12 Must-Visit Lakes of Zürich Switzerland: Explore the Stunning Zurich Lakes
Lakes in Zurich Switzerland
As you wander through the charming streets of Zurich, nestled in the heart of Switzerland, your mind may wander to the stunning natural beauty that surrounds the city. And with good reason. For Zurich is a city surrounded by water, with several serene lakes nestled in its vicinity. But which of these breathtaking lakes should you visit? And what kind of experiences do the lakes in zurich switzerland offer?
Switzerland is renowned for its plethora of shimmering lakes, with over 7,000 of them nestled amidst its pristine landscapes. And while Lake Geneva, Lake Constance, and Lake Lucerne may be the largest and most well-known, the smaller lakes surrounding Zurich are equally alluring, with plenty of opportunities for leisurely excursions and outdoor adventures.
The canton of Zurich is a true haven for lovers of the great outdoors, with its pristine lakes providing the perfect setting for a range of activities across the seasons. And as you make your way through this stunning region, you'll soon discover why Zurich consistently ranks among the world's best livable cities. So why not take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and explore one or more of these 12 beautiful lakes? Trust us, you won't be disappointed.
12) Lake Zurich
Are you looking for a perfect excursion destination that offers both adventure and relaxation? Then Lake Zurich should definitely be on your list! While it used to be a busy transportation route in the past, today it is one of Switzerland's most popular lakes for swimming, boating, and picnicking.
Surrounded by forested hills on both sides, Lake Zurich offers a breathtaking view that can be experienced by taking a ferry or crossing the dam at Rapperswil. For the adventurous, there's the "Seeüberquerung" event where up to 10,000 swimmers cross the lake from Wollishofen to Tiefenbrunnen. The Lake Zurich Navigation Company (ZSG) operates steamboats and motorized vessels on the lake, while sports enthusiasts can explore the lake in a canoe or on a SUP.
The lake also boasts four islands, including Lützelau and Ufenau, and the picturesque Saffa Island, connected to the mainland by a short footbridge. Meanwhile, numerous lakeside lidos like Wollishofen, Mythenquai, Enge, Utoquai, and Tiefenbrunnen offer a perfect spot for a refreshing dip in the lake during the summer season.
Don't miss out on the endless possibilities that Lake Zurich has to offer!
|Lake Zurich, Switzerland
|Open all year round
|Available through the Lake Zurich Navigation Company (ZSG)
|Lützelau, Ufenau, and Saffa Island
|Wollishofen, Mythenquai, Enge, Utoquai, Tiefenbrunnen
|Annual swim across the lake from Wollishofen to Tiefenbrunnen
11) Lake Zug
Discover Switzerland's ninth largest lake and get ready for a summer of adventure! Lake Zug offers a myriad of leisure activities that cater to all interests. From swimming and boating to hiking and cultural excursions, there's something for everyone to enjoy.Lake Zug's Stunning Views
Take in the breathtaking views of Lake Zug, known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning sunsets. With its narrowest point measuring only 920 meters (3,018ft) apart, the lake provides the perfect opportunity for swimming enthusiasts to participate in the annual "Seeüberquerung" event, the highlight of the summer for many.A Host of Leisure Activities
Enjoy the 13 public swimming baths around the lake, each offering a unique experience. During summer, take a ride on one of the three scheduled boats – “MS Zug”, “MS Rigi”, and “MS Schwyz” – and marvel at the beauty of the lake. Watch the sunset or indulge in a Sunday brunch while taking in the picturesque views.Enchanting Park
Aside from the lake's natural beauty, there are countless activities to enjoy. Explore the charming Old Town of Zug, hike the magnificent trails or visit the Vilette Park in Cham, a must-see highlight. This enchanting park boasts an impressive tree population and is unparalleled far and wide. For those interested in music and culture, don't miss the Villa Villette with its wonderful concert and exhibition rooms.
|Lake Zug, Switzerland
|Number of Lidos
|Scheduled services: MS Zug, MS Rigi, MS Schwyz
|Vilette Park in Cham
10) Walensee Lake
Get ready to be enchanted by the stunning nature surrounding Walensee Lake. Located amidst the jagged peaks of the Churfirsten mountain range, this breathtaking lake is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.
As you explore the idyllic villages scattered along the shoreline, you'll find that the southern shore boasts a mild Mediterranean climate. In Quinten, one of these charming villages, palm trees and figs grow, making it feel like you're in a different world altogether.
But the beauty of Walensee Lake is not just limited to its surroundings. Its clear waters offer a paradise for water sports enthusiasts and amateur divers alike. With boat wreckages to explore and waterfalls to admire, there is something for everyone. Just remember that the water is a few degrees colder than other nearby lakes.
Don't forget to take a hike along the numerous hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings. And if you're looking for a unique experience, head to Quinten on foot or by boat to fully immerse yourself in this magical location.
|Few degrees colder than other nearby lakes
|Water sports, hiking, amateur diving
9) Greifensee Lake
A wonderful nature experience for hikers, cyclists, and families who like to be active.
Lakeshore with cycle paths and hiking trails, picnic sites and bathing areas – the nature reserve around the Greifensee lake is a paradise for all those who like to be out and about in the fresh air. On a walk along the lakeshore, visitors can marvel at the diversity of the flora and fauna. Cyclists, mountain bikers, and skaters use the cycle path, which was specially built for this purpose. On the way, there are plenty of picnic sites and bathing areas at which to stop and take a break. It is also possible to shorten the route by taking a boat trip.
Culinary and Nostalgic Cruises
On the Greifensee, a ferry operates between Maur and Uster, and also transports bicycles. In the warmer months, nostalgic trips are offered on board the “Greif” steamboat, which is the oldest in Switzerland. The fleet of the Greifensee navigation company, SGF, also hosts special culinary cruises. With gastronomic themes such as breakfast, pasta, fondue, and Asia, there is something to suit every taste.
|Hiking, cycling, picnicking, bathing
|Lakeshore with cycle paths and hiking trails
|Culinary and nostalgic options available
|A paradise for flora and fauna enthusiasts
8) Lake Ägeri
Over 700 years ago, the lakeshore was the scene of the famous Battle of Morgarten. Today things are rather more peaceful, and you can swim, sail, and fish here undisturbed.
View of Ägerisee
Adventure boat for children
|Canton Zug, Switzerland
|The Habsburgs and the Confederates fought each other in the legendary Battle of Morgarten in 1315
|Public bathing facility with sandy beach, grassy area, water slides, and diving platforms at Lido Unterägeri
|Scheduled services and boat cruises for all ages
The turquoise-blue Lake Ägeri is considered to be the pearl of Canton Zug. Its history dates back to the medieval era, and the Morgarten Trail takes visitors through the original sites of the events of the Battle of Morgarten in 1315. The tour comprises seven stations with audio stories and installations.
In addition to being a popular destination for history buffs, the lake is also great for swimming, sailing, and fishing. The public bathing facility at Lido Unterägeri offers water enthusiasts everything they could wish for, from sandy beaches to diving platforms. Boat trips are also available for those who would like to explore the lake without getting their feet wet. From April to October, young children can embark on a fun pirate adventure and follow the scheduled boat on a separate vessel to find the highly coveted treasure map.
7) Pfäffikersee Lake
Discover the traces of the Romans, experience the adventure farm, and take a dip in one of the three lidos surrounding the magnificent Pfäffikersee Lake. This beautiful lake is located in the Zürcher Oberland region, and offers something for everyone.
|Zürcher Oberland Region, Switzerland
The 9 kilometer (5.6 mile) circular trail around the Pfäffikersee Lake is perfect for walkers and families. The route is suitable for wheelchairs and baby buggies, and can be enjoyed in all weathers.
The tall reed beds surrounding the lake are home to numerous moorland plants and bird species, making it an ideal spot for photo enthusiasts all year round. Those seeking a refreshing dip can take a swim or splash around with their children at one of the three public bathing facilities: Badi Pfäffikon, Strandbad Auslikon, or Badi Seegräben.
Pick and Eat:
At the Juckerhof adventure farm, visitors can pick and eat fresh apples and cherries straight from the trees. Children can also have a great time in the goat park, the rabbit enclosure, the natural playground, or on the castle made from straw bales.
6) Wägitalersee Lake
The Wägitalersee Lake, located in the Canton of Schwyz, is a magnet for rock climbers, amateur anglers, and jogging enthusiasts. It offers a unique experience to all visitors.
|Canton of Schwyz, Switzerland
The Bockmattli mountain is famous among climbing enthusiasts all over Switzerland for its challenging vertical walls. On the other hand, the lake shore is an ideal spot for hikers, joggers, skaters, and bikers. During the warmer months, the lake comes alive with boating and fishing activities.
Asphalted Circular Path:
The circular path around the Wägitalersee lake is a leisurely walk, and the beautiful panorama more than compensates for the asphalted path. Walkers will encounter the hidden “Hundlochquelle” spring resembling a grotto, which is a real natural gem.
Fishing and Boat Hire:
The Wägitalersee lake is a popular spot for fishing and boat hire, providing visitors with a unique experience. So, grab your fishing rod and set out for an adventure on the lake.
5) Sihlsee Lake
Get ready for an adventure-filled trip to the largest reservoir in Switzerland! Children can enjoy thrilling activities, while adults can relax on the beautiful lakeshore or take a scenic boat cruise.
|Canton of Schwyz, Switzerland
Adventure Days for Children:
Summer and winter alike offer attractive options for leisure and relaxation by the water and lakeshore. Starting in June, the local sailing club organizes Adventure Days for children on every first and third Saturday of the month. After a brief introduction, the young adventurers don their life jackets and set off across the lake in a canoe.
From the beginning of June to the end of October, the motorized vessel, MS Angelika, operates on Switzerland's largest reservoir. It offers a variety of theme cruises such as fairy tale or moonlight cruises. The MS Angelika departs from Willerzell, and prior reservation is necessary.
Take a beautiful panoramic circular walk with 9 information panels from Einsiedeln Abbey to Lake Sihl. Along the theme trail are the Marstall (stud farm belonging to the abbey and the oldest in Europe), BBQ sites, and the Roblosen lido. On the way back to the town center, the trail passes the "Galgenchappeli", a former chapel and now a shelter for pilgrims.
4) Katzensee Lake
If you're feeling stressed out from city life, there's a small oasis nestled in a nature reserve that's worth a visit. Katzensee Lake attracts visitors all year round with its natural surroundings and 80-metre long bathing beach in the summer.
In the spring and autumn, walkers and joggers can enjoy the serene environment, while in winter, it's the perfect refuge to escape the city and breathe in fresh, clean air.
|All year round
|No air mattresses, swimming aids or rubber dinghies are allowed due to the nature reserve regulations.
The lake also has numerous barbecue areas, shady trees, and a children’s playground, which make it a popular spot for families. There's even a separate naturist area for those who prefer nude bathing.
However, as there is a chronic shortage of parking spaces in the summer, the best way to get there is on foot, by bicycle, or by public transport.
3) Türlersee Lake
Escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a vacation-like experience at Türlersee Lake. This small but great lake, which is around 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) long and 500 meters (0.3 mile wide), is located in a nature reserve and is listed in the Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments of National Importance (BLN).
|Türlersee, 8907 Wettswil am Albis, Switzerland
|24/7 (seasonal facilities like campsite and restaurant have specific operating hours)
|Campsite with restaurant, Bathing facility with grassy area and playground, Fishing and boat hire
Swimming Fun Guaranteed
The lake is home to a bathing facility with a grassy area and playground, making it perfect for families. You can swim to several floats in the lake, and boats are available for hire. Relaxing on the grassy area, you can feel the vacation vibe and leave the city's hustle and bustle behind you.
Fishing and Fish Specialty
The Türlersee is ideal for fishing from the shore, or with a fishing license, also from a boat. The lake is inhabited by, among others, pike and whitefish, making it a great spot for fishing enthusiasts. For those who don't catch anything, the campsite restaurant offers delicious battered fish (Fischknüsperli) to enjoy.
2) Lützelsee Lake
Located at the transition from Lake Zurich to the Zurich Oberland, Lützelsee Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the region, featuring moors and small lakes. This nature reserve is a scenic gem where storks feel at home and can be observed in their nests around the lake during spring and summer.
Pleasant Lakeshore Path
A leisurely stroll along the three-kilometer circular path is perfect for visitors to enjoy the lush meadows and shaded wooded areas. The Hasel garden restaurant offers light refreshments to visitors before or after their walk.
Bathing Facility for Young and Old
The lido at Lützelsee Lake offers water lovers of all ages a raft with a diving board and a wading pool for the little ones. The kiosk at the entrance provides ice creams, drinks, and snacks. Visitors can also pitch their tent and spend the night surrounded by nature.
|Lützelsee near Hombrechtikon
|Daily from 9am to 7pm
|3 km (1.9 miles)
|Hasel garden restaurant
The Egelsee is a picturesque moor lake, with shores lined with reeds, rushes, and water lilies. It is surrounded by extensive conservation areas, which are closed to the public. The lakeside bathing facility offers families access to beautiful natural surroundings and invites them to swim, paddle, sunbathe, and play. The shoreline has plenty of nooks and crannies, allowing guests to find a quiet, tucked-away spot away from other guests. Swimming in the moor lake is a very special experience, with bathers entering by way of a small set of steps.
Bathing facility for families
The Egelsee lakeside bathing facility is perfect for families who love to spend time outdoors. It offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages, including swimming, paddling, sunbathing, and playing. The lake's natural beauty provides a stunning backdrop for a day spent in the water.
After working up an appetite, guests can enjoy a meal at the lakeside restaurant. With a menu featuring a range of delicious dishes, there's something to satisfy every palate. The restaurant also offers stunning views of the lake, making it the perfect place to relax and take in the natural beauty of the area.
|Bubikon, Zurich Oberland
|9:00 am - 8:00 pm (daily)
|Egelseestrasse 3, 8608 Bubikon, Switzerland
|Swimming, paddling, sunbathing, playing, lakeside restaurant