A Day In Zurich Switzerland, Backpacking Europe 22
Well, here I am with my “a day in Zurich Switzerland” blog post. I will visit most of the Zurich city tourist attractions in this one-day itinerary. Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the central hub of transportation. Most travelers stay a couple of days in Zurich before going to other tourist points in the country. Although Bern is the Capital of Switzerland. However, Zurich is the most prominent and populated city. It lies on the banks of River Limmat and is home to Lake Zurich. I will visit the Grossmunster, Fraumunster, and St. Peter Church. Moreover, Zurich’s old city center and Lindenhof hill are also included in this day tour. Plz read my blog post and come along with me to spend a day in Zurich.
How to Get to Zurich Switzerland?
Zurich is a central city of Switzerland and we can reach Zurich by air, train, bus, or car.
By Air To Zurich
Zurich International Airport or Flughafen Zurich (ZRH) is the largest and most busy airport in Switzerland. It is a main influx of tourists into the country. It is about 13km from the city center
How to get to City Center from Airport?
There are certain means of transport to reach Zurich city center. We can take a train, bus, shuttle bus, tram, or taxi from the airport to the city center.
- The train will take you to the city center in 11 minutes. 2nd class ticket is 6.8CHF. The service operates from 5:00 am until 12:30 am at an interval of 15 minutes.
- There is a shuttle bus service from the airport to the city center for 25CHf. It operates with an hourly frequency. Tickets can be booked online.
- A Tram of Line 10 takes around 35 minutes to the city center. A single ride costs 6.80 CHF.
- Taxi will take you to the city center in 20-25 minutes at a cost of 70CHf.
By Train to Zurich Switzerland
The train is the most favorable way to reach Zurich from neighboring cities as well as countries. You can reach Zurich from Italy, France, Austria, and Germany. Zurich Hauptbahnhof (HB), the central station, should be your final destination in Zurich city. I reached Zurich from Frankfurt by train.
By Bus to Zurich
The bus is the alternative route to reach Zurich from neighboring cities. Many bus companies like Flix bus and others from Busbud can be chosen to reach right in the center of Zurich. Generally, the buses are equipped with wifi, toilets, air conditioning, and power sockets. I booked a Flix bus ticket from Frankfurt to Zurich but sadly missed it as it was very scheduled very early.
How DId I reach Zurich from Frankfurt?
I booked a Flix bus ticket from Frankfurt to Zurich but sadly missed it as it was very scheduled very early and I stayed asleep at the time of departure. Consequently, I opt for a train from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof to Zurich Hauptbahnhof. This train journey includes three stops
- Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof to Frankfurt Flughafen
- Frankfurt Flughafen to Stuttgart Train Station
- Stuttgart Train Station to Singen Train Station
- Singen to Zurich Bahnhof
My bad luck start from the moment when I missed my Flix bus due to staying asleep. After that, I switched to Train Journey. Although my first connection went as per schedule my last two connections tested my all limits.
It all started in Stuttgart where my scheduled train was delayed by 45 minutes due to a maintenance schedule. Then I figure out an alternative route to Singen from Stuttgart. Although the train arrived well in time it started its departure 20 minutes later. The third delay was the train itself. It got late again to Singen for any other reason. The fourth delay time was on my last train connection from Singen to Zurich. The train was 10 minutes late but that proved good for me as otherwise, it seemed difficult to catch the connection due to the delays in the previous train. Finally reached Zurich after a hectic day.
How to Get Around in Zurich in a day?
The area for top attractions is quite walkable. We can see almost all of the city attractions from Zurich HBf to Lake Zurich on foot. However, as per your requirements, you can take the trains, trams, ferries, and taxis to go from one point to another. Zurcher Verkehrsbund (ZVV) runs the basic public transport infrastructure in Zurich. The
- The commuter trains or S-Bahn connects Zurich with its suburbs. It also connects the city with the airport. Its operating time is from 5:00 am until 12:30 am. Besides, the frequency of operations is set at 15 minutes intervals. Within the city, there are four railway stations including the main station Zurich Hauptbahnhof.
- Trams are an important part of Zurich city Transportation. Moreover, there are over 12 lines that serve the city.
- The ferry is the main mode of transportation beside Lake Zurich. Zurich Navigation Company runs a boat service on Lake Zurich. There are two types of boat trips in lake Zurich. You can take a long round journey as well as a short one. Tickets can be purchased from the ZVV ticket office, Burkliplatz ticket office, or on the boat. ZVV zone ticket is also accepted here.
- Zurich taxis are very expensive. The base fare is 6CHf. Moreover, an additional 3.8CHF per km is applicable on further mileage.
How much is the Cost of Travelling within Zurich?
Zurich transportation system has 7 zones. Three zones combined ticket (zone 110, 111, and 121) is usually enough for tourists. The airport comes under zone 121. Following are the various ticketing options available in Zurich.
- A single ticket is valid for one hour and it cost 2.7 CHF for a single zone to 6.8 CHF for three zones.
- Multiple journey ticket consists of 6 single tickets and the fare is 10% less than a single ride option.
- Day passes start from 5.4, 8.8, and 13.6 for one, two, and three-zone travel in 24 hours. Day passes can be available for multiple days too.
- Zurich Card is ideal for tourists who want to stay for up to 3 days in Zurich. It is available for 24(24CHF) and 72 hours(48CHF). Besides, it is valid for all 7 zones. Apart from free unlimited access to public transportation it also allows free access to most of the Museums.
Swiss Travel Pass
The Swiss Travel Pass is a good option for a traveler visiting Switzerland’s multiple destinations. Swiss Travel Pass is available for 3, 4, 8, and 15 days. The prices are 225, 270, 398 and 485 CHF respectively. This pass allows unlimited free travel by trains, buses, and boats. Moreover, it includes free entry to almost 500 Museums. Besides a discounted entry to many excursions like Mount Titlis and Shilthorn, and Rigi.
Where to Stay in Zurich Switzerland?
The city center near HB main station Zurich is the place where most travelers want to stay. In this centrally located area, you can visit all the city attractions in a convenient way. I stayed at Friendly Hostel Zurich which was located right beside St. Peter Church. Moreover, Green Marmot Capsule Hostel and Old town hostel Otter also have good reviews and are good options to stay within the city center.
How to Spend a Day in Zurich Switzerland?
St. Peter Church Zurich
I started my Zurich Day tour from St. Peter Church. It is just adjacent to my hostel in Zurich. St. Peter Kirche is one of the four main churches of the old town of Zürich, Switzerland. The other three are Grossmünster, Fraumünster, and Predigerkirche. It has the largest church clock face in Europe. The church clock face measures 8.7m in diameter. Furthermore, it is the oldest parish church in Zurich, and the original 9th-century foundation walls are still seen today beneath the chancel. Visitors can visit this church from 8 Am to 6 PM
Our next point was the Bahnhofstrasse or Bahnhof Street of Zurich. Bahnhof Street is the most expensive and brand-oriented place in Europe. You can visit this place to see new and up-to-date fashions of the world. It starts from north of Zurich and goes all the way to Lake Zurich. So it is a good stroll for window shopping. Alternatively a pleasant activity too.
Lake Zurich Switzerland
Lake Zurich is the lifeline of Zurich city. So a City tour can’t complete without visiting it. It is a pleasant activity to take a stroll along the Lake Promenade to enjoy the cool breeze and watch the geese float along the docks. You can find many visitors near Ganymede Sculpture. You can find it a family picnic spot too. A walk from this place to Springbrunnen Aquaretum is the best activity to get the real vibe of Lake Zurich. On the way, you can admire the Blumenuhr, the all-season flower clock. Alternatively, cruising into the lake is another great activity to see Zurich from a different perspective. Last but not the least, you can take your postcard photo of Zurich from the Quibrucke.
Quaibrücke is a bridge over the river Limmat at the outflow of Lake Zürich. It works as a road, as well as a tramway, pedestrian, and bicycle bridge for different sorts of crossing. You can get the best photo of Zurich from the center of the bridge.
Grossmunster is the iconic cathedral of Zurich and is famous for its twin towers. It is a Roman-style Protestant church in Zürich, Switzerland. Grossmunster is about 1000Years old and is one of the four major churches in the city. You can climb the 187 stairs to the top of the tower for breathtaking panoramic views. Moreover, you can take great photo opportunities of the city, the Alps, and Lake Zurich.
Fraumunster is a Gothic Romanesque-style church that was founded in 853 by King Louis the German. Along with Grossmunster, it is the main landmark in Zurich’s landscape views. Both the Churches are connected via Munster Bridge. Fraumunster is also known as Church of Our Lady and is a beautiful architecture having stained glass windows. You can visit the church without any entrance fee. At 7 of the evening, both the Grossmunster as well as Fraumunster Church start their bells to ring and that was a noisy as well as harmonic scene too.
Zurich Town Hall
Rathaus is the name of Zürich’s Town Hall. It is a beautiful city hall that stood on the right-hand bank of the River Limmat. Perhaps the edifice is actually built right over the water of Limmat. Rathaus’s construction dates back to 1694~1698 and it was a seat of government & Administration until 1798. Now it is open to visit for the public.
Lindenhof Hill Zurich Switzerland
On another side of the Limmat river, you can visit Lindenhof Hill for great panoramic views of Zurich city. This spot provides a glorious view of the old town, Grossmunster, Fraumusnter, the Old town hall, the Limmat river, the university, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. You have to cross Rathus Bridge to go to another side of the city. The Lindenhof is a moraine hill and a public square in the historic center of Zürich, Switzerland. Today, Lindenhof is a modern public park and a haven of peace and tranquility in the heart of the city. It is also a meeting point for passionate chess players. Moreover, you need to do a hike of a few minutes to reach the top position of Lindenhof.
Old town Zurich (Altstadt)
Altstadt is the name of the old town of Zurich. Here you can wander through the narrow and winding cobblestone streets. Besides, you can admire the colorfully preserved buildings, and stroll along the Limmat River. At Niederdorf that is a pedestrian-only zone there. So, you can make it the perfect place for a leisure trip without the hassle of trafficking around. In the evening, Niederdorf changes into a nightlife district for a very varied public with its bars and street artists.
What to visit for an Extended Stay in Zurich?
As it was a one-day tour so, we can only scratch a few things from the long list of Zurich Switzerland. I think I will spend at least three days in Zurich if I have time to cater to it. I will definitely visit at least one museum during my extended stay if you are a museum lover then you will not disappoint while in Zurich. While there are many museums like Kunsthaus Zurich, Landesmuseum, or Rietberg that need your special time to admire the artifacts present there. However, I will go to visit Landesmuseum as I am interested to learn about the history.
Secondly, we can take a half-day activity to go to Uetliberg Mountain. Even so, we can opt for a hike, bike, or train ride for Uetliberg. Moreover, the views of Zurich are just mesmerizing from the topmost point of the mountain. While in summer, there’s plenty to discover on well-marked hiking routes.
Finally, After visiting Zurich, I did a day tour from Switzerland to Liechtenstein which is the 6th smallest country in the world. Moreover, I visited Lucerne, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Iseltwald, and Geneva for the next whole week.