Best Day Trips from Zurich

Postcard-pretty cities, turquoise lake waters, and Alpine peaks are just some highlights of day trips from Zurich. Among the Swiss Alps lies Mount Rigi, a mountain almost completely surrounded by water and so beautiful is often depicted in works of art. Luzern attracts visitors for its mountain/lake beauty which is enhanced by the 14th-century Kapellbrücke Bridge, and the Wasserturm water tower.

Kloster Einsiedeln, 8840 Einsiedeln, Switzerland
Einsiedeln is a short drive from Zurich and is perfect for a side trip. The main attraction has to be the Benedictine monastery at which they have horse stables, a winery, and a lumber mill. It is quite an operation. This shot was taken on the back of the grounds where someone was leading a horse up into the surrounding woods, with the fog rolling in this area was incredibly scenic.
6410 Schwyz, Switzerland
An hour outside of Zurich is Mount Rigi, one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen. Departing from Zurich on a day tour, we drove by bus to Lucerne where we were lead to a cable car depot at the foothill of the mountain before continuing uphill by train. This took us close to the summit where we carried on by foot. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. The air was fresh, the lake crystal clear, the sky blue, the sun bright and the experience priceless. Once atop the mountain within the Alps, we were in awe of the spectacular panoramic views, we contemplated life and took time out for lunch at the hilltop restaurant before heading back to Lucerne by ferry before dusk. As you see here, it was a joyful day. We did flips and cartwheels amid the Alps to mark the success of our accomplished journey. It’s most definitely a day I won’t forget.
9050 Appenzell District, Switzerland
Hiking from Appenzell to Wasserauen, the trail took me through parks, villages, and right through the farmlands of the locals. The day of my hike was overcast and foggy, but when we passed this cluster of farms the sun came out and lit up the grassy fields for my picture. I continued to Wasserauen, where you can take the cableway up to Ebenalp, and the Wildkirchli cave chapel. This area is a mass of intersecting hiking trails, history, and amazing alpine scenery.
Lucerne, Switzerland
Throughout Luzern, so many of the buildings have crazy, wild paintings all over them. Loving it! Wish more buildings in Brisbane were like this!
Quai Gustave-Ador, 1207 Genève, Switzerland
We were only in Geneva for a day, but we were told to take a unique photo with this fountain by our friends and this is what we came up with! While Geneva was overwhelmingly expensive for 2 college students backpacking, it was worth the trip to see the lake. It was a sunny day with the perfect blue sky to white cloud ratio. We picnic’d on the rocks with wine, cheese, bread, and meat with a long lost friend. I would love to go back and do some real exploring one day.
3800 Sundlauenen, Switzerland
While many walked through the streets of the small town, I decided to head along the river and came across this beautiful view of Lake Brienz.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
National Parks