It’s getting hot in here! As this heatwave continues to surge, it feels great to escape the city for a bit to cool down. Of course we have the beautiful Lake Zurich here, but a change of scenery can be nice too. Here are 4 daytrip ideas to do when that unforgiving Swiss Summer sun traps a sweltering heat in Zurich!
1. Swimming in Walensee
Of course, swimming seems like a no brainer! And we can enjoy a cooldown dip right here in the Lake Zurich, however the fresh mountain waters of Walensee provide beautiful views and it makes for a nice day trip.
Getting there: from Zurich HB, you can take the train to Ziegelbrücke and from there take the 650 bus towards Arvenbüel, Arven to arrive at the lakeside town called Weesen. The whole journey takes approximately 1 hour. From Weesen, you can hop on a boat and decide where you would like to go, there are many options along the lake for swimming. A popular option is the “Badestrand Betlis”.
2. Boat trip on Lake Luzern
If you don’t want to be in the lake, you can still be on the lake! And the Vierwaldstättersee is definitely one to enjoy. There are different boat rides you can do on the lake, such as short boat tours, or longer ones that take you to the other side of the lake. A popular stop is Vitznau which is a one hour trip from Luzern. Brunnen is also very beautiful, and can be reached by boat from Luzern in 2 hours.
Getting there: Taking the train from Zurich HB, you will reach Luzern in about 50 minutes. The boat landings are a very short walk from the Luzern main station. There are different docks for different boat trips, so just check which one you need to be on to reach your preferred location!
3. Enjoy fresh mountain air in Stoos
For this city escape, you may require a bit more energy for hiking. But nothing is better than enjoying the fresh mountain breeze (even when the sun is beating down) and then rewarding yourself after a hike with cool refreshments atop a mountain. This popular ridgeline is famous for it’s scenic surroundings all throughout the hike.
Getting there: From Zurich HB you can take any train going to Arth-Goldau (about a 45 minute ride) and from there take the 501 bus to Schwyz Stoosbahn (about 30 mins). Then you will take a short ride on the funicular train with 110% gradient (and yes, it is the steepest funicular railway in Switzerland and Europe!)
If you wish to do the ridgeline hike, you take the cable car up to Klingenstock and from there you walk along the ridgeline and make your way towards Fronalpstock, where you take another cable car back down to Stoos.
4. Wander the lakeside town of Rapperswil
Rapperswil is a great town to enjoy a stroll along the lake with a gelato from Dieci or to find a cafe with lakeside views! Take the stairs up to the Medieval castle, wander through the cobblestone streets, or find a nice spot to enjoy the views in the shade of the trees along the lake.
Getting there: a great Summer mode of transportation is of course arriving by boat. You can catch a boat to Rapperswil from Zurich Burkiplatz and enjoy the cruise down the lake. There are also special cruises you can book with dinner/apero, etc.
Otherwise, it is also easily accessible by train from Zurich HB as there are many connections hourly.
I hope you find these small day trip ideas useful. Enjoy the sunshine and stay cool!