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Best Day Trips to discover Switzerland from Zurich

From Zurich you can make excursions to spectacular places in Switzerland, such as to the top of Europe or to spectacular waterfalls.

Andressa García

Andressa García

12 min read

Best Day Trips to discover Switzerland from Zurich

Zurich | ©David Taljat

Switzerland is a beautiful country with a very pleasant climate, and many of the experiences you can have traveling from Zurich allow you to see special places far away from the city center. So if you are traveling to relax, this is one of the best plans to include among the best things to see and do in Zurich and beyond.

Among the places you can see on these excursions are out-of-the-way cities, such as Lucerne, and other interesting attractions such as the largest suspension bridge in all of Europe, just imagine what you will find on these trips.

1. Day trip to the Black Forest and Rhine Falls

Rhine Falls| © Roland zh
Rhine Falls| © Roland zh

The Black Forest is one of the most interesting destinations in Germany, so this tour will take you not only to know a fun, intrepid and interesting place, but you will have the chance to know two countries in one day. Besides, the postcards that this trip will leave you with are truly extraordinary.

On the other hand, before leaving the Swiss territory, you will visit the Rhine Falls, a waterfall that is part of the most exuberant natural wonders of the Alpine landscape. Your tour guide will comment on the most important things you need to know about visiting the Rhine Falls from Zurich and its fall into the river of the same name.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 86 euros per person.
  • Duration: Approximately 7 hours.
  • Means of transportation: The transportation to the meeting point will be on your own, but from the beginning of the adventure, you will go in a bus with all the comforts.
  • Advantages of this excursion: It includes the accompaniment of an expert tour guide who will tell you everything you need to know about each stop. Entrance to the watch exhibition in Germany is included. It also includes transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with all the comforts, throughout the tour.
  • Disadvantages of this tour: The boat ride on the Rhine River is not included, but you can hire it for an additional price. Tips, meals and drinks are not included. Pick up and drop off at the hotel is not included, but a location in the center of Zurich is provided to get you there.

Book your excursion to the Black Forest and the Rhine Falls

2. Visit Mount Rigi in summer from Zurich

Rack railway to Mount Rigi| © Sarah Loetscher
Rack railway to Mount Rigi| © Sarah Loetscher

On this full-day tour of Lucerne and Mount Rigi, the independent traveler will have a great opportunity to get to know the city of Lucerne in all its splendor, from its buildings to its historic center and especially Lake Lucerne, where you can take a boat ride if you wish.

You can also take a cable car to the top of Mount Rigi where you will appreciate breathtaking views of the city of Lucerne and its surroundings.

One of the best things about this tour is that after visiting the attractions included in the experience, you can continue exploring the city of Lucerne on your own for as long as you like.

Interesting details

  • Price: It is priced at approximately 145 euros per person.
  • Duration: This tour has an approximate duration of 9.5 to 10 hours.
  • Transportation: Transportation is by bus from Zurich to Weggis and from Lucerne to Zurich. You will also ride a rack railway, a cable car and a boat.
  • Advantages of this tour: Includes transportation to Lucerne, entrance to the cable car and also to the cog railway. The boat ride on Lake Lucerne is included. A multilingual guide will be with you and will explain everything about each place you stop at.
  • Disadvantages of this tour: Tips, food and drinks are not included. Transportation from the hotel and back is not included.

3. Day tour to Bern with cheese tasting included

Street in the center of Bern| © Alin Andersen
Street in the center of Bern| © Alin Andersen

This is a full day tour that is especially dedicated to small groups of up to 9 people. Part of what you will see on this tour involves the making of Swiss delicacies, including Emmental cheese and traditional Swiss Kambly cookies.

During the tour your guide will take you to the most interesting places in Bern, and you will walk through the central part of the city, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The whole tour will take place in a minibus with all comforts, including wifi on board. You can also do this tour going up to Bern by cogwheel train.

Details of interest

  • Price: It has an approximate price of 240 euros per person.
  • Duration: This tour has an approximate duration of approximately 10 hours.
  • Means of Transportation: The tour from Zurich to Bern is done in a minivan equipped with all the comforts.
  • Advantages of this tour: Transport to Bern and back to Zurich in a fully equipped bus is included. Wifi on board. It includes the accompaniment of a tour guide throughout the trip, who is available in different languages. There is also a visit to the Emmentaler dairy fair, to the old town of Bern and to the Kambly Experience with cookie tasting.
  • Disadvantages of this tour: Transportation from the hotel and back is not included. Meals and drinks are not included. Tips are not included in the price.

Book your excursion by cogwheel train through the villages of Bern

4. Two countries in one day tour: Heidiland and Liechtenstein

Heidi's House| © Roland Zumbuehl
Heidi's House| © Roland Zumbuehl

This is one of the most special tours you can do in Zurich in 3 days, according to the complete guide on how to make the most of your visit, and that is because you will not only visit a place within Switzerland, but you will also visit Liechtenstein, an independent territory bordering the Helvetic country.

As you may have already noticed, Switzerland gives you the opportunity to visit its bordering countries without many protocols or problems. This makes it easy to make an excursion to neighboring territories.

Heidiland is the typical alpine countryside, a territory where you can discover flavors through cheese and chocolate tasting, while seeing what life is like in the alpine countryside. Some of the most beautiful and appreciated rural villages are located here.

Meanwhile, during your visit to Liechtenstein you will be able to tour its historic center and learn a little about its culture and traditions.

Interesting details

  • Price: From 95 euros per person.
  • Duration: It is a full day experience of about 7 hours and 30 minutes approximately.
  • Means of Transportation: This trip is done in an air-conditioned bus with all needs covered.
  • Advantages of this tour: You will have wifi on board during the whole trip. You will also have access to the company of a professional guide who will take you through everything you need to know about the countryside and Liechtenstein.
  • Disadvantages of this tour: Entrance to Heidi's house is not included, so you will have to cover this cost. Drinks and meals are also not included. Pick up and drop off at the hotel is not included in the price.

Book your tour in Heidiland

5. Mount Pilatus summer tour from Zurich

Ascent to Mount Pilatus by funicular railway| © Oscar Gende Villar
Ascent to Mount Pilatus by funicular railway| © Oscar Gende Villar

The summer season is perfect for this excursion, because the panoramic views that can be seen from the top of Mount Pilatus are much clearer. Therefore, this is one of the best things to do in Zurich in summer.

Among the attractions that you can enjoy during this tour are the ride on the world's steepest cog railroad. You can also take a cruise on Lake Lucerne.

To get to the top of Mount Pilatus you will have to take a funicular cable car, while to get down you will have to take the cog railway, one of the best scenic trains in Zurich. After arriving at the cable car station, you can continue walking to the top. This route is not to be missed and gives you the most beautiful panoramic views of the whole trip.

Interesting details

  • Price: Around 165 euros per person.
  • Duration: Approximately 9 and a half hours to complete the entire route.
  • Means of transportation: You will go by bus with all the comforts, cable car, boat and rack railway.
  • Advantages of this tour: Includes the panoramic ride to Lucerne with all the stops to take pictures and admire the scenery. Also includes entrance to the panoramic gondola and cable car (unless under maintenance). Entrance to the cog railway is also included, and in case it does not run, it will be exchanged for a lunch voucher. You will be able to spend free time in Lucerne.
  • Disadvantages of this tour: Tips for the service provided are not included. Also not included in the price is the hotel pick-up and drop-off at the end of the experience. Food and beverages are not included, except for some options that are enabled.

6. Private tour to four countries in one day

Stein am Rhein| © Rene Staempfli
Stein am Rhein| © Rene Staempfli

If visiting two countries in one day is amazing, imagine a private tour where you travel alone with your group to visit four countries in one day. This is what this experience offers you. You will have the company of an expert guide who will accompany you and tell you the most important facts about each of the countries you will visit.

It is a full day tour that starts in Zurich aboard a bus with all the necessary equipment, and that will take you through landscapes of green hills to the border with Liechtenstein, which you will cross to reach the city of Vaduz in that country. After touring the area for some time, you will continue on your way to Austria.

In Austria you will visit the city of Bregenz, where you can admire impressive buildings before heading to Germany to visit first Lindau and then Meersburg. After finishing your visit in Meersburg, you will only have to cross a bridge to finally visit the town of Stein am Rhein in Switzerland.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 1240 euros per person.
  • Duration: It has an approximate duration of 11 hours, so it is a full day tour.
  • Means of Transportation: All transportation will be aboard a bus with all the necessary comforts.
  • Advantages of this private tour: Pick up and drop off at the hotel and back is included. It also offers you wifi on board during the whole trip and a tour guide who will accompany you throughout the trip. You will be offered bottled water during the tour to keep you hydrated.
  • Disadvantages of this private tour: Lunch is not included, nor are the entrance fees to the attractions that you can visit in each country. Personal and/or additional expenses are not included in the price.

7. Tour of Lucerne and Engelberg

Covered bridge in Lucerne| ©Jonny Dark
Covered bridge in Lucerne| ©Jonny Dark

From a monastery to a dairy farm, this pair of Alpine villages has a lot to show you. On this full-day excursion from Zurich you will see interesting attractions in these villages, such as the cheese factory in Engelberg and an open-air tour of the city of Lucerne.

After visiting different interesting places in both towns, you will be able to walk through alpine landscapes and trails where nature will leave you postcards to remember. Every place you stop on this tour is worthy of a few pictures.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 74 euros per person.
  • Duration: From 9 to 10 hours approximately.
  • Means of Transportation: The entire tour is done by bus with all amenities from Zurich to both villages and back.
  • Advantages of this tour: Transport from Zurich and the company of an expert guide in different languages is included.
  • Disadvantages of this tour: Personal expenses, meals and drinks are not included in the price. The guided tour in Lucerne is not included in the price. Optional activities are not included in the price.

Book your tour to Engelberg

8. Excursion to Interlaken and zip-line adventure on Mount First

Interlaken| ©Broguybro
Interlaken| ©Broguybro

This excursion is ideal for those who love extreme and adventure tourism, because each of the experiences that you will live during the tour will take your adrenaline to the extreme. One of the activities that you will like the most on this tour is the zip line launch from Mount First.

You will also have the opportunity to visit alpine villages such as Interlaken or Grindelwald. One of the most extreme experiences you will live during this tour is undoubtedly the walk along the cliffs of Tissot.

If you still want more adventures, you can't miss the scooter and the mountain cart that are offered during the experience. You will also have the option of taking the cable car to take pictures from the heights.

Interesting details

  • Price: From 210 euros per person.
  • Duration: Approximately 12 hours.
  • Means of transportation: From Zurich to Mount First you will go by bus. Afterwards you can take a mountain car, scooter or even the cable car.
  • Advantages of this excursion: You will have a partially guided tour in different languages. Access to the cable car and entrance to the trip activities such as First Flyer, Mountain Cart, Cliff Walk and Trottibike Scooter. Includes train ride from Grindelwald to Interlaken, as well as entrance to Grindelwald First.
  • Disadvantages of this tour: Transfer to and from the hotel is not included, but the bus departs from Zurich. Meals, drinks and personal expenses are not included. Tips are also not included.

9. Private visit to the Castle of Gruyères with cheese and chocolate tasting.

Gruyères Castle| © Christel
Gruyères Castle| © Christel

During this full day tour from Zurich, you will have the opportunity to get to know the inside of the Swiss kitchens where the typical cheeses of this region are made. During this tour, you will also learn about the process of making the most famous chocolate in the world and taste the delicate flavor of this delicacy.

In the Maison Cailler you will taste the most delicious chocolate truffles of Switzerland, but you will also visit the medieval mansion Gruyères where you will not only taste cheeses, but also learn interesting facts about Swiss culture and history.

Details of interest

  • Price: 790 euros per person.
  • Duration: About 11 hours.
  • Means of transportation: Fully equipped vehicle depending on the size of the group.
  • Advantages of this private tour: This tour is private, which means that only you and your group will participate. You are guaranteed a transfer from your hotel in Zurich and back. It includes the entrance and guided tour to the Gruyères Mansion and the Gruyères Castle. It also includes the visit to the Cailler factory and the cheese and chocolate tasting. Tour guide and standard train ticket are included.
  • Disadvantages of this private tour: Lunch and fondue in Gruyères are not included. Drinks and personal expenses are also not included.

10. Private tour to Basel and Colmar in France from Zurich

River walk in Basel| © Albrecht Fietz
River walk in Basel| © Albrecht Fietz

On this trip you will have the opportunity to see two countries in one day, or at least two cities in two different countries. In Basel you will be able to visit a well-known museum, while on your trip to Colmar in France you will be able to see the attractiveness of that French town.

What you will enjoy most about this tour is that it is completely personalized and tailored to what you want to see and discover during your trip. You will learn a bit of history, French architecture and sail the waters of the Rhine River.

Details of interest

  • Price: From 1,200 euros per group of up to 4 people.
  • Duration: Approximately eight hours.
  • Means of transportation: Conditioned vehicle with all the comforts according to the size of the group.
  • Advantages of this private tour: Transfer to and from the hotel in Zurich is included. It is a private tour, so only you and your group will participate. Tour guide and driver expert in everything you need to know about each of the places to see. Bottled water is provided during the tour. You have access to wifi and the vehicle is equipped with air conditioning.
  • Disadvantages of this private tour: Entrance fees and boat trip fees are not included. Lunch is not included in the tour price.

Tips for an excursion from Zurich

Tourists walking in the snow| © Julita
Tourists walking in the snow| © Julita
  • Always wear warm clothes, and according to the climate of each place you are going to visit in the excursions.
  • If you are going with children, take distracting elements for long trips.
  • Ask before booking all the conditions of transportation.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that you can walk long distances in case any excursion requires you to walk.