8 great first date ideas for Zurich

8 great first date ideas for Zurich

Picture this, you are living in Zurich and have finally summed up the courage to ask someone out, and much to your surprise they’ve said yes. They seem really special, so for your first time together you want to ditch the dearth of conversation possible at a movie and the cliches of a first date dinner and go for something more exciting. 

If you are looking for ways to make your first date one to remember, here are eight first date ideas for hopeful couples in Zurich!

8 winning first date ideas for Zurich

While not often called a "city of love", Zurich has plenty of great first-date options for those who want to ditch the popcorn and silken tablecloths and try something exciting. There is some method to this approach, as first dates with a dose of excitement are more likely to produce a bond.

Plus, if the flame turns out to be just a fleeting ember, at least you’ll have fun! Here are eight great first-date ideas for Zurich.

1. Walk along the Pfadiweg to the Zurich Botanical Garden

Want to ditch the hustle and bustle of the city and have a one-on-one conversation in nature? Then a stroll along the Pfadiweg is a must-do (Hiking route 84). If you start the walk from below Spital Zollikerberg, then the trip is only roughly an hour and 20 minutes - not too short, not too long and downhill all the way, hopefully unlike the conversation you'll have with your date.

On the way, you and your amore can enjoy the stunning forest, stream and waterfalls, perfect conditions for a chat to get to know each other. What’s more, if you discover that you have a shared love of all things nature, then the walk itself ends near the Zurich Botanical Gardens, making for an ideal, not to mention free, part two of the date!



2. Take in the WOW museum

Switching gears slightly, if you want a fun and exciting thing to do with your date on a rainy day in Zurich, then a visit to the WOW Museum is what you need. Situated just off Bahnhofstrasse, WOW is full of fascinating visual effects and optical illusions.

Like a carnival hall of mirrors from the 23rd century, the exhibits at WOW give you and your date plenty to talk about as you try out all the interactive exhibits. In addition to being a grand day out, you are usually able to save a picture of the illusions to your mobile phone, making for an excellent post-date souvenir. 



Video: WOW MUSEUM - Room for Illusions / YouTube

3. Having a lakeside barbeque or picnic in Zurich

For the foodies among us, why endure the stuffiness of a restaurant or cafe when you can cook in the open air? Possible at all times of the year but best in the summer - provided that there are no fire bans in place - a great first date idea is to try and nab one of the many public grills dotted around Lake Zurich.

With the stunning vista at your backs, you and your partner can have fun trying to make and start the fire and work together to cook whatever food your hearts desire. Pair that with a few lake-chilled cans of drink and you have all the pleasure of dining out with significantly less pressure and cost. 

Are all the spots at the lake full? Don't worry, a nice picnic, aperitif or just a drink is just as fun and comes without the hassle of lighting a fire. However, if you have your heart set on grilling, hike up one of Zurich's two hills and have the city at your feet as you start cooking on the Uetliberg or Zürichberg. 

Lakeside chat in Zurich

4. Paint yourself a connection at a ceramic café

Have you matched on a dating app thanks to your shared love of art? Then an ideal date for you could be to pick up the paintbrushes and a cup of coffee at a ceramic café. These cafes allow you to get to know your match while painting a piece of pottery of your choice. 

If you are unsure of where to look or what to do with your hands on a first date, then having to concentrate on painting a small bowl is ideal - it will also do wonders in calming your butterflies. One recommendation of ours is the Keramikmal-Café on Forchstrasse.



5. Go to the nature park in Langnau am Albis

Another pleasant, interesting and also free thing to do in Zurich is a visit to the Wildnispark in Langnau am Albis. At the park, you’ll be able to see a myriad of different species and wildlife native to Switzerland, including deer, marmots, wolves, wild boar and more!

Even species no longer common in Switzerland are featured, including bears, moose and bison. Another key highlight is the mouse house (Müsli-Hüsli) - where you and your date can spend your time trying to spot the house mice, brown rats and dormice present in the impeccably maintained rooms.



6. Bond over a visit to a Swiss Brockenhaus

While it doesn’t seem like an obvious choice, a trip around a Swiss Brockenhaus or Brocki can soon reveal whether you and your date have the same style and interests. If you find yourself looming over the same second-hand set of golf clubs or baking equipment, you are already off to a great start.

Maybe browsing the pre-loved art section will reveal a shared love for impressionism, or a trip to the book depository will produce a conversation about trashy mystery novels. Even if you don’t find yourself connecting, you’ll save on dinner and maybe pick up some hidden gems on the way. 



7. Playing chess at the Lindenhof 

It may not be for you, but if you are both fans of Kasparov, then a light-hearted game of chess at the Lindenhof is a nice way to break the ice with your date. Bringing a flask of something warm and whiling away the hours chatting and double guessing your date’s next move is certainly a unique way to get to know someone. 

Once the game is done, a stroll and a sit down at Lindenhof is also a great way to relax. From this viewpoint, you and your date can watch the hustle and bustle of Zurich go by, and decide whether out of the over 400.000 people that call the city home, the person sitting next to you is the one for you.

Lindenhof in Zurich

Image: Victor Jiang /

8. Challenge your date to some mini golf

Finally, there’s nothing more enjoyable than finding out that you are both good, or bad, at something. Mini golf in Zurich is a great way to keep your date fast-paced and full of things to talk about. More subliminally, it is also a good way to see how your possible partner deals with competition, success and even failure - also see bowling and chess for the same effect. 

While there are many great outdoor mini-golf centres at the Dolder, Hardbrücke and Dübendorf, if the weather is bad then a trip to the indoor course and the bright lights of Fantasy Golf in Winterthur is a must.



First dates in Zurich: Have fun and be safe!

However your first date goes, we hope that you have fun and stay safe. Have a first date idea for Zurich that sends the butterflies in your stomach skyward? Let us know in the comments below!

Thumb image credit: Roman Babakin /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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