Zurich – the city by the lake with views of the Alps. A metropolis that draws art-lovers from all over the world. A shoppers’ paradise, and a city for gourmets. Where the sightseeing is as attractive as the surrounding scenery.
From the Zurich International Airport you can easily get to the city in just 10 minutes thanks to excellent public transport connections.
It counts as one of the best airports worldwide (awarded the World Travel and Business Traveller award several times) and guarantees pleasant arrivals. More than 70 airlines fly from Zurich to over 180 destinations all over the world.
Thanks to around 350 daily train connections and more than 700 bus, as well as 400 tram departures, from the Zurich Airport you can get to all large towns and tourist regions in a very short time.
In winter, Zurich is transformed into a fairy-tale city offering a host of attractive activities – ranging from shopping to cuisine, and from wellness to winter sports in the nearby mountains.
Zurich converts into a pulsating water city in the summer. People meet at the river to relax, sunbathe or party.
The climate is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity.
Depending on the altitude the temperature range may vary. It is highly recommended to visitors to pack a sweater, good walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, a compact umbrella and/or a light rain coat.
Please note that Switzerland remains with the Swiss franc, usually indicated as CHF. While Switzerland is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, many prices are nonetheless indicated in euros so that visitors may compare prices.
Merchants may accept euros but are not obliged to do so. Change given back to the client will most likely be in Swiss francs.
5, 10, 20, 50 Cents and 1, 2, 5 Francs
10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 1000 Francs
The spoken language in Zurich is the Swiss German dialect; High German is the official written language. English is widely spoken.
Medical care in Switzerland is among the best in the world. You can consult any attending doctor in Switzerland. For emergencies, you may go to the nearest hospital or emergency practice, or in urgent cases, call the ambulance (144). Each hospital has an emergency department. Make sure that you are adequately insured. Depending on your situation, a travel additional insurance may be worth considering. You should have your insurance card with you each time you visit a doctor or purchase medicines. Depending on the insurance, you will be refunded part of the cost.
The emergency number for the ambulance is: 144
You never have to worry about tipping in Switzerland, as tips are included in the price. You can, however, add a smile to the face of someone who has provided good service by rounding up to the nearest franc or round figure.
All major sights are within walking distance from Central Station and can be discovered in just a few hours on foot. Whether with a city map on a round tour recommended by Zurich Tourism or under your own steam, it’s easy to get to know Zurich on foot. The Old Town of Zurich, the Grossmünster and Fraumünster churches, Lake Zurich, the Lindenhof and the famous Bahnhofstrasse are all within a 1 or 2 kilometer radius and easy to reach on foot in just 20 to 30 minutes.
In Zurich there are a number of taxi companies for which you can order a taxi by phone. This usually requires a waiting time of 5 – 10 minutes until the taxi arrives. In the city there are also several taxi stands – at which you can simply seat yourself in the taxi up front. At Zurich's Main Railway Station as well as at Bürkliplatz and Lake Zurich it's generally easy to spot and hail a taxi without much difficulty. In most taxis you pay a basic tax of approximately CHF 6 and additional CHF 3.80 for every kilometer driven.
By Public Transport
The simplest way to get around Zurich is on foot together with the public transport vehicles, trams, buses and trains. In Zurich City you find a bus or ZVV tram stop at intervals of around 300 meters. At the diverse stops you also view timetable information, the next connections, a zone map and ticket machine. You can purchase tickets for 1 hour or Day Cards for various zones. Zurich City is part of Zone 110, the Airport part of Zone 121. You should always carry tickets with you as tickets are regularly controlled. This is available at all ticket machines and after validation (stamping it) at one of the ticket machines is valid for unlimited travel during either 24 or 72 hours in the Zones 110,111, 112, 121,140,150,154. For night owls on Fridays and Saturdays late-night trains and S-Bahn train routes travel from 1am until 9am on the night network (Nachtnetze). Two tickets are required for use of the ZVV Nachnetze: A valid transport ticket together with night-surcharge ticket at the cost of CHF 5. These are available at ticket machines (touchscreen) under the word "Nachtzuschlag".
Every traveler must have a valid passport. Visa are required for a continuous stay of more than three months. If your stay is shorter than three months you only need to bring your valid passport with you. This applies to citizens of the following countries: countries of the American Continent (except Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Colombia and Peru), Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Zurich enjoys approximately 1,500 hours of sunshine per annum.
The mean maximum temperature in summer is 22° C (72 °F).
In winter, average temperatures range between –2 and 3.5° C (–28 and 38 °F).
The seasons are clearly distinguishable. In autumn (September to November), the fruit ripens and the leaves of deciduous trees change colour.
The winters were formerly generally cold and snowy, but now freezing temperatures and snow are no longer the rule, especially in the lowlands. Nowadays, many ski resorts could hardly survive without artificial snow.
In spring (March to May) the trees blossom and the meadows turn green. Sometimes in April the winter returns for a short period and sometimes there are summer conditions as early as May.
Summer temperatures rise to 25 to 30°C, with temperatures exceeding the 30°C mark during hot summers.