Zurich Card.
  • If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you will not need an extra Zurich Card. With the Swiss Travel Pass, you can use unlimited public transportation, even use the boat, and get access to many museums and some attractions without any extra fee. Click here to find out more about the Swiss Travel Pass.


  • While I have driven by car many times, it actually isn’t my preferred means of transportation in the city. There is quite some traffic, and expensive and limited parking spots make driving in Zurich a bit problematic. However, public transportation is great, so there is no real need to consider getting around via car.


  • One of the fun things to do in Zurich is to rent a bike and explore this beautiful town on two wheels.
  • The best thing about it is…it does not cost a dime. Nothing! Not one cent. This news is awesome – you just need a deposit of 20 CHF.
  • I have to find a way to make my dog stay in the basket to do some bike tours, but I am sure this is one of the cool things to do in Zurich.

Where to Stay in Zurich 

As mentioned, Zurich is very expensive, and there are no real bargains. I recommend staying close to the city center, but since public transport is pretty good, you can also book a hotel a bit further away, and you will still be mobile. My full accommodation guide for Zurich is here.

Luxury: Baur au Lac – Zurich has some great luxury hotels that are amazing for getting spoiled and enjoying life. Baur au Lac is one of the best-rated luxury hotels close to the city center.

➡️ Book your stay at Baur au Lac here.

Mid-Range: The Glärnischhof by TRINITY – This 4-star hotel is one of the best-rated mid-range hotels close to the city center, right next to the famous Bahnhofstrasse, 

➡️ Book your stay at The Glärnischhof by TRINITY here.

Budget: Oldtown Hostel Otter

Warning, there are not many budget hotels in Zurich. This is a good-rated hostel in Zurich. I stayed here once and for a hostel, it actually was quite good – especially because of its great location.

➡️ Book your stay at Oldtown Hostel Otter here.

Solo Female Travel

I often visit a friend in Zurich but spend a lot of time on my own. Zurich is one of the best places to travel solo as a female. Or to put it differently: Zurich is a safe place.

Though the Swiss people are not necessarily the most open-minded, it is still easy to make friends, and most important of all, I feel safe even at night.

I avoid side streets at night – as I do everywhere – but do not feel the need to take extra precautions. 



Spending just two days in Zurich can be a great way to get an introduction to this amazing city. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to come back for more! From exploring the city’s many cultural attractions to taking in stunning views from the Grossmünster Cathedral has to offer, there is something for everyone.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or an experienced traveler, you can make the most of your time in Zurich in 2 days. The above itinerary is how I would enjoy Zurich the most if I had only one trip.

Stay safe and have fun!

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