Despite its modest size, Zurich is a very popular city. People come here on business trips (this is the largest financial center in Switzerland), and come for the places of interest. There are not so many famous places here: St. Peter’s Church, Town Hall, Fraumünster and Grossmünster. Swiss perfectionism is in everything: clean streets, neat little houses, picturesque promenade. Walking around this city is incredibly pleasant, as there is an ineffable atmosphere here! In order to organize every hour of your trip, we advise you to use a car rental at Zurich Airport.
Contrary to stereotypes, traveling through Switzerland will not be more expensive than through Germany, Italy or the UK, especially having regard to the fact that Swiss standards and facilities are far outstrip the quality of many other areas of Europe. The reputation of the “expensive country” is misleading to many, but even the simplest recount of local prices into other currencies, shows that this is just the stereotype. The ‘Value for Money’ slogan is practically a national motto and in most cases, the travelers get exactly what they have paid for.
Our small necessary tips would help you in the simplest, everyday things, which could seem a bit misleading in Switzerland.
1. Those, who plan to cook on their own and to save on visits of restaurants, are recommended to visit Migros, Coop and Denner. The prices there are the most acceptable, and in the evenings, the discounts for some goods can make up to 50%. Do not think that all the discounted goods are of poor quality. The thing is that the freshest products are regularly brought in those shopping centers that is why the ‘old’ goods are sold as quickly as possible.
2. Pharmacy usually runs from 9.00 to 12.00 and from 14.00-15.00 to 18.00. Some are located in the premises of large shopping complexes and work according to their schedule. In large cities, many pharmacies work longer, and there is always one all-night drugstore, working 24 hours a day (the working schedule is usually post up on the window, or you can find it in the reference books). However, you should not confuse pharmacies with the so-called “Drogerie”, which is more suitable definition of the chandlery store.
They sell perfumes, haberdashery, health aids and the simplest over-the-counter drugs like aspirin or cough syrup. To get full-fledged pharmacological assistance in such stores is impossible.
3. Churches and cathedrals are most often opened from about 8.00 until dark, but could be closed for lunch or special events. Recently, there is an increasing tendency to close cult places for the entire time, when there are no public worships. This applies to large monuments of national scale and to small parish churches as well. Therefore, if you want to see such a temple, it is recommended to talk to the abbot or priest (usually they live nearby), who would, most possibly, conduct the excursion. However, it is much easier to agree on visiting such places through the local tourist office.
4. As in any other tourist city, beware of pickpockets and frauds. At ski resorts you will hardly find police officers, the overall crime rate is quite low, and cases of cheating in calculations, or theft of the belongings from the rooms, are very rare. However, there are many vacationers, from all over the world, who come not only for rest. In most mountain hotels, even ski and inventory stores are not locked or have the simplest locks, and on the slopes of skiing, sticks and helmets are sometimes scattered everywhere – cases of theft of equipment were rare. But recently, quite specific thefts were fixed, when the skis, which are left on the walls of mountain cafes, (there are usually dozens of them there), are dug into the nearest snowdrift. When people stop looking for their loss, the skis are dug out and sold at a nearby resort, as it is almost impossible to identify the stolen skis.
5. If you want to spend a lot of time in the city, it is better to buy a tourist pass ‘Zurich Card’, which opens up a lot of new opportunities in Zurich. The card allows you to use the public transport for free (second class in Zurich and the region), to enter to most city museums for free (or to have discount on a ticket). It gives 10-20% discount in many stores and 50% discount for tours in Zurich, organized by ‘Zurich Tourism’. Cards are available for 24 and 72 hours, the price is 24 francs and 48 francs respectively, for children 6-16 years – 16 francs and 32 francs.
6. After sightseeing, do not forget to enjoy the view over the Zurich Lake. It is located in the high-rise part of the city, surrounded by the most beautiful nature. Thanks to transport accessibility and deep water, amazing boat trips are held on the lake. On the waterfront, not far from the famous sculpture of Ganymede with the eagle, there is a pier.
Here you can buy a ticket for a trip on the lake. There are two tours- a small circle, and a big one, lasting up to 4 hours. You can even have a tour on an old wheeled steamer.
Zurich Lake is the most romantic place in the northeast of Switzerland. Its surrounding (a chain of hills and ornamentation by picturesque islands), made the lake one of the most popular sights of the country. The nature in this area is simply marvelous, the perfectly clean surface deserves special attention. The chic villas, cozy houses and pompous big houses swim by, at the very end of the promenade, in the Zürichhorn area, is seen the sculpture of the ingenious Tinguely, called “Eureka”. You could have a chance even to see this huge metallic miracle in motion. It is most likely to see “Eureka” working on Saturday night.