Zürich is pretty well connected to the rest of Switzerland and, as such, there are plenty of options for day trips and excurions around the country. Here I've included the five best.
Rapperswil and Einsiedeln - At the opposite end of Lake Zurich, Rapperswil boasts a historic lake-side old town dating from the 13th Century. In summer, take a cruise from Bürkliplatz past the vineyards of Stafa to the Rapperswil docks in the old town. After lunch on the lake front, Einsiedeln is a short train ride away and home to huge Baroque monastry and major point of pilgramage.
Stein am Rhein - On the banks of the Rhine river, Stein-am-Rhein is one of the most photogenic old cities in Switzerland Many of the medieval houses are frescoed and the city gates have been preserved.
Lucerne - One of Switzerland's most touristed, and most beautiful, cities. Under an hour from Zürich on the train, Lucerne Old Town sits beautifully across the River Ruess. With the Baroque Jesuit Church on one bank and the bulk of the Old Town, with frescoed buildings, and walkable city ramparts on the other don't overlook the the Lion Monument. With a few spare hours, take the Golden Round trip to the top of Mount Pilatus.
Basel - Artistic and cultural capital of Switzerland, Basel's museums are well renowned not only for their impressive collections but also the regular temporary exhibitions. The Old Town is a pedestrians paradise and every Saturday there's a fruit and veg market directly in front of the impressive-red Rathaus. Don't miss the Romanesque Münster (Cathedral.) Basler Fasnacht is the most important cultural event on the annual calendar.
Bremgarten - Like Lucerne Bremgarten straddles the Ruess River. The Old Town is a joy to walk around - while the water front lacks much of the pretetiousness which can clutter Lake Zurich at times. Regular markets through the year are usually accompanied by entertainments and a fun fayre - which can be great to keep the kiddy-winks entertained.
Rapperswil - What a visitor to Rapperswil needs to know
Switzerland - recommended hotels - Recommended hotels in Berne, Fribourg, Lugano, Neuchâtel and Rapperswil
Switzerland - sacred destinations - Nine of the finest churchs, cathedrals and monastries in Switzerland
Lucerne - interior of the Jesuit Church - Baroque interior of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne
Basel Fasnacht - display of Fasnacht lanterns - Lanterns of Basler Fasnacht being displayed in Münsterplatz
Basel - great things to do - 8 of the best things to do in and around the city of Basel
Basel Fasnacht - lanterns at Münsterplatz - Lanterns displayed in front of the Basler Münster on the second day of Basler Fasnacht
Basel - Van Gogh exhibition 2009 - A visit the Van Gogh Exhibition at the Kunstmuseum in Basel
Lucerne - a short history of The Lion Monument - A brief history of the Lion Monument in Lucerne, Switzerland
Basel SBB - Deutsche Bahn train - A Deutsche Bahn train sits at the Basel SBB train station
Basel Tourismus - Official website of Basel City Tourism
Canton Aargau - Official website of Canton Aargau
Lucerne Tourism - Official website of the Lucerne Tourism Office
Rapperswil-Jona - Highlights of Rapperswil-Jona from the Verkersverein Rapperswil-Jona
Stein am Rhein - Official website of Stein am Rhein
Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook