This post was most recently updated on December 15th, 2019
If you throw together a beautifully-preserved old town, endless greenery, wondrous snow-capped mountains, fresh air, and serene lake views, you’ll end up with Zurich, Switzerland.
Zurich holds the title for Switzerland’s largest city with around 380,000 inhabitants. Quite frankly, it’s no wonder all the Swiss flock there; if we could sum up Zurich into only two words, they’d be insanely and gorgeous.
For us travelers, two days in Zurich is the perfect amount of time to explore all the exciting activities and sights Zurich has to offer.
Here’s the perfect itinerary for two days in Zurich!
Two days in Zurich: Arriving
If you’re arriving in Zurich via airplane, don’t bother with an expensive taxi fare. Instead, hop aboard the airport’s train to Downtown Zurich (a one-way ticket costs about $7 USD) and mentally prepare yourself to be blown away by Zurich’s beauty.
You won’t have long to prepare yourself though; this train will drop you off in Downtown Zurich in just ten minutes!
Two days in Zurich: Where to stay
Leave your things at your hotel and start exploring!
If these areas are out of your price range, don’t worry! Zurich’s transportation system is thorough and easy to use. And while Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city, it’s not really all that big; most of the major sites are within walking distance from Hauptbanhof (Zurich’s Central Station).
Two days in Zurich: What to do
It’s your first day in Zurich, so what should you do?
Kick off your two days in Zurich by heading straight to Altstadt, or Zurich’s Old Town. Here, wander through the narrow and winding cobblestone streets, gawk at the colorful, wonderfully-preserved buildings, and stroll along the Limmat River.
Browse the small shops, grab some Swiss chocolate, and do a bit of people watching. Spend a decent amount of time in Altstadt meandering through the alleys, taking in its beauty and history.
Click here to book a Chocolate & Sweets Walking Tour of Zurich’s Old Town! We highly recommend this!
Once you’ve had your fill exploring Altstadt’s quiet cobblestone alleys, make your way to Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s premier shopping street – a must visit during your two days in Zurich. Here, you’ll find window-shopping stores such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and Cartier, and you’ll also find the likes of Zara, H&M, and Mango.
Bahnhofstrasse is one of Zurich’s most bustling streets, located in the heart of Old Town!
Now, it wouldn’t be a European city without a few famous churches or cathedrals to visit, would it? For breathtaking panoramic views and brilliant photo opportunities of the city, mountains, and Lake Zurich, visit Grossmunster and climb the stairs to the top of the tower.
Next, pay Fraumunster, or the Church of our Lady, a visit to appreciate its beautiful architecture and stained glass windows. Artist, Marc Chagall’s stained glass windows inside Fraumunster, alone, make this beautiful church worth visiting.
And of course, a trip to Zurich wouldn’t be complete without a stroll along Lake Zurich, so do just that.
Take it slow, enjoy the cool breeze, watch the geese float along the docks, and let the lake’s peaceful, calming vibes take over.
For an unbeatable view of Zurich, take to the mountains! Hike, jog, bike, or take the train up to Uetliberg Mountain. Once there, take in the sweeping panoramic views, sit down for a glass of wine and a delicious meal, and continue to be wowed by Zurich’s beauty. In the summer, hiking and mountain biking are great activities to partake in at the top of Uetliberg, and in the winter, sledding is a popular pastime.
If you have any extra time, you might fancy a visit to a museum or two. There are many different museums on offer in Zurich, but if I were you, I’d go with Kunsthaus Zurich or Rietberg, both of which are excellent art museums.
And lastly, during your two days in Zurich, don’t forget to try some traditional Swiss food such as fondue, Raclette cheese, ragout of veal and mushrooms, and rösti.
Your best bet for good food will be in the downtown area.
Two Days in Zurich, Switzerland: Pros
Zurich is absolutely breathtaking. From its mountains to its colorful Old Town, you’d be hard-pressed to find a city as naturally and historically beautiful as Zurich.
If you’re looking for a place to relax and get away from it all, Zurich’s calming setting is just the place for you.
And another definite plus is that Zurich is incredibly safe, so feel free to let your guard down and explore where you so please (but always take precautions against pickpockets)!
Two Days in Zurich, Switzerland: Cons
Zurich, first and foremost, is expensive. If you’re traveling on a tight budget, Zurich (and probably Switzerland in its entirety) is not the place for you. I wish you the best of luck in finding a place to serve you a plate of vegetarian spaghetti for less than $20 USD. No joke.
However, you can find great deals on Zurich accommodations here!
And secondly, I dined in at least six different restaurants and eateries in Zurich and did not have even one memorable meal. Everything I ate was completely underwhelming; what a shame – especially with those price tags!
Two Days in Zurich: Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooooo!
But guys, don’t let my list of cons discourage you from visiting Zurich.
Now that you know just how expensive Zurich is, you won’t faint from sticker shock, and hopefully you’ll have better luck with restaurants than I did!
Despite those two letdowns, I had an amazing time in Zurich. How could I not, while taking in those incredible views and sipping on fabled Swiss wines? (Really, when have you ever seen Swiss wines? It’s likely that you never will, unless you travel to Switzerland!). And I loved our hotel, too!
Enjoy Zurich and don’t forget to cry out “Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooooo!” from the top of Uetliberg Mountain!
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Over to you! Have you visited Zurich before? Did you do exactly what I did? Or do you have other recommendations to add? If not, is Zurich on your bucketlist?
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