Switzerland is home to an abundance of activities and attractions, and each city has a unique charm to it. While the activities in Zurich are plentiful, there are even more outside of the city that would be a pity not to enjoy. Widen your horizons as you get up high and close to the mountains, discover the secret recipe behind the smooth and creamy Swiss cheese, and even step outside of Switzerland, journeying to a place that seems as though it would only exist in a fairytale. Listed below are 7 incredible day trips from Zurich that are definitely not to be missed!
When in Switzerland, it’s simply a must to visit the Jungfraujoch or, as more commonly known, the Top of Europe. It’s a veritable winter wonderland, standing at 11,333 feet (3,454 meters) high and surrounded by spectacular glaciers and towering peaks. There are several viewing platforms where you get to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the stunningly beautiful surroundings that will leave you puzzled, wondering if this is, in actual fact, reality.
Getting here from Zurich usually begins with a 2-hour scenic drive through the Bernese Oberland, to Lauterbrunnen. You will then take a cogwheel train up to Europe’s highest-altitude train station, which is situated amongst the alpine wilderness, and arrive 11,333 feet (3,454 meters) high at the Top of Europe / Jungfraujoch.
You’ll get the privilege to walk along the glaciers and stop at the Sphinx Observatory for sweeping views of Europe’s longest glacier, the Aletsch Glacier. If the weather is clear, you’ll even be able to catch glimpses of Italy and France beyond those mountain peaks!
Top of Europe Day Trip From Zurich
Price: from 238 USD
Duration: around 11.5 hours required
Living up to its status of being Switzerland’s capital, Bern is a charming medieval town overflowing with architectural and cultural delights. You’ll find impressive architectural buildings that can’t help but leave you gasping in admiration. You’ll find hidden narrow cobblestone streets in the picture-perfect old town, and you’ll interact with friendly locals who will brighten up your day almost instantly.
When you wander around the old town long enough, you’ll come face to face with the impressive late-gothic Bern Cathedral, standing proudly in the center of the old town. You can also make a quick pit stop for some fine Swiss cookie-tasting at Kambly Experience and discover the magic formula behind those tantalizing buttery goodies. Switzerland is a heaven for all pastry junkies! Further spoil your taste buds when you visit an Emmentaler Show Dairy, and taste some creamy cheesy Swiss magic during a tasting session.
Bern Day Trip from Zurich
Price: from 150 USD
Duration: around 10.5 hours required
A large waterfall with unparalleled beauty, Rhine Falls is the largest plain waterfall in Europe. This captivating sight will get you hooked almost instantly, and there are plenty of photo opportunities here so get ready to whip out your camera for a picture-perfect photograph! If you’re visiting during June to August, you can take an optional boat ride to get right in the middle of the falls! This is as close as you can get to feeling the powerful force of the waterfalls cascading into the depths below. While you’re at it, pause to photograph the medieval Laufen Castle (Schloss Laufen), perched gracefully on the cliff overlooking Rhine Falls.
Rhine Falls Day Trip
Price: from 54 USD
Duration: around 3.5 hours required
A peaceful wonderland of alpine lakes, roaring waterfalls, and vast valleys, Heidiland is a paradise for anyone who would love a quiet retreat. Just looking at its serene landscapes soothes even the angriest soul. Getting here from Zurich usually involves a coach, which will bring you past spectacular scenery as you sit comfortably on the seats and watch the world go by.
A German-speaking principality sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein is one of the tiniest countries in the world. Step into this country and you’ll feel like you’re in some sort of fantasy land, where medieval castles abound and everyone is nice (Liechtenstein has one of the lowest crime rates in the world). Surrounded by medieval castles, alpine chalets, and villages linked by a network of trails, Liechtenstein is even governed by a monarch system. It’s pure magic here!
There are a remarkable number of trails to hike, and valleys and slopes for skiing, making it an ideal getaway for outdoor enthusiasts. There are plenty of opportunities to interact with nature. Explore its charming capital, Vaduz, which is frequently symbolized by its iconic castle in which the Prince resides. It’s hard to believe such a place exists outside of the fairytale books you read when you were young.
Price: from 87 USD
Duration: around 7.5 hours required
A trip to Switzerland wouldn’t be complete without visiting Interlaken. Even its name sounds cool. Lying in the Bernese Oberland that features a stunning backdrop of peaking mountains and extraordinary scenery, it’s frequently placed on travelers’ bucket lists. Packed with adrenaline activities and landscapes that are particularly mind-blowing when you’re gliding above 4,000-meter-high (13,123-foot-high) peaks, it’s a successful tourist destination visited by millions each year.
Boasting a commanding and large array of snow-capped mountains, Grindelwald is commonly known as Glacier Village. The picturesque views you get here are undoubtedly some of the finest in the world. Grindelwald is a hiker’s paradise, home to tons of trails each leading to something magnificent to be discovered. During the summer season, you can take a cable car ride up Mount First and enjoy the unrivalled views of the spectacular landscapes. It’s simply stunning and provides a moment not to be forgotten.
Interlaken and Grindelwald Day Tour
Price: from 98 USD
Duration: around 11.5 hours required
Lucerne is the epitome of a gorgeous Swiss city. It features quaint city streets, a well-preserved medieval old town with lots of historical character, a glistening blue lake that seems to sparkle no matter how you look at it, and charismatic cafes providing you with the perfect setting to indulge in a Swiss fondue. As you cruise the shimmering surface of Lake Lucerne while you absorb the splendid views of the Albis Pass mountain range, you’ll find yourself wishing you could call this place home.
Lucerne Day Trip
Price: from 88 USD
Duration: around 9.5 hours required
When you mention Switzerland, the first few things that pop to mind are mountains, cheese, and chocolate. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a tour to explore the Swiss countryside, featuring picturesque towns, discover secret recipes and sample authentic Swiss cheese at a traditional cheese factory, experience the quaint town of Appenzell, and end it off by treating your eyes to a feast as you take an aerial cable car to Mount Hoher Kasten for views that are out of this world.
Another stop on this tour is none other than the Lindt Factory Outlet. A haven for all chocolate-lovers, the Lindt Factory Outlet is where you can let yourself go wild and splurge on delectable Swiss chocolate. This is a must-do when visiting Switzerland! You simply just can’t leave without buying Lindt chocolates to take back with you!
Price: from 148 USD
Duration: around 8.5 hours required
Discovering different charms
It would be a real pity to visit Switzerland without exploring some of its other cities and countryside areas. While on the surface it may seem like a Swiss city is super standard, featuring the usual pretty houses, medieval streets, and lots of mountains within sight. But, it’s just different when you actually get there and explore. After all, there’s always much more than meets the eye!
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