In the late 19th and early 20th century, local companies such as Rieter and Sulzer turned the formally quiet little town into a booming industrial city with an incredible wealth and ever-growing workforce. Diesel engines built in Winterthur powered large ships on all seven seas, while Winterthur-built textile appliances were in service worldwide.
Starting in the 1970's and 80's, blue collar jobs started to be outsourced to countries with lower wages and unemployment rose in Winterthur. Factories were standing still and entire neighborhoods turned into "ghost towns".
However, the IT and Telco boom as well as smart decisions by the local authorities have helped to redevelop those areas into new economy and urban lifestyle areas with many offices, restaurants, schools and even a go-kart racing track.
Winterthur has also positioned itself as a cultural city with many different museums, among them the Oskar Reinhart Museum am Römerholz exhibitioning modern art, the Technorama science center and the Fotostiftung Schweiz showing Swiss and European photography.
On Public Transport in the canton of Zurich  is useful information on getting around and what to do in the canton of Zurich. Use the Swiss Federal Railway Site  for Public transport and its fares in Switzerland.
There are 17 museums in Winterthur.
Here you can find more.
Technorama - Swiss Science Centre. A good place to spend a rainy day with kids, but also adults will have a good time. Lots of hands on experiments, with an area specifically for children.
The Oskar Reinhart Collection (Am Römerholz) . Comprises around 200 works by European artists spanning the period from late Gothic to the threshold of modern art, with particular emphasis on 19th century French painting.
Castle Kyburg. A castle first mentioned in 1024 now showing how people lived there around said epoch.
Rhine Falls. Europe's largest waterfall. Take train S33 (Winterthur-Schaffhausen), it takes about 30 minutes. From Easter to end of October get off the train at 'Schloss Laufen' otherwise leave the train at 'Dachsen' and change to bus 634.
The most famous school of Winterthur is the ZHAW - Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, which offers mostly technical courses. They also offer some limited language courses. Contact them on their website, if you're interested in studying in Winterthur.
Try the Migros Restaurant (nice Wintergarden) at the Neuwiesencenter or the Coop Restaurant in the Manor Shopping Center on the 2nd floor. Both are self service and close to the railway station.
For Take-Away food, you can also go for Migros (same place as Restaurant) and have some salad or noodles, usually around 6 CHF. They have a small coffee there, in which you're welcome to enjoy the food. They also offer Pizza, Sandwiches and other Food, like the famous swiss "Wähe" (pie) with all kinds of taste, from sweet over salty to spicy. Give it a try, if you like some swiss food, and not international fast-food.
McDonalds, on the other side of the bus station right at the train station, offers you the usual food you're used to everywhere. Keep in mind that a menu costs you somewhere between 11 to 14 CHF, so a visit in Migros Restaurant is usually cheaper.
Different Kebab Take-away places, giving you a large variety of mostly Turkish specialities. For a regular "Döner Kebap", you will pay somewhere between 7 and 8 CHF.
Orsini, Technikumstrasse 96, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41522122067. Meals served from 11:30 - 14:00 and from 18:00 a la carte. In this cheap restaurant you can still feel the atmosphere of the past sulzer days, when Winterhur was an important and booming industrial town. Some of the retired workers still have their meals there. good swiss and italian cuisine at a lower price level (Menues around 15CHF).edit
Papaya und Sandwiches Kandil, Obertor 29, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41522020673. Mo-Sa 8-20:00 (without guarantee ). Freshly prepared and toasted sandwiches. wide variety of sandwich fillings such as pickeld vegetables, chorizo and more. 10CHF for a sandwich. edit
In the ancient part of the city, there are several good restaurants: Trübli, Rössli, Akazie, National, Strauss (all with international kitchen). Swiss specialities are available in Walliser Kanne (Fondue, Raclette) and Sonne (Roesti).
Restaurant Tandoor, Schützenstrasse 43,8400 Winterthur. Best indian food at very affordable price. Don't forget to order Tandoori chicken.
Albani, Steinberggasse 16, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +410522126996 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Mo-We 15:00-24:00, Do 15:00-01:00, Fr & Sa 15:00-curfew. Probably the oldest music club in town. Well known for live shows and partys.The club is also a hotel (rooms for about 100CHF a night). Beer for around 7CHF, drinks from 12 to 15CHF. edit
Salzhaus, Untere Vogelsangstrasse 6, 8401 Winterthur, ☎ +41 52 204 05 54 (email@example.com), . large nightclub with partys and concerts every weekend. Situated near the central trainstation. large beer costs around 6CHF, drinks form 12 to 14CHF. edit
Kraftfeld, Lagerplatz 18, Sulzer-Areal, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41522020204 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . open mostly at weekends(check website). This charming underground venue is situated in the former industrial heart of Winterthur where now a lively art and culture scene is blooming.edit
Gaswerk, Untere Schöntalstrasse 19, 8401 Winterthur, ☎ +41522033434 (email@example.com), . In this alternative eventlocation you can enjoy rock, punk or metal liveshows almost every weekend. entry is about 15CHF. Large beer for 6CHF, drinks from 9CHF to 12CHF, one of the priceworthiest drinking locations in town. edit
plan b, Zuercherstrasse 7, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41522032800, . Stylish bar close to the mainstation.edit
Fahrenheit, Steinberggasse 65, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41 (0)52 202 20 00, . Modern bar. Best cocktails in town. Try their whisky sour! Food at lunchtime, good vegetarian meals. Very good tea. Come early at weekends.edit
Sahara Bar, Untere Kirchgasse 2, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41522024787 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Nice Rockcafe in the centre of the city. Often with live concerts in the eveningsedit
Widder, Metzggasse 9, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41522137298 (email@example.com), . This cooperatively managed bar and restaurant offers delicious menues for lunch and cheap drinks. Lively and alternative atmosphere in the evenings.edit
Renegade, Technikumstrasse 10, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41522121798 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . So-Thu: 16:00 - 02:00, Fri-Sat: 16:00 - 04:00, open 365 days a year. Winterthur's hardrock caféedit
Portier, Lagerplatz 3, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41(0)525080407 (email@example.com), . Good soups and Sandwiches.Live concerts every Monday.edit
Das Schmale Handtuch, Turmhaldenstrasse 1, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41522126042. Oldest bar of the city. Do not leave Winterthur without trying their legendary drink "Serpentinit" (but don't drink more then one).edit
Depot 195, Lagerplatz 4, 8400 Winterthur, ☎ +41(0)522031363 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkout: 10:00. Nice and clean Budgethostel 7min walk from the mainstation and situated in Winterthur's industrial heart the sulzer district. Bars and nightlife nearby.Shared rooms: CHF 35.50 per person, single rooms: 64 -99CHF p.p.. edit
Hotel Ibis (From central station take bus Nr. 1 Töss-bound till "Loki")
Park**** Swiss Quality Hotel, Stadthausstrasse 4, 8402, (email@example.com, fax: +41 (0)52 265 02 75), . The four star hotel enjoys a unique location in the heart of the idyllic city park, only a few steps away from Winterthur's charming old town. Also bookable online on www.SwissQualityHotels.comedit
Winterthur is a very safe city. Serious incidents such as robberies are very unusual. However, to avoid undangerous but unpleasant encounters with drunken crowd don't stay too long in the area in and around the mainstation after 01.00 pm at weekends.