Introducing Guest blogger Anna from Expert World Travel
Zurich is an absolute pleasure to visit and a great way to start any itinerary in Switzerland. Whether you are heading the more famous towns of Interlaken, Grindelwald or Zermatt, it’s a great place to start your journey.
With its charming old town, mountain views and enticingly blue water, how can you not resist? And if you are coming here with kids, then it’s best to be prepared with fun activities to do for the whole family.
Sure, you can pop into the odd museum or famous sight, but we all know how quickly the kids get bored. So, without further ado, here are some of the best ways to explore Zurich and its surrounds with kids…
This post is part of our Explore My City series – come and visit cities around the world through the eyes of local parents
Exploring The Old Town
Walking around and photographing old buildings is definitely not most kid’s idea of fun, so here are a few more interactive options they will enjoy. First, you can climb the tower or Zurich’s iconic Grossmunster Church and get a great view of the whole city.
It’s right in the heart of downtown, so super easy to reach. Next, you can head to a view of the river and the Grossmunster from the other side at Lindenhof. It’s a pleasant spot for a break, especially if it’s hot, and you can either watch or play a game of “giant chess” in the park too!
Another great way to entertain the kids is to take the Polybahn cog railway up to the ETH (Zurich’s technical university). Riding a train that actually sits at 45 degrees, and right in the middle of the city, is a once in a lifetime experience, and also part of the standard city public transport. So, if you have a train/tram pass, it won’t cost you a dime.
Finally, if you want to spoil the kids, and they just happen to like chocolate (and who doesn’t) then pop into Conditorei Schober. They have the best hot chocolate in town, and maybe some of the best you will ever experience! Or, if it’s a hot day, you can try the mouth-watering ice-cream at Movenpick’s on Bellevue, which is right by the lake.
Kid-Friendly Museums in Zurich
If the weather is not cooperating on your visit, then staying indoors is definitely your best bet. And Zurich has lots of museums to keep everyone entertained. If your kids like European football, then you are in luck. Zurich is home to FIFA and their extensive football museum located right in the heart of downtown Zurich. It is actually only 5 minutes walk from the lake.
If tech is more up your alley then Zurich’s more recent addition – the Museum of Digital Art, is also a great spot to spend a few hours. They have a range of activities and options centred around code, artificial intelligence and actually, anything to do with tech. It’s often hands-on, so far more fun with kids!
If you want to take the tech and science up a notch, then Technorama in Winterthur, 25 minutes train from downtown Zurich, is an absolute blast. There are more science and tech exhibitions and activities here than you will know what to do with! Of course, Zurich also has lots of art museums, so if you want even more ideas, check out this post from the town of Zurich itself.
Who Doesn’t Like Water?
If you are blessed with sunny weather while in Zurich, one of the best spots to go is Lake Zurich itself. Right in the heart of the city, it offers not only a great spot for a picnic along the shore, but lots of fun water activities as well.
If you want to cool down in the warmer summer months, I recommend one of the two most popular swimming areas in town – Seebad Enge, and Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen. Both are right in the lake, but with facilities and places to eat as well. There are also a few places to rent paddle boats along the lake and river, as well as a couple of spots to try out stand-up paddling if you are game!
Head Up High
Another great way to explore Zurich is to get above the city itself. There are dozens of ways to do this, but here are the easiest and most fun for the whole family. If you don’t have time to head out of the city, then pop down to Zurich West either on a tram or just one train stop from the main station.
Hardbrucke is the name of the stop, and it is right in the more industrial, but up and coming part of Zurich. The best view of the city can be had from the top of the Prime Tower, and it is right on your left as you exit the train station. You can’t miss it.
There is an expensive restaurant at the top, but I recommend you head to the bar instead. Even if you don’t want a drink, I am sure they won’t mind if you just take a quick selfie!
On the right, as you come out of the train station is the Freitag flagship store. They are famous for their recycled truck tarp bags, but their shipping container tower is what you want to see. It’s quite a feat, and you can head into the shop and climb it – for free!
And if you need a break afterward, head next door to the outdoor garden at Frau Gerold’s Garden for a drink or bite to eat. Or, if you have younger kids, there is a popular playground behind the Viadukt just around the corner – it’s called Josefwiese.
If, however, you have a bit more time, a day out up Zurich’s home mountain Uetliberg is the way to go. You can catch the train most of the way up from the main station, then walk the rest of the way to the lookout. There is a viewing area as well as a fun tower to climb, to get an even better view.
You can make a whole day out by continuing the walk along the panorama trail to the cable car at Felsenegg. Here you can catch it down to the train and head back into Zurich.
So Much To Do In Zurich
Zurich is a city full of culture, history and amazing alpine views. The only thing you and your family need to do is decide how you want to spend your time here. If you visit this amazing city in winter make sure you visit the Zurich Christmas Markets – there are four to explore, so plenty to keep the little ones entertained. No matter what you decide to do, you will definitely leave with some amazing Swiss memories!
About the blogger
Anna was born to travel the world having studied languages all her life. Although she has traveled the world she now calls Switzerland home and spends her time writing about her experiences on her travel blog with her husband.
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With thanks to Anna for her contribution to our guest series. If you’d like more on Switzerland, start with this guide to some great off-the-beaten-path destination perfect for Summer. You may also want to check out The Perfect Summer’s Day in Geneva, or this great guide to day trips from Basel with kids.
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