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Coat of arms of Zurich
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton ZurichCanton Zurich Zurich (ZH)
District : Zurichw
BFS no. : 0261i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 8000-8099
Coordinates : 683 354  /  247353 coordinates: 47 ° 22 '18 "  N , 8 ° 32' 32"  O ; CH1903:  six hundred and eighty-three thousand three hundred fifty-four  /  247353
Height : 408  m above sea level M.
Height range : 392–870 m above sea level M.
Area : 87.93  km²
Residents: i415,367 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 4724 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without
citizenship )
32.2% (December 31, 2018)
Unemployment rate : 2.4% (April 2,019)
City President : Corine Mauch ( SP )
Website: stadt-zuerich.ch
View from the Uetliberg

View from the Uetliberg

Location of the municipality
Zürichsee Chatzensee Greifensee Kanton Aargau Bezirk Affoltern Bezirk Bülach Bezirk Bülach Bezirk Dielsdorf Bezirk Dietikon Bezirk Horgen Bezirk Meilen Bezirk Pfäffikon Bezirk Uster ZürichMap of Zurich
About this picture
Old town on a winter day
Zurich's old town with the Fraumünster , Münsterbrücke , the tower of St. Peter and the Grossmünster from the Quaibrücke

Zurich ( Zurich German Züri [ˈt͡sʏrɪ] , French Zurich [zyʁik] , Italian Zurigo [dzuˈriːɡo] , Rhaeto-Romanic Turitg ? / I [tuˈritɕ] ) is a Swiss city , political municipality and capital of the canton of Zurich of the same name . Audio file / audio sample

With 415,367 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2018), the city of Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and has a population density of 4521 inhabitants per square kilometer. The surrounding area is densely populated, so that around 1.3 million people live in the Zurich agglomeration and around 1.83 million in the Zurich metropolitan region . The Zurich district is identical to the urban area.

The city is located in the eastern Swiss plateau , on the Limmat at the outflow of Lake Zurich . Their inhabitants are called Zürcher (or Stadtzürcher to differentiate from the other inhabitants of the canton).

Zurich, which emerged from the Roman base Turicum , became a free imperial city in 1262 and a member of the Confederation in 1351 . The town of the reformer Huldrych Zwingli experienced its rise in the industrial age to become today's economic metropolis of Switzerland.

With its main train station , the largest train station in Switzerland, and the airport , the city of Zurich is a continental transport hub . Thanks to the major local banks (including UBS and Credit Suisse ) and insurance companies ( Zurich Insurance Group and Swiss Re ), it is an international financial center and the largest financial center in Switzerland, followed by Geneva and Lugano . The city is also home to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of Zurich, the two largest universities in Switzerland. Despite the comparatively small number of inhabitants, Zurich is counted among the world's cities . Zurich is the most important center of the Swiss media and creative industry. With its location on Lake Zurich, its well-preserved medieval old town and a diverse range of cultural activities and nightlife , it is also a center of tourism.

Leutschenpark in Oerlikon

For years, Zurich has been listed alongside Geneva as one of the cities with the world's highest quality of life and at the same time with the highest cost of living in the world. After Monaco and Geneva, Zurich is the city with the third highest density of millionaires in the world.

City name and pronunciation

The name Zurich is pronounced in Swiss High German Zurich [ˈt͡sʏrɪç] , therefore with a short ü . In West German High German , the name Zurich [ˈt͡syːʁɪç] is pronounced , that is, with a long ü . The Zurich-German phonetic system has a short ü with Züri [ˈt͡sesr kurz] and the legal shrinkage of the final ch . In the fourth national language of Switzerland, Romansh , the city name is Turitg ? Depending on the dialect . / i , Turich ? / i [tuˈritɕ] or Turi ? / i . The Latin form handed down from Roman times is Turicum . Audio file / audio sample Audio file / audio sample Audio file / audio sample

The place name can be found for the first time on the tombstone of Lucius Aelius Urbicus from the time 185-200 AD as sta Turicen attests to what can be read as stationis Turicensis . The German sound first became tangible around 700, when the geographer of Ravenna named the place Ziurichi in his "Cosmographia" ; the spelling "iu" should denote the i-umlaut and thus the sound ü .

There are various assumptions about the original meaning of the name.

  • Zurich derives an explanation from the personal name Tūros , which is extended by the suffix -īcon , with which the place name means “belonging to Tūros” in the sense of “settlement des Tūros”. With regard to the language of the personal name, the older research thought of Venetic or Illyrian , whereas today it is interpreted as Celtic .
  • However, in 2011 published statement by Wulf Müller rejects the widely recognized Pänultima -Betonung the Latin place name Turicum (the emphasis on i ) be false, instead it uses Erstbetonung on (ie on the u ) and postulated on this basis, a derivative of a river name * Turos, which is said to have been the name of a former Sihl arm.
  • According to a thesis published by Theo Vennemann in 2019 , the place name Zurich should be related to the place names on Dürr-, Dürk-, Turk-, which are common in Central Europe , for which he postulates a common vasconic origin. The base * turi can still be found today in Basque in the form iturri, where it means source, and the frequent "ending" in / k / is interpreted as the genitive locativus, in modern Basque ko; Zurich therefore means “at the source”. Semantically, this interpretation fits, as Zurich is very rich in sources.

In allusion to the geographical and historical conditions, Zurich is informally referred to as the “Limmatstadt” or the “Zwinglistadt”. With reference to the work of the Zurich Enlightenment in the 18th century, including Johann Jakob Bodmer , Johann Jakob Breitinger and Johann Caspar Lavater, as well as to the Swiss National Exhibition of 1883, there is also the name "Limmat-Athens".


View from Waidberg over Zurich and Lake Zurich to the Alps

Zurich is 408  m above sea level. M. at the lower (northern) end of Lake Zurich in the Limmat valley and in the lower Sihl valley , embedded between the heights of Uetliberg in the west and Zürichberg in the east. The Limmat rises from the lake, while the Sihl, which flows west of the lake, flows into the Limmat north of Zurich's old town at Platzspitz . The old town stretches on both sides of the Limmat, which initially flows northwards and then gradually curves to the west. The former city did not extend to the Sihl, but had the Schanzengraben, which was built in the 17th and 18th centuries, as a western boundary . At that time, part of the water was drained from the lake and led back to the Limmat in a ditch outside the bastions and bulwarks.


The municipal area of ​​the city of Zurich covers an area of ​​91.88 km², 4.1 km² of which is on Lake Zurich. It covers the upper part of the Limmattal natural and settlement area , a section of the northern Swiss plateau . The canalized and partially straightened Limmat does not flow roughly in the middle of the valley, but always along the right (north-eastern) edge of the valley. At 392  m above sea level M. the lowest point in the municipality is reached on the Limmat near Oberengstringen.

On its west side, the Limmat Valley is flanked by the wooded heights of the Albiskette , the Uetliberg and the Buechhogers , on which the western municipal boundary runs. The Uetliberg, the city's local mountain , is 870  m above sea level. M. the highest elevation in the vicinity. Its summit can be easily reached with the Uetlibergbahn . From the platform of the Uetliberg observation tower there is an impressive panorama of the city and the lake and, on a clear day, as far as the Alps . To the south, the municipality extends into the lower Sihl valley .

To the northeast of the Limmat Valley is a chain of hills, which marks the watershed between the Limmat and the Glatt . From northwest to southeast the height of the mostly forest-covered peaks increases: Hönggerberg ( 541  m above sea level ), Käferberg (with Waidberg , 571  m above sea level ), Zürichberg ( 676  m above sea level ) and Adlisberg ( 701  m above sea level ) above sea level ). Between the Käferberg and the Zürichberg there is an important transition from the Limmat to the Glatttal with the completely covered saddle of the Milchbuck (around 470  m above sea level ) .

The northernmost part of the municipality extends into the plain of the Glatttal and into the depression which connects the Glattal and the Furttal . Part of the Katzensee (nature reserve) and the Büsisee, both of which are drained by the Katzenbach to the Glatt, also belong to the urban area.


From a geological point of view, Zurich is located in the molasse basin of the Swiss plateau. In the course of the Tertiary the basin was filled with the debris from the emerging Alps , whereby the sediments can be divided into different layers. Deposits under marine conditions are referred to as sea molasses, those under fluvial conditions as fresh water molasses .

The Upper Freshwater Molasse, which was deposited around 16 to 5 million years ago, is important for the Zurich area. It is made up of alternating layers of hard sandstone banks and soft marl layers and is particularly evident on the Uetliberg and on the hills east of the city. A deep borehole would find a more than 1000 m thick layer of molasse deposits in the underground of Zurich before the sediments of the Jurassic period would be encountered .

The region of Zurich received the decisive change in the landscape from the advance of the Rhein-Linth Glacier during the various ice ages . The glacier deepened and widened existing valleys and created new valleys. The Limmattal and Glattal are filled with gravel from the Ice Age and other sediments from the post-ice age. The traces of the Würm glaciation are still most clearly visible. During the so-called stage of Zurich (around 20,000 years ago) the moraine wall was created , which closes Lake Zurich in the north. It is marked by the ridge between the lake and the Sihltal, by the height at the Lindenhof in the old town and by the Burghölzli, while the Sihl valley absorbed the meltwater flow at the edge of the glacier.


Zurich is in the temperate climate zone . The climate of Zurich is influenced by the winds from the west, which often bring precipitation , and the bise (east or north-east wind), which is usually associated with high pressure and brings cooler weather phases in all seasons than would be expected on average. The foehn , which is important in the Alpine valleys and on the edge of the Alps , does not normally have any special climatic effects on Zurich.

The annual mean temperature at the measuring station of the Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss) in Zurich-Affoltern at 444  m above sea level. M. is 9.4 ° C, with 0.3 ° C in January the coldest and July with 18.8 ° C the warmest monthly mean temperatures. On average, around 92 frost days and 21 ice days are to be expected here. There are around 46 summer days on average, while there are normally 8.5 hot days . The Zurich-Affoltern measuring station has an average of 1531 hours of sunshine per year. The 1054 mm of precipitation falls over the whole year, whereby in the summer half-year and especially during the three summer months higher amounts are measured than in winter due to the convective precipitation.

Zurich-Affoltern 1981–2010
Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss)
Monthly average temperatures and precipitation for Zurich-Affoltern 1981–2010
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 3.1 5.0 10.0 14.3 19.1 22.2 24.7 24.0 19.5 14.2 7.4 3.9 O 14th
Min. Temperature (° C) −2.7 −2.7 0.6 3.5 8.0 11.2 13.2 12.9 9.4 5.9 1.2 −1.2 O 5
Temperature (° C) 0.3 1.1 5.2 8.9 13.5 16.7 18.8 18.2 14.2 9.8 4.3 1.5 O 9.4
Precipitation ( mm ) 61 60 74 79 114 116 112 106 90 84 78 79 Σ 1,053
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.5 2.6 3.9 5.2 5.9 6.7 7.3 6.6 5.0 2.9 1.6 1.1 O 4.2
Rainy days ( d ) 10.1 8.7 11.1 11.0 12.0 12.1 11.5 11.2 9.7 10.0 10.2 10.8 Σ 128.4
Humidity ( % ) 84 80 74 70 72 71 71 75 79 84 85 84 O 77.4
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Urban area

The Limmattal is almost completely built over (residential and industrial areas, commercial zones). The sun-exposed and preferred residential areas on Zürichberg and Waidberg as well as the lower slope sections on the western side of the valley on Uetliberg are also densely built up. The development extends over the Milchbuck into the Glattal and the adjacent areas.

The extensive forest areas of Adlisberg, Zürichberg, Käferberg, Hönggerberg and Uetliberg are among the green lungs of the city. There are also significant green spaces along the lakeshore (Zürichhorn and Enge). Furthermore, the built-up area is loosened up by parks and gardens. Larger contiguous agriculturally used areas are in the Affoltern and Seebach area.

Of the total area of ​​the city of Zurich (not including the lake), the 1996 survey identified 45.4% settlements, industry and commerce, 15.5% transport, 26.5% forest, 11% agriculture and 1.2% Attributed to waters. In 2004, around 93% of the area designated as a building zone was built over.

View from Uetliberg over the city of Zurich

City structure

City districts and urban quarters of the city of Zurich

The original municipality of Zurich (before 1893) only comprised the area of ​​today's old town. With two major city expansions in 1893 and 1934, numerous surrounding villages were incorporated, which had grown together more and more in the course of the 19th century. Today the city of Zurich is made up of twelve urban districts, numbered 1 to 12 and each comprising one to four urban quarters or two to four statistical quarters. There are two different neighborhood definitions in the city of Zurich: “city quarters” and “statistical quarters”. The city quarters are historical quarters with their own coats of arms, which used to be separate localities or areas and have been incorporated into the city in the course of history. There are 22 so-called city quarters. For statistical purposes, city quarters that are congruent with the city districts have been divided into further statistical quarters. For example the old town, the industrial district or Aussersihl. From a statistical point of view, the city of Zurich consists of 34 quarters. The division into city quarters is shown below:

  • District 1 , includes the old town and thus the original municipality of Zurich (until 1893)
  • District 2 on the western shore of Lake Zurich, includes Enge , Wollishofen and Leimbach (incorporated in 1893)
  • District 3 in the Limmattal between Sihl and Uetliberg, includes Wiedikon (incorporated in 1893)
  • District 4 in the valley between Sihl, railway tracks and Wiedikon, includes part of the former community of Aussersihl (incorporated in 1893)
  • District 5 in the valley between the Limmat, Sihl and the railway tracks, includes the industrial quarter that was part of the former community of Aussersihl and was incorporated into the municipality in 1893
  • District 6 on the slope of the Zürichberg, includes Oberstrass and Unterstrass (incorporated in 1893)
  • District 7 on the slopes of Zürichberg and Adlisberg, includes Fluntern , Hottingen and Hirslanden (incorporated in 1893) and Witikon (last incorporated in 1934)
  • District 8 on the eastern shore of Lake Zurich, includes Riesbach (incorporated in 1893)
  • District 9 between the Limmat in the north and Buechhoger and Uetliberg in the south, includes Altstetten and Albisrieden (incorporated in 1934)
  • District 10 to the right of the Limmat on the southern slope of Hönggerberg and Käferberg, includes Wipkingen (incorporated in 1893) and Höngg (incorporated in 1934)
  • District 11 on the plain north of Hönggerberg and Käferberg between Glattal and Katzensee, includes Affoltern , Oerlikon and Seebach (incorporated in 1934)
  • District 12 in the Glattal at the northern foot of the Zürichberg, includes Schwamendingen (incorporated in 1934)

As a rule, the boundaries of the city districts are congruent with the municipal boundaries that existed before 1893. However, depending on their size, either several municipalities were combined into one district or, in the case of Aussersihl, one municipality was divided into two districts. There have also been some major and minor border adjustments over time.

Neighboring communities

The following municipalities border on the city of Zurich: Regensdorf , Rümlang , Opfikon and Wallisellen in the north, Dübendorf , Fällanden and Maur in the east, Zollikon , Kilchberg (ZH) and Adliswil in the south and Stallikon , Uitikon , Schlieren and Oberengstringen in the west. Urdorf only borders the city of Zurich in one point.


Zurich on the Murer map from 1576

Early history, the Middle Ages and modern times

In contrast to most of the other major Swiss cities, Zurich rose to the rank of city in the early Middle Ages . In TURICUM Although there was in Roman times a customs post and a fort , but the associated settlement can not yet be called a city. Early medieval, Alemannic Zurich was closely linked to the Duchy of Swabia and two important spiritual foundations of the German kings, the Grossmünster and the Fraumünster , which were dedicated to the cult of the city patrons Felix and Regula . After the central power in the Duchy of Swabia collapsed and the Zähringers died out in 1218, Zurich was able to secure the status of imperial immediacy ; In 1262 the freedom of citizenship was expressly confirmed. The title of an imperial city meant de facto the independence of the city. De jure , however, Zurich did not break away from the sovereignty of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire until 1648 .

Internally, since the guild revolution of Mayor Rudolf Brun in 1336 , the fortunes of Zurich have been jointly managed by the city nobility and the craftsmen's associations ( guilds ) ( Brunsche Guild Constitution ). Brun was also responsible for the attack on Rapperswil . In 1351, Zurich joined the Swiss Confederation to secure its independence from the up-and-coming South German noble family of the Habsburgs , and together with Bern it became a suburb of this confederation.

Zurich's most important contribution to world history to this day was the Reformation by Huldrych Zwingli . Under his spiritual guidance, Zurich became a Reformed Rome on the Limmat in 1519. The Zurich Bible , one of the first German Bible translations, was created in the prophecy under Zwingli, Leo Jud and other collaborators from 1524 to 1525 and was published by the Zurich printer Christoph Froschauer first in parts and later as a whole Bible.

The Anabaptist movement began in Zurich in 1523 under the leadership of Konrad Grebel , Felix Manz , Jörg Blaurock , Balthasar Hubmaier and other people who separated from Zwingli and were persecuted and captured shortly afterwards. In January 1527 Felix Manz was drowned in the Limmat, and many Anabaptists fled to Schaffhausen or the Zurich Oberland.

Heinrich Bullinger 1531–1575 and Rudolf Gwalther 1575–1586, as Antistes and successors of Zwingli, consolidated the Reformation in Zurich and cultivated numerous contacts across Europe. During her time, many Protestant refugees from Ticino, Italy, France and England were accepted. Subsequently, these contributed significantly to Zurich's economic prosperity through handicrafts, the production of as yet unknown textiles and trade.

At the time of witch hunts were in Zurich from 1487 to 1701 witch trials conducted against 79 persons. In the witch trial in 1701, eight people from Wasterkingen were convicted of alleged witchcraft. District President Markus Notter and Church Council President Ruedi Reich condemned these judicial murders in 2001.

18th and 19th centuries

Zurich and its suburbs around 1800
View of Zurich around 1884

In the surrounding area, Zurich conquered and acquired important territories that were politically subordinate to the city until 1798. With the fall of the free republic of the city of Zurich after the French invasion of Switzerland, the city and the former subjects became part of the new canton of Zurich. In the beginning of the 19th century there was a restoration of urban dominance in the canton, but this was short-lived. Since then, Zurich has been the capital of the canton of the same name .

Zurich's rise to become the economic center of Switzerland began with the textile industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. Under the political and economic leadership of the Liberals , in particular Alfred Escher , Zurich's leading role was extended to the financial and service sectors from 1846 onwards through the establishment of numerous banks and insurance companies. Since the decline of Zurich's industry in the post-war period, the importance of this sector has increased.

In the years 1855 and 1867, around 500 people died of cholera in many apartments in the city of Zurich as a result of precarious hygienic conditions . In 1867 the construction of a sewer system began. Typhus broke out in 1884 .

In the second half of the 19th century a building boom began that lasted into the 1970s and caused Zurich to grow from a small town to a big city with all its problems. The rapid growth was initially limited to a renovation and new construction of the center and increasingly affected the surrounding rural communities. In two waves of incorporation in 1893 and 1934, 20 rural communities were combined with the old town council. However, the establishment of a “millionaire” has failed to this day. While originally the financial strength of the city or the empty coffers of the suburbs were the motor of the voluntary city expansion, today the remaining suburbs are financially better off than the city. This is particularly reflected in the tax rates.

Two distinct waves of growth in the years 1888–1910 and 1950–1970 were caused by newcomers from abroad. In 1912, one third of the residents of Zurich were foreigners, and Zurich, like a large part of German-speaking Switzerland, was pro-German in the run-up to the First World War, although speaking High German was a good form in high society.

20th century

The incorporation of the Zurich suburbs in 1894 and 1934
Paradeplatz on a colored photograph (1910)

In the first half of the 20th century, Zurich was politically under the spell of the labor movement. Even before the national strike in 1918, the confrontation between the bourgeoisie and the working class was particularly fierce, as Zurich had large industrial companies with thousands of workers and was at the same time a stronghold of the upper class . In 1928, when the Social Democratic Party, under the leadership of David Farbstein , achieved an absolute majority in the city council (executive) and local council (legislative) for the first time, the Red Zurich became a flagship for the social democracy's ability to govern in the interwar period . In spite of this, in Zurich in 1939 in particular , the national exhibition known as Landi became a symbol of the cohesion and the will to resist in Switzerland under the sign of intellectual national defense against Hitler's Germany. Finally, in 1943, the Mayor of Zurich, Ernst Nobs, was elected to the Federal Council as the first social democrat. In the post-war period, Zurich remained a collecting basin and stage for protest movements, such as in 1968 on the occasion of the Globus riots and in 1980 for the youth riots . Even today, May 1st every year in Zurich is marked by clashes between the autonomousblack block ” and the police.

The open drug scene has long been a problem for the city. In the mid-1980s, Platzspitz became known worldwide as the Needlepark . It was evacuated and cordoned off on February 5, 1992, after which the drug scene shifted to the disused Letten train station.

From 1992, the area of ​​the disused Letten train station provided the backdrop for the largest open drug scene in Europe. Several thousand drug addicts from home and abroad lived here or bought their material. Hundreds of police officers often raided in the presence of camera teams, trying to dry up the market. These attempts were unsuccessful and so the Latvian was evacuated by the police on February 14, 1995. Foreign drug addicts were largely returned to their communities of origin or place of residence, while foreign addicts were forcibly evicted. The remnants of the drug scene increasingly shifted to the area along Langstrasse. The attempt to dispense heroin from the state made a major contribution to defusing the situation, so that a new scene did not immediately emerge. Today the state, medically controlled drug distribution is anchored in law and approved by the people in a referendum.

The long road is a center of Zurich's nightlife. Since the breakup of the open drug scene, the neighborhood has become the center of drug trafficking at the turn of the millennium. The crime rate in the Langstrasse district is still relatively high, but the situation has improved due to various public sector projects. Today the situation has stabilized and the district has become a fixture in Zurich's cultural and nightlife scene. The city is still a magnet for drug users from neighboring cantons.

Aerial photo (1961)


City Hall Bridge
Zurich's old town and Limmat at the Rathausbrücke with (from left) Hotel zum Storchen, Haus zum Schwert , Rathaus and Haus zum Rüden

In the 1980s, Zurich was caught in a vicious circle between the demand for more office space in the city center, the escape from the city and the threatened slump of entire city districts due to drug problems. Measures to increase the attractiveness of the city center, such as the exemption from traffic in Niederdorf, could not prevent the city center of Zurich from becoming increasingly unattractive. Changes seemed impossible - in 1986, the then building director Ursula Koch, with her now famous sentence “Zurich is built”, expressed the lack of perspective in politics with regard to Zurich's future. It was not until the mid-1990s that the blockade could be overcome, first through a new building and zoning ordinance in 1996 and the liberalization of the Hospitality Act in 1997. The latter in particular had an enormously invigorating effect on Zurich's nightlife and left countless new and innovative restaurants, bars and discos within a very short time shoot out of the ground. In 1998, under the new building director Elmar Ledergerber (city president from 2002 to April 2009), the redesign of the brownfield sites in Zurich-West and Oerlikon , which had been slow for years, was accelerated, so that trendy and modern new urban districts have developed in both locations to this day. The new Europaallee quarter to the west of the main train station will be built by 2020 .

In the tourism sector, Zurich appeared in the 2000s (until 2011) with the addition of "Downtown Switzerland".

The coat of arms, divided diagonally by silver and blue, was created in the 14th century and was derived from the blue and white striped urban banners that probably appeared for the first time in the 13th century when Zurich became a free imperial city . The coat of arms is the fourth oldest coat of arms in the canton after those of Winterthur (1276), Grüningen (1370), Rheinau (1374). To distinguish it from the Canton of Zurich , which uses the same coat of arms, the city shield is crowned by a wall. The heraldic animal of the city of Zurich, the «Zürileu», is the lion . Traditionally, the shield in the full coat of arms is held by two standing lions, which in heraldry are a symbol of courage, strength, strength, boldness and bravery.

Today the canton and the city of Zurich use the same coat of arms. While the full coat of arms of the canton of Zurich shows a lion with a sword on the left side (the sword as a symbol for war and state authority) and a lion with a palm frond on the right side (the palm frond as a symbol of peace ), the full coat of arms shows the City depicted as a heraldic bearer of two stylized lions. In addition, there is a wall crown over the coat of arms. This has been used as a uniform logo for all municipal offices since the end of 2005 (a few exceptions reserved).


Population development in the city of Zurich since 1836

As of December 31, 2018, 415,367 people lived in the city.

Statistically, the population density is 4521 people per square kilometer. 32.2 percent (December 31, 2018) of the residents registered in Zurich are foreigners who do not have Swiss citizenship . In November 2016, the population of Zurich came from 170 nations.

Origin of the population City of Zurich, top ten
origin 2018
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 67.72%
GermanyGermany Germany 7.83%
ItalyItaly Italy 3.52%
PortugalPortugal Portugal 1.83%
SpainSpain Spain 1.49%
AustriaAustria Austria 1.14%
FranceFrance France 1.09%
United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 0.85%
TurkeyTurkey Turkey 0.76%
SerbiaSerbia Serbia 0.76%

Many immigrants from other cantons live in Zurich (reported: 41% of the city's population, 60% of the Swiss). Due to locally and regionally different tax rates, attempts are sometimes made to bypass registration for the city area.

In agglomeration Zurich currently living 1.19 million people - according to Eurostat 2012 there are 1'392'396; in the Zurich metropolitan region (including Winterthur , Baden , Brugg , Schaffhausen , Frauenfeld , Uster / Wetzikon , Rapperswil-Jona and Zug ) there are around 1.83 million.


The official official and common language is the Swiss equivalent of the standardized German language , which also known as High German (as in Germany) or as written German (because it is mainly used only in correspondence) is called. This is used in newspapers and magazines, in literature, on websites and in principle in all correspondence. Swiss Standard German is also used in spoken form at universities, schools, theaters, in news programs, discussion programs and similar programs on radio and television (excluding local channels) and for the most part at official events of official institutions (e.g. parliamentary debates, courts).

In everyday life, the local Swiss German variant, namely Zurich German , or one of the other Swiss dialects is predominantly spoken. This diglossic language situation is typical for the whole of German-speaking Switzerland .

According to the 2010 census (multiple answers were possible), 69.3% of the citizens of Zurich speak Swiss German at home , 22.7% speak High German (which variant is not made clear). The use of English in private at home has increased considerably since the penultimate census in 2000: 8.8%. Italian follows with 7.1%, French with 4.5%, Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian 4.1%, Spanish 3.9%, Portuguese 3.1% and Albanian with 2.3%. 20% of Zurich's residents speak two or more languages ​​at home.

Religions, denominations

Religious affiliation

In the city of Zurich, non-denominational people are most frequently represented in the population aged 15 and over, followed by the Roman Catholics and the Evangelical Reformed. Of the total resident population of Zurich, 105,066 inhabitants (25.1%) were members of the Roman Catholic Church in 2019, 80,698 inhabitants (19.3%) were members of the Evangelical Reformed Church , 2,015 (0.5%) ) Member Other recognized religious communities and 231,233 inhabitants (55.2%) belonged to another denomination / religion or were non-denominational.

Exact membership figures for other religious communities (besides the regional churches ) are no longer available for the entire resident population since the 2000 census. However, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) conducts sample surveys in which other religious communities in the city of Zurich are also recorded. The number of people with no religious affiliation has risen sharply since 1970; in the 2018 sample survey, 39% of respondents aged 15 and over stated that they were non-denominational and thus formed the largest group, followed by the Roman Catholics and the Evangelical Reformed:

Resident population aged 15 and over in the city of Zurich - 2018 *
religion number %
Roman Catholic Church 91,037 26.5%
Evangelical Reformed Church 65,847 19.1%
other Christian denominations 18,543 5.4%
Islamic communities 18,423 5.4%
Jewish religious community 3,932 1.1%
other religious communities 7.206 2.1%
no affiliation 134.216 39.0%
Resident population aged 15 and over 344.020 100.0%
* Sample survey: confidence interval of the individual results is between 3% and 18%.

According to an analysis of the religious landscape in the city of Zurich by Urban Development Zurich (based on the data from the structural survey by the Federal Statistical Office), in 2016 those with no religious affiliation were the largest group in the population aged 15 and over. In addition, there were clear correlations between nationality and religious affiliation among the five most common nationalities in Zurich: While in 2016 the Evangelical Reformed formed the largest denomination group among Swiss citizens aged 15 and over, with 31%, among German citizens (second most common nationality) aged 15 and over, the non-denominational group was with a share of 45% (compared to 29% non-denominational among the Swiss). The following nationalities (third to fifth most common nationality) were all predominantly Roman Catholic: Italians (75%), Portuguese (84%) and Spanish (62%).


The Reformed denomination and Anabaptism both emerged in Zurich in 1519 and 1525. Since the official introduction of the Reformation under Huldrych Zwingli in 1523, Zurich has been a center and stronghold of Protestantism in Switzerland. In 2014, Zurich was therefore awarded the honorary title of “ Reformation City of Europe ” by the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe . In the course of the 20th century, however, the proportion of Reformed people steadily decreased due to the advancing secularization and increased immigration of people of different religions. In 1970 around 53% of the population were Protestant and 40% Catholic. Since then, both of the established churches in Switzerland, the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zurich and the Roman Catholic Church , have constantly lost members, although Catholics only started to emigrate around 20 years later. Zurich is one of the ten Swiss places that the Evangelical Church Federation in 2017 carried the label "Reformation City".

At the end of 2018, 20 percent of the Reformed regional church and 26 percent of the Catholic denomination belonged to the two largest religious groups, according to the canton of Zurich . In the past, in 2000, the Reformed regional church was the second largest religious group with 32.1%, the Catholics were the largest religious group with 33.3%. On December 31, 2014, 22.7% of the population belonged to the Evangelical Reformed Church and 29.0% to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Evangelical Reformed Church operates 46 churches in Zurich, the Roman Catholic Church 25, including one for Italian and one for French-speaking Catholics.

The Orthodox Christianity is in Zurich represented by the Greek Orthodox Church of Agios Dimitrios , and the Serbian Orthodox parish of the Holy Trinity, the Romanian Orthodox parish of Saint Nicholas and the Orthodox Church Romanian language, the Russian Orthodox Church of the Resurrection (Собор Воскресения Христова) with the parish of St. Pokrov-Maria Schutz, the Armenian apostolic parish Sourp Sarkis , the Eritrean Orthodox parish Medhanialem , the Ethiopian Orthodox parish Debre Gennet Qiddist Maryam , the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark and Mauritius, the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Saint Mary parish of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Thomas Christians . The Eritrean-Catholic , Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankar churches are also united with Rome .

The local section of the Evangelical Alliance includes (as of 2020): Baptist Congregation Zurich 7, C3 Zurich, Chrischona Zurich, Christian Center Buchegg, Diakonie Bethanien, Equippers Friedenskirche Zurich, Ev.-ref. Kirchgemeinde Zürich-Hirzenbach, Evangelical Congregation Albisrieden, Evangelical Anabaptist Congregation Zurich, Free Evangelical Congregation Zurich, Free Evangelical Congregation Zurich-Helvetiaplatz, Free Missions Congregation Zurich, congregations of St. Anna and Lukas, Salvation Army Zurich-North, Salvation Army Zurich-Central, International Protestant Church Zurich IPC, New Testament Church of God International, Quartierchile Züri 3, Verein Inklusiv, Chrischtehüsli, Vineyard Zurich, Worldwide Church of God Zurich and Zoe Gospel Center.

In addition to the Evangelical Alliance, there are other free churches such as Action Biblique (which belongs to the association of AB communities in Switzerland ), Christian Church Zurich, Bible Christian Congregation, Moravian Society , Church of Christ, Christian Assembly, Congregation for Christ (formerly called Evangelical Brothers Association ), Congregation Of God, the Association of Apostolic Christians and the Evangelical Lutheran Church .

Furthermore, in Zurich u. a. also represented the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), the Seventh-day Adventist Church , the New Apostolic Church with multiple congregations and its international headquarters, and Jehovah's Witnesses . In addition to the religious currents already mentioned, there are also a large number of other and smaller religious communities in Zurich.


The Islamic community recorded strong growth in the city : the number of Muslims in the total population more than doubled from around 9,000 to 20,000 (5.7%) between 1990 and 2000. In 2010, Muslims accounted for around 5% of the population aged 15 and over.

The first mosque in Switzerland was built in the Riesbach district on Forchstrasse. It is the Mahmud Mosque from 1962 to 1963, which is operated by the Ahmadiyya community. Other Muslim centers are scattered across the city.


The synagogue of the Israelitische Cultusgemeinde Zurich

Judaism is more strongly represented in Zurich than in other Swiss cities. Around 5000 Jews live in districts 2 and 3 , and another 1000 in the rest of the city. Larger communities are the Israelitische Cultusgemeinde Zurich , which sees itself as a unified community , the Jewish liberal community Or Chadasch - these two were recognized under public law by the Canton of Zurich in 2007 at their own request - the Orthodox Israelitische Religionsgesellschaft Zürich and the Eastern Jewish Orthodox Agudas Achim .

The population of the Jewish religious community has remained more or less constant at around one percent since 1970.

Well-known Jewish personalities in Zurich include the National Councilor David Farbstein (1868–1953), the writers Kurt Guggenheim (1896–1983) and Charles Lewinsky (* 1946) and the media entrepreneur Roger Schawinski (* 1945).


For the Hindus , the Hare Krishna temple offers a supraregional meeting place.


In the Riesbach district is the Zurich Buddhist Center, which follows the tradition of the Karma-Kagyü line, one of the four major Buddhist schools in Tibet.


In 1970 only 2% of the city's population stated that they did not belong to any denomination. In line with the loss in the established churches, this percentage increased to 17% in 2000. Today, the non-religious make up the largest group with over thirty percent of the population aged 15 and over. Within the group of the 24 to 44 year old urban population, every third person states that they do not belong to any or another denomination.


For 2018, the City of Zurich has a social assistance rate of 4.6% as part of the city initiative.


Legislative - Local Council

The legislative body ( legislature ) of the city of Zurich is the municipal council with 125 members. It meets every Wednesday evening in Zurich's town hall . Until 1934, the local council was called the Great City Council . The parliamentarians have been elected since 2006 using the proportional procedure using the “ double proportional divisor method with standard rounding ” (“double Pukelsheim”). This electoral process is intended to prevent distortions in the small constituencies and a preference for the large parties. A party must receive five percent of the votes in at least one constituency in order to be taken into account in the distribution of seats. The five percent hurdle was not originally provided for in the system. It is intended to prevent the party landscape from being too fragmented.

The urban area is divided into nine constituencies. The number of people living in a constituency is divided by an allocation divisor and rounded to the nearest whole number. The result indicates the number of seats that are to be allocated in the constituency concerned. The allocation divisor is determined so that 125 seats are allocated.

For a long time, the oldest municipal councilor was Niklaus Scherr from the Alternative List , who was a member of the city parliament from 1978 to 2017.

The results of the municipal elections since 1895 can be found in the article Results of the municipal elections in Zurich .

Distribution of seats in the Zurich municipal council
Political party 2018 2014 2010 (2009) 2006 2002 1998 1994
Social Democratic Party (SP) 43 39 39 45 44 49 49 43
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 21st 21st 18th 19th 19th 20th 26th 28
Swiss People's Party (SVP) 17th 23 24 22nd 24 31 26th 19th
Green party 16 14th 14th 14th 14th 10 7th 5
Green Liberal Party (glp) 14th 13 12 0 0 0 0 0
Alternative list (AL) 10 9 5 3 5 3 2 2
Evangelical People's Party (EPP) 4th 0 4th 6th 6th 2 1 2
Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP) 0 6th 7th 10 10 9 8th 10
Swiss Democrats (SD) 0 0 2 3 3 0 1 4th
Party for Zurich (PFZ) 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
Rest 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0
State Ring of Independents (LdU) 0 0 0 0 0 0 4th 7th
A total of 125 seats

Executive - City Council

The city ​​council as a collegial authority with nine members is the executive body of the city of Zurich. Its main task is to run the city administration. The citizens of Zurich who are entitled to vote elect the city council every four years according to the majority voting process . Corine Mauch , the social democrat, has been city ​​president since May 1, 2009 . She is the first woman in this position. The city chancellery, led by the city ​​clerk , supports the city council in administrative matters. The city council is advised by the legal adviser on legal issues.

Members of the Zurich City Council 2018–2022
Surname Department (abbreviation) since Political party
Corine Mauch ,
Mayor of the City
Presidential Department (PRD) 2009 SP
Daniel Leupi ,

I. Vice President

Finance Department (FD) 2013 (2010-2013 Head of SID) Green
Karin Rykart Security Department (SID) 2018 Green
Andreas Hauri Health and Environment Department (GUD) 2018 GLP
Richard Wolff Civil Engineering and Waste Management Department (TED) 2018 (2013-2018 Head of SID) AL
André Odermatt Building Construction Department (HBD) 2010 SP
Michael Baumer Department of Industrial Companies (DIB) 2018 FDP
Filippo Leutenegger

II. Vice President

School and Sports Department (SSD) 2018 (2014-2018 Head of TED) FDP
Raphael Golta Social Department (SD) 2014 SP
Town house of Zurich

The city administration is divided into nine departments, each headed by a member of the city council:

  • The presidential department with around 500 employees covers the areas of culture, museums, population, urban development, equality, archives and statistics. Administratively, the city administration, debt enforcement and justice of the peace offices are assigned to the presidential department. The seat of the presidential department and the city president is the town hall.
  • The finance department includes financial administration, taxation, human resources management, organization and IT as well as real estate in the City of Zurich (LSZ) .
  • The security department, which is headquartered in Amtshaus I on Bahnhofquai, includes the city ​​police , city judge, traffic service and the protection & rescue service department , which consists of medical services, fire brigade, fire police and civil defense. Before October 1, 2016, it was called the Police Department, but the name was changed as a result of the city of Zurich's referendum on November 22, 2015.
  • The Civil Engineering and Disposal Department (TED) u. a. in the Amtshaus V at Werdmühleplatz with approx. 1600 employees includes the offices of civil engineering , geomatics + surveying (GeoZ) , green city of Zurich , disposal + recycling (ERZ) .
  • The building department includes the office for urban development with the archives of the architectural history, the preservation of monuments and the city archeology, the office for building permits with the district architects and the office for building construction. It also manages the city's real estate.
  • The Health and Environment Department includes all municipal offices and services for health and care for the elderly as well as the area of ​​environmental protection and, until mid-2010, the city ​​kitchen . On June 13, 2010, the voters of the city of Zurich approved the sale of the city kitchen to the catering company DSR.
  • The department of industrial enterprises with about 4000 employees includes the water supply (WVZ), the electricity company (EWZ) , the municipal transport company (VBZ) , as well as the administration of the legally independent gas supply .
  • The School and Sports Department deals with the elementary school as well as the sports facilities and events in Zurich. The School and Sports Department also includes the Zurich Music School and Conservatory as well as the Viventa Technical School
  • The social department u. a. in the administrative center Werd includes the social services, the social institutions and companies as well as other areas. Its tasks include securing livelihoods, counseling, employing social assistance recipients, supporting refugees, survival aid for drug addicts and the homeless, subsidizing childcare and socioculture.

Central administration project

Project of a central administration by Gustav Gull

The various offices and departments of the city administration are scattered all over the city of Zurich in the so-called office buildings , although the city had already decided in 1894 to build a new central administration. For the administrative center, different locations were first examined, such as the area of ​​today's Sechseläutenplatz or Bürkliplatz . In 1897 the area of ​​the former Oetenbach monastery was chosen and purchased by the city. A year later, the townhouse was built as a makeshift . Between 1903 and 1904, the former orphanage was converted into Amtshaus II.

In 1905 Gustav Gull presented a project that provided for the consolidation of all official offices in a large 400 m long building along the Limmat, which would have included a market hall in addition to the administration buildings . In addition to the land already acquired, the north and east slopes of the Lindenhof and the Schipfe would have been built over. The Uraniastrasse , then still as Stadthausstrasse referred had been passed at a transit hall of the main building of the city administration. The implementation of the project was planned in stages. Office buildings III and IV were built from 1917 to 1919. After 1918 the major project was abandoned for financial reasons. Only Amtshaus V was still being built in 1935, so that, together with the town hall , they no longer met the city administration's growing space requirements.

For some years now, the city administration has been trying to re-concentrate the offices. For this purpose, the city administration acquired the Werd high-rise in 2001 and converted it into the Werd administrative center by 2005.

National elections

The 2019 National Council elections resulted in the following share of the vote in Zurich: SP 25.6%, Greens 20.4%, glp 15.7%, SVP 13.7%, FDP 11.8%, AL 4.7%, CVP 3.5% , EVP 1.7%, BDP 0.9%, pirates 0.6%.

Cantonal authorities

As the canton capital, Zurich is the seat of the parliament, government and administration of the canton of Zurich . The cantonal legislature - the Cantonal Council  - meets like the City of Zurich City Council in the town hall on Limmatquai. The cantonal administration is domiciled at Walcheplatz and Neumühlequai (Walche administration building - built according to plans by the architects Gebrüder Pfister - and Caspar-Escher-Haus). In addition, a large part of the cantonal judiciary - the cantonal high court and the administrative court - is located in the city of Zurich. The district court of the district of Zurich , with around 400 employees the largest court in the canton of Zurich, is housed in various buildings on Badenerstrasse, mostly in the so-called district building .

Twin cities

There is also a lively exchange with the Ukrainian city ​​of Vinnytsia .


Banking center on Paradeplatz

Zurich is considered the economic center of Switzerland. The entire economic area in and around Zurich is also known as the Greater Zurich Area . Internationally, it is characterized in particular by low tax rates and a high quality of life, which is why some international corporations have their headquarters in Zurich. In 2018, 5.4% of the population were millionaires (calculated in US dollars ). This makes Zurich, behind Monaco and Geneva , the city with the third highest density of millionaires in the world. Due to its international economic importance, the city of Zurich is often counted among the global or world cities .

The economy is very much geared towards the service sector , in which almost 90% of Zurich's employees work. In the industrial sector, 10% are active and in agriculture there are now less than 1%. With an employed resident population of 200'110 (status: 2000 census), the city has 318'543 jobs. The majority of employees (56%) were commuters from other municipalities. In addition to around 178,000 people commuting, there are around 39,000 people commuting out of the city.

The most important industry in Zurich is the financial services sector, which has its center on Paradeplatz . The two big banks UBS , the world's largest asset manager , and Credit Suisse , the Swiss National Bank , the Zürcher Kantonalbank , the traditional private bank Julius Baer and a number of smaller banking institutions have their headquarters in the city. Over 100 foreign banks are also represented in Zurich. Around 45,000 people are employed in the Zurich banking center, almost half of all bank employees in Switzerland. The private customer business is of great importance, as over 25% of global cross-border assets are managed in Zurich (around a third in Switzerland). The SIX Swiss Exchange also plays an important role internationally and increases the importance of the Zurich financial center . It is one of the technologically leading stock exchanges in the world. Furthermore, Zurich represents the third largest insurance market worldwide. Swiss Re , one of the world's largest reinsurance companies , and Swiss Life , the largest life insurance group in Switzerland, have their headquarters in Zurich. Another insurance company of international importance is the Zurich Insurance Group . The entire financial services sector generates almost 50% of the tax revenue of the city of Zurich.

The second most important sector is company-related services such as legal and business advice, IT or real estate management. Mention should be made of the company IBM Switzerland, which operates an important research laboratory in Rüschlikon . Since 2004, Google has also operated the European research center in Zurich. The company's second largest location after Mountain View was set up on the former Hürlimann AG site .

As a result of structural change, the importance of the manufacturing and construction industries has decreased. However, important industrial companies still have branches in the city of Zurich, for example Siemens . The electrical engineering group ABB also has its headquarters in Zurich.

From the other industries, particular mention should be made of: the largest Swiss retail group Migros , the world's largest chocolate producer Barry Callebaut , the two largest automobile dealers, AMAG Group and Emil Frey Group , and the largest Swiss travel group Kuoni .

Not least thanks to the cultural diversity in Zurich, tourism has also become an important economic factor in recent years. Every year around nine million day tourists and two million overnight guests come to Zurich. A majority of them are also in Zurich on business.

Infrastructure and quality of life

Electricity and water supply

The electricity company of the City of Zurich (EWZ) is responsible for the power supply and has 14 of its own power plants. The average annual interruption time due to power failure per consumer ( SAIDI value ) has almost doubled in recent years to just under 10 minutes (as of 2018). The collection, treatment and distribution of drinking water , the water supply Zurich (VMS) safely. Around 70% of it comes from Lake Zurich and 15% each from groundwater and spring water . EWZ and WVZ are communal companies and subordinate to the city administration.

With around 1200 fountains , Zurich is one of the cities in the world with the greatest number of fountains . Drinking water flows from all public wells. The well water comes either from the normal water supply network or - with around 400 wells - from the special spring water network. This emergency water supply based on a vendor independent of the rest of the water supply network, which with spring water from the Sihl and Lorzetal is fed and from city sources. In addition to the 80 bronze emergency water wells, which were designed in 1973 by interior designer Alf Aebersold and distributed throughout the city, around 300 other wells are connected to the separate spring water network. For many centuries, public fountains were of central importance for Zurich's drinking water supply. Today, like the Venice Fountain , they primarily serve to beautify the city.

Police, rescue services and fire brigade

In the security department, urban areas of responsibility that have to do with security are summarized; above all the service departments of Zurich City Police and Zurich Protection and Rescue . Protection and Rescue Zurich is the largest civil rescue organization in Switzerland, in which almost all emergency and rescue service organizations (e.g. Zurich medical services, fire brigade, civil defense) have been combined since 2000. Cantonal and federal tasks are also performed. The militia fire brigade is also an important pillar.


There are 26 cemeteries in Zurich, including important ones in terms of landscape architecture, such as the historic Sihlfeld cemetery or the modern Eichbühl cemetery . Famous personalities rest in Zurich's cemeteries, u. a. Henry Dunant , James Joyce and Alfred Escher .

life quality

Up until 2008, Zurich was considered the city with the highest quality of life in the world seven times in a row . In the study “Worldwide Quality of Living Survey”, the renowned consulting firm Mercer examined 215 large cities on the basis of 39 criteria, including leisure, recreation, safety, cleanliness, political and economic stability, and medical care. Since 2009, Zurich has been in second place behind Vienna . In addition, Zurich is listed as one of the cities with the world's highest cost of living.

In a study by the Globalization and World Cities Research Group at Loughborough University in the UK , Zurich came first in the beta world cities category, along with San Francisco , Sydney and Toronto .

Zurich holds the Energy City Gold award for a sustainable energy policy. The official buildings owned by the City of Zurich are usually built according to Minergie .

In order to improve the quality of life for low-wage earners with regard to the housing market, the City of Zurich has set up the Foundations for Apartments for Large Families and Retirement Homes of the City of Zurich .


Zurich is the media metropolis in Switzerland, where more than a third of Swiss journalists work. With TX Group , Ringier , NZZ , and SRF , four of the five largest Swiss media companies are based here. Zurich and the surrounding area are also the most important center in the country for online, private TV and alternative media, as well as the creative industry as a whole.

View of the headquarters of Swiss television in the Leutschenbach district ( Zurich Seebach )

watch TV

In the Leutschenbach district, north of the Oerlikon train station, there are both the numerous broadcasting studios and the administration of the public television company Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF).

The regional television station TeleZüri as well as TV24 and TV25, which in the meantime served the whole of Switzerland as Tele24 , is based on the Steinfels area at Escher-Wyss-Platz . The private TV channels Star TV as well as 3+ , 4+ and 5+ are produced in Schlieren . There is also a transmitter called TeleZ from Wallisellen.


Part of the public radio station Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen is located in Zurich. Radio SRF 1 , Radio SRF 3 , Radio SRF Virus , Radio SRF Musikwelle and the regional journal for the Zurich / Schaffhausen region are produced in the Unterstrass district . The news programs, however, are broadcast from Bern.

Various local radio stations ( Radio 24 on Limmatstrasse, Energy Zurich in Seefeld, Radio 105 in Oerlikon, Radio LoRa and Radio 1 ) are also located in the city of Zurich. In addition, numerous event radios ( Radio queertunes (May / June), Radio Streetparade (July / August) and Rundfunk.fm (August / September)) provide variety in the air during the year.


The print media landscape has experienced a strong concentration over the past 50 years. Today, three large daily newspapers of national importance appear in Zurich: the internationally renowned Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), the Tages-Anzeiger (TA) from tamedia-Verlag and the national tabloid Blick from the Ringier publishing house . There are also their Sunday editions : the NZZ am Sonntag , the SonntagsZeitung and the SonntagsBlick .

The free morning newspaper 20 Minuten is only published on weekdays . The daily newspaper of the City of Zurich  - in its function as the city's official gazette - is also delivered to households on Wednesdays as a free newspaper . There are also the weekly quarterly newspapers Höngger , Zürich 2 , Zürich West , Züriberg and Zürich Nord as well as (as a supplement to the daily newspaper of the City of Zürich) Die Vorstadt and Quartier-Echo .

Will no longer be issued and a. The deed that was close to the Migros Group, the Züri-Woche and the short-lived free newspapers ZürichExpress (published 1999–2003), Metropol (2000–2002), today (2006–2008) and .ch (2007–2009), NEWS ( 2007-2009).


Numerous other publications originate from the major publishing houses in the city. The most important are the business magazine Bilanz , the news magazine Weltwoche , the women's magazine Annabelle and the popular magazines Schweizer Familie and Schweizer Illustrierte .


Private transport

The city of Zurich has connections to all major Swiss motorways . The A1 takes you directly to Geneva or St. Gallen , the A3 connects you to Basel and Chur and the A4 connects Winterthur to Lucerne via Zurich .

Due to the numerous connections in Zurich, regular traffic congestion is the result. As a countermeasure, the city’s northern bypass has been in operation since 1985 and is now reaching its capacity limits. There were also daily traffic jams on the western bypass (1972), originally built as a temporary measure , an inner-city connection between the two ends of the A1 and A3 autobahns, which before the opening of the Aeschertunnel on May 4, 2009 partly led through residential areas. The simultaneous commissioning of the Uetlibergtunnel ensures that the Zurich city center can be approached increasingly from the south, especially since with the commissioning of the Islisberg tunnel on November 13, 2009, traffic from the direction of Lucerne can flow almost four lanes into the city center. At the same time, however, by closing the gap on the A3 and A4, part of the traffic between Basel and Ticino is diverted from the A2 and Lucerne to the surrounding area of ​​Zurich and to the north bank of Lake Lucerne and the south bank of Lake Zurich. It is questionable whether the planned expansion of the Gubrist tunnel (around 2012) will provide the necessary relief from traffic jams. Furthermore, the construction of a so-called city ​​tunnel is under discussion, which would cross under the entire city and thus connect the three motorways to Bern / Basel (A1), Chur (A3) and Winterthur (A1 / A4) underground.

The level of motorization in Zurich (passenger cars per 1,000 inhabitants) was 328 in 2016.

There is also a bicycle road in Zurich , which was built as a pilot project by the Federal Roads Office .

Long-distance transport

With Zurich main station, Zurich has the largest and most important transport hub in Switzerland. Trains from the regions of Switzerland and almost all international trains such as EuroCity , TGV , ICE , railjet and City Night Line are handled on 20 main and 6 S-Bahn tracks . 870 national and international connections operate from here every day.

Local transport

The public transport supply are the city of Zurich is majority by the Zurich transport services provided (ITR). The VBZ operate the Zurich tram with 15 lines and the Zurich trolleybus with six lines. These are supplemented by 18 bus lines in the area of ​​the city of Zurich. There are also nine local bus routes as well as the Polybähnli , the Rigiblick cable car and the Dolderbahn . VBZ operates another 32 bus lines in the Zurich agglomeration . The entire route network of the Zurich public transport company covers approx. 300 kilometers in the city of Zurich.

In December 2006, the first stage of the Glattalbahn opened in the north of Zurich . Another portion of this tram binds from 2008 the airport at Zurich and located between the airport and city emerging communities directly to the tram network of the city.

Various projects for an underground or underground railway have so far failed for financial reasons and because of the resistance of the population, who rejected them at the ballot box. Only a short section, the Milchbuck – Schwamendingen tram tunnel , was realized and later adapted for the tram.

Since 1990, the S-Bahn network operated by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and other providers (e.g. the Sihltal-Zürich-Uetliberg-Bahn in the city of Zurich) has supplemented local transport and connects the suburbs with the city of Zurich. In addition to the main station as a hub, 22 other stations are served by the S-Bahn lines in the city. These include the Zurich Stadelhofen train station, which has won awards for its modern architecture . The Forchbahn is operated as the S-Bahn line S18, but uses the tram network in the city of Zurich and does not stop at train stations in this sense. All operators are members of the Zürcher Verkehrsverbund (ZVV), which is why all public transport within the fare network can be used with the same ticket.

Paddle steamer « City of Rapperswil »


Scheduled ships operated by the Zürichsee-Schiffahrtsgesellschaft (ZSG) operate all over Lake Zurich . From the Bürkliplatz , the ships serve the two landing stages Wollishofen and Zürichhorn , which are located in the city. From there, the ships continue to the landing stages in the Lake Zurich communities.

The tour of the Limmat ships leads on the Limmat from the State Museum to Bürkliplatz and on to Wollishofen and Zürichhorn. The Hafen Enge stop is also served by the Limmat ships .

Like all other providers in the Canton of Zurich, the ZSG is a member of the Zurich Transport Association .

Air traffic

The Zurich Airport (formerly Zurich-Kloten Airport ) is Switzerland's single most important airport and one of the largest airports in Europe . It is operated by Flughafen Zürich AG (formerly Unique). The airport, north of the city of Zurich, serves as a hub for the airlines Swiss (Swiss International Air Lines and Swiss Global Air Lines ) and Deutsche Lufthansa (third hub) and is the home airport of the airlines Edelweiss Air and Helvetic Airways , as well as the seat of the Swiss Air Rescue (Rega) . The airport head is in the area of ​​the municipality of Kloten , the entire airport area also extends to the municipalities of Opfikon - Glattbrugg , Rümlang , Oberglatt and Winkel .


The Bühl primary school in Wiedikon

The city of Zurich is divided into the seven school districts Glattal , Letzi , Limmattal , Schwamendingen , Uto , Waidberg and Zürichberg . Each school district is divided into smaller school units in which the schools, kindergartens and after-school care centers in a geographically limited area are grouped together. The network of school units is very fine-meshed and so most of the students have a relatively short way to school within their neighborhood. The elementary school, d. H. the school, which covers the compulsory school time of nine years, is divided into sections of three years each, the lower, middle and upper grades. Accordingly, there are lower, middle and upper level school buildings within a school unit. In the international school level classifications, the lower and intermediate levels correspond to the primary level, the upper level to the lower secondary level.

Primary level

The primary level is divided into the lower level (first to third grade) and intermediate level (fourth to sixth grade). Children of all ability levels attend the same class. Skipping classes is possible for high-performing children. After primary school, the young people have to attend secondary school, since the compulsory schooling period is nine years.

Secondary level I.

Most children switch to three-year secondary school after primary school . The municipalities or school districts have the choice of two organizational forms, the three-part or the structured secondary school. The three-part secondary school comprises departments A, B and C, which are run at different skill levels. A is the most demanding level. The school districts Uto, Letzi, Waidberg, Zürichberg, Glattal and Schwamendingen run a three-part secondary school. At the structured secondary school, core classes and level groups are formed. Only the Limmattal school district has this model in the city of Zurich. The K + S upper school is open to young people who are particularly talented in music, dance or sport.

After passing the entrance exam, after the sixth grade of the primary school, there is also the possibility of entering the lower level of the grammar school (Progymnasium). The so - called long - term high school (six years) is offered in the city of Zurich at the canton schools of Rämibühl (secondary and literary high school), Hohe Promenade, Freudenberg, Wiedikon and Oerlikon.

The old canton school on Rämistrasse

Secondary level II

After completing secondary level I, there are various options for further connection to secondary level II, depending on the level of ability. Students can both after two and after three years (after passing the entrance examination in the subjects German, mathematics and French into short-Gymnasium) (four years) at a district school ( high school , commonly known Gymi ) in the business school , computer science middle school (both three years subsequent year of internship) or switch to a specialist secondary school . The students of the long-term grammar school can change their school profile after two years and also transfer to a short grammar school of the upper secondary level. There are 13 grammar schools in Zurich , including the canton schools Rämibühl , Hohe Promenade , Stadelhofen , Freudenberg , Enge , Wiedikon and Oerlikon . Those who start an apprenticeship after lower secondary level attend a corresponding vocational school. High-performing apprentices can attend a vocational secondary school. The upper secondary schools are run by the canton .


Main building of the ETH Zurich , seen from the Polyterrasse

Zurich is an important university location in Switzerland. In particular, the University of Zurich , founded in 1833, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), founded in 1855, are of international and national importance. The prominent main buildings of the two universities are located above the old town on the right-hand side on the so-called “Zurich Acropolis”, which significantly shapes the cityscape. The university quarter in District 1 along Rämistrasse is the location of numerous university institutes and faculty buildings as well as the university hospital . The ETH operates large branches on the Hönggerberg and the university in Irchelpark and in Oerlikon . While the ETH is mainly financed by the federal government, the university is a cantonal institution. The Zurich Central Library is an independent foundation of the canton and the city; it is also the city, canton and university library.

Since 1995/98 the legal basis for the creation of universities of applied sciences was created at the federal or cantonal level, various cantonal and private universities in the vocational sector have merged to form the Zürcher Fachhochschule (ZFH). The universities of applied psychology , arts , social work , technology , business and education are located in the city of Zurich .

Art, culture and tourism

General sights

Most of Zurich's sights are grouped in and around the old town and are therefore most easily reached on foot or by short tram or bus trips. In addition to buildings and monuments, Zurich's location on Lake Zurich is also worth a look. At Bellevue or at Bürkliplatz there is a beautiful view of the lake and the Alps in good weather. Both shores of the lake with their promenades and parks are then attractions for many locals and tourists.

Zurich's local mountain, the Uetliberg, can be reached with the Sihltal-Zürich-Uetliberg-Bahn (SZU), which runs from the main station .

Panorama with Lake Zurich and the Alps as seen from Bürkliplatz. (Interactive map: 683284  /  two hundred and forty-six thousand six hundred forty-two )

Old town

The main attraction of Zurich is the well-preserved old town on the left and right of the Limmat. The best place to start a tour is at Central-Platz opposite the main train station, leading to Bellevue-Platz am See, where the Limmat is crossed, via Münsterplatz to Bahnhofstrasse , via Urania to Lindenhof, via Peterskirche back to the town hall, from where you can cross the Limmatquai again to the lake or back to the train station.

In the old town on the right, the old town hall in Renaissance style, the Romanesque Grossmünster , the starting point of the Reformation under Zwingli , and the guild houses along the Limmatquais are particularly noteworthy. A tower of the Grossmünster is accessible and offers a good view over the old town. A model of the medieval city of Zurich can also be viewed in the city archive on Neumarkt, and Lenin's temporary domicile can be found at Spiegelgasse 14 . On Zähringerplatz, next to the central library, there is the Gothic preacher's church with the preacher's choir, which is, however, separated from the church and divided with intermediate floors. The best way to discover the sights is by strolling through Niederdorf and Oberdorf. The Niederdorf has a particularly large number of pubs, snack bars and cafes.

The old town to the left of the Limmat also offers alleys with medieval houses that are well worth seeing. The Fraumünster Church is noteworthy for its windows by Marc Chagall and the painted cloister by Paul Bodmer, as well as the Peterskirche with the largest tower clock face in Europe (diameter: 8.7 meters). The Gothic Augustinian Church has been the parish church of the Christian Catholic Church since 1873 . The Lindenhof is worth seeing, from which there is a beautiful view of the old town. The municipal office buildings, which were built by Gustav Gull in the early 20th century, are more recent .

Downtown 19th century

Panorama from the Quaibrücke (from left): Bauschänzli , Stadthaus , Fraumünster , St. Peter and on the right of the Limmat the Wasserkirche (center), Grossmünster and the Limmatquai

Around the old town lies the 19th century town built in the style of historicism , which has replaced the former baroque urban development of the 17th and 18th centuries between Bahnhofstrasse and Schanzengraben . The Bahnhofstrasse , which leads from the main train station to the lake, is particularly well known internationally . It is flanked by upper-class houses and newer commercial buildings. There are traditionally numerous banks, exclusive boutiques and jewelery shops here. Particularly worth seeing is the Paradeplatz on the upper Bahnhofstrasse with the dominant headquarters of the major bank Credit Suisse from 1873 and the headquarters of the famous Confiserie Sprüngli . The main station itself is also worth a look because of its preserved old station hall. In front of the station is the monument to Alfred Escher , a Swiss economic pioneer and initiator of the Gotthard railway construction. Behind the train station is the castle-like building of the Swiss National Museum and behind it is the Platzspitz Park between the Sihl and Limmat rivers . On the Bärengasse near the Paradeplatz there is also - a remnant of the former baroque buildings of this quarter - a branch of the National Museum on the history of the city of Zurich ; Another branch is the Zunfthaus zur Meisen (porcelain and faience collection) in the old town. The flower hall in the entrance to the police station in Amtshaus I on the Limmat not far from the main train station, designed between 1923 and 1925 by Augusto Giacometti, is worth seeing .

The seat of the Swiss National Bank and numerous representative buildings from the turn of the century can be found on the lakeshore . The lower lake basin of Lake Zurich, i.e. the section that lies within the urban area, is lined with parks, the Landi and Engewiese on the left side of the lake on Mythenquai, the Park on the Zurichhorn on the right bank of the lake and company offices on the front side of the lake renowned companies, important hotels such as the Baur au Lac and cultural buildings such as the congress house with the Tonhalle or the opera house .

View from the poly terrace of the old town

The university quarter lies above the old town on the right . The main buildings of Gottfried Semper's Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and the university dominate here . From Central-Platz you can take the Polybahn to get to the Polyterrasse in around two minutes, from where you have a particularly spectacular view over the whole of Zurich. Numerous institute buildings around the main building are also worth seeing, especially the Semper observatory and the old chemistry building of the ETH. Close to the ETH is the Catholic Church of Our Lady with a remarkable interior in a neo-Romanesque style. If you follow Rämistrasse from the university in the direction of Heimplatz , which is popularly known as “peacocks”, you come to the law institute of the university, in whose inner courtyard a library was opened by Santiago Calatrava in 2005 . At Heimplatz itself you will find the Schauspielhaus , a theater with international appeal and the Kunsthaus , with changing exhibitions and a permanently accessible collection focusing on Picasso, Munch, Monet, Giacometti and Chagall. The baroque palaces “Haus zum Rechberg” and “Haus zum Kiel” are located on the Hirschengraben as the remainder of the older buildings . as well as the group of houses "Neuberg" with a remarkable Empire interior.

Modern buildings and neighborhoods

Compared to other cities, there are few high-rise buildings in Zurich . Up until the 1950s there was not a single private skyscraper in Zurich. Subsequently, some high-rise buildings were cautiously approved. Interesting modern buildings from the 1950s and 1960s can be found at Schanzengraben and Sihlporte as well as near Enge train station (the school complex of the Freudenberg / Enge cantonal schools ). The focus of current architecture is the old Zurich-West industrial district between Langstrasse and Hardbrücke . In this trendy quarter there are also numerous trendy clubs as well as the shipbuilding hall of the theater. The new Europaallee quarter to the southwest of the main train station will be built by 2020 .

Parks and recreational areas

The Zoo at Zurich Berg provides the main attraction, the Masoala Rainforest Hall , which as such is unique in Europe. Of the various city parks, the (new) Botanical Garden of the University and the Chinese Garden , a gift from the twin city Kunming on the shores of Lake Zurich, are particularly worth seeing. The rose garden of the Muraltengut is somewhat hidden in the narrow area . The Belvoirpark , one of the earliest landscape gardens in the region, is located in the same quarter and is particularly noteworthy among the Zurich parks with its view of the lake, the city and the mountains. Right next to it is the Rietberg Museum in the Villa Wesendonck and Park-Villa Rieter with a focus on Asian and Islamic art. The Zurich Succulents Collection is located near these museums .

The Fallätsche in Leimbach , in the foreground the church of Wollishofen

In addition to cultural and historical sights, the city also has extensive green spaces with original vegetation just a few kilometers outside the city center, which are also suitable for challenging mountain hikes. On the Albis chain there is the drop handle , an erosion funnel that is slowly being overgrown with vegetation again and which often makes a name for itself with larger demolitions. A hiking trail worth mentioning is the Denzlerweg on the slopes of the Uetliberg , which leads through dense forest from the Kolbenhof in an almost direct line to the Uto-Kulm and lets the visitor forget the nearby city in a short time. There are also longer hiking trails on the other side of the lake on the Zürichberg, for example the path from the Hirslanden mill to the Trichtenhauser mill .

Excursions in the region

The excursion destinations in the Zurich region are numerous: for example the Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen , the Höllgrotten in Baar , the photo museum , the collections of Oskar Reinhart , the Villa Flora as well as the art museum or the Technorama in Winterthur, the longest wooden bridge in Switzerland or the medieval castle in Rapperswil .

Plan Lumière (lighting master plan)

The Quaibrücke illuminated according to Plan Lumière , on the right the Circus Conelli on the Bauschänzli (December 2009)

In spring 2006, the City Council of Zurich decided on a “Plan Lumière”. The office of the lighting designer Roland Jéol from Lyon was commissioned to illuminate prominent points in the city at night . By November 2009, 15 projects had been implemented, and a further 15 projects are currently being worked on. The aim of the plan is to put Zurich in a new, better light. The population and guests who visit Zurich should see the city with different eyes at night. The public space should also have an attractive appearance in the evening and orientation and the feeling of security should be improved. At the same time, the city illumination ensures that it does not create any additional light pollution .

Arts and Culture

The city of Zurich is an important center of Swiss art and culture. Zurich owes part of its cultural boom to numerous painters, composers and writers who - often as political refugees - stayed in the city and left their mark: Antonio Ligabue , Max Frisch , James Joyce , Thornton Wilder , Hermann Hesse and Thomas, among others Man . In 1916, in the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich , the artistic and literary movement Dadaism arose .

With over 65% of the film production companies, the Swiss film industry is also concentrated in Zurich. The Zurich Film Festival has been held annually since 2005 . Since 2015, the only smartphone film festival in Switzerland, Mobile Motion Film Festival , has been bringing the best smartphone films from around the world to the screen every year.

Museums and galleries

The Swiss National Museum in Zurich

The density of galleries is typical for Zurich: on Rämistrasse in the city center there are galleries a few steps away from each other. Together with London and New York , Zurich has developed into an important hub for contemporary art . In the city center alone there are over 50 museums, around 14 of which are dedicated to art, and more than 100 galleries. In the Kunsthaus Zürich , the museum for fine arts, you can find an important collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs and video art such as those by Edvard Munch , Alberto Giacometti and other modern and contemporary artists. The Rietberg Museum is one of the leading international centers for non-European art. A few steps from Zurich main station , the Swiss National Museum  - a castle-like building that is more than 100 years old - houses the largest collection of cultural history in Switzerland. It is also worth mentioning the small museum of the city archive on Neumarkt, where a model of the city of Zurich in the 18th century can be seen.

Other museums: Zurich Zoological MuseumZurich Ethnographic MuseumNorth America Native MuseumZurich Design MuseumHelmhausBellerive MuseumETH Zurich graphic collectionFoundation EG Bührle CollectionCenter Le CorbusierTram MuseumMühlerama Tiefenbrunnen • Museum RietbergMigros -museumMoney MuseumCivil Defense Museum

Libraries and Archives

The numerous libraries and archives form the cultural backbone of the city of Zurich. Many can trace their roots back to the early Middle Ages. B. Zurich's Central Library , which is the city, canton and university library . University libraries are usually also open to non-students and non-university members, but institute libraries are often excluded. The scientifically oriented libraries contrast with the public libraries, which are explicitly geared towards the needs of their users and do not have a focus on collecting. The Pestalozzi Library Zurich has 16 branches and is represented in all districts of the city.

Other libraries and archives: Main Library of the University of ZurichSwiss Social ArchiveCity Archives ZurichETH-BibliothekKunsthaus Zurich library • State Archives of the Canton of Zurich

Theater and concerts

Zurich has a large number of theaters and concert halls. The Zurich Opera House , the Tonhalle and the Zurich Playhouse are internationally known . There are also the Theaterhaus Gessnerallee , the Theater am Neumarkt , the Bernhard Theater , the Theater am Hechtplatz and the numerous small theaters. Well-known concert venues are the Volkshaus on Helvetiaplatz, the Rote Fabrik in Wollishofen and the X-Tra in the Limmathaus on Limmatplatz . The Hallenstadion in Oerlikon or the Letzigrund Stadium are used for major events . The Maag Music Hall in the industrial district is also of growing importance .

The annual performances with national appeal and international participation include the figure skating gala Art on Ice in winter and the outdoor concert series Live at Sunset in summer .

Numerous Zurich music ensembles are known far beyond the Swiss borders. These include the Tonhalle Orchestra , the Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House , the Zurich Chamber Orchestra , the Zurich Boys' Choir and the Ensemble Philharmonic Brass Zurich - General5 . The Zürcher Vokalisten was founded in 2002 .

Art in public space

There are over 1,300 works of art on Zurich's public streets and squares and in parks. These include, for example, the Giacometti Hall in the main police station, the choir windows by Marc Chagall in the Fraumünster Church, the Heureka installation by Jean Tinguely on Lake Zurich, and the «L'Ange Protecteur» by Niki de Saint Phalle on the ceiling the Zurich main station hall, the granite sculpture by Max Bill on Bahnhofstrasse or the futuristic Stadelhofen station area by Santiago Calatrava .

Events and festivals


Traditional events in Zurich are the Sechseläuten and the boys' shooting . The Sechseläuten takes place every year in April. The focal point of the festival is a parade of the guilds and the burning of the «Böögg», the personified winter . At the boys' shooting, which is carried out in mid-September, around 5,000 young people fight for the shooting king among themselves. Both events take place on a Monday and are official holidays in the city of Zurich. The Zurich Cantonal Turn Festival in the old town takes place every six years.

The Street Parade , the largest house and techno parade in the world , is also internationally known . The street parade takes place on the second weekend in August and attracts around one million people to the city on the Limmat.

Various festivals, open airs, street and square festivals also take place in the summer, including the Caliente , Lauter and Vorstadt Sounds Festival, Langstrassen, Dörfli, Brupbacherplatz, Hallwylplatz, Idaplatz and Röntgenplatz festivals, as well as the Stolze, Werdinsel, Wipkingen and Wollishofen Openair.

The Züri Fäscht , by far the largest Swiss folk festival, takes place every three years (most recently in 2016) . During three days, it attracts up to three million people to the Zurich lake basin.

On the last day before the Christmas holidays, schoolchildren have been celebrating New Year's Eve for centuries in the early hours of the morning . The New Year's Eve magic also takes place on New Year's Eve, the biggest New Year's party in Switzerland.

Well-known art and cultural events in Zurich are the Zurich Festival , the Zurich Theater Spektakel and the Zurich Film Festival .

Numerous trade fairs and exhibitions take place in Zurich. The Züspa , Orbit-iEX , Fespo , Giardina and Expovina are among the most famous trade fairs .

City Association actions:

One of around 500 teddies

At irregular intervals the City Association puts up figures sponsored by the members throughout the city. The members have their figures designed by artists. The design is often adapted to the sponsor's business area, sometimes word games are implemented or several characters are designed as a series. After the city of Zurich was decorated with figures of its heraldic animal , the lion , during the first campaign in 1986 , cows followed in 1999 , benches in 2001 and finally teddy bears in 2005 . The figures stand in the city center (and at outdoor stations such as Zurich Airport ) during the summer . After the end of the campaign, those figures that are not kept by the sponsors will be auctioned off. In 2009, Zurich became a «garden city». Artists-designed pots with plants were set up all over the city.


Zurich at night as seen from the Polyterrasse

Zurich offers a diverse nightlife with 500 bars, nightclubs and discos and has the highest club density in Switzerland. The most popular nightlife areas include the Langstrasse district , Niederdörfli and Zurich-West . During the summer months, the wide range is complemented by various open-air cinemas , including the Kino am See (now Allianz Cinema ) that has been taking place since 1989 , as well as other open-air events and bars. In addition to concerts by famous international personalities, numerous regional events take place on a regular basis, such as the Rundfunk.fm event in the State Museum .

The so-called "Badi-Bars" enjoy cult status in the municipal swimming pools. The most famous are the Rimini, the barefoot bar, the Seebad Enge, and the Upper Latvian.

Shopping and fashion

Zurich has a wide range of shops . International fashion brands can be found primarily on Bahnhofstrasse ; local, urban Zurich fashion brands in the Langstrasse district . Large shopping centers in the city are the Sihlcity in Wiedikon with 80 shops and the Letzipark in Altstetten. So also in the old town with smaller shops. You can also shop at the weekend in the shops at the airport and in Zurich main station or in Shopville .

Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse has contributed significantly to Zurich's reputation as a shopping paradise. In the former Fröschengraben you can find international brand, jewelry and watch stores as well as department stores. The further the Bahnhofstrasse is followed from the station towards the lake, the more exclusive the boutiques with classy clothing brands, accessories, jewelry and watches become. Well-known luxury shops are lined up here.

In addition to international fashion and luxury brands, there are numerous shops and studios with urban Zurich fashion brands in Zurich. Zurich's creative economy is growing steadily. Today there are around 4,000 creative businesses in the city. The Langstrasse district in Zurich West is a center of creative work. In Zurich's most colorful and diverse district, for example in Ankerstrasse, you can find clothes, hats, shoes, accessories, jewelry, furniture and various everyday objects in the shops. There are 70 fashion brands here. Many studios have their own little shop.

In November, the Blickfang , a design fair for furniture, fashion and jewelry , takes place in the Kongresshaus .

Contrasts with Bahnhofstrasse and the Langstrasse district are the Schipfe craft district and the promenade in Niederdorf and Oberdorf . The Schipfe is one of the oldest city quarters and has remained the quarter of the craftsmen. And in the center of the old town, in Oberdorf and Niederdorf, there are many trendy and traditional shops such as Schwarzenbach colonial goods with a 140-year family tradition.


In addition to private sports facilities, Zurich has a large number of publicly funded sports facilities that are maintained by the Sports Department. This is subordinate to the School and Sports Department of the City of Zurich. The task of the Sports Office is to promote sports, provide sports facilities for the public, hold compulsory swimming lessons (school sports) and educate the population about sports facilities, facilities, clubs and events.


The football club FC Zurich plays in the Super League , the top division of Swiss football. The Grasshoppers Club Zurich dismounted in the season 18/19 in the Challenge League, the second-highest division in Switzerland. While the Grasshopper Club is the record champion (27 championships won) and record winner in the Swiss Cup (19 cup wins), FC Zurich has recently been more successful and won its 12th championship in the 2008/09 season , but was relegated in 2016 for the first time in 26 years . YF Juventus currently plays in the Promotion League , the third highest Swiss league, in the 2nd interregional league , the fifth highest league, with FC Blue Stars , SV Höngg, FC Red Star , FC Seefeld , FC United Zurich and the FC Kosova.

In Hockey provides Zurich with the ZSC Lions , a team in the top Swiss league, the National League A . The club won the Swiss championship eight times and the IIHF Continental Cup in 2001 and 2002 . In the 2008/09 season they were also able to win the first- ever Champions Hockey League . The GCK Lions another club in the play National League B . The two clubs merged in 1997.

With the handball section, the multi-sport Grasshopper Club Zurich can boast another very successful section. She plays in the National League A and is also the record champion with 21 handball titles. In the 2007/2008 season, the top clubs Kadetten Schaffhausen and the Grasshopper Club played in an alliance. The second team from GC took over the vacant space under the name Grasshopper Club Zürich Espoirs . The alliance ended after one season.

The GC Amicitia Zurich was founded in 1931 as HC Amicitia and is now one of the largest handball clubs in Switzerland. He won his fourth title in 2008. The Grasshoppers and Amicitia are currently playing in a community of players in the top national league.

The LC Zurich is one of the largest and most successful Swiss athletics clubs. It was founded in 1922 as the athletics section of FC Zurich, but has been an independent club since 1934. The volleyball club VBC Voléro Zurich , the American football club Zurich Renegades and the Challengers Baseball Club Zurich have some international successes in less well-known sports .

In water polo, Zurich is represented in the NLB by the water polo club Stadtmannschaft Zürich. The home games are played in the Max-Frisch-Bad near Letzigraben. The women's team has the most successes with eight Swiss championship titles.

The Schachgesellschaft Zürich (SG Zürich) is the oldest existing chess club in the world. In 2009 the Zurich chess society celebrated its 200th anniversary. On this occasion, three major events took place in August in the Kongresshaus and in Zurich's main train station.

Sports facilities

Letzigrund stadium during the world class

Probably the most famous stadium in Zurich is the Hallenstadion in Oerlikon. The home stadium of the ice hockey club ZSC Lions is a listed building, was rebuilt and reopened in August 2005. Next to it is the Oerlikon Open Race Track . Another stadium was the Hardturm , home stadium of the Grasshopper Club Zurich (GC) football team - but it was demolished in 2008 - and the Letzigrund , home stadium of the Zurich football club (FCZ). The electorate approved a new building for both football stadiums in view of the 2008 European Championship.

Stir in sports Zurich last among all was the so-called stadium dispute, which led to the construction of the original as a stadium for the 2008 European Championship provided Hardturm which is to take place on the roof of a commercial building complex, because of objections from neighbors and Environmental groups stalled. Therefore, in October 2005, the EM-compliant renovation of the Letzigrund, Zurich's second large football stadium, began on schedule.

The indoor sports hall  in the Brunau is for indoor sports such as volleyball , handball , floorball  and earlier also for tennis tournaments used.

The city of Zurich has the highest density of swimming facilities in Europe. Zurich has 25 public baths, divided into seven indoor, seven outdoor, five river and six lake or beach baths within the city limits, including the Letzigraben outdoor pool , which is now also called Max-Frisch-Bad after its builder . There are also 17 other school swimming pools. Over two million (as of 2006) visitors use the public baths each year.

International organizations

Headquarters of the IIHF in Zurich

The world football association FIFA is based in Zurich. On May 29, 2007, the new FIFA headquarters was inaugurated in the Hottingen district near the zoo . The luxurious building cost 240 million francs and was designed by the architect Tilla Theus . After the resignation of Sepp Blatter , the current president is Gianni Infantino .

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is also based in Zurich. In 2008, like the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation, it celebrated its 100th anniversary. For the milestone birthday, Swiss Post issued a special stamp worth one franc in honor of the two associations. The current president of the IIHF is René Fasel from Freiburg .


Zurich was one of six venues for the 1954 World Cup and one of eight venues for the 2008 European Football Championship . In the Hallenstadion, games of the ice hockey world championship were also held in 1939 , 1953 and 1998 .

Top group at the Zurich Marathon 2007

From 1984 to 1997 the indoor tennis tournament " Zurich Open " took place for women. Originally located in the Saalsporthalle , it moved to Kloten in Schluefweg from 1997 to 2004 due to the lack of space . Since 1998 the tournament has been called the “Swisscom Challenge”. In 2005 the event returned to Zurich in the renovated Hallenstadion under the motto the girls are back in town . The “ Zurich Six Day Race ” has already been held 51 times (since 1954) in the Hallenstadion (this was abandoned in 2001 due to a lack of spectators, but relaunched in 2006). In addition, the CSI Zurich , an international indoor jumping tournament, and Art on Ice , a major ice skating gala, take place in the Hallenstadion .

Since 1928, the “ Weltklasse Zürich ”, an athletics meeting from the IAAF Diamond League series , has been held every year in August in Letzigrund . The best athletes from the snowboard, freeski, FMX bike and skateboard sectors compete at freestyle.ch on the Landiwiese every year . Well-known running events in Zurich include the Zurich New Year's Eve Run , a people's and street run , and the Zurich Marathon , which has been held since 2003. With the Ironman Switzerland , Switzerland's most important triathlon event takes place in Zurich. Starting places for the Ironman Hawaii will also be awarded for the best athletes .

The championship of Zurich , also known as Züri Metzgete , is a traditional one-day street race that has been held since 1914. In 2007 the race had to be canceled because not enough sponsors could be signed and has not taken place since then.

The Zurich E-Prix was held on June 10, 2018 .


Some important theologians worked in Zurich, especially during the Reformation. Huldrych Zwingli was considered the leader of the Zurich Reformation and the Anabaptist movement also had its origins in Zurich with Felix Manz and Konrad Grebel . Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was born in Zurich in the 18th century and made a name for himself as a teacher and as a school and social reformer. The writer Johann Jakob Breitinger and the poet, publisher and engraver Salomon Gessner were also born in Zurich. Georg Büchner is buried in Zurich. Richard Wagner and Michail Bakunin , persecuted in their homeland, sought refuge in Zurich. From 1861 to 1876, a writer was a writer from Zurich, the born Zurich Gottfried Keller . From 1889 to 1897 Rosa Luxemburg lived and studied in the city. During the world wars, many important personalities lived in exile in Zurich, including James Joyce twice , who also found his final resting place here. Lenin , the leading head of the October Revolution , lived as an exile during the First World War at Spiegelgasse 14. Many intellectuals, psychologists, theater workers, writers and visual artists found temporary protection from persecution or were given asylum here, such as Leopold Lindtberg and Therese Goose . The writer Thomas Mann and Bertolt Brecht fled after the Second World War before McCarthy to Zurich. A large number of prominent scientists have also studied or taught at Zurich universities. Albert Einstein , for example, studied at the ETH Zurich and was a professor at both Zurich universities.

Other important people who either come from the city of Zurich or who worked there for a long time are included in the list of personalities of the city of Zurich .

Honorary citizen:

The legal form of the honorary citizen right is in principle not known in Zurich law. However, Einsiedeln Abbey can invoke customary law . Since the second half of the 13th century, the abbot of Einsiedeln has been a citizen of the city for life due to the castle rights agreements between the monastery and the city of Zurich. In 1866 civil rights were converted into honorary citizenship. Every abbot of Einsiedeln has since become an honorary citizen of Zurich.

See also

Portal: Zurich  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Zurich




  • Roderick Hönig: Zurich is being built. Architecture Guide Zurich 1990–2010. Hochparterre, Zurich 2010, ISBN 978-3-85881-127-1 .
  • Werner Oechslin : University City of Zurich. Buildings of the ETH 1855–2005. GTA, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-85676-154-3 .
  • Regine Abegg, Christine Barraud Wiener: The Augustinian Church in Zurich (= Swiss Art Guide. Volume 661). GSK, Bern 1999, ISBN 3-85782-661-4 .
  • Hanspeter Rebsamen: The Neuberg in Zurich and its Empire furnishings (= Swiss Art Guide. Volume 616). GSK, Bern 1997, ISBN 3-85782-616-9 .
  • Dölf Wild, Urs Jäggin: The Predigerkirche in Zurich (= Swiss Art Guide. Volume 759). GSK, Bern 2004, ISBN 3-85782-759-9 .
  • Dieter Nievergelt, Pietro Maggi: The Giacometti Hall in the Amtshaus I in Zurich (= Swiss Art Guide. Volume 682/683). GSK, Bern 2000, ISBN 3-85782-682-7 .
  • TK Friedli u. a .: Semper's former Swiss Federal Observatory in Zurich (= Swiss Art Guide. Volume 631/632). GSK, Bern 1998, ISBN 3-85782-631-2 .
  • Urs Baur, Dieter Nievergelt: The Fraumünster cloister in Zurich (= Swiss art guide. Volume 353). GSK, Bern 1984, ISBN 3-85782-353-4 .
  • Alexander Bonte, J. Christoph Bürkle : Max Dudler The new density - the new Europaallee district and the Zurich University of Education. Jovis, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86859-198-9 .


  • Arlette Kosch: Literary Zurich. 150 authors - places of residence, work and works. Fritsch, Jena 2002, ISBN 3-931911-24-1 .
  • Ute Kröger: Zurich, you my blue miracle. Literary forays through a European cultural city. Limmat, Zurich 2004, ISBN 3-85791-447-5 .
  • Ueli Staub : Jazz City Zurich. From Louis Armstrong to Zurich Jazz Orchestra. Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich 2003, ISBN 3-03823-012-X .
  • Sigmund Widmer: Zurich. A cultural story. 13 volumes. Artemis, Zurich 1975–1986, ISBN 3-7608-0399-7 .


  • Mike Van Audenhove : Zurich by Mike. 11 volumes. Edition Moderne, Zurich 1997–2007, ISBN 3-03731-002-2 (Comics).
  • Daniel Foppa: Famous and forgotten dead in Zurich's cemeteries. Limmat, Zurich 2003, ISBN 3-85791-446-7 .
  • Christof Hegi u. a .: Zurich (= Marco Polo travel guide ). Mairs, Ostfildern 2006, ISBN 3-8297-0315-5 .
  • Susanna Heimgartner: Zurich complete (= rainbow travel guide ). Rainbow, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-85862-458-6 .
  • Michael Pause, Ulrich Tubbesing: Zurich's local mountains. AT Verlag, Aarau 2000, ISBN 3-85502-718-8 .
  • Duncan JD Smith: Only in Zurich - A travel guide to unique places, secret spots and unusual sights. Translated by Walter Goidinger. Brandstätter, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-85033-546-1 .

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References and comments

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This article was added to the list of articles worth reading on August 31, 2006 in this version .