Swiss Countryside Day Trips from Zurich

Beyond its big cities, Switzerland remains a country of stunning mountain scenery and historic culinary traditions. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle for a day, here are a few ways to enjoy rural Switzerland from Zurich.
Outdoor Adventures
With the mountains and lakes of the Swiss Alps lying within easy reach of Zurich, opportunities for outdoor adventure in the open countryside are abundant. Travel through the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Jungfrau region and discover snowy mountains, Alpine lakes, rolling meadows, waterfalls, gorges, and caves. Explore the historic streets of Grindelwald and Interlaken, summit surrounding peaks like Mt. Rigi via cogwheel train, or take to the water with a scenic cruise on Lake Lucerne.
Cheese and Chocolate Tours
Food is a big part of Swiss culture and tradition, so it’s no surprise that cheese and chocolate tours are so high on visitors’ checklists. Leaving Zurich behind, explore picturesque countryside towns such as Appenzell and Stein, travel by aerial cable car over the Swiss Alps, and taste some of the local produce and confections for which Switzerland is famous.
Things to Know
  • Appenzell is located 59 miles (96 kilometers) east of Zurich, a drive of about 1.5 hours.
  • Day tours from Zurich into the countryside usually last between six and 12 hours, depending on the destinations.
  • Some tours include entrance fees or cogwheel train tickets where necessary, plus roundtrip bus transportation from Zurich.
  • The weather in the Swiss Alps can change very quickly, even in summer, so packing warm, waterproof layers is recommended.
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