My toddler and I went on a last minute trip to Zurich. To add to the experience, it was also my first solo parent trip abroad. Despite the last minute booking, I still did some research and planned our itinerary. We only had a short time available, so here is my itinerary for 24 hours in Zurich with a toddler.
Itinerary For 24 Hours In Zurich With A Toddler
Day One Afternoon: Kindercity
Whether you arrive by plane or train, you are likely to pass through Zurich Hauptbahnhof at the beginning of your trip. From here it is a short 15 minute train ride to Kindercity, so I decided to make that our first stop. This bills itself as a interactive world to learn about science and technology. For the under 2s, you need to head for the Knowledge Lanes. There is one specifically aimed at that age group, but your ticket gives you access to all of them. For older kids there are lots of other activities available such as the cinema, workshops and technology lab.
It was not too busy on a Monday afternoon but 2 and a half hours was enough for D. All the racing around on tiny legs wore her out. And me! I was slightly disappointed that the baby area was not self-contained. It would have been much more relaxing for me. As it was, she was free to roam the whole area with the bigger kids so I had to walk around everywhere with her. It was less educational than I was expecting and more a large indoor playground. But she really enjoyed it and it is something to do on a wet or cold day.
Overnight Hotel: Pension für Dich
It is not easy to find a reasonably priced toddler-friendly hotel in Zurich. I went for Pension für Dich on the grounds that the café was recommended for kids. We stayed in room 6, which although billed as a single, has a double bed. It also has a balcony, which would be nice in the summer. It was a big room and shared a (rather tired) bathroom with 2 other rooms, which was fine for one night. I prefer to book a quirky, independent place rather than a big corporate chain and it fit that bill nicely. Cots were available, but given the big bed we shared that.
As D was rather tired after the travelling and running around all afternoon, we had a picnic dinner in the room. But we tried out the café in the morning. At the back there is a section for youngsters with a selection of toys and books, along with a huge chalkboard wall. It certainly seemed popular with the local yummy mummies. And it kept D entertained while I had a latte.
Day Two Morning: Zoological Museum at the University of Zurich
After my latte we hopped on the tram to the Zoological Museum at the University of Zurich. To be honest, I think D enjoyed this just as much as Kindercity. And this place is free! Her favourite attraction was the staircase that linked the two floors. She did occasionally glance at a real exhibit, especially in the area decked out like a woodland. Primarily this was a great indoor space for toddlers to wander around, as evidenced by the large numbers of other pre-schoolers. There was also an area for eating your own snacks or lunch and baby changing facilities. We could have spent much more time here than the couple of hours we had.
On leaving, make sure you check out the great views over the city from this hilltop location. You can also hop on a funicular railway for a short ride down the hill. I like to try out novel methods of public transport.
Day Two Afternoon: Cruise on Lake Zurich
Our final excursion was a cruise on Lake Zurich. It wasn’t a great day for it – grey and rainy. So you will just have to imagine the beautiful snow-capped mountains… We went for the short round cruise which takes 1 and a half hours. I didn’t think D would appreciate any more. As the scenery wasn’t great on a grey day, it was more a good place to eat our picnic lunch!
From here it was time to head back to the station. We had time for a quick look round the toy shop but by then D was asleep, worn out by the day’s activities. And there my 24 hours in Zurich with a toddler were up…