Zurich Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Zurich. How to get there and more…
Great, you are here because you are looking for Zurich travel tips. Maybe this is one of those cities that we as travellers are drawn to. For climate, culture, cuisine or a host of a host of other compelling characteristics. Paris, Tokyo, London, Shanghai, LA… Their appeal is obvious and immediate. And we flock to them in millions.
Then there are cities that get our sideways glances as we pass through, over or around them. Noble, beautiful, important cities that we know of and hear of. Cities that we add to a list of future possible destinations called someday. Zurich is one of those cities. And man have we been missing out.
The largest city of Switzerland, although not the capital as many people think, has a lot to offer when it comes to food, culture, scenery and history. Let’s have a go shall we!
Zurich Travel Tips – How To Get to Zurich From the Airport
Zurich is served by the renowned Zurich International Airport, a model off swiss efficiency. This airport isn’t just a favourite with visitors to the city, but also because of the way it’s laid out. It’s one of the best airports in the world for connections. In some cases travellers have been allowed just a mere 40 minute layover between flights with absolute confidence.
But if you are planning on sticking around, the airport is not just deliciously simple for transiting, arriving or to navigate around, it’s also extremely convenient for getting into town. It’s located just a few miles north of the city and there are a multitude of options for getting into central Zurich.
Your best bet is a train, they run every few minutes from the airport train station which is located underground just underneath the terminal itself. And the 12 minute journey will cost you around 7 francs ($7).
You can buy your tickets from the vending machines on the platform above. And make sure you have a ticket before you board. Otherwise you’ll get a fine.
If you get on the right train, a nice lady will bring you a cup of coffee.
Here’s a cool thing. That ticket isn’t just valid on a train. It’s valid on any form of public transport that leaves from the airport. So if you feel like a bit of sightseeing, the tram will take you into the city in 35 minutes. And outside the terminal you have a full bus service with not just buses to Zurich but to all over Switzerland.
Zurich Travel Tips – How To Best Get Around Zurich
Whether you get into Zurich’s hauptbahnhof (central station) via plane or train, you’re now in a city that has a public transit system that is a joy to get around.
Before we go into the great public transport, when we are discussing Zurich travel tips I think it’s important to point out that Zurich is a very walkable city. The city’s tourism boards proclaims that foot is by far the best form of transport. So bring your best walking shoes, fire up Google Maps to plan your routes and get to exploring this beautiful city.
But if you don’t feel like walking there’s good news. There’s a bus or tram stop, tram being the primary transport in Zurich, every 300 meters. So you’re never far away from a slightly speedier transport option.
Train, buses & tickets
Public transport in Zurich is made out of several operators unified by a single administrator. The network is made out of trams, buses, regular trains, suburban trains, cable cars and boats.
All of which use a zone ticketing system. The good news is that most of the popular destinations are within a single zone. But if you are going to cross the zones, make sure you have a ticket that allows you to do so.
You can buy a single ticket, good for 30-60 minutes to travel on any form of public transport within a single zone. Multi-zone tickets can also be purchased for a slightly higher fare. You can buy your single ticket as well as 24 hour passes in the ticket vending machines and kiosks at train stations and tram stops.
And remember you must validate your ticket before boarding the chosen form of transport. Not doing so can result in a 100 franc ($100) fine.
Alternatively you can grab a Zurich card. Available in 24 hour and 72 hour increments they give you unlimited travel on all forms of public transport within Zurich city as well as several other adjoining zones. You can buy them from the airport or from the Zurich bahnhof as well as several other outlets through the city.
Uber is widely available in Zurich and is significantly cheaper than taxis. There are several levels of service including a green level of service which is only hybrid and electric vehicles.
Finally, while there are plenty of them, taxis are staggeringly expensive in Zurich. A 12 minute journey costs a whopping 65 francs ($65). The same journey in an Uber however is less than half the price.
Zurich Travel Tips – Best Places To Stay in Zurich
Authentic: District 4. For residents staying longer and people who want a more local feel to their Zurich experience, this is a good place to live that is also close to the main attractions. It’s great for the party people, it’s close to nightclubs and music venues.
Recommended hotel: Greulich Design & Lifestyle Hotel
Bahnhofstrasse is right in the center of Zurich and it’s for those who want a great sightseeing experience. Filled with restaurants, cafés, museums and shops. This is a bit higher on the price range, but you get what you pay for.
Recommended hotel: Hotel Storchen
Cultural: Zurich Town Hall
Zurich Town Hall is a small and cultural neighborhood that is locally known as the Rathaus. Plenty of historical buildings and landmarks to find in this area and the beautiful architecture is in abundance here. The churches in the area dates back to the 12th century and it’s beautifully set next to the Limmat River.
Recommended hotel: Boutique Hotel Wellenberg
What to Eat and Drink in Zurich
When it comes to Zurich travel tips, Switzerland is without a doubt most famous for its magnificent chocolate and cheese and there’s of course no shortage of that in Zurich.
Pastries and fresh bread are also of a really high quality. There are bakeries and coffee shops all around town that serve the most perfect pieces you’ll find.
Food wise Zurich and Switzerland has borrowed much influence from Germany with sausages such as bratwurst enjoyed with mustard and a beer being a very popular meal. Meat and potatoes in various forms is a staple in the swiss kitchen.
And you will also find many different international culinary experiences since almost 25% of the population of Zurich is non-swiss immigrants. The food is great and it’s within walking distance.
If you’re thirsty, there are over a thousand fountains in Zurich that provide drinking water. It’s safe and free to tap up your water bottle.
Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have When Visiting Zurich
The twin towers of Grossmünster, built in the 16th century are not only Zurich’s most well known landmark, you can also climb up to the Karlstrum and enjoy a breathtaking view over the city from this church.
On the other side of the Limmat river is another famous church called Fraumünster, which has a famous window created by Chagall and the swiss artist Giacometti. Founded over a thousand years ago in 853, this church is a stunning building with rich history and is a must to experience.
Uetilberg is a viewpoint that allows you to experience Zurich from a bird’s eye view. A short train ride and a ten minute walk away from the city you will get a stunning view over the city, the lake and the Alps. Over 2.800 feet over sea level, it serves as a must for any tourist coming into town.
One of the most exclusive and famous shopping destinations in Zurich. Jewelers, department stores, boutiques, and high end fashion lines line up in this elegant avenue. The street is just as popular with tourists as it is with locals.
One of the big swiss lakes, Lake Zurich is a popular destination to swim, sail and picnic around the shore. In the summer it’s a paradise for having a swim, the perfectly clean water and beautiful nature makes it an unforgettable experience.
This square is the ideal place to start off your sightseeing tour with the Opera house, the Kronenhalle, Cafe Odeon and Lake Zurich just around the corner. It’s the largest square in the city that hosts circuses in the summer and ice skating in the winter.
The Old Town
The medieval Old Town is separated into two by the Limmat river and both of the Town’s are a piece of history with its narrow streets, fine
architecture and beautiful squares. Soak in history and get a feel for Zurich as you stroll around in the warm sun.