Zurich is located in north-western Switzerland closer to German border. Zurich is the largest city in the country and offers a lot of things to do for tourists. Even though the official language of Zurich is German, locals speak the variant dialect of Alemannic Swiss German. Zurich is home to a lot of financial institutions and banking companies like Credit Suisse, UBS and Zurich financial services. Zurich gets a large number of tourists every year due to its cultural diversity but also because there are a lot of things to do in Zurich and top places to visit like a large number of museums, cathedrals and fine dining experience. Tourists are particularly enamored by the stunning castles and waterfalls a few miles away from Zurich. The city of Zurich is known for amazing cathedrals, stunning walkways along Limmat River and restaurants known for serving delightful fondue. This two-day itinerary of things to do in Zurich is targeted at covering the most interesting aspects of the city. The itinerary on day 1 is largely focused on covering Rhine falls and Munot castle, both of which are located in the direction of Schaffhausen.
Itinerary of things to do in Zurich (Day 1):
08:30 am - 09:30 am: Travel by train to Neuhausen Rheinfall
09:30 am - 12:30 pm: Rhine falls park
12:30 pm - 01:30 pm: Lunch
01:30 pm - 02:00 pm: Travel by train to Schaffhausen
02:00 pm - 04:00 pm: Munot castle
04:00 pm - 05:30 pm: Travel by train back to Zurich
05:30 pm - 08:30 pm: Dinner and walk around old town Zurich
For the first day of things to do in Zurich, from Zurich main train station, plan to board a train around 8:30 am headed in the direction of Schaffhausen. Your swiss rail pass should have you covered in almost all trains, buses and boats . Get down at Neuhausen Rheinfall train station. The train ride to Neuhausen Rheinfall varies from 55 minutes to about an hour and 20 minutes depending on the train and the route chosen to get there. Rhine falls park is about 3 to 5 minutes of walk from the train station. The park typically opens at 8 am or 9 am, depending on the month of the year. So, plan to reach between 9 am and 10 am. Plan to spend about 2 to 3 hours in Rhine falls park. Attractions in the park include a nice hike for an hour, a visit to the beautiful Laufen castle located at the top of the park and a boat ride that takes you eerily close to the falls to help you feel the force of water.
From Rhine falls park, head back to Neuhausen Rheinfall station and board any train headed towards Schaffhausen. The ride would last about 10 minutes. When you reach Schaffhausen train station, walk for about 15 minutes through downtown to reach Munot castle. Munot castle is clearly visible from the train station as it is located at the top of old town Schaffhausen. As you enter the castle, you are greeted by a large cave like chamber. Walk up the stairs to get a scenic view of the old town.
After you are done with a tour of the castle, walk for about 6 minutes to Haus zum Ritter, a beautiful house with paintings in the front wall. After visiting the house, head back to Schaffhausen train station to take a train back to Zurich. Plan to reach Zurich station between 5 pm and 6 pm CET. The rest of the evening can be spent exploring old town Zurich. Old town Zurich is lined with decorated shops and awesome lighting along the river providing a great setting for an evening walk. Plan to go around and explore Limmat River, Schipfe and the winding alleys of Niederdorf in old town. Alternatively, you can also go on sweets-and-chocolates expedition in old town Zurich. End the day with a nice dinner and a glass of wine as you get ready for day 2 to explore some amazing churches in Zurich. If your heart desires, you can choose to spend a couple of hours in Niederdorf, the location well-known for nightlife in Zurich.
Itinerary for other days of Switzerland vacation
(Click on each link to explore the detailed itinerary for each day)
Day 1: Things to do in Zurich - Rhine falls, Munot Castle and Old Town Zurich