Author: Ipsita Barua, Travel Editor
What’s summer without a lazy picnic! Sprawled out in the sun with a smorgasbord of delish fare, chilled beverage in hand, cheery tunes playing on the speaker, cool summer breeze, not a care in this world… bliss, isn’t it?
Whether you want to lounge by the lakeside, sit in a park or have a feast in the forest, Zurich spoils you for choice. Here, we share with you our top tried-and-tested picnic spots in and around the city.
Load that basket and enjoy a day of doing nothing.
Saffa is a small island in Lake Zurich, barely 10 minutes from Burkliplatz. This artificially created island is connected to Landiwiese via a bridge and is has a spacious lawn and shaded spots under the trees for a long picnic day. With access to the lake, you can swim between your picnic bites and unwind gazing at the city and mountains far away.
Note that there are no catering options on the island but on the other side of the street of Mythenquai there is a gas station and the Wollishofen train station where you can stock up on food and drink.
This long stretch alongside the Limmat is a lush and serene landscape right in the middle of the city. The beautiful river bank has a lot of scenic spots for a picnic and is also popular with bathers. For families, there’s also a Badi (public swimming space), a garden restaurant and a children’s playground with fun water features on the Werdinsel. You can reach there from the Hardturm tram stop (trams 6 & 8), walking towards the riverside.
You can combine your picnic with a visit to the beautiful Fahr Benedictine Monastery, nestled beside the water.
A little out of the city centre, Zurich’s other river, the Sihl offers ample scenic spots on its banks for picnic and play. If you get off at the Leimbach train station (S4 from Zurich HB), walk towards the wooden bridge on your right, cross over, turn left from the T-point and in about 10 minutes the river will join you for the rest of the way through a protected nature reserve, dotted with BBQ areas and picnic spots all the way to Langnau Gattikon.
To keep the kids happy, you can also visit the Wildnispark Zurich in Langnau, where you can observe wild animals in their near-natural habitats and discover fascinating facts in the nature discovery park.
BBQ areas, little lake beaches, boat rental facilities, campgrounds, kiosks, fishing wharves, badis… this place has it all with spectacular view of the mountains and without the swelling city crowd. Reach the Maur ferry terminal (which also has car parking) and walk alongside the lake to pick out your picnic spot. Keep an eye out for the wooden table and picnic bench hidden behind the thick foliage, facing the lake and if you are lucky to find it unoccupied, you’ll keep coming back with your picnic basket more often.
As the biggest public park in Zurich, Irchelpark is a beautifully designed landscape with a lake, streams, ponds, manicured meadows, natural playgrounds, public art spaces and grill pits. Divided into upper and lower parts, the park also houses a restaurant and a scenic outpost overlooking the Limmat Valley.
Irchelpark is easy to reach by public transport and also has ample space for car parking.
Summer is short, so do that picnic while the sun shines.
What’s your favourite spot to laze around on a summer day? Share with us and add to our list.
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