I'm looking for some suggestions for one-day trips from Zürich (Switzerland). It isn't limited to Switzerland, but the place should be reachable within one day.

I'm particularly interested in cities and outdoor activities. I'm living in Switzerland and I already did a lot of one-day excursions, but I'm running out of ideas. So things like go skiing or go shopping isn't the kind of suggestion I'm looking for.

8 Answers 8


There's plenty of stuff you can do (references are to the German Wikipedia for more extensive descriptions, which I assume you read given your origins). I don't know whether you enjoy visiting castles, churches and museums as well, whether "outdoor activities" include things other than hiking, and what kind of nature interests you most. Anyway, here are a few suggestions, most of which are easily reached via public transport.

  • Hike the Laegern from Regensberg to Baden. Both start and end points are worth a visit by themselves. Climb the tower of Regensberg (for the view and the history presented inside); visit the old town of Baden.

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  • Visit the Kyburg and hike in the area.

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  • Take a guided tour of Zurich (you may be different, but most people don't know the city they live in very well).

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  • Climb the Hoernli, which is on a branch of the Jakobsweg - which is in itself a good source of ideas of where to go for a walk.

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Bern Solothurn Fribourg Neuchatel Basel

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  • Visit Trogen, a town that got rich during the industrial revolution, and where little has changed in 150 years.

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  • Take the train through the Loetschberg while it's still the longest land tunnel in the world, get off in Sierre and take the bus up some scary serpentines to the Val d'Annivers, and see beautiful traditional villages, e.g. St. Luc (the entire villages are like this!)

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  • Visit the Bruno Weber Park in Dietikon (10 minutes from Zurich), a park somewhat reminescent of Parc Guell in Barcelona, but more awesome. That snake is a bridge, btw.

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  • thanks that really looks nice, a lot of good suggestions. Oct 22, 2011 at 18:21
  • @Roflcoptr: How many of these did you already do? Are there some that particularly interest you? I have quite a few more ideas, in case you want more suggestions.
    – Jonas
    Oct 22, 2011 at 19:26
  • I visited the big cities like Bern, Freiburg, Basel and also Colmar. I've also been to Baden but the rest I didn't do yet. Oct 24, 2011 at 20:20
  • @Roflcoptr: I've added a few pictures, plus recommendations for Rapperswil, Trogen, and the Val d'Annivers.
    – Jonas
    Nov 7, 2011 at 2:20
  • Nice pics! Wish I could upvote again.
    – user1014
    Nov 7, 2011 at 17:04

One of my favorite places in Switzerland is Interlaken. The are is beautiful and you can take a short train ride up to Kandersteg for some beautiful waterfalls and a great mountain hike. It is a 2 hour train ride. Interlaken is known as the extreme sports capital of Switzerland. You can skydive, canyoneer, or mountain climb.



Another option is Lucern. Lucern is a wonderful city with a interesting old city wall running through it. It also has many other things to see and do.

My last recommendation would be Bern. Bern is the capital of Switzerland. It has some really cool historical buildings and plenty of things to see including the capital buildings.

  • +1 for Interlaken. When in Zurich, we rented a van and took a day trip there for white-water rafting.
    – jjeaton
    Oct 26, 2011 at 18:19

If you like science I'd recommend the Technorama (Swiss Science Center). It's located in Winterthur. So it's very close to Zürich. Most instructions are available in English.


I live in Bern and we have a yearly tradition: The Zibelemärit. From Wikipedia:

The Zibelemärit (Bernese German dialect; English: Onion market) is an annual market with aspects of a fair in the old town of Berne, Switzerland. It takes place on the fourth Monday of each November.

Historical research indicates that the Zibelemärit originated in the 1850s with marmettes, farmer's wives from around Murten, coming to Bern at around St. Martin's Day to sell their produce. However, a persistent local legend holds that the Zibelemärit is a much older festivity. According to this legend, the Bernese awarded the people from the nearby city of Fribourg the right to sell onions in the city in reward for their aid after a fire destroyed much of Bern in 1405.

As the name indicates, it is mainly onions that are sold on the Zibelemärit. Bernese farmers, who are proud of their decorative onion tresses and onion wreaths, also sell other onion products at the market, including Zwiebelkuchen (onion pie), onion soup and onion sausages. Decorative chains of sugar onions are also popular with children.

The Zibelemärit opens very early in the morning, at around 03:00 to 04:00. Later in the morning, the narrow alleys are usually packed tight with people, which is what the Bernese call the Gstungg. A general confetti battle in which mostly children participate ensues at four o'clock in the afternoon, officially ending the market.


You can go to Konstanz in Germany. It is about one hour from Zurich by car or train. It is a rather cosy city and life is less expensive there than in Zurich.

You can also go to Friedrichshafen, visit the Zeppelin Museum and, if you are looking for something special, you can have a sightseeing flight with a dirigible.


Driving to Lake Lucerne have a look and go on to reach the Grimsel Pass. I like doing this by car or motorbike.

Lake Lucerne Grimsel Pass

Another day trip would be Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen, which is the largest plain waterfall in Europe.

Rhine Falls


We were there in January, so we did one day skiing (Flumserberg seems to be the place of choice for most locals, although you can google a few other resorts within 1h-1.5h by train). If you don't have a car, then the cheapest way is to buy Snow'n'Rail package (train + skipass) at the train station.

We also went to Lucern, which is really nice. There is a bit of old town, cruises on the lake (although we didn't have time).


Zurich is very nicely, centrally located, in Switzerland, both within the country itself, and in relation to neighboring countries.

It's about three hours from Geneva, in the French part of the country. Another two hours or so will take you to Lyons, the second largest city in France.

Likewise, it's a couple hours to Locarno, near the Italian border, and a couple hours more will take you to Milan, Italy.

Going to Vienna, or parts of eastern Austria in a day is a "stretch," but there are some major cities in the west such as Innsbruck, with churches and cathedrals, that are within reach. Lichtenstein, and its capital Vaduz, is also on the way.

And parts of southern Germany, such as the Black Forest, or Lake Constance, within a two or three hour radius, with Munich a bit further beyond Lake Constance.

  • Not bad suggestions for a tourist, but I'm living there, so I know that it is not far to either Germany, France, Italy or Liechtenstein or Austria. But Vienna in a day trip is more than a stretch ;) Oct 22, 2011 at 19:33
  • @Roflcoptr: To Vienna and back, plus sightseeing, can be probably done in a 24 hour period, but not a twelve hour period. But sometimes I have a way of "understating." (I lived in Geneva for a year).
    – Tom Au
    Oct 22, 2011 at 19:53
  • 2
    Yes if you have a car, no traffic and no stop on the at least 7-8 hour drive (one way) then you could go there in 24 hours and drink a coffee and visit the stephan's dome. Oct 22, 2011 at 20:17

I'd go to Liechtenstein and hike the Fürstensteig. No different than hiking in Switzerland, but it's fun to visit such a small country.

  • Thanks but I'm a citizen of Liechtenstein ;) Nevertheless +1 you can't know it. Oct 22, 2011 at 16:31
  • Whoops, sorry. Anyway I love your country!
    – user1014
    Oct 22, 2011 at 16:32

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