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A Guide to Zurich
Know Before You Go
- Save money with the Zurich Pass. You'll get free airport transfers, entrance to museums and access to the local transport system. Prices start at CHF 24 for a one day pass.
- Cycle around Zurich for free. Bring your passport to any of the bike stations, pay a refundable CHF 20 deposit, and you'll have your own set of wheels to explore the city.
- Eat less meat while in Switzerland. It's an expensive luxury item that costs between CHF 12-14 for one pound. If you're on a budget, it's best to stick to vegetables for your meals to keep costs down.
- Take advantage of lunch specials. You'll be able to find meals for around CHF 10 -19 with the best deals at Chinese, Indian and Thai restaurants.
- Go on a free walking tour. It's a great way to get your bearings while learning about Zurich's rich history from a local guide.
Getting Around Zurich
- The best way to explore Zurich is either on foot or on a bike. You can spend your day meandering around Old Town's cobblestone streets and make use of the city's free bike rentals.
- If you're in a rush, the city has an extensive network of trams, trains, buses, boats and cable cars to help you reach your next destination. Save money on transportation by purchasing the Zurich Card. Day rates start CHF 27, and you can get discounted prices for children aged between 6 and 16.
- The most expensive way to get around the city is with a taxi. Rates begin at CHF 6 and go up by CHF 3.80 for each additional kilometre. If you're struggling to hail a cab from the street, you can request a ride with Uber.
- It's not recommended to rent a car for everyday travel in Zurich. The streets are congested, and parking is limited and expensive. Most hotels also don't have space and those that do charge a premium price.
When is The Best Time to Visit Zurich?
The best time to visit Zurich is during summer. From June to August, the temperatures are warm with average highs of 21°C, making it ideal for outdoor activities. The only downside is that it's the city's high season. Expect bigger crowds at the top attractions and higher prices for flights and accommodation.
Spring and autumn are Zurich's two shoulder seasons. From September to November and March to May, you'll need to pack a few warm layers to stay warm while exploring. It's also a good idea to pack a raincoat as the city experiences it's the highest rainfall in May.
December to February is Zurich's low season, but the Swiss Alps keep prices high. The week of Christmas also sees a spike in visitors, as people flock to the city for the festive markets. If you're planning a trip during this period, bring a warm coat, scarves and mittens as temperatures start to dip to below 0°C.
Airports in Zurich
Zurich is the largest international airport in the country. It's located 13 km from the city centre and is a hub for Swiss International Airlines, Edelweiss Air and Helvetic Airways.
Getting to and from Zurich Airport
Take the train. The airport has its own station that runs a regular service from the airport to the city centre. The trains leave every 10 minutes during peak hours and tickets can be purchased from machines inside the terminal building.
If you'd prefer to take a taxi to your hotel, you'll find the cabs waiting outside Arrivals 1 and 2. A trip to the city will cost around CHF 60.00 depending on your final destination.
There is a bus terminal at the airport, but the train is a faster and more efficient option. Most hotels in Zurich also offer guests a free shuttle bus service. You'll find the pickup area outside the arrivals terminal.
Car hire is available at the airport and the rental desks are inside the arrivals hall, after the baggage claim area.