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Zürich

Travel Guide Europe Switzerland Zürich

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Introduction

Zurich

Zurich

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Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland and is considered the cultural and commercial centre of the country. Set up as a tax collecting town during the 1st century AD of the Roman Empire. The city slowly grew into a major center and in 1351 it joined the Swiss Confederation, although it was expelled from the federation from 1440 to 1451. The city kept growing and was spared most of the savages of both World Wars because of Swiss neutrality.

Today the city is home to great churches, museums and stunning culture. There are several city wide festivals that are worth checking out. From 2006 to 2008 this global city was named one of the best cities to live because of a great quality of life.

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Districts

  • Altstadt is the 1st district and is around the old town, which crosses both side of the Limmat River.
  • District 2 is on the west side of Lake Zürich.
  • Wiedikon is District 3
  • Aussersihl is District 4
  • Industriequartier is District 5
  • District 6
  • District 7
  • Riesbach is District 8 and is on the eastern side of Lake Zürich
  • District 9
  • District 10
  • District 11
  • Schwamendingen

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Sights and Activities

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Grossmünster

The Grossmünster is an amazing Romanesque-style church and was extremely important place during the Protestant Reformation. The church was built in its present from in 1220 to add to the cities impressive architecture. In 1520 Huldrych Zwingli started the Swiss-German Reformation at this church and set the president for many changes for the church, such as the abandonment of lent, replacement of the Mass, disavowal of celibacy, eating meat on fast days and a band on church music.

Other Churches

  • The Fraumünster Abbey was originally built in 853 with several additions added later. The distinctive tall bell tower and the 5 Marc Chagall windows cannot be missed.
  • St. Peters is a wonderful church that is home to the world's largest church clock face in the world.

Museums

Other Sights and Activities

  • Lindenhof is the site of a Roman and medieval castle.
  • The Guild Houses are located along the river downstream of the Grossmunster.
  • The Old Town is a great place to explore on both sides of the river
  • Bahnofstrasse is the main shopping street in Zurich.
  • Parade-Platz is a stunning plaza and the centre for financial activity in the country.
  • Lake Zurich is a wonderful lake and great green space.
  • Fluntern Cemetery
  • Zurich Opera House is a wonderful opera house and one of the most famous in the world.

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Events and Festivals

  • The Zürich Street Parade is one of the largest street parades in the world and a popular attraction for techno music fans.
  • Sechseläuten is a large festival sponsored by the guild houses. The festival is held every year in April and features the burning of the Böögg.
  • Zürcher Theater Spektakel is an international theater festival.
  • Kunst Zürich is an international contemporary art fair.

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Weather

The warmest months are June to August with most of the rain happening during these months. Temperatures are between 23 °C and 25 °C. The coldest months are from November to March, between 2 °C and 5 °C during the day, -3 °C at night. Zurich is wetter than many other parts of the country, with especially much rain in summer. Some snow is possible in winter.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max2 °C4.2 °C8.3 °C12.6 °C17.3 °C20.5 °C23 °C22 °C18.8 °C13.3 °C6.9 °C2.9 °C
Avg Min-2.8 °C-1.9 °C0.6 °C3.7 °C7.7 °C10.8 °C12.8 °C12.4 °C10 °C6.2 °C1.4 °C-1.7 °C
Rainfall67 mm70 mm69 mm87 mm103 mm124 mm117 mm133 mm92 mm69 mm82 mm73 mm
Rain Days1110111212121112881010

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Getting There

By Plane

Zürich Airport (IATA: ZHR, ICAO: LASZH) is also known as Kloten Airport and is located 10 kilometres from the city. It is Switzerland's largest airport and hub for Swiss International Air Lines. It is possible to fly to every major and minor airport in Europe and most international destinations from here. There is a train station located under the airport making for quick and easy connections to the city.

To/from the airport
Zürich Airport railway station is located underneath the terminal. There are trains to many parts of Switzerland. There are frequent S-Bahn Zürich services on the lines S2, S3 and S16 and of the Glatttalbahn (Zürich tram line 10). Also, there are direct InterRegio and InterCity services to Winterthur, Bern, Basel, Brig, Sankt Gallen, Lucerne and Konstanz in Germany. It also has EuroCity services to Munich in Germany. By changing trains at Zürich Hauptbahnhof most other places in Switzerland can be reached in a few hours.

By Train

The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS) website has more details about schedules and prices.
Zürich Hauptbahnhof is the main train station in Zürich and handles more then 2,700 trains daily with more then 340,000 passengers a day. The station was originally opened in 1847 and has only grown. Tram lines 4, 11, 13 and 14 have stops at this train station. The large mall underneath the train station is a good place to go on sundays because it stays open and busy while the rest of the city tends to shut down.

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Drink

For the best nightlife hit up the area of Niederdorf in the oldtown and Lanstrasse in the 4th and 5th district. Areas that are becoming more popular are Zürich West in the 5th district near the Escher-Wyss swuare and S-Bahn Station of Hardbrucke.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
City Backpacker - Hostel BiberNiederdorfstrasse 5Hostel78
Hotel AllegraHamelirainstrasse 3 8302 KlotenHotel87
Hotel Arlette Beim HauptbahnhofStampfenbachstrasse 26Hotel-
Hotel Bristol ZurichStampfenbachstr.34 8035 ZurichHotel85
Hotel CoronadoSchaffhauserstrasse 137Hotel83
Hotel du ThéâtreSeilergraben 69Hotel-
Hotel LimmathofLimmatquai 142Hotel81
Hotel OtterOberdorfstrasse 7Hotel89
Hotel Welcome InnHolbergstrasse 1 8302 KlotenHotel87
Sorell Hotel SeefeldSeefeldstrasse 63Hotel-
X-TRA The HotelLimmatstrasse 118Hotel84
Youthhostel ZurichMutschellenstr. 114Hostel83
ZicZac Rock-HotelMarktgasse 17Hotel-
Zurich City Apartment 2KanonengasseApartment-
Pension fuerDichStauffacherstrasse 141Guesthouse83
Accademia ApartmentsLangensteinenstrasse 2Apartment-
Hotel ScheubleMühlegasse 17Hotel-
Hostellerie GeroldswilHuebwiesenstrasse 36 am Dorfplatz GeroldswilHostel-
Apartments Swiss Star KlotenObstgartenstrasse 24Apartment-
Swiss Star WiedikonDubsstrasse 30Apartment-
Swiss Star OerlikonFriesstrasse 8Apartment-
Swiss StarGubelstrasse 64Apartment-
Swiss Star Aussersihl - MorgartenstrasseMorgartenstrasse 15Apartment-
Swiss Star Aussersihl - BadenstrasseBadenstrasse 362Apartment-
Swiss Star Wiedikon2Zelgstrasse 19Apartment-
BeinanyKuttelgasseApartment-
LangstarsLangstrasse 120Hostel82
Motel FehraltorfLuppmenstrasse 13Hotel-
Hotel LowenBaumackerstrasse 47Hotel-
Park Inn by Radisson Zurich AirportFlughofstrasse 75 CH-8153 RümlangHotel-
Im SonnenbuehlIm Sonnenbühl 1 CH - 8143 ÜtlibergGuesthouse-
Fortuna Studio Downtown ZurichFortunagasse 36APARTMENT-
Hotel AltstadtKirchgasse 4HOTEL-
Hotel FranziskanerNiederdorfstrasse 1GUESTHOUSE-
Hotel PlatzhirschSpitalgasse 3GUESTHOUSE-

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Learn

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Keep Connected

Internet

Switzerland has a high rate of people with their own internet connection and computers, so internet cafes are not as common compared to other countries and compared to the past. But still you will be able to find a computer in the main cities and tourist areas, also at libraries, video rental shops, train stations or tourist information places. Wifi is widely available, though sometimes at a cost. A growing number of hotels, restaurants, coffee bars and fastfood joints now offer free wifi.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Switzerland's country code is 41 and the emergency phone numbers are 117 (police), 118 (fire department) and 144 (emergency rescue service/ambulance). Swiss phone numbers consist of the area code and a local phone number. The area code has three digits and starts with a zero, such as 022 for Geneva. The local phone number has usually 7 digits, but there are numbers with only 5 or 6 digits.

If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands - they usually cost around 10-40 CHF and are obtainable in the shops of the mobile service providers Swisscom, Orange or Sunrise in most cities. Mobile network coverage is close to 100% by area, even in the mountainous, non-populated areas. There are also a lot of cheap prepaid cards for local calls from other providers. The prepaid cards of the big supermarket chains Migros and Coop for example cost around 20 CHF and include already 15 CHF airtime. The cheapest prepaid card for calls within Switzerland is Aldi Mobile. The cheapest prepaid card for international communication is Yallo. The prepaid cards can be bought online (30 CHF with 30 CHF airtime inclusive), in most post offices (29 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive) or Sunrise shops (20 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive).

Post

Swiss Post is the national postal service of Switzerland and has fast and reliable services. For more information about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally, they have a very useful Price Calculator. Domestically, there is priority mail (arriving the following day) and economy mail which takes 2-3 days to be send within Switzerland. Stamps can be bought at the post offices or from shops and kiosks that also sell postcards. In general, post offices are open from 8:00am to noon and 2:00pm to 5:00 or 6:00pm, with a lunchbreak in between. Opening times on Saturdays are usually only during mornings. Larger cities and central post offices might keep longer hours and skp the lunchbreak. If you want to send packages internationally, you might also consider international courier companies like TNT, DHL or UPS.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 47.3690239
  • Longitude: 8.5380326

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This is version 20. Last edited at 8:52 on Oct 2, 13 by Utrecht. 131 articles link to this page.

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