If you have a half day free at least and find yourself tired of walking the same alleyways of the Old Town, it only takes 20 minutes via S-Bahn Zürich S10 train service from Zurich Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station) to break free and be one with nature.
Dubbed as Zurich’s very own mountain, rising at 870m above sea level, Uetliberg is indeed the city rooftop.
A popular local recreational area all year round, particularly for hiking and mountain biking, while offering the beautiful scenery of the distant Swiss plateau and the Lake Zurich below, Uetliberg is a great destination for anyone and everyone.
Reaching the peak is a short distance walk from the Uetliberg train station, it doesn’t require any specialty hiking gear unless you are considering doing some difficult hiking trail during winter season, but to simply walk from the train station to the top , a good comfortable walking shoes will be a good choice.
I will assume that Uetliberg regardless of any season is beautiful, but Autumn will always be my favorite time of the year, to see the leaves on its yellow color is a delight. While walking along the trail to the top, the aromatic scent of freshly roasted chestnuts mixing with the fresh mountain air is something that I will always remember about my visit to Uetliberg.
At the summit are two towers, restaurants and the luxurious mountain cabins of Hotel UTO KLM, together with the viewing deck allocated for visitors. Uetliberg restaurants are always a busy place, and it is common to see large festive gathering on its outdoor decks, with attendees surely enjoying the great weather and the view with a glass of wine. Though many often go for a less formal gathering, an outdoor picnic at some of the designated spots.
The two towers at the mountain top are the Lookout tower that visitors can access for a 2 CHF entrance fee for an additional 30m elevated panorama view, while the other tower that is often included in the classic Uetliberg photo is the 186m high Uetliberg TV-tower, with restricted access.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the silhouette of the distant alpine view, together with the lush pine trees and small villages below is really magnificent, and I would say exactly as what I imagine Switzerland will be, an aura of freshness and calmness, reminiscent of the Sound of Music setting.
I do have one regret though, how I wish that I allocated more time to really explore Uetliberg various mountain trails properly, like the popular Uetliberg to Felsenegg or the so called Planetenweg (Path of Planets) walk.