48 Hours in Zurich, Switzerland: 10 Cool Things To Absolutely Do

1. Explore the Historic Old Town

Zurich’s Old Town, also known as “Altstadt,” is a charming and picturesque neighborhood that dates back to medieval times. The narrow cobblestone streets, stunning architecture, and vibrant atmosphere make it a must-visit destination. Wander through the bustling streets, admire the colorful buildings, and stop by the beautiful Grossmünster, a historic church with panoramic views of the city. The Old Town is also home to numerous shops, cafes, and galleries, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture. Don’t miss the chance to try Swiss specialties, such as fondue or chocolate, at one of the traditional eateries.

More information: https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/experiences/old-town-fraumunster/

2. Take a Boat Ride on Lake Zurich

One of the best ways to experience Zurich’s scenic beauty is by taking a boat ride on Lake Zurich. The crystal-clear waters and surrounding mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop as you cruise along the lake. You can choose from various boat tours, which range from short and scenic trips to full-day excursions. During the summer months, you can even take a refreshing swim in the lake or relax on one of the public beaches along the shore. Whether you prefer a leisurely cruise or an active day on the water, a boat ride on Lake Zurich offers a unique perspective of the city and its natural surroundings.

More information: https://www.zuerich.com/en/visit/experiences/on-the-water

3. Visit the Kunsthaus Zurich

Art enthusiasts cannot miss the chance to visit the Kunsthaus Zurich, one of Switzerland’s most renowned art museums. This impressive institution houses a vast collection of artwork, ranging from medieval to contemporary pieces. Works by famous artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso are on display, along with a comprehensive collection of Swiss art. The museum’s diverse exhibitions, educational programs, and guided tours make it a fascinating destination for both art connoisseurs and casual visitors.

More information: https://www.kunsthaus.ch/en/

4. Indulge in Swiss Chocolate Tasting

Zurich is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth with a delectable Swiss chocolate tasting experience. With numerous artisanal chocolate shops scattered throughout the city, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Sample a variety of exquisite Swiss chocolates, from smooth milk chocolate to rich dark chocolate filled with luxurious flavors. Some boutiques even offer workshops where you can learn about the chocolate-making process and create your own personalized treats. A chocolate tasting tour is a delicious way to immerse yourself in Swiss culture and discover the country’s longstanding chocolate-making tradition.

More information: https://www.lindt.ch/en/unvergessliche-erlebnisse/chocolateria/

5. Climb the Uetliberg Mountain

If you’re looking for panoramic views of Zurich, head to Uetliberg Mountain. Just a short train ride away from the city center, this stunning natural landmark is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a scenic hike through lush forests and alpine meadows. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of Zurich, Lake Zurich, and the surrounding Swiss Alps. Alternatively, you can take a leisurely walk along the well-marked trails or simply enjoy a picnic while taking in the mesmerizing beauty of the landscape.

More information: https://www.zuerich.com/en/visit/lakes-mountains/uetliberg

6. Stroll the Bahnhofstrasse

The Bahnhofstrasse is Zurich’s famous shopping street, where luxury meets elegance. Whether you’re a shopaholic or simply enjoy window shopping, this is the place to be. The bustling street is lined with high-end boutiques, international fashion brands, and prestigious jewelry stores. Even if you’re not in the mood for splurging, wandering along Bahnhofstrasse allows you to soak up the vibrant atmosphere and admire the stunning architecture. Don’t miss out on visiting Confiserie Sprüngli, a legendary chocolatier where you can indulge in heavenly Swiss treats.

More information: https://www.zuerich.com/en/visit/shopping-on-bahnhofstrasse

7. Discover Swiss History at the Swiss National Museum

The Swiss National Museum, located near Zurich’s main train station, is a must-visit for history buffs. Housed in a striking castle-like building, the museum showcases the rich history and cultural heritage of Switzerland. Explore the diverse exhibitions that highlight the country’s past, from ancient artifacts to medieval art and modern history. The museum offers both permanent and temporary exhibitions, offering a captivating journey through time. Audio guides and guided tours are available, ensuring a comprehensive and immersive experience.

More information: https://www.nationalmuseum.ch/e/

8. Experience the Nightlife in Zurich West

Zurich is not only a city of culture and history but also a vibrant nightlife destination. To experience the city after dark, head to Zurich West, a trendy district known for its booming nightlife scene. Explore the lively bars, clubs, and lounges that offer a diverse range of music, from hip-hop to electronic beats. Whether you’re into dancing the night away or enjoying a relaxed drink with friends, Zurich West has something for everyone. Experience the city’s unique blend of tradition and modernity as you delve into its vibrant after-dark offerings.

More information: https://www.timeout.com/switzerland/things-to-do/zurich-nightlife

9. Explore the Zurich Zoo

The Zurich Zoo is a fantastic destination, especially for families and animal lovers. Home to over 360 different species, including elephants, penguins, and lions, it offers an immersive experience with a focus on animal welfare and conservation. The zoo is divided into different themed areas, each replicating the natural habitats of various animals. A particular highlight is the Masoala Rainforest, a tropical ecosystem that provides an enchanting setting for rare and fascinating flora and fauna. Embark on a journey through the different continents and enjoy up-close encounters with a wide range of animals.

More information: https://www.zoo.ch/

10. Try Swiss Cuisine at a Traditional Restaurant

48 hours in Zurich wouldn’t be complete without indulging in a traditional Swiss meal at one of the city’s cozy restaurants. Treat your taste buds to Swiss delicacies such as raclette, a melting cheese dish, or Zürcher Geschnetzeltes, a traditional veal dish served with creamy mushroom sauce. Pair your meal with a glass of Swiss wine or a refreshing locally crafted beer. Immerse yourself in the warm and cozy atmosphere of a Swiss restaurant, where you can savor the authentic flavors and culinary traditions of the country.

More information: https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/plan-your-trip/eating-and-drinking/restaurants/

Final Thoughts

Zurich, with its blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, offers something for every traveler. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, immersing yourself in its art and history, or indulging in chocolate and Swiss cuisine, Zurich provides a memorable experience. This 48-hour itinerary provides a taste of the city’s highlights, allowing you to make the most of your short but exciting visit to this enchanting Swiss destination.