Zurich is so charming and stimulating that it would be possible to live a fulfilling life without ever leaving it. However, variety is the spice of life and broadened horizons are always desirable. If you’re staying in Switzerland’s largest city and you want to get out for a short jaunt, there is much to choose from.
The tours and tourist destinations in the Bündner Herrschaft area known collectively as Heidiland are especially popular with travelers who have children. There are many guided day trips based out of Zurich to choose from. You’ll visit the so-called Heidi House from the beloved Heidi stories and other related sites, wend through stunningly beautiful alpine valleys and cross over into neighboring Liechtenstein before returning to your hotel.
One of Switzerland’s most popular and beautiful, cities, Lucerne is less than an hour from Zurich by train. Its Old Town sits picturesquely along the River Ruess. With a Baroque Jesuit Church on one bank and the bulk of the Old Town, with frescoed buildings and walkable city ramparts on the other, there’s much to see. If you have a few extra hours to spare, you might also consider taking the round trip to the top of Mount Pilatus via cable car. Another mountaintop option is Jungrfraujoch, the Top of Europe, which you can reach by train from Zurich.
Like Lucerne, Bremgarten straddles the Ruess and is one of the easiest day trips from Zurich. The Old Town is a joy to explore, and the waterfront lacks much of the clutter and congestion that can compromise other prime destinations along Lake Zurich at times. Regular markets throughout the year are usually accompanied by a variety of entertainments geared toward children.