Romantic things to do in Zurich

Zurich for couples

Zurich is one of those undiscovered romantic European cities. From soaring views over the city and outdoor experiences galore, you’ll find a wealth of romantic things to do in Zurich.

  1. Have a romantic walk in Niederdorf
  2. Take a walk up the South Tower
  3. Enjoy a romantic walk in the Botanischer Garten
  4. Wander around the west bank of Zurich
  5. Hike up to the Uetliberg mountain
  6. Make the most of summertime swimming
  7. Enjoy a fine dining experience in a guild house restaurant

There’s plenty to keep you occupied in this charming city, poised astride the River Limmat, adorned with over a thousand medieval and modern fountains, and turned towards the Zürichsee (Lake Zürich). If you’re tempted to get away with your partner, take a look at our fantastic selection of Zurich holidays.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Have a romantic walk in Niederdorf

From Central, the Niederdorf district stretches south along the riverside for about 1km. A more engaging walk than the busy riverside Limmatquai is to fork one block inland onto the narrow pedestrianized Niederdorfstrasse. There are plenty of opportunities for absent-minded exploration of cobbled side-alleys, many of which open onto secluded courtyards adorned with medieval fountains which make a lovely romantic setting.

Best for: Aimless wandering

Don’t miss: For another area to wander in, head to the Europaallee district and explore the many shops on offer.

2. Take a walk up the South Tower

If you’re feeling like you have a lot of energy, you can climb 187 steps to reach the top of the 62m South Tower (the Karlsturm). It’s definitely worth it for the splendid views which sprawl all over the city. Spot the lake and Alps stretching onto the horizon. It all makes a perfect romantic setting for you and your loved one and is one of the best couply things to do in Zurich.

Best for: Fantastic views

Don’t miss: The Freitag tower also offers superb views of the city below.

3. Enjoy a romantic walk in the Botanischer Garten

A couple of blocks inland from the Zürichhorn is the pleasant Botanischer Garten , a riot of colour in spring and summer. The site is home to 9000 plant species, a pond, three tropical planthouses and a café, making for a relaxing place to while away an hour or so.

Best for: Getting out into nature

Don’t miss: China Garden is home to a pretty park and a number of pavilions.

4. Wander around the west bank of Zurich

The Old Town sprawls across the River Limmat onto the western bank, with Zürich’s other landmark church, the Fraumünster, dominating the skyline. Just beyond the network of narrow cobbled streets lies Zürich’s main shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse, an area that is fantastic for couples looking to shop ‘til they drop!

Best for: Shoppers

Don’t miss: Don’t forget to treat yourself to some local Swiss chocolate as a souvenir.

5. Hike up to the Uetliberg mountain

The Uetliberg mountain is a twenty-minute train ride from Zurich and makes a pleasant day trip. It’s ideal for budding hikers. From the top of the summit’s 30m viewing tower, which boosts your altitude to 900m, there are terrific 360-degree views over Zürich, the whole curve of the lake and, on a clear day, east into Austria and as far southwest as the Jungfrau. Also, on the summit is the Uto Kulm hotel and restaurant, a handy place for a pitstop. The panoramic walking route from Uto Kulm to Felsenegg and beyond passes another couple of restaurants. A cable car runs every fifteen minutes between Felsenegg and Adliswil, from where it’s a short walk to Adliswil train station.

Best for: Hikers

Don’t miss: Walk the Rigi Panoramic Trail near Zurich where you can see beautiful views of the Swiss Alpine landscape.

6. Make the most of summertime swimming

There aren’t many big cities where the river is so clean that locals can swim in the centre, but Zurich is just that. Several stretches of the city’s two rivers have been sectioned off and equipped with boardwalks, jetties, showers and changing rooms for public swimming. Known as badis, these open-air pools are generally open from mid-May to mid-September, although they often shut in poor weather. Taking a dip in these waters is one of the most exciting things to do for couples in Zurich.

Best for: Swimmers

Don’t miss: Take a look at the Amazon Fountain which was one of the first fountains in Zurich to exist.

7. Enjoy a fine dining experience in a guild house restaurant

For a classic dining experience in traditional surroundings, it’s hard to beat Zurich’s numerous Zunfthäuse (guild houses). The history of the city’s craft guilds dates back to the fourteenth century, and, while their role is little more than symbolic today, many of the guild houses now serve as restaurants. Grandiose exteriors with wood panelled interiors and high-vaulted ceilings are typical, with the neighbouring riverside Haus zum Rüden and Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten classic examples. Menus are usually big on hearty Zurich fare, such as fillet of pike perch (zanderfilet) and the city’s flagship veal dish züri gschnätzlets; the high class Zunfthaus zur Waag is celebrated for the latter. Other famous guild house restaurants are located in hotels, such as the Widder and Storchen. However, not all Zunfthäuse provide traditional cuisine; the Haus der Zunft zur Schneidern is now a contemporary Thai restaurant (The Blue Monkey), while Zunft zur Letzi serves up a mix of Mediterranean and Mexican food.

Best for: Fine dining

Don’t miss: There are also dozens of hole-in-the-wall snack joints along Niederdorfstrasse serving kebabs, falafels, sausages.

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