The Üetliberg is Zurich’s local mountain and has a lot to offer. Here you can find our 8 excursion tips.
From almost everywhere in the city you can recognize the Üetliberg, because it is the mountain with the tall TV tower. Not only from the city is the mountain of Zurich gorgeous to look at, the view from above is even more beautiful and makes the place a top destination for a half day trip in Zurich.
When Zurich was still covered by glaciers 20,000 years ago, the mountain range around today’s Üetliberg including the Albispass was the lateral moraine of the Rhine glacier. When the glacier advanced, there was a lot of material pushed away to make room. This has been accumulated on the side, which can often be seen today as hills and mountain ranges.
What is particularly fascinating about Zurich’s local mountain is that the sun shines relatively often, while Zurich is engulfed in fog all day. This also explains why so many people head for the Üetliberg as a destination in autumn, winter and spring.
Journey Zurich to Üetliberg
The journey from Zurich to the Üetliberg is very simple. During the day, both during the week and on weekends, the Üetlibergbahn (S 10 train line) runs every 20 minutes from Zurich main station (HB) to the local mountain of Switzerland’s largest city. The ride takes about 25 minutes. Afterwards you have to walk for about 10 minutes and some meters in altitude from the top station to the destination. All in all, you have about 35 minutes from the Zürich HB to the mountain.
The trail is stroller friendly and wheelchair accessible.
If you visit Zurich for at least 24 hours or make more than 3 train/tram trips in the inner city circle, you can buy an Albis 24h ticket. This gives you free travel for 24 hours in zones 150, 151, 154 in addition to zone 110, which is valid for the city of Zurich. If you only have the zone 110, you have to buy an additional connection ticket, which is more expensive in the end. The ticket costs 17.60 CHF per adult (as of 2023). Guests with Half-Fare Card pay 8.80CHF, while the zones are included in the General Abonnement and the Swiss Travel Pass.
Üetliberg observation tower
The Üetliberg lookout tower is popular and offers even better panoramic views than the platform. It is suitable for all people who are not afraid of heights, because the tower is 72 meters high and you climb 178 steps. It is important to know that the visitor platform is at about 30 meters, which means that you can’t get all the way to the top of the tower.
The entrance fee is 2 CHF and must be paid in coins. It is therefore recommended to bring one or two francs.
For a long time the tower was free of charge, until the owner increased the amount regarding the maintenance to 2CHF. A few years later it was already 5CHF, but there was a big resistance in the population. So the price was changed again to 2CHF (as of 2023).
Panorama platform Üetliberg
One of the best views of Zurich’s local mountain is from the panorama platform. It’s free and right after the observation tower. On clear days you have a dream view of the city of Zurich, Lake Zurich, the Swiss Alps and even the German Black Forest. Also, with good eyes, you can see the planes taking off from the airport.
Various benches are waiting for the guests to relax comfortably. At times, however, the place is quite crowded. This is especially true on weekends in spring and fall, when Zurich is dominated by fog.
Restaurant Uto Kulm
The Uto Kulm restaurant offers guests food in various buildings such as the winter garden, the terrace and the Maiensäss. In addition, there are street food stands outside when the weather is nice. In winter, from about the beginning of November till the end of December, there is also a Fondue Chalet, where guests can enjoy a traditional Swiss menu on Zurich’s local mountain.
Also you can stay in the hotel with 4-star standard.
Panoramic hike Üetliberg – Felsenegg (including cable car ride)
The panoramic hike from Üetliberg to Felsenegg is one of the highlights on the mountain range. In about two hours you hike from the starting point on a comfortable path to Felsenegg, where you will find a restaurant and a cable car. If you want to do this hike, it is best to buy a ticket Zurich – Felsenegg via Üetliberg directly. On the way back in Adliswil you could even take the boat. There is also a train back to Zurich, which is much faster.
The whole trail is stroller friendly and even wheelchair accessible. The hike is easy, mostly flat and you will be surprised again and again by fantastic viewpoints. Also, on nice weekends between spring and autumn, there are two restaurants along the way. One of them is on a farm.
A highlight for children is the Planet Trail, where you walk past various planets until you reach the Felsenegg. One meter on the theme trail corresponds to 1 million kilometers.
Hike Üetliberg – Zurich
Also recommended is the hike from Üetliberg to the largest city in Switzerland (or vice versa). It takes about an hour, leads through forest paths and roads and is ideal when the path is free of snow – and especially ice.
Popular among Zurich people is to do the hike before sunrise that the beautiful morning atmosphere can be enjoyed from the mountain.
If you are in the city of Zurich and like biking, you should definitely experience the mountain bike trail on the Üetliberg. There are two trails. On the larger one, you ride down for 11 minutes and up for 30 minutes over a length of 3.5 kilometers. The start is in the TV Tower area, the finish at the Triemli train station.
Sledding in winter on the Üetliberg
In winter, when there is enough snow, there is a sledding trail from Üetliberg through the snowy forest to Triemli. The run is over 3 kilometers long and offers a lot of action. You can even sled at night with a flashlight. Due to global warming, this event is becoming rarer every winter. Sleds are for rent in the mountain hotel Uto Kulm.
As a family, the sledding slope in Ringlikon is recommended, which is much safer than the long slope into town.