Introducing the city

£1.00 | CHF 1.24

GBP | CHF

Gasoline £1.22 | CHF 1.51

One-way ticket £3.39 | CHF 4.20

Beer £5.66 | CHF 7.00

Main Course £20.21 | CHF 25.00

About Zürich

Overlooking the Alps, Zürich is home to medieval buildings, artisan chocolate shops and plenty of swanky bars, clubs and restaurants.

We're happy when we find a pound coin and half a KitKat under our bed. Under Bahnhofstrasse - Zürich's luxury retail street - the bounty is a little heavier; it's said to house thousands of gold and silver coins. This pretty much sums Zürich up. As a city of two halves, you'll see plenty of designer boutiques, champagne bars and sports cars but you'll also see medieval architecture, old-fashioned restaurants and river-side taverns.

With a population of almost 400,000, Switzerland's largest city is big enough to offer plenty of things for visitors and it attracted 3.4 million tourists in 2014. Explore the Kunsthaus gallery for some of Europe's most prestigious art collections; share a riverside fondue with friends or dance until dawn in the Altstadt (Old Town). You'll also find that Zürich is perfect for chocolate-fans with some of the world's most prestigious chocolatiers whipping up incredible creations for visitors. Sure, it's pricey, but even if you don't have a stash of gold, this cosmopolitan and historic city is worth the visit (just raid the piggy-bank before you arrive).

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

The months between May and October are best offering warmer weather and many of the city's best festivals and events.

Zürich has an oceanic climate with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 0 degrees Celsius, while the hottest is July at 19 degrees Celsius; the wettest month is August. During winter months, temperatures can reach well below freezing so make sure you pack your winter wardrobe essentials.

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Travioor top tips

Cycle
Travel
City Card

Insider Info

  • Rent a bike for free. There are two pick up locations (Bike Station North and South) – all you need is a deposit, valid ID and off you go.

  • Ditch the taxi and explore the city by bus, train or tram; you’ll save money and see much more.

  • Buy a Zürich card and you’ll enjoy free public transport plus entrance to the city’s many museums.

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Food and drink

Main Course £20.21 | CHF 25.00

3-Course Meal £88.91 | CHF 110.00

Cappuccino £3.99 | CHF 4.94

Beer £5.66 | CHF 7.00

The Scene

Zürich’s food scene has plenty on offer – from the contemporary eateries in trendy Zürich West, to traditional tavern-style dining houses in the old town. One of the city’s staple dishes is Zürcher geschnetzeltes, veal with a creamy mushroom sauce and fried potato; another favourite is a melted cheese pot (fondue) served with warm bread. A great place to find bargains is at the guild houses along the River Limmat – groups of friends often congregate here for a pre-party feast. Cute-as-a-button chocolate shops are plentiful throughout the city; the biggest and most famous is Spüngli, which has delicious displays of artisan truffles and melt-in-your-mouth pralines.

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History

Zürich’s Story

Zürich (which may originate from the Celtic word for ‘water’) dates back to the Neolithic and Bronze ages with evidence of several ancient settlements from these eras found in and around the city lake. Since Roman times, (aside from the Romans) the city has been occupied by the Germanic Teutons in the 9th century.

The town was then soon to be ruled by the Fraumünster and Grossmünster abbeys in the medieval period (both factions have cathedrals that can still be visited today) until the town revolted in the 14th century and became part of the Swiss Confederacy. By the 18th century, Zürich had a flourishing silk trade and the 20th century saw the city grow in both size and economic wealth.

Language

Hallo | Hello
Danke | Thank you

German

Although there are four official languages in Switzerland - German, French, Italian and Romansh - most people speak German (you may also hear the Swiss German dialect). Additionally, many people in Zürich speak multiple languages (including English) and tourist guides and signs tend to be translated. Don’t let that stop you from giving German a try though:

  • Goodbye: Tschüss
  • Please: Bitte
  • Do you speak English?: Sprichst du Englisch?

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Need to know

+41 Dialling code
117 | 144 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Dial 118 for the fire brigade.
  • This isn’t a cheap city; beer, coffee, food and meals are all expensive in comparison to the rest of Europe.
  • Don’t rent a car. Swiss public transport is excellent and the city centre has restricted access and a fair bit of traffic.
  • Meat is expensive in Switzerland – go veggie at Hiltl restaurant, the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant.

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for Switzerland here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. Architecture

Sitting on opposite sides of the river, the Fraumünster and Grossmünster cathedrals are great examples of 13th and 9th century architecture.

2. Art Galleries

Get arty at the Kunsthaus gallery, which has an extensive collection of European art.

3. Chocolate

Promenade along elegant and swanky Bahnhofstrasse, home to several chocolate shops.

4. Nightlife

Party into the early hours at the clubs and bars around Niederdorf in the Altstadt (Old Town).

5. Lake Zürich

Hire a boat and explore huge Lake Zürich which lies to the southeast of the city.


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