Zurich Basic Information
Zurich has a merchant guild tradition (an association for merchants and artisans), dating back to the Middle Ages. Today, you can still find magnificent guildhalls and guild houses, with some standing since the 1300s, like the Zunfthaus zur Waag. Want to know more about Zurich? Read on.
If you’re an Aussie heading to Zurich, you’ll have no worries mate! Along with 25 other European nations, Switzerland is party to the Schengen Convention. This means Aussies can stay up to 90 days without a visa. Just make sure your passport has 6 months validity and she’ll be right! We told you this place was cool. Of course, this is general advice. To make sure you get the latest updates, see the Consulate or Embassy of Switzerland.
In Zurich, you’ll use the Swiss Franc – a currency divided into 100 centimes. Notes range from 10 – 1000 Francs. You can change your money before you leave or in Zurich at airports, banks and most train stations. Surprisingly, banks can be quite expensive charging about 5% commission, while some exchange bureaus don’t charge any commission. Make sure you account for all your spending in Zurich because non-residents are entitled to get some tax back on goods and services over CHF$400 (not including restaurant or hotel bills). Before you make a purchase, just make sure the shop has the right paperwork. You can get your refund by post or at main border crossings and the airports.
If you like cheese you’ll pretty much be in heaven in Zurich. It’s the main ingredient of the most popular dishes here; Fondue and Raclette. Shared amongst a group of people, fondue is a big pot of melted cheese which you’ll dip bread in. Raclette is basically grilled cheese served with boiled potatoes and other pickled foods. Another favourite, Rösti is a popular dish of grated potatoes flattened into a cake shape topped with bacon, eggs and you guessed it, cheese. If cheese is not your thing, maybe try Zurich Geschnetzeltes – veal cooked with creamy mushroom and white wine sauce and served with noodles.
If you’re visiting Switzerland, Zürich is the place to party as it is home to the most clubs in the country. Head to the former industrial district in Zürich West for trendy bars like Helsinki - a former automobile garage that’s now an alternative music club. If you dig house music, head to the Kaufleuten, or if you want to rock out to an eighties vibe, dance on over to the Mascotte – the oldest club in Zurich. Fancy yourself a bit of a gambler? Check out the Swiss Casino Zürich – the largest casino in Switzerland. Here you can play black jack, American roulette, punto banco and any of the other 26 tables or 400 gaming machines. You never know your luck!