Your Trip to Zurich: The Complete Guide

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    Whether your trip has a taste for history, culture, or the great outdoors, Zurich is a must-see city on your tour of Switzerland. Here is the information you need to plan your trip.

    Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the entry or exit point for most travelers visiting the country. It is also one of the great cities in Europe with a history dating back to Roman times, as well as a preserved medieval old town and important monuments and churches. Zurich also offers breathtaking landscapes (both of the city and the surrounding mountains), Swiss and international cuisine, and museums displaying a rich culture and history. There is also palpable modernity in Zurich, as evidenced by its young and educated population and in new urban developments and complaints such as Europaallee and West Zurich.

    Planning Your Trip

    Best Time to Visit

    The months of July and August have pleasantly warm weather and are the most popular months to visit. At the end of November and throughout the month of December, Christmas markets are open throughout the city, and the streets and buildings are filled with lights and decorations. In January and February, skiers use Zurich as a city base for trips to the ski resorts in the surrounding mountains, so the city can be crowded and expensive. Spring and fall are seasons when crowds are less dense and hotel prices are generally lower, but the weather can be especially rainy and cloudy. Read more about the best time to visit Zurich and our guide to the weather and climate in Zurich.

    Language

    Zurich is located in the German-speaking part of Switzerland (the other part is French-speaking), so German is the official language of the city. But the language you will hear in Zurich is Zurich German, a local dialect of Swiss German. English is widely spoken, especially among people in industries that cater to tourists.

    Currency

    The common currency in Zurich and the rest of Switzerland is the Swiss franc (CHF) . Switzerland is not a member of the European Union and therefore does not use the euro as its currency. Although some shops and businesses accept euros, they give change in francs. US dollars are not accepted anywhere. Your best option is to go to an ATM when you arrive in Zurich and withdraw some francs. Most companies of any type allow you to pay with credit and debit cards, although American Express cards may be less accepted.

    Getting Around

    If you're arriving in Zurich by train or plane, your first introduction to the city will be Zurich's main train station, the main and busy train station. From here, you can reach almost any part of the center of Zurich on foot or by using one of the many frequent trams that run through the city. Zurich's comprehensive tram network is supported by a peripheral network of cogwheel and regional buses and trains, as well as by boats crossing the Limmat River and Lake Zurich. It is not necessary to rent a car in Zurich, unless you plan day trips to areas not accessible by public transport, and you will find parking in the city scarce and expensive. To learn more about getting around Zurich, read our guide to public transport in the city.

    Travel tip

    Zurich's city center is compact and almost completely flat. In Altstadt (historic center), many areas are exclusive for pedestrians, providing a pleasant stroll and people-watching in the outdoor cafes.

    Things to Do

    If you're spending a few days in Zurich, you'll want to spend time visiting some museums, exploring historic neighborhoods, and enjoying the scenery along Lake Zurich and the Limmat River. Shopping for fashion and luxury accessories draws tourists to Zurich, but there are also areas where you can find antiques and unique products from local designers and artisans.

    Here's a look at some of our favorite things to do in Zurich:

    • Explore the Altstadt: Zurich's oldest and most distinctive neighborhood, Altstadt (Old Town) sits on both sides of the Limmat River and is home to medieval churches, public buildings and historic guilds dating from the 12th to 19th centuries.
    • Take a boat trip on Lake Zurich: Passenger and tour boats sail the crystal clear waters of Lake Zurich all year round, and a walk on this postcard lake is a must in Zurich. Boats are a fast, easy, and totally fun way to access many easy day trips from Zurich.
    • Go to Uetliberg:  At 2,850 feet above sea level3, but only 30 minutes by tram from Zurich's main station, Uetliberg Mountain is a favorite outdoor destination for Zurichers and visitors. There are hiking trails for the whole family, casual restaurants and incredible views of Zurich, the lake and the more distant mountain peaks.

    What to Eat and Drink

    Zurich cuisine, as in the rest of Switzerland, is rich in meat, cheese, potatoes and bread. Must-see dishes include fondue, which is a mixture of melted cheese, wine, and spices served hot and sticky. It is eaten with pieces of bread, boiled potatoes and other vegetables and is served in a community pot. Raclette is another Swiss favorite; It is a thick slice of grilled melted cheese, served with cold cuts, potatoes and vegetables. Sausages of all varieties dominate restaurant menus in Zurich and are often served with rösti, a type of crispy potato pancake. Chocolate, of course, is a precious gift in Switzerland, and you shouldn't leave Zurich without trying some high-quality offerings from a fancy chocolate shop. Zurich also has an international food scene, with many excellent restaurants serving Indian, Thai, and Chinese food.

    Whether wine, beer or coffee is your favorite drink, Zurich offers a multitude of options. The city's historic cafes, such as Odeon and Conditorei Schober, are ideal places to enjoy a coffee or tea, while in summer, open-air beer gardens spring up along the lake and riverside. The Swiss are proud of their wine: in Zurich, the red Blauburgunder (Swiss German name for pinot noir) and aromatic whites like Müller-Thurgau, Räuschling and Completer are good options for those who want to taste a regional wine.

    Where to Stay

    As in most European cities, hotels in Zurich range from the basic and (medium) cheap to the luxurious and ultra-expensive. The most luxurious and expensive hotels in the city are in Altstadt (Old Town), but even this area has some affordable options. Expensive hotels are also scattered on both sides of the lake, especially on the east coast of Seefeld. For a modern city feel and generally lower prices, look west from Altstadt to the area anchored by Europaalee and Langstrasse. The latter, once Zurich's red-light district, now has many small hotels and inns, in addition to the trendy 25hours Hotel Zürich Langstrasse.

    Getting There

    You will probably arrive in Zurich by plane or train. Domestic, European and international flights arrive at the modern and efficient Zurich Airport (Flughafen Zürich), located about 11 kilometers from the city center. A taxi from the airport to the city will cost between 40 Swiss francs and 60 Swiss francs, depending on traffic. It's quicker and much cheaper to take one of the trains that run roughly every three to five minutes for the 12-minute trip into town. When leaving the Arrivals area, simply follow the train signs. Trains from the airport arrive at Zurich Hauptbahnhof station (abbreviated as Zurich HB), the city's main station. From there, you can take a taxi or tram or walk to your final destination.

    Most trains from other parts of Switzerland and Europe also go to Zurich HB; it is an important transportation hub. Signs will direct you to the station exits, where you will find dozens of tram stops. Inside the station, there is a shopping center, restaurants and transport stations and tourist information.

    Not only is it not necessary to rent a car in Zurich, it is not recommended. Public parking spaces are hard to find and private parking, whether at your hotel or in a private car park, is very expensive. With the ease of walking around the city and the efficient tram system, a car is not necessary. If you are driving to Zurich from outside the city, park your car and leave it parked during your stay in Zurich.

    Culture and Customs

    Visitors from the US may find the people of Zurich and the rest of Switzerland a bit more formal and reserved than the American standard. You'll probably be better received in restaurants and theaters if you dress well and with a bit more professionalism than you normally do on vacation - shorts, T-shirts, and baseball caps aren't the norm here, no matter how hot. make. Avoid talking loudly on your cell phone or using speakerphone mode when in public places, including on trams.

    Note that the service charge is almost always included in restaurants, so no tip is necessary. However, if you were satisfied with the service or if it was a particularly large group, it is good to leave a tip of 5 to 10 percent.

    Money-Saving Tips

    Take the trams. Instead of taking expensive taxis, take advantage of Zurich's extensive tram network to get where you want to go. A single tram ticket, valid for one hour, costs 4.30 Swiss francs (about US $ 4.50).
    Consider the Zurich card. The Zurich Card travel pass includes unlimited free travel on the city's network of trams, buses, boats and regional trains.
    Have a picnic. Avoid expensive restaurants by packing a picnic lunch or early dinner and enjoying it in one of the city's lakeside or riverside parks.
    Dine at lunch. Zurich restaurants are expensive. But if you are determined to have a particular dining experience, you will generally find that lunch menu prices are lower than dinner prices for the same food and atmosphere.

    We hope you enjoy watching this video about all you need to know to visit Zurich

    Source: DELHI BOYE'

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