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1 day in Zurich with grandmas, parents of 3 kids age 7-11. Activities and hotel. First post!

Question- please share some ideas for what to do in Zurich (family of 7) for an afternoon/evening on one day and morning of the next. We will be driving from Lucerne (2 nights there) on our way back to Munich to fly back to US. My mother and mother-in-law will be joining us, they are ages 65 and 70 but get around very well. My kids are 7, 10, and 11. Traveling August 2020.
-Prefer some historic areas but art museums and the like would not interest my kids. Also, maybe something regarding Swiss chocolates (as adults and kids alike would find this fun).
-Would a boat tour around Lake Zurich be repetitive if do something similar in Lucerne?
-We are usually splitting as 4 and 3 to a room when we overnight. For a one night stop I would prefer not to spend more than US$ 250-300 per room. I'm not sure that is doable in Zurich for an average room but if you have accommodation recommendations please do so.

Thank you so much!

Posted by
7154 posts

Do you know how close Lucerne and Zurich are to each other? The entire one way trip via train is about 50 minutes. Unless you’re just dying to stop in Zurich I would say just bypass and keep going.

Posted by
20 posts

The Niederdorfstrasse (and area) across the river from train station, down to the lake and back is nice to walk around. Very cool when all the church bells are chiming at once and beautiful when all lit up in the evening. We stayed only one night last time at the Walhalla just behind the train station (but we were only 2ppl and no car). We liked the location, rooms were modern and comfy for a one night stay and priced right. We happened to be there on a night when they had a huge food market happening in the station so lots of street food options.

The kids (and adults) would likely enjoy the transport museum (and next door the chocolate adventure) near Lucerne. The museum is huge and takes some time, we really enjoyed both.

Posted by
8889 posts

I concur with Tim, do Zürich (if you insist on a day in Zürich) as a day trip from Luzern. It is so close it is not worth changing hotels.
And beware, parking in Zürich, either hotel parking or for a day trip, will not be cheap and may involve public transport into the centre. if 7 people are all in one vehicle, that will be an oversized vehicle which will be more difficult to park.

Posted by
36 posts

Zürich has a beautiful zoo which might be of interest for everyone in your group or you could take a train up to the Uetliberg, you'll have a great view over Lake Zurich and the Alps. Plus, there's also a tower your kids might enjoy climbing. Then there's the Swiss National Museum, a great way to learn more about Switzerland's history including some kids stuff e.g. about pirates. Another activity your family might enjoy is taking the train or boat to Rapperswil, walk over Lake Zurich (on a dam) to Pfäffikon (SZ) or if it's really warm you could take a dip in the lake e.g. at Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen.

Posted by
448 posts

I just booked the Hotel du Theatre for about CHF 200 a night for a superior double - two twin beds. It's a short walk from the main train station on the Neiderdorf side. Read the room descriptions carefully as the bed configurations are very different.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you for the many ideas! I do understand that it is only about 40 minutes from Lucerne by car when I mapped out the drive but I thought it would be another interesting stop. I can see your point about staying 3 nights in Lucerne and driving for the day, I was just hoping to eliminate some backtracking. Maybe it's not worth it and better to stay put. A good thing to think about. As I read more of these forums it seems many prefer Lucerne over Zurich.

The Zoo, Transport museum/chocolate adventure, walk over Lake Zurich and a dip in the lake all sound like things my family would enjoy. Maybe even Uetiberg- we will be staying at Hotel Platus-Klum one night for the views and experience, but can one ever tire of beautiful views? Probably not. :) Thank you so much! Your time to my post is appreciated!

Posted by
1653 posts

Uetliberg is no match on Pilatus or Rigi. It is barely 2'500 ft high, basically a steep hill! 2 nights in Lucerne isn't much if you plan to enjoy the outdoors, so I concur with the others, stay a third night and save yourselves the hassle of changing accommodation.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you all! With your recommendations we will do 3 nights in Lucerne and I will not make any major plans for Zurich so we can play it by ear and see how we are all feeling at that point in the trip. I appreciate the input!