Travel

Charming Winterthur – Day Trip from Zurich

19. September 2018

When we think of Switzerland, the first things coming to our minds are mountains, chocolate and Zurich. I always found this tiny country in the heart of Europe really charming. When my best friend Magda moved there permanently, I had even more reason to visit. I was introduced to the town of Winterthur, just a stone throw from Zurich and immediately fell in love with it.

Winterthur is the perfect combination of traditional architecture, outdoor activities and arts and culture. If you travel to Zurich, I highly recommend to spend (half) a day in this pretty town. Let me share my friend Magda’s insider’s tips with you. Thank you, Magda, for all your recommendations!

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Old Town Buildings

Winterthur is called the “bicycle city” and “Swiss Cultural Capital”, offers great outdoor activities, beautiful architecture and lots of arts and culture. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Things to Do

Walk or Bike and Explore

The best way to get to know Winterthur is on foot. The town is very compact and everything is within walking distance.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Old Town Shops

The Old Town (Altstadt) around Steinberggasse is a great starting point for a walking tour. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Start with a walk in the Altstadt (Old Town), around Steinberggasse.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Stadtkirche

Stadtkirche Winterthur, the main church. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

One of the major sights is the Stadtkirche Winterthur right in the heart of the town.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Old Town Fountain

The traditional timber houses of Winterthur are so charming. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Winterthur is known as the “Velo-Stadt”: “Velo” is the local term for bicycle and “Stadt” means city.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Velos

Winterthur clearly is a bike-friendly city. You see them everywhere. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Hence, a convenient alternative to explore Winterthur is by bike.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Graben Fountain

The Graben is a great place to chill out in the shade. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

The Graben is a nice spot if you need a break.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Restaurants Graben

There are also plenty of restaurants and bars at the Graben. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Enjoy the people watching from one of the restauraunts in the shade.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Restaurants Smallest House

One of my favourite pictures: the smallest house of Winterthur. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Just around the corner from Graben, you will find Neustadtgasse hosting the smallest house of Winterthur.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Squatted House

The town may come across as orderly and a bit conservative at first sight. However, there are plenty of places where people express their opinion and creativity; just like this squatted house. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Winterthur seems very orderly and traditional at first sight. However, you can find modern architecture and street art as well.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Sulzer Brothers

The Sulzer family and their manufacturing empire are a cornerstone of the town. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Winterthur is home to the manufacturing company Sulzer, which was founded in the 18th century.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Sulzer House

The original house where the Sulzers started their business is still there. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Arts and Culture
Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Street Art

Winterthurian street art. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Winterthur is often referred to as the “Cultural Capital of Switzerland”. And I think for a reason. There are plenty of museums to visit.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Kunst Museum

The Kunst Museum Winterthur has a big permanent collection and also hosts interesting special exhibitions. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

My favourite one is the Kunst Museum Winterthur. Located in a partk, it has an incredible permanent collection, with works spanning multiple art periods. I really enjoyed their collection of Enlightenment and Romanticism works, e.g. those of Caspar David Friedrich.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Lunch Break

Take a break in the greenery. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Its graphic collection includes works from Duerer as well as Francisco de Goya’s “El sueno de la razón produce monstruos”. Furthermore, the museum hosts really interesting special exhibitions as well. (Stadthausstraße 6)

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Modern Building

Tradition meets modernity throughout the town. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

I also recommend to do some research beforehand and see which festivals are going on. Throughout the year, there are great cultural events in Winterthur.

Enjoy the Nature
Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Autumn Leaves

I visited in autumn when Winterthur turned yellow, orange and red.

Wherever you are in Winterthur, spots amidst the greenery are not further than a ten-minute walk away. I visited in autumn and it was just beautiful to walk along the colourful paths.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Autumn Walk

Beautiful autumn walk around Weinbergstraße

My friend and I went uphill in the area around Weinbergstraße. It is quite some work to make it up the hill, but you will be rewared with beautiful views.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Mountain View

The uphill walk will be rewarded with a stunning view. Can you see the mountains in the back?

Wildpark Bruderhaus
Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Wildpark Bruderhaus

Deer at the wildlife park Bruderhaus

I also really enjoyed the wildlife park Bruderhaus. It is located amidst the forest and you can see deer, wild boars and many more animals. It is located outside of Winterthur but it is really a great experience (especially if you have kids). There is also a restaurant with local dishes.

Eat at …

Locanda Trivisano is a cute Italian restaurant with high quality food. They offer a lunch set menu. (Stadthausstraße 121)

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich House Verandah

I took so many pictures of all the beautiful houses.

tibits is a great vegetarian option in the Altstadt at Oberer Graben. (Oberer Graben 48)

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Sculptors Studio

Outside of a sculptor’s studio in the Altstadt (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

If you are looking for some cozy atmosphere at moderate prices, Bunter Hund (Bachtelstraße 72) and Nachbarsgarten (Feldstraße 22) are great options.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Schloss Wülflingen

Schloss Wülflingen is the perfect spot for a romantic date.

For a premium experience, Schloss Wülflingen is really worth a visit. (Wülflingerstraße 214)

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Oven

There were so many traditional ceramic ovens with intricate designs at Schloss Wülflingen.

The building itself is beautiful, especially its traditional interior with old ceramic ovens, and the food is delicious.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich House Red Tree

Can I live in a house like that one day?

Schloss Goldenberg is located at the edge of the forest in the village of Dorf about 20 minutes from Winterthur. It pairs beautiful views of the city and tasty dishes.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Brick House Door

Brick houses are also very common in Winterthur. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Coffee and Cake at …

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Restaurants Vollendweider Patisserie

One comment only: try the cake! (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Vollenweider is “the” local confiserie and patisserie with delicious coffee, chocolate and cake. (Stadthausstraße 20)

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Cute Things

There are many small boutiques, handicraft and antique shops in the Altstadt. (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Drinks at …

Riva in the Altstadt (Steinberggasse 2)

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Hat Shop

Fancy a hat? (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

How to Get There

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Street Art Train

Street art Swiss style. Or shall we call it “train art”? (Picture courtesy of Magda Hartmann)

Winterthur is really easy to reach from Zurich: it is 20 minutes from Zurich International Airport and Zurich Main Station in the city centre.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Brick House

I walked and walked and walked and discovered more and more and more beautiful houses.

There are direct trains in both directions every ten minutes.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Traditional House

A Swiss cliché?

Once you are in Winterthur, I recommend to walk or ride a bicycle. The public transport system is also very good.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich Timbered House

Last house, I promise! 🙂

If you want to visit places such as the wildlife park Bruderhaus or Schloss Goldenberg which are a bit further outside of Winterthur, I recommend taking a taxi.

Winterthur Switzerland Day Trip from Zurich

Magda Hartmann

Special thanks to Magda Hartmann for not only introducing me to the gems of Winterthur but also for supplying me with her pictures.

Magda Hartmann works as a teacher and has lived in Vienna, Rome and Shanghai. She has settled down in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Streifen Website

All information as of the date of publishing. We cannot accept responsibility for the correctness or completeness of the data, or for ensuring that it is up to date. All recommendations are based on the personal experience of Elisabeth Steiger and Magda Hartmann, no fees were received by the recommended places above.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Rohan 29. September 2018 at 12:29

    This place looks so adorable! I’ve never even heard of it but will definitely add it to my Switzerland wish list! Love the look of the trains too!

    • Reply Liz 7. October 2018 at 10:56

      I agree, the train looks pretty cool! Winterthur is definitely worth a visit!

  • Reply Karen Rose 30. September 2018 at 10:44

    What a beautiful piece and a beautiful place. We love exploring Europe and look forward to exploring here.

    • Reply Liz 7. October 2018 at 10:56

      That’s great! Then it will be easy for you to hop on a plane to Switzerland!

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