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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Switzerland > Zurich

Zurich Weather

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Local time Zurich

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Getting around Zurich

Public transport

Public transport in Zurich is typically Swiss in its efficiency. The Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich (VBZ) (tel: +41 848 988 988; www.stadt-zuerich.ch/vbz) operates trams and buses. Zürcher Verkehrsverbund (ZVV) (tel: +41 848 988 988; www.zvv.ch) operates services within the canton as a whole, including all trains. Tickets must be purchased at machines (located at stops and stations) and validated before boarding.

Zurich operates on a zone system. A single fare for one to two zones is valid for one hour. The 24-hour and 72-hour ZürichCARDs cover all travel in the seven central zones, including trips to and from the airport. The 9-Uhr-Tagespass is ideal for regional day trips, valid for journeys after 0900.

Ferries also form part of Zurich's public transport network. The main terminal is at Enge, but it can be easier to board at Bürkliplatz. Zürich Navigation Company (tel: +41 848 988 988; www.zsg.ch) operates services to Rapperswil and Schmerikon.

Taxis

You can hail taxis in the street, pick them up at ranks or book them by phone. Reputable companies include Züri Taxi (tel: +41 44 222 2222) and Taxi 444 (tel: +41 44 444 4444). A compulsory service charge of 15% is included in the fare, although it's customary to tip for luggage handling.

Driving

Motorways almost go right into the city centre, making driving fairly easy. However, parking in the city can be difficult. Some of the more central car parks are located on Beethovenstrasse, Uraniastrasse, Sihlquai, Löwenstrasse and Gessner-Allee.

Car hire

Zurich is well represented by the major car hire firms, including Alamo (tel: +41 43 255 5656; www.alamo.ch), Avis (tel: +41 44 296 8787; www.avis.ch), Europcar (tel: +41 44 271 5656; www.europcar.ch) and Hertz (tel: +41 848 822 025; www.hertz.ch). The minimum age for car hire is 21. You must have held a full licence for at least one year.

Bicycle hire

Cycling is popular in Zurich, especially along the shores of the lake. From May to October Züri Rollt (tel: +41 44 415 6767; www.aoz.ch/zuerirollt) offers free bicycles for use in the city on presentation of a valid ID. Hire locations include the Velogate at the Hauptbahnhof and Bürkliplatz.

If you’re heading further afield or for longer trips, you can hire bikes at the railway station from Rent A Bike (tel: +41 41 925 1170; www.rentabike.ch).

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Featured Hotels

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Leoneck Swiss Hotel

Just a five-minute walk from the city centre, the Leoneck Swiss Hotel is an official Swiss Alpine Club SAC partner with over 80 air-conditioned rooms, a restaurant, free Wi-Fi and a free smartphone in every room. For just CHF 20, guests can have breakfast at the hotel buffet which includes a range of egg dishes, coffee and fresh croissants and fruits.

Walhalla Hotel

The Walhalla Hotel is located directly at Zürich's main railway station. All its 48 modern and comfortable rooms are equipped with a tablet and have complimentary WiFi access. The hotel features six conference rooms which can accomodate up to 50 people, business facilities in its Business Corner and a breakfast buffet.

Lady's First

Conceived in 1994 when eight women decided to create a female-exclusive hotel in what was formerly a finishing school for country girls, Lady's First is a boutique design hotel housed in an elegant 19th-century building. This Zurich hotel is no longer, however, exclusively for women - men are welcome too. A good-natured atmosphere characterises this establishment, which also offers its guests free Wi-Fi, a wellness centre and a roof terrace. There are 28 rooms.

Widder Hotel

Composed of eight adjoining medieval houses, the Widder Hotel is named after a 13th-century Augustinian monastery that used to exist here. The 35 individually decorated rooms and 14 suites (four with private roof terraces) all combine the old and new, with features including 17th-century frescoes and old wooden floors. The Widder Bar has long been an important jazz venue - its 'Library of Spirits' offers several hundred single-malt whiskies.

Central Plaza Hotel

Built in 1883 with an impressive period facade, the Central Plaza has 105 air-conditioned rooms and suites, all fully soundproofed against traffic noise; many have views of the River Limmat and all have modem points. Highlights include a piano bar-cafe and the King's Cave restaurant. A terrace garden with illuminated waterfalls is open in summer. It's also said that the piano bar of this Zurich hotel was a favourite meeting place for Cold War spies.

The Dolder Grand

The location of this luxury residence couldn't be any better: The Dolder Grand offers its guests great panoramic views over the Lake Zürich, the city and over the mountains. It features all amenities you might expect from such an award-winning 5-star-hotel with a long history: rooms and suites with selectable butler service, spas, a pool called Aqua Zone, saunas, a fitness centre, state-of-the-art business facilities, meeting rooms, several lounges, two restaurants (one of which has earned two Michelin stars), a bar and a lobby, a ballroom and a car park.