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. Play With Footballs at Fifa World Football 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.
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.
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 definitely an interesting place to visit in 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.
Address: Zürichbergstrasse 221, 8044 Zürich
3. Discover World-Class Art at Kunsthaus Zurich
Though Kunsthaus Zurich might not have as large a collection as its counterparts elsewhere, its collection boasts some excellent works. A great place to visit on a rainy day, this art museum has pieces by world-renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Andy Warhol. As the museum is almost 7,000 square meters large and the art collection is spread over several floors, you can easily spend a few hours inside. Also on display here is the collection of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti.
Address: Heimplatz 1, 8001 Zurich
4. Shop at the City’s Indoor Shopping Mall – Sihlcity
When it’s raining outside, Sihlcity in Zurich is the perfect place to escape the rain. Although there are other shopping malls in the vicinity, such as Globus and Jelmoli, I find Sihlcity to have a greater variety.
You will find a wide variety of shops here, including books, clothes, shoes, children’s toys, household items, and restaurants. Many restaurants even offer an outdoor setting when it’s not so rainy. There is even an indoor playground called for younger children on the top floor of Sihlcity called minicity.
Those who aren’t interested in shopping can watch movies in a clean, modern theater called Arena Cinemas right beside the mall.
Address: Kalanderplatz 1, 8045 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 a number of collections that are important to the history of the country. In addition, they have changing 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.
Address: Museumstrasse 2, 8021 Zürich.
If you would like to read more about Landesmuseum, you can check out our article Landesmuseum Zurich: The Most Popular Swiss National Museum.
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 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.
GetYourGuide offers tickets for the Thermal Baths. Take a look at the panoramic views of Zurich as you bathe in the mystic cellar of the old Hürlimann brewery.
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.
Address: Werdmühlestrasse 10 8001 Zurich, Switzerland.
8. Botanic Garden
The University of Zurich has two Botanical Gardens, including one in Seefeld with futuristic domes housing a wide range of plants. It’s a great place to visit when it’s raining outside as you can spend time inside the domes which house 9,000 plants. You’ll find odd plants, tropical plants, alpine roses, and more.
A century-old octagonal house built of wood and glass can also be found at the other botanical garden in Schanzengraben. Rather than housing plants, it is used for concerts and exhibitions.
The tropical houses are open daily from 9:30 AM to 4:45 PM.
Address: Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zurich.
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.
- 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 consist 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.
- 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. If you would like to read more about Technorama, check out our article – Technorama – Guaranteed One Of The Best Museums In Switzerland.
- 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.
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