Zurich Card itinerary: Fun excursions in Switzerland’s largest city

Today (the 1st of August) is Switzerland Day!! 🇨🇭 It is one of our favourite countries in the world and there is no better time to write a post about the Zurich’s very own multi-modal public transport card. The local tourism board was gracious in providing us with a 72-hour Zürich Card this May. This post highlights a few amazing spots around the city and how to use the card to save a few Swiss Francs.

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A lovely viewpoint across the Limmat

Zurich Old from the ETH pub during sunset

Zurich Old from the ETH pub during sunset

Table of Contents

  • Uetliberg mountain
  • Boat excursion on Lake Zurich
  • Lindt Factory and Shop, Kilchberg
  • Funicular to an affordable pint
  • Downtown Zurich attractions
    • Grossmunster and its tower
    • Swiss National Museum
    • Lindenhof Hill
    • Äss Bar – Sustainable cafe
  • Zürich Card details & money-saving tips

Top tip: If you’re just transiting through Zurich and can cover only a couple of spots, make the Grossmünster towers one of them. The views from the top are unbelievable!

Uetliberg Mountain

TripAdvisor

Zurich’s very own mountain affords stunning views of the Alps, the city, Lake Zurich and some picturesque valleys. The S10 runs every 30 mins and takes travelers from Zurich HB to the peak in 30 minutes. It is an excellent excursion and superb for an apero on a sunny evening.

uetlibergBahn

One of the many train shots taken 😉

Boat excursion on Lake Zurich

One of the biggest advantages of the Zurich Card is that it includes the ZSG boat surcharge and hence you can hop on a public transport boat and enjoy the lake at a placid pace. Note that not all routes and stops are within the validity map but it is very easy to get a free 30 min – 45 min trip.

Boat timetables

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The fountain seemed like a smaller cousin of Geneva Jet d’Eau

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Approaching the end of my ride

Lindt Factory and Shop, Kilchberg

TripAdvisor

This is a chocolate lovers’ dream come true! The whole area around the factory smells like chocolate and while the new visitor centre is being built, it is still worth visiting the factory shop to pick up a LOT of Lindt chocolates. There are many varieties that aren’t available in airports! Convenient S-Bahn and bus connections to central Zurich.

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Look at those filled beauties 😉

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The bars in the middle are 5x the normal size

Tip: It’s very easy to combine a visit to Kilchberg with a boat excursion after work by taking the hourly ferry to Kilchberg from where the chocolate factory is a short walk away.

Affordable pints via the Polybahn

Pub Facebook page

It’s common knowledge that university pubs are among the cheapest in the city and no better way to reach the ETH pub than to take the 100+ year old Polybahn. Not only are pints of beer sub 10 CHF, but the view of the city from the pub terrace is also stunning.

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Polybahn front-row seat

Must-visit spots in downtown Zurich

Grossmunster and its tower

TripAdvisor

Spectacular cathedral listed on every Zurich travel article. Climbing its tower costs 5 CHF and the 187 steps to the top are a small price to pay for spectacular views all around. Zurich’s old town is a riot of colour and the tower presents the perfect exhibition spot.

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Every angle from the top of the tower is gorgeous!

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Wish the skies were clearer..

Swiss National Museum

TripAdvisor

Great stop if you’re interested in the history and culture of Switzerland. It is closed on Monday. Here are other museums that are free or discounted with the Zurich card.

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Tip: A fun way to get to the National Museum from the Lake Zurich Bürkliplatz terminal is via boat on the Limmat River! (also included in the Zurich card)

Lindenhof Hill and Zurich old town

TripAdvisor

Another staple of any Zurich travel article. A very picturesque part of town.

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Classic Grossmunster facing view

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One of the streets around Lindenhofplatz

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Cute couples ❤

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Another beautiful old town staple

Äss-Bar

TripAdvisor (branches across Switzerland)

Leaving aside the chuckle-inducing name, this cozy old town spot serves up sandwiches, pastries, and bread that are a few hours old but still very delicious. I pretty much bought a 3-course lunch for 10 CHF, a price that is unheard of in Zurich. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the taste. Lovely concept around food sustainability (a bit like TooGoodToGo) that is supported by some of the top Swiss bakeries who partner with this store.

Zurich Card details & money-saving tips

Cost: The 72 hr Zurich pass costs 53 CHF while the 24 hr card costs 27 CHF.

As with other cities, there is more value to be gained for a longer period pass. This pass is a must buy in any case if travelling from the airport as the day ticket that encompasses the airport and the city centre is a touch over 17 CHF.  A single visit to a museum or a boat ride to zone 150 helps cover the pass cost quite easily. Here’s the current Zurich card validity map.

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Money saving tip: Because the Zurich card has such an extensive zone validity, it is easy to find AirBnb (referral link, £25 off your first booking) flats in the non-centre zones and zip to Zurich HB using the extensive S-Bahn network within 30 mins. For example, I was based in this clean AirBnb in a very quiet and green area during this trip.

Zurich Card verdict

It’s a buy all the way for the public transport traveller! We hope that some of the post destinations inspire you to explore more of this Swiss gem.

© 2019 Beyond Our Horizons

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Blog header created by Syamantak Gupta

 

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