Entertainment in Zurich

Sport and Activities in Zurich

Home > Expat Guides > Europe > Switzerland > Zurich

The people of Zurich enjoy an energetic lifestyle. Sports are part of Swiss culture and society. Many sports associations are headquartered within the city.

Professional Leagues

Football (Soccer)

The International Federation of Association Football (French: Federation Internationale de Football Association) most commonly known as FIFA is headquartered in Zurich. It is the international governing body of association football, futsal and beach football.

The national football team, or Nati, is widely supported. The city is home to two major Swiss football teams listed in Switzerland's highest league:
Grasshopper Club - commonly referred to as simply GC, GCZ, or Grasshopper. Founded in 1886.
FC Zurich - Founded in 1896.

Ice Hockey

Among the most popular sports in Switzerland is ice hockey. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) officiating as head organization for ice hockey leagues worldwide is based in Zurich.

Zurich's team is the ZSC Lions.

Public Sports

Skiing, snow boarding and mountaineering are among the most popular sports in Switzerland. The country offers some of the best slopes in the world and natives and tourists alike flock to the mountains during the winter.

Hiking is popular in the great outdoors of Switzerland. There are many trails and the Zurich Tourist Office has information about trails. Hiking trails are well marked with yellow signs, which give the hiker the probable time it will take him to reach his destination. Some of the most accessible walks in the Zurich area are the Uetliberg and the Zurichberg. Many Swiss also enjoy jogging along the many routes.

Cycling is a popular sport and means of transportation. Biking routes are generally marked with red and white signs and the yellow lanes are exclusively meant for the bikers.

Curling has over 30 clubs and 7 indoor facilities. The Curling season starts in early September and continues until the end of April.

Golf is fairly popular with several notable courses, including premier golf club, Golf & Country Club Zurich. The Swiss Golf Network offers information on courses.

Swimming can be found in Lake Zurich with an average summer temperature of 68 degrees F (20 degrees C). The finest beach is the Tiefenbrunnen. There is also a public pool at Sihlstrasse 71 also has a sauna with its indoor swimming facilities.

Tennis has become increasingly popular. There are courts and associations around the city. Swiss players such as Martina Hingis and Roger Federer have helped popularize the sport.

Traditional sports are also practiced. These include:
"Schwingen", or wrestling, and is considered the national sport by some Swiss.
Hornussen is another indigenous Swiss sport, which is like a cross between baseball and golf.
Steinstossen is the Swiss variant of stone, a competition in throwing a heavy stone. This has been practiced among the alpine population since prehistoric times.


Fitness is important to most Swiss and there are many gyms and athletic facilities. Many of the larger hotels have added swimming pools, tennis courts or handball, racquetball facilities and fitness centers.

    Decide what aspects matter to you:
  • Do you want to have a gym with free-weights or machines, or both?
  • Do you want a gym that offers alternative classes such as aerobics, martial arts lessons, step classes, etc.?
  • Do you want a gym that has swimming, sauna, and jacuzzi facilities?
  • Do you want a single-sex or mixed gym environment?
  • TC Gym - Popular, large, local gym.
  • NordFit - Many classes and machines.
  • Arena 225 - Established gym with aerobic studio.
  • Luxor - Several locations and excellent equipment.
  • Activ Fitness - Chain of gyms with several locations.

Sporting Events

There are many prestigious athletic events held across Switzerland and within Zurich. It was one of six venues of the 1954 FIFA World Cup and one of eight venues of the UEFA Euro 2008. The Euro 2008 games were also held in the Letzigrund Stadium.

Weltklasse Zurich - Sometimes referred to as the "One day Olympics", it is a prestigious athletics meet held annually at the Letzigrund Stadium. It is reputed as one of the best and most classy athlete meet in the world after the Olympics. To date, there were 24 world records set in Weltklasse.

Zurich Marathon - This popular sport event invites athletes from every corner of the globe. A long distance running event, it covers approximately 43 kilometers (27 mi). It starts at the Bahnhofstrasse, Bellevue, Mythenquai, Quaibrucke, Talstrasse and Utoquai, and along Lake Zurich.

Ironman Switzerland Triathlon - This triathlon is held in July.

CSI Zurich - Throughout January, this international equestrian event attracts an excess of 50,000 visitors.

Zuri Metzgete - Held in early October, this is a historic cycle race. The event is almost 100 years old and observes the beautiful scenery of Lake Zurich Lake.

Zurich Open - The European Indoor Tennis Championships in mid-October draws some of the most famous players.

Update 18/08/2011


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers
International Movers in Zurich
Compare up to 5 quotes from our network of moving companies that can help you plan your international move and relocate your entire family.
Expatriate health insurance
Expatriate health insurance in Switzerland
Apply online for free quotes on repatriation assistance and expatriate and foreign health insurance.
Hotels in Switzerland
You will get discount hotel rates, last-minute deals, hot deals, special offers, with a real-time reservation and on-line booking.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about sport and activities in Zurich, entertainment.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).