Zurich may just be one of Europe's best-kept secrets.
The Swiss city's long association with financial order and good timekeeping disguises an increasingly progressive cultural hub, where historic landmarks sit alongside arty pop-ups and night spots. With its windy streets, stunning lakeside backdrop and scope for Alpine adventure, Zurich is a medieval gem reborn for the 21st century.
Arriving at Zurich Airport
Zurich Airport (ZRH), with its three runways and three terminals, is Switzerland's busiest transport hub. Also known as Kloten airport, it lies just over six miles (10km) north of the city centre, spread across the municipalities of Kloten, Rumlang, Oberglatt, Winkel and Opfikon. Terminals A, B and E connect to the Airport Centre building, home to the check-in areas, shopping areas and onward connections.
Trains depart from Zurich Airport railway station for Zurich Hauptbahnhof – the city's main station – every few minutes. The journey takes between 10 and 15 minutes. The Stadtbahn Glattal light rail system also services the airport, offering a useful alternative for visitors staying in the north of the city.
Zurich Airport has excellent road transport links. If you're hiring a car from the main terminal complex, expect a 20-minute drive into the city centre along the A51 motorway. You'll take the same road for ski resorts to the south of Zurich, including Engelberg, Titlis and Andermatt.
Taxis are available 24/7 from in front of the arrivals areas, and more than a dozen bus routes service the airport.
Festivals and events
Restaurateurs, amateur cooks and culinary enthusiasts rub shoulders at more than 100 events across the city for Food Zurich in late May and early June, which celebrates local and international cuisine. Annual highlights include the Street Food Festival and a final-day party in vibrant Zurich-West.
The worlds of theatre, art and music join forces every two years for the highly-regarded Zurich Festival. Over a period of four weeks in June, the city's major cultural institutions present shows, concerts, dances, exhibitions, readings and discussions, all of which are based around a single theme.
Zurich's Street Parade – the city's largest annual event – is one of the world's best-known techno parties. Up to a million people proceed energetically along the banks of Lake Zurich in August to promote freedom, love and tolerance.
Visit Zurich in December and there are several Christmas markets to choose from. The city displays its festive side with gatherings in the Old Town, at the Wienachtsdorf pop-up village at Sechseläutenplatz, and around the enormous Christmas tree at the station. With winter temperatures averaging at 0°C, even the snow is authentic