Zug is the capital of canton Zug which is situated right next to the big lake named Zugersee and has a perfect view of Mount Rigi, so let’s have a look at awesome things to do in Zug.
Fun fact if you do not speak German: Zug means ‘train’ in German. But the name of the city doesn’t come from the train itself as the city was established back in the 9th century and got first city walls back in the 13th century, so no trains at that time. The name comes from the middle ages, and ZUG meant the right to pull up the fish (the right to fish). These days the city is a very well established business community as it offers the lowest taxes in Switzerland for companies. But none of that is seen, the city is humble, and no unnecessary posh things in the city is seen.
I have visited Zug quite a few times as it is very close to Zürich and on the way to the Swiss Alps. Let us discover the top things you can do in there.
How to Get to Zug
The city is very well connected by trains and very easily reachable by car.
It is just 34 kilometers from the biggest city and airport in Switzerland – Zürich. It would take you about 35 minutes by train to get to this destination.
Check all the latest schedules and prices right here: Swiss trains.
If you come by car, it is best to park in the underground parking which you can pay by card. I have parked in Parkhaus Casino at this address: Zugerbergstrasse, 6300 Zug. The old town, theater, and other attractions are only 2 minutes away from the Casino parking.
My Favorite Things to Do in Zug
I would like to organize a visit to the city into 5 parts:
- Visit the Old Town and the lakeshore. The old town of Zug is not big, so you can spend 15-30 minutes just strolling around, but if you combine it with a walk by the lake: add at least another 30 minutes.
- Museum Burg Zug. It is a museum in the old castle. You can spend there for 1-2 hours.
- Kunsthaus Zug. It is always a good idea to explore art. You can spend there 1-2 hours depending on how interested in art you are.
- Hike to Zugerberg. Well, hiking is always included 🙂 Zugerberg gives a pretty nice view of the city, lake, and surrounding places.
- Trip on a lake Zugersee. I think Switzerland has the most crystal clear lakes in the world. They are crystal clear even in the cities. So why not do that?
1- Wander Around Zug Old Town
The old town is a small cozy place just wander around. It is situated right next to the lake, so you can easily combine history and the lake together.
I have started my tour right next to the Zug theater as it is just 2 minutes from the Casino parking.
If you go right, you enter the Old Town. Once you enter this historical place, you can feel the old history and buildings start to tell you the stories. I was lucky enough to visit the city right before Christmas, so it was pretty full of Christmas trees. Almost every Swiss city and the village are full of Christmas trees. They don’t have just a few, mostly Christmas trees are on every corner.
There are lots of beautiful historical houses in the Old Town. Just how much work and details are put into each house, it always amazes me. If you’re a photographer, you’ll thank me later.
Above you see the main old town street. As well, right in the old town of Zug you can visit the Fishing museum (remember that the city names come from fishing rights? 🙂 ). All info about the museum is here: Zug fishing museum.
2- Relax at Zug Lake
Did you know that a massive Zug Lake is just 50 meters from the Old Town? It’s a must-visit place, especially if you’re looking to relax with stunning views of Mount Rigi in the distance.
It was a bit foggy, but that mountain in far away (at the end of the lake) is Mount Rigi. Very famous Swiss destination. Actually, I really recommend going there: I once hiked to the top of the city called Goldau. Goldau is about 16km from Zug and it is one of the most popular destinations in this area.
In the picture above you can see that some mountains already have snow. These are not high mountains, up to 2,000 meters, so they are green all summer long and get snow just in late fall.
The lakeshore is very well maintained. There is a public toilet right next to this “beach”.
3- Explore Fasanerie und Voliere (See Exotic Birds)
Right next to the lake is Fasanerie und Voliere: there are quite a lot of very exotic birds. It is free and if you are interested in birds, that is a must place for you in the city.
Later on I have wandered a bit into the new part of the city and found this pretty cool looking mall. It is a small copy of Milan shopping street. As well, you can see, that they are ready for Christmas.
The whole walk in the old town and by the lake took me around 45 minutes, but you can always extend the walk by the lake as much as you want, you can even walk to Cham (next city on the lake).
4- Visit Museum Burg Zug
This museum is located in a very cool looking castle and actually is very close to the parking place I recommended before: just 2 minutes walk. It is a historical museum and is perfect for families. In the picture above you even see a rocket (not the one which goes to space, but a weapon) next to the castle. The castle and this rocket are not from the same era, but I guess this rocket is a history already.
The prices for adults are 10 CHF, for children it is free.
You can find all information about the museum here: Burg Zug.
5- Zug Kunsthaus
Zug art museum is very close to Burg Zug museum: Dorfstrasse 27, 6301 Zug. 2 minutes walk.
The museum was established in 1990 and is situated in the house which was built back in the 16th century.
You can find art there not just from Switzerland, but from all around the world. Please check all information right here: Kunsthaus Zug.
6- Hiking to Zugerberg
Zugerberg is maybe the closest mountain peak to the city. It is not very high, a bit lower than 1000 meters, so it is an easy hike to the top.
Let us have a look at the hiking map below.
As you see, the hike is only 4 kilometers long and it really depends where you park in the city or you start from the train station. You can even go to the outskirts of the city and start there, so it will be a much shorter hike.
I must mention that you can get to Zugerberg by car or by funicular (it is perfect if you wish to go down by bike), but it is a much more interesting experience to walk all the way up.
As you can see, if you start in the city, you are going to gain 400 meters in elevation, so nothing too hard, but do not rush it. The overall hike is pretty easy, have at least 1 liter of water for each person. I would say that you can do this hike easily with running shoes (if you do not have hiking shoes with you). The temperature differences should not be big during all the hike, but there’s no harm to take an extra jacket. If you are hiking up there in summer, I would definitely take a cap, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Sun is pretty hard in the mid-summer in Switzerland.
On the top you are going to get great views of the lake, there’s a restaurant up there, so you can rest. As well, if you are coming there by kids, you can walk a bit further to Abenteuerspielplatz Schattwäldli. It is very close to the Zugerberg top. If you walk a bit further, other views to white mountains will open up as well and the choices of hiking trails are unlimited.
7- Take a Trip to Zugersee
Trips on lake Zugersee are very popular as you can see quite a lot of surrounding mountains and small towns on the shore.
In my opinion, the best trip is to Arth. Arth is very close to Mount Rigi, so you will see the biggest peak in the area from the boat. You can even jump out of the boat, walk around Arth and maybe get to the base of Mount Rigi, maybe even hike a bit.
You can find all timetables and prices right here: Lake Zug ferries. Do not forget to buy the tickets both ways 🙂
What’s your favorite thing to do in Zug? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
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