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Zurich, the financial capital city of Switzerland is expensive due to its high-end lifestyle. But hanging out with your friends here will cost you nothing. Surprised! No, we aren’t lying and you’d believe us too after checking out our list of free things to do in Zurich.
There’s a bonus tip for those who want to get access to famous places for free. You'll surely thanks us later.
Things To Do In Zurich On Zero-Budget
1. Plan A Weekend At Lake Zurich
Surrounded by promenades and parks, Lake Zurich is an ideal spot for Zurichsee and travelers. The 40-kilometers long lake is famous for its depth and picturesque background. That’s why joggers, swimmers, sunbathers, and water sports enthusiasts come here every day.
Well, that’s absolutely free of cost but if you have a Zurich card then you can go on a boat ride with friends for free. And if you are willing to spend money, these are the best things to do in Lake Zurich.
1. Walk straight from the park to the Lindenhof hill and visit the 12th century-old Rapperswil castle. Also, stroll down to the vineyards of the City of Roses.
2. Kunsthaus should be next on your list. This is a Fine Art museum with a large collection of artworks dated back to 1787.
3. Watch snow leopards, flying foxes, and other animals at the Zurich Zoo.
4. Enjoy the freshwater fish from the Lake at restaurants nearby
5. Lake is also popular for the range of sports activities it offers. You can go wakeboarding, kayaking, boat riding, water skiing, and more. That’s not at all free by the way.
How Can I Get To The Lake?
Visitors can directly head to the lake from Zurich Airport via train within an hour. However, it would be a costly affair to get through a bus that runs on Line 768 every day from Glattbrugg Post.
If you have your car, then traveling is faster and less expensive.
2. Explore Art Gallery For Free
If you are visiting Switzerland for a cultural trip and want to see all the best artworks around the world, the city is the perfect destination. However, not all the famous museums of the city offer free entrance.
But art lovers get a little advantage at the Migros Museum.
Best time to visit: Keep yourself free between 5 pm to 8 pm on Thursday as its when Museum will allow you to enter for free
Opening hours: 11 am to 6 pm except for Thursday
Price: CHF 12
Directions: The shortest route is Lowenbrau and Escher-Wyss-Platz bus stations from where Museum is at a walkable distance. Buses from lines 33, 40, 46, 72, 83, and E run on a daily basis to these stations.
3. Visit The Minister Of Our Lady Church
One of the popular places to visit in Zurich is this 9th-century church built by Emperor Ludwig. You can walk through the church and admire its beautiful interiors that have stained-glass windows for free.
Church’s interior tells the stories of Christ’s life.
Opens hours: 10 am to 6 pm
Entry fees: Though visitors are welcomed for free, those interested in seeing the crypt museum inside the church should pay $ 5
Location: Take bus services from either line N1, N6, N13, or N14 to the Paradeplatz station. The church is on the west side of the station.
4. Watch The Stunning Sunset From Uetilberg Mountain
A great place for hikers and mountaineers offers stunning viewpoints for tourists who are visiting Zurich on budget trips. The mountain stands above 2858 feet of sea level.
It is famous for its 2-hours long trail called the path of the planets.
Things To Do At Uetilberg
1. Go on mountain biking at Antenna and Triemli bike trail
2. Talk to the air on the breathtaking paragliding sessions ( that’s not at all free)
3. Camping at the crazy height of Uetilberg is one of the best and free things to do in Zurich
4. Winters is the best season to visit this mountain when tourists enjoy their trip doing sledding on the snow-covered paths
5. See the entire city from the look-out tower at a minimum cost of $2
Getting there: If you wish to get there quickly, get a tram from line no. 10. Direct one runs from Zurich airport whereas you will need to change buses from line 768.
5. Admire Exotic Birds At Zurich Aviary
Bird enthusiasts will find this place one of the best and surprisingly it is absolutely free. Yes, you don’t have to pay to enter the bird sanctuary and can watch different types of birds.
There’s a guesthouse for birds within the aviary that treats and gives shelter to injured birds.
Opening days and time: Open all days except Mondays from 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm
Location: Voilere Zurich, Mythenquai 1, 8002, Zurich
Directions: You will reach within 15 minutes the aviary from Zurich main station via train.
Things To Do In Zurich On Budget
These were the free things you can do in this wonderful city of Switzerland. But if you want to know more about it then you have to extend your budget.
Most of the famous places to visit in Zurich are not free but they are worth spending money at.
Here’s another list of famous things to do at the largest city and 5th most expensive city in the world.
1. Take a historical ride at the Swiss National Museum
2. Pet the zoo animals of the Zoo Zurich at Kreis 7 ( CHF 28 for adults, CHF 23 for youngsters, and CHF 14 for kids )
3 Football lovers should not miss the FIFA World Football Museum ( CHF 24 for adults, CHF 19 for seniors, and CHF 14 for kids )
4. You cannot miss the swiss delights on your trip, so begin a culinary journey from the Sprungli House of Bahnhofstrasse ( Must-try their signature macaroons )
5. Enjoy the outstanding performances at the world’s famous Zurich Opera House ( Entry fees is CHF 1 but vary as per events )
6. Shopping from the fashion district of Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse
Staying At Most Expensive City Is Easy On Budget
No matter how much you save on your trip doing all these free things, you have to lose pocket when it comes to finding the ideal hotel. But, don’t worry we have picked only the best budget hotels in Zurich where you will find utmost comfort.
Hotel Marta- Tourists will get a double clean and comfy room under $200 in this Old Town hotel with facilities life Wi-Fi and private bathrooms. What else one needs?
Ibis Zurich Adliswil- If you are on a short trip and finding a hotel close to the station then this one is good. You can also take your, four-legged friends, to Ibis as they allow pets and dogs.
Hotel St. Josef- It is very close to Bahnhofstrasse, Old Town, and the Airport. St. Josef allows pets and also offers bicycles to tourists so that you can save some bucks on taxis and cabs.
Best Time To Visit Zurich
Summers are quite pleasant and perfect for outdoor parties and day trips. This is also the peak season for tourists visiting Zurich. But we don’t recommend you traveling between June to August as hotel prices and other expenses will go high.
Plan either between September to November when the weather is not so cold or hot. You can also book tickets between March and May.
Since you made it to the last, we have a bonus tip that will save a lot of your money. Get a Zurich card before you plan a journey.
Price: It will cost you only CHF 27 i.e approx $29.
Benefits: With this card, you will get free entrance to around 40 museums around the city. It also includes a free cruise and a boat trip. However, the card is valid only for a day.
Where To Get The Zurich Card?
The card services are offered at both Zurich Airport and railway stations from SBB. But if you miss or forget it, get it online from www.zuerich.com.