Zurich Life and Visitor Travel Tips
An appealing city in every aspect, whether you are visiting Zurich on business or pleasure, expect to have a good time. Life in this area of Switzerland is good and in recent years, Zurich was actually ranked amongst the best cities in the world in which to live.
Available from the tourist offices, train stations and from most hotels, the Zurich Card is aimed at tourists and allows free travel on much of the city's public transport, including to and from the nearby airport. It also provides free access to over 40 museums, but will only prove good value if you intend to make full use of its many savings.
Useful Contact Details
The official tourist office for Zurich can be found inside the main railway station and is a good place to find tourist information not only about the city, but also for the whole of Switzerland. A handy small map of Zurich is available here completely free of charge, while larger maps are also available for a small charge. If you wish to find accommodation, this is the place to head and staff here will be happy to assist you, commission-free. Swiss Travel System passes are also available here, along with tickets for Starticket events, guided city tours, various excursions packages and even car rental.
Zürich Tourism (Zurich Tourist Information Office)
Address: Main Train Station, Stampfenbachstrasse 52, Postfach, Zürich, CH-8021, Switzerland, CH
Tel. +41 044 215 40 00
Fax +41 044 215 40 44
Language and Dialect
A number of different language are spoken across Switzerland and these include both Italian and French. However, a Swiss version of German is the native tongue in Zurich and known locally as Schweizerdeutsch. Do consider learning a few basic German phrases before your time in Zurich, although in many common situations, such as at hotels, eateries, shops, offices and attractions, more and more Swiss are now speaking English, often quite fluently.
Dos and Don'ts / Tourist Traps
- Bookshops - should you need an English-language book or Zurich travel guide during your stay, both the Orell Füssli on the Bahnhofstrasse and the Travel Book Shop at the Rindermarkt will be able to help you out
- Internet Access - check your emails for very little expense at the Pestalozzi Library, or alternatively at the outlet of Quanta on the corner of Mühlegasse and Niederdorfstrasse
- Money - this financial centre is brimming with banks, although most do charge a commission rate for exchanging your money into Swiss Francs, such as the branches of Credit Suisse and UBS
- Postal Services - the main post office in Zurich is the Sihlpost on the Kasernenstrasse, while a further post office can also be found within the Hauptbahnhof train station
- Shopping - many shops in Zurich will allow you to actually pay in your own local currency, i.e. in US dollars, Euros or British pounds, also this is best avoided since the resultant rate of exchange will be extremely poor
- Travel Agencies - an outlet of STA Travel can be found along the Leonhardstrasse in central Zurich and caters well for budget travellers and students, as does Globetrotter on the Rennweg