Out and About In Zurich
So you are in town for a few days and you want to get to know the place a little bit. In this guide we will hopefully give you some information to help start the exploration.
Getting to town from the conference hotel
The hotel is out by the school and isn’t in the centre of town. While the following explanation might sound complicated the hyper-efficient transport system ensures that it is painless.
Take the bus from across the road from the hotel (next to the COOP petrol station) – the stop is called Sunnau and you can take any bus that comes past (184 or 185). You will ride the bus till the last station which is a tram stop – Wollishofen. 99% of the time a tram is there waiting for you. At this stop there are 3 different trams – 7, 8, 13. All of them will get you into town but the 7 & 13 are most convenient as they will take to either Paradeplatz or the main station (Zurich HB). Get on a train and ride it to town
Tickets for Public Transport
The transportation network is divided into zones. The hotel is in the “city” zone which means you probably just need a ticket for this area.
Do I get a one way or return ticket? This always the question in Zurich and requires a little explanation
One Way Tickets (aka “One Hour Tickets”) – these are valid for travel within the zone/s purchased for up to 1 hour. This is more than enough to get to town.
Return Tickets (aka “24 Hour Tickets) – these are valid for travel within the zone/s purchased for 24 hours. So you can travel on all modes of public transport within the correct zones as many times as you want for a full 24 hours. E.g. if you arrive late on the Friday night and want to head into town at 21.00. You think you will be heading into town on Saturday night at 19.00. It would be best to get a “return” ticket as you would get at least 3 journeys out of it and then you would get a “one way ticket is you return home after 21.00 on the Saturday.
Insider Tip – install the SBB mobile app. This is the transportation network app and give you an easy way to access the timetable. The ZVV app (Zurich region) is also very good but it is in German so that is why we recommend the SBB (the whole of Switzerland)
Taxis & Uber
It isn’t super common for locals to take taxis as the public transportation network is so vast but when you are bigger group it can be cheaper. Also it gives you more flexibility as you don’t have to rely on timetables. You can ask the hotel to organise a taxi for you. Further information about taxis.
Uber also operates in Zurich so you can use the app to also organise a ride.
Areas in town to visit
This is one of the iconic areas of Zurich. Along with the usual stops you find around Europe (H&M, Zara, etc) you will get your fill of watch and jewelry shops. It is renowned on being on of the most “expensive” streets in the world.
Food – Zeughauskeller – the biggest beer hall in town. Food is pretty good as well. If you are going with a big group make a reservation. You can get meat served on a sword.
Rennweg and areas around St Peter’s Church
Running off Bahnhofstrasse (on the left) is a beautiful area of town. Most people access it by walking down “Rennweg”. In this area you can find the place where the Romans set up camp (Lindenhof) and walk through a maze of little streets with beautiful buildings all round. You can end this tour by making your way down the hill to the Limmat River (the heart of the old silk industry) and admire the views of Grossmunster and Fraumunster.
Suggestions (more places to see not places to eat)
Site – Lindenhof – where the Romans built their fort
Site – St Peter’s Church
Site – Fraumunster
On the other side of the Limmat river this region runs from near the Zurich HB (main station) all the way to the lakefront (Burkliplatz). It is a great place for a stroll, shop, drink or a bite to eat. You can find Cabaret Voltaire (the birthplace of the Dada movement), where Albert Einstein lived, the amazing Grossmunster, and much more. At the beginning of the Niederdorf there is also a cable railway (the Polybahn) which takes you up to the university area (if you have a train ticket this is included). While there isn’t much to do up there the view over town is amazing day and night.
Drinks – Cabaret Voltaire – cool bar
Food – Swiss Chuchi – nice restaurant but you will need to reserve a table
This is the former industrial area of Zurich which like many European cities has been transformed into the trendy, hipster area of town. This is another great area for drinks and food. Some places to get an eye out for is the Viadukt area which is a series of shops built under the train viaduct (doesn’t sound appealing but it is pretty cool). Near Hardbrucke train station is the ever popular Frau Gerold’s Garten which is a great place for food (should be Fondue at this time of year) and drinks.
Food & Drink – Viadukt – great place for eating and drinking
Food – Frau Gerold’s Garten – nice restaurant. Booking a table is advisable