City Walking Tours for the Franc Savvy
What’s one of the first things you hear about Zurich? It’s expensive. And the second? It’s expensive. It is no secret that Zurich, and Switzerland in general, can be pricier than many of its European neighbors. That being said, there are still several ways to enjoy this beautiful city without breaking the bank and one of our favorite recommendations are guided city tours through Free Walk Zurich.
Free Walk Zurich
Free Walk Zurich is an independent, non-profit organization with the mission of bringing Zurich to life through the eyes of a local. They offer a number of tours year round, showcasing various neighborhoods throughout the city. And the best part about it all? As the name suggests, the tours are FREE!
There are a number of regularly scheduled tours offered in multiple languages throughout the week. On average, tours last about 90 minutes and take place rain or shine. There is no need to sign up in advance, simply arrive a couple minutes before the tour begins at the designated meeting point. Guides will be carrying a white Free Walk flag; you can’t miss them. Here are a couple of the most popular free tours:
– Downtown/Historic Tour: Discover the Old Town, its medieval streets and rich history. Leaves daily at 11:00 from Paradeplatz.
– Zurich West Tour: Experience the transformation of this former industrial quarter to Zurich’s hippest neighborhood. Leaves daily at 15:00 from the Prime Tower.
– Langstrasse Tour: Hear the tales of Zurich’s own Red Light District. Leaves every second Saturday at 20:00 from Helvetiaplatz.
In addition, Free Walk Zurich offers a number of specialty and private tours: Pub Crawl Tour, Chocolate Tour, Food Tour and the eTukTuk to name a few. Unlike the standard tours mentioned above, these tours do come with a price tag and require some organization in advance. More information, including pricing, can be found on the Free Walk website.
Often times, a guide can make or break a tour. All Free Walk guides are local volunteers who are trained to share their experiences with travelers as they would a friend. Although there is no upfront cost to join a tour it is common etiquette to tip your guide at the end. The average tip is around 10 CHF per person, but is entirely up to your discretion; you determine the value of the tour. Given guides work off of a tip basis they are incentivized to give you their best and we have found the Free Walk guides to be extra enthusiastic; do not hesitate to interact and ask them questions – they welcome it!
Free Walk Zurich is a part of the larger organization, Free Walk Switzerland. Free Walk Switzerland operates in nine other cities across the country including Lucerne, Interlaken, Bern and Geneva. Tours vary from city to city, but in general all operate in the same way so don’t forget to check the tour schedule before visiting.
Whether you are exploring Zurich for the first time or have been living here for several years, we guarantee you will learn something new from taking a tour with Free Walk. It is also a great activity to do with visitors. So get out there girlfriends and discover more of everything that Zurich has to offer!
Get Walking Ladies! Complete Tour Schedule Here.
Photos & Article by Zuri Girl Sarah…Sarah brings her energy to us from the U.S. She has a corporate business background, but now spends her days teaching Pilates barre classes and leading city walking tours. Whether it be in her home town or abroad, Sarah’s curiosity for people and trying new things means she is constantly exploring. Follow Sarah’s adventures on Instagram.