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The city of Zurich.
The city of Zurich.
Take a dip in the heart of Europe.
David tries the local delicacies.

Zurich City Guide

Friday, January 18, 2002
This guide will have you traipsing around this charming and multilateral city in no time as we head to the heart of Europe, Switzerland.

Switzerland is in the heart of Europe, and Zurich is its largest city, on the northern end of the Lake of Zurich. It has been a city since the 10th century and is charming and multilateral. It has the world's fourth largest stock exchange and largest gold bullion market. Most Swiss banks have their headquarters in Zurich, and a fifth of the country's national income is generated there.

The country is landlocked by Germany, Austria, Italy and France, and most Swiss speak German, followed by French and Italian, and fewer than one percent speak Romansch. Switzerland has produced, per capita, more Nobel Prize winners, and registered more patents than any other nation on earth.

Zurich was founded as a Roman customs port in 15BC and its well-preserved old town is on both banks of the River Limmat. Bridges link both sides of the river. Old Town has narrow streets that can be easily explored by foot, and along the river are baroque guildhouses, small boutiques, antique shops, bars and cafés. Former residents include James Joyce, Karl Marx and the creators of the avant-garde Dada movement.

Cars are not permitted into the city, but the blue and white trams are an excellent way to get around. Tourists can take advantage of 24-hour or 48-hour tickets, and they cover movement around the city and to the airport.

The Bahnhofstrasse is one of Europe's finest shopping streets — it's 1.5km long, and if you have a favourite haute couture label, you will no doubt find it there.

St Peter's Church has Europe's largest clock face, and the Fraumunster and Grossmunster churches have magnificent Chagall stained-glass windows. There are museums with works by Chagall, Miro and Picasso, and other museums for all interests. There are 1030 fountains in the city that all have drinkable water, giant chess sets at Lindenhof and bridges linking the city with the river.

Lake Zurich is 39km long, in a very beautiful pre-alpine setting. Zurichorn is a good park to visit, and has a Chinese garden, restaurants, public baths, meadows and views. There, you can swim, sail, windsurf, wakeboard, cruise, and in summertime, the entire city enjoys the lake.

The Paradeplatz in the town centre is reportedly where the banks store their gold bullion — underground. Banking is very secretive, so, it's best to concentrate on other things the city has to offer. Of course, mention Switzerland and chocolate immediately comes to mind. They do have a rightful claim to the world's creamiest, most buttery eating and drinking chocolate. This can all be proven by a visit to the Pruengli Confisiers, now being run by its sixth generation.

There are also fondue restaurants to bring back memories of the very popular way of eating in Australia in the 1970s — beef or cheese. The sweet version was an American invention and definitely not served in Switzerland. Zurich is home to Adagio — the smallest restaurant in the world, accommodating just one couple!


Switzerland's north, on Lake Zurich.


Qantas flies daily to London with connections to Zurich. Return economy airfares start at $1899 from the east coast, Adelaide and Perth, per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Switzerland Tourism
Zurich Tourism
Qantas: Ph: 13 13 13
For a safe and healthy journey, talk to the travel doctor: 1300 658 844 or visit

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