Solo Travel in Zurich

Types of Girls about the Globe – Arty & Museum GatG, City GatG, Shopping GatG

Zurich in Switzerland is such a cool city and great for solo female travellers. I have visited this city twice and stayed for a week in total. To help you solo travel Zurich, I've put together a solo travel in Zurich guide on where to eat, drink, sleep and sightsee and also where to meet others in this vibrant Swiss city. Just don’t forget to take your credit card as the city isn’t cheap. Happy planning!

Tip – Zurich is expensive so I recommend purchasing a Zurich Card before you go. It includes free public transport, admission to museums and discounts on tours. Or if you're planning on seeing more than Zurich and exploring the rest of Switzerland, have a look at the Swiss Pass instead. The Swiss Pass includes unlimited travel in Switzerland including the Glacier Express! * Buy the Swiss travel pass here

Solo travel in Zurich

Solo Travel Zurich

Stay for – For Zurich solo travel you'll need at least 3 nights. Zurich is an also a good base to explore the rest of Switzerland. 

Is Zurich safe for solo female travellers? Regarding safety in Zurich, Zurich is a really safe city but just be careful of pickpockets. You may find tourist touts at the main station so be firm if you don't want to interact with them.

Is Zurich safe at night? Anywhere there are crowds keep an eye on your bag and purse, especially in Langstrasse, the Red Light District and near the train station and lakefront at night. I've given Zurich 4 out of 5 stars for being solo female-friendly. It's generally safe, has a lot to see and has good transport links. 

Did you know? Zurich is the wealthiest European city.

Solo Tip – “I stayed in Zurich for a week and loved it. I brought a Zurich pass that includes buses and admission to a lot of museums. It even gave discounts on some restaurants too.” – Bre, solo female traveller. 

Languages spoken in Zurich: – German, English and French. You can get by in English.
 
 
 
solo travel in Zurich

Zurich is on the shores of Lake Zurich

About Zurich

Zurich is on the shores of Lake Zurich and is just one of the Swiss cities with a lake. This city is ideal for solos who love to shop. Head to Bahnhofstrasse for the famous shopping mile. Known as a banking and finance hub, the city also offers river cruises which are a different way to see the city. You can even jump on an old steam ship.

Bikes here are free so grab yourself one and cycle around the city for some sightseeing and exercise rolled into one, or join the free walking tour to meet others. Summer is a great time to visit here with open-air bars and restaurants.

Stroll along the lake promenades and feed the swans or just enjoy the harmony of the old blended with the new. When it’s hot and sunny you’ll find people hanging out by the water so take your bikini and sarong to join them. If you prefer the solitude, head to the east side of the lake to lose yourself in a picturesque garden of roses.

As you’ll find all over Switzerland, this city has beautiful scenery, and it perfect for hiking. Overall, Zurich is a great city. It has a lake, mountains, lots of nice coffee shops and is a great shopping spot. What more could you need?!

solo travel in Zurich

Stroll along the river as you walk into the Old Town

Zurich Attractions: Top Must-Sees For Solos

Fraumunster

The Church of Our Lady is one of Zurich's quintessential landmarks. it has beautiful Chagall stained windows and was once an old abbey for aristocratic ladies known as the “Women's Minister.” You have to pay to enter but you do get entrance into the Crypt Museum as well as information explaining the history of this beautiful church which its unique turquoise spire. If you time your visit right, you may even be here to witness the ethereal experience of a choir performing. (Time = 1-2 hours)

Zurich Kunsthaus

Zurich Kunsthaus is perfect for art lovers with its impressive collection of sculptures and paintings from numerous artists. You'll find all the faves here from Van Gogh to Kandinsky and can easily spend hours pondering your thoughts amongst the exquisite art. (Time = 3-4 hours).

Zurich Old Town

Explore the narrow medieval lanes of Zurich's Old Town and wonder past hidden gems, stopping off at one of the restaurants en-route to people-watch and rest your weary feet. The route is flat and you can easily navigate yourself around as the route is highlighted on a Zurich city map (or just use Google maps if you have data). You can pick up a map from the train station or tourist office or if you prefer to explore the city with others, book a Zurich Old Town walking instead. (Time = 1/2 day) * Check prices and dates for Zurich walking tour

Uetliberg

It may be 20 minutes outside of the city but the train ride to Uetliberg is worth it for the breathtaking panorama view of the Limmat River and the city. Once you've snapped all your stunning photos, you can treat yourself to a Swiss dessert at the restaurant before you take the cable car back down. It's worth paying to climb to the top of the observation tower too. Take the Bahnhof SZU track 21 and 22 from Zurich HBF and either cycle or hike up. (Time = 1/2 day).

Solo tip – “Make sure to check out Uetliberg, and anywhere really around the lake is really. nice!” – Christy, solo female traveller 

Grossmunster

This is another one of Zurich's famous landmarks with great views from the top. This Evangelical Protestant church dates back to 1100 and has impressive neo-Gothic towers which were added in the late 18th-Century. The stained glass windows and Romanesque crypt are definitely worth a look but you may want to avoid climbing the 187 stairs if you are a bit claustrophobic. There is an entrance fee of CHF 5. (Time = 1-2 hours)

solo travel in Zurich

You'll see people wild swimming during the summer months

Things To Do Alone in Zurich

Escape the crowds – At the Botanical Garden at the University of Zurich. Relax amongst the palm trees, the pond and exotic plants in this peaceful garden that has over 7000 different plant species. If you visit here in the Spring you may even hear the frog chorus within this giant nature garden. Admission is free too! 

Lose yourself – Amongst the Chinese palaces and pavilions in the Chinese Garden, near Lake Zurich. Zurichhorn is a relaxing place in the city where you can see the coast of the Zurich Lake. It's also popular for wild swimming in the summer months (so take your bikini if you fancy a dip!) To get here take tram 4 from the main train station and get off at Frohlichstrasse.

Get the best view in Zurich – At Lindenhof Hill. Enjoy views of the Limmat River, Old Town and the Grossmunster Church on the top of this hill, which is known for its linden trees. Here you'll find a statue dedicated to female soldiers, a Roman tombstone and locals playing a game of chess.

Places to enjoy the sun – Just 10 minutes away from the centre of Zurich is Flussbad Oberer Letten, a public beach where you can swim or sunbathe (or both!) You can also swim in one of the lake baths and catch some of the sun's rays along the lake promenades.

solo travel in Zurich

Make sure to visit a market when you're in the city

Zurich Markets

Zurich has many markets. Whether you are into flea markets or fresh fruit and veg, there are enough markets in Zurich to keep you busy for a few days. 

  • Wednesdays & Saturdays – Head to the Fruit and Veg Market Oerlikon – The biggest fruit and veg market. Stop for a coffee at Marktplatz Square to people-watch.
  • Wednesdays (most) – Find organic produce at Bahnofmarkt, a farmers market.
  • Thursdays & Saturdays – Head to Rosenhofmarkt in the Niederdorf area for handcrafted jewellery and trinkets. This hippie-style market also offers different cuisine.
  • Visit Zurich at Christmas time for the Christmas markets.

Solo tip – “I was in Zurich for Christmas. It was extremely safe and I never felt uncomfortable even walking to the train station at 6am. There are Christmas markets everywhere and the whole place was really pretty and fun.” – Bre, solo female traveller

solo travel in Zurich

If you love partying visit during the Zurich Street Parade in August every year

What To Do in Zurich (for all Girls about the Globe)

Active GatG
  • Stroll along the lake promenades or go for a run on the jogging trail in Irchelpark.
  • If you want some company for your run – join a running tour around the city.
  • Pick up a tourist map and follow the green trail around the city.
  • Rent a rowing boat and see Zurich from the lake. Rent boats from the Enge side of the lake, and at the river side of the Quaibrucke at Bellevue.
  • Rent a bike from one of the locations around the city (you’ll need your passport and a deposit). Or take a Zurich e-bike tour if you don't feel comfortable cycling alone. 
  • Cycle around the city with company on a 2 hour bicycle tour.
  • Go cruising – Head out on a lake cruise or hop aboard a paddle steamer for a nostalgic ride on Lake Zurich. You can opt for different cruises from 90 minutes to 4 hours.

Solo Tip – “Take a day trip to Stein am Rhein. This small town on the shores of the Rhone is such a picturesque spot.” – Sally, solo female traveller

Arty & Museum GatG 

If you love art and museums, there are over 50 museums in Zurich to choose from. Not to mention the 100 art galleries (the Zurich card includes some museums too!) Here are my recommended ones to visit. 

  • Sammlung Oskar Reinhard Am Römerholz – Has one of the finest art collections in Switzerland with art from as far back as the 16th Century.
  • Don’t miss Kunsthaus Zurich with 19th century sculptures and paintings.
  • Catch a Van Gogh, or Rembrandt at the Museum of Fine Art.
  • Stiftung Sammlung E.G. Buhrle – Lose yourself in a Monet amongst others (only open on the 1st Sunday of the month.
  • The Rietberg Museum was a former villa now turned museum. With a collection of paintings and sculptures from other parts of the world.
  • Visit the Swiss National Museum, one of the most important art museums of cultural history. It's inside a castle!
  • Switzerland is known for money so if you're interested in finance, check out the Swiss Finance Museum. * Check prices for Finance Museum 
  • If you love football, make sure to visit the FIFA Museum! * Check prices for FIFA Museum here 
solo travel in Zurich

Some of the city's museums are free to enter

Budget GatG

  • Enjoy free admission at some of the city’s museums with the Zurich card
  • Stroll around the old town and window shop through the lanes.
  • Watch open air movies, concerts and other activities at the MFO Park.
  • Listen to a street musician on the lake promenades.
  • Grab a free bike and cycle around the city.

Chocolate GatG

I had my most expensive expensive chocolate in Zurich! But it is a great place place for chocolate lovers. Head to Sprüngli chocolatiers or one of the Läderach’s chocolate shops. Being a land of chocolate makers you won’t just find ordinary Lindt chocolate at Wollishofen-Enge; where you can indulge in a champagne truffle or two. You can even combine your chocolate tasting with an hour cruise and a Zurich city tour, or zip around the city on a chocolate tasting tuk-tuk tour

Cultural GatG

  • Landesmuseum – discover the history and culture of the Swiss people and see ancient artefacts.
  • Swiss Traditions Tour – Experience the Swiss traditions. Visit a cheese dairy, and learn about the traditions and culture at Appenzell before heading to the heritage museum.
  • Zurich Food Tours – Experience the eating and drinking culture of Zurich (great if you want some company for dining). * Check prices for Zurich gourmet tour with cheese fondue
Solo travel in Zurich

Discover the historical buildings in the Old Town

Nature GatG 

There are so many gorgeous nature spots from Zurich. Allow a whole day each to experience these stunning spots:

  • Head out of the city to see Europe’s largest waterfall, Rhine Falls. You can see the falls from both sides of the river. * Check prices for Rhine Falls tour
  • Combine amazing views with a trip on a steam train. Take a train to the alpine summit of Bringer Rothorn for a view of the Berne Alps and Lake Brienz.
Watch the sunset – in Zug, a charming village on Lake Zug (also known for its delicious cherries). 
 
Shopping in Zurich – Shopping GatG
 
Splurge at one of the city’s high-end boutiques at Bahnhofstrasse or head to the hip and trendy area of Im Viadukt area. Explore four floors of vintage at Zurcher Brockenhaus to pick up an antique. There is shopping for every taste but don’t expect to shop on Sundays when most shops are closed.
 
Wellness GatG Get pampered in a former brewery at Hürlimann Areal thermal bath and spa and indulge in an Irish-Roman spa ritual. Or pamper yourself in a fairytale castle at the Dolder Hotel – one of Switzerland’s most exclusive spas with day spa offers.
 
Don't have much time? Take the tram around the city to see all the sights then go back to visit the ones that you really want to see.
 
solo travel in Zurich

Zurich is an ideal destination in Switzerland for shopping

Where to Meet Others

  • In the summer months you can find local's having parties on their rooftops. Just get chatting and you may get invited along to one!
  • One of the parks in Zurich Nord – an industrial area where you won’t find that many tourists.
  • Learn about Zurich’s culture and life and meet expats to gain insider tips into Zurich on a free walk. Meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 7pm at Paradeplatz for a two hour tour.
  • In the residential area of Wiedikon. Pop into the Falcone on a Thursday night for the open jam sessions.
  • Take your bikini and sarong and head down to the lake in the summer or do as the locals do and float down the river.
  • On one of the free walking tours (you donate at the end). Or take the Old Town walking tour instead. * Check prices for old town walking tour
  • Join others and experience the nightlife on a Zurich bar tour.
  • On a city sightseeing tour with a lake cruise. As well as meeting others on the tour you get to explore the old town on foot and see the city by boat. * Check prices for sightseeing tour

Where to wear your heels – At a ballet, opera or classical concert at Opernhaus Zurich, Zurich's gorgeous Opera House. Or at Club Q, a famous music spot (but it isn't cheap). 

Have a tourist moment – Hire a pedalo and pedal yourself around the lake, or take a classic trolly tour around the city.

 
solo travel in Zurich

Sit on the shores and watch the fountain at Lake Zurich

Zurich Day Tours

Free walking tours are a great way of getting your bearings when you first arrive in Zurich. You don’t need to book any of the following tours, just turn up and give a donation at the end depending on how much you enjoyed the tour. Zurich Downtown Tours meet everyday at 11am Paradeplatz for 1.5 hours. 

Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated Zurich tours and activities. Choose from a city tour, cruise and a visit to the Lindt home of chocolate, or a Swiss cheese fondue and wine tuk tuk tour. Some of the tours require a minimum of 2 people but there are plenty to book as a solo including day trips to Lucerne, Jungfrau and Interlaken. Just check the rating reviews, price and availability then book online. * Check prices and availability for all day tours and activities in Zurich

solo travel in Zurich

See the Grossmünster lit up at night

Things to do in Zurich at Night

  • Meet expats to gain insider tips into Zurich nightlife and learn some of the local lingo. Every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 7pm at Paradeplatz for a two hour free tour (just pay your donation at the end).
  • Explore Zurich’s red light district on an educating one hour tour. Meeting every second Saturday of the month at Helvetiaplatz at 8pm. The tour is free, just make a donation afterwards.
  • Watch an opera, ballet or classical concert at Opernhaus Zurich, a small but beautiful venue. Pre-book a ticket online beforehand.
  • Head for some shopping and dinner in the Kalkbreite area before watching a movie at the cinema here.
  • Explore the beauty of the old town at night and walk around on foot.

Solo tip – “Langstrasse (which is downtown) has some cool bars and isn‘t as expensive as everywhere else. Bellevue is also a nice area, and make sure to walk around Niederdorf, part of the old town which is really nice. city That‘s where you usually get your traditional Swiss dishes!” – Christy, solo female traveller

solo travel in Zurich

Spend the evening in a bar along the waters edge

Party GatG

Zurich has a buzzing nightlife with clubs closing between 2-4 am. If you feel confident and ready to party with the locals, you’ll find the party animals at bars and nightclubs at Im Viadukt. Head to Jules Verne Panorama Bar for great city views, then onto Club Indochina or Rohstofflager to meet some locals to party with for the evening.

If you are visiting Zurich on a weekend you’ll find arranged pub crawls which are great for solos. Not only are they a way of experiencing the nightlife of a place without the awkward feeling of walking into a bar by yourself but they are also ideal to meet others to sightsee with the day after.

Some nightclubs have entry fees but one which has free entrance is PurPur. Just don’t forget to take ID. (It’s also a coffee-bar and lounge during the day).

Join Zurich Pub Crawl – Held every Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm. The pub crawl starts from CHF 25 for welcome shots, one shot in every pub and entrance into the club. See Pub Crawl Zurich for more details.

solo travel in Zurich

Where To Stay in Zurich

Zurich has so many different areas to stay in, each with its unique charm. If you're not sure where to stay, here's a summary to all the best areas to help you decide. I've also included accommodation that has been recommended by our solo female community below. (I stayed in Airbnbs both times I was here). For all other accommodation, click on the link and look for the reviews from solo travellers. * Check prices & dates for all Zurich accommodation

Altstadt (Old Town) – This is the historic centre of Zurich and is known for its beautiful architecture, cobblestone streets, and charming cafes. It's a great place to stay if you want to be close to the city's main attractions, such as the Fraumünster Church and the Swiss National Museum.

Kreis 4 and 5 – These are trendy neighbourhoods located to the west of the city centre, known for their hip cafes, bars, and restaurants. It's a good place to stay if you're looking for a more lively atmosphere and want to be close to the city's nightlife.

Niederdorf – This is a lively neighbourhood located in the heart of the city, known for its shops, bars, and restaurants. It's a great place to stay if you want to be in the centre of the action and don't mind a bit of noise.

Seefeld – If you’re looking for somewhere quieter and more residential, consider Seefeld, an upscale residential area located to the east of the city centre, known for its beautiful parks, lakeside promenades, and high-end restaurants. It's an ideal area to stay if you're looking for a more luxurious experience and want to be close to the water.

Enge – Or there is Enge, a quiet neighbourhood located to the south of the city centre, known for its beautiful architecture, green spaces, and upscale shops. It's a great place to stay if you're looking for a more residential and peaceful experience.

Synergy Village –

Synergy Village offers a magical oasis at Lake Zurich in traditional Swiss houses amongst a waterfall, ponds and streams. Experience an intercultural exchange, learn new skills and be part of a vibrant international community. Choose a dorm room, or upgrade to a studio, single or double room.

Youth Hostel Zurich – €€

In a quiet location near the lake, Youth Hostel Zurich offers female-only dorms and a buffet breakfast. There’s an inner courtyard for getting to know others, a 24 hour reception so there is always someone there at night and friendly staff. Rooms vary from a 4/6 bed dorm or single/double rooms.

The Flag Zurich, Zurich – €€€

With an arty concept in each room, you’ll also find art exhibitions in the reception area. If you are planning to shop in Zurich this is close to luxury brand shopping so you can shop til you drop. Perfect for arty, shopaholic solos.

solo travel in Zurich

Where to Eat & Drink

Best Restaurants in Zurich for Solos
 
Zurich has a mix of restaurants and bars. Head to the Im Viadukt area for an alternative area to eat, drink and be merry.
 
$ – Za’atar. This is more of a bakery than a restaurant but it’s perfect for those who feel awkward when dining alone. Serving Lebanese and Middle Eastern food you’ll find humous and vegetarian mezze as well as pastry options. Find at Brauerstrasse 78.
 
$ – Restaurant Ach’i. If you are missing Asian food this clean, light restaurant offers quick Chinese and Thai dishes with bench-style seating so you can strike up a conversation with others as you eat. Find at Brauerstrasse 4.
 
$$ – La Fonte. For some tasty Italian dishes, La Fonte is a taste of Italy in Zurich. It’s near a tram station so easy to reach on public transport. Run by Italians you can order the classic Italian dishes. They even have gluten-free pizza but make sure you make a reservation before you go so you don’t miss out. Find at Duebendorfstrasse 223.
 
solo travel in Zurich

Make sure to try a traditional Swiss fondue when you're here

 

Restaurants For Typical Cuisine

$$ – Le Dezaley. If you fancy a Swiss fondue this Swiss and European restaurant is ideal to try the local delicacy. The restaurant is cosy and welcoming with friendly service and there is more than fondue on the menu including some traditional desserts. Find at Roemergasse 7/9.
 
$$ – Differente Hotel Krone Unterstrass. You are guaranteed to find something that you like in this restaurant which has a large selection of dishes to choose from. Choose from seafood or tartar dishes which the restaurant is known for. The staff are really accommodating and there is a good selection of wines to wash down your meal. You can even treat yourself to lobster. Find at Schaffhauserstrasse 1.
 
solo travel in Zurich

Zurich also has some good vegetarian restaurants

 

Vegetarian Restaurants in Zurich

Tibits – For all different types of international cuisine, Tibits is a good choice. This vegetarian and vegan restaurant has more than one store in Zurich with a variety of hot and cold food. You choose your food and pay by the weight. 
 
Hiltl – This is no ordinary restaurant, in fact Haus Hiltl has more than one location in the city and is a restaurant, a bar, a takeaway, a buffet, and a club (amongst others). It’s a complete veggie experience. Visit their website for details.
 

Enjoy a Coffee and a Cake

Confiserie Sprungli – There’s a reason that this is one of the best dessert places in the city because it literally is. Locals even frequent this place as it’s that good. Choose from an afternoon cake and hot chocolate or a scrumptious breakfast. Find at Bahnhofstrasse 21. Street Food – If you can’t find any local food stands, pop into a bakery and order a Wurstweggen. If you fancy cooking your own meals or taking a picnic down to the lake, you’ll find fresh ingredients in a Migros or Coop.

Where to Drink

Bars in Zurich Barflyz – Sophistication with friendly staff and a very-welcoming cocktail list. You can also grab a cheap bite to eat early evening. Find at Gotthardstrasse 21.

Widder Bar – A welcoming bar where you can enjoy one of the 250 malt whiskies (or a cocktail) whilst listening to the sounds of jazz or piano music. Find at Widdergasse 6.

Old Crow – A cosy bar with a relaxed vibe and friendly bar staff. Tucked away in a small alley away from the busy bars. Find at Schwanengasse 4.

solo travel in Zurich

Take a boat ride along the river

Getting Around Zurich

Switzerland is known for its efficient transport system but with Zurich not being that big, it is easy to walk around and navigate on foot.

TramsTrams run all day, starting in the early hours (from 5am until 12:30am) and cover more of the city than the trains. If you are planning to do more than one return trip, purchase a day pass instead from one of the tram stops.

Buses – If you don’t fancy the tram, take the bus instead. These run from 5am until midnight. Just buy your ticket at the bus stop beforehand. Taking a 2 hour sightseeing bus tour is also a good way to see the sites. * Check prices & availability: bus tour

If you are staying in Zurich for 24 to 72 hours, it’s worth looking at a Zurich card. This offers unlimited 2nd class travel and free or reduced admission to many of Zurich’s museums.

Or if you're planning on seeing more than Zurich and exploring the rest of Switzerland, have a look at the Swiss Pass instead. The Swiss Pass includes unlimited travel in Switzerland including the Glacier Express! * Buy the Swiss travel pass here

Solo tip – “From Zurich, it is easy to get to the Bernese Oberland/Jungfrau area. Here you can visit many small villages and ski areas, all in the middle of incredible mountains.” – Christy, solo female traveller.

From Zurich Airport

The best way to get from Zurich Kloten Airport to the city is with the train. Trains run frequently and only take 15 minutes, costing CHF 7. These are near check in.Taxis costs CHF 70 and are available from Terminals 1 and 2. 

Travelling Onwards

The train system in Switzerland is fantastic. Zurich is one of the biggest hubs with trains to the rest of Switzerland as well as its European neighbours. Head to Hauptbahnhof in the city centre where the trains and trams interconnect. Buy your ticket for your onward journey out of Zurich at one of the self-service machines.

TIP – If you are planning on seeing more of Switzerland, consider a Swiss Pass from 3 days to 15 days. As well as access to rail, bus, boat and some trams, it also includes 50% on most cable cars and entrance into hundreds of museums.

solo travel in Zurich

You could easily spend 3 nights exploring Zurich

Further Reading About Switzerland

solo travel in Zurich

2 thoughts on “Solo Travel in Zurich

  1. Jennifer

    I’ll be in Zurich for the first time in December. Have a late night layover. Arriving at 10:50 PM and leaving 7 AM the next day. Are there any calm late night lounge or coffee shops for a female solo traveler ? If bars/nightclubs are the only option, can a solo female travel feel safe/comfortable at these places at night? Any suggestions on things to do late night besides what I’ve mentioned? Is public transit accessible? Apologies for the long post! Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Girl about the Globe Post author

      Hi Jennifer. Zurich sounds great for December! There are some areas you can sleep in the airport. Or if you want to venture outside, there is public transport on the weekends. If not, I think there is Uber there https://www.zvv.ch/zvv/en/travelcards-and-tickets/fares/nighttime-network/nacht-fahrplan-und-liniennetz.html#:~:text=The%20nighttime%20network%20ensures%20secure,of%20the%20ZVV%20night%20network. I can’t think of anything else that would be open at night. It is safe to go to bars and clubs alone but as with anywhere just have your wits about you. If you’re on Facebook I recommend joining our Girls about the Globe Facebook group and asking the same question as some girls may be from Switzerland. Here’s the link to join https://www.girlabouttheglobe.com/GatGFacebookCommunity

      Reply

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