10 Free Things To Do In Zurich

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Zurich is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with so much to offer. It’s also one of the most expensive cities in the world.

I visited Switzerland when I was an au pair and it was a life-changing trip. If Switzerland isn’t on your list of places to visit, it needs to be!

Tips to save money in Zurich:

  • Use the actionable tips from How to Travel the World on $50 a Day.
  • Use Airbnb to save a ton of money and get a more authentic travel experience.
  • Use Ibotta to get legit cash back on groceries, clothes, travel items, and so much more. If you’re downloading Ibotta on your phone, the app will ask if you have a referral code.
  • Use Ebates, a free service that allows you to save money on flights, travel-related expenses, and thousands of other items and services online. Create an Ebates account here. Make an online purchase of $25 and get $10 as a welcome bonus! So easy. 

Before we get started, make sure to sign up for my free resource library and get access to exclusive printables related to saving money and building wealth, meal planning, and daily planning!

1. Botanischer Garten (Botanical Garden)

The Zurich Botanical Gardens are maintained by Zurich University, allowing you to explore and enjoy this beautiful site.

Over 53,000 square meters, you’ll find over 9,000 plant and flower species at the gardens. This is a must-see for any age, and great for the family.

Related: 10 Destinations for a Tight Budget

2. Sit Along Lake Zurich Near the City Center

Get ready to see a bunch of people making out, people watching, playing games, and men and women playing the Alphorn.

I’ve never witnessed this in person until I went to Zurich, and I was awestruck! It was such a cool experience to see such a different looking instrument creating such beautiful sounds.

3. Lindenhof Hill

This hill will leave you with some of the most picturesque photos of your entire journey in Europe.

Lindenhof Hill is the highest point in Zurich, meaning you’ll get a decent birds-eye view of the entire city.

In the summer, there are plenty of concerts and festivals, and year-round you’ll most likely see a group of people playing chess.

4. Flohmarkt Kanzlei

The largest year-round flea market in Switzerland, Flohmarkt Kanzlei has hundreds of items that would be of interest to you at a discounted price.

The flea market is open every Saturday and has vintage and modern items, as well as items that you wouldn’t find anywhere else in the world. It can get quite crowded here, so plan accordingly. 

Bürkliplatz Markt is another flea market, but only sells high-quality items. Therefore it’s more expensive.

5. Stroll Around

A bus or train ticket isn’t necessary, as walking around on foot is quite doable.

The city should be explored day and night, as it is one of the most beautiful cities you’ll ever see at night.

If you have the time, don’t set up a set route for the day, just get lost and discover hidden gems. I recommend taking the boat around Lake Zurich for around 8  francs.

6. Swim in Limmat

You can take bus #32 to Holzerhurd, and swim in Lake Zurich with the locals north of the River Limmat.

You’ll get a local experience, unlike the city center of Zurich where it is packed with tourists.

7. Hike Zurich

This hike lasts around 2 hours and is perfect for children, couples, and more.

You’ll end up almost 3000 feet above sea level, which will give you amazing views of the city. It’ll cost to get to the starting spot but is free to hike. Take the S10 train from Zurich Hauptbahnhof to Üetliberg.

It looks like you can also walk to the starting spot from Zurich, which would take around 1.5 hours. More info here.

8. Take Photos of the 1,200+ Water Fountains

Zurich is known for having fountains all over the city, and they aren’t just regular fountains.

Most of the water fountains are impressive pieces of art, and will also help your wallet as you won’t have to buy water within the city.

9. focusTerra

focusTerra is a Museum of Earth Sciences that will take you on a journey around the world.

You can learn why volcanoes erupt, what makes up the earth, and plenty more at this free museum. This museum isn’t just any regular museum, though.

The exhibition will address the environmental issues that our planet is facing today, and what we can do about it.

You can also find out what an earthquake feels like by going in an earthquake simulator. (Which is awesome, I suppose?).

10. Langenberg Wildlife Park Zurich

I saved the best for last. Langenberg Wildlife Park is an area where you’ll be able to experience wildlife in their natural habitat, without animals in any types of enclosures or unnatural areas.

I believe this is the best way to see animals.

All of the animals at the park are native to Switzerland, or at one time were. You’ll have the opportunity to see wolves, bears, wild boar, elk, and many other animals.

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What to read next: 10 Budget Travel Tips That Can Save You Thousands

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Have you ever been to Zurich, or Switzerland in general? What was your experience like?

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