When to fly
For a perfect mix of warm, sunny days, and very little rainfall, visit Zurich during the months of either May or October, when autumn and spring are at their heights, and you’ll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.
During the month of May, cold temperatures are long gone, and in October, the blistering days of 25 degrees and wet days of downpours are a thing of the past. Both seasons are beautiful happy mediums and serve as the best times to visit Zurich.
The Zurich Street Parade takes place in August. Many daring souls, regardless of age, fly to Zurich to experience this all day, all night extravaganza of dancing, music, and sharing. Every August, Swiss party-goers hit the streets for this outdoor elaborate showing of fun and spirit. Symbolising love, peace, freedom, generosity and tolerance, residents (and tourists) gather to celebrate the joy of life together. What started in 1992 as a city-wide festival has now lured over a half million international visitors who book flights to visit Zurich and see the intensity of this brightly lit bash. Don’t tire yourself out too quickly though – the parade has floats running until the wee hours of the morning, and when it does officially shut down, the party simply moves to private homes and hotel rooms.
Although winters here are freezing and wet, outdoorsy travellers book their flights to Zurich to enjoy the many ski resorts that the area offers. Book in advance to get the best shot at the slopes during the months of December, January, and February. Zurich is host the annual Carnival which fills the city centre with glitter, live music and extravagant costumes. A grand parade takes centre stage through the streets of Zurich, which is accompanied by an array of events such as concerts, jazz matinee, steel band performances and traditional folklore events. Being such a joyous and energetic occasion, travelling to Zurich in this time will leave you will forever lasting holiday memories.
Zurich is a place that happily blends a bumping nightlife with a busy stock exchange. Its hand-in-hand relationship is just one of the many combinations of surprising delights from this Swiss city.
When you travel, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that your first taste is never your last. Existing as one of the biggest stock exchange cities in the world, Zurich offers an economy that makes other cities green with envy. On top of its financial success, it also happens to have a trendy and upcoming flair for fashion, arts, and culture. Its river and lakeside location allows it to pair natural beauty with its urban specialty, and you’ll find that many more of these symbiotic relationships are what makes the city so uniquely special.
New bars, restaurants, and clubs spring up all over the city each month, and its residents are passionate about immersing themselves in the newness of incoming culture. Street parties galore characterise Zurich as a city laced with techno beats and strobe lights, especially in the Industrial Quarter, where music, cocktails and dancing breathe life into the night time as soon as the sun sets.
Its continental climate and Atlantic Ocean location help to bring a bold set of diverse weather patterns within the boundaries of Zurich. Winters can be bitterly cold, with January temperatures bottoming out at just a few degrees above zero. Summer, on the other hand, is a popular time for tourists. Warm, sunny days reaching temperatures in the 20s welcome lots of outdoor fun – until of course, the rain starts. Unfortunately, with the high temperatures comes frequent rainfall, so if you’re booking flights to Zurich in the summer, definitely pack an umbrella. Getting downtown from the airport The award-winning Zurich airport (ZRH) is worth a visit even if just to admire its architecture. Local buses and trams operate a regular service and are the easiest way to get to the city. Taxis are also available but are a much more expensive option.
Getting around Zurich
You won’t have any trouble getting around the city. Buses cover the city limits, and trams and S-Bahn trains can take you around the city and to the suburbs. The service runs from frequently and you can buy tickets at the stations. Renting a car is a good idea for day trips, but parking can be tricky. Meters along the road often have short time limits, so don’t roam too far, and remember to keep some change in your pocket.
Zurich insider information
- Botanischer Garten: If you’re a nature lover, then you’ll want to head straight to the Botanischer Garten, where 15,000 living species span all throughout the three square miles of gorgeous lush greenery and flora. Rare specimens from faraway places like Caledonia and South Africa exist here. Once owned by the University of Zurich, the beautiful landscape also has a Herbarium, where plants crawl the walls, and you learn about each breed by its nameplate and description. Whether you have a green thumb or not, this place is the perfect environment to stroll, relax and learn a little about the beauty of nature within its boundaries.
- There are plenty of places to take the kids to treat them (or simply tire them out). Kids Town, one of the largest toy shops in Europe specializes in electronic games. Established by Franz Carl Weber, the shop beeps and bounces with wall-to-wall toys that make all kinds of noise. If that doesn’t sound like the right fit for your little tot, then walk around the corner to Pastorini, a quieter shop, with five floors of specialty hand-made wooden toys. Also nearby is a massive children’s book store called Kinderbuchladen, which has plenty of English language selections.
- Cabaret Voltaire: Contemporary art is one of the most intriguing reasons to visit Zurich. If you’re familiar with the Dad movement, then you know that there are few better places to go in order to celebrate the wild randomness of this bold and eccentric era. Masters like Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp, Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco are all represented at the Cabaret Voltaire, an establishment that embodies the very essence of the international cultural revolution that is Dada. The movement seeks to understand how art and culture interact in everyday life, and many of these art collaborations and exhibits do just that.