Zurich Travel Tips Health Insurance – Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, has an exciting nightlife and is full of endless bars and restaurants. It is a cosmopolitan city bustling with activity. It is also set on a beautiful lake near the mountains, so you can do many nature activities during your visit.
While Zurich is known as a financial and business center, it is also one of Switzerland’s most cosmopolitan and dynamic cities. The city is very artistic and full of street art and exhibitions. Zurich’s cultural scene includes theater and opera, several famous orchestras and the Cabaret Voltaire.
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The city has big festivals such as Sechselauten in April (which includes a parade and burning snow), Knabenschiessen (shooting competition for young people) in September, Fasnacht (Zurich Carnival) in late winter. There is also a techno music street fair that attracts thousands of people in August.
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While it is expensive, with all the banks in the city, this Zurich travel guide will help you visit the city on a budget and have a great time without breaking the bank!
There are two mountains in Zurich that offer great views and even better hiking: the Zürichberg in the east and the Utlieberg in the west. Zurich is busier, but Uteliburg has better mountain bike trails. Start with the planetarium on the Uetilberg, an easy two-hour journey. It takes 20 minutes to reach by train/tram.
This museum presents the history of the country in detail. The exhibition is extensive and has several permanent and temporary collections. In 2016, a new department of archeology was opened. Admission is 10 CHF.
This small botanical garden has about 250,000 plants used in public flower beds around Bürich. There are also 17 different species of tropical birds, including the toucan. It has rotating exhibits, guided tours, lectures, and an informative talk about plant life every Wednesday.
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This is now the biggest open techno show in Europe. This happens on the second Saturday of August, when trucks with mobile sound systems start driving by the lake. Every year, this event attracts around one million visitors who dance wildly in the streets.
Located on both sides of the Limat river, the old town is full of guild houses and historic churches. Stop to eat at one of the many restaurants, or walk to enjoy a drink at one of the many bars or taste the town’s specialty cheeses and chocolates. Be sure to try the truffles at Confiserie Honold.
Switzerland is synonymous with chocolate. For a deeper understanding of this cultural foundation, try a food tour. Sweet Zurich Tours organizes tours in Switzerland that focus on chocolate and its 200-year-old tradition. As you learn about Zurich’s chocolate trends you will taste many chocolates, specialty flavored truffles, bars, ice cream and hot chocolate. Their small tours (2-10 people) take about 2.5 hours and cost 85 CHF.
Zürich can be a relaxed city during the day, but at night there are over 500 nightlife venues including bars, restaurants, music halls. In Zurich with no open container laws, you can start your evening with cheap drinks on the banks of the river Limmat before heading to the bars and clubs. When you’re ready to hit the town, head to Neiderdorf in the Old Town or Langstrasse for some of the best clubs and bars in Zurich. Cinchona Bar and Ole-Ole-Bar are two fun options.
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At the restaurant Blindekuh (German for “Blind’s Bluff”) you eat in the dark. Founded in 1999, this restaurant became the first black restaurant in the world to employ disabled staff. Eat here with just 4 of the 5 senses and have a culinary adventure. It’s like no other dining experience out there. Expect to pay around CHF 75 for a three-course meal.
Lake Zurich Promenade It was created around 1800 and stretches around the lake. From Bellevue, the boardwalk runs 3 kilometers (2 miles) along the lake to Tiefenbrunnen and is always busy with walkers, cyclists and indoor skaters. In the middle of the road, at Bürkliplatz, there is a quiet terrace where you can relax on a sunny day, as well as a viewing terrace. If you want to mingle with the locals, stop and talk to some of the jewelers or street artists.
Flumserberg is a great ski resort very close to the city. A day costs around 69 CHF, but there are discounted passes if you go in one day (about 39 CHF). There are also other nearby ski resorts like Sattel-Hochstuckli and Amden, both of which can be reached in less than an hour by car. There are also many cross-country skiing options, including Zürgerberg, Bachtel and Rothenter. You can rent skis and boots for around 110 CHF per day.
Switzerland is famous for making watches. This unique museum has one of the best collections in the world, dating back to 1400 BC. (the use of objects such as sunglass and watch glasses) tells the story of keeping time to this day. Check out all the clocks in this well-curated museum, and be sure to pay attention to the one-of-a-kind, rare and vintage clocks. Admission is only 10 CHF.
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If you are on August 1st of the year, Swiss National Day celebrates the founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291. The festival opens in the evening and at night with fireworks. You can watch them on the lake or if you have the experience to shoot fireworks yourself (safely), you can buy them in the days before the national holiday. The show at Rhine Falls (an hour away by S-Bahn) is very popular. Wherever you are in the city, you can see houses and buildings decorated with the Swiss flag and another beautiful Bunjo, where families and friends gather in parks and public places for barbecues and picnics during the holidays.
When the weather is nice, take a boat trip on Lake Zurich to admire the beautiful scenery of the area. You can take mini-tours from 25 CHF and reservations can be made at Bahnhofstrasse or online. Tours/tours are more diverse with different themes such as cheese fondue cruises, folk cruises, brunch cruises, and build-your-own burger cruises. The cost of these trips is between 45-115 CHF per person.
Visit the Rietberg Museum for International Art Day. It is the third largest museum in the city and the only art museum in the country that focuses on non-European art. The museum has collections from all over the world, including Asia, Africa and Oceania. Admire Indian miniature paintings, Swiss masks and ceramics from the Meyentang collection. Other highlights include a shaman’s eagle mask and a Persian wall hanging. Admission is 18 CHF for collections and special exhibitions. The park where the museum is located (Lindenhofplatz) overlooks the city and is nice to spend a few hours.
This seemingly hidden market in a square in the Niederdorf part of the old town is perfect for picking up antiques and small items. Head here to browse shops selling interesting items such as incense, jewellery, handicrafts and bohemian clothing. While you’re here, be sure to try some international cuisine from the many delicious food stalls.
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Bahnhofstrasse is famous for being one of the most expensive shopping streets per square meter in the world. The entire street is lined with high-end storefronts featuring international luxury brands. If you’re carrying a bag, you might not shop on this sidewalk, but it’s nice to people-watch and see what life is like on the other side. If you’re here in December, check out the Christmas decorations that light up the entire area.
Zurich is a charming city with many architectural features, including the beautiful and well-preserved Altstadt (Old Town). Here are the 1400-year-old Romanesque Grosminster of Charlemagne, the Church of St. by Marc Chagall. There are also guild houses and patrician residences (some used as restaurants or for civil services). More old buildings can be found on both banks of the Limat River.
Hostel prices – There are only two hostels in Zurich and they book up quickly in the summer, especially during holidays and big events. Expect to spend at least CHF 50 per night for a 4-6 bedroom apartment (although prices can reach CHF 100). Private rooms start at 100 CHF, but you may spend more than 120 CHF. Hostels have free breakfast and free Wi-Fi.
There are many campsites around Zurich – including those on the lakes. Prices start at CHF 8 per night for a basic accommodation without electricity, but expect to pay more if you want to stay close.