What to Do in Zurich for 2 Days

Zurich is a great city with many options for tourists, and 2 days is the ideal time frame to explore its beauty and its vibe. Here are our best tips on what to do in Zurich for 2 days, so that you can spend a wonderful time in Switzerland’s German “capital”.

We listed 15 activities that you can do during your 2 days visit in Zurich in no particular order. Browse this list, do them all or pick the ones that most strike your fancy. But most importantly have fun.

How to Buy a Daily Zurich Transit Pass Cheap

Our very first recommendation is to buy a cheap 24 hour Zurich ticket so that you can use any type of public transport for a whole day. This is actually different from, and much cheaper, than the usually advertised Zurich Card for tourists. Click on the link to find out how to purchase this cheap daily ticket at any of the ticket machines in the city.

If you plan to stay in Zurich for 2 days, you need to buy 2 separate 24 hour tickets. Good news is, these tickets are valid for 24 hours and not a calendar day. So if you set the start of validity to be at 10 AM for example, you can use the ticket on that day and even on the next day up until 10 AM. Also you can buy them in advance for the 2 days of your visit. Just set the time when validity should start at the ticket machine.

Colorful Zürich tram
Colorful Zurich tram on Bahnhofstrasse

1. Lindt Chocolate Factory

Every single Zurich recommendation video on YouTube starts with the Lindt chocolate factory tour at Kilchberg, Lindt Home of Chocolate. No wonder, this is definitely a great way to enjoy commercial level Swiss chocolate and also have technically unlimited free samples.

Make sure to reserve your tickets to the chocolate factory way in advance. You can do that from home even weeks or months before your holiday. Also, on the day of visiting the Home of Chocolate, buy a transit ticket also for zone 150, as the Lindt factory is actually outside Zurich city limits.

Lindt home of chocolate giant fountain
Lindt Home of Chocolate

2. Max Chocolatier, High End Swiss Bonbons

If you want to enjoy exquisite high end Swiss chocolate, why not stop by Max Chocolatier. It is right in the middle of downtown, and an enormous level of excitement is guaranteed flavorwise. Chocolate bonbons here are handmade, and the best word to describe them is heavenly.

Max chocolatier Zurich
Max Chocolatier Zurich

3. Stroll Around in Old Town Zurich

Offering many interesting places to visit, just walking around in old town Zurich is a nice way to enjoy the city and its beauty. It has actually quite a different vibe at the two sides of the river, so make sure to set aside some time to visit both.

If you’re wondering what to do for 2 days in Zurich, spend at least 3-4 hours each day in downtown. Explore the streets, the vibe, the shops, and in the meantime visit some other attractions that are also listed here below.

Old town Zurich street view
Old town Zurich street

4. Lindenhof

Right in the middle of old town, at the top of a small hill there is a park called Lindenhof. To come up here is a fun experience in itself as you walk through some of the historic streets of the city. But Lindenhof also offers a great view of the Limmat river and the other side of the city, with the university, Grossmünster etc.

Lindenhof view Zürich
Zurich view from Lindenhof

5. Bahnhofstrasse

Bahnhofstrasse is kind of the main street of Zurich. Luckily it doesn’t have car traffic anymore, only trams. It is the most stylish shopping street leading from the main station (Bahnhofstrasse literally meaning Station Street in German) all the way to Lake Zurich. Spend at least some time here just window shopping, or enter any of the fancy stores that you like.

Zürich trams on Bahnhofstrasse
Trams on Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich

6. Lake Zürich

Lake Zurich is tied to the city so much that you just can’t spend 2 days here without exploring it. One option is to take the cruises at one of the river stops. It’s important to mention that you can use these boats for free inside Zurich city limits just with the regular 24 hour Zurich ticket.

Another option is to take a walk alongside the lake. You can start at the other end of Bahnhofstrasse, where the Limmat river flows out of the lake, and go either way as that is basically the end of Lake Zurich. Enjoy just walking here any time of the year, or visit the Rentenwiese park on a sunny summer day and swim in the water with locals.

Lake Zurich swimmers
Swimmers in Lake Zurich at Rentenwiese

7. Jump in the River, or at Least Watch Others

Talking about swimming, there is a place in Zurich where you can actually jump into the Limmat river from a pedestrian bridge. And people are actually doing that to swim and come back and jump again. You can try this yourself if you feel brave enough, or just stand by and watch others jumping. The place is called Drahtschmidlisteg, and it’s just a few minutes walk from the central station.

Limmat swimmers
People swimming in the Limmat

8. Polybahn Funicular

The Zurich Polybahn is a little funicular in the center of Zurich, linking the downtown area, just beside the river, with the University of Zurich.

This type of transport is usually a tourist attraction that costs a larger sum of money, but here it is included in the public transport network. It means that if you have a Zurich pass, you are able to use this little red mountain tram for free.

Zürich Polybahn
Polybahn Zurich

9. University Cantine

At the top station of the funicular, walk around the university, enjoy the spectacular view of Zurich downtown skyline, but most importantly grab some food at the cantine. This is actually the cheapest option to get warm food at a table in Zurich, at half the price or less that you would normally pay in a restaurant.

Zurich University canteen tandoori meatballs
Cheap Tandoori Meatballs at the university canteen

10. John Baker Bahnhofstrasse

Talking about cheap yet excellent food, there is another place in Zurich that you must try. It is called John Baker Bahnhofstrasse, and is located on, you guessed it, Bahnhofstrasse. You can find really good quality, organic pastry and coffee here for much less than in many other places. 4.5 Swiss Francs might seem a lot for a double espresso, but believe me, this is cheap coffee here in Zurich!

John Baker bahnhofstrasse Zurich
John Baker Bahnhofstrasse

11. Visit the City by Night

Even if for just half an hour, make sure to walk in the city center at night. The view on both sides of the river is fantastic. The best places to enjoy it from are the many bridges linking the two parts of Zurich over the Limmat river.

Restaurants at Münstergasse offer a great vibe at night even just for those walking in the old town area. And if you are ready to spend some money in an expensive Swiss restaurant, you’ll enjoy a fantastic dinner between the historic buildings.

Limmat by night
Limmat river view by night

12. Oerlikon with the Market

Oerlikon is the second city center of Zurich that used to be a separate town up until 1934. It is only an 8 minute S-Bahn ride or 20 minute tram ride from the center, but it’s worth visiting. You can take a walk on the streets where modern and 100 year old houses blend together in perfect balance. You can also visit the open air market in Oerlikon on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Oerlikon market
Oerlikon market Zürich

13. Explore the City From a Tram

Zurich is the city of trams, having no subway but a very extensive tram network that gets you basically everywhere. It is a great idea just to hop on a tram now and then. This way you can sit down and relax after long hours of walking, and also explore new parts of the city easily in no more than half an hour. Trams run very frequently, so you don’t have to worry about not getting back in time.

Zürich trams in front of Hauptbahnhof
Trams turning at Zurich main train station

14. Grossmünster

There are many places of interest in Zurich, we couldn’t list all of them here. But Grossmünster is one of the most visited and most iconic churches of the city. It adds a definite character to the skyline, most of Zurich pictures actually featuring the double towers. It is just a short walk from the river, I definitely advise you to include it to see from both the outside and the inside.

Grossmunster Zurich

15. St. Peter Church

Another iconic church, on the other side of the river, is St. Peter Church. This again is worth visiting just from the outside, but once here why not take a look from the inside. Also don’t forget to sit down and relax for just a couple of minutes on the bench around the big tree in front of the church.

St Peter church Zurich by night
St. Peter church by night

An Extra Tip

Water flowing from the fountains on the streets in Zurich is actually drinkable. The city is so fortunate that it has a lot of hills and mountains around it, providing a 24/7 stream of fresh water on the street. So just have an empty bottle with you, and fill it up whenever you feel thirsty during your 2 days visit in Zurich.

Fresh water fountain in Zurich
Fill up your water bottle at any fountain in Zurich

What to Do in Zurich For 2 Days

Whether you follow our recommendations or find some activities on your own, Zurich is a great city to enjoy 2 whole days.

You’ll find a lot of happy and kind people, many nice and old buildings and many ways to explore local and international food.