Whether you want to keep your kids busy, are planning a city getaway or want to surprise your date, winter in Zurich offers a lot of fun things to do.
From hands-on museums to an indoor tropical rainforest, here are some of our favorite things to do when it's winter in Zurich.
- Go for a round of ice-skating
- Visit the Tram Museum in Zurich
- Take photographs of the outdoor art in Zurich
- Enter the tropical Masoala rainforest at Zoo Zurich
- Trace the footsteps of history's greatest (male) minds
- Be among the first to visit the new Kunsthaus Zurich wing
- Step into Swiss history at the Swiss National Museum
- Treat yourself to spa time with city views
Go for a round of ice-skating
From Europe's largest open-air rink to natural ponds that (infrequently) freeze over, Zurich offers various opportunities for ice-skating. While the city-operated ice-skating rinks have regular hours, the outdoor ponds require several weeks of sub-zero temperatures to freeze.
Find an ice-skating rink in Zurich
Visit the Tram Museum in Zurich
This little gem of a museum allows you to learn all about Zürich’s most iconic mode of transportation. Furthermore, most trams in the exhibit are asking to be explored inside out. Many historical photographs bring the Zürich of days past back to life, and interactive elements help to keep kids (of all ages) entertained.
Read our full review or plan your visit
Take photographs of the outdoor art in Zurich
You will be surprised to know that there is a gigantic slingshot in the middle of Zurich. And that a giant silver woman is overlooking a square on Zurich's west side. Mount your wide-angle lens or simply bring s smartphone to trace some truly unique outdoor art in Zurich.
Hint: our guide on outdoor art in Switzerland includes several spots in Zurich. Pick up a map of Zurich and share your photographs with us on social media.
Enter the tropical Masoala rainforest at Zoo Zurich
When the weather goes south, head up to Zoo Zurich. The Masoala rainforest is a beautiful ecosystem with tropical temperatures. You can walk little trails or change the perspective by climbing a tree. From inside the restaurant, you have a particularly unique view of the pond.
Once you have spotted all the chameleons, use your admission ticket to access the latest section of the zoo: a large-scale African savannah.
Trace the footsteps of history's greatest (male) minds
Some of the greatest minds of the last century or two have called Zurich their home, including artists, scientists, and political visionaries. Follow in their footsteps to see where they have lived - and where they are resting in peace.
Where to find the likes of Einstein, Joyce, and Lenin in Zurich
Be among the first to visit the new Kunsthaus Zurich wing
Now considered the largest Swiss art museum in terms of space, the Kunsthaus Zurich should be on your winter "to do" list. The 200-million franc expansion designed by David Chipperfield Architects was only opened in December 2020. Thanks to using some recycled building materials and running an energy-efficient operation, the new Kunsthaus Zurich wing is an important proof of concept for other projects of similar proportions.
Step into Swiss history at the Swiss National Museum
Switzerland keeps a fascinating history in its bosom, with a long past dating back millions of years. From stone age objects to knights' armor and Reformation scripts, the Swiss National Museum in Zurich takes it all together. Thanks to the modern museum wing, even architecture buffs will have a field day...
Read our full review or plan your visit.
Treat yourself to spa time with city views
When those winter temperatures are getting to you, the Thermalbad & Spa Zürich is your great escape. Known for its rooftop outdoor pool with city views, it is housed in an industrial building that once housed the Hürlimann brewery. From bubble chairs to massage jets, there are plenty of things to keep you entertained.
See all the spa options in Zurich or plan your visit.
13 free things to do in Zürich in winter
If you look closely and are a bit flexible with your planning, there are plenty of free things to do in Zürich.
You could also try to make your own chocolate – the whole year long – at LINDT Chocolateria in Kilchberg-Zurich.