VisasInformation about visas and rules depending on your country can be found here.
Travelling to ZurichBy train: the main station (“Hauptbahnhof” or “HB”) is right in the center of the city. It offers direct connections from all major cities in Switzerland, including Basel, Bern, Lucerne, Geneva, Lugano, as well as Paris, Milano, Stuttgart and Munich.
By plane: Zurich has an international airport located in Kloten, 15 minutes away from the main station with the train.
By bus: MeinFernbus FlixBus offers the most affordable direct connections from various cities in Germany as well as Milano. The bus station is located right next to the main train station in the city center.
Luggage: there are luggage lockers in the main Zurich train station and in most train stations in Switzerland.
From Zurich airport to the city centreBest it to use Tram 10 (takes 45min), or the trains (takes 15min). When exiting the arrivals building follow the signs to Rail or Tram station. Tickets can be bought from ticket vending machines in different languages. In German, airport is “Flughafen” and main station “Hauptbahnhof” (“HB”).
Public transports in SwitzerlandThe Swiss public transport system is very well developed, safe and punctual. If you are planning to use trains frequently, you can consider buying a half-fare card.
Public transports in ZurichThe canton of Zurich is tiled in several zones. You can buy a ticket for each zone, valid for 1h or 24h for all means of transportations (tram, buses, train, boats). If you need extra zones, you can buy additional extension tickets.
Beware that you need an addon for bikes and night buses. Trams run until midnight, while a night bus service is available on Friday and Saturday evenings the whole night.
LanguageSwitzerland has four languages. In Zürich, the written language is German, while the spoken language is Swiss German. Swiss German is a dialect of German which widely varies from place to place. Most people will be happy to speak English with you.
Good day = Grüezi
Goodbye = Adie
Hi = Hoi
Bye bye = Ciao
Thank you = Merci
MoneyThe currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). 1 CHF is about 0.8 euro or 1.1 dollar.
Most places accept Euro bills, but don’t fret when you get Francs in return. Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted, make sure that you can pay abroad with them before leaving (own experience!). You can also get Swiss Francs from the ATM and choose to be billed in euros for a reasonable fee.
Police (Polizei): 117
Fire (Feuerwehr): 118
The 112 emergency number, used in Europe, can also be used in Switzerland for reporting crime, fire or life-threatening situations.
The 044 633 77 77 “nightline” is here to help students with any student/ life-related problems. More information on www.nightline.ch
Phone and InternetThe prefix for Switzerland is +41. Switzerland has three main network operators: Swisscom, Orange and
Going outCheck out www.zuerichpubcrawl.ch/
Zurich has two main party areas:
The Red light district is around Langstrasse (districts 4 and 5), where you will find a lot of trendy clubs and bars.
Niederdorf, in the heart of the Old City, is also crowded with bars.
When you arriveIt is mandatory to register within 14 days in the district office.
ZürisackZurich has an advanced recycling system. Wastes have to be sorted and disposed of at various places. A complete guide is available.
A calendar is given, in particular for collection of paper and cardboard paper.
Glass containers are located in some streets and plastic bottles should be returned to the shops. Organic wastes can be placed in compost bins.
All that cannot be recycled has to be thrown away in white Zurisack plastic bags, which can be obtained at the supermarket when asked for at the cashier. These cost 20.20 CHF for ten 35 liter bags. This is not only an incentive to recycle: it is illegal to throw away wastes that can be recycled in these bags!
InsuranceHealth insurance is mandatory if you are residing in Switzerland. Basic health insurances all offer the same package, and complementary insurances can be bought at a premium. Prices can be compared with www.comparis.ch
CommunitiesA good directory of services and things to do is: Zuri.net. Also check out the student and expat life! In Zurich, Glocals, Meetup, Internations, ESN and IAESTE are popular organisations where you can meet and take part in various activities.