ZURICH

Swiss & sour.

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Zurich hosts the largest techno street party in Europe.

Zurich is located in the Central European Time zone (CET) which is GMT+1. This means that Zurich is 6 hours ahead of New York and 1 hour ahead of London (not calculating for Daylight Savings).

A visa is required for travel to Zurich for those with passports from certain countries. A list of those countries can be found here. If you are not from one of these countries and your visit will be 90 days or less, you will only need a valid passport to travel. Make sure your passport and visa are valid for 3 months past your return date home. Click here for more visa information.

Zurich Airport (ZRH) is located 8 miles from the city center. 

There is a train station underneath the airport that travels to the main train station downtown, Zurich Hauptbahnhof, in about 10-15 minutes. 

There are several bus services available from the airport with routes to various areas in the city. 

Taxis are widely available outside the airport as well. 

The Zurich S-Bahn is a train system that services the entirety of Zurich. There are 26 lines across 171 stations. Tickets can be purchased at the stations themselves, and trains leave about every 30 minutes.

Zurich is considered very safe for solo travelers, as the city has extremely low rates of crime. That being said, it’s always best to exercise caution and avoid walking alone at night when possible.

The best time to visit Zurich is in the summer between June and August due to the nice weather conducive to swimming. The average temperature around this time is about 63-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the official language of Zurich is German, English is also widely known and used.

Here are some useful German words and phrases to know:

Hello: Hallo

Thank you: Danke

You’re welcome: Bitte

Excuse me: Entschuldigung

I’m sorry: Das tut mir leid

Please: Bitte

Good morning: Guten morgen

Goodnight: Gute Nacht

My name is…: Ich heiße…

Check, please: Die Rechnung, bitte

I don’t understand: Ich verstehe nicht

Do you speak English?: Sprichst du Englisch?

Where is?: Wo ist…?

From our experience, the Swiss people can appear reserved and distant in the beginning, but they become friendlier with time. They share many social customs with other Western countries like the United States, but there are a few faux pas in particular you’ll want to avoid when travelling to Zurich: chewing gum and being loud in public are considered to be rude.

Zurich’s currency is the Swiss franc (CHF), and credit cards are widely accepted at most establishments throughout the city. You should also note that Zurich is considered one of the most expensive cities to travel to.

Service is always included in the bill in Zurich, but tips are not uncommon with good service. If you do want to leave a tip, 5-10% of the bill is customary. 

Zurich uses type C and J plugs, and the standard voltage is 230 volts. An adapter may be needed if your appliances are not dual voltage, meaning that they can operate using 110-240 volts.

Tap water is safe to drink in Zurich. In some cases, it can be even better (and certainly more eco-friendly) than bottled water.

Free Wi-Fi is available in many restaurants and hotels, as well as on public buses in Zurich.

Uber operates in Zurich. There is also a Swiss rideshare app called Tooxme.

While there are some protections against sexuality discrimination in Zurich, same-sex marriage is still in the process of being legalized. That being said, Zurich is host to many LGBTQ+ events and is a safe city to be out in. Altstadt is known as the city’s designated LGBTQ+ area with many gay bars and clubs.

There are many environment preservation efforts in place throughout Zurich, such as volunteers who clean mountains and solar panels installed wherever applicable. There is also a fantastic public transportation system that operates all around the city.

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HOTEL WE LOVE:

Try to stay in city center, so you're within walking distance to major landmarks.

FOR THE PLANNERS

Since Zurich has one of the cleanest drinking waters in the world, don't buy bottled water.