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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Zurich

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Zurich each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

March or April: Easter Monday (national)

Easter Monday commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after the Passion. Many baptisms are celebrated on Easter Weekend and families come together to attend the vigil mass and share a feast on Sunday.

Third Monday in April: Sechseläuten (Burning of the Böögg, local)

To usher in spring, Zurich's guilds parade in medieval costumes through the city's streets. Celebrations culminate at 6 p.m. with the ringing of all the city bells and the burning of the Böögg, a huge figure of a snowman prepared with explosives, thus driving out winter.

May 1: Labour Day (national)

August 1: National Day (national)

Commemorates the founding of the Swiss Confederation on this day in 1291. An evening cruise on Lake Zurich is the best way to see bonfires and fireworks. Other highlights include official ceremonies, concerts and activities for children.

First week in September: Zurich Film Festival (local)

This 11-day festival features the work of both established and emerging filmmakers attracts many big names and some 80,000 spectators to its premieres, screenings, galas and red-carpet events at various venues across Zurich.

Second week in October: Art International Zurich (local)

This three-day contemporary art fair is held every year at Kongresshaus Zurich, with works for sale by young and emerging artists in the fields of painting, graphics, sculpture and photography.

Second Friday in November: Swiss story night (national event)

Set up each year since 1995, this event sheds a light on Swiss oral traditions. All-nighters take place in various libraries, schools and unusual places for public readings of traditional stories.

December 1-24: Christmas market (Christkindlmarkten - national)

As the Christmas season draws near, this major event for local crafts takes place on Zurich's main squares. Numerous cabins also offer gastronomical delicacies and Christmas decorations.

December 25: Christmas (national)

December 31: Neujahrsmarathon Zurich (local)

This is the only international marathon starting at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. Headlamps are therefore recommended for all runners, because although the course is marked by signposts, barrier tape and flags, it is not illuminated! Spectacular fireworks are set off as the race begins and along the course.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Zurich

Located in the north-east of Switzerland, Zurich has a temperate climate. The city's weather is affected periodically by the föhn, a warm, dry wind blowing from the south, which spills through Swiss alpine passes and heats up as it descends. On the other hand, when the wind known as the bise blows in from the east, air temperatures can cool significantly. Winters are rather cold and summers can be quite warm.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -4/25 2/36 67/2.6 Not the best period to go
February -3/27 5/41 68/2.7 Not the best period to go
March -1/30 9/48 68/2.7 Not the best period to go
April 2/36 13/55 78/3.1 Not the best period to go
May 6/43 18/64 96/3.8 Good period to go Good period to go
June 10/50 21/70 115/4.5 Good period to go Good period to go
July 12/54 24/75 106/4.2 Good period to go Good period to go
August 11/52 23/73 121/4.8 Not the best period to go
September 8/46 20/68 83/3.3 Not the best period to go
October 5/41 14/57 70/2.8 Not the best period to go
November 0/32 7/45 84/3.3 Not the best period to go
December -3/27 3/37 74/2.9 Not the best period to go
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Zurich International Airport

The Zurich International Airport is located in Kloten, about 13 kilometres (8 miles) north of Zurich's city centre.

  • Three terminals:
    • Terminal 1
    • Terminal 2 (Air France)
    • Terminal 3

Getting from the airport to Zurich and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A1L and the A48 motorways.
    • Three parking garages linked to the main airport building are intended especially for shorter stays (P1, P2 and P3; CHF 2 for 15 minutes, CHF 6 for 1 hour and CHF 3 for each additional hour).
    • Drop-off and pick-up areas located near check-in outside terminals 1 and 2 (first five minutes free, CHF 1 per extra minute). Short-term parking facilities located at the arrivals level of terminals 1 and 2 (CHF 10 for 30 minutes, CHF 20 for 1 hour). Several parking facilities are connected to the check-ins (P1, P2 and P3, CHF 8 for 1 day), long-term parking facilities (P60, P16 and P17, about CHF 150 per week).
    • Several car rental companies have counters on Level 1 of the Airport Center.
  • By rail
    • Trains leave for Zurich's main train station (Hauptbahnhof) from the station on Level −2 of the Airport Center every 5-10 minutes during the day. The travel time is about 20 minutes and the fare is CHF 6.80 each way.
  • By tram shuttle
    • Line 10 of the Glattalbahn tram system connects the airport with Zurich's main train station every 7-15 minutes via Glattpark, Zurich-Oerlikon, Milchbuck and Irchel, which can be useful for reaching certain hotels. The trip takes about 30 minutes and the fare is the same as that for the train, CHF 6.80.
  • By bus
    • Buses are located near the airport, behind parking facilities P2 and P3. A one-way ticket costs CHF 10.
  • By shuttle
    • Connecting the main station via Glattpark, Zurich-Oerliko, Milchbuck and Irchel. Shuttles leave every 10 minutes. A one-way ticket costs CHF 25.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the arrivals levels of both terminals. The trip to central Zurich takes about 20 minutes and costs about CHF 70.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +41 (0)43 816 22 11
  • Website: https://www.zurich-airport.com/

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GETTING AROUND Zurich

Zurich has introduced a number of policies designed to limit car traffic in the city. As a result, the simplest ways to get around the city are on foot, or by tram and bus. City planners focus great efforts on making public transport easy and convenient. Along most routes, there is a bus stop or tram station roughly every quarter mile or less. Moreover, an integrated fare system is used for all modes of transport. A single ticket valid for 30 minutes costs CHF 2.70.

By tram

Zurich's tram system, one of the most efficient ways to discover the city, comprises 17 lines and serves most districts. A single ticket costs CHF 2.70 and is valid for 30 minutes.

By bus

Zurich has a very extensive network of buses, with 32 routes criss-crossing the city. A single ticket costs CHF 2.60 and is valid for 30 minutes.

By taxi

Using taxis to get around Zurich is not the most cost-effective solution. Fares are rather high, with an initial charge of CHF 6, plus CHF 3 per kilometre.

By bicycle

The city of Zurich provides a free bike rental system, including city bikes, electric bikes and kid bikes. They are available in various stations across town, upon presentation of a valid ID and a CHF 20 deposit. For more information, visit https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/zuerirollt

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Zurich, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Zurich Tourismus Tourist Service

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: Hauptbahnhof (main train station), 8001 Zurich
  • Telephone: +41 (0)44 215 40 00
  • Website: https://www.zuerich.com

Switzerland Travel Guide

The official website maintained by Switzerland Tourism provides a wealth of information on Zurich.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF).

JPY1 = CHF0.01

CHF1 = JPY100

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home. Zurich counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Switzerland

For information on the travel documents required to enter Switzerland depending on your nationality, visit the website of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM): https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home.html

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Zurich, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic German phrases that will make your stay in Zurich a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Guten Morgen (morning) / Guten Tag (during the day) Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Guten Morgen (morning) / Guten Tag (during the day)</em>

Good evening: Guten Abend Good evening: <em>Guten Abend</em>

Goodbye: Auf Wiedersehen Goodbye: <em>Auf Wiedersehen</em>

Yes: Ja Yes: <em>Ja</em>

No: Nein No: <em>Nein</em>

No, thank you: Nein, Danke No, thank you: <em>Nein, Danke</em>

Thank you very much: Vielen Dank Thank you very much: <em>Vielen Dank</em>

Please: Bitte Please: <em>Bitte</em>

I don't understand: Ich verstehe nicht I don't understand: <em>Ich verstehe nicht</em>

Could you repeat ?: Können Sie bitte wiederholen? Could you repeat ?: <em>Können Sie bitte wiederholen?</em>

What time is it ?: Wie spät ist es? What time is it ?: <em>Wie spät ist es?</em>

Sorry: Entschuldigung Sorry: <em>Entschuldigung</em>

Airport: der Flughafen Airport: <em>der Flughafen</em>

Train station: der Bahnhof Train station: <em>der Bahnhof</em>

Taxi: das Taxi Taxi: <em>das Taxi</em>

Hotel: das Hotel Hotel: <em>das Hotel</em>

Hospital: das Krankenhaus Hospital: <em>das Krankenhaus</em>

Bank: die Bank Bank: <em>die Bank</em>

Telephone: das Telefon Telephone: <em>das Telefon</em>

I'm (…): Ich bin (…) I'm (…): <em>Ich bin (…)</em>

I'm looking for (…): Ich suche (…) I'm looking for (…): <em>Ich suche (…)</em>

How much is (…)?: Wie viel kostet es? How much is (…)?: <em>Wie viel kostet es?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Haben Sie (…)? Do you have (…)?: <em>Haben Sie (…)?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Wo kann ich (…) finden? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Wo kann ich (…) finden?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Wo kann ich (…) kaufen? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Wo kann ich (…) kaufen?</em>

I'd like (…): Ich hätte gern (…) I'd like (…): <em>Ich hätte gern (…)</em>

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Good to know

+41
+ phone number (without 0)
-8 : 00
of time difference with
Tokyo
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

Banks
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Government offices
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Switzerland, as is also the case in France and Italy, leaving a tip is recommended when the service is especially friendly and attentive. The appropriate amount is anywhere between 5 and 10% of the bill at restaurants or bars.

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