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Switzerland
General knowledge

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Getting around Zurich

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Nightlife

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Calendar of events

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Weather & best time to visit

57°
Tuesday, 21.10.2014
16:00

Phone calls & Internet

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Shopping in Zurich

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Travel etiquette
How to fit in

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Health

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Good to know
City map Zurich
Points of interest: Your selected categories
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    Good to know
    Zurich - a brief overview

    It’s one of the most important financial centres in the world, but there’s a lot more to Zurich than stocks and shares. Sitting astride the River Limmat and edging onto the beautiful Lake Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city is extremely attractive, with a medieval Old Town, cobbled alleyways and lakeside promenades. While the main shopping areas in Bahnhofstrasse and

    Niederdorf house the world’s most prominent designer brands, Zurich’s alternative side throws up quirky boutiques, unconventional fashions and a buzzing café culture. The recent regeneration of the city’s former industrial districts to the west have added to the arty feel, helping to throw off Zurich’s once stuffy image and make it one of Switzerland’s most exciting urban hubs.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Top 10 sights in Zurich
    ListMap
    Kunsthaus Zürich, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Grossmünster

    Grossmünsterplatz
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Tel: +41 44 252 5949
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1700 (Nov-Feb)
    1000-1800 (Mar-Oct)

    This vast twin-towered medieval church on the east bank of the River Limmat dominates Zurich’s skyline.

    Fraumünster

    Munsterhof 2
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Tel: +41 44 211 4100
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1600 (Nov-Mar)
    1000-1800 (Apr-Oct)

    Standing directly opposite its larger cousin on the west bank of the river lies this beautiful church featuring stunning stained-glass windows by Augusto Giacometti and Marc Chagall.

    Kunsthaus Zürich

    Heimplatz 1
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Tel: +41 44 253 8484
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue and Fri-Sun 1000-1800
    Wed-Thurs 1000-2000

    You pass Rodin’s sculpture Gates of Hell to enter, but inside this unmissable museum you’re in fine art heaven. Its vast array of Swiss and European paintings and sculptures includes the world’s biggest collection of Alberto Giacometti works.

    Swiss National Museum

    Museumstrasse 2
    8021 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Tel: +41 44 218 6511
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun 1000-1700
    Thurs 1000-1900

    Near the train station, this absorbing museum tells you just about everything you need to know about Swiss history from prehistoric times to the present day.

    Museum Rietberg

    Gablerstrasse 15
    8002 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Tel: +41 44 415 3131
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Fri-Tue 1000-1700
    Wed-Thurs 1000-2000

    Two 19th-century buildings set within a park house an impressive collection of non-European art.

    Zurich Zoo

    Zürichbergstrasse 221
    8044 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Tel: +41 44 254 2505
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1800 (Mar-Oct)
    0900-1700 (Nov-Feb)

    A piece of Madagascan rainforest has been recreated in Switzerland at this park-like zoo, where other attractions include snow leopards, Andean bears and 20 species of monkeys.

    Botanical Gardens

    Zollikerstrasse 107
    8008 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Tel: +41 44 634 8461
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0700-1900 (Mar-Sep)
    Sat-Sun 0800-1800 (Mar-Sep)
    Mon-Fri 0800-1800 (Oct-Feb)
    Sat-Sun 0800-1700 (Oct-Feb)

    Characterised by dome-like greenhouses, Zurich University’s botanical gardens take visitors on a journey from alpine meadows to tropical rainforests.

    Rathaus

    Limmatquai 55
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Tel: +41 43 259 6811
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily (tours on request)

    Sitting on the banks of the Limmat, Zurich’s city hall is housed in an impressive baroque building. Guided tours are available.

    Uetliberg

    8143 Uetliberg
    Switzerland
    Tel: +41 44 457 6666
    Show on map

    Take a breather from city life at this local mountain, easily accessible by train from Zurich main station. At 2,850m (9,350ft), it affords great views over Zurich, with hiking and biking trails for energetic visitors.

    Bruno Weber Sculpture Park

    Zur Weinrebe
    8953 Dietikon
    Switzerland
    Tel: +4144 740 0271
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Wed 1300-1800
    Sat-Sun 1100-1800 (Apr-Oct)
    Sun 1100-1700 (Nov-Mar)

    Some 40 minutes outside Zurich, Swiss artist Bruno Weber has channelled Gaudi with this park of giant mosaic sculptures including snakes, birds and fantastical creatures.

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    Good to know
    Country information

    Country overview

    Mixing expansive greenery, slick cities and buckets of fresh air, Switzerland is a stylish tourist destination offering countless outdoor adventures and contemporary urban breaks. The ancient capital Berne provides superb opportunities for sightseeing, shopping and traditional folk entertainment, while Zurich leads the way in arts, design and nightlife.

    Top ski resorts include Zermatt, Verbier and celebrity-studded St Moritz, while white-capped mountain peaks set against blue skies make a wonderful backdrop for summertime hiking. Small, mountainous and wealthy, Switzerland is renowned for its enviable quality of life in a country that ticks along like clockwork.

    Geography

    Landlocked Switzerland shares borders with France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east and Italy to the south. It has the highest mountains in Europe, together with waterfalls, rivers and lakes set amid green pastures.

    The highest peaks are Dufourspitze, 4,634m (15,203ft), on the Italian border; the Dom, 4,545m (14,911ft); the Matterhorn, 4,478m (14,691ft); and the Weisshorn, 4,506m (14,793ft).

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 7.996.026

    Population Density (per sq km): 194

    Capital: Bern.

    Language

    German (64% of the population) in central and eastern areas, French (20%) in the west and Italian (7%) in the south. Romansch (1%), the fourth national language, is spoken in parts of the southeast. English (as a second or third language) is widely spoken.

    Currency

    Swiss Franc (CHF; symbol SFr) = 100 cents (called centimes in French, rappen in German and centesimi in Italian). Notes are in denominations of SFr1,000, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of SFr5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centimes.

    Electricity

    230 volts AC, 50Hz. Standard European round two-pin plugs and Swiss three-pin plugs are used.

    General business opening hours

    Business hours are typically Monday to Friday 0800-1200 and 1400-1700, while in Geneva the business day can start 30 minutes earlier.

    Public holidays

    Below are Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.
    Note: There are additional regional holidays which are observed in certain cantons only.

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2014
    Berchtold’s Day: 02. January 2014
    Good Friday: 18. April 2014
    Easter Monday: 21. April 2014
    Ascension Day: 29. May 2014
    Whit Monday: 09. June 2014
    National Day: 01. August 2014
    Christmas Eve: 24. December 2014
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2014
    Boxing Day: 26. December 2014

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Berchtold’s Day: 02. January 2015
    Good Friday: 03. April 2015
    Easter Monday: 06. April 2015
    Ascension Day: 14. May 2015
    Whit Monday: 25. May 2015
    National Day: 01. August 2015
    Christmas Eve: 24. December 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015
    Boxing Day: 26. December 2015

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Getting around

    Public Transport

    Zurich’s slick system of buses, trams and trains is operated by Zurich Transport Network (tel: 0848 988 988; www.zvv.ch), with individual tickets (by zone) available to buy from machines at each stop. Day and multi-day passes offer better value for money, while the tourist-centred ZürichCARD includes transport and entry to many museums and attractions across the city, for 24 or 72 hours.

    Taxis

    Cabs can be hailed in the street or at taxi ranks, or booked by phone. Two respectable firms are Taxi 444 (tel: 044 444 4444; www.taxi444.ch) and Best Link (tel: 044 215 4473; www.best-link.ch). A compulsory tip is included in the metered fare.

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    Nightlife in Zurich
    ListMap

    From riverside bars to jazz clubs to alternative clubbing, Zurich has a vibrant after-dark scene. Visitors should divide their time

    between the bars and cafés of Niederdorf in the Old Town and the eclectic offerings around Langstrasse in Zurich West.

    Oepfelchammer

    Rindermarkt 12
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    This atmospheric 200-year-old pub and restaurant in the Niederdorf is where Swiss literary legend Gottfried Keller liked to drink.

    Kaufleuten

    Pelikanplatz
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    One of the best known nightspots in the city, this place comprises four bars packed with Zurich’s rich and fashionable.

    Schiffbau

    Schiffbaustrasse 6
    8005 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    This former shipbuilding plant in Zurich West now houses an avant-garde offshoot of the famous Schauspielhaus theatre, fine restaurant LaSalle and Moods, the best jazz club in the city.

    Zurich Opera House

    Falkenstrasse 1
    8008 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    For a special night out, take in a ballet or opera performance at this world-renowned venue built in 1891 on the shore of Lake Zurich.

    Cabaret Voltaire

    Spiegelgasse 1
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    The birthplace of the Dada art movement remains a lively place to spend an evening, with a bar, art exhibitions and regular events.

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    Restaurants in Zurich
    ListMap

    As you’d expect for a European city of its size, there’s plenty of variety in Zurich’s restaurant scene.

    Whatever your preference, make sure a traditional rösti makes it onto your plate at least once.

    Kronenhalle

    Rämistrasse 4
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    A Zurich institution, this elegant but unpretentious restaurant has served up its excellent classic cuisine to a cross section of Europe’s artistic society for decades.

    Le Dézaley

    Romergasse 7
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Zurich may be in the Swiss-German part of the country, but this restaurant by the Grossmünster specialises in the flavours of Romandie canton Vaud.

    Reithalle

    Gessnerallee 8
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    This renovated former riding school in Zurich West serves modern seasonal cuisine to a hip young crowd.

    Restaurant Hiltl

    Sihlstrasse 28
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    This long-standing vegetarian restaurant is hugely popular for its buzzy atmosphere, fantastic buffet and reasonable prices.

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    Calendar of events

    OrangeCinema Zürich

    17 July – 17 August 2014
    Website

    Venue: Orange Cinema Zurich.

    Summer evenings in Zurich are enlivened with a season of films shown at an outdoor cinema in a lovely lakeside setting. Top movies feature each year, as well as classics, cult movies and premieres. The Orange Cinema season is a firm favourite, attracting film buffs and families alike for an evening under the stars. Cinema goers can also grab a bite to eat at one of the lakeshore restaurants. Showings may be cancelled in the event of very bad weather, but light rain is no deterrent so an umbrella is often a wise accessory. The programme is published in advance of the season, during May.

    Expovina

    30 October – 13 November 2014
    Website

    Venue: Bürkliplatz.

    A floating wine exhibition aboard twelve lake cruisers.

    Zurich Silvesterlauf (New Year's Eve Race)

    14 December 2014
    Website

    Venue: Through the Old Town of Zurich, along Bahnhofstrasse.

    Each December, some 10,000 runners don their winter warmers to take on a course through the streets of Zurich’s Old Town. The roads are closed to traffic and the festive decorations provide a welcome distraction for participants tackling the course. The event is supported by enthusiastic crowds who line the route cheering the runners on.

    Silvesterzauber

    31 December 2014 – 1 January 2015
    Website

    The new year is heralded by parties and fireworks by the lake in Switzerland’s largest New Year’s Eve party.

    ZüriCarneval

    20 – 22 February 2015
    Website

    Venue: Throughout the city

    Fancy dress, fireworks and festivities throughout the city.

    Sechseläuten

    13 April 2015
    Website

    The ‘Six o’clock Bells’ Zurich Spring Festival climaxes with the Procession of the Guilds and the burning of the Böögg snowman at 1800 on the Sechseläuten field near the Opera.

    International Zurich Marathon

    19 April 2015
    Website

    Venue: Throughout the city.

    The annual city marathon winds a serpentine route around some of the most picturesque parts of Zurich.

    Zürcher Festspiele (Zurich Festival)

    13 June – 13 July 2015
    Website

    Venue: Various cultural venues in Zurich.

    The enchanting city of Zurich celebrates its cultural diversity with its annual Zurich Festival in the summer. Taking place in a variety of venues throughout the city centre, visitors can expect to be entertained by a great programme that encompasses art, theatre, contemporary dance, ballet, music, opera and literature. The Festival usually opens with a grand celebration with events taking place inside and in front of the Kunsthaus in the heart of Zurich. Recent festivals have featured Bruckner symphonies in the Tonhalle, operas by Verdi and Puccini at the Opera House, Anne de Keersmaeker’s dance project at the Theaterhaus Gessnerallee, and Robert Lepage’s multimedia performance of ‘Far Side of the Moon’ at the Schiffbau Theatre.

    Zurich Pride Festival

    16 – 19 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Area around Helvetiaplatz.

    Each year thousands of revellers throng the streets of Zurich for this colourful celebration, which is one of the largest gay and lesbian events in Switzerland. During the four-day Zurich Pride Festival, visitors can expect a loud and gregarious crowd who are intent on having a good time. Events include a parade through Zurich’s streets, political debates and seminars and plenty of live music and DJ sets. After the main event of the public parade, many bars and clubs keep the partying going on into the small hours.

    Caliente Latin Festival

    3 – 5 July 2015
    Website

    Venue: Various venues including Helvetiaplatz, the Volkshaus and the Kaserne.

    This popular Latin festival sees Zurich burst into life and song at the annual Caliente Latin Festival. Featuring a great programme of live salsa and samba bands, the streets throb with the sounds of Latin music during the days and DJs keep the parties going after hours in the city’s many clubs and bars.

    Ironman Triathlon

    26 July 2015
    Website

    Venue: Various locations around Lake Zurich.

    In the biggest event of its kind in the country, Ironmen contestants test their metal against one another in this tough, multi-discipline event. The triathlon begins with a swim across Lake Zurich. Then participants take to bikes for the cycling section. The final discipline sees participants run along the lakeside course in a bid to be crowned champion. Competition is fierce as the top 75 athletes qualify for the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Hawaii.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Hotels in Zurich
    ListMap

    It’s not hard to find a place to rest your head in opulent luxury here.

    Surprisingly, Zurich has a number of mid-range and inexpensive hotels, too.

    Widder

    Rennweg 7
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    A string of eight medieval houses make up this sumptuous boutique hotel. Its bar stages live jazz events.

    Adler

    Rosengasse 10
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This cosy Niederdorf hotel sits above the Swiss Chuchi restaurant, ideal for trying your first raclette or fondue.

    Aldstadt

    Kirchgasse 4
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    As the name suggests, this stylish three-star is right in the heart of the Old Town.

    Townhouse Boutique

    Schützengasse 7
    8001 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This character-packed design hotel is styled like an English townhouse.

    Rothaus

    Sihlhallenstrasse 1
    8004 Zurich
    Switzerland
    Show on map

    Category: Budget

    A clean, simple, well-priced two-star off the eclectic Langstrasse in trendy Zurich West.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Best time to visit

    Today: Tuesday, 21.10.2014 16:00

    modest rain

    temperature


    14°C


    57°F

    wind direction

    west

    wind speed

    20.625 mph

    humidity

    71%

    7 days forecast

    Wednesday

    22.10.2014

    9°C / 6°C

    48°F / 43°F

    Thursday

    23.10.2014

    11°C / 5°C

    52°F / 41°F

    Friday

    24.10.2014

    12°C / 5°C

    54°F / 41°F

    Saturday

    25.10.2014

    13°C / 6°C

    55°F / 43°F

    Sunday

    26.10.2014

    12°C / 7°C

    54°F / 45°F

    Monday

    27.10.2014

    18°C / 5°C

    64°F / 41°F

    Tuesday

    28.10.2014

    14°C / 8°C

    57°F / 46°F

    Climate and best time to visit Zurich

    There’s plenty going on in Zurich year-round. If you’re after some festive magic, visit in December to browse Europe’s biggest indoor Christmas market at the main train station, plus outdoor markets in the Old Town and surrounding villages. Festivities continue in February with Fasnacht, the annual winter carnival featuring costumed parades, live music and all-night revelry. In summer, Zurich’s lakeside cafés and promenades are abuzz with people, particularly during July’s Festspiele, a month-long cultural festival with hundreds of live performances. In early August the city gives itself over to the mammoth Street Parade, a techno music carnival which attracts thousands of hedonistic revellers for Switzerland’s biggest party.

    Climate & best time to visit Switzerland

    The Alps cause many climatic variations throughout Switzerland. In the higher Alpine regions temperatures tend to be low, while the lower land of the northern area has higher temperatures and warm summers. Overall the hottest months are July and August, though these are also the busiest. Those looking to ski should visit Switzerland between December and April, when snow is good in the Alps. The months of May and September are great times to visit for those looking for sunny and mild days, but without the throngs of tourists.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +41

    Telephone

    Phonecards are available for use in payphones. SIM cards are available for mobile phones and the Swiss network supports many data-roaming packages.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good.

    Internet

    Internet access is available in Internet cafés and phone booths operated across Switzerland, found in most major town and cities. In the case of phone booths, charges are payable by phonecard or credit card, whilst cafés are mostly independently run. Internet coverage is good across Switzerland.

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    Shopping in Zurich
    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Shoppers are spoilt for choice here – as long as your credit limit can take the heat. Major designer labels and big brands are represented on Bahnhofstrasse, the city’s glitziest street, while speciality boutiques and artisan shops line the alleyways of Niederdorf in the Old Town, and Schipfe, the old silk-making district. Meanwhile, the streets of Zurich West are filled with hip young Swiss designers and alternative fashions.

    Markets

    Zurich sports a vast array of markets. Don’t miss the flea markets at Bürkliplatz and Kanzleistrasse, ideal for people-watching as well as picking up bargain bric-a-brac. A unique experience is the permanent daily food market at Viaduktstrasse in Zurich West, where stalls are clustered under railway arches.

    Shopping Centres

    The city’s largest department store, Jelmoli (Seidengasse 1), stocks a vast range of men’s and women’s brands as well as an extensive food hall, restaurants, a terraced bar and tea room.

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    Good to know
    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    It is customary to give flowers to the hostess when invited for a meal, but never give chrysanthemums or white asters as they are considered funeral flowers. Informal wear is widely acceptable.

    First-class restaurants, hotel dining rooms and important social occasions may warrant jackets and ties. Black tie is usually specified when required.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    No immunisations are required to enter Switzerland, although it is advisable to make sure your tetanus, diphtheria and polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. A certificate of immunisation against contagious diseases (including Yellow Fever) is required before the traveller can enter the country if they have been in an infected area within 14 days prior to arrival in Switzerland. Rabies is present, but extremely rare. However, if you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

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