BEST THINGS TO DO – 2-Day Zurich Itinerary
- 1 BEST THINGS TO DO – 2-Day Zurich Itinerary
- 1.1 DAY 1 IN ZURICH
- 1.2 DAY 2 IN ZURICH
Planning your Zurich itinerary and wondering about the best things to do and the top places to visit in Zurich in 2 days?
Well, then this post is perfect. Find out how to create the perfect 2-day Zurich itinerary with tips on the best things to do and see and the best attractions to visit in just 48 hours.
Without a question, Switzerland is one of my favorite countries ever. There are so many stunning places to visit – but Zurich is a place I keep going back to…and that is…Zurich.
There is so much to do in Zurich and so many beautiful places to visit that I enjoy returning to.
If you plan a visit to Switzerland, you should definitely add a trip to Zurich to your Switzerland itinerary, and I am sure you will not regret it!
Because it is small, you won’t get lost, but it is not so small that you will feel bored.
There are a lot of cafes and restaurants as well as lots of opportunities for shopping, in addition to loads of greenery and nature to surround yourself with.
It is a city, small, but a city – and if you road trip Switzerland, make sure to add it to your trip (btw: here are more tips about the best things to do in Switzerland)
Also, you will get some important travel information at the end of the post.
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BEST THINGS TO DO IN ZURICH IN 2 DAYS
Okay, let´s start with the best activities in Zurich and start your day at Lake Zurich.
DAY 1 IN ZURICH
If you start your day early in Zurich early the morning you can easily see all my suggestions and even do a bit more – however, if you arrive during the day, then the itinerary for day 1 is perfect because it is not too packed.
Bahnhofsplatz – Bahnhofstrasse
Forget Dubai or any other place. When it comes to luxury, Zurich is the place to visit! Why?
Though the Bahnhofstrasse doesn’t look overly fancy, the main shopping street in Zurich, the Bahnhofstrasse, is actually the most expensive shopping street in the world.
Renting a shop there costs a fortune and though you will find some more affordable shops such as the main chains in the area you will also find a lot of luxury brands. It is an especially nice walk if you start at the train station and go towards Lake Zurich, and so it is a must-see in Zurich in 2 days.
From there head to Lindenhof – Lindenhof offers a great view of the city and is of the best “Zurich places to visit in 2 days” and is found in the old town on Lindenhof Hill – which allows you to soak in the view of the Limmat River or just to relax and chill.
No 2-day Zurich itinerary would be perfect without a perfect with without getting up here! After the little hike up here (3 minutes “hike”), it is time to do some strolling and lunch.
Explore the Old Town
Another place to add to your Zurich itinerary is the old town of the city. Before arriving at Lake Zurich, stroll the old town of Zurich. I love Zurich´s beautiful old city – it is very cute and is located between Lake Zurich and the train station and the main shopping street (Bahnhofsstraße).
It has a lot of cobbled streets which I love to stroll around and there are many cafes and restaurants too which makes it a great place to aimlessly walk around.
Though it’s probably not the most beautiful old town in Switzerland it is still colorful with beautiful houses and is one of Zurich´s tourist attractions. I suggest having lunch here – there are many different restaurants that offer something for every taste.
Grossmünster and Fraumunster Church
There are several attractions in the city center and two famous ones are churches.
Legend says that Grossmünster church was built on the graves of the city’s patron saints, Felix and Regula. So, whether you just look at it from afar or visiting during the opening hours – the church is one of the main sights so adding it to your Zurich itinerary is kind of a must.
Close to the Grossmünster – also located on the Limmat river – is the Fraumunster church. With its green steeple it is one of the most distinctive sights and you can also visit it.
The Limmar River – which commences at the outfall of Lake Zurich, in the southern part of the city of Zurich – and you have come across it when you visited the churches mentioned above.
The Limmatquai Promenade – just next to the old town – is one of the best places to have dinner. Because there are not only the churches – but also many shops and restaurants. Often times, the restaurants come with nice views of the river, so try to grab an outdoor seat.
The Old Town would be another place you could head to for dinner.
DAY 2 IN ZURICH
After the first, quite chilled day in Zurich, it is time for day 2. 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.
Uetliberg in Zurich
If you prefer hiking and great views, you will surely enjoy the Uetliberg (Uetli Mountain) as much as I do – there is a reason why this one of Zurich´s best attractions.
Btw: if you are looking for my great mountain views in Switzerland (that come without any hiking) click here.
It is the “house” mountain in Zurich, which offers the best views and if you are not into hiking you can also just take the tram up there. The views from up there are great and it is one of the best places to visit in Zurich.
You could spend a full day here, but with only 2 days in Zurich, I suggest only planning in a few hours and use the train for getting up. However, if you want to hike up and down and enjoy a picnic at Uetliberg you would need more time.
Lake Zurich / BuerkliPlatz
Then I suggest, taking the train/tram and get to Buerkliplatz. This is how I define “the starting point of Lake Zurich”.
There is one thing you should know about me: I am all about lakes (and views) and this is why I adore Switzerland.
There are stunning lakes everywhere. And Lake Zurich might not be the most stunning lakes in the country but it is definitely a really beautiful lake. You might have seen the lake on day 1 already as it just is at the end of Bahnhofsstrasse and near the old town.
At Buerkliplatz, you have the boats and beautiful views of the lakes and the scenery. So, enjoy a few minutes there before you can do the next activity.
Swim in the Lake
One free thing to do in Zurich is to go for a swim. On a warm day, swimming in the lake is a must-do activity. It is just a stone throw from Bahnhofsstraße and the old town to Lake Zurich.
The lakes in Switzerland are pretty clean and it was in Switzerland where, for the first time as an adult, I voluntarily hopped into lake water.
I must admit, though I still sometimes feel weird swimming in lake water, to me Lake Zurich is one of the places where I feel OK with it. The water is pretty clear and there you will find a lot of greenery and places to rest before hopping into the water.
TiP: One of the best places to swim is close to the Rentenanstalt. If you walk down the Bahnhofsstraße towards Lake Zurich, turn right at Bürkliplatz and walk a few hundred meters (there is also a tram stop) so you get to enjoy a wonderful day at the lake – it is, especially in the summer, one of the best Zurich activities.
Do a Boat Tour
Of course, I have to mention doing a boat tour on Lake Zurich.
Here you have a few options, you can either do a short, medium or long cruise on Lake Zurich. The short cruise is free with the Zurich Card at a charge of five euros and with the Swiss Travel Pass, you can do all of these tours for free (plus a surcharge of five euros).
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 you do not visit Uetliberg, you should have enough time to get out at Rapperswill – which is on the southern shores of Lake Zurich. It is a very small but cute village and might be a good place to add to your Zurich itinerary.
Personally, I think Zurich has some beautiful cafes.
Actually, I think the cafes are one of the most beautiful in Switzerland, especially the ones around the lake. They are often very modern, pretty and colorful, though they can get quite busy after work when people have their after-work-drink there So, make sure to explore some cafes and why not try my favorite, Quai 61?
If you go on a boat cruise, you have the option to get out at several stops – sometimes you have amazing cafes next to the stop.
Stroll Lake Zurich and End your Day at Lake Zurich
To end your second day in Zurich, plan in an evening at Lake Zurich.
Normally when I travel I tend to go home quite early, but one best thing to do in Zurich is to stay out a bit longer and end your day at Lake Zurich on a sunny day.
There is always a lot going on with musicians playing beautiful music and lots of people walking around having a good time which creates a great atmosphere, so don’t forget to add this to your Zurich itinerary.
Visit the Opera District
Pro Tip 🙂 One area which has become one of my favorite places in Switzerland is the Opera House area.
It is located close to Lake Zurich and the old town and it has free Wi-Fi. Since you probably all need Wi-Fi once in a while I am happy to tell you there are some chairs where you can sit with a beautiful view of the Opera and Lake Zurich and at the same time have free Wi-Fi. If you need to get something to drink or a snack, there are also some little stores where you can buy something.
For dinner, I suggest heading to the old town or grab your snack and have it outside. P.S. Though Switzerland surely is not a vegan-friendly place, there are some great (and quite) affordable vegan restaurants in Zurich.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR ZURICH ITINERARY
Here is some info for your 2-day Zurich trip.
How to Get Around in 2 Days
Let´s start with how to discover Zurich.
Public Transportation: Zurich has amazing public transport – so I recommend getting around by tram/bus. With the Zurich Card, you can use public transport and have free entry to almost all museums in Zurich which is great to explore much of the city. Public Transport is pretty good and you can rely on it.
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.
By Car: While I have driven by car many times, it actually isn’t my preferred mean of transportation in the city. Traffic, expensive and limited parking spots make driving a bit problematic. However, public transportation is great, so a car shouldn’t be the first choice of getting around.
By Bike: 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, right? I have to find a way how to make my dog stay in the basket so I can do some bike tours as well, but I am sure this is one of the cool things to do in Zurich.
Where to Stay in Zurich for 2 Days
As mentioned, Zurich is very expensive, and there are no real bargains.
If you need to budget, I recommend booking an Airbnb apartment (first-time users can save $$ by using my link).
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.
Luxury Hotels in Zurich: Zurich has some great luxury hotels which are amazing to get spoiled and enjoy life. Baur au Lac is some of the best-rated luxury hotels close to the city center.
Mid-Range Hotels in Zurich: Arlette am Hauptbahnhof is one of the best-rated mid-range hotels close to the city center.
Budget Hotels in Zurich: Warning, there are not many budget hotels in Zurich, this one is a good-rated hostel in Zurich.
Security Tips for Solo Female Traveler
Tips for Solo Female Travelers: I often visit a friend in Zurich, but spend a lot of time on my own (and sometimes with my dog Puppygak). Zurich is one of the best places to travel solo as a female.
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 and these recommendations can all be done as a solo female traveler.
More Activities for Your Zurich Itinerary
Zurich is a great base for many fun day trips – check out my guide on best things to do near Zurich.
Here you will find many great day trips ideas from Zurich that you can easily access by train or car.
Looking for a perfect Switzerland itinerary? Here is a perfect 5-day itinerary for Switzerland.
CONCLUSION: HOW TO SPEND 2 DAYS IN ZURICH
Zurich in 2 days is not a lot of time but it will allow you to discover the main attractions without being too stressed. Hopefully, this Zurich itinerary has helped you plan your trip.
Stay safe and have fun!
More pictures on Instagram.