Zurich Travel Guide

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Squarespace there are cities in the

world that we as travelers are in X ibly

drawn to for climate culture cuisine or

host of other compelling characteristics

Paris Tokyo London Shanghai LA their

appeal is obvious and immediate and we

flocked to them in our millions then

there are cities that get our sideways

glances as we pass through over or

around them noble beautiful important

cities that we know of and hear of

cities that we add to a list of future

possible destinations called Sunday

Zurich is one of those cities and man

have we been missing out

Zurich is served by the renowned Zurich

International Airport a model of Swiss

efficiency this Airport isn't just a

favorite with visitors to this fair city

but also because of the way it's laid

out it is one of the best airports in

the world for connections I've heard

tale of experienced travelers allowing

just 40 minutes between flights with

absolute confidence now I'm not

suggesting that you do that but you can

at least be confident and if you're

arriving or passing through this Airport

you're gonna have a great experience but

if you aren't planning on sticking

around the airport is deliciously

convenient not just for transiting or

arriving but for getting into town it's

located just a few miles north of the

city and there are a multitude of

options for getting into Central Zurich

your best bet though is a train they run

every few minutes from the airport train

station which is located underground

just underneath the terminal itself and

the 12 minute journey just 12 minutes

into town will cost you around 7 francs

you can buy your tickets from the

vending machines on the platform above

but make sure you have a ticket before

you board otherwise you'll get a fine

and you get on the right train and

there's lady hoping you

but here's the cool thing that ticket of

yours isn't just valid on trains it's

valid on any form of public transport

that leaves from the airport so if you

feel like a more leisurely journey into

town the number-10 tram will get you

into central zurich in about 35 minutes

or four buses Moyer style the airport

bus terminal is just outside the

terminal and has services not just

dessert but to all over switzerland

now this being Europe you might well

arrive in Zurich by train and if you do

that you'll arrive here Zurich help

bahnhof now this is one of the busiest

railway stations in the world by

movement with over 3,000 comings and

goings a day and it's not just a hub to

Swiss railway but also to Germany's ice

and Frances TGV as well as a host of

local and regional services it's

conveniently located right in the middle

of Zurich at the end of the aptly named

Bahnhofstrasse Oh from where you can

jump on a bunch of different public

transport options to get your around the

city so whether you arrive by plane or

train to airport or bahnhof you are now

in a city that is a joy to get around

but before we get into the mechanics of

getting from A to B in Zurich I think

it's important to point out that this is

a very walkable city the city's tourism

board proclaims that foot is by far the

best form of transport so heed their

advice fire up Google Maps to plan your

perambulations and get to exploring this

beautiful city

but if you don't feel like walking good

news there is a bus or tram stop that

primary forms of transport here in

Zurich every 300 meters so you never far

away from a slightly speedier transport

option like the tram hurtling towards my

face public transport in Zurich is made

out of several operators unified by a

single administrator the network is made

out of trams buses regular trains

suburban trains cable cars and votes all

of which use a zone and ticketing system

now the good news is most of the popular

destinations are within a single zone

but if you are going to cross zones make

sure you have a ticket that allows you

to do so you can buy a single ticket

good for 30 to 60 minutes to travel on

any form of public transport within a

single zone multi zone tickets can also

be purchased for a slightly higher fare

you can buy your single ticket as well

as 24-hour passes from the ticket

vending machines and kiosks at train

stations and tram stops but remember you

must validate your ticket before

boarding your chosen form of transport

not doing so can result in a eye

watering 100 franc fine alternatively

and I recommend this you can grab one of

these zurich cart available in 24 hour

and 72 hour increments they give you

unlimited travel on all forms of public

transport within zurich city as well as

several other adjoining zones you can

buy them from the airport or from the

zurich bahnhof as well as several other

outlets through the city though also

give you trips to and from the airport

within the valid period of your ticket

of course as well as discount on several

museums tourist attractions and even

some of the river cruises oh wait wait

wait do not forget to validate your

zurich card the first time you use it in

one of the ticket machines if you get

onboard with a ticket

that's not validated you're still gonna

get fine so validate that ticket as of

October 2018

uber is widely available in Zurich

significantly cheaper than taxis there

are several levels of service including

and I rather like this a green level of

service which is only hybrid and

electric vehicles rather fitting for

this very environmentally conscious

country finally while they may be

plentiful taxis are staggeringly

expensive in Zurich a 12 minute journey

from our hotel to the airport cost a

whopping 65 francs the same journey in

an uber however is less than half the

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I feel like we Outsiders have a rather

tepid uninspired view of Swiss food

great chocolate and great cheese in one

form or another be it solid or melted

that's about as far as our imaginations

stretch but as visitors quickly discover

Swiss food is far more interesting and

satisfying than the banal basics we

lazily associate with it look a little

further and you'll find unique dishes

and flavors rooted in each can't on each

city and in many instances with one city

adding its own touch to another cities

offering Rico wider as Erick native and

friend reminded us that great local food

is about that balance of tradition

comfort local ingredients price and of

course deliciousness

so I'm from Zurich right so we have a

broth war service loot wheel sausage

from Sun column at least part of

Switzerland it's I think at least 50%

veal the rest could be anything beef or

pork it's a very common Swiss sausage

the other one is a Sarah it's pork it's

the two typical Swiss sausages now the

thing why my mentions of gum is in in

that part of Switzerland they're angry

do you if use mustard with it and I

don't know why to do it here but I was

studying in that region and every time I

would buy one local here at the mustard

I would ask for the mustard and they

would scold me they say this sausage she

don't eat this much it's like New

Yorkers and ketchup on a hot dog right

you don't do it exactly except on E and

I just say it so to make them mad that's

my accent they can hear that I'm from

here it's a super spicy mustard it's a

yeah it's something we have when we come

to Zurich this is the place right that's

the place yeah everybody knows this

place yeah this feels like good sort of

beer food pre-beard during their after

beer yeah

or after after going out a lot of people

come here after midnight with sort of

the after-after-party craving use a

perfectly wine and so you get this

beautiful chunk of bread what I mean how

does one eat it open it up it's quite

messy that's good the best food is a


go with the bread into the mustard first

see it's it's it's how pokey it is

that mustard though you said it like

four times it's really spicy what's

really spicy I'm like it's fine yeah

it's very similar to a German bratwurst

but it's got that nice peel flavor to it

so it's almost par BQE yeah that's


yeah we do you here all the time if I

looked here we've purposely avoided

things like braclet and fondue because

that's Mountain food and we've had the

veal with the rusty and the delicious

cream whose name I shan't triumph Canal

city cannot slip there we are write that


is there a big difference between what

one would find in Zurich versus Geneva

or there nor anywhere else like that I

don't think so I believe we've copied

our neighbors so if you closer to the

German border you would find more German

food if you're more to Italian border

you would find more Italian food in

general same with the language right

fortune Eva for example you use much

more closer to the French French areum's

it's a small city but there's a lot of

influences I mean you can have pretty

much every food here from Iranian food

to like that's the joy of a cosmopolitan

city right 25% of people are are not

just with there's a lot of I think local

pastries what should we look out for

from Zurich I would recommend you to

have maybe the macaroons like there's a

Swiss version of the macaron it's a

smaller one very little creamier and

sweeter I usually bring those as gifts

because they're they're really unique at

Gambrinus an otherwise unassuming

restaurant in the west of the city

you'll find an exemplary version of

Zurich Classic sure eggs not slits

simply translated it means sliced meat

Zurich style but that definitely does

not do this classic dish justice feel

strips served in a sauce of white wine

cream and Demi glass are served

alongside a potato rusty and topped with

creme fraiche you can find this

comforting classic all over Zurich but I

think the Gambrinus version is hard to

beat bread in Zurich is generally

wonderful and almost universally

wonderful too

the stuff that you get in supermarkets

is of a really high quality but for the

absolute top drawer stuff duck into one

of the bakeries that you'll find every

50 feet here in this city and grab one

of these a a wonderful Swiss street

called Zoff it's traditionally eaten on

a Sunday which is why it's full name is

Sontag self and it's it's bread made

with the traditional ingredients of

flour water salt and yeast but also with

milk and eggs so you get this

wonderfully creamy doughy flavor that

it's just it's absolutely wonderful and

this gigantic loaf which I will now

attempt to eat by myself only cost about

one franc fifty are about a pound so

really good value as well and absolutely


this is a rather lovely feature of life

in Zurich all over the city there are

these ornate and beautiful fountains

which provide drinking water if you can

drink it it's perfectly safe to drink

there are over a thousand all over the

city so help yourself top up your water

bowl stay hydrated let's not beat around

the bush this is an expensive city in an

expensive country one of the most

expensive on earth and effect a weird

exception to that though is electronics

which are markedly cheaper than pretty

much anywhere else in Europe so if

you're after the latest Apple device

this point actually be the place to come

but unless you're after an iPhone or

iPad or iPod then prepare for wincing

and sharp inhalations of breath whenever

you see the price on just about anything

from food and drink to transport

accommodation it is not safe here I feel

like it's worth mentioning that while

search is an expensive city in an

expensive country the Swiss enjoy some

of the highest average wages in the

world both for hourly and salaried

employees so while it may feel expensive

to us visitors it's very rare to hear a

Swiss complain about high prices

generous salaries comprehensive social

services and a very sensible tax system

go a long way to offsetting what at

least in simple terms is a very high

cost of living and on that note let's do

the rundown

cup of coffee cost around five francs a

glass of beautiful Swiss Spiro cluster

around six francs and for the most

reliable indicator of a nation's

costigan old Big Mac you're gonna pay

around six francs fifty or around five


ah Switzerland is geographically part of

Europe it is most certainly not part of

the European Union nor does it use the

euro the currency here is the Swiss

franc denoted as CHF next to her price

now all of that said many big

restaurants and supermarkets in our

tells will this prices in francs and

euros which in many cases means they

will accept both currencies but make

sure you confirm this before you buy

less to embarrass yourself and be sure

to have a pocket full of francs as you

explore this beautiful city say that you

can patronize the many many shops here

that only take francs and finally a very

quick word on tipping like many European

countries it is appreciated but not

expected although that trend is

increasing towards being expected so if

you've had a great experience it's fine

to round up to the nearest tenth franc

or leave 10 to 15% to show your

appreciation for a great meal or great

service Zurich is a unique and special

place in Switzerland yes it has all the

cliches we associate with the Swiss

discreet precise tidy and quiet and in

no way are those bad characteristics for

a city quite the opposite but make no


Zurich is not only those things it's

also edgy artsy convivial and communal a

place where the corporate meets the

creative where the lefty meets the

conservative as my dear Swiss friend

Paul papademetriou once told me it's by

no means short it's your Brooklyn but it

is cool and well worth your time and I

think as so often is the case he's

absolutely right