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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Switzerland > Zurich

Zurich Weather

12°C

Local time Zurich

Currency

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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).

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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.