Top things to see & do in Zurich during summertime ☀️
Hey there, summer lovers. Are you ready to soak up the sun and have some fun in Zurich? This beautiful city has plenty of activities to offer you, from exploring its historic landmarks to enjoying its gorgeous outdoor scenery.
Summer is just around the corner (almost there!), and if you’re planning to visit Zurich, you’re in for a treat. This beautiful Swiss city offers a fantastic array of things to see and do, whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or culture. So.. what are the best things to do in Zurich in Summer?
#1 Explore Lake Zurich 🌊
One of the top activities in Zurich in the Summer is exploring the popular Lake Zurich. This crystal-clear lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains and offers you plenty of water-based activities, such as swimming, boating, and paddleboarding. Relax on the lake’s beaches while enjoying stunning views.
#2 Take a walk in the Old Town
The Old Town of Zurich is a must-visit when you’re in the city. This charming area is full of narrow streets and alleys, beautiful buildings, and cozy cafes. Take a stroll and discover the city’s rich history and culture and make sure to visit the Fraumünster Church to admire the stunning stained-glass windows created by Marc Chagall.
#3 Go hiking in the mountains
Zurich is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and hiking is one of the best ways to explore the area’s natural beauty. Uetliberg Mountain is just a short train ride from the city center and offers spectacular panoramic views of Zurich and the surrounding landscape. You can also take a cable car up to the top if you’re not up for the hike.
#4 Visit the Kunsthaus Zurich 🖼️
If you’re an art lover, the Kunsthaus Zurich is going to be perfect for you. This museum features an extensive collection of art including some of the world’s most famous artists, such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso. The museum also hosts special exhibitions throughout the year, so keep an eye out to check what’s on during your visit and free… your inner artist!
#5 Take a day trip to Rhine Falls
Rhine Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in Europe and is located just a short train ride from the city. This gorgeous natural wonder should definitely make it to your list of things to do in Zurich. You can take a boat ride to the center of the falls to get an up-close view of the cascading water.
#6 Treat yourself to Swiss chocolate & cheese 🍫
Your visit to Switzerland is 100% complete only when you get to try some of the country’s famous chocolate and cheese. Zurich has plenty of chocolate shops and cheese stores, so choose where to sample some of the local delights. Check out the Cheese Factory in nearby Appenzell, too, to learn about the cheese-making process and get some samples. Say… “cheese”!
#7 Swim in the river
Head to the Flussbad Unterer Letten, the oldest riverside bathing facility in Zurich and a swimming hotspot in the Wipkingen neighborhood dating back to 1909.
Jump into the water, float along the stream and relax at one of the open-air bars on the riverside when the sun goes down. You can grab a snack or a cocktail and check out cultural events as well as outdoor film screenings there, too. So, put on your swimsuit, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to enjoy the warm summer vibes. Definitely something to be part of the best things to do in summer in Zurich!
#8 Summer Festivals in Zurich 🎼
Zurich is heating up with a lineup of festivals that you’ll absolutely love!
Here are some of the coolest events happening in town:
🎶 Openair Frauenfeld: an annual hip-hop festival that takes place in Frauenfeld in July. It’s the largest open-air festival in Switzerland and the largest hip-hop music festival in Europe dating back to 1985.
🎶 Street Parade: get ready to dance your heart out at the largest techno party in the world! Mingle with thousands of music enthusiasts in August for a wild, colorful, and free-spirited celebration.
🎶 Zurich Art Weekend: time to get artsy—from exhibition openings to guided tours, performances to urban interventions, art walks to thought-provoking panel discussions, cocktails to other gatherings across town, this festival will inspire your senses.
🎶 OpenAir St. Gallen: take a break from the city and head to the beautiful St. Gallen valley for 3 days of music, camping, and just feel-good vibes.
🎶 Food Zurich: go on a culinary journey around the world at this festival dedicated to all things food. With over 150 events and activities, including cooking workshops, food tours, and pop-up restaurants, you’ll have a blast.
🎶 Zurich Pride Festival: celebrate diversity and equality at the Zurich Pride Festival, a vibrant and inclusive event promoting the LGBTQ+ community. Join the colorful parade, dance to live music, and check out various cultural activities.
🎶 Winterthurer Musikfestwochen: a 12-day experience with over 70 acts playing on 4 stages, where you’ll discover everything from cabaret to street music, young bands, and more. Plus, this festival is mostly completely free. 😉
🎶 Zurich Openair: a 4-day festival with a 3-stage lineup featuring rock, indie, hip-hop, electronic and pop stars from around the world held in August near Zurich Airport.
🎶Züri Fäscht: this festival happens every 3 years in July featuring activities throughout the city that include concerts, fireworks, and cultural events.
🎶 Caliente: join this lively outdoor salsa festival occurring every July in the center of Zurich with live music and free dance lessons. Time to put on your dancing shoes!
🎶 Zurich Tanzt: attend this dance festival which is held every June with events throughout the city and live dance performances on the street.
🎶 Light Ragaz: an interactive light tour through the Tamina Gorge near Bad Ragaz. Follow this inspiring storytelling experience focused on the theme of happiness via video projections on up to 80-meter-high rock walls, fascinating images, catchy music, and playful interactions, lasting from May up until October.
🎶 Zurich Film Festival: this annual film festival is a perfect match for all of you, film buffs; it’s held in September and includes film screenings as well as discussions with filmmakers at various locations throughout the city.
Looking for more activities in Zurich? Read more here!
📅 Wow, summer in Zurich looks like it’s going to be epic, so get your calendar out and mark these dates!