4 easy must-do weekend trips from Zurich

Published by: BouncePosted
Weekend trips from Zurich

Situated at the north end of Lake Zurich, this picturesque town doesn't necessarily look like the international center for banking and finance that it undoubtedly is. The beautiful Old Town on the shores of the lake makes this historic city feel more like a fairytale place, and you have to look past the old buildings to see the skyscrapers and office towers of the more modern parts of the city.

There's plenty to do in Zürich, whether you're interested in history or outdoor recreation. The lake and the surrounding mountains make this a haven for outdoor lovers, but thanks to the presence of so many international bankers, Zürich also has plenty of cultural attractions, including some world-leading restaurants. The truth is, you could spend a lifetime in Zürich without running out of things to do.

However, Zürich is also close to some fascinating places to explore, and if you're looking for a weekend trip, you're in luck. Switzerland is packed with gorgeous lakes, the impressive mountains of the Swiss Alps, and, thanks to its history of neutrality, some of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Additionally, Switzerland has one of the world's best high-speed rail networks, so it's easy to get just about anywhere from Zurich, whether you're looking for a day trip or a longer weekend trip.

But before you head to the train station, don't forget to drop off your bags somewhere. Whether you're traveling by train or car, you'll have a much easier time if you don't carry heavy bags around with you. Bounce provides convenient luggage storage in Zürich and in hundreds of cities around the world so that you never need to carry more than you have to.

Weekend trip from Zurich to Lucerne


Located south of Zurich in central Switzerland, Lucerne is easy to reach for day trips from Zurich and longer weekend excursions. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, this beautiful city is a fantastic place for outdoor adventures and for cultural experiences.

Distance from Zurich:

Lucerne is around 50 km south of Zürich and is reachable by car in only 45 minutes. A single train ride will get you there in the same amount of time, so this is not only a great option for day trips but a good choice if you don't want to drive.

Our activity recommendations:

Mount Pilatus: Rising 2128 m above sea level, this mountain dominates the landscape around Lucerne and is steeped in legend. As you would imagine, the views from the top are absolutely incredible, taking in the beautiful waters of the lake and the Old Town at its shore. In the summer, you can explore the mountain by taking a paddle steamer from Lucerne to the base of the mountain, then riding a cogwheel train up the steep slope to the top. From there, you can take a gondola back down to the town.

Lake cruises: Lake Lucerne is a huge part of what makes the town as beautiful as it is, and you can take a cruise over the clear waters of the lake to appreciate the mountainous scenery of the Swiss Alps at its very best. The Old Town of Lucerne looks almost unbelievably beautiful from the water, so don't forget your camera as you explore this magnificent outdoor paradise.

Chapel Bridge: Probably the most iconic structure in Lucerne, this 14th-century bridge is the world's oldest surviving truss bridge. Decorated with 17th-century paintings portraying events from the history of the town, this 200 m bridge is a great place to walk and admire the beauty of Lake Lucerne and this gem of the Swiss Alps.

Best season to visit:

Winter in Lucerne can be quite cold, and many of the tourist attractions shut down for the season. Lucerne gets busy with tourists in the summer, so fall is a great time to visit to avoid crowds and save some money. The mountains around the town are even more impressive after the first snowfall, which usually happens early in the fall.

Basel weekend trip from Zurich


Not exactly a hidden gem, Basel is one of the major cities of Switzerland. However, it's easy to reach, sitting on a bend of the Rhine River right on the borders with both France and Germany. And there's so much to do here that you really shouldn't miss out on taking at least a day trip, if not a weekend excursion, here.

Distance from Zurich:

Basel lies a little less than 90 km from Zurich, and you can reach it with a drive of around an hour and 10 minutes. It's actually a little quicker to take the train between the two cities since the intercity line takes only 53 minutes to make the same journey.

Our activity recommendations:

Old Town: Basel's Old Town is as charming as any in Switzerland. The famous red sandstone town hall is just one of the many iconic sites to see in Basel's Old Town, and you can easily spend the day exploring the quaint streets and charming buildings of this historic district. Consider taking a city tour to learn more about the buildings you see and get the most out of your visit here.

Natural History Museum: Basel's Natural History Museum is a highlight of any day trip or weekend trip to the city, especially for kids. Established in 1821, this collection holds nearly 8 million different items that explore the geology, mineralogy, anthropology, and entomology of Switzerland. The museum is even home to the famous mummy of Anna Catharina Bischoff, a Swiss noblewoman who died in the 18th century.

Beyeler Foundation: This gallery of modern and contemporary art is the perfect place to visit for any art lovers traveling to Basel. You'll find some intriguing work by Swiss artists and by others from around the world here, making it a great place to discover something new.

Best season to visit:

As a large city, Basel is a year-round destination, so don't worry about the best time to visit. Whenever you're available is a good time to go.

Weekend trips to St Gallen from Zurich

St. Gallen

Located in Eastern Switzerland on the border of four different countries, St Gallen flies a little under the radar when it comes to day trips and weekend trips in Switzerland. However, St. Gallen has a lot to offer, especially if you're looking for a trip with a more laid-back atmosphere in a place many tourists never get to see.

Distance from Zurich:

St. Gallen is around 83 km from Zurich and can be reached by car in 53 minutes without traffic. A train takes around an hour and 10 minutes to make the same journey, so this is another town that can easily be visited as a day trip as well as a weekend trip.

Our activity recommendations:

Abbey Cathedral of St. Gall: Probably the main attraction in town, this majestic cathedral has its roots all the way back in the eighth century. Both a cathedral and a monastery, most of what you see of the church these days is from the 18th century. This wonderfully ornate church was clearly designed by people who didn't believe that less is more, and you can spend a long time exploring all the Baroque decoration inside the church.

Don't miss the Abbey's library, which has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to the important manuscripts it contains. It's also one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

Peter and Paul Wildlife Park: This free attraction is the best way to meet the charismatic wildlife of the Swiss Alps. Red deer, wild boar, lynxes, and Alpine ibex roam the grounds here, and their keepers offer educational programs so you can learn more about the zoology of the region and the conservation efforts being made to protect these magnificent creatures. There's also a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the Alpine scenery, making this a great place to explore around lunchtime.

Schützengarten Brewery: Operating since 1779, this is Switzerland's oldest brewery. Daily tours are offered that will take you through this modern brewing facility and teach you more about the brewing process, but you'll also learn about the history of this famous brand. And don't worry; there will be samples.

Best season to visit:

Most of St. Gallen's top attractions are open year-round, so there's no specific time you need to visit.

Zurich weekend trips to Grindelwald


Perched under the formidable rockface of the Eiger, a peak that wasn't conquered until the middle of the 20th century, Grindelwald is a celebrated mountain resort and ski town in a country that is known for having more than its fair share of those. A truly fantastic place for lovers of the outdoors, there's really too much to enjoy here on a day trip. Grindelwald demands at least a weekend to get the most out of what it offers, including a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Distance from Zurich:

It's 140 kilometers from Zurich to Grindelwald, requiring a drive of two hours. It's also possible to make the journey by train, but that will take closer to three hours. Still, it's worth it to see this uniquely beautiful place for yourself.

Our activity recommendations:

First Cliff Walk: If you have a head for heights and a sense of adventure, don't miss this thrilling attraction. This metal walkway embraces the side of a mountain before launching itself out into the empty air, giving you magnificent views over the dramatic scenery of central Switzerland. In case that wasn't enough, there are also tons of hiking trails on this mountain and a zip line that reaches speeds of 84 km an hour.

Jungfraujoch: Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its incredible natural scenery, the mountain pass of Jungfraujoch is something that has to be seen to be believed. You can catch the train up to the pass, which, at nearly 3500 m above sea level, is the highest railway in the world. Along the way, you'll get incredible views of peaks that soar over 4,000 m into the air and the glaciers that crown them. There's even an ice palace to explore, carved out of the glacier like something straight out of a fairytale.

Gletscherschlucht: This marvelous rocky canyon is full of walkways that let you travel along the walls and admire the water rushing beneath. There's even a spiderweb feature that lets you climb out directly above the water - if you have the stomach for it.

Best season to visit:

As an outdoor paradise, Grindelwald is a very seasonal destination. In the winter, the high mountain passes are covered in several meters of snow, so unless you're going there to engage in winter sports, the best time to visit is late summer when the snow has retreated as much as it will all year.

The best weekend trips from Zurich


Zurich is a beautiful town with a lively culture that makes it a fantastic place to visit at any time of year. If it's your first time in the city or you only have a limited time to explore, for example, 3 days in Zürich, you'll find more than enough to keep you occupied in the town itself.

However, Switzerland is a relatively small country with an excellent public transportation network that makes it ideal for both day trips and weekend trips. So if you have longer in Zürich or you're lucky enough to live in the area, there are some truly fantastic destinations you can explore for a day or more.

Simply drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Zürich and get ready to enjoy these iconic destinations. Switzerland has so much to offer anyone looking for a day or weekend trip, so don't miss out on these exceptional options.

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