From awe-inspiring views of Lake Zurich to summer-friendly options for families, Zurich is blessed with incredible parks, gardens, and patches of green where you can spend hours of relaxation and entertainment. With around seventy Zurich parks and green spaces, you’re bound to find a place to stroll along grassy lawns, sit under tree-shaded benches, and smell the scent of seasonal flowers that add a burst of color to the surroundings.
The parks in Zurich are wonderful places and mesmerizing settings that offer natural experiences, sightseeing opportunities, and local flora and fauna awaiting discovery. They’re also a diverse natural wonder, with water features, forests, and major attractions like museums and historic landmarks.
So wear your most comfy clothing, pack your picnic basket, and spend your next weekend on a park adventure. If you still have things to do after or plan to participate in other activities like hiking, shopping, or dining, store your belongings in our storage location in Zurich and collect them anytime. This way, you can do whatever you want without your bags or items holding you back.
Old Botanical Garden
The Old Botanical Garden can be your first stop for a nature getaway. It’s only a few minutes’ walk from Zurich Main Station and 9.3 kilometers from Zurich Airport, making it an ideal place to pause and take a break before heading to your hotel or your next destination. Since its inception in 1837, it has impressed visitors with its outstanding collection of ancient trees and exotic plant life.
Go to the park’s highest point to reach the medieval herb garden. It was established to pay homage to the naturalist and city doctor Conrad Gessner, hence the name Gessner Garden. Here, you’ll discover more than fifty medicinal plants, offering an insight into 16th-century medicinal plant knowledge.
Another significant feature at the Old Botanical Garden is the octagonal palm house now used for exhibitions, events, and concerts. The original 1851 palm house was made of glass and wood but was replaced by cast iron in 1877. For younger visitors, an adventure garden is available, tucked behind the trees, offering three stations of play and discovery.
Zurich Wilderness Park Sihlwald
If you’re serious about exploring the great outdoors, you’ll have to drive about 12.5 kilometers south of the central city to reach this nature discovery park. Zurich Wilderness Park Sihlwald (Wildnispark Zurich Sihlwald) is one of the country’s oldest nature discovery parks, nestled in the heart of the Zurich metropolitan region. It provides undisturbed wildlife habitats and allows visitors to witness unspoiled nature.
This wilderness park in Zurich features a unique combination of woodlands, riverscapes, and forests. It is also home to a visitor center, a gateway to the woods, with a nature museum, fireplaces, a children’s playground, and a restaurant located in the Sihlwald hamlet. Wander through the park, and you’ll eventually find yourself in the middle of gnarly deadwood and old giant trees.
For those who want to extend their stay, you’ll be glad to know that the Wildnispark Zurich has a campsite on the bank of the Sihl, a few furnished guest rooms, and a family room in Langenberg for a comfortable sleep. And if you didn’t pack enough food for the group, a restaurant is available to order tasty local and international cuisines.
The Chinese Garden
You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to one of China’s gorgeous green areas at Zurich Chinese Garden. It’s one of the top nature gardens outside of China, situated on Lake Zurich. It was a gift from Zurich’s Chinese sister city, Kunming, the largest city and modern capital of Yunnan province in southwestern China.
This temple garden is well-maintained and clean, with meandering walkways that will take you through temple buildings, a rock tunnel, and over the bridges. It seems small on the outside, but when you walk in, you’ll be captivated by its impressive features and offerings. It’s an incredible oasis of peace and tranquility with shady trees and areas to play and unwind.
The park’s key features are the small pond with pavilions, a small island, and a little palace on the banks. It’s free to enter, so there’s no reason not to add this to your must-visit list in Zurich.
Zurich can be incredibly busier in spring and summer, so if you’re looking for a peaceful spot to escape the crowd and the heat, Arboretum Park is the place to go. It’s part of Lake Zurich’s embankments, inaugurated in 1887, creating lakefronts to make the lake accessible from the city. It is situated on the north-western corner of Lake Zurich and can be reached from Bürkliplatz in five minutes on foot.
The Arboretum Park was initially designed for botanical education, but most visitors use it as a park, ideal for a relaxed stroll and basking in the sun. You can sit on the well-manicured grass while enjoying the view and watching the wild animals that call it home. It’s also a photographer’s paradise, with scenic backdrops, mountain plants, colorful flowers, and postcard-worthy spots throughout the area.
You might be tempted to go swimming in the lake in the summer months, so be sure to bring extra clothes in case you can’t resist the urge to take a dip. Besides the lake, many visitors appreciate the informative signage that informs them what trees they’re looking at, making a visit to this beautiful park an educational experience for everyone.
Located in the heart of Zurich, a short walk to the Swiss National Museum, Park Platzspitz is one of the city’s oldest green areas with a history dating back to the 15th century. It was a former pasture used for shooting and hunting and a place where traditional shooting contests were founded.
This Zurich park is a perfect stop after a tour of the museum and other attractions nearby. It’s filled with lush greenery, tree-lined walkways, and delightful picnic areas that it’s easy to forget that it was once a den for drug users from across the country flocking to the city in the eighties and nineties. There were even times when up to 3,000 drug users and dealers gathered in the park daily, which led to Platzspitz becoming notoriously known as Needle Park.
The good news is that the park was cleaned up, renovated, and rehabilitated. It is once again a beloved oasis of tranquility and peace in the city center. There’s little to no sign of its dark past as the core of Switzerland’s huge drug problem just a few decades ago. Although there are always people around the park, especially on weekends, it never seems overly crowded. It’s easy to reach with the main station opposite the park and offers access to the Limmat River.
A soothing outdoor environment awaits you at Belvoir Park, one of the largest and most beautiful historic parks in Zurich. No matter what time of the year you come, you’ll encounter locals and visitors eager to soak in the calming atmosphere it offers. With breathtaking city views, landscaped gardens, lake terrains, lush trees, massive pools, and vast lawns, you won’t run out of things to do and places to explore at Belvoir Park.
Plant lovers and horticulture enthusiasts will find over 120 plant species that have called the park home since 1985. It also features a park villa boasting one of the area’s oldest landscaped gardens. Every weekend, families, couples, and individuals looking for a calming respite from the city’s bustle come here to have a picnic, lie on the grass, read a book, or simply soak in the serene setting.
If you’re visiting in spring, don’t miss the chance to see the Iris Garden, with beds brimming with irises of all colors, creating an eye-pleasing splash of hues against the trees and green lawns. And don’t forget your camera to capture the views of the mountains, lake, and the city.
If you’re staying in or near the busy city district of Enge, another place to check out is Rieterpark. It’s across the road from Belvoir Park, which could be included in your trip. It covers an area of more than 70,000 square meters, making it the largest park in Zurich.
The park was created in 1855, surrounding the villa of German merchant and financier Otto Wesendonck. It became the property of the Rieter family in 1871 and was eventually purchased by the city of Zurich and became a public park in 1945. Thanks to its location on a hillside, visitors can get incredible views of the Glarner Alps on a clear day.
Unlike other parks in Zurich, it’s not necessarily designed for children. However, younger visitors can still play around the well-manicured lawns, while family members and groups can gather and picnic. Some beech trees you’ll spot in the park are more than 150 years old and part of the original grove.
From dog walking and cycling to practicing yoga or doing sports, Lake Promenade is a wonderful place with plenty of areas for recreation, fun, and exercise. It allows everyone to spend quality time with their loved ones and meet new people, as it’s always filled with people from all walks of life. Young and old are sure to find something to do here, whether your idea of fun is sunbathing on the lawn, jogging with your dog, or simply sitting by the lake while catching up with a friend.
This promenade along the lakeshore is a famous meeting place for international visitors and locals. It serves as a recreation area for a wide range of people of all ages, attracting street artists, performers, beach lovers, inline skaters, cyclists, and runners, creating a colorful and vibrant scene in the area.
Stop at the Bürkliplatz viewing terrace in the middle of the promenade to see as far as the Alps in good weather and marvel at other lakeside park areas. if you’re spending your Christmas holidays in the city, Sechseläutenplatz is an obligatory destination. This large square is often dominated by the bright Christmas market.
What used to be an industrial area filled with sand, ash, and construction debris is now a green building with vines climbing from the ground on steel cables. It still looks like an industrial area with the illusion of a building recreated without structural walls. As soon as you enter, you’ll feel a different vibe in the Park House, a large open hall enveloped with climbing vegetation.
MFO Park offers a nice contrast between nature and architecture, creating a masterpiece and a green paradise where you can chill and unwind. There are benches inside the Park House and a sundeck to see the surrounding buildings. In spring, you’ll see different colors of vegetation and flowers blanketing the factory building.
This park is a unique green space and a vibrant addition to Switzerland’s park space. The wooded Oerliker Park with ash trees is located nearby and is used for multiple purposes. There’s also an open space that can be used for events and different activities.
Plan a fun and lovely day at the best parks in Zurich
Located at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich, Zurich is proud to be the country’s economic leader, known for its remarkable architectural designs and a charming mix of well-preserved Old Town and buzzing modern life. Due to its strategic location and an airport with many flight connections, it’s often the first destination when visiting Switzerland.
Whether you’re an international visitor heading off on your first Swiss city trip or a local looking for a scenic place to relax and escape the chaotic city life, the parks in Zurich are not to be missed.