With more than 400,000 residents residing within city limits, Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city.
It’s located in the north-central portion of the country just south of the border with Germany, on the north end of massive Lake Zurich.
It’s also the capital of the Canton of Zurich and has nearly 1.4 citizens living in the greater metropolitan area.
Zurich is less than two hours from some of Europe’s most popular ski areas and is particularly well-known for its historical and cultural attractions, food and art scenes, and spas and thermal baths.
Below are 15 of the best tours in and around Zurich.
1. Fondue and Wine Tour by Tuk-Tuk
Though it’s possible to visit Zurich and abstain from indulging in fondue, most guests prefer the path of indulgence.
On this cheese fondue and wine tour, guests and their guide will set out to discover aspects of Swiss culture and cuisine from the relative comfort of an electricity-powered tuk-tuk.
Tours wind their way through a number of neighborhoods like Old Town, which has long been an epicenter of epicurean delights.
Guests will benefit from their guide’s insights, and they’ll see a number of the city’s most prominent attractions as well.
Menus include a choice of side dishes and a bottle of Swiss wine.
2. Roman-Irish Spa Ritual
On a per-capita basis, Zurich has way more than its fair share of spas, saunas, and thermal baths.
For harried travelers in need of pampering and relief from the stresses of everyday life, they’re perfect places to spend a few hours.
This Roman-Irish spa ritual takes place on the rooftop of one of Zurich’s most luxurious spas.
For more than three hours, participants will be led through a multi-step circuit, including thermal baths, steam room, and a traditional pool.
The spa’s contemporary design and traditional architecture add to the overall experience, as do the unobstructed views of the bustling city far below.
3. City Segway Tour
Exploring Zurich by Segway is often one of visitors’ most memorable experiences.
Despite having only two wheels, Segways are surprisingly easy to master, and they allow riders to cover lots of ground quickly without expending too much energy.
After a short orientation, the group will embark on a tour of prominent attractions that includes urban parks, Town Hall, and the Congress building.
Other stops include a humanmade island on the Limmat River, and the Bahnhofstrasse shopping district—one of Europe’s priciest and swankest retail areas.
Tours last about 2 ½ hours and start early afternoon, leaving the morning wide-open for other adventures.
4. Zurich City Tour with 1-Hour Cruise and Chocolates
Combo tours are great options for savvy travelers looking to stretch their hard-earned travel dollars to the absolute limit.
This Zurich city tour includes portions by bus and boat, as well as a delectable sampling of sweets from some of Switzerland’s premier chocolatiers.
Tours begin with a coach sightseeing excursion that includes several attractions like the National Museum, the financial district, and the Zurich Opera House.
The cruise along Lake Zurich is often the most spectacular portion of the tour, but guests will also enjoy a ride to an elevated vista point on a cogwheel train, where they’ll marvel at the snow-covered Alps and the city below.
5. 90-Minute Hot Stone Barbecue Tuk-Tuk Tour
Tuk-tuk tours are fun and inexpensive ways to see lots of attractions in a short time.
On this 1 ½-hour tour, guests will get up close and personal with many of the city’s premier landmarks and neighborhoods. They’ll benefit from their guide’s local perspective at each step along the way.
Short tours of this nature are a great option for first-time visitors, as they give guests an idea of the city’s layout and introduce them to a number of attractions they may choose to explore more on their own later.
Tours include a picnic-style barbecue lunch or dinner and a bottle of Swiss Wine.
Fish and vegan options are available as well.
6. Cycling Tour by Lake Zurich and the Limmat and Sihl Rivers
Once outside Zurich city limits, it doesn’t take long to find yourself immersed in some of the country’s most stunning natural areas.
For fit and energetic travelers who prefer to make the most of their limited vacation time, this morning cycling tour would be a wise choice.
Tours focus on idyllic country roads that don’t get much traffic, and some paths that wind their way along the shores of Lake Zurich and some of its tributaries.
Depending on the ages and interests of the group, the pace can range from slow and relaxed to more up-tempo.
Tours include bikes, helmets, and the services of a local guide.
7. Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide
In addition to being a financial center, Zurich features one of the region’s most cutting-edge art scenes.
On this 90-minute tour, lovers of art and culture will explore the city’s blossoming creativity hubs and learn why thousands of artists and aficionados travel to the city each year.
The tour includes the services of a knowledgeable and enthusiastic local guide and focuses on lesser-known attractions that usually fall under the radar of more traditional tours.
Guests will discover some of the city’s most significant museums and galleries and see vibrant and impressive works of street art from many local artists.
8. 2-Hour Old Town Walking Tour
Despite its hundreds of thousands of residents and bustling shopping and financial districts, Zurich is a surprisingly pedestrian-friendly city.
It’s also steeped in history that stretches back more than 2,000 years into the past.
On this walking tour, guests and their guide will make their way to prominent attractions like St. Peter’s Church, the Town Hall, and the Bahnhofstrasse shopping district.
Tours also include interesting narration along the way, so guests will learn about the things they’re seeing and what makes them so significant.
For amateur photographers and lovers of architecture, culture, and history, walking tours like this one are great options.
9. 2-Hour Sightseeing Bus Tour
For seeing lots of attractions quickly, there’s really no beating a good old-fashioned bus tour.
From the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle, guests of this 2-hour tour will see many of the city’s most prominent landmarks, like the Swiss National Museum, Munsterhof Square, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
In the Old Town area, there’s an optional guided walking tour for those interested in seeing the sights more closely and stretching their legs.
Other highlights include a brief ride on the Dolder Railway and awe-inspiring views of St. Peter’s Church, which features the largest clock face on the continent.
10. Albert Einstein’s City Exploration Quest Game
Even those of modest intellect can help a young Albert Einstein develop his General Theory of Relatively on this unique Zurich game tour.
This app-based game will deliver clues to participants, which will lead them on a circuitous route to some of the city’s premier attractions.
It’s all about working together and using your grey matter to come up with the right answers, making it a great activity for those traveling in groups.
Tours usually take about two hours to complete, but there’s no time limit, so everyone is free to move at their own pace.
Once the app is downloaded, your phone’s GPS will lead you and your counterparts to attractions in different parts of the city.
11. 4-Hour City Tour by Ferry, Cable Car, and Coach
For those who like to mix things up, this value-packed ferry, cable car, and coach combo tour would be a great way to spend half a day in Zurich.
Tours begin with guests and their guide hitting Old Town’s abundant attractions like St. Peter’s Church and the Bahnhofstrasse shopping district.
Next, the tour will enjoy a scenic drive to the town of Meilen on the Gold Coast, where they’ll board a ferry for a cruise along scenic Lake Zurich.
Last but definitely not least, there’s a memorable cable car ride to Felsenegg, on which guests will have some of the most unobstructed views of the snowy Alps.
12. Rhine Falls Coach Tour from Zurich
The coach ride to Rhine Falls in north-central Switzerland is full of quaint farming communities, large vineyards, and a stunning fortress from the 16th century.
While en route, guests will learn about the things they’re seeing from the comfort of the air-conditioned bus.
When the water is flowing at maximum capacity during the warm summer months, the falls make an amazing spectacle that’s one of the most impressive natural attractions in the country.
If that’s when you’ll be visiting, there’s an optional boat ride that takes guests close to the plummeting waters, or an hour can be spent relaxing on the river’s bank.
13. Day Trip to Kleine Scheidegg in the Center of the Alps
The alpine landscape between Zurich and Kleine Scheidegg is nothing short of breathtaking.
It’s characterized by shimmering lakes, fantastic mountain views, and a number of famous resorts that cater to winter sports enthusiasts of all stripes.
This day trip begins and ends in Zurich and is a perfect option for those who’ve had their fill of the city’s hustle, bustle, and often crowded urban attractions.
Optional tour activities include guided hikes among rock and ice formations around the Eiger Glacier from June to October.
Tour guests may also opt for a traditional meal followed by a scenic train ride before returning to Zurich.
14. 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour
With the right tour guide, it’s possible to immerse yourself in Zurich’s history and culture in a relatively short time.
This 2-hour walking tour gets underway at Grossmünster Cathedral and includes stops at some of the city’s most significant historic and architectural attractions.
Though the city has changed with the ages, it has kept much of its old-world charm and features a pleasant mix of the old and new that most visitors find alluring.
Tours are customizable and include some attractions that are off the well-worn path, which means fewer crowds and a more personalized experience than you’re likely to get on larger tours.
15. 1-Hour Private Sightseeing Flight
Hopping on a private plane and seeing Zurich from a bird’s eye view has never been easier.
After meeting their experienced pilot at a small airfield just outside city limits, guests will take to the skies for a truly memorable experience that those stuck on the ground can only imagine.
Flights last about an hour, and from their lofty position, participants will have unobstructed city and lake views, as well as those of the majestic Alps in the distance.
Guests often discover things they’d like to explore on their own when the flight is over, so don’t be shy about asking the pilot for recommendations and suggestions.