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Winter in Zurich: Fun Activities from Museums to Spas

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 in Zurich

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

Ice-Skating Rink in Zurich

Visit the Tram Museum in Zurich

This little museum gem allows you to learn about Zürich’s most iconic mode of transportation. Furthermore, most trams in the exhibit ask to be explored inside out. Many historical photographs bring the Zürich of days back to life, and interactive elements help to keep kids (of all ages) entertained.

Read our full review or plan your visit

Things to do in Zurich - Zurich Tram Museum

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 overlooks 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.

Anne-Sophie Statue in Zürich, Switzerland

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 your perspective by climbing a tree. You have a particularly unique view of the pond from inside the restaurant.

Once you have spotted all the chameleons, use your admission ticket to access the large-scale African savannah.

Winter in Zurich - Masoala Rainforest at Zoo Zurich

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

Albert Einstein - Swiss Passport

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.

Copyright Kunsthaus Zurich

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 combines it. Thanks to the modern museum wing, even architecture buffs will have a field day...

Read our full review or plan your visit.

Swiss National Museum in Zurich

Treat yourself to spa time with city views

When those winter temperatures get 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.

Thermalbad & Spa Zurich
Copyright Thermalbad & Spa Zürich

Ultimate free things to do in Zurich

If you look closely and are a bit flexible with your planning, there are plenty of free things to do in Zürich.

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators. Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.

1 comment

  • You could also try to make your own chocolate – the whole year long – at LINDT Chocolateria in Kilchberg-Zurich.

Dimitri Burkhard

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