Quietly nestled in the hills of the Zurich Highlands, just miles away from Switzerland’s financial capital sits Wetzikon – the host of the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2020.
Home to just over 20,000 people, there will be an air of peacefulness here in between matches – but what can visitors do during the rest of their day? We’ve came up with five of the best things to do in Wetzikon and Zurich, as well as us giving you some tips on food and exercise too.
1. Visit the local waterfall at Kemptnertobel
Switzerland has been long renowned as a country of incredible natural beauty and Wetzikon has a few stunning sights of its own.
Perhaps the most understated is the waterfall tucked away in the Kemptnertobel valley on the east of the town. From the town centre it’s a three-kilometre walk, but the trail itself is under a mile.
The trail itself seems somewhat usable for wheelchair users if they are accompanied by a friend, although it is the only attraction on our list that wheelchair users may find difficulty in visiting.
Distance from venue: 2.5 miles (55 minutes walking, 8 minutes drive with 15 minutes walking)
Distance from centre: 1.8 miles (39 minutes walking)
For: A peaceful afternoon.
2. Check out Switzerland’s ‘Jurassic Park’ at Aathal Dinosaur Museum
In nearby Aathal lies what is often regarded as the largest dinosaur museum in Europe. It was founded by businessman Hans-Jakob Sieber who enjoyed excavations in Wyoming, United States and brought back many of his findings to Aathal.
The biggest dinosaur skeleton is over 17m in size. With plenty to see, it’s not just for kids interested in the animals of yesteryear but a fascinating look at skeletons rarely found in Europe.
Price: Fr. 21.00 (adults), 17.00 (students), 11.00 (children)
Distance from venue: 2.7 miles (8 minute drive, 25 min walk and train)
Distance from centre: 2.2 miles (46 min walk, 15 min walk and train, 6 minute drive)
3. See a little bit of China in the middle of Zurich
Zurich is home to one of the most impressive Chinese Gardens in the world. A gift from the city’s partner town of Kunming, it has been open for over 25 years and maintains its reputation as one of the most authentic depictions of Chinese nature.
You might be used to seeing ‘Chinatown’ all over the world, but there’s a certain escapism once you enter the walls of the gardens with reviews praising its relaxing environment in particular.
Price: Fr. 4.00 (adults), 1.00 (children)
Distance from venue: 15 miles (25 min drive, 42 min public transport)
Distance from centre: 17 miles (27 min drive, 35 min public transport)
For: Those who want to experience two countries in one day.
4. Learn about the history of football at the FIFA World Football Museum
Some would see FIFA and think of the long-running video game or the overexposure of greats like Messi and Ronaldo, but the FIFA World Football Museum is a lot more than common knowledge on the world’s biggest sport.
There’s not only great content on the origins of the World Cup but a story of all the member nations of FIFA – a cultural lesson that all sports fans can appreciate – especially curlers where so many nations are new to the sport.
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Distance from venue: 17 miles (32 min drive, 48 min transport)
Distance from centre: 18 miles (34 min drive, 38 min transport)
For: Fans of sport and stories around the world.
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LAST CHANCE FOOTBALL FANS 😱⚽️ . Our special exhibition with @imarabe is coming to an end, so if you haven't already been (and even if you have…) you're going to want to make your way over to the FIFA Museum this weekend 🙌 . Take a walk through eight chapters dedicated to the incredible culture and stories of "Foot et Monde Arabe" 🤩🌎 . Linkin.bio . #FootetMondeArabe #FIFAMuseum #Imarabe #SpecialExhibition #MoSalah #VisitZurich #FootballHistory #Museum
5. Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site at Pfaffikersee
As well as great waterfalls, Wetzikon sits on Pfaffikersee, a lake created during the last ice age. But the beauty of the lake isn’t the most interesting thing here – it’s the stilt houses.
They aren’t just random settlements – they’re ‘pile dwellings’ from prehistoric times and are part of over 100 sites around the Alps that make up the overall heritage site.
And while you’re looking at these sites, the lake area is also very useful for exercise. Plenty of people run and cycle around the lake as well as take a stroll around too. Lake, UNESCO World Heritage Site, exercise? It’s a triple threat.
Distance from venue: 4 miles (13 min drive, 43 min transport)
Distance from centre: 3 miles (8 min drive, 34 min transport, 53 min walk)
For: The outdoors type.
Panorama Restaurant: Good food aside, this restaurant’s selling point is the unique views of Wetzikon where you can enjoy good old-fashioned Swiss scenery.
Landgasthof Adler: Traditional Swiss restaurant in nearby Gruningen, giving you a taste of the local cuisine.
Jucker Farm: Pricey buffet, but plenty of options from full meals to snacks in nearby Seegraeben. A great place to take the family as the restaurant and markets are only a small part of the farm.
Jucker Farm (Seegraeben) Buffet, little pricey. Lunch.
By feature writer, Michael Houston
To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media leading up to the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2020 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@WorldCurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WWhCC2020 #curling