8 Best Things To Do In Zug: All The Must-See Places

things to do zug

Staying in Zug, Switzerland, and you need ideas on what to do in town? Then you’ve come to the right place because this detailed guide to the best things to do in Zug covers all the top attractions in the city and more!

The best tourist attractions, the most iconic landmarks, and even the most popular places just outside the town are all covered in this guide. Keep reading to see what Zug is best known for and plan your itinerary for this beautiful city in Switzerland!

Table of Contents

Facts About Zug

Zug is the largest town in the canton of Zug and its capital. It’s situated on the shore of Lake Zug and surrounded by beautiful nature, which is just one of many appealing things about this city.

One fun fact about this town is the story behind its name. If you speak German, it is a little odd because Zug means “train”. However, how Zug got it’s more interesting than that!

The name of the town originates from the fishing vocabulary of the Middle Ages, in which Zug referred to one’s right to pull up fishing nets, or in other words the right to fish.

Weird, huh?

Zug Kirschtorte

Zuger Kirschtorte is a staple local recipe originating from this charming town and is one Swiss dessert you need to try if you visit. I’m very serious about this – you wouldn’t leave Paris without eating at least one croissant, and you definitely shouldn’t leave Zug without eating at least one (pound) of Zuger Kirschtorte.

Zug is just 25 minutes away from Zurich by train, which makes it one of the most popular day trips from Switzerland’s financial capital. Whether you’re staying in Zug for a while or visiting it on a day trip from one of the other cities, you’ll have a great time here!

Explore The Zug Old Town

Zug Old Town

 Few Swiss cities have an old town with a history as rich as Zug’s. The medieval Zug Altstadt has a history of more than 800 years, with many buildings that date back to the Middle Ages.

Painted house in the Zug Old Town

Zug’s old town is an excellent example of how architectural styles changed over time in Switzerland. Although the city boasts many buildings constructed in the Middle Ages, other eras have left their marks on the town, and you can quickly notice these on a tour of Zug’s cobbled streets of the old town.  

Old town street in Zug

Climb any tower or viewpoint in the town and you’ll immediately notice the unique medieval roof style. It dominates the skyline of Zug, and it is overshadowed only by the spectacular Zytturm Tower.

Rathauskeller - Zug old town

Zytturm – The Elegant Clock Tower

Zug Zytturm clock tower

  • Address : Kolinplatz, Zug
  • Monday – Friday: 8 am -12 pm, 1.30 pm – 5 pm
  • Tower Key is available from the police station during opening hours

The Zytturm Tower , located on Kolinplatz, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Zug. The clock tower was originally built in the 13th century by Hans Felder. For many years, it functioned as a fire lookout tower. It is currently 52 meters tall but has changed significantly over time.

 Like the Zytglogge in Bern , the Zug Zytturm is renowned for its impressive astronomical clock, which was added to the tower in 1574. The internal mechanism was updated in 1955, which means it is still running like clockwork!

Like all astronomical clocks, It has a variety of indicators, including

  • the hour, minute, and second hands
  • weekdays and months
  • a lunar phase indicator
  • a sun showing the zodiac
  • a leap year indicator in the shape of an S

Interestingly, there are also eight cantonal coats of arms on the east side of the tower, which represent the original eight cantons that formed Switzerland. Zug was one of the last two to join the confederacy at the time, and you can see its white/blue/white coat of arms at the far end.

You can climb to the top of the tower to get a stunning panoramic view of Zug. It took me around 5 minutes to do, and I recommend you do it if you have the time. The only complication is that you have to go into the police station to get the key.

Zug Castle – Museum Burg Zug

Zug Castle

  • Address: Kirchenstrasse 11, 6300 Zug
  • Tuesday-Friday 2-5 pm
  • Saturday & Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
  • Adults: CHF 10
  • Teenagers (up to 25yrs): CHF 6
  • Children (up to 16yrs): Free

The Zug Castle is situated just outside the old town of Zug, and it’s another landmark that cements how rich the history of this beautiful city is. The castle dates back to the 13th century, and it is considered a heritage site of national significance.

The appearance of the castle has changed many times over the years. Many different families owned it until ownership was finally handed over to the municipality of Zug in the mid-20th century. The castle was then renovated, and a permanent collection of the Zug town museum was placed inside.

Museum Burg Zug

The museum collection inside the castle boasts a different exhibit in every room, which tells you about the city of Zug through the years. Discover the impact French mercenaries had on the town, the history of the ownership of the Zug Castle, what a chemist’s shop looked like in the 18th century, and so much more!

It’s worth noting that Museum Burg Zug often hosts special exhibits temporary exhibits in addition to its permanent collection.

Kunsthaus Zug – Discover Modernism

Kunsthaus Zug

  • Address: Dorfstrasse 27, 6301 Zug
  • Tuesday – Friday: 12 – 6 pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 10 am – 17 pm
  • Adults: CHF 15
  • Students & Pensioners: CHF 12
  • Children (up to 16): Free

Kunsthaus Zug is an art museum just across the street from Zug Castle. It’s the perfect museum in town for art lovers, particularly those who enjoy Viennese modernist paintings.

The museum has a significant collection of many German masters, including Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, Gerstl, and others. But there is a lot more to the museum, too. Its collection includes a wide range of Swiss Surrealism and Fantastic Realism, regional artists , and many others.

Kunsthaus Zug often hosts temporary exhibitions, so it’s worth revisiting the museum. The temporary collections stay on display for months at a time, and you can always check what their latest exhibits are on the museum website.

Stroll Along The Lake Zug Promenade

Lakeside Promenade, Zug

The beautiful town of Zug is situated on the shore of Lake Zug, so a lakeside promenade walk is an absolute must, no matter how long you’re staying in town. It’s the best way to experience this wonderful town and enjoy scenic views of the tall mountain peaks.

Voliere along Lake Zug

Don’t miss out on the Zug Voliere – it’s between the shore and the entrance into the old town, and it’s one of the most popular attractions in the area. The aviary is free to visit, and it’s home to all sorts of pretty birds, from the snowy owl to the scarlet ibis.

If you’re traveling in Zug with kids, this is an attraction you shouldn’t miss because the little ones will love the sight of beautiful tropical birds.

Explore Zug’s Surroundings

Zug train station

Zug is well-connected to other major cities and towns in Switzerland by train, and if you’re staying in the area for a while, you should plan to explore the city’s surroundings. Zurich and Lucerne are 20-30 minutes away from Zug by train, and they’re both beautiful cities worth visiting.

Mount Pilatus in Lucerne

Lucerne is surrounded by spectacular mountains, including Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus, which can be seen from most places in town. The city’s most famous attraction is Chapel Bridge, a long wooden footbridge adorned with beautiful paintings. It’s free to visit and you can walk across it whenever you want. Do it, and you’ll discover a historic landmark in this city, which has managed to withstand the test of time and fire. Plus, the views of River Reuss and Lake Luzerne from the bridge are quite spectacular.

Zurich is considered the financial capital of Switzerland, the center of Crypto Valley , and it’s the most populous city in the country. It’s home to a plethora of landmarks and attractions, both natural and man-made. Lake Zurich and Mount Uetliberg can be explored on a day trip from Zug, along with the staple old town landmarks like Grossmunster, Fraumunster, the Rietberg Museum, the Zurich Opera House, and many others!

Related Reading

15 best swiss cities to visit (not just the popular ones), enjoy lake zug.

Lake Zug

The lakeside location is one of the best things about the town of Zug, especially if you visit in the summer. You can have heaps of fun on the water, whether you prefer swimming and sunbathing or you’re one to rent SUPs and kayaks.

You will find beaches and swimming areas in Zug, but you’ll want to explore those outside the city limits if you would rather avoid the crowds. Zug’s public beaches can get crowded during the peak summer season, but they rarely get so crowded that you’re forced to bump towels with other beach-goers.

Most beaches on Lake Zug offer a variety of fun water activities to visitors. You can usually rent SUPs, kayaks, and paddle boats on the monitored beaches, plus there are a bunch of secluded areas where you can have a small slice of paradise all to yourself.

Head Up Zugerberg Mountain

Zugerberg above Lake Zug

Zugerberg Mountain is Zug’s local mountain that can be easily accessed by public transport from the town. The forested summit is very popular with outdoor lovers who visit Zug, particularly hikers who want to discover the mountain’s many scenic trails.

Although Zugerberg is not on everyone’s radar, the views across Lake Zug to Rigi and Pilatus, as well as the other distance peaks, is worth the ride up. When the slopes of Zugerberg are covered with snow in the winter, the hiking trails remain accessible to snowshoers for epic winter hiking experiences.

Zugerberg Mountain Biking Trail

In addition to a vast network of hiking trails, Zugerberg is also very popular for mountain biking. There’s a very popular MTB trail that runs down the mountain and is bound to give you a proper adrenaline rush. I have not had the chance to try it yet, but I hiked up beside it recently and watched a few guys coming down. It looks amazing.

Paragliding is another popular thing to do in the area. You can enjoy scenic views of the town and the lake while flying over them – what’s not to love about that experience?

Map of Things to See in Zug

Frequently Asked Questions

Is zug worth a visit.

Zug is undoubtedly worth a visit on a day trip. With its stunning lakeside location and historic old town, Zug has a lot to offer. Most people only know it for being a tax haven, but you should head there at least once to see for yourself.

Is Zug beautiful?

Zug is a wonderful Swiss city situated on the shores of the alpine lake of Zug, with stunning mountains like Rigi, the Grosser Mythen, and Pilatus making for a breathtaking background. On top of that, it has a lovely historic town center that is a joy to explore.

What is Zug Switzerland known for?

Zug is known for being a tax haven for businesses in Switzerland. As such, a lot of foreign and local companies are headquartered there. With high salaries and a great lakeside location, it also has a fantastic quality of life.

Do people speak English in Zug?

Although the majority of people in Zug speak German or Swiss-German, there is a large proportion who speak English. It is estimated that more than 10% of the local population speaks the languageZ

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Even the residents of Zug never tire of looking at it: when the sun sets over the lake, the horizon lights up ruby-red and all eyes are drawn to the romantic kaleidoscope of colours on the water. But even this is rivalled by the historic old town, where you can stroll through the labyrinthine narrow streets, saunter along the lakeside, or watch the colourful comings and goings from one of the many pavement cafés.

Description

Zug is self-confident and knows what it has to offer: a high quality of life, a view of the Rigi and Pilatus, and a jewel of a historic centre. It’s a stylish town that values public art. This goes together with the town’s business world, which lends the pretty town a certain international flavour: well over 100 nations in Zug greet each other with a friendly “Grüezi”. History tells us that the town was founded in the early 13th century by the counts of Kyburg. The 52-metre-high Zytturm also dates back to this period. Initially built as a simple gateway in the old town wall, over the centuries it was expanded and its height increased until it attained the form we see today, with its oriel windows and steep hipped roof. In 1574 the great clock was built into it, giving the tower its present name. Under this main clock there is an astronomical timepiece with four hands indicating the week, the phase of the moon, the month, as well as whether it is currently a leap year. In Zug’s old town  itself there are fine sights in the form of the late gothic town hall built in 1505 and St. Oswald’s church , from the same period. You can certainly lose yourself in the picturesque narrow streets of the old town, without actually getting lost: saunter past brightly coloured rows of houses, pretty boutiques and tempting restaurants – and you’ll end up in Landsgemeindeplatz, the main square on the lake. This is where Zug lives, celebrates and simply takes it easy on fine summer evenings. Children love the aviaries, fans of the water can hire boats, and romantics simply appreciate the world’s most beautiful sunset.

Conferences and congresses

Zug is seductive and particularly attractive for business events and incentives: in the heart of Switzerland, connected directly to the airport with first-class transport, and boasting a unique blend of urban lifestyle and proximity to nature, Zug has rightly been the focus of the international business world for years. This charming place, known for its sunset, cherries and two beautiful lakes, also extends a warm welcome to its visitors. Small is beautiful – never before has this phrase been more apt than for Zug, where guests will find everything to make an event great in the smallest of spaces. 

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The Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express uses some of the original carriages from the 1920s. It currently travels frequently on one-day trips between cities such as London, Paris and Venice. © Martin Scott Powell

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On tracks through the most beautiful landscapes in the world, here from Colorado to Utah. © Rocky Mountaineer

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Teatime on the train: day and theme cruises are a great way to get to know the slow way of traveling. © Belmond

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On the luxury train journey of the Maharajas' Express presents the pearls of Indian culture. © Mauritius Images

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The supposedly most luxurious train in the world crosses a total of five African countries on its tour from Dar es Salaam to Cape Town: Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. Passengers can already observe numerous wild animals from the train, and thanks to many stops in national parks and game reserves including game drives, they go straight from the rails on a safari. Other highlights include the journey through the Rift Valley, the bushveld of Zambia and the Victoria Falls, as well as visits to the Victoria Falls Bridge, the lively city of Livingston, Chobe National Park and the Kalahari Desert. 19-day trip including full board and flights from € 16,500 per person. rovos.com

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Running between Tanzania and South Africa since 1990, the Pride of Africa is considered the most luxurious train in the world. © DOOKPHOTO

travelling zugreisen

This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Spring 2022 .

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Plan Your Trip to Zug: Best of Zug Tourism

Mountains from the lake

Zug, Switzerland

Essential zug.

travelling zugreisen

Zug Is Great For

travelling zugreisen

Eat & drink

travelling zugreisen

  • Hotel Lowen am See Zug
  • Hotel Zugertor
  • Park Hotel Zug
  • City-Hotel Ochsen Zug
  • City Garden Hotel
  • Puccini Ristorante
  • Kurioz Bar & Kitchen
  • Meating Restaurant Bar
  • Restaurant Aklin
  • Kaffee Frech
  • Zytturm Clocktower
  • Museum Burg Zug
  • Das Lohri-Haus - The Oldest House of Goldsmiths in the World
  • Seebad Seeliken
  • The natural wonders of Switzerland: private tour from Zug (1 day)
  • Zug Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour
  • Sato Code Escape Room across Zug
  • Private Photo Session with a Local Photographer in Zug
  • Vacation Photographer in Zug

Arzo Travels

Solo Female Travel – Switzerland, Europe and Beyond

things to do in Zug, Switzerland, Arzo Travels

BEST THINGS TO DO IN ZUG, SWITZERLAND

WHAT TO DO IN ZUG + TRAVEL TIPS

Table of Contents

Zug is a beautiful town in Switzerland that is not on many Switzerland itineraries .

As someone who spends a few months each year in Zug, I am familiar with the town – however, if people have heard of Zug, it probably is because of its reputation as a tax haven. It is rather an off-the-beaten-path place – yet, it is charming with some lovely sights. So, while it is true that many people with extremely high incomes live in Zug, it makes a great destination for a day or so.

And in this post you will find out about the best things to do in Zug – here is what to do + travel tips for your trip.

FACTS ABOUT ZUG, SWITZERLAND 

The town of Zug is located approximately in the middle of Switzerland, between Zurich to the north and Lucerne to the south.  

It lies 425 meters (1,394 feet) above sea level , on the northeastern shores of Lake Zug (Zugersee).  

The most spoken language is German.

Zug in German actually means “train”.

With 30000 inhabitants, it is the capital and largest town of the Canton of Zug. But, honestly, the Canton of Zug is not much bigger than Zug itself! It is one of the smallest cantons in Switzerland.  

Something impressive is that a quarter of the inhabitants of the canton are foreigners , and it is one of the richest and safest cantons in Switzerland – which means also in the world.

Fun fact: Zug is a tax haven! It was actually the first tax haven ever: the Zurich -Zug-Lichtenstein triangle was established in the mid-1920s. The tax rate in Zug is about half of the average Swiss tax rate, which makes the town and canton an excellent place to establish the headquarters of international companies and also to live a very pleasant (but expensive) life.  

So, just because Zug is more of a hidden gem amongst tourists, it does not mean it is cheap. Prices for lunch/drinks are almost as high as in Lucerne or Zurich.

How to get to Zug: You can reach Zug by train from Zurich in less than 30 minutes, and from Lucerne in just 20 minutes. The rest of Switzerland is easy to reach from these two cities.  

And I highly recommend getting to Zug by public transportation. Parking in Zug can be quite tricky.

Check out more general travel tips for Switzerland here.

Lake Zug promenade

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it  here .

SWISS TRAVEL PASS

If you use public transportation, I recommend getting a Swiss Travel Pass. I visit Switzerland often, and most of the time I get one – even if it’s a road trip. It is only for non-Swiss residents though and perfect if you visit Switzerland for 3 days or longer.

  • It allows you to use trains and buses without any extra costs.
  • You can also do boat cruises without additional costs – and you can cruise Lake Zug with regular boats to get around.
  • It also gives you a 50% discount on most mountain rides, and some are even free with the Swiss Travel Pass.

The initial prices for a Swiss Travel Pass are quite high – but it pays for itself if you get around via public transportation and are active in Switzerland for more than three or four days. So, check out prices for boats and trains and then calculate if it is a good option for you.  

For me, it usually makes sense as I use public transportation/mountain rides often (even if I road trip Switzerland ). I also love boat rides – which means many, many boat cruises for me whenever I have a Swiss Travel Pass. Check out prices for a Swiss Travel Pass here.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN ZUG IN ONE DAY

There are lots of lovely places to see in Zug. You can see most highlights in one day, but you’ll easily keep yourself busy for a few more days too.

Visit Lake Zug

Obviously, Lake Zug is one of the most beautiful sights in Zug. Approximately 14 km long and just 5 km wide at its widest point, Zug is located on the northeastern tip. The northern half of the lake belongs to the canton of Zug, the southern half to the canton Schwyz, and just a tiny part is claimed by the canton of Lucerne .  

Views of the Swiss Alps at Lake Zug

Lake Zug is very picturesque. The northern and western shores are quite level; green and hilly Zugerberg Mountain is on the eastern side, while Mount Rigi dominates the southern shores with its steep sides. Thanks to pretty towns and a few castles , it’s a lovely sight at any time of the year.

Stroll Lake Zug Promenade

The promenade of Lake Zug is a lovely place for a stroll. You can walk from the old town all the way to the marina , along the “corner” of the lake. It is very narrow and cramped by the old town, where the large, medieval houses don’t leave much space. But then, it becomes wide and spacious, lined with trees, and with docks here and there to walk a little into the lake.  

Stroll Lake Zug in Switzerland

Don’t miss the “Seesicht” , the famous stairs under the lake! This unique walk-in sculpture by Swiss artist Roman Signer looks like a large, rectangular pipe diving into the lake: it contains a steel staircase leading to a window so that you can look into the lake. When the water is clear, it’s a very cool experience!

Seesicht at Lake Zug and Springbrunnen in background

Very close to the Seesicht is the “ Springbrunnen ”, the geyser of Lake Zug. This water jet is active from spring to autumn. There are other pretty fountains in the old town, but this is the only fountain on Lake Zug. If you won’t make it to Geneva and its famous lake fountain, well, here you have a small version of it.

Springbrunnen in Zug, fountain

Right there, between the Seesicht and the Zug Bahnhofsteg harbor, is a very colorful and artistic section of the promenade . This work of art by Maria Bettina Cogliatti marks the area of the Katastrophenbucht, the Disaster Bay where the lakeshore broke in 1887, which caused flooding in the town and the death of 11 people.  

Colorful buildings along Lake Zug promenade

From there until the marina, the Zug promenade features pretty green areas and sports establishments.  

The views of the town and the mountains are gorgeous everywhere along the Zug promenade, but it’s even more magical at sunset because the sun goes down on the other side of the lake. However, be careful with the weather: on stormy days, the lake might flood the promenade.

Cruise on Lake Zug

On a beautiful day, a cruise is a perfect way to enjoy the gorgeous Lake Zug – and to appreciate the scenery from a different point of view.

Boat Cruise on Lake Zug in Switzerland

There are many stops all around Lake Zug.

  • It takes about 1 hour – 1,5 hours from Zug in the north, to Arth am See in the south.  
  • Free with a Swiss Travel Pass

If you like to be more active, you can rent – in the summer months – little paddle boats and explore the lake on your own.

Paddle boat on Lake Zug

Hike on Zugerberg Mountain

The mountains closest to Zug are the Zugerberg, just south of the town on the eastern side of Lake Zug, and Mount Rigi, on the southern shore. The green, wooded Zugerberg mountain is 1.039 meters (3,408 feet) high .

You can reach it with the Zugerbergbahn funicular from Zug: the upper station is at 925 meters altitude. The views are gorgeous! It’s not steep, so hikes are easy even for families with children – and there’s also a mountain bike trail.

Best Views of Lake Zug

While the panorama from Zugerberg Mountain is beautiful, there are many more places from where you have gorgeous views of Lake Zug. This includes the famous Mount Rigi , which is easily accessible from Lucerne, or the impressive hike from Klingenstock to Fronalpstock. 

Lake Lucerne and Lake Zug, Frontalpstock Arzo Travels

To enjoy these amazing views from Mount Rigi, you have to do a minimum amount of work – just get up via funicular and then there is just a short uphill walk (the funicular ride to Mount Rigi is included in your Swiss Travel Pass ).

A stunning panorama awaits you also from the Frontalalpstock mountain (there is a 50% discount with your Swiss Travel Pass , and you can get up via ski lifts). However, if you do the hike from Klingenstock to Frontalpstock, you have an amazing experience in addition (it is an intermediate hike and you should plan a full day for it from Zug).

Relax by the Lakeside at the Lido

Just south of the old town “Altstadt”, between the casino and the lake, there is the Zug public beach “Seeliken”: a small park where you can lay down and relax, with access to the lake to enjoy a refreshing swim, plus a bistro for meals and snacks. Entry is free. Check out the website of Seeliken Lido  

Chilling at Lake Zug

In the other direction, on the northern side of Lake Zug, there are 2 other great spots.

The Lido Zug  (Strandbad Zug) is quite fancy: there is a small sandy beach, a nice café/restaurant, a kid’s pool, and diving boards to jump in the lake. And the best of all: ENTRY IS FREE.

Lido pool in Zug, Switzerland

The Brüggli Lido Zug instead is located near a campsite, there is grass and sand to lay down, a food kiosk and barbecue areas, and beach volley fields. Entry is also free. Check out more about Brüggli Lido Zug.  

Stroll the Old Town “Altstadt”

The medieval old town of Zug is definitely worth some time. Stroll around and get lost among the narrow streets and the picturesque, painted buildings. There are cute shops, art galleries, and fountains at every corner. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes to explore the cobblestone streets.

Zytturm Zug, Switzerland

Don’t miss the Altstadthalle, the city hall with a painted facade, and the iconic Zytturm Zug , the clock tower with its roof decorated with colorful tiles. But truly, the whole old town is just very pretty, clean, and well-maintained. It really feels like traveling back in time.  

Old town in Zug in Switzerland building

Head to Zug Castle

Zug Castle is located a little outside of the old town (a 5 to 10-minute walk) .

Zug Castle in Zug, Switzerland

It doesn’t really look like a traditional, medieval, stone castle, but more like a stone-and-timber house on top of a wide base. Inside its decorated and furnished rooms, there is the Museum of Cultural History of the town.  

Animal Watching in Zug

If you are looking for a rather unique attraction you will be pleased to hear that in Zug, just at the promenade are two places you will not find everywhere.

Hirschgehege am Alpenquai in Zug, Deers at Lake Zug

On the one hand, you have the “Hirschgarten” – a little park for deers. Yes, next to the lake is this park where deers “chill” within a fenced area. Then you have an “aviary” because the ornithological society of Zug keeps many different birds here. 

DAY TRIPS FROM ZUG

There are a few nice day trips from Zug worth considering.

Visit Lucerne

This Swiss gem is located really close to Zug.  

  • You can reach Lucerne by train in approximately 20 minutes by train.  

Best tours on Switzerland

Lucerne is, very simply put, just amazing. The picturesque old town full of painted facades and unique fountains, the iconic chapel bridge over the lake, the relaxing lake promenade, and all around the stunning peaks of the Alps : in one day in Lucerne, you can definitely see the highlights. If you are looking for a view from above, don’t miss the Musegg Walls and its towers.

  • Check out my Lucerne travel guide.

Visit Interlaken

You could choose to extend your day trip from Zug: after Lucerne, continue for a couple of hours by train along three lakes – including beautiful Lake Brienz – until the town of Interlaken.

View from Brienzer Rothorn

As the name suggests, Interlaken is located between two lakes: Lake Brienz and Lake Thun . There are lots of things to do in and around Interlaken, so it might be difficult to choose!

My favorites by far are cruising on the mesmerizing Lake Brienz and taking the Brienz Rothorn steam locomotive ride up to the top of Brienzer Rothorn mountain. The views are absolutely incredible and memorable.

  • Here is my detailed post on the Breinzer Rothorn.
  • For more tips on Interlaken, click here.

Visit Zurich

Why not take a train from Zug to Zurich?  

  • In less than 30 minutes you’ll be in the financial heart of Switzerland, which happens to be a very beautiful city too.  

Solo female travel girl in Zurich in 2 days with Grossmünster in background

Stroll along the Bahnhofstrasse (the most expensive street in the world!), admire the view from Lindenhof Hill, explore the colorful and charming old town, and rest along the Limmat river or on the shores of Lake Zurich. One day is short, but it’s enough to get a feeling of Zurich .

Switzerland’s capital is a very beautiful city.

  • It takes 1,5 hours to Bern by train, so it can make for a lovely day trip from Zug.  

Bern from Rosengarten with Arzo Travels

On a nice day, head to Rosengarten Park to enjoy the views of the old town, and then say hello to the bears who live at Baren Park. Of course, at Aare River, you can relax and admire the panorama. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site , and rightly so: it’s gorgeous and full of attractions, like the Cathedral, the clock tower, the Town Hall, the Parliament, and more. Check out the best things to do in Bern.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BEST ZUG ACTIVITIES

Zug is a beautiful town – its proximity to Zurich or Lucerne makes it easily accessible. It is colorful and charming with a perfect mix of beautiful architecture and nature. So, if you have wondered about the best things to do in Zug, then you have hopefully found your answers here.

Things to do in Zug, Arzo Travels

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Guggi Frühling

Die Zuger Altstadt von oben mit dem See im Hintergrund.

Zug Switzerland: Overview & City Guide

Welcome to Zug, the charming, compact city nestled in the heart of Switzerland! Known for its low tax rates and high quality of life, Zug is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

Zug Switzerland

This guide will walk you through the cobbled lanes of the old town, vast expanses of sparkling blue lake, and up the lush green hillsides.

Whether you’re here for a quick visit or planning to call Zug home, prepare to be captivated by its rich history, stunning landscapes, and unparalleled lifestyle.

Let’s embark on this journey together, unraveling the magic and allure of this beautiful city.

Join me, it’s time to visit Zug!

Where is Zug?

Zug is strategically located in the heart of Switzerland, making it easily accessible from other major Swiss cities. To the northeast, it’s bordered by Zürich, while Lucerne lies to its west. The canton of Zug, pint-sized yet picturesque, is characterized by its varied topography.

map of zug switzerland

The city is nestled on the shores of Zug’s very own Zugersee (Lake Zug), known for its stunning turquoise waters, a treat for both the eyes and the soul. The lake, sprawling over an area of 38.4 square kilometers, is a hub for various recreational water activities.

But Zug’s geographic allure doesn’t stop at its shoreline. The city is embraced by the Zugerberg, a lush green hill offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

The highlands and lowlands of Zug together form a harmonious blend of natural beauty, making it an irresistible destination for nature enthusiasts and city dwellers alike.

So what about the history of kanton Zug (kanton means “state” in Swiss German)?

Let’s Dive into Zug’s History

Zug has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages. The Old Town of Zug, with its well-preserved medieval structures, is a living testament to this vibrant past.

The Zytturm, a historic clock tower, stands majestically at the center of the Old Town, symbolizing Zug’s antiquity and resilience. The tower, built around the 13th century, houses the oldest clock face in Switzerland, offering a glimpse into the city’s age-old horological tradition.

Zug old town

The city also takes pride in its Burg Zug or Zug Castle, a preserved medieval castle, now transformed into a historical and cultural museum. Exhibits here breathe life into Zug’s past, narrating stories of its early inhabitants, cultural evolution, and socio-economic development.

Like most of Switzerland, Zug was untouched during the WW2, why? Well that is somewhat controversial, and I’ll touch on this in a further article.

Who said the Swiss are boring?

Zug’s Cultural Vibrancy

The culture of Zug is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity. The people of Zug have a deep-rooted love for their local customs and traditions. Events like the annual Cherry Blossom Festival and the Zug Trade Fair are perfect illustrations of this cultural richness.

The Cherry Blossom festival, celebrating the cherry orchards that dot the Zug landscape, involves traditional music, local gastronomic delights, and cherry-based products, creating a festive atmosphere that’s infectiously joyful.

At the same time, Zug is also home to a thriving modern culture. Its vibrant arts scene is evident in its array of galleries, music venues, and theaters.

The Theater Casino Zug, which is worth a visit in the warmer months, overlooking Lake Zug, hosts a variety of performances, from classical concerts to contemporary dance, reflecting the city’s diverse cultural palette.

Zug city and lake

Whether it’s the echoes of its intriguing past or the vibrancy of its present-day culture, Zug has a unique charm that captivates all who visit. It’s a city where history and culture come alive, creating a melting pot of experiences that leave a lasting impression.

Well, all this is true… except for Sunday; in Switzerland you will find the majority of shops, including supermarkets, are closed.

This is due to a long-standing Swiss tradition of resting on Sundays. So if you ever find yourself in Zug on a Sunday, make sure to plan accordingly and be ready to soak up its natural beauty and cultural offerings instead.

So, how do you get there?

How to Get to Zug

Reaching Zug is straightforward and convenient from all parts of Switzerland, your best bet is by using the Swiss train system. Yes it is on time. Yes, it is clean 🙂

The best part is that Zug railway station is right in the city center and a 5 min walk from anywhere, remember this ain’t a big city.

  • From Zurich: The most efficient way is by train. Direct trains run regularly from Zurich Main Station (Hauptbahnhof) to Zug and the journey typically takes less than half an hour.
  • From Lucerne: Direct trains also connect Lucerne and Zug. The journey is scenic and takes approximately 20 minutes.
  • From Geneva: The train journey from Geneva to Zug usually involves a single change, often at Zurich Main Station, and takes around 3 hours.
  • From Berne: Direct trains run from Berne to Zug, and the journey takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. Enjoy the picturesque Swiss countryside as you travel.

SBB Swiss train to Zug

Now, there are bus options, but they take much, much longer and you can also travel by car, but you have Google Maps for that journey.

Sure, you can drive, but driving is boring; take a train and enjoy the stunning scenery; it’s the best way to travel around this awesome country. You can check out the train time on the SBB ( Swiss Trains) website here .

Getting Around Zug

When you get off at the Zug train station, you will be perfectly positioned to explore by foot. The old town and lakeside restaurants are literally 5 mins walk away.

But, if the weather is terrible or you need to go somewhere further, you will find your typical public transport options: bus, train and taxi. Plus, Zug does have UBER and taxis, but they are limited and expensive, especially the taxis.

If you are in a rush or don’t care about spending big, grab one of the world’s most expensive taxis, haha they make London look cheap!

You’ll find the taxi rank at the back of the train station, normally full of taxis; on a weekend, it could be a little quiet, but you’ll find a phone to call them.

Is Switzerland better than America ? Let’s find out.

Beautiful pic of Zug old town.

What are The Main Things to Do & See in Zug?

Depending on the time of year you go to Canton Zug, your options will vary. From stunning lakeside restaurants serving local lake-caught fish to bustling cultural festivals like the Zug Lake Festival, there is always something on in Zug.

Let’s have an overview by season.

Spring & Summer

In spring and summer, the vibrant city of Zug springs to life with a host of activities that take full advantage of its stunning natural landscapes. First up, a visit to the Zugerberg mountain offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area. You can hike, picnic, or simply enjoy the tranquility.

Don’t miss a leisurely stroll around the lake. Look, you won’t be able to walk around it all, it’s like 38km, but you can can rent a paddleboat or take a refreshing swim in the lake’s crystal-clear waters.

There are numerous local swimming areas dotted around the lake and the water is beautiful and clean albeit quite cold. But who doesn’t love a bit of cold therapy these days?

So what about the colder months?

Snow and skiing in Zug

Autumn & Winter

As autumn arrives, the trees in Choller Park become a riot of colors. The park is an ideal place for a peaceful walk, and don’t forget to visit the bird sanctuary, right next to lake. Random, but beautiful.

Winter in Zug is a magical time. The city becomes a winter wonderland with the snow-covered Zug Old Town looking particularly charming. You can take a cozy stroll around the medieval towers, squares, and old burgher houses. If you’re a sports enthusiast, the nearby ski resorts in the Swiss Alps provide plenty of winter sports options too.

Skiing in Zug

Whilst there are little ski resorts dotted around the state of Zug, there are 3 notable resorts within an hour away.

Just a short distance from Zug, nestled amidst the snow-capped peaks of Switzerland, are some of the world’s most revered ski resorts. Flumserberg Ski Resort is one of them, located approximately 90 kilometers away and reachable within an hour and a half by car. It boasts varied ski slopes suitable for both beginners and advanced skiers.

Another option is the Andermatt Ski Resort, approximately 95 kilometers away, and can be reached in about an hour and twenty minutes by car. Andermatt is renowned for its extensive and challenging ski terrain that is sure to captivate ski enthusiasts.

Lastly, there’s the Engelberg-Titlis Ski Resort, around 75 kilometers from Zug and accessible within an hour’s drive. Besides providing superb skiing conditions, Engelberg-Titlis offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding alpine landscape.

Remember, times can vary depending on weather and traffic conditions, so be sure to check the conditions before you set off.

Lastly, one thing not to be misses if you are in Zug

Something that is seen from Zug, but is actually part of canton Schwyz is the Rigi mountain; this incredible mountain can be summited with ease throughout the year. It’s perfect to tackle if you are in Zug for more than a day. You’ll see it beyond lake Zug out in the distance!

I will cover it in detail in a future article.

But what is there to eat in Zug?

Let’s find out.

Traditional Swiss food

Food & Dining in Zug

Zug’s culinary scene is as exciting and diverse as its landscapes!

If you’re a fan of seafood, then you’re in for a treat. The city is renowned for its fresh, lake-caught fish, often served in local restaurants as the catch of the day. Think delicate, beautiful and clean.

There are numerous varieties, I don’t even know the names, all I know is that every fish-of-the-day I have eaten has been abso-friggin-lutely delicious!

The Restaurant Schiff by the lake, in the old town is particularly noted for this. It is a stunning old restaurant, the roof on the inside of the main building is 1000 years old the manager told me, it is stunning.

However, don’t miss out on traditional Swiss cuisine ! Think heavier, potato rösti, schnitzel, roast meats, and cheese fondue, if that’s your thing (it’s mine :). There are numerous restaurants in the heart of Zug, known for their authentic Swiss dishes, but I still go back to Restaurant Schiff; it’s stunning, the menu is diverse, and the staff are exceptional

Lastly, those with a sweet tooth should not pass up the opportunity to try Zug’s famous cherries. Whether in liquors, cake (Zuger Kirschtorte), or just fresh off the tree, it’s a treat that completes the Zug experience.

One thing I’ll note, if you like pretzels or you’re like me and you love them! There is an awesome little shop called BrezelKönig, their pretzels are incredible and well worth a try, it’s located in the Zug train station, just near the taxi rank.

Ok, let’s go shopping!

Where to go Shopping in Zug?

Zug is not known for it’s shops; Zurich and Lucern take the cake here, but the city presents a unique blend of time-honored Swiss brands and international labels

The main shopping street hosts a variety of shops, from high-end boutiques to quaint local stores. It is quite a contrast in some ways. Looking down the street to left you can find a gift shop selling cheap candles, to your right a watch store with 100,000USD watches.

For a more traditional shopping experience, explore the charming Altstadt (Old Town). Here, winding cobblestone streets are lined with independent boutiques and ateliers, showcasing everything from handcrafted Swiss watches and jewelry to local artisan-made goods.

Also, the Old Town Market comes alive with color and charm every Wednesday and Saturday. Local producers set up stalls selling fresh produce, local cheeses , homemade treats, and uniquely Swiss handicrafts.

If you’re seeking luxury, head over to Metalli Shopping Centre, one of Zug’s premier shopping destinations featuring a plethora of designer stores, beauty boutiques, and upscale homeware shops.

And of course, no shopping spree in Zug is complete without buying some world-famous Swiss chocolate. Head over to the Bachmann Confiserie to choose from an array of delicious flavors.

Shopping in Zug is not just about retail therapy – it’s an immersive cultural experience that reflects the city’s eclectic charm!

People shopping.

Zug as a Global Business Hub

Zug is more than just picturesque landscapes and charming shops; it’s a thriving global business hub. Known as Crypto Valley, Zug is home to numerous blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses like Bitcoin Suisse, Ethereum Foundation, and Shapeshift .

This silicon-valley-of-crypto has cemented its reputation as a leading destination for cutting-edge tech businesses.

The region’s low corporate tax rates are a significant draw for international businesses, making it a prime location for setting up offices. Among the multinational corporations headquartered here are Johnson & Johnson, Glencore, and the Siemens Building Technologies division.

The Zug government’s openness to innovation and supportive regulatory environment have also contributed to its appeal. The city offers a multitude of incentives for startups, including a straightforward process for company registration, access to a highly skilled and multilingual workforce, and excellent infrastructure.

Glencore head office in Zug.

In a nutshell, Zug offers a unique blend of business-friendly policies, attractive tax rates, and a vibrant tech community, making it an ideal location for international companies seeking to make their mark in today’s global economy.

People often joke and say that there are more companies than people in Zug, I am sure that it’s not too far from the truth.

Why? Zug has a corporate tax rate of only 11.85% , I mean why wouldn’t you want to setup your business in Zug!?

If you are contemplating moving to Zug and setting up a business, check out the Zug local government website here .

Zug Accommodation: Where to Stay?

When it comes to accommodation in Zug, there’s something for everyone, from budget-conscious travelers to high-end luxury seekers, and from family vacationers to corporate executives.

For budget travelers, Zug offers a variety of hostels and budget hotels. For instance, the Ibis Baar Zug is a comfortable and affordable option, ideal for those who need a comfortable bed and basic amenities.

For mid-range options, consider the Parkhotel Zug . It’s centrally located, offers comfortable rooms, and provides amenities such as a fitness center and a restaurant. It’s a great option for families, with its spacious rooms and close proximity to local attractions.

For those seeking luxury, look no further than the City Garden Hotel . This chic and modern establishment offers top-tier amenities, such as a rooftop terrace, a gourmet restaurant, and panoramic views of the city. It’s an excellent choice for corporate guests, with meeting rooms and event spaces.

Family visitors may opt for serviced apartments such as Vision Apartments Zug . These come with fully equipped kitchens, separate living areas, and sometimes even a play area for children. It offers the comfort of home while being away from home.

Whether you’re a startup looking to set up your first office, a multinational corporation seeking a strategic location, or a family wanting to experience the unique blend of culture and technology that Zug offers, you’ll find a place that suits your needs and budget.

Now, if you are looking to move to Zug, there are 3 major sites to find an apartment, check out:

  • Comparis.ch
  • homegate.ch

Farming land and city.

Let’s Wrap Things Up, Bye Zug!

In essence, Zug offers the ideal mix of history, nature, culture, and modern amenities, aligned perfectly to cater to varying accommodation requirements.

Furthermore, with its wide array of options ensures that every visitor, whether a budget traveler or corporate executive, finds a place that feels just like home.

So, pack your bags and prepare to immerse yourself in the unforgettable allure of Zug, Switzerland.

Want to see Zug in 4k? Greg from Switzerland Insider does an incredible job in this video; check it out:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the best time to visit Zug, Switzerland?

Zug offers a pleasant climate year-round, but the ideal time for a visit would be the summer months (June through August) when the weather is warm and perfect for outdoor activities.

2. Are there family-friendly activities in Zug?

Absolutely! Zug offers numerous family-friendly activities, including outdoor adventures, museums, and local festivals. Visiting the Zug Castle or taking a boat trip on Lake Zug are popular options.

3. Which area is best for staying in Zug?

The best area to stay in Zug would be the city center due to its close proximity to major attractions, restaurants, and shops. However, options like City Garden Hotel and Vision Apartments Zug are great for those seeking different experiences.

4. What kind of food is Zug known for?

Zug is famous for its Zug cherry cake, a local delicacy worth trying. The city also has a diverse food scene, with restaurants offering a range of international cuisines. The pizza restaurant but the lake is always a winner

5. Does Zug have good public transportation?

Zug boasts an efficient public transportation system, including trams, buses, and boats, making it easy to get around the city and explore its attractions. A Swiss Travel Pass is also available for unlimited access to public transport, making travel even more convenient.

6. What is Zug known for?

Low taxes, zug has a reputation for being a low-tax canton

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EXPERIENCE OUR NEW DINING CAR THIS AUTUMN

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Directly to Saxon Switzerland

Breathtaking rock formations, serene forests, and charming historic towns. Direct access with the Good Night Train from Brussels and Amsterdam. Travel while you sleep and disembark in the beautiful Elbe Valley in the morning, right in the middle of the nature reserve.

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  • 1 Understand
  • 3 Get around

Zug is a town of 31,345 people (2021) in the Zurich region of Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zug. This article also covers the neighbouring town of Cham (population 17,042 in 2020).

Map

There are trains every half an hour from Zurich , Brunnen or Lucerne . It is also easily reachable from the Canton of Ticino .

The town of 47.17825 8.45743 1 Cham is a 7-minute train ride from Zug.

The town is small enough to be discovered on foot.

  • 47.16679 8.51493 1 Old Town . Very picturesque with old buildings and several squares. ( updated Aug 2017 )
  • 47.17802 8.46031 6 Villette Park ( right between train station and lake ). Town park of Cham. ( updated Aug 2017 )
  • 47.1963 8.4257 8 Brickworks museum ( Ziegelei museum ), Ziegelhütte, Hagendorn ( take bus 43 to Hagendorn, Ziegelei-Museum ). Summer W-Su 14:00-17:00 . A museum in an old brickworks. There are special tours on offer during which you can make your own bricks. Fr. 7/3 . ( updated Jan 2017 )
  • 47.17283 8.50638 1 Open Air Cinema . During July and August there are movies shown outdoors near the lake shore. Fr. 16 . ( updated Apr 2017 )
  • 47.1686 8.51415 2 Zug Promenade . Near the old town, you can walk along the Lake of Zug . Zug has one of the most beautiful sunsets in Switzerland, because the sun sets over the lake of Zug. ( updated Aug 2017 )

travelling zugreisen

In Zug the best things you can buy is food respectively pastry:

  • The famous Zuger Kirschtorte (a cake filled with kirsch). Places to buy: Konditorei Meier, Konditorei Treichler/Heini
  • Speckli (pastry with almond-taste). Places to buy: Konfiserie Speck ( speck.ch ).
  • Bsetzi Stei (small chocolates with a bit of alcohol flavour). Places to buy: Aeschbacher Chocolatier
  • Chriesiblüete (something like a little Kirschtorte coated with chocolate)
  • 47.17374 8.51711 1 Restaurant Bären , Baarerstrasse 30 ( Next to the train station ), ☏ +41 41 711 09 43 . This is a very old restaurant. The interior is still the same as decades ago and will take you back in time. The food is tasty and you will get big portion for the price.  
  • 47.17473 8.50613 2 Restaurant Brandenberg , Allmendstrasse 3 ( next to the youth hostel ), ☏ +41 41 711 95 96 . This is an institution in Zug. Once a restaurant for farmers, this place is extremely popular in the summer, when you can drink a beer outside below the trees. During the "Stierenmärt it's full of farmers, a real authentic Swiss experience.  
  • 47.18467 8.50319 3 Restaurant Freimann , Letzi 27 ( out of town next to a farm, but worth the trip ), ☏ +41 41 741 35 10 . This restaurant has the rustic charm of a farmer's house out in the green. In the summer it's a pleasure to sit in the beer garden below the trees and drink a beer and eat a "Cordon Bleu". You will get great value for your money. The menu covers the whole range of good Swiss food. The restaurant inside is quite small. On weekends it's recommended to reserve your table, especially if you want to eat inside.  
  • 47.16746 8.51501 4 Restaurant Gotthärdli , Seestrasse 3 ( before you enter the old town near the lake ). It is very small, but with old interior. Very charming. Italian food.  
  • 47.16669 8.5146 5 Restaurant Schiff , Graben 2 , ☏ +41 41 711 00 55 , [email protected] .  
  • 47.1774 8.51498 6 fivemoods , Dammstrasse 22 , ☏ +41 41 724 64 40 , [email protected] . M-F 11:15-13:30 . The canteen for the workers of Siemens. Accessible for everyone. Decent quality food. Only lunch and during weekdays. Mains from Fr. 13 . ( updated Aug 2017 )
  • 47.1759 8.51713 1 Chicago Bar , Baarerstrasse 63 . Relatively a lot of space. Comfortable couches and very stylish interior. Very long bar. On some Fridays, there are jam sessions which are very cool.  
  • Henry's Skylounge , General-Guisan-Strasse 6 ( Enter the uptown on the side of the ice rink, take the elevator to the top floor. ), ☏ +41 41 709 05 70 , toll-free: +41 41 709 05 70 , [email protected] . Tu-Sa 16:30-00:00, closed on Sunday and Monday . It serves cocktails and food on the top floor of the Uptown building close to the marina. It has got an amazing view of the Alps and the city, especially during sunset. ( updated Dec 2023 )
  • 47.1747 8.5072 1 Youth Hostel Zug , Allmendstrasse 8 , ☏ +41 41 711 53 54 , [email protected] . Dorm from Fr. 35 . ( updated Feb 2017 )

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Popular places to visit.

  • Zug Old Town

You can find out about the history of Zug when you stop by Zug Old Town. Stroll along the lakeside or discover the area's mountain views.

  • Metalli Shopping Centre

You can browse for the perfect souvenirs at Metalli Shopping Centre during your stay in Zug. Stroll along the lakeside or discover the area's mountain views.

  • Bossard Arena

Catch an event at Bossard Arena during your trip to Zug. Stroll along the lakeside or discover the area's mountain views.

  • Kunsthaus Zug

You can browse the exhibits at Kunsthaus Zug, a museum with a storied past, during your travels to Zug. Wander the lakeside or discover the area's mountain views.

Alpine Panorama Path

You can take time to visit Alpine Panorama Path during your travels to Zug. Discover the area's sunsets and mountain views.

  • Zug Trade Fair

Learn about the events happening at Zug Trade Fair during your trip to Zug. Wander the lakeside or discover the area's mountain views.

Things to do

Discover lucerne’s most photogenic spots with a local, explore the instaworthy spots of lucerne with a local, live your love in lucerne walking tour, explore lucerne in 60 minutes with a local, historic lucerne: exclusive private tour with a local expert, explore lucerne’s art and culture with a local.

  • Cities near Zug

Photo by Paczeal Zhao

  • Places of interest
  • Landsgemeindeplatz
  • Letzigrund Stadium
  • Burgenstock
  • Swiss National Museum
  • Chapel Bridge
  • Hallenstadion
  • Bahnhofstrasse
  • Swiss Transportation Museum
  • Mount Pilatus
  • KKL Lucerne
  • Zürich Opera House
  • Kunsthaus Zurich
  • Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolateria
  • University of Zurich
  • Zurich Town Hall
  • Paradeplatz
  • Lion Monument
  • Chateau Guetsch
  • Alpamare Water Park
  • Lucerne Town Hall
  • Shopping Center Glatt

I'm a seasoned Amtrak rider who spent 6 hours in business class on a Canadian train for the first time. It was better than any train I've taken in the US.

  • I booked a business-class ticket on a Via Rail Canada train from Toronto to Montreal in 2022.
  • For $200, I sat in a business-class seat with two tables and complimentary meal and drink service.
  • I thought it was nicer than most US trains I've been on, worth the price, and I'd gladly ride again.

Insider Today

In the last three years, I've spent over 150 hours traveling 5,000 miles on trains, from 30-hour overnight rides to quick, three-hour journeys. 

I've taken trains along the East Coast of the US, into the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Québec, and between the European countries of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. Along the way, I've tried out a wide range of seating options, from business and first classes to shared bunks and private rooms. 

In August of 2022, I spent six hours traveling in business class from Toronto to Montreal on Via Rail , Canada's main railroad system. It was my first time using Via Rail, and I was surprised by all the business class offerings, from comfy seats to snacks and meals. It was better than my business-class Amtrak experiences in the US — and totally worth the $200 ticket.

Similar to Amtrak, Via Rail is one of the most accessible and popular ways to travel by train in Canada.

travelling zugreisen

ViaRail serves more than 400 stations in eight provinces across Canada with economy seating, business class, and sleeper accommodation, according to the train line's website.

My journey began at Toronto's Union Station.

travelling zugreisen

I arrived at 7 a.m. for my 8:30 a.m. train to Montreal.

I arrived early because my business-class ticket included access to an exclusive lounge at the station with plenty of seating and free refreshments.

travelling zugreisen

According to its website, Via Rail's lounges are available to passengers traveling in business class, sleeper plus, prestige, and VIA Rail Premier members traveling in economy.

Amtrak has lounges at select stations too, but they're only free to access for first-class passengers .

The lounge was mostly empty on a Friday morning.

travelling zugreisen

I thought it was a quiet and peaceful place to enjoy a coffee and get some work done.

Around 8 a.m., I made my way to the track where my train was boarding.

travelling zugreisen

My business-class ticket came with priority boarding , so I was able to skip a long line of passengers.

When I got to my assigned single seat, I was surprised to find that I had a side table in addition to a tray table that pulled out in front of me.

travelling zugreisen

No train I've ever been on in the US has offered two tables per passenger.

Throughout the trip, I used the side table to hold my coffee while working and to store my laptop while taking work breaks. Beneath the side table, a conveniently placed outlet charged my devices.

Right away, I thought that my Via Rail seat was one of the most comfortable I've ever experienced on a train.

travelling zugreisen

The Toronto Star reported that Via Rail business-class seats are 18.5 inches wide with a 39-inch seat pitch. 

An Amtrak representative told BI that their business-class seats are about an inch wider than Via Rail's with an additional three inches of legroom, but I don't think they're nearly as comfortable.

Unlike Amtrak seats I've sat in, the top of my Via Rail seat was curved, so I was able to rest my head in a comfortable position for lounging.

travelling zugreisen

The seats reclined, too, just like in the US. This made them even more comfortable.

I also noticed that, unlike on my rides with Amtrak, Via Rail's seat back compartments held a safety pamphlet with directions for what to do in an emergency situation.

travelling zugreisen

I found this comforting.

The train started moving right on time at 8:32 a.m.

travelling zugreisen

Shortly after leaving, a train attendant came around with a complimentary drink service. I ordered a coffee.

Then it was time for breakfast. Unlike Amtrak's business-class fares, Via Rail's ticket comes with complimentary meals brought to my seat.

travelling zugreisen

The train served a warm bagel with cream cheese. It was no New York bagel , I thought, but it was decent and filled me up.

An hour later, an attendant came back around with savory snack packs filled with nuts, pretzels, and crackers.

travelling zugreisen

Then, train attendants came around again with warm hand wipes before lunch service, which I thought was a nice touch.

Lunch was another business-class perk. The menu was announced over the loudspeaker. The entree choices were trout, chicken, or pasta.

travelling zugreisen

I went with the pasta. It was a rigatoni dish with sides of corn salad, bread, and carrot bread for dessert. The meal was better than I expected with an al dente cook on the pasta. I also thought it was much better than the pasta I've tried on Amtrak trains.

After lunch, I went to the bathroom and was impressed by how clean it was compared to most train bathrooms I've used.

travelling zugreisen

I often find overflowing trash cans in train bathrooms, but VIA Rail's looked like it was cleaned recently.

Due to some delays at stops along the way, the train arrived in Montreal about an hour later than scheduled at 2:30 p.m.

travelling zugreisen

While I thought this was frustrating, at least I was comfortable.

This 6-hour business-class ride cost $200, while a recent 10-hour Amtrak business-class ride cost $163. Although it was more expensive, I think the Via Rail ride was worth the additional cost since I found it to be so comfortable.

travelling zugreisen

Even though we were late, I found business-class train travel to be more comfortable and pleasant in Canada than I typically do in the US. Now I want to explore more of Canada by train.

travelling zugreisen

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    Even the residents of Zug never tire of looking at it: when the sun sets over the lake, the horizon lights up ruby-red and all eyes are drawn to the romantic kaleidoscope of colours on the water. But even this is rivalled by the historic old town, where you can stroll through the labyrinthine narrow streets, saunter along the lakeside, or watch the colourful comings and goings from one of the ...

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