Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland, though not the capital of the country. It has a very laid-back atmosphere and is beautifully located along the Limmat river and on the shores of Lake Zurich. We loved the pastel coloured houses, the different decorated bow-windows, and the terraces and coffee places in this Swiss City. Zurich has plenty of things to do with kids and definitely also with teens.
Things to do in Zurich with kids on a first-time visit
Surely a big city like Zurich has plenty of things to do for families, and since it was our first time in Zurich, we wanted to tick off some of the cool stuff the city has on offer! There’s only so much you can fit in to one weekend in Zurich, so for sure we will come back again to enjoy more of the things on our list.
Five things to do in Zurich on a weekend trip:
1. Walk around the city center and the Old Town
Walking around a city still is the best way to explore! We started in the very center of Zurich in the Bahnhofstrasse which is filled with shops. One of the must-see side streets of the Bahnhoffstrasse, the Augustiner gasse, is probably one of the cutest streets in Zurich with many different bow-windows and colourful buildings.
We then walked towards the Limmat river and crossed it via the lovelock bridge, the Mühlesteg bridge. From there, you can walk around in the beautiful old town and the Niederdorf area. Niederdorf is a pedestrian area which is part of the old town of Zurich and has a lot of little shops.
We continued towards the Cathedral and crossed the river there again, which is a perfect place for some photos. On the other side you will quickly reach Münsterhof square with its cobble stones and pastel colored buildings, which is probably one of the most beautiful squares of Zurich!
Lindenhof in Zurich is a peaceful park with beautiful views over the city, the Grossmünster church and the Limmat river. It is also a historical place, as a Roman fort stood here in the 4th century, and today it is one of the favorite spots in the city for people to meet.
3. FIFA museum
A perfect museum for sports lovers! The FIFA museum tells you all about the history of football and also lets all the visitors test their own skills. You can be a sports commentor, dance the victory dances of the players, and test your own ball skills. That is the part of the museum our kids liked most of course. So score, shoot, and dribble your way through the FIFA museum. Museum visits with kids have never been this easy.
More information: FIFA Museum website
4. WOW museum Zurich, a room for Illusions
What would you look like upside down, small, multiplied, or in a sea of colors? Did you ever swim inside a museum? Pic, or it didn’t happen! At the WOW museum, room for illusions, make sure you have your camera ready as there are lots of cool photo opportunities here! Every room has a QR code to scan with more information or a specific photo opportunity. Very digital and fun museum that kids of all ages (yes, that means you adults too) will love!
More information: WOW Museum Zurich website
Sometimes the illusions play a bit with your mind, and I was briefly a bit dizzy after one of the rooms, but we absolutely loved this museum!
Of course there are more museums in Zurich like Kunsthaus Zurich and the Rietberg Museum. We have them on our list for a next visit!
5. Shopping and Eating Zurich
I do not claim we know the hotspots in Zurich, as we were only there for a weekend, but we were happy with our choices! We wanted a bit of city food, as not all is always available where we live, and typical Swiss / Zurich food. So this is where we went:
- Nooch Asian Kitchen. We took the take away to eat in our apartment, but the seated area with some tables with swings looked really cool as well.
- Close to the Bahnhoff strasse, we went for some typical Swiss food at Zeughaus Keller. The restaurants building exists since 1478 and it is said that William Tell’s crossbow was issued here. We had the typical ‘Zurich Geschnetzeltes’ dish here and it was very good!
- Zurich has a Blacktap too and this is always a nice stop to treat the teens with an enormous shake! It is very close to the WOW museum. But now, let’s be honest, the shakes are really too big, and no one can really finish them, right? Best is to order 1 shake for 2 kids, unless you would like them to eat nothing else during the day.
- We also just had a delicious Bretzel on the street in the Bahnhofstrasse, yum!
We had a kind tip from a reader on an exclusive restaurant where you will eat surrounded by Picasso paintings, we will keep that one in mind for a trip without the kids. The restaurant is called Kronenhalle.
Shopping in Zurich! In case your kids are a bit bigger, they may like shopping a bit. You can find most of the big brands at or around Bahnhofstrasse. One of our sons, who loves Mangas, also took us to a special shop on Manga comics, and you will also find shops like Flying Tiger or Sostrene Grene in Zurich.
We bought a Zurich food souvenir to try at home: a Zueri fondue. We never thought of Zurich and fondue specifically but it was very tasty and a nice way to remember the Zurich weekend gathered around a cheese fondue at home!
Where to stay in Zurich:
We decided to rent an apartment for this trip as it would be easy with the kids. We were very happy with our choice as it was only a few tram stops away from the center, or about a 15-20 walk. Close to the FIFA museum as well. Read about our apartment tip here.