Our six hours in Zurich were enough to make us fall in love with the city. All the canals, the hills filled with trees and the crystal clear water make this city one of the most beautiful cities we ever been. And we were surprised by that.
So, if you are facing a stopover in Zurich or just a long train stop like we did, don’t waste your time. Explore the city and don’t spend your precious time because we know you are going to regret it.
First things first. If you are facing a stopover in Zurich, check in your suitcase somewhere and go straight to the city. The airport is just 10 minutes away, and the trains leave every 10 minutes. You can safely go into the town without fear. There is no excuse to stay in the airport lounge this time.
For those of you that don’t know, Zurich is located on the northern shore of Lake Zurich with an amazing view from the Alps in the distance. The city is constantly voted as one of the best to live in the world and you are going to see why when you walk along the beautiful small roads.
Everything that you will read below is focused on making you save money since Zurich is one of the most expensive cities we have ever been. It is beautiful, but this beauty comes at a price. A high prize. So, forget about the tram. You are going to walk this time.
Six Hours in Zurich – A Walking Tour
Your walk starts at Zurich Hauptbahnhof. If you got to the city by train, you are already there. If you got by plane, we hope you manage to get there as well. This is your gate to Zurich and where we are going to end the walk as well. Six hours in Zurich might be a lot, but there are so many things to see in the city that you won’t even realize that time has passed.
One cool thing about Zurich Hauptbahnhof is that you can find a lot of shops on its underground floors. If you are looking to buy sandwiches, water or Swiss chocolate, don’t wander around the city. Take the stairway and find what you need.
To make everything a little bit easier, we created this simple map showing you the route we are going to through in our six hours in Zurich.
Let’s start our walking tour around Zurich!
When you leave Zurich Hauptbahnhof, do it on the right side of the building. If you have the tracks on your back, go to the right side, and you will see a statue in the distance. If you spot it, you are in the right place.
From there, you will start walking in our footsteps. Before going to Zurich, we did our research, and we needed to walk around the beautiful Bahnhofstrasse. This pedestrianized boulevard is surrounded by trees and high-end shops. We looked at the windows and danced for a while since there was a great jazz band on the street when we got to the street.
After a few more blocks, pay attention to the left side of the road. There you will see Rennweg with a beautiful clock on a tower further away. Go in this direction! Two more blocks and continue walking on Fortunagasse. This is how we get to Lindenhof.
Lindenhof is the historical site of a Roman castle that, a long time ago, used to overlook the lake. Later, it was the site of the Carolingian Kaiserpfalz and, today is where you come to take the best panoramic pictures from Zurich.
From up there you can see the mountains surrounding Zurich. You can watch the boats go by and all the beautiful buildings in the old town. If you don’t have enough time to see everything we advise you to see in Zurich, at least, you have to try to visit Lindenhof. And speaking of mountains, maybe your six hours in Zurich is on your way to Jungfrau Mountain in the Alps, if this is the case, Travel 2 Next have an excellent post about this side of Switzerland.
After a few too many pictures, you need to go down the small roads in the direction of the river. We are going to Zurich Storchen, a ferry terminal in the middle of Zurich with a great view of Old Town.
From the bridge in front of Zurich Storchen, you can see the famous Fraumünster Church. Across the river, it’s where you can see Grossmünster, an iconic twin-towered Romanesque cathedral that was inaugurated around 1220.
We stood on the bridge between the two churches for a while watching boats go by and trying to take pictures of everything around us. The water there is so clear that you wonder how can it be.
Taking pictures and walking around Zurich can work up a hunger in some and this is what happened to us. During our short six hours in Zurich, we knew we didn’t want to spend that much money, but we wanted to have a great time there.
This is how we found Tibits, a vegetarian restaurant with awesome food, great staff, and beautiful atmosphere. All this with fast, free wifi. What else can you want in a place?
Tibits is a lovely pay-by-weight buffet filled with several options of hot and cold vegetarian and vegan dishes. The food there is so good that will please even the non-vegetarians that go there as we did. If you are looking for great food without the swiss price tag, Tibits is the place for you in Zurich. Trust us on this.
After a fantastic meal at Tibits, it is time to get back on the road since there are a lot of other things to see in six hours in Zurich!
Follow the river in the opposite direction you came, and you will find yourself at Bellevueplatz. From there, you need to cross the bridge and go to Bürkliplatz.
If you get lucky as we did and arrive in Zurich on a Saturday, enjoy the flea market at Bürkliplatz. There you will find almost anything. From typefaces made of wood to deer horns and a lot of toys and clothes.
Don’t get too carried away at the flea market and try to find your way into Schanzengrabenpromenade. This pleasant promenade in the middle of Zurich is where the city fortifications used to be. But, since 1984, it became an idyllic pedestrian zone where we even saw some people doing stand up paddling.
Enjoy the walk close to the water until you find the Old Botanical Garden on the right side of the street. The Old Botanical Garden is, nowadays, one of the last remains of the Baroque fortifications of Zurich.
But we want to visit the gardens and find the beautiful Palmenhaus, built in 1851. On the hilltop, you will find Gessner-Garten, a medieval herb garden in memory of Conrad Gessner, a famous swiss botanist, physician and classical linguist.
Now, your sir hour tour of Zurich is coming to an end. Go down the hill into Talstrasse. Walk in the opposite direction that you came and find Löwenstrasse. This is how we get back to Zurich Hauptbahnhof.
We only stayed for six hours in Zurich but we loved the city so much that we need to get back there. We just hope that, next time, we will have more time in the city since we want to see the Museum für Gestating Zurich, Cabaret Voltaire and the famous Kunsthaus Zurich.