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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Switzerland > Zurich

Zurich Weather

20°C

Local time Zurich

Currency

SFr

Travel to Zurich

Flying to Zurich

Airlines operating flights to Zurich from the UK include British Airways, easyJet and Swiss. Cheap flights are available year-round, especially if you book well in advance. American Airlines, Delta, Edelweiss Air, Swiss and United run direct flights from the USA.

Flight times

From London - 1 hour 40 minutes; New York - 7 hours 40 minutes; Los Angeles - 11 hours 20 minutes; Toronto - 7 hours 45 minutes; Sydney - 24 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

Swiss roads are generally good, although mountain routes can be narrow and winding. Chains and/or snow tyres may be required in winter, and after a heavy snowfall some routes close. There is a telephone number for information on national road conditions (tel: 163).

Traffic drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18. A national driving licence is sufficient documentation. The maximum speed limits are 120kph (75mph) on motorways, 100kph (62mph) on dual carriageways, 80kph (50mph) on main roads, and 50kph (31mph) in towns. On minor roads, traffic going up a mountain has priority.

Road numbers on green signs indicate toll expressways, where a toll vignette (sticker) must be displayed. You can order one online before you travel (rail.myswitzerland.com). Stickers are valid for one calendar year.

There are two motoring associations in Switzerland. These are Touring Club Suisse (TCS) (tel: +41 844 888 111; www.tcs.ch) and Automobil Club der Schweiz (ACS) (tel: +41 31 328 3111; www.acs.ch).

Emergency breakdown services

TCS (tel: 0800 140 140, in Switzerland only) or ACS (tel: +41 44 628 8899).

Routes

The A1 passes through Zurich's outskirts on its way from Geneva and Berne to Winterthur and St Gall. Beyond this, it links up with the E43 at Lindau in Germany, and then the E54 to Munich. The A3 skirts the southwest shore of Lake Zurich from Lucerne (via the A4), Chur and Sargans. The E17 south goes directly from Basel to Zurich. The A51 connects Zurich with the airport.

Coaches

Eurolines (tel: +41 844 257 244; www.eurolines.ch) and Flixbus (www.flixbus.co.uk) run coach services to Zurich, connecting the city with destinations across Europe. There are regular PostBus services, run by Swiss Post (tel: +41 848 888 888; www.postauto.ch) to much of rural Switzerland.

 

Time to city

From Basel - 1 hour 15 minutes; Geneva - 3 hours; Munich - 3 hours 30 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

Trains run frequently to and from major Swiss centres (including Bern, Geneva, Baseland Luzern) and there are excellent international connections too. The busy Hauptbahnhof, Zurich's main railway station, dates from 1871 and is located on Bahnhofplatz.

High-speed InterCity Express (ICE) services operate from Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Hamburg, among others. ÖBB Nightjet (www.oebb.at/de/angebote-ermaessigungen/nightjet) trains depart from Vienna or from Berlin, Hamburg, Freiburg and Basel, arriving in Zurich.

Other direct services include TGV-trains to Paris.

Operators

Swiss Federal Railways, Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB) (tel: +41 900 300 300; www.sbb.ch) operates the majority of services on Switzerland's rail system.

Journey times

From Stuttgart - 3 hours; Frankfurt - 4 hours; Hamburg - 7 hours 35 minutes; Paris - 4 hours; Vienna - 7 hours 50 minutes; Amsterdam - 11 hours 30 minutes (overnight train); Berlin - 11 hours 15 minutes (overnight train); Hamburg - 11 hours 35 minutes (overnight train).