Zürich, Switzerland

City Backpackers-Hotel Biber View from Roof

Population: 383,708 (2014)

Language(s): French, German, Italian

Demonym: Zürcher

Area: 88 km2 (34 mi2)

Dialing Code: +41

Electricity Adapter: 230 V, 50 Hz, Plug Types C & J

Time Zone: Central European Time UTC+1 (Summer CEST UTC+2)


Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland, and straddles the southern span of the Limmat River like a proper and important European city always seems to do; where the Limmat River opens up into the Zürichsee (Lake Zürich), the city’s halves grow more and more distant to each other until becoming suburbanized.

Zürich is an expensive city, and budget travelers will be hard-pressed to get a true feel of the place; nonetheless, with some proper sleuthing and planning, a great trip can be had in what the Swiss bill as “Switzerland’s Downtown.” Visiting German-language speakers sometime admonish it with the clever “Zu Reich” (too rich), which is not at all a misrepresentation, I am sad to say; it is a leading global city and the center of finance for the country.

The city is a vibrant mix of everything: old and new, traditional and contemporary architecture, French, German, and Italian influences and culture, and a young, hip crowd mixed in with the older elite. For a larger city, it is quite clean; trash is hard to come by, and it is said that the water in the Lake is even safe to drink straightaway.

City facts put together in collaboration with sister site 6pt5. Language guides and more can be found on Shishek.

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