About Zurich, Switzerland.

Zurich

Zurich (Switzerland) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Zurich with descriptions, travel guides and maps.

Zurich, Switzerland.

Zurich – the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the German-speaking canton of the same name. It is located in the northeastern part of the country in a picturesque setting on the shores of Lake Zurich. Zurich is the economic and cultural center of Switzerland, as well as one of the largest financial centers in Europe. But it is not a boring city of banks and headquarters. Zurich is a fascinating place with interesting sights, a well-preserved old town with medieval and Renaissance buildings, many museums and galleries.

Zurich is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but at the same time one of the best quality of life. The city is known for its cleanliness, neatness and liberal atmosphere, which, in its time, attracted such historical figures as Lenin, Büchner, Jung, Mann. Zurich is a perfect place for travelers of all types: history buffs can stroll through the old town and explore the old sites, art lovers can visit the many museums and art galleries, party lovers can stroll through the clubs, bars and restaurants.

Zurich

Zurich

Things to do (Zurich):

Walking in the center of Zurich

€180 for a guided tour

Walking in the center of Zurich

Explore the city and learn about its past and present on a sightseeing tour

To the fairytale city of Lucerne.

€300 for the tour

To the fairytale city of Lucerne

Travel from Zurich to the open air museum city and admire the beauty of the lake.

Geography and climate

Zurich is located in the northern part of Lake Zurich at the source of the Limmat River, which crosses the historic center. The city is situated in a valley between the Uttliberg and Zurichberg mountains, 30 km north of the Alps. That is why Zurich is sometimes called the “gateway to the Alps”.

Autumn in Zurich

Autumn in Zurich

The climate is temperate continental with warm but rainy summers. Winters are cool with light frost and unstable snow cover.

Information for tourists

  1. Population – more than 400 thousand people. The agglomeration is more than 1 million.
  2. Area – 87.93 km 2 .
  3. Language is German. The most widespread is the dialect Züridütsch. English and French are also widely spoken.
  4. The currency is the Swiss franc.
  5. Time is UTC +1, in summer +2.
  6. Visas are Schengen.
  7. The most popular shopping areas: Bahnhofstrasse – one of the most exclusive and expensive shopping streets in the world, which runs from the main station to the lake, Niederdorf – clothing and shoe stores, Löwenstrasse – supermarket chains and inexpensive stores.
  8. Do not buy Swiss watches in supermarkets or other similar stores. A real Swiss watch can’t cost 8-10 francs. It is better to make such purchases in name-brand stores. The best inexpensive brands: Swatch, Mondaine. Of the more expensive ones, it is worth paying attention to Tissot.
  9. Frey and Lindt are leaders in the Swiss chocolate market and offer high quality at a bargain price.
  10. Traditional Swiss products are recommended to buy in Schweizer Heimatwerk.
  11. Popular traditional foods: fondue (fondue), raclette (similar to fondue, only cheese is served with potatoes and pickles), chnöpfli (soft egg noodles with meat), würste (grilled sausages), rösti with meat (grated potatoes that taste like potato fritters), zürigeschnätzlets (veal in a wine sauce).
  12. Of the traditional products, the most popular are: cheese, chocolate and candy, ham and sausage.

History

In ancient times there was a Celtic settlement on the site of Zurich, which in the 1st century BC was conquered by the Roman Empire. The Romans built here a customs post between Rhaetia and Belgica, and named it Turicum. The first mention of the city dates back to 929.

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The Old Town

Old Town

In the 13th-17th centuries Zurich was an imperial city within the Holy Roman Empire. In 1351 it became a member of the Swiss Union. In the 16th century Zurich became one of the centers of the Reformation, which was led by Ulrich Zwingli.

Zurich in winter

Zurich in winter

From the 16th to the 18th century Zurich reached its highest point of prosperity. In 1648 it changed its status from an imperial city to a republic. In 1847, the first Swiss railroad linked Zurich with Basel. In March 1945 it was mistakenly bombed by the Americans.

How to get there

Zurich is the largest and most important transportation hub in Switzerland. The city has the largest and busiest airport in the country. From the airport to the center of Zurich there are regular trains. The main railway station (Hauptbahnhof) in general is the largest in the world. The station takes almost 3,000 trains a day and has a passenger flow of 350,000 to 500,000 people daily. No wonder that it is easy to get to Zurich from almost every major city in Europe by plane, train, bus or car.

Zurich

Zurich

Attractions

Zurich’s Old Town is the medieval charm of its old streets, ancient buildings and churches, and the splendor of its monumental 19th and 20th century architecture. The Zurich Altstadt is located on the east bank of the Limmat River and has a variety of architecture, from medieval Gothic to modern architectural trends.

The Old Town

Old Town

In the Middle Ages Zurich was surrounded by a city wall. To this day, the old city walls have not survived. The old town contains all the most famous historical landmarks of Zurich and therefore is the center of attraction for all guests of this wonderful city.

Bahnhofstrasse

Bahnhofstrasse

Bahnhofstrasse is the main street of Zurich. It is a lively pedestrian thoroughfare that runs from the main train station to the Bürkliplatz on the shores of Lake Zurich. Bahnhofstrasse is considered one of the most attractive shopping streets in Europe with many expensive stores and 19th-20th century architecture.

Fraumuenster

Fraumuenster

The Fraumünster is one of the oldest churches in Zurich, located on the Limmat Embankment in the old city. The church was founded in 853 by Emperor Ludwig. The modern building is a beautiful three-tiered columned basilica from the 13th to 15th century with a Gothic nave, a Romanesque altar and an Early Gothic transept. You can also see fragments of the crypt from the time of the ancient abbey of the 9th century. Interesting features of the Fraumuenster are the beautiful stained glass windows and the altar.

St Peter's Church

St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s Church is the oldest parish church in Zurich, founded in the 9th century. The original structure of the ancient building is still visible under the altar. The current building is Gothic, has an early 13th-century Romanesque choir and a Baroque nave with three aisles and galleries. The most interesting feature of St. Peter’s Church is the giant clock on the tower, which is the largest in Europe (dial diameter 8.7 m).

Grossmünster

Grossmünster

Grossmünster is the largest religious building in Zurich, an imposing Romanesque basilica built between the 11th and 13th centuries. In the 16th century, the church became one of the centers of the Reformation. The most interesting feature of its architecture are the twin towers. The upper levels of the towers were completed at the end of the 15th century.

Town Hall

Old houses along the Limmat River

Along the Limmat riverfront are several elegant old guild houses with sumptuous interiors reflecting the wealth of the guilds that ruled Zurich before 1789. There is also the town hall, which overhangs the river and is supported by the arches of a bridge. It was built between 1694 and 1698 in late Renaissance style.

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Lindenhof

Lindenhof

Lindenhof is the oldest part of Zurich, located between Bahnhofstrasse and the left bank of the Limmat River. It was here that the Romans built their fortified settlement. Charlemagne later built his royal residence here. These ancient buildings have not survived to our time. Now there is a park with stunning views of the old city.

Limmat River

Limmat River

Other sights and interesting places in Zurich

Niederdorf

Niederdorf

Niederdorf is an area of the old city that is a pedestrian zone. Part of this area is the Neumarkt (New Market), founded in the 12th century as a suburb of medieval Zurich.

St. Augustine Church

St. Augustin Church

The Church of St. Augustine is a 12th-century medieval church built on the west side of the old city. After the Reformation, the church was converted into a coinage workshop. In 1841 the building regained its status as a religious building.

Augustine Street Augustinergasse

Augustinian Street

Augustinergasse is one of the most beautiful historical streets in Zurich.

Water Church

Water Church

The Water Church (Wasserkirche) is a late Gothic church completed in the 15th century. According to legend, it was built in the place where the Christian martyrs Felix and Regula were executed by the Romans.

Liebfraukirchen

Liebfraukirchen

Liebfraukirchen was built in 1893 in the style of an early Christian basilica. The tower resembles a Romanesque bell tower.

Schanzengraben

Schanzengraben

Schanzengraben is an idyllic promenade in the center of Zurich. You can enjoy a quiet walk there.

Things to do in Zurich:

  • Take a boat cruise on the Limmat River through the old city.
  • Climb Uttliberg (871 m) and enjoy spectacular views of Zurich and the lake.
  • Cruise on the picturesque Lake Zurich. Departure of the steamboats takes place from Bürkliplatz.
  • Visit the Museum of Fine Arts – important collections of Flemish paintings, Italian Baroque and Venetian Settecento.
  • See the collections of the Swiss National Museum – over 800,000 historical and cultural items from antiquity to the 20th century.
  • Visit the Zurich Zoo – over 360 animal species.

Interesting tours

Lucky day in Zurich

€180 for a guided tour

Happy day in Zurich

A friendly stroll through the city’s iconic and atmospheric sites with a light immersion in history

Zurich - A Journey Through Time

€120 per tour

Zurich – time travel

Zurich’s main sights and secret corners of the city on a sightseeing tour

Zurich

Zurich, located in the north-east of Switzerland on the shores of Lake Zurich, is the largest city in the country by population (396,955 people in 2015) and the capital of the canton of the same name. The official language of Zurich is German.

The city was founded on the site of the ancient Roman customs post Turicum by the Thracian king Louis II of Germany. He also founded the Abbey of Fraumünster in 853 for his daughter Hildegarde. Over time, the influence of the abbey grew so great that the Fraumünster abbesses began to rule the city. In 1351 Zurich became the fifth member of the Swiss Union. Throughout the 16th and 18th centuries the city maintained its wealth and influence. In 1847, the first railroad in the country was built from Zurich to Basel. The city was badly damaged during World War II: On March 4, 1945, it was mistakenly bombed by the U.S. Air Force, which dropped about 12.5 tons of bombs and about 12 tons of incendiary bombs on Zurich.

Today Zurich is the world’s financial center and the center of Switzerland’s commercial, industrial and cultural institutions.

Founded: 2nd century Area: 87.97 km 2 Population: 396,955 (2015) Currency: Swiss franc Language: German Official website: http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch

Flight time: from Moscow – from 3 hours 30 min. from Saint-Petersburg – from 3 hours 10 min. from Kazan – from 7 hours 10 min. (1-2 change) from Ekaterinburg – from 8 hours (1-2 change) from Novosibirsk – from 10 hours 10 min. (1-2 change)

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The city attracts tourists with its picturesque old town with its narrow winding streets and picturesque houses in the Gothic style which have cosy cafes, confectionary and antique stores. The city has about 50 museums and more than 100 art galleries. From Zurich begins many sightseeing itineraries around the country, among them panoramic train rides.

How to get there

By plane

The most logical way to get to Zurich is by plane, landing at Zurich International Airport, located 10 km from it – in the town of Kloten. This is the largest airport in Switzerland. Direct daily flights from Moscow are operated by Aeroflot and Swiss airlines (travel time 3 hours 40 minutes), from St. Petersburg – by Swiss and Rossiya airlines. From the airport to the center of Zurich you can get in 10 minutes by train, by Welti-furrer Limo minibus (18 CHF) or by cab (50-60 CHF).

In addition to direct scheduled flights to Zurich there are flights with connections in European cities. There are many ways to get to Zurich from Russian cities with the connection in Moscow. From Moscow and other regions there are many European airlines that also offer connections at their respective airports. You can find below a list of these airlines (you will find the connecting cities in brackets).

Connections to Zurich

  • Czech Airlines (Prague): Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod.
  • Lufthansa (Frankfurt am Main): Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara. It is also possible to fly from Moscow and St. Petersburg with a connection in Munich.
  • Austrian Airlines (Vienna): Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar.
  • Finnair (Helsinki): Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg.
  • AlItalia (Rome): Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg.
  • Air France (Paris): Moscow, St. Petersburg.
  • KLM (Amsterdam): Moscow, St. Petersburg.
  • Air Malta (La Valletta): Moscow.
  • SAS (Stockholm and Copenhagen): Moscow, St. Petersburg.
  • Air Baltic (Riga): Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad.
  • Turkish Airlines (Istanbul): Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Rostov, Ufa, Sochi, Novosibirsk, Stavropol.
  • Germanwings (Cologne): Moscow.
  • Air Berlin (Berlin): Moscow, St. Petersburg.
  • Niki (Vienna): Moscow.
  • Ukraine International Airlines (Kiev): Moscow, Rostov.
  • LOT (Warsaw): Moscow, St. Petersburg.
  • British Airways (London): St. Petersburg.

Flight to Switzerland from CIS

MAU (“Ukraine International Airlines”) flies from Kiev to Zurich, and Swiss Airlines flies Kiev – Zurich. From Minsk to Zurich you can fly with LOT (via Warsaw), Czech Airlines (via Prague) and Austrian Airlines (via Vienna).

Bus

You can also get to Switzerland from Russia by bus. Flights from Moscow to Zurich by Ecolines. There are also possible connecting flights in Europe of the same company Ecolines, which serves the route Kiev (Ukraine) – Zurich (Switzerland).

By car

You can reach Zurich by car. The city is located at the intersection of several major highways: the highway A1 crosses the city and goes west to Bern and Geneva and east to St. Gallen; the highway A3 runs along Lake Zurich and Lake Walen and connects Basel in the north and Zargans in the southeast; the highway A4 connects Winterthur to Lucerne.

By train

From major cities in Europe and Switzerland, Zurich can be reached by train. All trains arrive at the Hauptbahnhof railway station.

Central station Zurich is located in the city center and is the largest transport hub in Switzerland. At the station there are 16 platforms for long distance trains and 10 platforms for high-speed city trains. High-speed international trains EuroCity, Cisalpino, TGV, Intercity-Express and CityNightLine pass through the central station. About 870 trains leave the station every day. Get more information about the routes and buy a ticket at the Reisburo Travel Office, located next to the ticket offices. There you can also buy Swiss Pass passes and book seats on panoramic trains. At the station there is a large shopping center Shop-Ville HB with more than 200 stores.

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Weather and climate in Zurich

Weather forecast

Weather in Zurich by month

Temperature during the day, °C Temperature at night, °C Water temperature, °C Precipitation, mm
January 2 -3 2 68
February 5 -2 3 61
March 10 1 7 69
April 14 4 10 88
May 19 8 13 107
June 22 11 20 138
July 24 13 24 139
August 23 13 23 132
September 20 10 21 101
October 13 6 14 80
November 7 1 8 72
December 3 -1 4 73

Reviews by Month

Zurich transport

Zurich has a network of high-speed city trains S-Bahn, which, as part of the city’s public transport system, also covers suburban routes in the canton of Zurich and part of the canton of Aargau. The S-Bahn system is 380 km long and consists of 26 numbered lines, many numbers are missing. There are a total of 171 stations on the line.

Public transport in Zurich consists of streetcars, buses and trolleybuses. The most popular means of transport in Zurich is the tram and the trolleybuses.

The most popular means of transportation in Zurich is the streetcar. It streetcar network serves 2/3 of the city’s passenger traffic. The streetcar network consists of 13 lines, its routes (mostly diametric) cover the city center and suburbs. It is operated by the municipal transport company Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich (VBZ). The streetcars run from 5:00 to 01:00 at intervals of about 5 minutes on weekdays and about 10 minutes on weekends and holidays. Streetcar tickets are sold at the ticket machines at every stop, as well as at the ticket booths at the major transfer points.

All trams in Zurich run exactly according to the timetable available at each stop. The timetable may differ for weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays with holidays. After midnight there are night buses, for which tickets must be purchased separately from the driver (CHF 5). Night bus routes are slightly different from the day buses and are marked with the letter N. Night bus timetables can be seen at stops with a black background. Night buses leave about once an hour, the starting point is Bellevue (stop by the lake).

Zurich also uses water transport (mainly walks on Lake Zurich), there are several funiculars and a cable car between Adliswil and Felsenegg.

Tickets and passes

Ticket prices are determined by zones. Zurich is zone 10. All other zones are charged separately, depending on the length of the route.

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Existing types of Zurich tickets:

Name Duration Cost Notes
I class, CHF II class, CHF
Single pass 1 hour 6.50 (children under 16 years old – 4.50) 4.00 (children under 16 years old – 2.70) One-way ticket. It allows travel on all public transport (streetcars, buses, trolleybuses, trains, funiculars) without limiting the number of transfers.
Tageskarte 24 hours 13.20 (children up to 16 -9.20) 8.00 (children up to 16 – 5.60) Two-way ticket. Ticket allows travel on all public transport (streetcars, buses, trolleybuses, trains, funiculars) without limiting the number of transfers.
Tageswahlkarte 6 days 71.20 (for children: 50.80) 43.20 (for persons under 25 years old – 30.80) Days may not be consecutive – you have to punch in the machine before the desired trip, after which the ticket is valid for 24 hours.
Mehrfahrtenkarten 6 trips 35.60 (children – 25.40) 21.60 (children – 15.40) 1 trip is 1 hour for the validity of a previously stamped ticket.
Kurzstrecke Ticket is valid for 24 hours Single ticket: 2.50 (2.10 for children); 24-hour pass: 5.00 (4.20 for children) Travel ticket between the nearest stops (5-6 stops, possible on the ticket machine)

Departing from Zurich to the suburbs in the neighbouring area, a ticket between the areas must be purchased in addition to the ticket within the city (cost CHF 4, children’s ticket (from 6 to 16 years) CHF 2.80). For Class I the price is CHF 6.60 (adult) and CHF 4.60 (child). You can buy a similar ticket for 24 hours (it will cost twice as much). Such tickets are convenient if, for example, you need to go to the airport and you still have a ticket for Zurich.

There are also special tickets for tourists:

Zürich Card – allows unlimited travel on any public transport (trains, buses, streetcars, ships), but only in class II, in zones 10, 11, 21, 40, 50, 54, 55 (airport areas, suburban tours, small trips on the lake or river Limmat). Overnight transportation rides are not included. In addition, the ticket provides free entry to more than 40 museums in Zurich, gives small discounts in restaurants, stores, entertainment centers and parks. With a similar ticket you can rent a car from Europcar with 30% discount.

A ticket for 24 hours costs: CHF 17 for adults and CHF 12 for children. For 72 hours: CHF 34 for adults, CHF 24 for children. Tickets are sold at the airport and at the major ticketing outlets in the city.

Zürich Card Plus – allows unlimited travel in any public transport (trains, buses, streetcars, ships) throughout the canton of Zurich in Class II (zones are printed on the machines). In addition to all other discounts, the ticket gives a 15% discount at the Alpamare water park, discounts on cruises on Lake Zurich, and provides free admission to the observation deck of the Rhine Falls. A 24-hour ticket costs CHF 33 (adults) and CHF 22 (children).

Details and purchase are on the Zurich Railways website.

Tourists in Zurich might be interested in city tours by bus or historic streetcar, as well as boat trips. Information on routes and prices can be found on the website of the Zurich Tourism Office.

Bicycles and cabs

Zurich city center is best explored on foot or by bicycle. Bicycles can be rented free of charge at Zuri Rollt locations throughout the city. Rental is possible with an ID card and a deposit of CHF 20 (CHF 10 at night). A map of the bicycle parking lots can be found here.

Cabs in Zurich are quite expensive. The basic fare is CHF 8. There is no extra charge per passenger.

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