20 Things to Do in Zurich in Winter - 2020 Edition
15 Activities
10 Tours

Activities to Do in Zurich in Winter

Trip to Rhine Falls, Do Cable Car Ride, Explore Street Art at Limmat River, Kunsthaus Art Collections, Tour of Zoological Museum, Visit Swiss National Museum, Winter Walk at Uetliberg, Explore Rennweg, Boat Ride at Burkliplatz, Excellent Time at Kosmos and many more.

Are you looking for things to do in Zurich in winter? Well, if you are, then be ready to be startled with a load of surprises. While most of the people prefer to try their hands on activities like skiing in the colder months, there are several other exciting things that you can indulge yourself in. From exploring the beauty of Zurich on foot in the chilly winters to planning an evening hangout plan at Kosmos, the list of winter activities in Zurich will leave you spoiled for choices.

Whether you wish to head for a relaxed winter canal walk to Enge or you prefer to indulge in bird watching alongside the Zurich Sea, there are enough winter activities to keep you busy. You can also choose to spend a relaxed evening on a cold breeze day by hopping on a boat and experiencing the mesmerizing outskirts of the city at a slower pace. The city of Zurich has several luxurious spa centers and if you don’t want to move outdoors, just beat the cold winters by taking a dip into the warm pool or getting yourself a massage.

Here is a compiled list of the most exciting things to do in Zurich in winter: 

01

Trip to Rhine Falls

Trip to Rhine Falls

If you are an avid fan of natural vistas and waterfalls, you can't miss out on this magnificent fall located just 2 minutes away from the Neuhausen-Rheinfall station. As you will get to this place, you will be taken aback by the irresistible beauty of the Rhine falls, which reaches its peak during the sunset hours.

If you want to add a pinch of adventure into your Rhine fall trip, either hop on a boat or canoe your way towards the Laufen Castle. You can also pay a visit to the Schloss Laufen complex, which is complete with a children playground, exhibition centre, and a new visitor's centre.

Location:
Rheinfallquai, Switzerland

02

Cable Car Ride

Cable Car Ride
There is no better way to get an aerial view of Zurich city than embarking on a cable car ride. The ride takes you through the mesmerizing Lake Zurich and bestows you with scenic views of snow-clad Swiss Alps hills.

Zurich cable car ride is not only a scenic treat to your eyes, but it is also a short escape from the bustling city life. The ride ends at Felsenegg viewpoint from where you can once again relish the breathtaking vistas of dense forests before heading back to Zurich.

Location: Felsenegg Viewpoint, Switzerland

Price:
CHF 60 for adults and CHF 30 for kids
03

Bird Watching at Zurich Lake

Bird Watching at Zurich Lake
Zurich is a paradise on earth for all the wildlife buffs, thanks to its wide variety of bird species which never fail to impress the visitors. If you wish to witness the huge variety of birds in this Swiss town, make your way towards Lake Zurich.

Zurich Lake is home to Zurich aviary and bird sanctuary where you can get to admire different exotic species. While some of these birds will grab your attention with their colourful feathers, others will intrigue you with their rare presence. The Zurich aviary also encompasses a shelter for the injured birds. If you are looking for some of the most peaceful things to do in Zurich in winter, bird watching at Zurich Lake totally deserves mention. 

Location:
Zurich Lake, Zurich, Switzerland
04

Street Art along Limmat River

Street Art along Limmat River
Art is an integral part of Zurich's streets and if you have not got a sneak peek into the precious art of the city yet, head directly to the Limmat culture trail. Cradled between Baden and Wettigen, this route presents a beautiful confluence of art and nature.

While the pristine river of Limmat will bowl you over with its charm, the 26 art pieces on the streets will make you see the world from a different perspective. The entire street is flooded with sculptures made out of a variety of materials, wall reliefs, and photographs. Each piece of art on the street creates a unique picture of the city that perfectly matches the present-day Zurich 

Location:
Limmat River, Zurich, Switzerland
05

Shop at Zurich Winter Markets

Shop at Zurich Winter Markets
In the winter months, the entire city of Zurich gets immersed in the Christmas vibe. So, if you happen to visit here during the winter season, one thing that you can't miss out is shopping at one of its winter markets.

Zurich winter markets offer a wide range of items including sweet delicacies, wood carvings, scarves, and melted cheese. One of the most unmissable things about these winter markets is the hot mulled red wine which keeps you warm even at the coldest hours. Bahnhofstrasse is the main shopping street of the city which is teeming with numerous trendy shops selling the best quality designer clothes.

Location: Zurich, Switzerland
06

Get a Hot Swiss Chocolate at Schober

Get a Hot Swiss Chocolate at Schober
If you want to fetch the best hot Swiss chocolate in the town, look no further than Schober café. One of the most popular cafes in the city, Schober is mainly known for its fancy interiors and well-serving menu.

Each room inside the cafe is adorned in a unique style with beautiful light fittings and vintage decoration. From delicious chocolates to beverages, cakes, and cookies, the cafe has enough to keep you coming for more. Being one of the oldest cafes in the city, Schober has been a popular name among the foodie travellers since aeons.

Location:
Napf Gasse, Zurich, Switzerland

Timings:
8:00 AM-7:00 PM
07

Art Collections at Kunsthaus

Art Collections at Kunsthaus
Boasting of around 4000 sculptures and paintings and 95000 drawings from the 13th century, Kunsthaus Zurich is home to the most extensive art collection in the entire Switzerland. While there are several noteworthy art pieces which are well-preserved in the museum, the works by Alberto Giacometti. Chagall and Picasso deserve a special mention.

From contemporary art to middle age collections, this museum is known to preserve the beautiful works of different ages. Around two-thirds of the art collections in Kunsthaus are contributed by private donors and lenders. If you want to catch the glimpses of some famous Italian, Dutch, and French artworks, making a visit to Kunsthaus is one of the most apt things to do in Zurich in winter. 

Location:
Heimplatz, Zurich, Switzerland

Price:
CHF 16 for adults and free entry for kids

Timings:
Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
                Wednesday & Thursday: 10:00 AM-8:00 PM
08

Explore the Swiss National Museum

Explore the Swiss National Museum
Reckoned as one of the most famous historical sites in Zurich, Swiss National Museum, unravels the culture and art of Switzerland. The museum has beautifully preserved the craftworks and art pieces from the beginning till the present day.

The national museum collection features around 860,000 objects, which are subdivided into 14 groups. Situated just behind the central station, this place also hosts several exhibitions to highlight the socially relevant issues. The museum has a permanent exhibition named, "Simply Zurich" which depicts the diversity of the canton and city of Zurich in the most playful way possible.

Location:
Landesmuseum, Zurich

Entry Fee: CHF 10 for adults and free entry for kids

Timings: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
                Thursday: 10:00 AM-7:00 PM
09

Winter Walk on the Uetliberg

Winter Walk on the Uetliberg
The city of Zurich is home to a plethora of gigantic hills which serve as vantage points for the beautiful landscapes of the city. One of such hills in Zurich is Uetliberg. Situated at an altitude of 871 meters above the sea, Uetilberg is a perfect spot to admire the alluring views of Limmat valley, Lake Zurich, and Swiss Alps.

It sees a massive influx of travellers during the winter months as the hiking trails to its summit turns into sledging runs. If you are looking for adventurous things to do in Zurich in winter season, a long winter walk on the Uetliberg deserves a place in your bucket list. 

Location: Uetliberg, Zurich, Switzerland
10

Explore Rennweg

Explore Rennweg
Famous as the broadest street in Zurich, Rennweg is an ideal place to head for a leisurely walk. The road begins from Bahnhofstrasse and rises to the moraine hill. One thing that sets it apart from other streets in the city is its straight routes.

In the present time, Renweg is an exclusive shopping lane which remains thronged by tourists and natives alike. If you are looking for an open space to stroll, this is a perfect place to be. 

Location: Rennweg, Zurich
11

Take a Walk at Lindenhof

Take a Walk at Lindenhof
The entire city of Zurich is steeped in the colour of beauty and grace. If you want to catch a rare glimpse of the city's historical monuments and medieval streets, embark on a walking tour to Lindenhof and get yourself amused with the fascinating views of the oldest neighbourhoods in the Zurich city.

From Fraumunste and St Peter church to Augustinergasse lane, the Linderhof quarter has everything that reflects its old-world charm. You can also take a halt at one of its nearby restaurants or coffee shop and relish your favourite delicacy while taking in the mesmerizing views of Lindenhof hill. 

Location:
Lindenhof, Zurich, Switzerland
12

Take a Boat Ride at Burkliplatz

Take a Boat Ride at Burkliplatz
Hopping on a boat is a perfect way to soak in the beauty of Zurich without facing the maddening crowd. You can find several boats departing from Burkliplatz which take you through the shores of

Zurich Lake and offer excellent views of the nearby villages. While the city is nestled around Lake Zurich, you can also relish the views of the Limmat river which passes through its centre. For all the nature buffs who wish to get away from the bustling streets of Zurich, a boat ride across the city comes as a much-needed escape. 

Location:
Burkliplatz, Zurich, Switzerland
13

Exploring the City on Foot

Exploring the City on Foot
Are you getting out of budget on your Zurich trip? If yes, then apply for the city walk tour and explore this ethereal Swiss destination on foot. Once you get the approval from the in-charge body, i.e., Free Walk Zurich, you will be accompanied by a local tour guide to take you through the city's old town and prominent sightseeing spots.

Even if you are on your own, you can easily cover most of the renowned sites, including Lake Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse, Fraumunster, and Grossmunster churches. All of these touristy places in Zurich are situated within 1 to 2 Km radius and can be easily explored on foot. On your way, you will also find many restaurants and shops, where you can either treat your taste buds with local cuisines or purchase something for your way back home.

Location:
Zurich, Switzerland
14

Catch a Show at the Opera House

Catch a Show at the Opera House
A perfect stop for the art connoisseur, Opera House is a human-sized theatre which organizes ballets, concerts, and music performances. The place witnesses a regular crowd who visit here to see their favourite artists performing live.

Being the finest theatre in the world, the opera house stands as an epitome of 19th-century neoclassical architecture complete with Mozart, Weber, and Wagner. The institution conducts around 300 performances in a year and provides equal opportunities to the budding talents. 

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Timings: 11:00 AM-6:00 PM
15

Shop at the Christmas Markets

Shop at the Christmas Markets
Christmas is the best time to explore the streets of Zurich as it is during this time of the year when the entire market teems with life and celebration. If you want to shop from the largest Christmas markets in Europe, head towards the main train station of the city.

The market features around 140 stalls which remain flooded with visitors throughout the day. As you will usher into the market, you will be welcomed with the scintillating aroma of cinnamon and mulled wine. The 32 feet tall Christmas tree adorned with Swarovski crystals, forms the major highlight of this market.

Location:
Christkindlimarkt, Zurich, Switzerland
16

Excellent Time at Kosmos

Being the recent addition to the city's main street, Kosmos has gathered enormous love from natives, as well as outsiders. Combining varying experiences of entertainment, fun, and discourse, this place forms an ideal hangout spot for the party buffs.

It features an event forum, six cinema halls, one large bistro, book shop, café, and a bar. Whether you opt to spend some hours in solitude at the bookstore or you want to savour the local wines at the bar, it is all up to you. The space also includes a green courtyard which witnesses crowds during the hotter days. If you are looking for an all in one experience in Zurich, a day visit to Kosmos is one of the most thrilling things to do in Zurich in winter. 

Location: Lagerstrasse, Zurich, Switzerland

Timings: Mon-Thurs: 8:00 AM-12:00 AM
                Fri: 8:00 AM-2:00 AM
                Saturday: 10:00 AM-2:00 AM
                Sunday: 10:00 AM-11:00 PM 
17

Get Lost at Neumarkt 17

Though the shop looks like any other ordinary shop from the outside, as you will step into it, you will be amused by the latest style of furniture, fittings, and designs. In Neumarkt 17, you will mostly get to see Swiss designed furniture.

The store comprises several rooms which often make the visitors lose their direction. You can also pay a visit to its sister shop nearby called Neumarkt 17 Loft which is owned by the same people, but it has the unique collection of Danish style furniture. If you are looking for an offbeat spot in Zurich, a visit to Neumarkt 17 is totally worth a shot. 

Location: Neumarkt 17, Zurich, Switzerland

Timings: Tuesday-Saturday: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
18

Zoological Museum at the University of Zurich

Whether you are a solo traveller or travelling with your family, a tour to the Zoological Museum will be one of the perfect leisurely things to do in Zurich in winter. The museum is free of any entry charges, and hence, you can take a halt even with the empty pockets.

Once you enter into this zoological museum, you will be welcomed by a varied species of animals and birds marking their presence with growling and chirping sounds. From wild boar to deer, whales, and spiders, there are a total of 1500 species of animals that you can record here in your camera. If you are a wildlife buff willing to spend some time with your furry friends, Zoological museum is an ideal getaway destination for you. 

Location:
Zoologisches Museum, Karl-Schmid-Strasse

Price  Free Entry

Timings:
10:00 AM-5:00 PM (closed on Monday)
19

Penguin Parade Event at Zoo

If you are travelling with your kids, a visit to the city zoo is one of the most fun things to do in Zurich in winter. One thing that sets the zoo part from the rest of the zoos in Switzerland is its Penguin parade event.

While watching these beautiful creatures walking in a row will make you fall in love with them, you can also join them in their parade during the lunch hours. The company of these little penguins will not only sweep away your stress, but it will take you to altogether a different world. Whatever minimal entrance fee you pay will be used for the betterment of the zoo. 

Location:
Zürichbergstrasse, Zurich, Switzerland

Price:
Adults (more than 21 years): CHF26
           Young people (16-20): CHF 21
           Children (6-15): CHF 13
           Kids under six years: Free entry

Timings:
9:00 AM-6:00 PM
20

Warm Up at the Sukkulenten Sammlung

If you want to warm up yourself in a lush green environment, a visit to Sukkulenten Sammlung is all that you need. Being home to around 4500 species, it is considered as one of the largest succulents in the world.

The interior of this place is complete with seven greenhouses, plus cacti, an outdoor rockery, aloes, and pennyworts. The mechanism by which these plants use their stems, leaves, and roots to store water is one of its kind. The botanical garden also conducts periodical displays in which visitors are provided with an insight into the survival mechanism of succulents. 

Location: Mythenquai, Zurich, Switzerland

Timings: 9:00 AM-4:30 PM
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21 February 2020
Excellent
The Black Forest and the Rhine Falls were in my bucket list for so long. I was excited to visit these places and I loved the place. Not only did I enjoyed my visit but also loved learning the craft of Titisee. This was a new experience that I had in my life and I cannot forget learning this craft. The best part of the trip was having a black forest cake in the black forest. I would totally recommend you to plan your trip to the Black forest.
06 January 2020
Excellent
Had never heard of this hidden gem of a place before! The trip, despite being short, covered the best of the features in that region- Laufen castle, Rhine falls, and even the famed Bahnhofstrasse street, which is said to be the Swiss counterpart of Avenue 5! Also, The view of the Rhine falls will remain etched in my memory as a wonderful souvenir from Switzerland!
I really wanted to visit Lucerne on my Switzerland trip, and Thrillophilia just made it really affordable! For a small city like Lucerne, this day trip is just the best! The train ride with a stunning view of the Alps was the highlight of this day trip! And Lucerne is even more beautiful than I imagined!
08 February 2020
Excellent
This was the best tour of my life. Everything was well planned and informed except the pickup time as we had to wait a bit for the tour operator. But as the trip began, everything became very smooth, and we were able to enjoy the magnificent views of Grindelwald in the best manner. Here are a few pros and cons of this trip. Pros: · Excellent support from the team. · Great discount on the package. · Got optimum time to enjoy the tour · The guide was very friendly · Convenient transportation Cons: · Had to wait for our tour operator · We were not informed before that it would be so cold here
14 January 2020
Excellent
One of the best decisions I made on my journey to Zurich was booking a Private Zurich Airport Transfers to the city via Thrillophilia. Exceeding my expectations, the ride was extremely comfortable and I would really like to thank the driver who despite my little one's constant nags throughout the journey was calm and understanding.
18 January 2020
Excellent
Comfort, beauty and pleasure; three words that describe my E Tuk Tuk Experience. Totally worth the price. This awesome experience took us to some of the best places in Zurich like Sechseläutenplatz, Niederdorf, the National museum and many other places. Enjoyed the picturesque steers of Zunich and loved capturing the beautiful buildings.
15 November 2019
Superb
Started the journey early in the day so that I can enjoy the beauty of the Black mountains. I was thrilled to visit the largest waterfall in Europe. The best part about this trip was when we learnt the craft of Titisee. An experience to remember for life.
12 December 2019
Excellent
It was an enjoyable trip from start to finish! Right from pick up to drop off, we did not have to worry about a single thing! Everything was arranged, and the train journey over the Albis pass took my breath away! We also had a short stop at the Lion Monument, and we got a good lot of time to explore Lucerne properly! The train journey offers glimpses of the Alps throughout, and you wouldn’t feel bored for a minute.
13 November 2019
Excellent
I had planned the tour of Grindelwald and Interlaken with my family. The tour operator took care of all the essentials, Thanks for all the support.
23 December 2019
Excellent
I booked this tour for me and my 4 friends and we had a blast of a time. We did not even saw the time once as we were enjoying the amazing and its places. We took a lot of pictures of the various places and especially the beautiful old buildings.

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People Also Ask About Zurich

  1. How to get to Zurich in winter?

    By Air:

    Zurich airport is one of the largest airports in entire Switzerland and hence, you will find all the major airlines flying to this destination. Once you reach the airport, you can get on a train to Hauptbahnhof, which is the central railway station of Zurich.

    By Road:

    If you are travelling to Zurich from any other part of Switzerland, a road journey is the most viable option. Most of the highways in Switzerland have well-connected routes leading to Zurich. However, it is advisable to get an international license before you embark on your Zurich road trip.

    By Train:

    Switzerland has an efficient railway system which allows a good connectivity between all the major cities in the country. If you have your Swiss Travel Pass, just hop on a train to Hauptbahnhof station and get down at Bahnhofstrasse, which is situated in the heart of the city.
  2. Why visit Zurich in winter?

    In the colder months, the entire city of Zurich seems to be immersed in the joyous vibe of celebrations. From visiting winter Christmas markets to Alpine restaurants, carnivals and natural sights, there are umpteen of exciting things that one can try on their winter excursion to Zurich. Whether you want to indulge in amazing shopping experiences or you wish to sip on the glass of wine, winter is an ideal time to pamper yourself. If you want to see the city enveloped in snow, embark on a Zurich trip during the winter season and treat your eyes to the mesmerizing views around.
  3. Where to stay when you visit Zurich in the wintertime?

    Though there are bountiful of stay options in Zurich, here is a compiled list of the best winter accommodations in the city:

    1. Oldtown Hostel Otter
    2. Motel One Zurich
    3. Park Hyatt Zurich
    4. Baur Au Lac
    5. Hotel Helmhaus
    6. Hotel Alexander
    7. Coronado Hotel
    8. Hotel Alder
    9. Hotel Glaernischhof
    10. ACASA Suites

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