2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!) (2023)

Visit two countries in just 48 hours with this 2-day itinerary in Zurich to see the best of Switzerland's largest city and Vaduz, Lichtenstein in winter.

Would you like to experience the magic of two wonderful European countries in just forty-eight hours? Two days in Zurich, Switzerland's largest city, combined with an easy day trip to tiny Liechtenstein, combines history, culinary delights, spectacular views, unique shopping and world-class museums into one short visit.

The best news is that you can follow this 2-day Zurich itinerary any time of the year! While many people visit this region during the warmer weather, we love visiting Europe during the festive winter season. On our December trip, we enjoyed strolling through spectacular Christmas markets, seeing cities ablaze with lights, and enjoying the best cold-weather treats, cheese fondue, and mulled wine!

If you're planning a trip to Zurich in winter, follow this easy 2-day Zurich itinerary to plan your trip, including things to do, where to stay and tips for visiting.

2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!) (1)

2 days in Zurich itinerary

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. All opinions are my own.


Shopping the Bahnhofstrasse

Whether your gang enjoys retail therapy, window shopping, cafe hopping, or chocolate tasting, start your first day in Zurich with a walking tour of the world-famous cityBahnhofstrasse, Zurich's big shopping boulevard. This 0.87 mile stretch, formerly a moat, has it all - high fashion, watch shops, department stores, chocolatiers, boutiques, local art, regional culinary specialties and plenty of action.

Explore the old town

2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!) (2)

After the Bahnhofstrasse, take a step back in time in the city's historic city center. As you stroll the streets, you'll discover quaint squares, guild houses, and even fountains gushing fresh glacial water.

Enjoy the pastel-colored buildings while strollingRennweg, a medieval main shopping street that is now a pedestrianized area with quality shops. When going alongAugustinergasse,Known as one of Zurich's most charming streets, gaze up at the striking bay windows and browse the local shops.

Two of Zurich's most famous landmarks are theGrossmunster Church, which lies on the patron saint of the city, andFraumunster Church, adorned with Chagall stained glass windows. A highlight in the skyline is Zurich's oldest parish church,St. Peter,with Europe's largest church dial.

Be sure to climb up the hillLindenhof viewfor a quiet and breathtaking view over the Limmat. Visit what locals call "Dörfli", the popular Niederdorf promenade in the old town, to discover more of Zurich's shops and restaurants.

When it's time for lunch, dine at either oneARTICLEPlaces for delicious falafel, hummus and other Mediterranean dishes. Other handy options include grabbing a tableSprüngli Confectioneryat Paradeplatz, a restaurant/cafe known for its local sweets such as macarons, pralines, truffles and Swiss chocolate bars, or other cafes in the old town.

Visit Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beers just off Main Street, popular across the US for its mega milkshakes and burgers.

Afternoon adventure

In the afternoon there are many great sights to visit, depending on your interests and travel companions.

Fancy some cool Instagram pictures or optical illusions? Children of all ages (and parents too) will enjoy the fun hands-on activityWOW Museum, room for illusions. Laugh and learn how the surprising illusions work. The cameras in each room send the photos straight to your phone.

Soccer or fútbol fans? TheFIFA Museumwill keep you busy for hours. Exhibits include a collection of 211 colorful uniforms from around the world, a timeline of game history, priceless memorabilia from teams around the world, famous trophies and more.

2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!) (3)

Our family particularly enjoyed the interactive exhibits that tested our kicking and dribbling skills. Head to the World Cup Gallery to relive all the great World Cup and Women's World Cup experiences of the past.

art lover? Stroll around the Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland's mega art museum, with a diverse collection ranging from Old Masters to Expressionists to the largest Munch painting collection outside of Norway.

Want to see the hip side of town? See you aliveZurich West(we ran out of time so this is on our list for our next visit!), a former industrial area that has been transformed into a thriving cultural hub with trendy shops, restaurants and bars.

fondue time

2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!) (4)

No winter trip to Switzerland is complete without a fabulous fondue feast. Our fondue experience in theHelvti-Chäschtli,” is located in our hotelHotel-Restaurant-Bar Helvetia, tickled all our senses. We loved the luxurious feeling of dining on cozy faux fur chairs surrounded by colorful modern art, listening to relaxing background music, gazing at the river and enjoying a delicious multi-course meal.

Our whole family enjoyed dunking a variety of treats into this year's vintage fondue cheese house blend, created in collaboration between the restaurant's wine partner, Martel, and Maître Fromager, Rolf Beeler. Menu highlights include cappuccino-style Hokkaido pumpkin mousse, a bacon salad dressed in mustard-champagne, and other gourmet treats including roast potatoes, Wiener Schnitzel, and vegetables. We finished our dining experience with homemade spicy yuzu sorbet with amaretto. This pop-up also offers a variety of alcoholic wines and spirits to complement each course.

Get in the holiday mood

Zurich knows how to make Christmas! Everywhere you look you will find a bustling market, even in the center of Zurich train station. We enjoyed the Christmas market in the heart of one of the most magnificent squares in Switzerland, theSechseläutenplatz, which opens onto the opulent Opera House.

All year round, people sit in cafes and enjoy the view of the water. We enjoyed visiting the Christmas markets at night while sipping hot drinks. Another "must" at night is a walk through the suddenly quiet Bahnhofstrasse in the romantic glow of lights.

Day 2 Liechtenstein & Zurich

2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!) (5)

With Zurich as a base, you can take a day trip to a variety of locations in winter, ranging from a snowy alpine adventure toTitlisfor a fairytale visit to FranceStrasbourg.

We took the opportunity to visit Vaduz, the capital of the small Principality of Liechtenstein, which is about 90 minutes away from our hotel by public transport. The German-speaking Vaduz with only 38,300 inhabitants is doubly enclosed in betweenAustriaand Switzerland.

Located in the Rhine Valley, Liechtenstein is known for its extreme wealth, compact city and alpine landscape. It's also an easy bus ride from Vaduz to Malbun, Liechtenstein's most famous ski resort. In Malbun you will find huts, restaurants, snow sports in winter and hiking opportunities in summer.

TOP:Rent a car to save time and make it easier to explore the natural landscape in Liechtenstein outside of Vaduz.

It's super easy to visit Vaduz if you follow the directions on theTourist Office website. Catch an early train to Sargas, Switzerland. From there, get on one of the buses directly in front of the train station in the direction of Vaduz.

Start in Vaduz at the centrally located tourist office, where you can shop for souvenirs, chat with helpful staff and get an official stamp on your passport. Depending on your time and interests, you can fill your day in many ways.

In museums? Visit the "Museum Mile" of Vaduz. Immerse yourself in the unique history of this countryLiechtenstein National Museum.

Check out the Fabergé egg and other spheres in theLiechtenstein treasuryand the extensive collection of stamps and advertisements on the postal service at thePost Museum. The strikingly designed Art Museumwith modern and contemporary art also houses the classic collection of the Hilti Art Foundation.

Nestled in the Rhine Valley, you hike through the romantic vineyards on thePrince of Liechtensteins wineryand taste royal wines, some from the H.S.H. Princess Marie herself, who is a trained sommelier.

2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!) (6)

The home of the Prince of Liechtenstein, a 700-year-old castle with a tower and turret, is hard to miss, nestled in the hilltops far above the capital. A highlight for us was a 20-30 minute brisk winding walk up a steep marked path to see the exterior of Vaduz Castle. no tourists are allowed in.

Complete your stay by gambling in the quaint casino (over 18s only), shopping in the mall's shops and having lunch in one of the many restaurants or cafes. Festivals take place depending on the season, including the Christmas market, where locals go ice skating and celebrate the season. After a glorious day exploring a new country, we took the bus back to Sargans and then the train back to Zurich, arriving just in time for the sunset.

TOP:To save on costs, you should consider buying itadventure passfrom the country's official tourist office.The adventure passoffers free or discounted entry to sights and attractions throughout Liechtenstein and free transport on the LIEMobil bus network and offers an easy way to travel from the train station to Vaduz and the capital and the surrounding area.

Historical dinner in Zurich

2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!) (7)

Plan your return to Zurich to enjoy the beautiful sunset over the Limmat River and start a night you won't forget.

Dinner at the famousHiltl houselived up to all the hype! Listed in theGuinness Book of RecordsAs the oldest continuously operating vegetarian restaurant, dating back to 1888 and with countless excellent reviews praising its belief in "healthy indulgence", we couldn't wait to sample its extensive menu.

At the Hiltl Haus, you have two choices: a scrumptious global buffet (pay by weight) or an elegant, multi-level full-service restaurant complemented by exceptional service. Our highlights included the Hiltl appetizer platter brimming with hot and cold goodies, savory Greek-inspired tagliatelle alla Mediterranea, a hearty vegetarian Hiltl cheeseburger (we ordered it with real cheese), and the savory Indian palak paneer.

The homemade juices and wide selection of desserts were also a hit with our table. Hiltl Haus also offers a variety of family-friendly cooking classes and invites guests to dance and enjoy craft cocktails after dark.

TOP: This restaurant has several locations in Zurich so you can choose the best option for you. The Hiltl Haus is their flagship location.

You will be enchanted

2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!) (8)

A treat for all ages! End your winter trip with a visit to theIlluminator,is set up seasonally at nightfall in the inner courtyard of the Swiss National Museum. There is no entrance fee. Immerse yourself in a winter wonderland filled with colorful lights, music and concession stands selling food and drink. For a fee, watch one of two light shows that are projected onto the walls of the museum and surround you with beautiful sounds and lights.

Where to stay in Zurich

This 34 room hotel is just a short walk from the train station, a short drive from the airport and close to the city centreBoutique-Hotel Helvetia. The cool vibe of this classic boutique hotel, decorated in Art Nouveau style, combines modern room design with a historically charming riverside building.

With a welcoming hotel staff, this boutique is the perfect base from which to explore Zurich. The hotel also offers some great amenities to enhance your stay, including free passes to a nearby health club, a pub-like restaurant and bar, a modest European breakfast for hotel guests to start the day, and the winter fondue discussed above -Pop up this article.

Find more places to stay in Zurich:

How to get around in Zurich

Zurich is an excellent walkable city. Like most Swiss cities, Zurich has excellent public transport. We took a couple of taxis and found the prices reasonable.

In this expensive country, there are a few things you can do to make your visit budget-friendly. Consider buying a public transport pass orZurich Card,This includes free travel on public transport in Zurich, free/reduced admission to museums and other discounts in shops and restaurants.

In just 48 hours, your family can experience the highlights of Switzerland's largest city, Zurich, and Liechtenstein's compact capital, Vaduz. We loved our winter escape to this region which knows how to celebrate the holiday season.

If you have more time in Switzerland, consider adding a day trip to Mount Titlis or Mount Titlis2 days in Lucerne.

DISCLAIMER: Lisa was provided with meals and some complimentary attraction passes for her to experience and review FYI. All opinions are their own.

About the author

This guest post was written by Lisa Grabelle. Lisa, a travel writer for Hilton Hotels, has traveled her entire life...35 countries and she loves it! A former attorney, Lisa is originally from sunny Miami, lives with her husband near Philadelphia and has two daughters who are in college. Traveling is her passion. Once a vacation comes to an end, Lisa eagerly plans her next adventure for her non-stop adventuring family. Lisas motto isput on Don't just visit the destination...live it!” You can follow LisaTwitterorInstagram.

Save this to Pinterest

2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!) (9)

Die Post2 Winter Days in Zurich Itinerary (with a visit to Lichtenstein!)appeared firstWe3Travel.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated: 02/14/2023

Views: 6216

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.