Things to Do
Zurich has a lot that is worth visiting. You can stroll through the old town, along the Limmat river or by the shores of Lake Zurich. Shopping at Bahnhofstrasse, Rennweg and Limmatquai is another option. Zurich also has world-class museums and a famous zoo. Zurich Tourism will be happy to help. They also have some suggestions what do do in a day here.
Here are some suggestions:
Trip to Uetliberg: You can hike from Triemli (final station of tram line 14) or Albisgütli (final station of tram line 13). The hiking distance is about 3 km and the height difference is 370 m from Albisgütli and 420 m from Triemli. Alternatively, there is a cogwheel train from Zurich main station with an easy walk to the summit area.
Trip to Einsiedeln Monastery (46-50 minutes by train from Zurich main station).
When having time for a full-day tour, consider:
Lake Lucerne and Mount Rigi: Take the train to Arth-Goldau. Change to the cogwheel train to Mount Rigi. For returning, take the cogwheel train down to Vitznau. There, board a boat to Lucerne. Visit Lucerne. Return to Zurich by train.
Berner Oberland: Take an early train to Interlaken Ost (you may have to change train in Bern or Spiez). Change to the train to Grindelwald; exit at Grindelwald Terminal. Take the cableway to Männlichen. Hike Männlichen (alt. 2229 m) – Kleine Scheidegg (4 km, alt. 2061 m) – Wengernalp (1 km, alt. 1874 m) – Wengen (4 km, alt. 1275 m). For a shorter hike, you may board the train already on Kleine Scheidegg or Wengernalp. Take the train from Wengen to Interlaken (change train in Lauterbrunnen). If you are early enough, take a boat from Interlaken West to Thun. Return to Zurich via Bern; having dinner in Thun or Bern.
Day trip to Bern or to Basel (about 1 h by train, one way)
For timetables and tickets (including tickets for discounted prices), check out the website of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) or install the SBB Mobile app on your smartphone: [Google Play] [Apple Store]
When you plan do a full day tour by train or spend some vacation days prior to or after the conference and travel with public transport, consider buying a Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Travel Pass Flex or a Swiss Half-Fare Card. You find information about public transport ticket offerings for visitors on this page of the website of Switzerland Tourism.
When planning a hike, visit the official Swiss Maps website, where you find the famous Swiss topographic maps in all scales.