Free Things to Do in Zurich Switzerland


Free Things to Do in Zurich Switzerland


Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland, is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, historic charm, and vibrant culture. While known for its high living costs, Zurich offers many free activities, allowing visitors to experience the city's unique charm without spending a fortune. Here is a comprehensive guide to the best free things to do in zurich Switzerland.


Explore the Old Town (Altstadt)

The Old Town, or Altstadt, is the historic heart of Zurich, characterized by narrow, winding streets, medieval buildings, and charming squares. Walking through this area is like stepping back in time. One of the best free things to do in zurich Switzerland.


  • Grossmünster: This iconic twin-towered church is a symbol of Zurich. While climbing the towers costs a small fee, exploring the church and its surroundings is free.
  • Fraumünster Church: Known for its stunning stained glass windows by artist Marc Chagall, this church offers a serene atmosphere perfect for a quiet visit.
  • Niederdorf: This pedestrian-friendly district is filled with quaint shops, cafes, and historic buildings, making it ideal for a stroll.


Visit the Parks and Gardens

Zurich boasts numerous parks and gardens, providing peaceful green spaces amidst the urban environment. These parks are perfect for relaxation, picnics, and outdoor activities. Second most best free things to do in zurich Switzerland.

Best Parks

  • Lake Zurich (Zürichsee): The promenade along Lake Zurich offers stunning views, walking paths, and relaxing places by the water. In summer, you can even take a dip in the lake.
  • Botanical Garden: Managed by the University of Zurich, this garden features over 15,000 species of plants worldwide. It's a beautiful place to explore nature's diversity.
  • Platzspitz Park: Located at the confluence of the Limmat and Sihl rivers, this historic park is ideal for a tranquil walk or a riverside picnic.


Discover Zurich's Art and History

Zurich is rich in art and history, with several museums and galleries offering free admission on specific days or for certain exhibitions. Enjoy the best free museums zurich.

Key Attractions

  • Kunsthaus Zurich: While the primary collection requires an entry fee, the Kunsthaus offers free admission on Wednesdays. This renowned art museum features works by Swiss and international artists.
  • Swiss National Museum: Located in a castle-like building, the Swiss National Museum offers free admission on the first Saturday of every month. It showcases Switzerland's cultural history.
  • Helmhaus: This contemporary art gallery offers free entry and frequently hosts exhibitions featuring local and international artists. Another best free museums zurich.


Experience Zurich's Cultural Scene

Zurich's vibrant cultural scene includes music, theater, and festivals, many offering free events and performances.

Cultural Activities

  • Street Parade: Held annually in August, this techno music festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. It's one of the largest techno parades in the world and is free to attend.
  • Sechseläuten: This traditional spring festival features a parade of guilds, the burning of the Böögg (a snowman puppet), and various free events.
  • Open Air Cinema: During the summer months, several locations in Zurich host free outdoor movie screenings. It's a beautiful way to enjoy a film under the stars. Another best things to do for free in zurich.


Explore Zurich's Markets

Markets in Zurich offer a lively atmosphere and a chance to experience local culture. Even if you don't buy anything, wandering through these markets is a delightful experience.

Popular Markets

  • Bürkliplatz Flea Market: Open on Saturdays from May to October, this market is a treasure trove of antiques, vintage items, and second-hand goods.
  • Oerlikon Market: Held twice a week, this market offers fresh produce, flowers, and local specialties. It's a great place to soak in the local atmosphere.
  • Rosenhof Market: This market in the Old Town features unique crafts, jewelry, and artwork, perfect for browsing and people-watching.


Take a Scenic Hike

Zurich's surrounding areas offer beautiful hiking trails that are easily accessible from the city and provide stunning views of the Swiss landscape.

Recommended Hikes

  • Uetliberg Mountain: This mountain offers several hiking trails with panoramic views of Zurich and the Alps. The summit is accessible via a short train ride followed by a hike.
  • Zürichberg Forest: Located near the city, this forest offers peaceful trails perfect for a leisurely hike or a brisk walk.
  • Pfannenstiel: This ridge between Lake Zurich and Lake Greifensee offers scenic trails, beautiful lake views, and forested paths.


Admire Zurich's Architecture

Zurich's architectural beauty spans from medieval buildings to modern masterpieces. Simply walking around the city provides ample opportunities to admire its diverse architecture.

Architectural Gems

  • Bahnhofstrasse: This famous shopping street is known for its luxury shops, elegant buildings, and bustling atmosphere.
  • ETH Zurich: The main building of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, designed by Gottfried Semper, is an impressive architectural sight. Another best things to do for free in zurich.
  • Le Corbusier House: Designed by the renowned architect Le Corbusier, this colorful pavilion on the shores of Lake Zurich is a striking example of modernist architecture.


Zurich offers a wealth of free activities that allow visitors to experience the city's culture, history, and natural beauty without breaking the bank. From exploring historic neighborhoods and parks to enjoying free museums and cultural events, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Discover the best of Zurich on a budget and create lasting memories in this beautiful Swiss city.