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2 Days in Zurich Switzerland: The Best 2 Day Zurich itinerary

Zurich Zwitzerland - 2 Days in Zurich itinerary

Zurich is one of those cities which fascinates me, although I haven’t been yet!  I wanted to learn more about Zurich Switzerland so I asked Aurimas from Go Look Explore to share his top tips for the best things to do in Zurich in 2 days.  He kindly agreed to write this awesome post with his favourite 2 day Zurich Itinerary. 

While considered as a costly city because of all the financial establishments, Zurich is a city worth staying for!  If you can spend several days exploring the city that would be best, but if you only have 2 days in Zurich that is enough to see the highlights.

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Known as a global centre for banking and finance, the city of Zurich lies on a beautiful lake, near the mountains and is one of the most liveable cities in the world. It’s the major city of Switzerland, a clean and wealthy country with low crime rates.

Zurich is a very cosmopolitan city where ex-pats and students from all over the world live and work. With its fascinating lake views, the city is also very artsy and full of street art.

Beautiful Zurich - 2 Day Zurich Itinerary
Beautiful Zurich – 2 Day Zurich Itinerary

When is the Best Time to Visit Zurich?

June – August: The peak months to visit Zurich is during summer – from June to August. Though the weather is pleasant during these months, everything is expensive, including flights and accommodation and it is expected that the city is crowded as these are the months when mass tourists visit the city. 

September – November: These are the autumn season for Zurich, and because the weather is starting to get cold, there’s a lesser crowd. It is a good season to explore the city because of the colourful trees and hotels and flights aren’t as expensive during the summer season.

December – February: These are the off-peak season months when the city isn’t crowded as the summer, but it can get freezing. Flights and hotels are cheaper during these months. If you’re a big fan of shopping, there’s a huge price drop for many stores and shops if you visit in January, so you can shop until you drop!

March – May: These are spring months in Zurich, and the weather is still fresh, but it’s not peak season yet, so it’s not that expensive and crowded. 

READ MORE: The Best Time to Visit Europe

Money in Zurich

The currency in Zurich is the Swiss Franc (CHF) as the rest of Switzerland. Cash and credit cards are widely accepted, but please take note that transactions abroad may add extra charges to your card, so it is best to call your bank before you leave to make sure about your purchases.

Swiss Francs - Money in Switzerland
Swiss Francs – Money in Switzerland

Zurich budget travel tips

A refillable water bottle comes handy as there are tons of drinking fountains around Zurich.
Department store cafes serve cheaper and fresher meals compared to restaurants.
Mediterranean restaurants also serve more affordable food.
Buy the Zurich card to save on transportation and entrance fees.

READ MORE: Where & What to Eat in Switzerland on a Budget

Where to stay for a Weekend in Zurich

While choosing your accommodation, always consider the location of the hotel/hostel. Finding a hotel near District 1 and near the train stations is the most convenient so that you can quickly get around the city. 

Getting around Zurich

Most of the best tourist spots in Zurich are located in District 1, so walking might be the best way to explore each corner of this fascinating city. If you don’t want to walk and prefer to save more time, you can opt to ride a train or a bus.

Taxis are expensive, just like any other city in the world, so if you’re trying to save some money, avoid it as much as possible.

Exploring Zurich Switzerland
Exploring Zurich Switzerland

Making the Most of Your Zurich Itinerary

Zurich is one of the best cities to get the authentic feeling of Switzerland, with lively culture, delicious food, rich history, and breath-taking natural wonders surrounding the city. This Zurich itinerary will give you all!  

On day one, you’re going to immerse yourself in a diverse and colourful culture visiting museums, watching opera performance, and just strolling around the old town to get the vibe.

Day two is more reserved for outdoor activities and visiting surrounding nature, so be sure to treat yourself with some delicious Rosti and mouth-watering fondue. We wish you a fantastic trip filled with memorable experiences.

How to Spend 2 Days in Zurich

Zurich Itinerary Day 1:

On your first day, make sure you get a good breakfast first before starting your tour.  Although food in Switzerland can be expensive, a good breakfast always starts the day brighter!

View from Zurich mountain Uetliberg, Switzerland
View from Zurich mountain Uetliberg, Switzerland

Visit Felsenegg 

Felsenegg is at the top of a mountain overlooking Zurich.  Going here by cable car is so much fun and you can enjoy an awesome aerial view of the city.

To get there, take the S4 train in the direction of Langnau-Gattikon and get off at Adliswil, a trip of about 15 minutes. From there, it’s a 10-minute walk to the cable car valley station, which is well signed.  The cable car leaves every 15 minutes for Felsenegg and is free if you have a zone transport pass.

At the top, there is a restaurant to enjoy the view of the city and have a coffee if you like. There are many walking trails at Felsenegg to explore. You can follow the path to Uetliberg if you want a decent walk, which takes an hour and 35 minutes. To go back to the city centre from Uetliberg, take the SB10 train to Zurich Main Station. 

Visit the Swiss National Museum

Swiss National Museum serves as one of the most essential museums showcasing of the cultural history of Europe. You can learn about significant historical events that happened in Europe during the last centuries. Everything is there – from the ancient era all the way to dark middle ages and gothic period. The museum itself features a breath-taking architecture that transports you back in time.  

Walk around Bahnhofstrasse 

Bahnhofstrasse is Zürich’s main downtown street, and one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. If you’re a shopping addict, then you can’t miss this attractive street filled with every shop you can possibly imagine. From handcrafted watches to gourmet chocolates, this place has it all!

Bahnhofstrasse in the centre of Zurich - Shopping in Zurich
Bahnhofstrasse in the centre of Zurich – Shopping in Zurich

Explore Rennweg

Another place to go shopping or window shopping is Rennweg, a medieval main road which is now part of the inner-city pedestrian zone of Zürich, Switzerland. The word Rennweg in medieval German means a street where horses were moved.  There are no horses today, just busy shoppers!    

Lindenhof Hill for Panoramic View of Zurich

Lindenhof hill sits in the heart of the old town and features a historical Roman castle and former Imperial Palace.  Just take a quick walk to the top of the hill and enjoy the views over the city. 

A Night at the Opera – Opernhaus Zurich

The best way to end the day is by watching a world-class opera or ballet performance. Open since 1891, the Opernhaus Zurich is the main venue for opera and ballet performances in the city. As they say, your trip wouldn’t be complete if you come to Zurich if you do not enjoy a concert at Opernhaus Zurich!

Zurich Opera House - The Best Things to do in Zurich in 2 Days
Zurich Opera House – The Best Things to do in Zurich in 2 Days

Zurich Itinerary Day 2

Visit Rhine falls and Stein Am Rhein (Half day tour)

Rhine Falls is considered the most powerful waterfall in Europe. It is located on the High Rhine close to the town Schaffhausen, about 40 minutes’ drive outside Zurich.

The beautiful natural wonder was slowly created during the last ice age. Falls are roughly 150 meters wide and 23 meters high, so prepare your camera! Several guides can help you with booking a tour of this majestic falls.

After the falls, you can visit the medieval town of Stein Am Rhein. It is a small town, west of Lake Constance in northeast Switzerland. It’s known for its half-timbered medieval houses with painted facades, clustered around Rathausplatz in the old town.

For a complete and authentic experience, be sure to check some exciting things to do in Schaffhausen, which can easily take a full day of your time. From Rhine falls and iconic old town to Munot castle and IWC watch museum, Schaffhausen has it all!

vRhine Falls - 2 Days in Zurich Switzerland
Rhine Falls – 2 Days in Zurich Switzerland

Enjoy Zurich Lake

After your grand tour of the Rhine falls and Stein Am Rhein, you can go back to Zurich and visit the Lake Zurich in the heart of the city. It’s right at the end of both Bahnhofstrasse and Niederdorfstrasse, so it’s easy to find, and you’ll end up watching the sunset here.

Explore any side of the lake, soaking up the breath-taking views of the distant Alps and surrounding forests that keep Zurich cool in the summer. There’s a lake bathing area where you can take a dip during summer.

You can also get a drink and swim in the evening, which is the perfect end your second night in Zurich.

Zurich Lake - 2 Days in Zurich Switzerland
Zurich Lake – 2 Days in Zurich Switzerland

Doesn’t this sound like a fabulous Zurich itinerary?  With just 2 days in Zurich, you can get a wonderful introduction to Switzerland.  I can’t wait to go and see for myself!

About the Author

Aurimas is a passionate hiker, currently residing in Switzerland. He loves to explore the hidden corners of the Swiss Alps, peaks and villages.  You can follow his adventures on his blog Go Look Explore, and on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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Last updated: April 22, 2020

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