Neither a European mega-metropolis nor a provincial town, Zurich is the perfect place to introduce even the youngest family members to a bit of culture, nature, and history. As a mum living in Switzerland, I’ve whiled away many hours exploring our biggest city with wee ones in tow—from quick-walking the cobblestoned streets of Old Town to get baby off to sleep to romping around city museums with groups of curious kids. If you have just three days for a family adventure in Zurich, here’s how to make it memorable.
The Swiss summer can get very hot, so make use of the public splash pads and outdoor pools (badis) to keep the kids cool.
If you only have time for one thing, make it a cruise on Lake Zurich. Kids love cruises.
Get acquainted with Zurich on a city tour, taking advantage of packages that include round-trip transfer to avoid too much walking on little legs. Coach or tuk-tuk tours are a great way to cover ground with ease, while self-led scavenger tours are ideal for older kids.
The city’s many playgrounds and splash pads offer quick rest stops and picnic lunch locations. My top playground picks include Spielplatz Artergut in the Old Town, Spielplatz Blatterwiese in the Chinese Gardens, and Spielplatz GZ Wipkingen, just over the river from the trendy District 5 neighborhood.
Dedicate your second morning to exploring some of Zurich’s top family attractions. WOW Museum Zurich features interactive optical illusions across three floors, while the FIFA Museum is a must for any soccer enthusiast, big or small. Zurich Zoo is particularly good for families with babies and toddlers and can be reached easily via tram from Zurich’s main station.
After lunch, treat the family to a real-life Chocolate Factory adventure at Lindt Home of Chocolate in Kilchberg. Take the train directly from Zurich HB or avoid herding cats—I mean kids—with private transfer from your hotel. Come evening, rest weary legs on a Lake Zurich cruise, ticking off dinner too on a tour that includes a traditional fondue or raclette meal.
By now, the kids are probably chomping at the bit for a runaround outside of town. Zurich’s mountain Uetliberg is just a short tram ride from Zurich HB and has its own playground, cafe, and Alpine viewpoint. There’s also the Planet Path, a themed hiking route from Uetliberg that’s great for little sprinters (and stroller-friendly!).