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Difference between revisions of "Zurich"

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==Understand==  
 
==Understand==  
Contrary to popular belief, Zurich is '''not''' the capital of Switzerland (which is [[Bern]]), just its largest city. Zurich has long been known as clean efficient but only in the last ten years has it truly become a fascinating and worthwhile travel destination. This is mostly thanks to the liberalization of the cultural, party and gastronomy sectors. An increasingly cosmopolitan population has helped, as well, though more button-down [[Geneva]] remains Switzerland's most culturally heterogeneous city.  Zurich is also known for banking.
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Zurich is the largest city and the financial centre of the Helvetian Confederation (Switzerland). It is also the most populous Swiss metropolis. It is an airline hub and has the country's busiest airport.
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Contrary to popular belief, Zurich is ''not'' the capital of Switzerland (which is [[Bern]]), just its largest city. Zurich has long been known for being clean and efficient, but only in the last ten years has it truly become a fascinating and worthwhile travel destination. This is mostly thanks to the liberalization of the cultural, party and gastronomy sectors. An increasingly cosmopolitan population has helped, as well, though more button-down [[Geneva]] remains Switzerland's most culturally heterogeneous city.  
  
 
The Zurich dialect of German (which sounds very different from standard German) is the city's main ''spoken'' language, but speakers of this dialect invariably also understand standard German. Many people will understand English, French, or Italian as well.
 
The Zurich dialect of German (which sounds very different from standard German) is the city's main ''spoken'' language, but speakers of this dialect invariably also understand standard German. Many people will understand English, French, or Italian as well.
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===Orientation===
 
===Orientation===
 
[[Image:LimmatRiverZurich.jpg|thumb|Limmat River in Zurich]]
 
[[Image:LimmatRiverZurich.jpg|thumb|Limmat River in Zurich]]
Zurich is located at the northwestern end of Lake Zurich (''Zürichsee''), at the mouth of the Limmat River which divides the city in two.  The modern heart of the city including the train station and most churches is on the west side of the river, while the hillier east is home to the little alleys of the Old Town and the hip drinking spots of Niederdorfstrasse.
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Zurich is located at the northwestern end of Lake Zurich (''Zürichsee''), at the mouth of the Limmat River which divides the city in two.  The modern heart of the city including the train station and most churches is on the west side of the river. The hillier east side is home to the little alleys of the Old Town and the hip drinking spots of Niederdorfstrasse.
  
 
==Get in==  
 
==Get in==  
  
 
===By plane===  
 
===By plane===  
'''Zurich Airport''' (IATA: ZRH) (German: ''Flughafen Zürich-Kloten'') is Switzerland's largest and busiest airport, run with Swiss efficiency. It is actually in the community of [[Kloten]], 12min by train to central Zurich, about every 10-15min. Several bus lines connect at the airport and provide access to the Winterthur region.
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'''Zurich Airport''' ({{IATA|ZRH}}) (German: ''Flughafen Zürich-Kloten'') is Switzerland's largest and busiest airport, run with Swiss efficiency. It is actually in the community of [[Kloten]], 12 minutes by train from central Zurich, about every 10-15 minutes. Several bus lines connect at the airport and provide access to the Winterthur region.
  
Most major airlines fly to Zurich but [http://www.swiss.com SWISS] is still the Swiss flagcarrier and covers the biggest part of the international traffic at the airport. Almost every large hotel in Zurich provides bus service (shuttle buses) from airport to your hotel. The stops for these buses are a short walk to the right from Terminal 1 arrivals.
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Most major airlines fly to Zurich but [http://www.swiss.com SWISS] is still the Swiss flagcarrier and covers the biggest part of the international traffic at the airport. Almost every large hotel in Zurich provides shuttle buses from the airport to your hotel. The stops for these buses are a short walk to the right from Terminal 1 arrivals.
  
 
EasyJet resumed its flights to Zurich in 2007 after a three year absence.
 
EasyJet resumed its flights to Zurich in 2007 after a three year absence.
  
 
===By train===  
 
===By train===  
Regular trains to and from other Swiss and European cities leave from and arrive at the '''Hauptbahnhof''' (main train station), conveniently located in the city centre at the end of Bahnhofstrasse, with easy access to mass transit. The Zurich Hauptbahnhof (HB) is served by the local S-Bahn commuter trains, InterCity (IC and ICN) connections throughout Switzerland, Italy's '''Cisalpino''' [http://www.cisalpino.com], Germany's '''ICE''', France's '''TGV''' [http://www.tgv.com], and various other direct night train services to/from as far as Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Lecce, Barcelona, Budapest, and Beograd.
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Regular trains to and from other Swiss and European cities leave from and arrive at the '''Hauptbahnhof''', the main train station, conveniently located in the city centre at the end of Bahnhofstrasse, with easy access to mass transit. The Zurich Hauptbahnhof (HB) is served by the local S-Bahn commuter trains, InterCity (IC and ICN) connections throughout Switzerland, Italy's '''Cisalpino''' [http://www.cisalpino.com], Germany's '''ICE''', France's '''TGV''' [http://www.tgv.com], and various other direct night train services to/from as far as Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Lecce, Barcelona, Budapest, and Beograd.
  
For train times and tickets, visit the [http://www.sbb.ch/en/index.htm SBB] or [http://www.bahn.de Deutsche Bahn] websites, although you may not be able to book many international journeys online through these websites (if you are already in Europe, your local train station office should usually be able to book these trains). A rail pass may make your trip more inexpensive. For more long-distance international journeys, visit [http://www.seat61.com/ Seat61] for more information.
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For train times and tickets, visit the [http://www.sbb.ch/en/index.htm SBB] or [http://www.bahn.de Deutsche Bahn] websites, although you may not be able to book many international journeys online through these websites. If you are already in Europe, your local train station office should usually be able to book these trains. A rail pass may make your trip more inexpensive. For more long-distance international journeys, visit [http://www.seat61.com/ Seat61] for more information.
  
 
The train station and the connecting underground mall has shops, restaurants, and a grocery store which locals use when they need to do Sunday shopping, as it is not subject to the closing hours laws otherwise in force in the city.
 
The train station and the connecting underground mall has shops, restaurants, and a grocery store which locals use when they need to do Sunday shopping, as it is not subject to the closing hours laws otherwise in force in the city.
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The Swiss Pass is valid on all public transportation in Zurich, and if you are a tourist visiting most of Switzerland, this may be your best way to saving both money and time spent trying to figure out zones, routes, and fare options. Eurail passes are valid only on the S-Bahn and boats. Interrail passes are valid on the S-Bahn (although the ZVV website claims a "reduction" for other routes for Interrail holders). Nevertheless, you may find you don't need the trams and buses if you don't mind walking around a little.
 
The Swiss Pass is valid on all public transportation in Zurich, and if you are a tourist visiting most of Switzerland, this may be your best way to saving both money and time spent trying to figure out zones, routes, and fare options. Eurail passes are valid only on the S-Bahn and boats. Interrail passes are valid on the S-Bahn (although the ZVV website claims a "reduction" for other routes for Interrail holders). Nevertheless, you may find you don't need the trams and buses if you don't mind walking around a little.
  
If you intend to stay in Switzerland for a longer period you would be better to buy a 'Half-Fare Card' Ticket (valid nationwide), this means your Tram tickets will be cheaper and your train tickets will be only 50% of full value. There are many other special offers on tickets for tourists so ask at the tourist information, your hotel or visit the [http://www.zvv.ch/_tourist_e/default.asp Zurich Public Transport Authority (Zürcher Verkehrsverbund ZVV)] The ZVV is a regional agency
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If you intend to stay in Switzerland for a longer period you would be better to buy a 'Half-Fare Card' Ticket (valid nationwide), this means your Tram tickets will be cheaper and your train tickets will be only 50% of full value. There are many other special offers on tickets for tourists so ask at the tourist information, your hotel or visit the Zurich Public Transport Authority (''Zürcher Verkehrsverbund ZVV'')[http://www.zvv.ch/_tourist_e/default.asp] The ZVV is a regional agency
 
that coordinates fares and schedules for the region's different transit companies. The ZVV's website has maps, links to transit providers in the Zürich area, and trip planning information.
 
that coordinates fares and schedules for the region's different transit companies. The ZVV's website has maps, links to transit providers in the Zürich area, and trip planning information.
  
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The river buses operate between the Landesmuseum (near the Hauptbahnhof) along the Limmat River and out in the Zürichsee (Zürich Lake) to Tiefenbrunnen. There are several stops along the Limmat River.  
 
The river buses operate between the Landesmuseum (near the Hauptbahnhof) along the Limmat River and out in the Zürichsee (Zürich Lake) to Tiefenbrunnen. There are several stops along the Limmat River.  
  
The [http://www.zsg.ch/english/home.html Zürichsee Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (ZSG)] operates lake steamers which leave from Burkliplatz (at the end of Bahnhofstrasse). The ZSG's website provides information on destinations and ships.  The ZSG offers a variety of tourist-oriented trips (including Jazz Brunch, and historic restored steam ships); a popular trip is to Rapperswil at the south end of the Zürichsee. The town has a beautiful castle overlooking the lake surrounded by a medieval town.
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The Zürichsee Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (ZSG)[http://www.zsg.ch/english/home.html] operates lake steamers which leave from Burkliplatz (at the end of Bahnhofstrasse). The ZSG's website provides information on destinations and ships.  The ZSG offers a variety of tourist-oriented trips (including Jazz Brunch, and historic restored steam ships); a popular trip is to Rapperswil at the south end of the Zürichsee. The town has a beautiful castle overlooking the lake surrounded by a medieval town.
  
 
===By bike===
 
===By bike===
  
You can "rent" bikes, skateboards etc. for free from 7AM to 9:20PM every day between May and October at several places in Zurich and year-round at the central train station. This offer is called "[http://www.zuerirollt.ch Züri rollt (German only)]". Get and return the bikes either at the bikegate just next to the central station, next to the "Globus City" shopping centre, next to the opera or at the Swissotel in Oerlikon. If you can't find these places, don't hesitate to ask some locals, they should know at least the bikegate at the central station. The Zurich Transit Company, VBZ also provides information about these bikes in [http://www.vbz.ch/vbz_opencms/opencms/vbz/english/FreeBikes/ English]. Nevertheless, you shouldn't count on it because sometimes the "rent" spots run out of bikes.
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You can "rent" bikes, skateboards etc. for free from 7AM to 9:20PM every day between May and October at several places in Zurich and year-round at the central train station. This offer is called "Züri rollt (''German only'')"[http://www.zuerirollt.ch]. Get and return the bikes either at the bikegate just next to the central station, next to the "Globus City" shopping centre, next to the opera or at the Swissotel in Oerlikon. If you can't find these places, don't hesitate to ask some locals, they should know at least the bikegate at the central station. The Zurich Transit Company, VBZ also provides information about these bikes in English [http://www.vbz.ch/vbz_opencms/opencms/vbz/english/FreeBikes/]. Nevertheless, you shouldn't count on it because sometimes the "rent" spots run out of bikes.
  
 
===By rail===
 
===By rail===
  
The '''S-Bahn''' is Zürich's regional rail system, used mainly by commuters but also a good way to get to many destinations outside the city centre. The 'S' stands for schnell (fast). Zürich's S-Bahn system provides convenient and fast service throughout the region. Most of the lines pass through the Hauptbahnhof. The ZVV offers [http://www.zvv.ch/_tourist_e/freizeit_ausflugstipps.asp directions] for a series of excursions on the S-Bahn. One popular destination (not mentioned on the ZVV website) is Stein am Rhein, a restored medieval village on the river Rhine which can be reached using the S-Bahn number 29 from Winterthur.
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The '''S-Bahn''' is Zürich's regional rail system, used mainly by commuters but also a good way to get to many destinations outside the city centre. The 'S' stands for schnell (fast). Zürich's S-Bahn system provides convenient and fast service throughout the region. Most of the lines pass through the Hauptbahnhof. The ZVV offers directions[http://www.zvv.ch/_tourist_e/freizeit_ausflugstipps.asp] for a series of excursions on the S-Bahn. One popular destination (not mentioned on the ZVV website) is Stein am Rhein, a restored medieval village on the river Rhine which can be reached using the S-Bahn number 29 from Winterthur.
  
 
===By car===
 
===By car===
  
Driving in Zurich can be done but it is painful and not recommended as the city centre is not easy to drive around in, holding up trams and buses while trying to find directions is unappreciated, and roads can be confusing. Public transportation is plentiful, conserves energy, and is perfectly efficient in this city, and in some parts of the city have dedicated lanes, so they are never held up by congestion.
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Driving in Zurich is possible but it is painful as the city centre is not easy to drive around in, holding up trams and buses while trying to find directions is unappreciated, and roads can be confusing. Public transportation is plentiful, conserves energy, and is perfectly efficient in this city, and in some parts of the city have dedicated lanes, so they are never held up by congestion.
  
 
==See==  
 
==See==  
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* <see name="Chinese Garden" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+41 (0)44 435 21 11" email="" fax="" url="http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/internet/chg/home.html" hours="" price="">This small but beautiful Chinese garden was offered to the city of Zurich by the Chinese city of Kunming as symbol of gratitude after Zurich helped the Kunming with technical knowledge.</see>
 
* <see name="Chinese Garden" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="+41 (0)44 435 21 11" email="" fax="" url="http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/internet/chg/home.html" hours="" price="">This small but beautiful Chinese garden was offered to the city of Zurich by the Chinese city of Kunming as symbol of gratitude after Zurich helped the Kunming with technical knowledge.</see>
  
* <see name="Le Corbusier House" alt="" address="" directions="near Chinese Garden" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">A beautiful modern villa planned by the famous Swiss architect.</see>
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* <see name="Le Corbusier House" alt="" address="" directions="near Chinese Garden" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.lecorbusier-center.com/" hours="" price="">A beautiful modern villa planned by the famous Swiss architect.</see>
  
 
* <see name="Lindenhof" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">The hill in the heart of the old town. A beautiful view of the city.</see>
 
* <see name="Lindenhof" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">The hill in the heart of the old town. A beautiful view of the city.</see>
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* <see name="Bahnhofstrasse" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">One of the busiest and best known shopping streets in the world. Highly refined. Certainly a must-see for every tourist in Zurich! (see below)</see>
 
* <see name="Bahnhofstrasse" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">One of the busiest and best known shopping streets in the world. Highly refined. Certainly a must-see for every tourist in Zurich! (see below)</see>
  
* <see name="Museum Buehrle" alt="" address="Zollikerstrasse 172" directions="" phone="+41 44 422 00 86" email="" fax="" url="http://www.buehrle.ch" hours="" price="">A rich private art collection worth visiting.</see>
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* <see name="Museum Buehrle" alt="" address="Zollikerstrasse 172" directions="" phone="+41 (0)44 422 00 86" email="" fax="" url="http://www.buehrle.ch" hours="" price="">A rich private art collection worth visiting.</see>
  
 
* <see name="Jacob Coffee Museum" alt="" address="Seefeldquai 17" directions="" phone="+41 (0)44 388 61 51" email="" fax="" url="http://www.johann-jacobs-museum.ch/english/museum" hours="" price="">An original museum which desribes the evolving of the coffee and different aspects of the culture the developed around it.</see>
 
* <see name="Jacob Coffee Museum" alt="" address="Seefeldquai 17" directions="" phone="+41 (0)44 388 61 51" email="" fax="" url="http://www.johann-jacobs-museum.ch/english/museum" hours="" price="">An original museum which desribes the evolving of the coffee and different aspects of the culture the developed around it.</see>
  
 
* <see name="Zurich West" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">This modern quarter used to be an industrial one, but modern urban developments made it to a centre of vibrant night life.</see>
 
* <see name="Zurich West" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">This modern quarter used to be an industrial one, but modern urban developments made it to a centre of vibrant night life.</see>
 
* <see name="Red Factory" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">An old silk factory converted to a center of youth culture and art at the 80's. The Red Factory became one of the most exciting parts of cultural life.</see>
 
  
 
===Shows and Theatre===
 
===Shows and Theatre===
  
* <see name="Rote Fabrik" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.rotefabrik.ch/" hours="" price="">An artists coop a couple of kilometres south form along the west bank of Lake Zurich. They have a variety of events, including music, film, and theatre.</see>
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* <see name="Rote Fabrik" alt="Red Factory" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.rotefabrik.ch/" hours="" price="">An old silk factory converted to a center of youth culture and art at the 80's. The Red Factory became one of the most exciting parts of cultural life. An artists coop a couple of kilometres south form along the west bank of Lake Zurich. They have a variety of events, including music, film, and theatre.</see>
  
 
* <see name="Theater am Neumarkt" alt="" address="Neumarkt 5" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.theateramneumarkt.ch/" hours="Closed Summer" price="">Closer to downtown.</see>
 
* <see name="Theater am Neumarkt" alt="" address="Neumarkt 5" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.theateramneumarkt.ch/" hours="Closed Summer" price="">Closer to downtown.</see>
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* Go '''skiing''' by train - buy a snow'n'rail ticket (train & skipass) at the Hauptbahnhof during winter months, train out in morning, back in evening. Flumserberg is the closest large ski-resort, popular with people from Zurich, with a good range of runs for beginners and experts.
 
* Go '''skiing''' by train - buy a snow'n'rail ticket (train & skipass) at the Hauptbahnhof during winter months, train out in morning, back in evening. Flumserberg is the closest large ski-resort, popular with people from Zurich, with a good range of runs for beginners and experts.
 
* Take a '''trip on the Zürichsee''' with one of the two old steam ships. There are a few different routes you can choose from, which will vary mainly in the distance. Or rent a small rowboat.
 
* Take a '''trip on the Zürichsee''' with one of the two old steam ships. There are a few different routes you can choose from, which will vary mainly in the distance. Or rent a small rowboat.
* Go up '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uetliberg Uetliberg]''', a hill overlooking Zurich. You can hike up, or take a train from the main station. Enjoy the 360 degree view from a tall viewing tower (not for vertigo suferrers!). This is also the start of the '''planetenweg''' (planetary walk), an 8 mile walk along the ridge with models of the planets along the way. These are scaled down in true porportion to the solar system.  To look at Zürich from the other hills, go to the '''Irchel''' (Tram station Milchbuck) or '''Käferberg''' (Bucheggplatz, walk up the hill and keep left of the forest).
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* Go up '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uetliberg Uetliberg]''', a hill overlooking Zurich. You can hike up, or take a train from the main station. Enjoy the 360 degree view from a tall viewing tower (not for vertigo sufferers!). This is also the start of the '''planetenweg''' (planetary walk), an 8 mile walk along the ridge with models of the planets along the way. These are scaled down in true proportion to the solar system.  To look at Zürich from the other hills, go to the '''Irchel''' (Tram station Milchbuck) or '''Käferberg''' (Bucheggplatz, walk up the hill and keep left of the forest).
 
* '''Go club-hopping''' Zürich has proportionately the largest number of clubs per capita in Europe. Pick up a free copy of the '''20 Minuten (20 Minutes)''' paper and start exploring.  
 
* '''Go club-hopping''' Zürich has proportionately the largest number of clubs per capita in Europe. Pick up a free copy of the '''20 Minuten (20 Minutes)''' paper and start exploring.  
 
* Go for a bike ride! You can get free bikes, skates or other fun transport at several stops throughout town. Beware though that biking within the city is only for the experienced, as trams and buses frequent the roads and tram tracks are a ''serious'' hazard to inexperienced cyclists.
 
* Go for a bike ride! You can get free bikes, skates or other fun transport at several stops throughout town. Beware though that biking within the city is only for the experienced, as trams and buses frequent the roads and tram tracks are a ''serious'' hazard to inexperienced cyclists.
 
* The Grossmunster sometimes has organ concerts in the evenings. Check the front door for notices.
 
* The Grossmunster sometimes has organ concerts in the evenings. Check the front door for notices.
* Explore the full and vast selection of foods and condiments available at any Swiss supermarket, heavily influenced by cultures of all the countries around Switzerland. Migros is everywhere and cheap for Swiss standards; Coop is slightly more expensive but has a greater selection of high quality foods; Globus at Lowenplatz has a more upscale supermarket in the basement which is worth at least a look at.
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* Explore the full and vast selection of foods and condiments available at any Swiss supermarket, heavily influenced by cultures of all the countries around Switzerland. Migros is everywhere and cheap for Swiss standards; Coop is slightly more expensive but has a greater selection of high quality foods; Globus at Lowenplatz has a more upscale supermarket in the basement which is worth at least a browsing.
  
==Events==
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===Events===
* '''Streetparade'''. Currently the biggest open air techno rave in Europe. It happens one day each year on the second Saturday of August, during which trucks which function as mobile soundsystems ("Love mobiles") start driving along the lake side, starting from the east at Utoquai and ending at the west at Hafen Enge. Every year this event attracts nearly a million visitors who dance in the streets to the music which you can hear from anywhere in the city. After the Streetparade the party doesn't stop, there are open air parties along the route until midnight and club parties at various locations in town until late the next day, to keep the party going. Don't be surprised if the city isn't so clean the next day. http://www.streetparade.ch
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* '''Streetparade''', [http://www.streetparade.ch]. Currently the biggest open air techno rave in Europe. It happens one day each year on the second Saturday of August, during which trucks which function as mobile soundsystems ("Love mobiles") start driving along the lake side, starting from the east at Utoquai and ending at the west at Hafen Enge. Every year this event attracts nearly a million visitors who dance in the streets to the music which you can hear from anywhere in the city. After the Streetparade the party doesn't stop, there are open air parties along the route until midnight and club parties at various locations in town until late the next day, to keep the party going. Don't be surprised if the city isn't so clean the next day.  
 
* '''Swiss national day''' on August 1st. Celebrations are carried out in many cities in the evenings and fireworks are launched at night. Watch them over the lake, or if you're experienced with safely launching fireworks yourself, you can buy them in the days leading up to the national holiday and have fun. The display over the Rheinfall, one hour away by S-Bahn, is also extremely popular.
 
* '''Swiss national day''' on August 1st. Celebrations are carried out in many cities in the evenings and fireworks are launched at night. Watch them over the lake, or if you're experienced with safely launching fireworks yourself, you can buy them in the days leading up to the national holiday and have fun. The display over the Rheinfall, one hour away by S-Bahn, is also extremely popular.
 
* '''Zuri Fascht''', which occurs every 3 years (next in 2010), a weekend festival celebrating Zurich.
 
* '''Zuri Fascht''', which occurs every 3 years (next in 2010), a weekend festival celebrating Zurich.
 
  
 
==Learn==  
 
==Learn==  
 
* ''' ETH Zürich''' (''Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule'') [http://www.ethz.ch/] is one of most renowned technical universities in Europe.
 
* ''' ETH Zürich''' (''Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule'') [http://www.ethz.ch/] is one of most renowned technical universities in Europe.
* ''' University of Zurich''' [http://www.uzh.ch]
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* ''' University of Zurich''', [http://www.uzh.ch].
  
 
==Work==
 
==Work==
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* '''Flohmarkt Bürkliplatz (Fleamarket)''' at Bürkliplatz, in the Bellevue area near the Stadelhofen station, May-October Sa 6AM-3:30PM. Fairly relaxed yet large flea market with many interesting stalls. [http://www.sengers.ch/izueri/buerkliplatz/buerkliplatz.asp Some Pictures]
 
* '''Flohmarkt Bürkliplatz (Fleamarket)''' at Bürkliplatz, in the Bellevue area near the Stadelhofen station, May-October Sa 6AM-3:30PM. Fairly relaxed yet large flea market with many interesting stalls. [http://www.sengers.ch/izueri/buerkliplatz/buerkliplatz.asp Some Pictures]
* '''Flohmarkt Kanzlei (Fleamarket)''' at Helvetiaplatz. A big fleamarket with sometimes more than 400 stalls. Sa from 8AM-4PM. [http://www.flohmarktkanzlei.ch Website (german)]
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* '''Flohmarkt Kanzlei (Fleamarket)''' at Helvetiaplatz. A big fleamarket with sometimes more than 400 stalls. Sa from 8AM-4PM. [http://www.flohmarktkanzlei.ch Website (German)]
* '''Other Fleamarkets.''' A [http://www.wwfzh.ch/service/secondhand/br_8.html list (german)] of other Fleamarkets in the area of Zurich.
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* '''Other Fleamarkets.''' A [http://www.wwfzh.ch/service/secondhand/br_8.html list (German)] of other Fleamarkets in the area of Zurich.
  
 
===Other===
 
===Other===
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===Budget===  
 
===Budget===  
  
*  The '''Migros''' and '''Coop''' supermarkets (several branches all over the city) are good places to assemble an inexpensive and delicious picnic lunch consisting of freshly baked bread, cheese or ham and fresh fruit. '''Migros Gourmessa''' is the 'gourmet' takeaway counter, available in larger Migros stores including the Migros City branch at Löwestrasse. The Coop Bahnhofbrücke branch near the main station also has a small fast-food restaurant. Note: the Migros branch in the main station is open on Sundays when most other stores are closed, and also until 9pm on weekdays.
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*  The '''Migros''' and '''Coop''' supermarkets (several branches all over the city) are good places to assemble an inexpensive and delicious picnic lunch consisting of freshly baked bread, cheese or ham and fresh fruit. '''Migros Gourmessa''' is the 'gourmet' takeaway counter, available in larger Migros stores including the Migros City branch at Löwestrasse. The Coop Bahnhofbrücke branch near the main station also has a small fast-food restaurant. Note: the Migros branch in the main station is open on Sundays when most other stores are closed, and also until 9PM on weekdays.
* '''Lee's take-away''' (Preyergasse 8 in the Niederdorf). Stand-up place serving excellent large portions of Asian food. Special student dishes under 10CHF.  
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* '''Lee's take-away''', Preyergasse 8 in the Niederdorf. Stand-up place serving excellent large portions of Asian food. Special student dishes under 10CHF.  
 
* '''Molino''' at the Limmatquai and near Stauffacher for Italian Food
 
* '''Molino''' at the Limmatquai and near Stauffacher for Italian Food
 
* '''New-Point''' sells kebaps, (1) at Langstrasse, (2) near the police station by the Sihl between main station and Stauffacher (Kaserne), (3) at Albisriederplatz (4) at Hardstrasse near Pfingstweidstrasse
 
* '''New-Point''' sells kebaps, (1) at Langstrasse, (2) near the police station by the Sihl between main station and Stauffacher (Kaserne), (3) at Albisriederplatz (4) at Hardstrasse near Pfingstweidstrasse
 
* '''Jelmoli''', '''St. Annahof''' and '''Manor''' department store restaurant for a cheap buffet lunch, good salad and vegetables stands. All at Bahnhofstrasse (not evenings). The large '''Migros''' supermarkets (those with two or three big orange M's) also have restaurants in the store.
 
* '''Jelmoli''', '''St. Annahof''' and '''Manor''' department store restaurant for a cheap buffet lunch, good salad and vegetables stands. All at Bahnhofstrasse (not evenings). The large '''Migros''' supermarkets (those with two or three big orange M's) also have restaurants in the store.
* '''Rheinfelder Bierhalle''' In this huge and smoky restaurant you get good-value food and rich portions (only try the Jumbo Jumbo Cordon-Bleu when really hungry..). Cheap beer. At the beginning of the Niederdorf (near Central).
+
* '''Rheinfelder Bierhalle''', at the beginning of the Niederdorf (near Central). In this huge and smoky restaurant you get good-value food and rich portions (only try the Jumbo Jumbo Cordon-Bleu when really hungry). Cheap beer.  
* '''Millennium Restaurant''' Offers great pizzas, large hamburgers, spicy kebabs and other Italian and Turkish dishes at reasonable prices. Staff is very friendly and service is great. Perfect for lunch or a late-night snack. Located on Limmatplatz (Limmatstrasse at Langstrasse) right across the X-tra bar.
+
* '''Millennium Restaurant''', on Limmatplatz (Limmatstrasse at Langstrasse) ''right across the X-tra bar''. Offers great pizzas, large hamburgers, spicy kebabs and other Italian and Turkish dishes at reasonable prices. Staff is very friendly and service is great. Perfect for lunch or a late-night snack.
* '''Vorderer Sternen Grill''' Zurich's most famous sausage stand next to the UBS bank building at Bellevue. Red or white sausage for 6CHF, piece of bread and (hot!) mustard is included.Located at 22 Theaterstrasse.
+
* '''Vorderer Sternen Grill''', 22 Theaterstrasse. Zurich's most famous sausage stand next to the UBS bank building at Bellevue. Red or white sausage for 6CHF, piece of bread and (hot!) mustard is included.  
  
 
===Mid-range===  
 
===Mid-range===  
  
* '''Rosalys''' near Bellevue for typical Swiss food including Älplermacrone (pasta with  apple purée); excellent cocktail bar, too
+
* '''Rosalys''', near Bellevue. For typical Swiss food including Älplermacrone (pasta with  apple purée); excellent cocktail bar, too
* '''Commercio''' near Stadelhofen station (Mühlebachstrasse) for excellent pasta and a busy atmosphere
+
* '''Commercio''', near Stadelhofen station (Mühlebachstrasse). For excellent pasta and a busy atmosphere.
* '''Commi-Halle''' near Central for Italian food.
+
* '''Commi-Halle''', near Central. Italian food.
* '''Swiss Chuchi''' in the Niederdorf. Classic Swiss food for tourists, but good none the less.
+
* '''Swiss Chuchi''', in the Niederdorf. Classic Swiss food for tourists, but good none the less.
* '''Zeughauskeller''' at Paradeplatz offers hearty sausages, stews, rösti potato etc. in a Brauhaus-like setting. Touristy, but good and large portions. Historical (built in 1487) building.
+
* '''Zeughauskeller''', at Paradeplatz. Offers hearty sausages, stews, rösti potato etc. in a Brauhaus-like setting. Touristy, but good and large portions. Historical (built in 1487) building.
* '''Kropf''' Just down the street from the Zeughauskeller, offers similar fare in a slightly more refined setting. Beautiful painted ceiling.
+
* '''Kropf''', just down the street from the Zeughauskeller. Offers similar fare in a slightly more refined setting. Beautiful painted ceiling.
* '''Globus Bellevue''': this relatively new branch of the Globus department store in the Bellevue near the Stadelhofen station is totally dedicated to food. There is a large eatery on the ground floor that serves various fusion-type foods (decent noodle bowl) and a passable sushi bar. The ground floor has a gourmet food market, and upstairs there are kitchen wares.  
+
* '''Globus Bellevue'''. This relatively new branch of the Globus department store in the Bellevue near the Stadelhofen station is totally dedicated to food. There is a large eatery on the ground floor that serves various fusion-type foods (decent noodle bowl) and a passable sushi bar. The ground floor has a gourmet food market, and upstairs there are kitchen wares.  
* '''Spr&uuml;ngli Paradeplatz''' at Paradeplatz. The flagship store of the Spr&uuml;ngli confectionery store chain has a beautiful turn-of-the-century style dining room upstairs that is extremely popular for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Choose from the menu or from the gorgeous display case filled with beautiful cakes, tarts, open-face and regular sandwiches. Try the muesli! Great people watching too, since this is the place for an after-shopping snack for the rich ladies of Z&uuml;rich.
+
* '''Spr&uuml;ngli Paradeplatz''', at Paradeplatz. The flagship store of the Spr&uuml;ngli confectionery store chain has a beautiful turn-of-the-century style dining room upstairs that is extremely popular for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Choose from the menu or from the gorgeous display case filled with beautiful cakes, tarts, open-face and regular sandwiches. Try the muesli! Great people watching too, since this is the place for an after-shopping snack for the rich ladies of Z&uuml;rich.
* '''King Curry''' near Bahnhof Wiedikon (trams 9 and 14), offers a good value daily Indian lunch buffet.
+
* '''King Curry''', near Bahnhof Wiedikon (trams 9 and 14). Offers a good value daily Indian lunch buffet.
* '''Masala''' near Stauffacher with Indian food
+
* '''Masala''', near Stauffacher. Indian food.
* '''Hiltl''' [http://www.hiltl.ch/] the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe (from 1890). Behind Jelmoli department store (Sihlstrasse 102). Reponed in March 2007 after renovation work. Phone: 044 227 70 00
+
* '''Hiltl''', Sihlstrasse 102 ''behind Jelmoli department store'', Phone: 044 227 70 00, [http://www.hiltl.ch/]. The oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe (from 1890). Reponed in March 2007 after renovation work.  
* '''Tibits''' behind the Opera house at Seefeldstrasse is the fast-food outlet of Hiltl, Europe's oldest vegetarian restaurant. Offers a nice self-service buffet of fresh veggies and fruit and a surprising variety. Try the freshly squeezed juices.
+
* '''Tibits''', behind the Opera house at Seefeldstrasse. The fast-food outlet of Hiltl, Europe's oldest vegetarian restaurant. Offers a nice self-service buffet of fresh veggies and fruit and a surprising variety. Try the freshly squeezed juices.
* '''Outback Lodge''' at Bahnhof Stadelhofen. Unrelated to the U.S. Outback Steakhouse chain. Enjoy Aussie tucker like ostrich, kangaroo, and crocodile - as well as more conventional fare. Popular with locals as well as expats. Has a hopping bar scene (see Drink section). Also a branch in Winterthur.  
+
* '''Outback Lodge''', at Bahnhof Stadelhofen. Unrelated to the U.S. Outback Steakhouse chain. Enjoy Aussie tucker like ostrich, kangaroo, and crocodile - as well as more conventional fare. Popular with locals as well as expats. Has a hopping bar scene (see Drink section). Also a branch in Winterthur.  
 
* '''Iroquois''' tex-mex food in the trendiest part of town, with the best margueritas in Zurich. Seefeldstrasse 120
 
* '''Iroquois''' tex-mex food in the trendiest part of town, with the best margueritas in Zurich. Seefeldstrasse 120
 
* '''Tiffin's''' great place for Asian food. Crowded, closed on Sundays. Seefeldstrasse between Kreuzstrasse and Feldeggstrasse
 
* '''Tiffin's''' great place for Asian food. Crowded, closed on Sundays. Seefeldstrasse between Kreuzstrasse and Feldeggstrasse
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* '''Nooba''' Pan-asian noodle bar at Kreuzplatz, a short walk up the hill from Stadelhofen station. Stylish setting, attentive and multi-lingual service and a broad selection of freshly prepared noodle, rice and curry dishes.
 
* '''Nooba''' Pan-asian noodle bar at Kreuzplatz, a short walk up the hill from Stadelhofen station. Stylish setting, attentive and multi-lingual service and a broad selection of freshly prepared noodle, rice and curry dishes.
 
* '''Nooch''' Yet another Pan-Asian noodle, rice and curry joint, at Heinrichstrasse 267, opposite the Cinemax movie multiplex. Also has a sushi bar.
 
* '''Nooch''' Yet another Pan-Asian noodle, rice and curry joint, at Heinrichstrasse 267, opposite the Cinemax movie multiplex. Also has a sushi bar.
* '''Ristoranto Toscano''' [http://www.ristorante-toscano.ch/] a very good italian restaurant in the old part of the city (Niederdorf). Located at Schmidgasse 17. You should try the Spaghetti al Bacio! Closed for lunch on saturday and all day on sunday.
+
* '''Ristoranto Toscano''', Schmidgasse 17, [http://www.ristorante-toscano.ch/]. A very good italian restaurant in the old part of the city (Niederdorf). You should try the Spaghetti al Bacio! Closed for lunch on saturday and all day on sunday.
* '''Restaurant Eisenhof''' has the warm feel of an old pub.  The house specialty is horse steak, served on a hot stone with fries.  Gasometerstrasse 20
+
* '''Restaurant Eisenhof''', Gasometerstrasse 20. Has the warm feel of an old pub.  The house specialty is horse steak, served on a hot stone with fries.   
  
 
===Splurge===  
 
===Splurge===  
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* '''Widder Hotel''' has a very cool bar - great piano music and very cool red leather and halogen lighting.
 
* '''Widder Hotel''' has a very cool bar - great piano music and very cool red leather and halogen lighting.
 
*'''Zunfthaus Zur Waag''' - near Bahnofstrasse  - very authentic Swiss high end restaurant.  To ensure your meal does not get cold - they split your order into 2 plates and bring you one at a time....
 
*'''Zunfthaus Zur Waag''' - near Bahnofstrasse  - very authentic Swiss high end restaurant.  To ensure your meal does not get cold - they split your order into 2 plates and bring you one at a time....
* '''Bindella''' Great Italian Food - very authentic - Address: In Gassen 6 off BahnhofstrassePhone 44 221 25 46.
+
* '''Bindella''', In Gassen 6 off Bahnhofstrasse, Phone 44 221 25 46.  Great Italian Food - very authentic.
 
* '''Le Dezaley''' hidden in a small street from Limmatquai near the Grossmünster, with traditional Swiss food from the French-speaking Kanton Waadt (Vaud)
 
* '''Le Dezaley''' hidden in a small street from Limmatquai near the Grossmünster, with traditional Swiss food from the French-speaking Kanton Waadt (Vaud)
 
* '''Blaue Ente''' at the far end of tram 2 and 4 near Bahnhof Tiefenbrunnen.
 
* '''Blaue Ente''' at the far end of tram 2 and 4 near Bahnhof Tiefenbrunnen.
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===Bars (centre)===
 
===Bars (centre)===
  
* '''Nachtflug''' stylish, coffee and some snacks during the day, large choice of drinks at night. Stüssihofstatt 4 (Niederdorf).
+
* '''Nachtflug''', Stüssihofstatt 4 (Niederdorf). Stylish, coffee and some snacks during the day, large choice of drinks at night.  
 
* '''Outback Lodge''' near Stadelhofen station. Australian in theme, drinks and food, but also well visited by the locals.
 
* '''Outback Lodge''' near Stadelhofen station. Australian in theme, drinks and food, but also well visited by the locals.
 
* '''Blue Note''' jazz club, quite expensive but good atmosphere. Stockerstrasse 45.
 
* '''Blue Note''' jazz club, quite expensive but good atmosphere. Stockerstrasse 45.
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* '''Öpfelchammere''' (apple chamber). Not a real pub or café: they only serve wine or water. But if you succeed in climbing over the roof beams, you get a free glass of wine to drink hanging upside down and you can mark your name into the wood afterwards. Rindermarkt 12.
 
* '''Öpfelchammere''' (apple chamber). Not a real pub or café: they only serve wine or water. But if you succeed in climbing over the roof beams, you get a free glass of wine to drink hanging upside down and you can mark your name into the wood afterwards. Rindermarkt 12.
 
* '''Widder bar''' by far the best stocked whisky bar in town. In the famous hotel of the same name. Widdergasse 6.
 
* '''Widder bar''' by far the best stocked whisky bar in town. In the famous hotel of the same name. Widdergasse 6.
* '''Corazón''', Zähringerplatz 11, +41 1 261 09 59. [http://www.andorra.ch] A Spanish themed bar with a good selection of wines and excellent service.
+
* '''Corazón''', Zähringerplatz 11, +41 1 261 09 59, [http://www.andorra.ch]. A Spanish themed bar with a good selection of wines and excellent service.
 
* '''Bohemia''', Trendy place popular for its coffee during the day and an even better nightlife. Usually a popular place for college students. Kreutzplatz (Just up from Stadelhofen)
 
* '''Bohemia''', Trendy place popular for its coffee during the day and an even better nightlife. Usually a popular place for college students. Kreutzplatz (Just up from Stadelhofen)
  
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=====Kreis 4 (west Zurich)=====
 
=====Kreis 4 (west Zurich)=====
 
* '''Casablanca''' bar at the Langstrasse near Helvetiaplatz
 
* '''Casablanca''' bar at the Langstrasse near Helvetiaplatz
* '''Xenix''' small arthouse cinema with busy beer garden in summer, the choice of students, bohemians & bicycle messengers posing with their fixies, Kanzleistrasse 56 by Helvetiaplatz [http://www.xenix.ch/7_ueberuns/index.php]
+
* '''Xenix''', Kanzleistrasse 56 by Helvetiaplatz [http://www.xenix.ch/7_ueberuns/index.php]. Small arthouse cinema with busy beer garden in summer, the choice of students, bohemians & bicycle messengers posing with their fixies.
* '''Total Bar''' tiny bar serving a range of Zurich's microbrews, always good music, Tellstrasse 19 (a block east of the Langstrasse)
+
* '''Total Bar''',  Tellstrasse 19 (a block east of the Langstrasse). Tiny bar serving a range of Zurich's microbrews, always good music.
* '''El Lokal''' bar, restaurant & intimate gig venue attracting alternative crowd, "soccer vs elvis vs che guevara" themed, Gessnerallee 11 on the Sihl [http://www.ellokal.ch/]
+
* '''El Lokal''', Gessnerallee 11 on the Sihl [http://www.ellokal.ch/]. Bar, restaurant & intimate gig venue attracting alternative crowd, "soccer vs elvis vs che guevara" themed.
  
 
=====Kreis 5 (north west Zurich)=====
 
=====Kreis 5 (north west Zurich)=====
 
* '''4. Akt''' for teens and twens near Escher-Wyss Platz
 
* '''4. Akt''' for teens and twens near Escher-Wyss Platz
 
* '''Hard One''' roof lounge on top the Cinemax complex, older crowd, very expensive but stylish, near Escher-Wyss Platz
 
* '''Hard One''' roof lounge on top the Cinemax complex, older crowd, very expensive but stylish, near Escher-Wyss Platz
* '''Riffraff''' [http://www.riffraff.ch] cinema bar attracting a largely alternative crowd, Neugasse 57, near Langstrasse.
+
* '''Riffraff''', Neugasse 57, near Langstrasse, [http://www.riffraff.ch]. Cinema bar attracting a largely alternative crowd.
* '''Moods''' [http://www.moods.ch/] jazz club in the Schiffbau complex, concerts on Saturdays, in the Schiffsbau near Escher-Wyss Platz.
+
* '''Moods''', in the Schiffsbau near Escher-Wyss Platz, [http://www.moods.ch/]. Jazz club in the Schiffbau complex, concerts on Saturdays.  
* '''Acapulco''' bar with comfortable seats, Neugasse 56, near Langstrasse, on week-ends quite crowded. Every sunday karaoke evening.
+
* '''Acapulco''', Neugasse 56, near Langstrasse. Bar with comfortable seats and on week-ends quite crowded. Every Sunday karaoke evening.
  
 
===Clubs===
 
===Clubs===
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* '''Etap Hotel''', Technoparkstrasse 2, +41 43 276 20 00, [http://www.accorhotels.com].  This hotel is in a great place if you want to party.  Located in Zurich West, next to some great bars and restaurants.  The rooms are clean and comfortable.  About 82 CHF for a single room, and 92 CHF for a double/triple room.  For Zurich, this is cheap.  Located near a tram station which takes 10 minutes to get to the main train station.  
 
* '''Etap Hotel''', Technoparkstrasse 2, +41 43 276 20 00, [http://www.accorhotels.com].  This hotel is in a great place if you want to party.  Located in Zurich West, next to some great bars and restaurants.  The rooms are clean and comfortable.  About 82 CHF for a single room, and 92 CHF for a double/triple room.  For Zurich, this is cheap.  Located near a tram station which takes 10 minutes to get to the main train station.  
 
* '''Hotel Schäfli''', Badergasse 6, +41 44 251 41 44. Perfect location, near the station and just by the charming Niederdorstrasse, where there are tons of bars and restaurants. The building is very old and not really taken care of, with stains on the roof, bags of trash on the corridors, shared bathroom/shower. The shower has a timer. Be sure to get all the coins for the shower you need by Saturday, as the reception desk closes on Sundays. 102CHF for a double room.
 
* '''Hotel Schäfli''', Badergasse 6, +41 44 251 41 44. Perfect location, near the station and just by the charming Niederdorstrasse, where there are tons of bars and restaurants. The building is very old and not really taken care of, with stains on the roof, bags of trash on the corridors, shared bathroom/shower. The shower has a timer. Be sure to get all the coins for the shower you need by Saturday, as the reception desk closes on Sundays. 102CHF for a double room.
 +
 +
===Camping===
 +
Zurich has numerous camping sites, in true Swiss style they are usually very clean, all the sites are the the southern end of the city, normally in river valleys (for obvious reasons)
 +
*'''[http://www.campingwaldhof.ch/ Camp site Waldhof]'''
 +
*'''[http://www.camping-zurich.ch//Camp site Zürich-Seebucht]'''
 +
*'''Camp site Züri-Leu ***'''
 +
*For further listings [http://www.eurocampings.co.uk/en/europe/switzerland/z%FCrich/ Camp Sites in Switerland]
 +
*'''Reussbrücke T.C.S ****'''
  
 
===Mid-range===
 
===Mid-range===
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url="http://zurich.park.hyatt.com"
 
url="http://zurich.park.hyatt.com"
 
>5 star hotel with contemporary interior design, a business centre and a spa.</sleep>
 
>5 star hotel with contemporary interior design, a business centre and a spa.</sleep>
 +
 +
==Contact==
 +
* <listing name="The Wings lounge" alt="" directions="" address="Limmatquai" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.wings-lounge.ch" hours="" price="Free">Wireless internet.</listing>
 +
* <listing name="McDonalds" alt="" directions="" address="Langstrasse" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Free">Wireless internet</listing>
 +
* <listing name="Urania Internet Cafe" alt="" directions="Close to Bahnhofstrasse and above a car park!" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.cafe.ch" hours="" price="">PCs, printers and a selection of snacks.</listing>
  
 
==Stay safe==
 
==Stay safe==
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==Cope==
 
==Cope==
  
The Wings lounge (www.wings-lounge.ch) on Limmatquai have free wireless internet.
 
The McDonalds at Langstrasse, too.
 
 
The Urania Internet Cafe (www.cafe.ch) have PCs, printers and a selection of snacks.  Close to Bahnhofstrasse and above a car park!
 
  
 
If you're on a budget, don't stay out ''too'' late -- the "N" night buses only run on weekends, and when they run, they run only once per hour and you must purchase a Nachtzuschlag for CHF5 (2007) from the machine and validate it before boarding. On work nights there is no public transportation at all after about 0:30 (although taxis still exist in case you're stuck).
 
If you're on a budget, don't stay out ''too'' late -- the "N" night buses only run on weekends, and when they run, they run only once per hour and you must purchase a Nachtzuschlag for CHF5 (2007) from the machine and validate it before boarding. On work nights there is no public transportation at all after about 0:30 (although taxis still exist in case you're stuck).

Revision as of 01:21, 10 February 2008

This article is the Collaboration of the month for 6 February 2008. Find out how it can be improved, and plunge forward to make this an article we can be proud of!

Zurich [1] (German: Zürich, Zuerich) is the largest city in Switzerland, with a population of some 364,500 in the city proper and close to 1 million in the greater metropolitan area. Zurich is on Lake Zurich, where the lake meets the Limmat River, in the north of Switzerland. It will be one of the eight host cities in the 2008 European Football Championships.

View across Zurich from Grossmünster


Contents

Understand

Zurich is the largest city and the financial centre of the Helvetian Confederation (Switzerland). It is also the most populous Swiss metropolis. It is an airline hub and has the country's busiest airport.

Contrary to popular belief, Zurich is not the capital of Switzerland (which is Bern), just its largest city. Zurich has long been known for being clean and efficient, but only in the last ten years has it truly become a fascinating and worthwhile travel destination. This is mostly thanks to the liberalization of the cultural, party and gastronomy sectors. An increasingly cosmopolitan population has helped, as well, though more button-down Geneva remains Switzerland's most culturally heterogeneous city.

The Zurich dialect of German (which sounds very different from standard German) is the city's main spoken language, but speakers of this dialect invariably also understand standard German. Many people will understand English, French, or Italian as well.

Orientation

Limmat River in Zurich

Zurich is located at the northwestern end of Lake Zurich (Zürichsee), at the mouth of the Limmat River which divides the city in two. The modern heart of the city including the train station and most churches is on the west side of the river. The hillier east side is home to the little alleys of the Old Town and the hip drinking spots of Niederdorfstrasse.

Get in

By plane

Zurich Airport (IATA: ZRH) (German: Flughafen Zürich-Kloten) is Switzerland's largest and busiest airport, run with Swiss efficiency. It is actually in the community of Kloten, 12 minutes by train from central Zurich, about every 10-15 minutes. Several bus lines connect at the airport and provide access to the Winterthur region.

Most major airlines fly to Zurich but SWISS is still the Swiss flagcarrier and covers the biggest part of the international traffic at the airport. Almost every large hotel in Zurich provides shuttle buses from the airport to your hotel. The stops for these buses are a short walk to the right from Terminal 1 arrivals.

EasyJet resumed its flights to Zurich in 2007 after a three year absence.

By train

Regular trains to and from other Swiss and European cities leave from and arrive at the Hauptbahnhof, the main train station, conveniently located in the city centre at the end of Bahnhofstrasse, with easy access to mass transit. The Zurich Hauptbahnhof (HB) is served by the local S-Bahn commuter trains, InterCity (IC and ICN) connections throughout Switzerland, Italy's Cisalpino [2], Germany's ICE, France's TGV [3], and various other direct night train services to/from as far as Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Lecce, Barcelona, Budapest, and Beograd.

For train times and tickets, visit the SBB or Deutsche Bahn websites, although you may not be able to book many international journeys online through these websites. If you are already in Europe, your local train station office should usually be able to book these trains. A rail pass may make your trip more inexpensive. For more long-distance international journeys, visit Seat61 for more information.

The train station and the connecting underground mall has shops, restaurants, and a grocery store which locals use when they need to do Sunday shopping, as it is not subject to the closing hours laws otherwise in force in the city.

By car

Almost every highway leads straight into Zurich. This might be quite easy for tourists, but is also really painful if you have to cross Zurich on a daily basis.

By bus

The main bus station is just next to the main train station, where the river Sihl is flowing into the river Limmat. Many busses from and to other European cities, mainly southern destinations like former Yugoslavia or Spain.

By boat

As Zurich is located at the end of lake Zurich, it can be reached by boat from other lake villages, e.g. Rapperswil at the upper end of the lake.

Get around

Zurich is famous for its highly efficient, clean and safe public transport system. The network includes trams, buses, S-Bahn (local trains) and even boats for the lake and river. The size and complexity of the network may be daunting at first, but you will soon realize that there are dozens of ways to get from one place to another and following any of them will still be efficient.

Tickets - Tickets must be purchased from a ticket machine before boarding or from one of the ticket selling kiosks. The ticket machines might be intimidating at first glance, but simply get a "Tageskarte Zone 10" (day card - valid for 24hr) for 7.80 CHF by pushing the green button (a single ride costs 3.90 CHF). The ticket covers the city and should be enough for most tourists' needs, except perhaps the Uetliberg, which is not in Zone 10. This ticket is valid for all trains, trams, busses, boats and cable cars in Zone 10, so take a trip on the lake or river with the same ticket! If you are not sure whether your destination is in Zone 10, a possible destinations with their respective code is listed at each vending machine. Punch in the code and the price will be displayed.

The Swiss Pass is valid on all public transportation in Zurich, and if you are a tourist visiting most of Switzerland, this may be your best way to saving both money and time spent trying to figure out zones, routes, and fare options. Eurail passes are valid only on the S-Bahn and boats. Interrail passes are valid on the S-Bahn (although the ZVV website claims a "reduction" for other routes for Interrail holders). Nevertheless, you may find you don't need the trams and buses if you don't mind walking around a little.

If you intend to stay in Switzerland for a longer period you would be better to buy a 'Half-Fare Card' Ticket (valid nationwide), this means your Tram tickets will be cheaper and your train tickets will be only 50% of full value. There are many other special offers on tickets for tourists so ask at the tourist information, your hotel or visit the Zurich Public Transport Authority (Zürcher Verkehrsverbund ZVV)[4] The ZVV is a regional agency that coordinates fares and schedules for the region's different transit companies. The ZVV's website has maps, links to transit providers in the Zürich area, and trip planning information.

On foot

The main train station, old town and the lake promenade and all their tourist attractions are easily walkable. You may find that you don't need transportation for most of your tourist needs once you get into the city.

By tram and bus

Trams in Zurich

Several tram lines and buses (some electrified) cover the city at street level. Like all other public transport in Zurich, you purchase and validate tickets before boarding, or risk a fine if they decide to spot check. The most surprising thing about trams and buses in Switzerland is that they are also extremely punctual and you can find a schedule at every stop accurate to within a couple of minutes.

By boat

There are two types of boat-based public transportation operated in Zürich: river buses and lake steamers. The river boats operate in the summer months only and the lake boats operate on a much reduced schedule during the winter.

The river buses operate between the Landesmuseum (near the Hauptbahnhof) along the Limmat River and out in the Zürichsee (Zürich Lake) to Tiefenbrunnen. There are several stops along the Limmat River.

The Zürichsee Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (ZSG)[5] operates lake steamers which leave from Burkliplatz (at the end of Bahnhofstrasse). The ZSG's website provides information on destinations and ships. The ZSG offers a variety of tourist-oriented trips (including Jazz Brunch, and historic restored steam ships); a popular trip is to Rapperswil at the south end of the Zürichsee. The town has a beautiful castle overlooking the lake surrounded by a medieval town.

By bike

You can "rent" bikes, skateboards etc. for free from 7AM to 9:20PM every day between May and October at several places in Zurich and year-round at the central train station. This offer is called "Züri rollt (German only)"[6]. Get and return the bikes either at the bikegate just next to the central station, next to the "Globus City" shopping centre, next to the opera or at the Swissotel in Oerlikon. If you can't find these places, don't hesitate to ask some locals, they should know at least the bikegate at the central station. The Zurich Transit Company, VBZ also provides information about these bikes in English [7]. Nevertheless, you shouldn't count on it because sometimes the "rent" spots run out of bikes.

By rail

The S-Bahn is Zürich's regional rail system, used mainly by commuters but also a good way to get to many destinations outside the city centre. The 'S' stands for schnell (fast). Zürich's S-Bahn system provides convenient and fast service throughout the region. Most of the lines pass through the Hauptbahnhof. The ZVV offers directions[8] for a series of excursions on the S-Bahn. One popular destination (not mentioned on the ZVV website) is Stein am Rhein, a restored medieval village on the river Rhine which can be reached using the S-Bahn number 29 from Winterthur.

By car

Driving in Zurich is possible but it is painful as the city centre is not easy to drive around in, holding up trams and buses while trying to find directions is unappreciated, and roads can be confusing. Public transportation is plentiful, conserves energy, and is perfectly efficient in this city, and in some parts of the city have dedicated lanes, so they are never held up by congestion.

See

Central Zurich and the St. Peter Church
Grossmünster in Zurich
Fraumunster windows by Chagal

Most of the interesting sights are in the old town around the river and lakefront.

  • Grossmünster, Zwingliplatz, [9]. Old Romanesque church, symbol of reformed Zurich, where reformer Huldrych Zwingli was appointed the people's priest in 1519. Tower CHF2.
  • Fraumünster, Kämbelgasse 2, [10]. Old Gothic church (former convent) with window paintings by Marc Chagal.
  • Landesmuseum, Museumstrasse 2, +41 (0)44 218 65 11, [11]. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM and most public holidays including M. The biggest Swiss history museum. You can also learn about the various traditions of the cantons comprising Switzerland. It's currently undergoing major refurbishment works until 2009 though many exhibitions are still open.
  • Kunsthaus, +41 (0)44 253 84 84, [12]. One of the major Swiss art museums. Its specialities are modern sculpturer Giacometti and the surrealist 18th Century painter Fuesli, both Swiss.
  • Schanzengraben. (a small canal that used to be part of the city fortifications between Limmat and Sihl): From the main station, go to Gessnerallee, find the stairways down to the tiny creek, and walk all the way to the lake.
  • Rietberg Museum, Gablerstrasse 15, +41 (0)44 206 31 31, [13]. One of Europe's best collections of Asian art (mainly Indian drawings).
  • Langstrasse. Red light district of Zürich, with more drug dealers and police than usual, but interesting because even this most notorious spot in Switzerland is so clean and safe. Expect some lewd comments when walking alone at night as a woman. This busy night-life street is crowded by pubs and bars and you can find there about 10 strip clubs.
  • Zoo, Zürichbergstrasse 221, +41 (0)44 254 25 05, [14]. With the new Masoalahall [15], the Zoo is really worth a visit!
  • Lake Promenade. Especially during summer a beautiful place to spend the evening or the weekends. Starting from Bellevue, the boardwalk goes for about three kilometers along the lake towards Tiefenbrunnen. About halfway there is a meadow where you will find thousands of people on a sunny day.
  • Chinese Garden, +41 (0)44 435 21 11, [16]. This small but beautiful Chinese garden was offered to the city of Zurich by the Chinese city of Kunming as symbol of gratitude after Zurich helped the Kunming with technical knowledge.
  • Le Corbusier House, (near Chinese Garden), [17]. A beautiful modern villa planned by the famous Swiss architect.
  • Lindenhof. The hill in the heart of the old town. A beautiful view of the city.
  • Niederdorf. The old town offers beautiful alleys and luxurious shops.
  • Bahnhofstrasse. One of the busiest and best known shopping streets in the world. Highly refined. Certainly a must-see for every tourist in Zurich! (see below)
  • Museum Buehrle, Zollikerstrasse 172, +41 (0)44 422 00 86, [18]. A rich private art collection worth visiting.
  • Jacob Coffee Museum, Seefeldquai 17, +41 (0)44 388 61 51, [19]. An original museum which desribes the evolving of the coffee and different aspects of the culture the developed around it.
  • Zurich West. This modern quarter used to be an industrial one, but modern urban developments made it to a centre of vibrant night life.

Shows and Theatre

  • Rote Fabrik (Red Factory), [20]. An old silk factory converted to a center of youth culture and art at the 80's. The Red Factory became one of the most exciting parts of cultural life. An artists coop a couple of kilometres south form along the west bank of Lake Zurich. They have a variety of events, including music, film, and theatre.
  • Theater am Neumarkt, Neumarkt 5, [21]. Closed Summer. Closer to downtown.

Do

  • Take the Polybahn, a 19th century funicular, up the steep hill for a fine view. Starts at tram station Central and goes up to the ETH. Zone 10 ZVV ticket is valid. Nice terrace up there. During the week, the student cafeteria below the terrace is also open to the public.
  • Go skiing by train - buy a snow'n'rail ticket (train & skipass) at the Hauptbahnhof during winter months, train out in morning, back in evening. Flumserberg is the closest large ski-resort, popular with people from Zurich, with a good range of runs for beginners and experts.
  • Take a trip on the Zürichsee with one of the two old steam ships. There are a few different routes you can choose from, which will vary mainly in the distance. Or rent a small rowboat.
  • Go up Uetliberg, a hill overlooking Zurich. You can hike up, or take a train from the main station. Enjoy the 360 degree view from a tall viewing tower (not for vertigo sufferers!). This is also the start of the planetenweg (planetary walk), an 8 mile walk along the ridge with models of the planets along the way. These are scaled down in true proportion to the solar system. To look at Zürich from the other hills, go to the Irchel (Tram station Milchbuck) or Käferberg (Bucheggplatz, walk up the hill and keep left of the forest).
  • Go club-hopping Zürich has proportionately the largest number of clubs per capita in Europe. Pick up a free copy of the 20 Minuten (20 Minutes) paper and start exploring.
  • Go for a bike ride! You can get free bikes, skates or other fun transport at several stops throughout town. Beware though that biking within the city is only for the experienced, as trams and buses frequent the roads and tram tracks are a serious hazard to inexperienced cyclists.
  • The Grossmunster sometimes has organ concerts in the evenings. Check the front door for notices.
  • Explore the full and vast selection of foods and condiments available at any Swiss supermarket, heavily influenced by cultures of all the countries around Switzerland. Migros is everywhere and cheap for Swiss standards; Coop is slightly more expensive but has a greater selection of high quality foods; Globus at Lowenplatz has a more upscale supermarket in the basement which is worth at least a browsing.

Events

  • Streetparade, [22]. Currently the biggest open air techno rave in Europe. It happens one day each year on the second Saturday of August, during which trucks which function as mobile soundsystems ("Love mobiles") start driving along the lake side, starting from the east at Utoquai and ending at the west at Hafen Enge. Every year this event attracts nearly a million visitors who dance in the streets to the music which you can hear from anywhere in the city. After the Streetparade the party doesn't stop, there are open air parties along the route until midnight and club parties at various locations in town until late the next day, to keep the party going. Don't be surprised if the city isn't so clean the next day.
  • Swiss national day on August 1st. Celebrations are carried out in many cities in the evenings and fireworks are launched at night. Watch them over the lake, or if you're experienced with safely launching fireworks yourself, you can buy them in the days leading up to the national holiday and have fun. The display over the Rheinfall, one hour away by S-Bahn, is also extremely popular.
  • Zuri Fascht, which occurs every 3 years (next in 2010), a weekend festival celebrating Zurich.

Learn

  • ETH Zürich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) [23] is one of most renowned technical universities in Europe.
  • University of Zurich, [24].

Work

Switzerland has a very strict labor market. You will need a work permission visa and promotion from an employer.

For citizens of the old EU-15 states the bilateral agreements made it easier to gain a temporary work permit typically for 5 years, renewable. Due to quota restrictions (which will be lifted during 2007) often a 1 year permit is issued to EU applicants as such candidates can repeatedly renew even these 1 year permits. Legally, EU applicants have the same status as Swiss applicants when applying for jobs (employer does not need to justify hiring them, and must hire them in preference to non-EU/non-Swiss applicants if skills are equivalent).

For all other citizenships you need a company behind you and you must have skills that are rare in the Swiss (or EU!) labor market.

Working without permission can lead to a night in prison and deportation depending on you and the agreement with your home country.

Buy

Bahnhofsstrasse

For shopping in Zürich there are three different areas in the centre:

  • Bahnhofstrasse, which runs from the Zürich Train Main station "Hauptbahnhof" right down to the lake. Bahnhofsstrasse is famous for being one of the most exclusive and expensive shopping streets in the world. Here you can get anything from diamond rings to chocolate and fur coats. Globus and Jelmoli are two fiercely competitive department stores, both of whom carry items from many high-end brands.
  • Niederdorf, which is the Old Part of Zurich and expands from "Bellevue" by the Lake right to "Central" which is just over the River from the train station. The Niederdorf is more for young people. Aside from a lot of fast food places you will find a lot of trendy clothes stores here.
  • Löwenstrasse, which runs west of Bahnhofstrasse from the main train station, has lower range shops and a large branch of Migros, a department store chain.

Swiss clocks and watches

You may be disappointed to know that most of the cheap watches and clocks in Switzerland are imported from China and Japan for their cheap quartz movements (including most of the wall clocks and alarm clocks sold at department stores, for example). Don't purchase a "Migros Budget" clock for CHF8 thinking it is a Swiss clock! Nevertheless, real Swiss-made clocks are still well-known for their quality and reliability, and intricate mechanics. The following are true Swiss-made watches:

  • Swatch, possibly your best bet for a "cheap" Swiss watch (CHF40-100) and perhaps better suited for the younger generation. Available in their stores on Bahnhofstrasse and various other locations, or in department stores.
  • M-Watch, based on both Mondaine and Migros and available in Migros Electronics stores such as the one on the 2nd floor of the Lowenplatz location. Also relatively inexpensive (CHF40-100). Do not confuse this with "M-Budget" which is an imported cheap watch.
  • Mondaine is known for their use of the famous SBB railway clock face. You can buy a replica of the SBB clock as a watch or a wall clock in most major railway stations, among other locations. However, you should note that most of them do not replicate the hallmark smooth movement of the second hand for 58.5 seconds followed by the 1.5 second pause that is characteristic of real SBB railway clocks, but they do replicate the clock face. They are quartz, and the price may seem a little inflated to you (CHF130-180). The vast majority of SBB railway clocks are actually produced by Mobatime (Moser-Baer AG), not Mondaine, even though Mondaine's name appears on some of the larger clocks such as the Treffpunkt in Zurich HB.
  • Mid-range brands (CHF 100 - CHF 500) can be found at clock and watch stores throughout the city. Just walk in and have a look if you're interested.
  • Upper-end watches and clocks, such as Rolex, are also sold, but you should probably do more research into them than you can find here. If you just want to stare at some of the most expensive watches for sale, take a look at the Bucherer store window at Bahnhofstrasse and see what a CHF 25000 watch looks like.

Swiss chocolate

  • Frey is a budget chocolate brand sold in Migros supermarkets, and though very low end in Swiss terms, is still excellent for a budget brand and probably better than most chocolate from elsewhere. Expect CHF 1.20 - 2.00 for a 100g bar.
  • Lindt is available at the Coop and other supermarkets besides Migros for CHF 2 - 2.50, but they are sold at about half the supermarket price at the factory store[25], a 15-minute walk from the Kilchberg S-Bahn stop. Hours are limited (Mon-Thu 0900-1700, Fri 0900-1600). A fantastic place to stock up on chocolate at bargain prices. They also sometimes sell factory rejects (when they happen for various reasons such as filling showing through) at even cheaper prices. If Germany is on your itinerary you can also stop at the Lindt factory store in Aachen which is huge.
  • The larger Coop supermarkets carry many brands, including Lindt, Camille Bloch, Goldkenn, and others, including all sorts of alcohol-filled chocolates.
  • Teuscher[26] is an upscale confiserie that specializes in truffles. There are a three stores in Zürich: Bahnhofstrasse 46, Storchengasse 9 and Jelmoli Department Store.
Sprüngli
  • Sprüngli is a Zürich institution that offers a variety of sweet and savory goodies including a wide variety of chocolates, from hand-made truffles to special chocolate bars. There are locations throughout the city, including Bahnhofstrasse and inside Zurich HB. Some specialities include the Luxemburgerli, a sort of soft macaroon resembling a hamburger in looks but is actually completely pastry and cream, and comes in a variety of flavors, the Truffe du Jour, a chocolate truffle that is made daily from raw cream and is meant to be consumed immediately; and the extraordinary Grand Cru Sauvage truffle, made from wild cacao beans from Bolivia. Most items are rather pricey but worth it. The flagship store on the Paradeplatz is a very popular spot for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Try their berry-filled muesli - it's like no other muesli you've ever had. There are two handy stores at the Kloten airport for last-minute gifts to bring home.
  • St. Jakobs Confiserie[27], Badenerstrasse 41. The background organisation, Behindertenwerk St. Jacob aims at providing jobs for the handicapped.

Swiss handcrafts

  • Schweizer Heimatwerk (Schweizer Heimatwerk) [28], Uraniastr. 1 on the Limmat river. Also branches in the Hauptbahnhof (main station), airport, and Rennweg 14 in the Bellevue area. Quality Swiss handcrafts and other Swiss-made products presented in a gallery-like setting. You won't find many cuckoo clocks and the like here (cuckoo clocks are not really Swiss, they are from the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) in Germany!), the emphasis is on real traditional crafts and the work of modern craftspeople. You will find things like sleek modern handblown glassware and beautiful handcarved wooden items from the Appenzell region. A worthwhile visit even if you just browse.

Swiss army knives

  • Coop City in Bahnhofstrasse sells the Victorinox line at uninflated prices, although you won't get additional bells and whistles like customized faceplates or engraving. Quite possibly many other department stores will also carry them.
  • Any cutlery shop will probably carry both Victorinox and Wenger lines of products. However, do make sure they are not inflating the price. For example, a SwissChamp (possibly the most popular model) should be retailed at CHF78 (2007).

Markets

  • Flohmarkt Bürkliplatz (Fleamarket) at Bürkliplatz, in the Bellevue area near the Stadelhofen station, May-October Sa 6AM-3:30PM. Fairly relaxed yet large flea market with many interesting stalls. Some Pictures
  • Flohmarkt Kanzlei (Fleamarket) at Helvetiaplatz. A big fleamarket with sometimes more than 400 stalls. Sa from 8AM-4PM. Website (German)
  • Other Fleamarkets. A list (German) of other Fleamarkets in the area of Zurich.

Other

  • Pastorini Spielzeug is a high-end toy store located near the river at Weinplatz 3.
  • There is an English language bookstore at the intersection of Bahnhofstrasse and Rennweg.

Eat

The quintessential Zürich dish is Zürigschnätzlets, veal in a cream and wine sauce. Various kinds of grilled Wurst (sausages) are also popular. These are most often accompanied by boiled potatoes, Rösti, a Swiss potato pancake (grated potato, formed into a pancake then panfried until crisp in butter or oil) or Chnöpfli, in German sometimes called Spätzle, (small noodle dumplings).

Veal is still very popular, though the use of turkey and other meats as a substitute is growing.

While Fondue (melted cheese in a central pot, dip bread into it) and Raclette (cheese melted in small portions, served with potatoes and pickles) are not really local to Zürich (they come from the Valais region of Switzerland) they are commonly available at restaurants aimed at tourists.

The bread available in Zürich is generally delicious. There are many varieties, and your best bet is to go to a bakery or a supermarket in the morning or just after work hours, when most people are doing their shopping and bread is coming out fresh. Combine it with a trip to the supermarket to assemble your own lunch in your hotel with authentic cheeses and anything else.

Try grilled Bratwurst from street stands, served with a large crusty roll of sourdough bread and optional mustard, or sandwiches made with fresh baked Bretzeln (large, soft pretzels). A typically Swiss bread is the Zopf, a braided soft bread that is commonly served on Sundays (the other name for it is Sonntagszopf).

For breakfast, try a bowl of Muesli, which was invented as a health food in Switzerland. The Sprüngli confectionery store tea rooms serve a deluxe version of this fiber-filled cereal with whole milk, crushed berries and cream. You can also do what locals do and buy a bag of Muesli and milk at the supermarket and eat it yourself. Farmer Croc, among other brands is recommendable.

There are a huge variety of cheeses available at the supermarkets, speciality stores and markets, as well as all kinds of hams and dried sausages. Dairy products are generally delicious, especially the butter. Speaking of which ... do not miss the supermarkets! You should take a thorough look through Migros or Coop and maybe even assemble your own lunch or dinner some time. Even the cheap, budget prepackaged desserts in the supermarket exceed the quality of what you are probably used to. Switzerland, being at the center of Europe, gets influenced by all of the cultures around it and this is very evident in the supermarkets.

For those with a sweet tooth, there's a huge variety of chocolates to enjoy, from the cheapest chocolate bar to individually hand-made truffles. (See the Shopping section above). The chocolate bar displays at the supermarkets will overwhelm you! Also enjoy pastries and cakes from the various Konditorei scattered around town. A typical cake is the Mandelfisch, an almond cake shaped like a fish.

Like any proper European city, Zürich abounds with cafés where you can enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee, glass of wine or other beverage, and watch the world go by.

There are many international dining options available too. The current hot trend seems to be pan-Asian noodle/rice/sushi places.

Vegetarian food is easy to find throughout the city; vegans may have a little trouble because cheese is used generously in most food, but should be fine living off supermarkets at the very least. Hiltl, the first vegetarian-only restaurant in Europe, is also worth a visit, and your meal is priced by weight from the buffet.

Budget

  • The Migros and Coop supermarkets (several branches all over the city) are good places to assemble an inexpensive and delicious picnic lunch consisting of freshly baked bread, cheese or ham and fresh fruit. Migros Gourmessa is the 'gourmet' takeaway counter, available in larger Migros stores including the Migros City branch at Löwestrasse. The Coop Bahnhofbrücke branch near the main station also has a small fast-food restaurant. Note: the Migros branch in the main station is open on Sundays when most other stores are closed, and also until 9PM on weekdays.
  • Lee's take-away, Preyergasse 8 in the Niederdorf. Stand-up place serving excellent large portions of Asian food. Special student dishes under 10CHF.
  • Molino at the Limmatquai and near Stauffacher for Italian Food
  • New-Point sells kebaps, (1) at Langstrasse, (2) near the police station by the Sihl between main station and Stauffacher (Kaserne), (3) at Albisriederplatz (4) at Hardstrasse near Pfingstweidstrasse
  • Jelmoli, St. Annahof and Manor department store restaurant for a cheap buffet lunch, good salad and vegetables stands. All at Bahnhofstrasse (not evenings). The large Migros supermarkets (those with two or three big orange M's) also have restaurants in the store.
  • Rheinfelder Bierhalle, at the beginning of the Niederdorf (near Central). In this huge and smoky restaurant you get good-value food and rich portions (only try the Jumbo Jumbo Cordon-Bleu when really hungry). Cheap beer.
  • Millennium Restaurant, on Limmatplatz (Limmatstrasse at Langstrasse) right across the X-tra bar. Offers great pizzas, large hamburgers, spicy kebabs and other Italian and Turkish dishes at reasonable prices. Staff is very friendly and service is great. Perfect for lunch or a late-night snack.
  • Vorderer Sternen Grill, 22 Theaterstrasse. Zurich's most famous sausage stand next to the UBS bank building at Bellevue. Red or white sausage for 6CHF, piece of bread and (hot!) mustard is included.

Mid-range

  • Rosalys, near Bellevue. For typical Swiss food including Älplermacrone (pasta with apple purée); excellent cocktail bar, too
  • Commercio, near Stadelhofen station (Mühlebachstrasse). For excellent pasta and a busy atmosphere.
  • Commi-Halle, near Central. Italian food.
  • Swiss Chuchi, in the Niederdorf. Classic Swiss food for tourists, but good none the less.
  • Zeughauskeller, at Paradeplatz. Offers hearty sausages, stews, rösti potato etc. in a Brauhaus-like setting. Touristy, but good and large portions. Historical (built in 1487) building.
  • Kropf, just down the street from the Zeughauskeller. Offers similar fare in a slightly more refined setting. Beautiful painted ceiling.
  • Globus Bellevue. This relatively new branch of the Globus department store in the Bellevue near the Stadelhofen station is totally dedicated to food. There is a large eatery on the ground floor that serves various fusion-type foods (decent noodle bowl) and a passable sushi bar. The ground floor has a gourmet food market, and upstairs there are kitchen wares.
  • Sprüngli Paradeplatz, at Paradeplatz. The flagship store of the Sprüngli confectionery store chain has a beautiful turn-of-the-century style dining room upstairs that is extremely popular for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Choose from the menu or from the gorgeous display case filled with beautiful cakes, tarts, open-face and regular sandwiches. Try the muesli! Great people watching too, since this is the place for an after-shopping snack for the rich ladies of Zürich.
  • King Curry, near Bahnhof Wiedikon (trams 9 and 14). Offers a good value daily Indian lunch buffet.
  • Masala, near Stauffacher. Indian food.
  • Hiltl, Sihlstrasse 102 behind Jelmoli department store, Phone: 044 227 70 00, [29]. The oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe (from 1890). Reponed in March 2007 after renovation work.
  • Tibits, behind the Opera house at Seefeldstrasse. The fast-food outlet of Hiltl, Europe's oldest vegetarian restaurant. Offers a nice self-service buffet of fresh veggies and fruit and a surprising variety. Try the freshly squeezed juices.
  • Outback Lodge, at Bahnhof Stadelhofen. Unrelated to the U.S. Outback Steakhouse chain. Enjoy Aussie tucker like ostrich, kangaroo, and crocodile - as well as more conventional fare. Popular with locals as well as expats. Has a hopping bar scene (see Drink section). Also a branch in Winterthur.
  • Iroquois tex-mex food in the trendiest part of town, with the best margueritas in Zurich. Seefeldstrasse 120
  • Tiffin's great place for Asian food. Crowded, closed on Sundays. Seefeldstrasse between Kreuzstrasse and Feldeggstrasse
  • Lily's great Thai and other Asian food. Especially recommended: huge portions of Thai curry. Langstrasse between the railway and Limmatplatz. Come before 19 or after 21 if you don't want to wait.
  • Nooba Pan-asian noodle bar at Kreuzplatz, a short walk up the hill from Stadelhofen station. Stylish setting, attentive and multi-lingual service and a broad selection of freshly prepared noodle, rice and curry dishes.
  • Nooch Yet another Pan-Asian noodle, rice and curry joint, at Heinrichstrasse 267, opposite the Cinemax movie multiplex. Also has a sushi bar.
  • Ristoranto Toscano, Schmidgasse 17, [30]. A very good italian restaurant in the old part of the city (Niederdorf). You should try the Spaghetti al Bacio! Closed for lunch on saturday and all day on sunday.
  • Restaurant Eisenhof, Gasometerstrasse 20. Has the warm feel of an old pub. The house specialty is horse steak, served on a hot stone with fries.

Splurge

  • Widder Hotel has a very cool bar - great piano music and very cool red leather and halogen lighting.
  • Zunfthaus Zur Waag - near Bahnofstrasse - very authentic Swiss high end restaurant. To ensure your meal does not get cold - they split your order into 2 plates and bring you one at a time....
  • Bindella, In Gassen 6 off Bahnhofstrasse, Phone 44 221 25 46. Great Italian Food - very authentic.
  • Le Dezaley hidden in a small street from Limmatquai near the Grossmünster, with traditional Swiss food from the French-speaking Kanton Waadt (Vaud)
  • Blaue Ente at the far end of tram 2 and 4 near Bahnhof Tiefenbrunnen.
  • LaSalle in the Schiffbauhalle, stylish and romantic.
  • Kronenhalle at Bellevue is the city's most famous restaurant where all the glitterati go to see and be seen. Good Swiss food and heavenly chocolate mousse are one reason to go, the opportunity to dine among original artwork by famous Swiss and European artists (who payed in paintings instead of money) the other. Dress nicely, and treat yourself to a drink at the classy bar before or after your meal.
  • The restaurants at the top of the Uetliberg are great to combine a nice view of town (a hike in the summer) and some great food. It also has a cheaper self-service area.

Drink

General

Zurich has a lot of places to go out. There are a lot of clubs, restaurants, cafés, bars but also many museums and theaters.

Event calendar: Züritipp (German language)

What to drink: Beer, Swiss white wine: e.g. Fendant. Swiss red wine is not overly recommended: Spanish red wine is generally good value here. At apéro time (after work), you will find many people drinking a Cüpli (glass of sparkling wine).

Bars (centre)

  • Nachtflug, Stüssihofstatt 4 (Niederdorf). Stylish, coffee and some snacks during the day, large choice of drinks at night.
  • Outback Lodge near Stadelhofen station. Australian in theme, drinks and food, but also well visited by the locals.
  • Blue Note jazz club, quite expensive but good atmosphere. Stockerstrasse 45.
  • James Joyce bar where the writer himself used to go. Now mostly frequented by bankers. Pelikanstrasse 8.
  • Oliver Twist is a Irish- / British-style pub with a good atmosphere, many English-speaking foreigners, own small court. Rindermarkt 6.
  • Öpfelchammere (apple chamber). Not a real pub or café: they only serve wine or water. But if you succeed in climbing over the roof beams, you get a free glass of wine to drink hanging upside down and you can mark your name into the wood afterwards. Rindermarkt 12.
  • Widder bar by far the best stocked whisky bar in town. In the famous hotel of the same name. Widdergasse 6.
  • Corazón, Zähringerplatz 11, +41 1 261 09 59, [31]. A Spanish themed bar with a good selection of wines and excellent service.
  • Bohemia, Trendy place popular for its coffee during the day and an even better nightlife. Usually a popular place for college students. Kreutzplatz (Just up from Stadelhofen)

Bars (Kreis 4 & 5 and beyond)

Kreis 4 & 5 are two areas west of central Zurich, probably the most interesting & colourful.

Kreis 4 (west Zurich)
  • Casablanca bar at the Langstrasse near Helvetiaplatz
  • Xenix, Kanzleistrasse 56 by Helvetiaplatz [32]. Small arthouse cinema with busy beer garden in summer, the choice of students, bohemians & bicycle messengers posing with their fixies.
  • Total Bar, Tellstrasse 19 (a block east of the Langstrasse). Tiny bar serving a range of Zurich's microbrews, always good music.
  • El Lokal, Gessnerallee 11 on the Sihl [33]. Bar, restaurant & intimate gig venue attracting alternative crowd, "soccer vs elvis vs che guevara" themed.
Kreis 5 (north west Zurich)
  • 4. Akt for teens and twens near Escher-Wyss Platz
  • Hard One roof lounge on top the Cinemax complex, older crowd, very expensive but stylish, near Escher-Wyss Platz
  • Riffraff, Neugasse 57, near Langstrasse, [34]. Cinema bar attracting a largely alternative crowd.
  • Moods, in the Schiffsbau near Escher-Wyss Platz, [35]. Jazz club in the Schiffbau complex, concerts on Saturdays.
  • Acapulco, Neugasse 56, near Langstrasse. Bar with comfortable seats and on week-ends quite crowded. Every Sunday karaoke evening.

Clubs

Zurich has proportionally more clubs than any other city in Europe. You will find anything from very "fancy" Clubs to places you can just chill. If you want, you can go to a club every night. There is always a Club that has a party going, and Zurich's young make sure to splash all their income on going out.

Three of the most renowned clubs are converted parts of the old Toni dairy factory at Förrlibuckstrasse:

  • Toni Molkerei[36]
  • Dachkantine ("roof canteen", closed down February 2006)
  • Rohstofflager ("raw material storage"). This one also does concerts.

A lot of Clubs are located in the so called Zurich West (District 5)

  • X-Tra The probably biggest Club near the Limmatplatz
  • Hive Club (former Club UG) [37]
  • Code Club
  • K5-Club
  • Säulenhalle[38]
  • Indochine , Kaufleuten[39], St. Germain and Mascotte are the more fancy clubs in Zurich
  • Zukunft,Abart and Helsinki[40] are for a more alternative and artsy crowd

Gay and lesbian travellers

  • Rathauscafé. Coffee and a croissant in the morning, moving over to sparkling wine in the afternoon and early evening. Nice terrace in the summer. Mixed crowd, friendly service. Limmatquai.
  • Cranberry opposite Rathauscafé Very crowded on Fridays and Saturdays 20-24 before the boys head to the clubs.
  • Barfüsser once Europe's oldest gay bar, it has now been converted into a fancy and large lounge and sushi place. More relaxed atmosphere, mixed crowd. Spitalgasse 4.
  • T&M Disco club and Aaaah house club, [41]. Open most days but only crowded on Friday and Saturday. Share the same house and entry ticket at Marktgasse 14, you can switch atmosphere as much as you like. 23CHF cover charge on busy nights.
  • Sunday trash Gay and Lesbian party in Labor bar, Schiffbaustrasse. Place to be on Sunday night, 21-03h. 10CHF cover charge.

Sleep

Zurich is the financial center of Switzerland and most travellers come with an expense account. The hospitality sector focuses therefore mostly on the 4 and 5 star sector. Zurich is known for it's superb hotels but these won't come cheap. Best is to go on a company rate because rack rates are sometimes ridiculous.

Budget

  • City Backpacker/Hotel Biber, Niederdorfstr 5, +41 44 251 90 15 (email: sleep@city-backpacker.ch), [42]. Probably the most convenient hostel for backpackers. In the center of the city with dormitory beds for 31 Chf. There are shared bathroom and cooking areas.
  • Youth hostel, Mutschellenstrasse 114, +41 43 399 78 00, (email: zuerich@youthhostel.ch), [43]. A bit off the very center of Zurich, but still in good reach of the main city. A clean and sleek facility. Prices starting from 35 Chf for dormitory bed including breakfast.
  • Martahaus, Zaehringerstrasse 36, +41 44 251 45 50 (Fax +41 44 251 45 40, email: info@martahaus.ch), [44]. A "clean and friendly" place which doubles as a hostel and a one-star hotel, this is one of the few hotels in Zurich which goes out of its way to proclaim itself gay-friendly. They also have weekly and monthly rates for rooms as well as a couple of studio apartments. 38-150 Chf (dormitory bed to double room with a shower).
  • ZicZac Rock-Hotel, Marktgasse 17, +41 44 261 21 81 (email: rockhotel@ziczac.ch), [45]. One of the cheaper options right in the middle of things. It has rock'n'roll 'theme' rooms (generally just the name of the room and a photo on the wall). Good, relaxed atmosphere in an old and slightly worn-down building. 100-200CHF (double w/wout private bath).
  • Otter, Oberdorfstr, 7, +41 44 251 22 07 (Fax: +41 44 251 22 75), [46]. Now this is a good hotel for the price! The rooms have been decorated with the kind of care that one normally expects in a much more expensive hotel, each with its own theme. You can choose from the jungle room with its hammock, or the pink Carmen, or go for the top floor apartment. Each floor's three rooms share a bath, shower and toilet (WC), with the exception of the apartment which has its own shower. 90-100 Chf for a single room, 130-160 for a double, and 180 for the apartment (more with more people).
  • Hotel Splendid, Rosengasse 5, [47]. This hotel is relatively cheap. The rooms are ok and clean, but not very luxurious. Private showers and bathrooms are not available, you share with your floor. What is really great is the location, right close to the Gemüsebrücke and the city center! 60Chf (double room).
  • Etap Hotel, Technoparkstrasse 2, +41 43 276 20 00, [48]. This hotel is in a great place if you want to party. Located in Zurich West, next to some great bars and restaurants. The rooms are clean and comfortable. About 82 CHF for a single room, and 92 CHF for a double/triple room. For Zurich, this is cheap. Located near a tram station which takes 10 minutes to get to the main train station.
  • Hotel Schäfli, Badergasse 6, +41 44 251 41 44. Perfect location, near the station and just by the charming Niederdorstrasse, where there are tons of bars and restaurants. The building is very old and not really taken care of, with stains on the roof, bags of trash on the corridors, shared bathroom/shower. The shower has a timer. Be sure to get all the coins for the shower you need by Saturday, as the reception desk closes on Sundays. 102CHF for a double room.

Camping

Zurich has numerous camping sites, in true Swiss style they are usually very clean, all the sites are the the southern end of the city, normally in river valleys (for obvious reasons)

Mid-range

  • Palais Kraft, Kraftstrasse 33, +41 44 388 84 85 (Fax +41 44 388 84 86, email welcome@palaiskraft.com). Two luxury guest rooms in Zurich's most prestigious residential building. Located above the university district at Toblerplatz (Trams 5 and 6, direction Zoo), in the heart of Zurich's prime residential area. The rooms come with a large well-stocked fridge, kitchenette, 32" flat screen TV, wireless Internet access, and are open to the terrace of the Palais Kraft. CHF 330 including continental breakfast, non-alcoholic drinks and vegetarian snacks. The Palais Kraft is a non-discriminating employer and welcomes diversity. http://www.palaiskraft.com/
  • Hotel Adler, Rosengasse 10, +41 (0)44 266 96 96 (Fax +41 (0)44 266 96 69, email info@hotel-adler.ch). I stayed here for one night after arriving at the airport at 7:00 AM. I took the train from the airport to the main train station and the hotel is about a 10-15 minute stroll. They allowed me to check-in very early, around 9:00 AM, which was very appreciated. I do not think this is something you can rely on, but it was a great first impression of the hotel. The room was impeccable; clean, neat, fully functional. Breakfast was included in the room price, which was 135CHF for a single room. They have a terrific restaurant attached and associated with the hotel that has delicious fondue. The hotel is in a great area for foot exploration; with many bars, restaurants, and cafes all within a few minutes. They have a single computer on the 2nd floor with free Internet access, I am unsure of the WiFi status because I didn't bring my laptop. I'm sure a quick email could answer that question. Next time I'm in Zurich the only reason I wouldn't stay here again would be to check out other places. http://www.hotel-adler.ch/default-sE.html

Splurge

  • Hotel Widder, Rennweg 7, +41 44 224 25 26, Best hotel in town, known for excellent service and unique location in the old town but just 1-2 min from Bahnhofstrasse
  • Hotel zum Storchen, Am Weinplatz 2, +41 44 227 27 27, Only hotel direct at the river Limmat with exclusive restaurant
  • Baur au lac, Talstrasse 1, +41 44 220 50 20, Perfect location at the lake, excellent restaurant, famous with actors, celebrities and politicians
  • Savoy Baur en Ville, Paradeplatz
  • Park Hyatt Zurich, Beethovenstrasse 21, +41 43 883 1234 (), [49]. 5 star hotel with contemporary interior design, a business centre and a spa.

Contact

  • The Wings lounge, Limmatquai, [50]. Wireless internet. Free.
  • McDonalds, Langstrasse. Wireless internet Free.
  • Urania Internet Cafe, (Close to Bahnhofstrasse and above a car park!), [51]. PCs, printers and a selection of snacks.

Stay safe

Zürich, like most cities in Switzerland, is relatively safe. Although be on guard for thieves and pickpockets. Carry your wallet or purse in a secure way, not in your hip pocket or a backpack outer pocket.

In recent years, certain areas along the lakefront are frequented by young people who sometimes try to pick a fight when they are drunk. Do not let them provoke you as they are likely to be there in numbers and will use any excuse to go at you.

Public Transportation is very safe. You can use it without any special precautions.

If you decide to bicycle in the city, understand that Zurich is a city of public transportation. Beware of tram tracks which can get your wheel stuck and send you flying into traffic, of the trams themselves which travel these tracks frequently (and may scare you into getting stuck into the track as just noted), and the buses, which make frequent stops in the rightmost lane. In short, bicycling downtown should be only done by those experienced with cycling with such traffic.

  • Gay and lesbian travellers: Zurich is the favourite place to live for Switzerland's (German-speaking) gays and lesbians and the city is extremely tolerant . The Canton of Zurich was the first to allow registered partnerships for same-sex partners, for example. Gays and lesbians need not take special precaution for their safety on the streets.

Cope

If you're on a budget, don't stay out too late -- the "N" night buses only run on weekends, and when they run, they run only once per hour and you must purchase a Nachtzuschlag for CHF5 (2007) from the machine and validate it before boarding. On work nights there is no public transportation at all after about 0:30 (although taxis still exist in case you're stuck).

Stores are generally closed on Sundays including all supermarkets in the city, except those in the main train station and airport. The Migros Shops in Zurich HB and the Trainstation Zürich Enge are the only supermarkets open on Sunday.

Avoid reaching/visiting Zurich on 1 May. The city is on a Labor Day/May Day holiday. The trams don't run for half the day so getting around could be a problem.

Get out

Short excursions from Zurich:

  • Winterthur - Since in winter there is little to do outdoors, people flock to this city, the city of museums.
  • The Rheinfall, a large-volume waterfall. Take the S-Bahn to Winterthur and change there for another S-Bahn to the station called Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall.
  • Schaffhausen - pretty town located very near the Rheinfall, but accessible even faster than the Rheinfall by direct IC and ICE trains.
  • Stein am Rhein - a pretty town, accessible by S-Bahn
  • Rapperswil - pretty town on the other end of the Zurichsee, accessible by S-Bahn or boat, famous for its rose gardens.
  • Lucerne (Luzern) - pretty city, home of the transport museum, and further excursions possible, less than 1 hour away by train.
  • Arth-Goldau - your gateway to the Rigi railway, also less than 1 hour away.

Other further away easy excursions from Zurich include:

  • Sankt-Gallen - famous for its convent and extremely ornate Stiftsbibliothek. Also the point of access for the Appenzeller Bahn system, which can take you to the pretty town of Appenzell where there is a cheese factory you can visit.
  • Solothurn - a very pretty baroque town, accessible by frequent ICN (direct) and R (via Olten) trains.
  • Einsiedeln
  • Baden
  • Basel - near the triple point between France, Germany, and Switzerland.

Access to most other parts of Switzerland is extremely easy thanks to the efficient and frequent SBB train system. Other locations easily accessible from Zurich worth a complete visit in their own right include:

  • Bern - the capital of Switzerland, nice looking city, one hour away by IC train.
  • Chur and Landquart - although not so much to see within these cities, they are your starting points for exploration of the nature-rich and mountainous canton of Graubunden and the Rhaetische Bahn system which runs over naturally scenic routes.
  • Interlaken - your gateway to the Berner Oberland, an incredibly scenic part of Switzerland with some of the highest peaks in the Alps. You can continue from there using the (also incredibly touristy) Berner Oberlandbahn to the Lauterbrunnen valley and beyond, or get off somewhere and hike away from the touristyness if you are fit for it.

Jungfraujoch, you can definitely daytrip it from Zurich, although there is so much more that the Berner Oberland offers that you'll be missing if you don't spend more time there. Tip: The direct Zurich-Interlaken trains run via Bern. However, if you have time to spare, try reaching Interlaken by going to Luzern first and then taking a train from Luzern to Interlaken (Golden Pass or Zentralbahn). It's a much more scenic route.

  • Lausanne is 2.5 hours away by train and is a gateway to the Lavaux vineyard region.
  • Geneva is 3 hours away.
  • The Italian-speaking region of Ticino including the fortified city of Bellinzona are up to 3 hours away.
  • The canton of Valais includes the famed Matterhorn and other gorgeous scenery, but is a little harder to reach from Zurich as there are no direct trains to these areas. Nevertheless, if you know where you are going, www.sbb.ch can give you the schedules.
  • The Schwarzwald (Black Forest) of Germany is also easily accessible from Zurich. ICE trains run every 2 hours during the day to Stuttgart, stopping at Rottweil where you can find decent connections to most places in the Black Forest. There is also the Bodensee ("Lake Constance") which you can reach by good connections to Konstanz.

Zurich is also extremely well-connected to the rest of Europe by train, with direct trains to as far as Barcelona, Belgrade, Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Zagreb, Bari, and Rome, just to name a few.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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