Day Trips - Rapperswil

A fun day trip for kids is to take a boat cruise down Lake Zurich to the medieval town of Rapperswil, and then take the train back to Zurich. On the (approximately) two hour lake cruise, the boat stops at villages along the lake, and there are scenic views of green hillsides and snow covered mountains. The boat has a restaurant on board but you can also bring a picnic lunch.

From Zurich, get the 9 hour Tageskarte, good for all zones, including the boat and train.

Fischmarktplatz - At the central plaza (where the boats dock) are cafes, benches, shade trees, and kids can watch the swans and ducks gliding in the water. Rent pedal boats and get some exercise out on the lake. Stop into the tourist office to get a detailed map of Rapperswil.
Explore the old town - From Fischmarktplatz, walk north, past the city hall (Rathaus) through the square, past old houses with wooden upper stories and round glass windows, to the mossy green fountain and stairs leading up to the castle (Schloss).
Look up to see the shiny clock face on the castle tower, then turn left. At the castle entrance, nip inside the triangle-shaped stone keep, with wooden upper galleries, coats of arms, and turreted towers. The castle dates back to the 12th century and is well positioned high on the promontory, called Lindenhof.
On the Lindenhof are views in all directions, a small playground, benches and picnic table. Down on the hillside is a deer park, with cute brown and white spotted deer running around (they have their own wooden chalet to sleep in).
To get the full effect of the castle fortifications, walk down through the gate on the north side of the Lindenhof, and down the hill until you come to the path that goes along the lake. Look back up at the thick crenellated stone walls.
On the lake promenade, go right (east) and you'll come to a nice playground with a ship-shaped climbing structure, swings, and slides. If you go left (west), the path around the lake will take you back around to the Fischmarktplatz.
Holz Bridge (Holzbrucke) - Kids need to stretch their legs? Cross under the train station on the underground passageway, and go for a walk on this long wooden bridge (it's more like a boardwalk). The bridge crosses over the lake, clear shallow water underneath (you can see the bottom), ducks in the water, and great views of Rapperswil looking back.
Tip: Waiting for the train, there's a playground and snack bar right next to the bridge.
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