The rail car labeled Rauchen is not to a city named Rauchen. It is the smoking car. Big city trains are often segmented, forming groups of cars to the same destination. They are labeled, so make sure you get on a car that will get you to where you want to go.
There are several different boat trips on offer on Lake Zurich and, if the weather is good, they do provide a very pleasant experience with some super views of the lake shore and the sitant mountain peaks.
I used my 9 o'clock pass to take the boat to Rapperswil. I'm not sure whether the ticket covers all departure times for that trip; the leaflet I picked up at the departure point seemed to suggest it didn't.
There are number of routes on offer and a number of 'specials' (dinner cruises and suchlike) depending on the time of year (see website below, in English). The boat I took was comfortable, with sparklingly-clean toilets and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the passing scenery. It stopped at several villages on the way to Rapperswil, so the whole journey took around an hour and a half.
Definitely something worth doing, though I wouldn't want to book in advance. I'd wait to see what the weather was like on the day. It's always chillier on the water anyway and if the weather was wet, cold or misty I think there would be little point in taking the boat.
Getting tickets to travel around (and to/from Zurich) is very simple.
Ticket machine are very easy to use and all those I came across had English (and other) language options. A few only accepted cards but I always used the ones which took cash. They accept coins and notes and give change.
There are ZVV ticket machines in the Hauptbahnhof and at tram/bus stops. ZVV tickets cover the greater Zurich area. So, for example, Lucerne is just outside that area (and you'd need to use the other ticket machines for that journey) whilst Rapperswil is inside. ZVV ticket machines have a helpful map to show you which places are within the area.
The '9 o'clock ticket' is very good value. It allows unlimited travel with the ZVV area after 9am on all forms of transport, including some boat trips to Rapperswil, until 5am the following day. I made good use of the 25CHF it cost me, taking the boat to Rapperswil and the train back from there and then using the ticket for a train trip up and down Uetliberg.
The 1-2 zone day ticket which covers all trams etc within Zurich (including the Polybahn) is also good value at 8.40CHF. Although the Altstadt is fairly small and very walkable the day ticket came in very useful when I wanted to explore the city more widely.
You can read about the all ticket types in English on the ZVV website linked below.
I was very impressed by Zurich's Hauptbahnhof (main station).
It's huge, as one would expect, but very easy to navigate. There's a massive departure board listing forthcoming departures, destinations and platforms (I love watching departure boards when they 'click over' ), including S-bahn trains. There are information boards with all departures per hour listed, so it's easy to find out when the next train to wherever is going.
Trains to and from Zurich airport are speedy and efficient, making the journey in around 10 minutes and departing regularly throughout the day.
There are easy-to-use ticket machines with English language options which accept cash (and giving change) or cards (I suspect only cards with a PIN number though).
It's very easy to find the platforms, because they are all straight in front of you and clearly numbered, with electronic signs telling you which train is due to depart next, and to where.
There's a Tourist Office which has lots of helpful leaflets...but also had queues each time i wandered past, so be warned.
And there's a huge, multi-coloured flying angel hanging over the massive and rather wonderful late-1800s departure hall. It's 'La'Ange Protecteur', by Niki de Saint Phalle.
It's worth visiting the Hauptbahnhof just to see the departure hall (so vast that a market was held there during one of my days) and the angel, imo.
You'll find the Hauptbahnhof (oddly enough) at the end of Bahnhofstrasse.
"Zurich Airpor"t, also known as "Kloten Airport", is Switzerland's largest international airport, and the principal hub of Swiss International Air Lines. The airport is owned by Flughafen Zürich AG, a company quoted on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
The airport is close to the city, in about 20 mins u can reach, high-tech and glassed building with a lot of sunlight, fast check-ins and not so crowded. Also many opportunities for the last minute shoppings at duty frees if you are on a rushed business trip ... :)
We had two layovers at the Zurich airport during a recent trip and there are several things one should know about this airport. First is that it is a nice airport – everything is clearly marked and there is plenty to keep you busy, whether you want to eat or shop.
But, it is a very expensive airport – after all, it is in Switzerland where things tend to be a bit on the pricey side. The shops for the most part of designer shops and the food shops simply have high prices. We didn’t plan on this when we figured we’d have lunch at the airport between our flights. Wow – sticker shock! We still had lunch, but not where we had hoped to eat. Also, you can pay in Euros (paper only, no coins) but your change will be in Swiss francs.
Having talked about the airport being expensive, there is one thing that is great about the airport: free wi-fi! You can get one hour of free wi-fi that is renewable every few hours. You register for the service using your mobile phone and are then sent a text with the password. This code is good for six months. With the same code I was able to get online on both of my layovers.
There are two sections to the airport terminal – A and B. I found that A was much more crowded and noisy. We had a couple hours so we headed down towards the end of B and found a wide open and empty location that gave us room to spread out and peacefulness to read in.
I was traveling by train and had a few hours in Zürich. I didn’t want to carry my backpack around for the morning so I locked it up in the train station. The lockers were located on the floor just below the main platforms (easily found through the sign of a suitcase with a key). There were at least two sizes of lockers; I selected the smaller one. The fee was CHF 6 for 24 hours – in coins. Put your luggage in the locker, feed the locker the money, and remove the key. Don’t lose the key!
Returning back and collecting your luggage was just a simple. The key has the locker number on it (in case you forget which one is yours). Put the key in the slot and turn. The locker opens up.
A note on the locker said that luggage can be left for up to 72 hours (obviously you pay for those extra hours) and any luggage left after that time will be removed and the owner will need to pick it up at a specific location.
To get around Zurich, buy a Zurich card. It enables you to use the buses, trams, ferries and cable cars around Zurich as well as many other perks like entry into museums etc. Check out the site below for all the details.
24 hour Zurich card CHF. 20.00 children 14.00
72 hour Zurich card CHF 40.00 children 28.00
buy this card at the airport as it covers the journey from and to the airport - you need to pay in cash as they don't accept credit cards. There is a ATM machine on the opposite side of the ticket vending counter - it is behind the electric stairs.
the Zurich card is valid on all trams throughout the city and trams and trains into the agglomeration of Zurich and onto Uetliberg as well as the boats on the river Limmat and lake Zurich
the card also includes complimentary entry to all museums in Zurich (Museum Rietberg charges a supplement if you wan to view their present Special exhibition)
the card offers a free drink with each meal bought in certain restaurants (brochure will will be given to you at time of purchase) also in the Restaurant on top of Uetliberg - which was the only time I used it for a free drink. Most of the Restaurants which feature in this brochure would be rather more expensive than average with a few exceptions.
the card needs to be validated at the time you start to use it at one of the orange ticket machines at the tram stops.
Photos: Cycling in Zürich
Cycling along the lakeshore in a popular activity in Zürich, but cyclists often have to share the paths with pedestrians.
For cyclists in a hurry this is usually not a problem, however, because there are often parallel streets with bicycle lanes painted on them.
The official policy of the city of Zürich is -- quite rightly! -- that bicycles belong on the streets, not on the sidewalks. "On the streets bicycles can go faster, have more room to maneuver, profit from more intensive street cleaning (broken glass, snow) and there are fewer conflicts with pedestrians." Also there are fewer accidents when motorists and cyclists can see each other, i.e. when both are on the street.
Photos: Cycling in Zürich
Anyone who has cycled in other Swiss cities like Basel, Bern or even Geneva will no doubt be somewhat disappointed by the cycling situation in Zürich.
Although Zürich has made great progress in recent years and has a cycling infrastructure that would (or should) make most British and American cities green with envy, by the standard of other Swiss and European cities Zürich still has a long way to go.
One reason for this is Zürich's excellent public transit system. In a city where trams and trolleybuses come every few minutes and whisk people swiftly and silently from anywhere to anywhere else, even confirmed autophobes often fail to see the urgency of improving the bicycle infrastructure.
Nonetheless, city officials are aware that there is considerable scope for increased bicycle traffic. A "micro census" from the year 2000 found that 53% of all car journeys within the city are shorter than three kilometers and 79% are shorter than five kilometers, which are "ideal bicycle distances".
Helvetic rolls onto the runway of Unique Airport to almost 20 destinations in Europe. Has direct , non-stop flights only from Zurich. The quick, simple booking procedure enables you to make a booking on the Internet in just a few steps. Helvetic Airways offers more comfort and quality than train and car journeys .
Also included in the integrated transportation system are the Limmat Boats, which go along the Limmat River from the main railroad station, and then out a ways onto Lake Zürich.
These are very low boats because they have to pass under several low bridges along the Limmat.
1. A ship on Lake Zürich (by coincidence that's the opera house in the background)
2. A three-decker ship on a cloudy day
There are also larger ships that go all around Lake Zürich on cruises and on regular routes, mainly leaving from the docks at Bürkliplatz.
I HIGHLY recommend Lufthansa Airlines from Frankfurt to Zurich. A short hop, about 1 hour flight and you are there. Friendly flight assistants, on time and smooth take off and landings.
You get a nice view of both Germany and NorthEastern Switzerland on a clear day.