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It is true that Zürich, along with most other sites in Switzerland, is best enjoyed outdoors. Nevertheless, the weather can sometimes be unpredictable, especially during spring and summer. Even though rain shouldn’t stop you from exploring the outdoors, sometimes it is just more comfortable to stay indoors. There are many things you can do in Zurich on a rainy day. We’ve selected a few fun ideas for you when the rain just won’t stop.
Without further ado, here are eight of the best things to do in Zurich on a rainy day.
1. Discover the World of Football at the FIFA Museum
It is one of the most interesting places to visit, especially on rainy days during summer when there are regional or world tournaments going on. Even though we aren’t huge football fans, we thoroughly enjoyed the museum. Imagine how much fun this would be for huge football fans.
In a building across from Zurich Enge train station, the FIFA World Football Museum occupies the lowest three floors. In February 2016, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter played a key role in launching this new museum.
If you would like to learn more about the FIFA Museum, you can check out this article: FIFA Museum In Zurich: Complete Guide And Honest Review.
The museum is 3,500 square meters and displays over 1,000 objects related to football players, most important games, world championships, and champions. Additionally, it displays the original FIFA World Cup Trophy.
In addition to the multimedia displays and interactive installations, they also have a station where visitors can play a bit of football.
Tickets can be booked at FifaMuseum.com or GetYourGuide.com. GetYourGuide.com has the advantage of letting you reserve your spot now and pay later. Visit this link to book your entry ticket: Zurich: FIFA Museum Entry Ticket.
Address: Seestrasse 27, 8002 Zürich, Schweiz
2. Spend Time in a Tropical Rainforest or Elephant Park
Zurich Zoo has a Masoala rainforest enclosed in a dome. Here, they show us how life is on the Masoala peninsula and how the culture of Madagascar works. It is an interesting place to visit in the Zurich Zoo, especially on rainy days since it is an enclosed area. The exhibits inside Masoala illustrate various details about the rainforest. There is no doubt that it is the largest of the nature conservation exhibitions at the Zoo.
Several elephants roam freely in the Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park and even go swimming there. Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park opened in the middle of March 2014. Guests can enter the Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park, which has an enclosed indoor space. You can spend some time here observing the elephants in their compound even when it is raining heavily. It is even possible to see elephants swimming from an underwater viewpoint.
Also indoors, you will find aquariums and a koala enclosure. Additionally, they offer indoor dining at the zoo should you wish to eat. Whenever the weather changes, it is easy to move in and out of the spaces.
If you would like to read more about Zoo Zürich, you can check out our article Zoo Zürich Review And 10 Tips For Your Visit.
Address: Zürichbergstrasse 221, 8044 Zürich
3. Get a Taste of World-Class Art at Kunsthaus Zurich
After the opening of the Chipperfield extension, the museum has become the largest art museum in Switzerland. With an 11,500m2 area, art has plenty of room to be displayed.1 It is my number one recommendation for art lovers. You can easily spend an entire rainy day in this art museum and probably still not have enough, especially if you are an art lover like me!
I truly recommend visiting Kunsthaus Zurich on a rainy day. This art museum has pieces by world-renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Andy Warhol.
Also on display here is the collection of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti. You will also see landscape paintings by Swiss Artist Ferdinand Hodler and Italian Giovanni Segantini. Both artists loved painting the natural beauty of Switzerland.
If you would like to read more about Kunsthaus Zurich, you can check out Kunsthaus Zurich – Is It Worth Visiting?
Address: Heimplatz 1, 8001 Zurich
4. Discover Treasures From Around the World at the Rietberg Museum
When it’s raining outside, the Rietberg Museum in Zurich is the perfect place to escape the rain. You’ll find treasures from all over the world at this unique place in Zurich.
Rietberg Museum Zurich is one of Europe’s top museums for non-European art. More than 70,000 objects are in the Rietberg Museum’s collection, including Asian, African, Oceanian, and ancient American items. Researchers, collectors, and art lovers around the world are familiar with the Rietberg Museum’s collections and exhibitions.
Take a trip to this ancient Zurich mansion Villa Wesendonck as well as its neighboring Smaragd building for a glimpse into the past. My favorite part is all the old Chinese art, especially the horse from the Han Dynasty. As I was there, they also had miniature Chinese Jade pieces.
Located on two floors and underground, this art collection is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. I really highly recommend it!
If you would like to read more about the Rietberg Museum, you can check out our article Rietberg Museum, Zurich: Beautiful Art From Around the World.
Address: Rieter Park, Gablerstrasse 15, 8002 Zürich
5. Visit the Swiss National Museum
Landesmuseum Zurich is Switzerland’s most visited museum. It was designed by a man named Gustav Gull, who designed it to look like a palace. The museum dates back to 1898.
Whenever it’s rainy out, the Swiss National Museum is a good place to visit. You can easily spend a couple of hours learning about local history at the museum.
It covers Swiss history from prehistoric times to the present. Over 820,000 objects are on display at the Landesmuseum. The museum displays weapons, gold, silver, textiles, coins, watches, paintings, and sculptures.
The museum has many collections that are important to the history of the country. In addition, they have temporary exhibits that run for a couple of months. So even if you have already visited the museum a few months or years ago, there is usually something new to see.
If you would like to read more about Landesmuseum, you can check out our article Landesmuseum Zurich: The Most Popular Swiss National Museum.
Address: Museumstrasse 2, 8021 Zürich.
6. Relax in the Old Brewery Turned Spa
Why not enjoy the rainy weather inside the modern equivalent of the ancient Roman baths? If the weather’s bad outside anyway, Zurich’s Thermalbad & Spa Zurich is the perfect place to pass the time.
Mineral-rich water will hopefully help you relax and enjoy the day rather than filling you with stress. Interestingly, the water used here is from below Zurich. In addition, the roof of the bath offers fantastic views of the city. Additionally, you can choose from a wide range of services such as spa rituals, body wraps, massages, and more.
You can get your tickets to Hürlimann Spa from their website at Aqua Spa Resorts.
From Zurich Enge train station, it is a mere 5-minute walk away.
Address: Brandschenkestrasse 150, 8002 Zürich
7. Enjoy Illusions at the Wow Museum
Rainy days are perfect for visiting museums. Zurich now has a new museum called WOW Museum. There are lots of fun things like seeming to stand upside down or having distorted perceptions. You’ll find this fun museum not far from Zurich Main Station. Check it out the next time you want to choose a fun place to go in Zurich when it’s raining.
If you would like to read more about WOW Museum, you can check out our article WOW Museum Zurich – Is It Worth Visiting?
Address: Werdmühlestrasse 10 8001 Zurich, Switzerland.
8. Experience Immersive Art at Lichthalle Maag
The Lichthalle Maag is a cool spot in Zurich’s industrial district. It’s Switzerland’s first-ever permanent museum solely for immersive and animated art. It’s super easy to reach from the city center, so if you’re ever looking for something fun to do on a rainy day, you should check it out. It’s located near Bahnhof Hardbrücke.
Every year, the light museum features several popular artists. Lichthalle Maag has presented artists such as:
- Dutch Post-Impressionist Vincent Willem van Gogh
- Mexican Artist Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón
- French Impressionist Oscar-Claude Monet
- Art Nouveau Pioneer and Symbolist Painter Gustav Klimt
Visitors to the Lichthalle Maag exhibition can expect an exceptional journey, thanks to their employment of cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art audio-visual effects. The combination of these elements creates an immersive experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
If you would like to read more about Lichthalle Maag, you can check out this article The Fascinating Lichthalle Maag in Zurich, Switzerland.
Address: Zahnradstrasse 22 8005 Zürich
More Rainy Day Options Outside of Zurich
While these are some ideas for how to spend a rainy day in Zurich, there are many other things you can do in the surrounding area if you are willing to travel a bit.
If you would like to venture outside Zurich city into other nearby villages, here are some more options for you:
- Lindt Home of Chocolate – Here, you can enjoy decadent chocolates, tour the museum with a guide, and of course learn more about chocolate production. Lindt Home of Chocolate is located in Kilchberg.
- Technorama – Technorama is a Swiss Science Center. You could easily spend the entire day indoors here learning about the body, machines, experiments, mathematics, illusions, and many other science-related topics. Technorama is located in Winterthur.
- Kletterzentrum Gaswerk – Kletterzentrum Gaswerk is an indoor rock-climbing gym with a variety of terrains for different climbing levels. It is one of the largest in the world. About 4,000 square meters of the climbing area at this facility consists of 250 routes, varying in difficulty. Kletterzentrum Gaswerk is located in Schlieren.
- Billadrino – Billiardino is home to over 1,550 square meters of billiards and is open from mid-afternoon until late at night. Billiardino is located in Zürich West.
- Alpamare – It is Switzerland’s largest waterpark. It includes indoor and outdoor pools, a spa with a sauna and massage services, and giant slides. A restaurant is available if you want to grab something to eat. It is about 30 minutes by car and about an hour by train from Zurich. Alpamare is located in Pfäffikon SZ.
- Naturama – Among the exhibits at Naturama are dinosaurs, insects, fish, and more. Featuring films, interactive exhibits, and activities for kids, you can spend a couple of hours there. Located near Aarau train station, it’s also easy to get to from Zurich City Center.
- 1 Stadt Zürich Hochbaudepartement. Kunsthaus Zürich: Erweiterung von David Chipperfield ist fertiggestellt. https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/hbd/de/index/ueber_das_departement/medien/medienmitteilungen/2020/dezember/201211a.htm. Accessed on 27 April 2023.
- 12 Best Unique Experiences In Zurich
- 25 Best Things To Do In Zurich, Switzerland
- Zoo Zürich Review And 10 Tips For Your Visit
- Kunsthaus Zurich – Is It Worth Visiting?
- Rietberg Museum, Zurich: Beautiful Art From Around the World
- Landesmuseum Zurich: The Most Popular Swiss National Museum
- WOW Museum Zurich – Is It Worth Visiting?
- The Fascinating Lichthalle Maag in Zurich, Switzerland
- Technorama – Guaranteed One Of The Best Museums In Switzerland
- The Lindt Home of Chocolate in Zurich: What to Expect
- 10 Beautiful Towns near Zurich for Day Trips
- 10 Best Free Museums and Parks in Zurich
- When Is the Best Time to Visit Zurich, Switzerland?
Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.