A city, a map and a kid excited to explore Zug

A different way to explore Zug with kids

Motivating kids to explore a city on foot isn’t easy. Detective-Trail Zug to the rescue!

Exploring a city on foot isn’t my kids’ ideal way to spend a Saturday. According to them, there are plenty of other cooler things they would prefer to be doing, many which involve an electronic screen. However, when we combined that city stroll with a map and questions to answer – all while trying to figure out a secret code to find a treasure, the complaining seemed to magically disappear!

The 4.5km-long Detective-Trail in Zug is a treasure hunt designed to get kids excited about exploring a city. It allows for the adults to take in all the interesting sights while fully occupying the attention of the kids. The adventure can be made even more attractive to the little people with digital tendencies by allowing them to follow the trail through an app. Or if you prefer to keep it old school pre-purchase the map through the Detective-Trail website, or pop by the Zug Tourism office at the train station. We opted to keep things non-digital and headed out on our adventure, maps in hand.

Even after calling the canton of Zug home for the past 16 years I was surprised that by exploring Zug on foot, I was able to discover new little corners and tidbits of history that I had unknowingly passed by during the normal whiz of every-day life. On the trail, we discovered the playground behind the Burg that I had no idea existed, and I never noticed that the trees by the ship station were purposely planted in a circle, 5 trees to represent the 5 guilds of Zug. Who knew the art museum was painted such a beautiful color? Not me!

In front of the town hall at Kolingplatz
Exploring Zug by solving quizzes and a treasure map

Take your time for this fun-filled adventure

Without spoiling the fun, I will tell you this - the trail will bring you to all the highlights of Zug. You will pass under the Zuger Zytturm, walk past the Pulver Turm and the Burg, and enjoy a stroll along the lake.  You’ll even climb up for a view over the city. There are three playgrounds along the route that you will have a hard time dragging the kids away from, so make sure you allow more than the min. 3 hours recommended time allowance to stop along the way. Depending on the stamina of your kids, you could be out all day. Our Tween especially loved answering all the questions. Together we counted church bells and trees, looked for fake windows, searched for birds, and solved puzzles.

To really get the most out of the trail, take your time. Set aside at least 4 to 5 hours and make a day of it. Take a coffee break or pack a picnic and some water bottles and stop off at one of the playgrounds for lunch. For those «But Mama I have to go now» moments there are plenty of bathrooms spotted along the trail (at the lake, near the Casino, at the playground, and in Metalli).

If you hit the trail on a Saturday morning (which I highly recommend) the route will bring you past the local farmers market on the Landsgemeindeplatz where you can pick up some picnic supplies. Fresh fruit, veg, apple juice and bread from one stall, great coffee from another. Check out the Greek stall for their delicious Dolmadas and good variety of olives. There are also stalls selling exotic fruits, meats and cheeses, and even a new stall selling pies.



Good to know and a little spoiler

The trail begins and ends near the Zug Train Station, which is great if you are coming in and out by public transport (which I also recommend, as parking in Zug can get expensive). If you do come by car, the closest car park would be the shopping mall garage at Metalli or the Zug Train station (which has long-term car parking as well).

Now here comes the disclaimer, I was glad that it just so happened that our youngest (nearly 5 years old) was unable to come with us, because it would have taken us a lot longer to complete. There are some stairs (and therefore not pram friendly), some hills, a bit where you walk very close to the lake, and a part where you are walking along a main road for a short time. So, consider these points before bringing the under 6’s along.

If you time it right, the location of the treasure box is inside … well I can’t tell you that now can I, but let’s just say if you do start early and don’t stop much along the way it’s situated in a great place for lunch. I highly recommend the salad plate! If you arrive a little later in the day then the adults might want to indulge in their famous cherry cake - have I now revealed too much?


Detective-Trail in Zug

Detective-Trail in Zurich

Detective-Trail in Baden

More Highlights in Zug



An article by:
A travel photographer and writer Kristin calls Zug home together with her husband and three children. Creator of Swiss Family Travel, she shares family-friendly recommendations for destinations in and around Switzerland.
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