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Why Zurich Is The Place To Be In Summer


Like many places in the world, Zurich thrives in summer.  After a long and cold winter, the Swiss love nothing more than to embrace the sun and enjoy the good life for the short time it is around.

So, as a traveler, if Switzerland is on your "bucket list" then why not pay Zurich a summer!

It's All About The Water

1. zurich-water-lettern-badi
(By Yago Veith -, via Wikimedia Commons)

Switzerland is a country full of mountains and snow, and for the water lovers, that means plenty of stunning blue lakes and crystal clear rivers!  And not surprisingly, the founders of Zurich decided to plant their town right on the shores of Lake Zurich with a beautiful view of the alps!

So, when the temperatures reach boiling-point in summer, the locals and the tourists all flock to the water. And the city of Zurich has you well and truly covered.  There are public "badi" or swimming baths, all around the city.  And, most of them are either part of the lake or the Limmat River which leads out of it.

Imagine, no chemicals, no pollutants, just pure mountain water to throw yourself into. And, clean enough to drink - seriously!

The Hills Are Alive Around Zurich

Switzerland has very tight zoning regulations which means the city is quite compact. The end result: Zurich is surrounded by forest and hills. And, they are only a hop, skip and jump away from downtown!

2. zurich-from-uetliberg

Zurich's home mountain is the Uetliberg, which is a fantastic place to take a break from the city life and heat.  It's also a great opportunity for some exercise!  There are hiking trails criss-crossing the mountain, but if you are not a super-fit hiker you can still enjoy a stroll along the ridge at the top. Just grab the train from the main station, and you will be there in no time.

There is also a great restaurant right at the peak, with a viewing platform and views to die for -- city, lake, mountains!

The Outdoor Sports Events Take Off

With such an amazing amount of outdoor options, the Swiss can't help but ramp up the summer activities in Zurich.

Every year there is a fortnightly Rollerblading tour around Zurich called the Monday Night Skate. The streets are closed to all traffic (except trams and buses) while the bladers take over the roads.   If you are at all into roller blading, this is an experience to behold!

3. zurich-lake-crossing-swim

Another option is to take part in some of the more daunting sports events such as the Lake Zurich swim (crossing both ways), the Zurich Marathon (a bit early in April) or the Zurich Ironman in July.

There are also a few other choices for the less insane such as the Zurich Slow Up Day-, where the streets around the lake are open only to non-motorized traffic. What that means in terms of transport is up to you!

The Festivals Arrive

And what is a European city in summer with a range of festivals to keep the locals and visitors busy.

4. zurich-street-parade

Zurich is never a place to sit still with anything from outdoor cinemas right on the lake, to the insanely large and loud  Street Parade that takes over the city for the weekend, including almost all the clubs in Zurich.

But if neither of those is up your alley, then there are lots more to choose from such as: Free Opera, Blues & Jazz, Outdoor Music and lots more!

Maybe you want to plan your trip according to one of these, but just be aware, they all sell out fast.

Don't Forget The Alfresco Dining

5. Zurich-outdoor-dining
Image By Photones (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons)

With warmer temperatures, all restaurants open up terraces along the streets. And with a city as old as Zurich, that means the historical old town is awash with tasty restaurants all with outdoor dining options!

Rather than locking yourself up indoors, take to the streets of Zurich and you will find restaurant after restaurant full to the brim with hungry diners.  Anything from local specialties like cheese fondue or raclette, to imported favorites like burgers, Indian, Italian and more.   There is almost nothing you can't find in Zurich, if you are willing to pay the price. After all, it is not a cheap city to enjoy, so check the prices before taking a seat.

Zurich Is Alive In Summer

No matter what you enjoy doing, Zurich has it all on offer in summer. From relaxing in the local restaurants and cafes to enjoying the waters of the lakes and rivers.  And of course the more active have lots to do too, from swimming, riding, rollerblading and hiking to hardcore endurance events, if that is your thing.

All you have to do is get here, the rest will take care of itself.


Images (5)
  • 1. zurich-water-lettern-badi
  • 2. zurich-from-uetliberg
  • 3. zurich-lake-crossing-swim
  • 4. zurich-street-parade
  • 5. Zurich-outdoor-dining

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Comments (1)

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Been to Zurich one time in the Spring and enjoyed the pedestrian zone and eating at an outdoor table with no traffic or fumes.  Switzerland was my favorite country destination, especially Lucerne and Grindelwald.  My wife Diane liked the Alpine region of Austria the best.

George G

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