Travel Thursday on Empty Streets: Best Place to Live - Zurich

Posted 9:05 PM by Mezhal Ulao in Labels: , ,

I was browsing through the net surveying what would be the best place to live and found that Zurich is on the top of everyone' s list.

Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. The city is Switzerland's main commercial and cultural centre and sometimes called the Cultural Capital of Switzerland, the political capital of Switzerland being Berne. Zürich can be counted as one of the world's pre-eminent global cities. According to several surveys from 2006 to 2009, Zürich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe. The Zürich metropolitan area has a population of about 1.68 million people.

The city is situated where the river Limmat issues from the north-western end of Lake Zurich, about 30 km north of the Alps. Zürich is surrounded by wooded hills including the Gubrist, the Hönggerberg, the Käferberg, the Zürichberg, the Adlisberg and the Oettlisberg on the eastern shore; and the Uetliberg on the western shore. The river Sihl meets with the Limmat at the end of Platzspitz, which borders the Swiss National Museum. The geographic and historic center of the city is the Lindenhof, a small natural hill on the west bank of the Limmat, about 700 meters north of where the river issues from Lake Zürich. Today the incorporated city stretches somewhat beyond the natural hydrographic confines of the hills and includes some neighborhoods to the northeast in the Glatt Valley and to the north in the Limmat Valley.

The previous boundaries of the city of Zürich (before 1893) were more or less synonymous with the location of the old town. Two large expansions of the city limits occurred in 1893 and in 1934 when the city of Zürich merged with many surrounding municipalities, that had been growing increasingly together since the 19th century. Today, the city is divided into twelve districts (known as Kreis in German), numbered 1 to 12, each one of which may contain anywhere between 1 and 4 neighborhoods:

* District 1, known as Altstadt, contains the old town, both to the east and west of the start of the Limmat river.
* District 2 lies along the west side of Lake Zurich, and contains the neighborhoods of Enge, Wollishofen and Leimbach.
* District 3, known as Wiedikon is between the Sihl river and the Uetliberg, and contains the neighborhoods of Alt-Wiedikon, Sihlfeld and Friesenberg.
* District 4, known as Aussersihl lies between the Sihl and the train tracks leaving Zürich Hauptbahnhof.
* District 5, known as Industriequartier, is between the Limmat and the train tracks leaving Zürich Hauptbahnhof, it contains the former industrial area of Zürich which has gone under a large-scale rezoning to create upscale modern housing, retail and commercial real estate.
* District 6 is on the edge of the Zürichberg, a hill overlooking the eastern part of the city. District 6 contains the neighborhoods of Oberstrass and Unterstrass. There neighborhoods are home to Zürich's wealthiest and more prominent residents.
* District 7 is on the edge of the Adlisberg hill as well as the Zürichberg, on the eastern side of the city. District 7 contains the neighborhoods of Hottingen and Hirslanden.
* District 8, known as Riesbach, lies on the eastern side of Lake Zurich.
* District 9 is between the Limmat to the north and the Uetliberg to the south. It contains the neighborhoods Altstetten and Albisrieden.
* District 10 is to the east of the Limmat and to the south of the Hönggerberg and Käferberg hills. District 10 contains the neighborhoods of Höngg and Wipkingen.
* District 11 is in the area north of the Hönggerberg and Käferberg and between the Glatt valley and the Katzensee (Cat's Lake). It contains the neighborhoods of Affoltern, Oerlikon and Seebach.
* District 12, known as Schwamendingen, is located in the Glattal (Glatt valley) on the northern side of the Zürichberg.

Most of the district boundaries are fairly similar to the original boundaries of the previously existing municipalities before they were incorporated into the city of Zürich.

Zürich has a humid continental climate according to the Köppen climate classification, with four distinct seasons.

Summers are warm with average high temperatures of 21 - 24 °C (70 - 75 °F) and lows of 10 - 12 °C (50 - 54 °F), while winters are cold with average temperatures range from -4 to 5 °C (25 - 41 °F). Spring and autumn are generally cool to mild. Temperatures do sometimes exceed into the 25 °C+ during the summer.

Precipitation is abundant throughout the year, with 42.4 inches (1,102 mm) annually. Summers are wetter than winters.
Zürich is a mixed hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Zürich Hauptbahnhof is the largest and busiest station in Switzerland and is an important railway hub in Europe. It has several other railway stations, including Oerlikon, Stadelhofen, Hardbrücke, Tiefenbrunnen, Enge, Wiedikon and Altstetten. The Cisalpino, InterCityExpress, and even the TGV high-speed trains stop in Zürich.

The A1, A3 and A4 motorways pass close to Zürich. The A1 heads west towards Berne and Geneva and eastwards towards St. Gallen; the A4 leads northwards to Schaffhausen; and the A3 heads northwest towards Basel and southeast along Lake Zurich and Lake Walen towards Sargans.

Zürich International Airport is located less than 10 kilometres northeast of the city in Kloten. There is also an airfield in Dübendorf, although it is only used for military aviation.

Within Zürich and throughout the canton of Zürich, the ZVV network of public transport has traffic density ratings among the highest worldwide. If you add frequency, which in Zürich can be as often as 7 minutes, it does become the densest across all dimensions. Three means of mass-transit exist: the S-Bahn (local trains), trams, and buses (both diesel and electric, also called trolley buses). In addition, the public transport network includes boats on the lake and river, funicular railways and even the Luftseilbahn Adliswil-Felsenegg (LAF), a cable car between Adliswil and Felsenegg. Tickets purchased for a trip are valid on all means of public transportation (train, tram, bus, boat). The Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (commonly abbreviated to ZSG) operates passenger vessels on the Limmat river and the Lake Zürich, connecting surrounding towns between Zürich and Rapperswil.

There are officially 358,540 people living in Zürich (as of 2007[update]), making it Switzerland's largest city. Of registered inhabitants, 30.6% (115,379 people) do not hold Swiss citizenship. Of these, German citizens make up the largest group with 22.0%, followed by Italians. The population of the city proper including suburbs totals 1.08 million people. However, the entire metropolitan area has a population of around 1.68 million people.


The official language used by the government and in most publications is German, while the most commonly spoken dialect in Zürich is Zürich German, which is a local dialect of Swiss German. As of 2000, German is the mother-tongue of 77.7% of the population. Italian follows behind at 4.7% of the population. Other native languages spoken by more than 1% of the population include South Slavic languages (2.2%) — this includes Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, and Slovenian, Spanish (2.2%), French (2.1%), English (1.8%), Portuguese (1.6%), Albanian (1.5%).[14]


Since the reformation led by Huldrych Zwingli, Zürich has remained the center and stronghold of protestantism in Switzerland. In the course of the 20th century, this has changed as Catholics now make up the largest religious group in the city, with 33.3%. An increasing number of residents, about 16.8% of the population in 2000, declares themselves as being without religion.


The level of unemployment in Zürich was 2.6% in August 2007. About 4% of the city population, 15,500, live either directly or indirectly on welfare payment from the state (April 2005).

Main sights

Further information: Zürich old town
Zunfthaus zum Rüden (2008)
Zunfthaus zur Haue (2008)
Zunfthaus zur Meisen, Fraumünster square (2008)

Zürich has a number of notable churches including:

* Grossmünster (great minster) (near Lake Zürich, in the old city), where Zwingli was pastor; first built around 820; declared by Charlemagne imperial church
* Fraumünster (our lady's minster) first church built before 874; the Romanesque choir dates from 1250-70; Marc Chagall stained glass choir windows; (on the opposite side of the Limmat).

During 2004 the Fraumünster was fully renovated. During this period the installed scaffolding went above the tip of the tower allowing a unique and exceptional 360° panoramic view of Zürich.

* St. Peter (downstream from the Fraumünster, in the old city); with the largest church clock face in the world.

Notable museums include:

* Kunsthaus Zürich, one of the largest collections in Classic Modern Art in the world (Munch, Picasso, Braque, Giacometti, etc.)
* Museum of Design Zürich
* Swiss National Museum (Landesmuseum), located in the Platzspitz park opposite to the Hauptbahnhof
* Haus Konstruktiv, constructive, concrete and conceptual art and design
* Uhrenmuseum Beyer, a museum documenting the history of timekeeping and timekeepers, located on Bahnhofstrasse 31

* Lindenhof hill near St. Peter; site of the Roman and medieval castle.
* Guild houses (Zunfthaus) along the Limmat river: Meisen, Rüden, Haue, Saffran, Schneidern, Schmiden, Zimmerleuten, and some more.
* Old town (Altstadt), District 1, on both sides of the Limmat river
* Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich (shopping avenue) starting at main train station
* Parade-Platz, Plaza in the middle of Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich, a center of financial activity, with the world-headquarters of several Swiss banks including UBS and Credit Suisse.
* Zoological garden
* Neu Oerlikon, part of City District Oerlikon: northern quarter of the city - Oerliker Park, MFO Park, Center-11 Building, Price Waterhouse Building, ABB Building, UBS Building, and other modern public spaces.
* Lake Zurich, running from Zürich to Rapperswil and linking with the Obersee
* Uetliberg, a hill with a great view over the city. Located to the west of the city at an altitude of 813 meters above sea level
* Fluntern Cemetery
* Cabaret Voltaire, birthplace of Dada
* Sihlcity, opened in March 2007 and built on the foundations of the former Sihl Paper Factory. Among other things it includes a shopping center and a movie theater.
* Sunrise Tower, built in 2005 are two towers located in the Seebach district.
* China Garden Zürich in Seefeld quarter nearby Zürichhorn
* Old Botanical Garden Zürich in City quarter

Here is a video tour of Zurich for you to enjoy:

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1 comment(s) to... “Travel Thursday on Empty Streets: Best Place to Live - Zurich”


Jena Isle said...

These are incredible pictures and a very informative article. Thanks for sharing.

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