Excursions from Zurich: the best day trips around Zurich

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The pretty Swiss town, lying on the lake of the same name, it is the perfect starting point for excursions of various kinds.
In fact, in the surroundings of Zurich it is possible to quickly reach historic towns, spas, castles and places surrounded by nature.
Here's what we suggest you to visit alone, with friends or with the whole family, like the best day trips around Zurich.


  1. Rapperswill
  2. Jugfraujoch aboard the little train
  3. Baden
  4. Winterthur
  5. Rhine falls
  6. Schaffhausen
  7. Lucerne
  8. Basel
  9. Zug
  10. Appenzell
  11. Mount Titlis
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Rapperswill

Also nicknamed the city of roses, as over 16.000 roses bloom in the garden of the Capuchin Monastery from May to October, Rapperswill is a town overlooking the shores of Lake Zurich.
Characterized by medieval alleys, its strong point is the castle which stands on the hill from where you can enjoy a beautiful view.
Inside the manor there is also the Museum of Poland, the work of Polish migrants and their Swiss friends, which exhibits an overview of the relationship between these two countries.

  • Range: 30 km
  • it is 30 km from Zurich, can be reached in 30 minutes by car following the A3 / Chur; direct train takes 35 minutes from central station (Zürich Hauptbahnhof) to Rapperswill (€ 16,44) - Get directions
  • The castle is open April-October Mon-Sun 10: 00-18: 00; November-March 13: 00-17: 00
  • Entrance to the castle and museum costs 5 CHF (€ 4,50)

2 - Jugfraujoch aboard the little train

A very nice excursion starting from Zurich is that of the Jungfraujoch which allows you to admire the highest peaks in Europe aboard a cogwheel train.
During the tour, you will visit the snow-capped mountains of the Swiss Alps and the immense glacier, stop in delightful villages, walk through the tunnels of the ice palace and climb up to the Sphinx panoramic terrace to admire the view.

  • Range: 136 km
  • Tours depart in the morning from Zurich station (reachable by trams 4-13-17 - Get directions) with a private bus to Grindelwald to take the cogwheel train up to Lauterbrunner - Get directions
  • the excursion starts early in the morning and lasts about 12 hours
  • the tour costs € 225,00
  • From Zurich: Jungfraujoch tour on the roof of Europe

3 - Baden

The Romans once lived in this city and in more recent times famous people like Goethe, Nietzsche and Dürrenmatt came to relax.
Baden is indeed famous for its thermal waters at 47 ° that flow from 18 springs and have transformed the town into a wellness center.

Here also various cultural festivals, theatrical performances and international events take place which make the location interesting.
The historic center is also welcoming and deserves to be visited for at least half a day.

  • Range: 22,3 km
  • it is 22,3 Km from Zurich (Get directions); it can be reached by car in 25 minutes following the A1 / A3 / A4 Bern / Basel or in 15 minutes by train from Zurich (Zurich Main Station) to Baden Station (€ 11,69)
  • the thermal baths are open Mon-Sun 8: 00-21: 00
  • start at 20,50 CHF (€ 18,00)

4 - Winterthur

This town, once an industrial stronghold, is now the sixth largest city in Switzerland boasts beautiful museums and festivals that draw audiences from all over Europe.
Do not miss the visit of Villa Am Romerholz which boasts an immense private collection, exhibitions in cafes and restaurants and the beautiful parks of Winterthur.

In the vicinity of the town there are several castles that deserve a stop: Kyburg, Morsburg, Heigi and Wulflingen.

  • Range: 22,5 km
  • it is 22,5 Km from Zurich (Get directions); it can be reached by car in 25 minutes following the A1L towards St Gallen or by train in 28 minutes from Zurich Main Station to Winterthur Station (€ 18,64)
  • The museum is open Tue-Sun 10 am-00pm; Wed 17: 00-10: 00
  • Admission costs 12 CHF (approximately € 11,00)

5 - Rhine Falls

They are the largest waterfalls in Europe; these wonders of nature characterized by a drop of 23 meters, have a basin 150 meters wide.
In the middle there is an imposing rock that can be reached by boat, the same one that leads to Worth Castle and Laufen, located on a cliff overlooking the falls.
Inside the courtyard of Laufen there is a platform that overlooks the imposing jet of water and offers the most daring an experience full of emotions!

  • Range: 39,9 km
  • 47 minutes from Zurich (Get directions); they can be reached in 35 minutes by car following the A1 / A4 / E41 / E60 towards St. Gallen. The train connects Zurich main station to Neuhausen Rheinfall 3 minutes from the waterfall entrance (€ 22,18).
    Alternatively, you can take part in an organized one-day excursion by coach departing from the Zurich bus station
  • every day December and January: 10: 00-16: 00; November, February and March 9: 00-17: 00; September, October, April, May 9: 00-18: 00; June, July and August 8: 00-19: 00. Tours depart in the morning around 8:30 am
  • Entrance to the falls costs 5,00 CFH (€ 4,50); ​​the boat tour costs 10 CHF (€ 9,00); organized 3-hour excursions which also include the boat tour cost € 50,00 - book online
  • Rhine Falls: Coach Tour from Zurich Stein am Rhein and Rhine Falls: Tour from Zurich

6 - Schaffhausen

Lying on the banks of the Rhine, this town is characterized by ancient monuments, Baroque and Renaissance buildings, fortresses that dominate the city and interesting museums.
In every season, this location offers visitors interesting experiences and events: in February there is a picturesque Carnival, in May the JS Bach International Festival dedicated to the great composer and, also in May, there is the Jazz Festival.
In autumn, then, there are several wine festivals and related to the harvest; finally, during the Christmas period Schaffhausen lights up with colorful markets.

  • Range: 43,4 km
  • it is 43,4 km from Zurich (Get directions); by car it takes 40 minutes along the A1 / A4 / E41 / E60 towards St. Gallen. The direct train, on the other hand, leaves from Zurich Main Station and takes 35 minutes to reach Schaffhausen central station (€ 22,18)
    Organized tours often depart from Zurich that combine a visit to this town with the Rhine Falls
  • always accessible; private tours depart in the morning and last 7 hours
  • organized tours cost around € 250,00 - book online
  • Rhine Falls and Schaffhausen: full-day tour

7 - Lucerne

The road that connects Zurich to Lucerne is already very scenic in itself as it runs alongside the beautiful lake and is surrounded by a suggestive mountain panorama.
Once you arrive, you can spend the day walking in the streets of the center and in the numerous squares, admiring the historical monuments such as the Chapel Bridge, the city walls with towers and the monument of the dying lion.

Finally, you cannot miss the Bourbaki Panorama which extends over a length of 112 meters and is one of the best preserved circular monumental works in the world.

  • Range: 47,7 km
  • it is 47,7 km from Zurich (Get directions); it can be reached in 42 minutes by car following the A3 / E41 / A14 / A2 or with the comfortable direct train in 57 minutes (Zurich Main Station - Lucerne central station, € 23,90). From Zurich it is also possible to join various organized tours
  • tours depart in the morning and last around 10 hours
  • organized tours start at around € 60,00 - book online
  • From Zurich: Lucerne and Engelberg full-day tour

8 - Basel

This Swiss city, not far from Zurich,not to be missed if you are a culture lover. It is located on the banks of the Rhine between the Jura mountains, the Black Forest and the Alsatian Vosges.

With over 40 museums the city has a beautiful historic center where the ancient palaces and monuments blend perfectly with the most modern architecture.
The suggestion is to stroll in the Market Square, visit the late Romanesque cathedral, the town hall and the numerous art galleries.

Worth mentioning is the important Basel Carnival, the Art Basel event which takes place in June and March the Basel World, the most important watch fair in the world.

  • Range: 83 km
  • it is 83 km from Zurich (Get directions): by car it takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes following A1 / A3 / A4 Berne-Basel; alternatively the direct train connects the two cities in 50 minutes from Zurich HB to Basel SBB (€ 32,51).
    Finally, there are also organized tours that depart from the Zurich bus station
  • always accessible; day tours depart in the morning
  • tours start from around € 306,00 - book online
  • From Zurich: Full-Day to Basel and Colmar

9 - Zug

It is located in the canton of the same name and rises on the shores of the lake, in front of the Zugerberg mountain.

During a day trip it is possible to admire the various medieval monuments that bear witness to a noble past, the defensive walls, the church of Sant'Osvaldo and the numerous modern architectures.

The city has become famous as a tax haven and today is a global hub for cryptocurrencies; in the new financial commercial area there are several bitcoin ATMs and it is possible to pay with this method in the shops.

  • Range: 27,6 km
  • it is 27,6 km from Zurich (Get directions) it can be reached by car in 30 minutes or by train in 23 minutes from Zurich HB to Zug Bahnhof (€ 16,64). There are organized tours with guides who accompany and explain the tax history of Zug and depart from Zurich station
  • always accessible; organized tours start in the morning and last about 3 hours
  • organized tours start from € 70,00 - book online
  • From Zurich: Private Trip to Zug and the Bitcoin Valley

10 - Appenzell

This green and hilly area, not far from Zurich, it is ideal for an out-of-town excursion and to know the main activity of these places.
The region is known for its dairies and for the processing and production of Appenzeller cheese, world famous.

The ideal is to stop for a visit and a tasting and then continue to discover the Appenzeller Biberi, a delicious gingerbread with nuts and honey, produced in traditional ovens.
Finally, if you are not tired, you can go to the Appenzell Museum to discover the traditions of these places.

  • Range: 82,6 km
  • it is 82,6 Km from Zurich (Get directions) and can be reached by car in 1 hour and 10 minutes following the A1 / A4 / E41 / E60 towards St. Gallen / Winterthur or with an organized tour
  • Tours depart in the morning from the Zurich bus station and last 9 hours
  • Organized excursions start from € 100,00 - book online
  • Swiss Traditions: Full-Day Appenzellerland Tour from Zurich

11 - Mount Titlis

This beautiful hike will make you discover the Swiss glaciers at 3.000 meters.
Usually we pass by Lake Lucerne, from here we head towards Engelberg from where you take a gondola with rotating cabins that allow you to have a wonderful view of the surrounding landscape during the ascent.

At the top, a visit to the Ice Cave is a must or alternatively you can take the Ice Flyer chairlift to observe the glaciers up close.

  • Range: 90,4 km
  • Engelberg is 90,4 km from Zurich (Get directions) and can be reached in 1 hour and 10 minutes by car following the A3 / A14 / A2. By train from Zurich Main Station you arrive in Lucerne (central station) and then from here with another train you arrive at Engelberg station (duration 1 hour and 50, cost € 27,34). Alternatively, private day trips depart from Zurich (Sihlquai car park, opposite the Central Train Station)
  • The cableway and chairlift are open every day from 8:30 am to 17:00 pm; the ice cave is open every day; private tours depart in the morning and return in the evening
  • The cost of the cableway is 92 CHF return (approximately € 80,00) and the cost of the chairlift 12 CHF (approximately € 11,00). The glacier is free. Organized tours cost approximately € 146,00 - book online
  • Mount Titlis: Day Tour from Zurich Mount Titlis: Entrance Ticket Including Ice Flyer

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