What Can I Do In Zurich For Free That's Fun?
Updated March 14th, 2021. Original: May 23rd, 2018, Posted by travelwith2ofus
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Everyone has a different definition of what exciting means to them. It might mean hang gliding off a cliff for you, but for others, it might mean visiting a park and getting overly excited about the flowers and plants that grow there.
If art galleries and museums are your passion, then Zurich will be your addiction. There are over one hundred art galleries in Zurich and over forty-five museums as well. But, what else can you do in Zurich for free, you ask? Let's explore!
Visit the Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich
This garden is a must-visit for every nature lover visiting Zurich. A visit to the Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich would allow you to smell the inherent fragrance of the tropics and see plants belonging to hundreds of species.
The ideal time for visiting the Botanical Garden might be spring; however, you will have quite a favorable experience even if you visit when the weather is not as good.
The garden remains open from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays from March to September; during these months, the garden stays open from 8 am to 6 pm during the weekend and on public holidays.
Between October and February, the garden remains open from 8 am to 6 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to 5 pm on public holidays and the weekend.
One of the best features of the garden is the guides. They speak many different languages and provide information about the many plants in the botanical garden.
You could also visit the Old Botanical Garden (Alter Botanischer Garten) and the Zoological Museum at the University as well. You can also enjoy amazing views of the city from the Polyterrasse.
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Take part in the MyClimate Audio Adventure
MyClimate would allow you to take an interactive audio tour without spending a single penny. The best thing about MyClimate is that it teaches participants about climate change and its impact in an entertaining manner.
You will get to choose from three stories in German and English. The choice should ideally be made based on the age group of viewers; there are options for everyone from five years old to adult.
The tour would take around two to two and half hours to finish. Depending on your preference, you can complete the tour walking or finish parts of it on public transport or on free bikes (it's a specialty of Zurich; you will learn more about this later in this article).
To take part in MyClimate Audio Adventure the only thing you will have to do is visit Zurich Tourist Information at the Main Train Station with your valid ID and get the necessary audio equipment.
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The geological exhibition of this museum would take you on an exciting journey. It's a journey that would allow you to explore everything from the center of the earth to the highest peak of the Alps. Touring this museum would help you learn about Earth, the reasons behind volcano eruptions, the origin of various precious stones, and so on.
One thing you should never miss when taking a guided tour of focusTerra is the chance of experiencing what an earthquake can feel like. The museum has a specially designed earthquake simulator which offer visitors this unique opportunity.
If you are visiting focusTerra on a weekday, you should arrive there after 9 am or before 5 pm. On Sundays, the museum remains open from 10 am to 4 pm.
Climb up Uetliberg
Uetliberg is often referred to as the "very own mountain" of the city of Zurich. Tourists climb up the mountain to get breathtaking panoramic views of Zurich.
If the weather is good, you might even succeed in seeing the Alps. If you love capturing nature, then you should definitely walk with your camera because there is probably no other better place in Zurich to do that than on this mountain.
Uetliberg's highest peak is located 2,850 ft above the sea level. This should help you understand how impressive the panoramic views of the surrounding can be from the top of this mountain.
The best time to climb up the Uetliberg is November. That's because during this time of the year the mountain's summit doesn't remain covered by fog.
The summer months usually see tourists exploring the mountain on bikes or trying out various hiking trails along the mountain. The winter months, on the other hand, see those hiking trails turn into sledding runs.
Spend time in River Pools
River pools are something that's unique to the city of Zurich. During summer months, most of us love spending time in the pool. When in Zurich, you will surely get to do that, but in a more extravagant way.
The city has pools constructed into Limmat, a 35 km long river. The reason Limmat was chosen to serve this purpose is its clear water. The river pool typically remains open from May to September.
You will get to choose from a number of "Badis". However, individuals, who are looking to swim and explore water bodies for free, should pick one from the options below:
Schanzengraben: This pool is located in the center of the city and is meant just for men. Schanzengraben began its journey way back in 1864 and is still one of the favorites of visitors.
Upper Letten: The biggest plus of this pool is its swimming canal, which is 400 meters in length. Its diving board, on the other hand, is two meters high. The pool is an ideal place for playing water games like volleyball. In addition, many also love relaxing in it while reading books.
Lower Letten: It's a pool meant for individuals who are adventurous swimmers. It would give you the opportunity of diving into fast current and get carried off.
Visit the Zurich Wilderness Park
If you're interested to learn more about wildlife and their habitat, the Zurich Wilderness Park will surely allow you to do so. This wildlife park is home to wild animals of various species including brown bears, wolves, wild boar, elks, etc.
Visiting the park would give you the chance of seeing the above-mentioned animals in their natural habitat. As the animals are not kept in small enclosures (as we see in zoos) you will get to see them acting and reacting naturally.
During the summer months, i.e., between April and October, the park remains open from 8 am to 7 pm on all days of the week. In winter, i.e., between November and March, the park stays open from 8 am to 4 pm.
Pay a visit to Old Town
This is something you must do if you are interested in learning more about the history of the city of Zurich. To be more precise, visiting Old Town would allow you to understand how the region used to be during the Middle Ages.
Besides checking out various neighborhood buildings, you should also visit the Muhlesteg Footbridge. The bridge is known for the love locks it has and is recommended by almost every past traveler. If you have your kids with you, try to climb the bridge during the daytime.
For making the nights colorful for you, Old Town houses a series of night clubs. In fact, this part of Zurich is known to have a highest concentration of bars and nightclubs than any other part of Switzerland.
However, remember that while visiting Old Town would not require you to spend any money, you will have to pay for making purchases at restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
Are you wondering whether reaching Old Town would be easy for a budget traveler like you? The answer is "yes". Zurich's tram system will make reaching Old Town an absolute cakewalk for you. The region has several tram stations including Central and Neumarkt stations. Bus nos. 33 and 31 make several stops in this part of Zurich as well.
Once you're visiting Old Town you should also check out these popular attractions; Grossmünster (Great Minster), Fraumünster (Minster of Our Lady), Peterskirche (St Peter's Church) and Paradeplatz (Financial center).
Rent bikes for touring the city
This might appear a bit surprising to you, but it's true that you will not need to pay a single penny for renting bikes in Zurich. There's a special initiative called "Züri rollt" that would allow you to explore the city on a bike absolutely free of cost.
During the summer months, the bikes can be picked up from a series of stations, but during the remaining times of the years, the bikes can be collected only from the stations at Postbrücke and Swiss National Museum.
"Züri rollt" has a dedicated app; download the app in order to check various rental locals and live availability of bikes. Although the service is absolutely free, when renting a bike, you'll need to deposit an amount of 20 CHF. You will obviously get the sum back when returning the bike.
Spend some fun time at the Belvoir Park
It would not be wrong to call the Belvoir Park as one of Zurich's oldest parks and landscape gardens. The park is marked by large meadows, benches, a pergola, pools, and old trees.
The peaceful and calm ambiance of Belvoir and the entertainment options it features make it a favorite of tourists.
Since 1985, people from different corners of the globe have been visiting this park and enjoying the exquisite view of its daylily and iris garden. The garden currently has more than 120 species.
Explore the Zurich Aviary & Bird Sanctuary
The Zurich Aviary & Bird Sanctuary is located along the banks of Lake Zurich. The place is regularly visited by amateur ornithologists and bird enthusiasts. The aviary provides you with the opportunity of seeing and admiring both exotic and local birds.
The outdoor and indoor enclosures of the bird sanctuary is home to some extremely rare bird species. Here, you will get to see colorful species like parakeets and toucans. There's also guesthouse for birds and a special shelter for ailing and injured birds. Birds in need of assistance are kept in this shelter and get treated.
Visit the Lindenhof Hill
A visit of Lindenhof Hill would allow you to capture extremely picturesque photos. You will be afforded breathtaking views of Old Town, City Hall, Grossmünster Church and the Limmat river.
The best time of visiting the hill is surely the summer months. In summer, Lindenhof Hill hosts a number of festivals and concerts. If you explore further, you will also find people playing chess.
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Have you ever visited Zurich? We would love to hear about your experience?
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