If you only have one day to see Zurich or you just fancy a ready made guided wander this Zurich walking tour is for you.
Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city but also is very compact and easily walkable.
My Zurich walking tour focuses on District 1 which is the city’s rather beautiful old town area, home to the majority of the cities sites. We didn’t really venture out of this area at all apart from when we visited Thermalbad Spa and Uetliberg.
At the end of the post I’ve even included a map of the walking tour for you to follow.
A Self Guided Zurich Walking Tour
This tour starts at the main train station, Zürich Hauptbahnhof (Zurich HB for short) which is where you would have arrived into Zurich. You can venture into the station if you wish as there are many shops and restaurants inside.
If you prefer to be outdoors start your walk straight ahead of you along Bahnhofstrasse. This is Zurich’s main downtown street and one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues.
After about bout 600 metres turn right onto Augustinergasse, one of the most beautiful, historical streets in Zurich.
Once you reach the small square of Munzplatz (with the prettiest floral fountain I’d ever seen) you will see the Augustinerkirche church straight ahead of you.
Turn left onto Widdergasse then left again onto Rennweg. Rennweg was the widest street in Zurich in the Middle Ages and was especially distinguished from other streets and alleyways in Zurich due to its straightness.
When you reach the junction with Fortunagasse turn right and head up to Lindenhof hill. Lindenhof was once home to a roman castle but today provides an open green space to relax in. Here you will enjoy gorgeous views over the city.
Exit the opposite side of Lindenhof to which you entered and head straight down through the streets until you reach St Peters Church. This is a beautiful little area to relax in, very peaceful.
Continue on until you reach The Fraumünster Church and enjoy the square in which it sits lined with beautiful buildings, then head towards the river.
Turn right at the river and wander down roughly 350 meters until you reach Burkliplatz. This is the dock area where boat tours of Lake Zurich depart from and on Saturdays a flea market is held.
You will want to immediately turn left onto Quailbrucke bridge (without crossing) as this is where you get a stunning view of both Fraumunster and Grossmunster churches.
If you want views out onto Lake Zurich you have to cross the road at Burkliplatz and wander along that side instead.
Once across the bridge turn right and venture down to the quayside where you can spend some time soaking up the sun and feeding the many swans and ducks!
When you are ready continue walking along the riverfront until you can see Sechseläutenplatz across the road. Sechseläutenplatz is the largest town square in Zurich and is home to the Zurich opera house. Cross over and enjoy the square for a bit before wandering back the way you came.
Once you reach Quailbrucke bridge again don’t cross, just continue walking alongside the river. You will pass Wasserkirche on the left before reaching the Munsterbrucke bridge and the gorgeous Grossmunster church on your right. Behind the church is a little courtyard and the entrance if you wish to take a peek inside.
Head back out towards the river and this time cross over Munsterbrucke bridge. Once on the other side turn right and walk alongside the river. Here you can get stunning views of Grossmunster church.
You will walk under a covered section and then come out into a little square area behind the town hall. Cross Rathausbrücke to get back onto the other side of the river.
Cross the road and walk straight up Marktgasse street. At the top of the street turn left and walk through the cobbled street called Niederdorfstrasse full of shops, bars and restaurants.
Once you reach the junction with a street named Am Rank turn left onto it and head straight down across to the Muhlesteg pedestrian bridge. This is a love lock bridge where you can hang your padlocks!
Now you can either go back up Am Rank and turn left to finish walking along Niederdorfstrasse or just continue walking along the river front up to Bahnhofbrucke bridge.
Look across the bridge and you will see the train station where you started this wonderful walking tour of Zurich!
Map of the Self Guided Zurich Walking Tour
If you take my Zurich walking tour be sure to let me know what you think.
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Thanks for your post, we are stopping over for the afternoon as part of an Interrail tour and your suggestion was a great prompt for a very nice walk around we’ve just done. I wasn’t sure if all the right/ left directions were correct but didn’t really matter if you use a map like google map too. The sights are really nice and can be done in 2 hrs if not too distracted along the way!
Thank you so much for this tour.
How long is this tour in miles and time?
My wife and I will be staying two nights in Zurich in September, on our way to Sicily. So we were thrilled to see your walking tour of the downtown area. Looks fab. We live in the Bay Area of California, so we enjoyed your perspectives on our state. (Yes, the parking is outrageous in SF.) BTW, we were in Singapore later in the same year you visited. We were blown away by the beauty and vibrancy of the city.
We are looking forward to traveling again, as I’m sure you two are.
Stay healthy and safe travels.
Thank you Jenna, we did the tour on a lovely sunny day in March and loved seeing all the sights on your well structured itinerary. Just one small point, the turn off from Bahnhofstrasse into Augustinergasse is a left, not right!
Hi. Is it too cold if this will be done on january?
Hi Donna, it looks like the average temperature in Zurich in January is 0 Degrees Celsius, so it will be very chilly!
Thank you so much Jenna, this really helped during my trip to Zurich last few days.
No problem Linda, I’m glad it was useful 🙂
Can this be done in the evening say from 6pm to 9pm and is it safe to do so in the month of June.
I’d say this would be better as a daytime walk, I’m not sure what the streets will be like after dark.
This was a lovely way to see Zurich in a short time. We started this walk early in the morning so had uninterrupted views, and plenty of space to move. There is sufficient time to take small detours along the way, and also to pause for coffee and food breaks. Thanks Jenna Morrissey!
Thanks James, I’m glad this post was helpful 🙂
Took about 3 hours with some side detours that I took out of curiosity. Loved it. Thank you
Glad you enjoyed it Grant 🙂