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Zurich

Aarburg Castle near Zurich

Practical Info about Zurich

Getting around the city

Zurich is easy to navigate; a modern, user-friendly network of trams and buses covers the city daily from 5:30am to midnight. Transport works on a zone system, and tickets are valid for an hour. Tickets are transferable but must be bought before boarding and validated immediately; they are also valid on some boats and local city trains. The most useful travel pass is the Tageskarte (one day ticket) that allows travel on all buses and trams for 24 hours. Night buses depart from Bellevue hourly from 1am to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. Travelling by taxi is expensive even by Swiss standards, but they are safe and convenient and can be hailed on the street, found at taxi ranks, or ordered by phone. Getting around by car is not recommended due to congestion and expensive or scarce parking. From May to October, bicycles can be hired free from various stations, though a deposit of one's ID and a small fee is required.

Time

GMT +1 (GMT +2 between April and October).

Electricity

Electrical current in Switzerland is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are of the linear, rounded three-pin type, but rounded two-pin plugs will fit the outlet.

Currency

The official currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF), divided into 100 rappen (German) or centimes (French). Although not part of the EU, many prices are nonetheless indicated in Euros and some merchants may accept Euros. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are widespread. Banks offer the best exchange rates, but it is also possible to exchange money at major hotels, main train stations and airports. Banks are open Monday to Friday.

Communication

The international country dialling code for Switzerland is +41. Mobile phone GSM networks operate throughout the country. Internet cafes are available in the main towns and resorts; some public phone booths also have internet and email access.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 112

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Saint Berchtold Day 2 Jan 2 Jan
Good Friday 18 Apr 3 Apr
Easter Monday 21 Apr 6 Apr
May Day 1 May 1 May
Ascension Day 29 May 14 May
Whit Monday 9 Jun 25 May
Corpus Christi 19 Jun 7 Jun
St Peter and St Pauls Day 29 Jun 29 Jun
Swiss National Day 1 Aug 1 Aug
Assumption of Mary 15 Aug 15 Aug
All Saints Day 1 Nov 1 Nov
Immaculate Conception 8 Dec 8 Dec
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec
St Stephens Day 26 Dec 26 Dec

Climate

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The climate of Zurich is continental, and temperatures are modified by winds off the Atlantic Ocean. Winters are cold, while summers tend to be hot and sunny. In January, temperatures range between 14°F (-10°C) and 41°F (5°C), and in July, temperatures range between 59°F (15°C) and 86°F (30°C). The wettest time of year is between June and August.

Zurich Airport

www.zurich-airport.com

Getting to the city

Swiss Rail (SBB) provides fast and efficient transport to the city centre. The station is located below the Arrivals Hall and trains leave every 10 minutes for Zurich and other destinations; travel time is ten minutes and fares are determined on the type of pass and the number of city zones crossed. The Glattalbahn tram line services other nearby cities and the outskirts of Zurich. Hotel shuttle buses and a variety of public bus services extend across various routes.

Car rental

Car rental companies include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt and Hertz.

Airport taxi's

Metered taxis are available outside Arrivals 1 and 2. The 15-minute taxi journey to Zurich costs around CHF 60.

Facilities

Facilities include banks, bureaux de change, bars and restaurants, postal services, shops including duty-free, business facilities and a crèche. Facilities for disabled passengers are excellent.

Parking

There are extensive parking facilities at Zurich International Airport. Parking in P1, P2 and P3 in the multi-storey car park, which is connected to the terminal, costs CHF 2 every 15 minutes for the first hour and CHF 3 per hour thereafter. P6 is connected to the terminal via a free shuttle service and is significantly cheaper for passengers wishing to park their vehicle for four days or more. Pick-up and drop-off zones are situated along the access road in front of the arrivals and departures sections, but will cost drivers CHF 2 per 15 minutes.

Internet

Service providers such as Swisscom, Sunrise, Monzoon and Init Seven offer pay per use wifi access at hotspots located throughout the airport. Free access to airport-related sites as well as bus, tram and train timetables is provided. Passengers can also make use of public computers.