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Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East

A Visitors Guide To Zurich Switzerland
By:Thomas Smith

Zurich is the biggest city in Switzerland and one of the only destinations in the world that truly has something for everybody. Most of the city's residents can speak multiple languages, including Zurich Swiss German, English, French, and Italian. The city is well known for its banking district, luxury goods, and outstanding universities, but it also provides a vast array of athletic and cultural events. All of these elements add up to a great place to live, so it should come as no surprise that for five successive years, Zurich has been named the city with the highest quality of life in the world by consulting company William M. Mercer.

With the staggering variety of things to see and do in Zurich, no one needs to worry about feeling left out. No matter how old you are or what your interests may be, you will find at least one thing that suits you there. Even the youngest visitors are accounted for, with a host of family-friendly destinations and activities. One such place worth checking out is the Zurich Toy Museum (Fortunagasse 15, 8001 Zurich), which contains an eye-popping exhibit of over 1000 classic European toys. And best of all, admission is free! Gay and lesbian travelers also have many wonderful choices when planning their itineraries. Not only are there plenty of bars and restaurants geared toward attracting a queer clientele, but every year the city puts on the "Warmer Mai" (Gay May) festival, with a month-long celebration of gay and lesbian culture.

Switzerland's rather posh reputation may give budget-minded travelers pause, but the truth is that a trip to Zurich can be just as affordable as any other European destination. There are a number of stylish and moderately-priced lodging options available to travelers, such as the small and charming Hotel Seehof (11 Seehofstrasse, 8008 Zurich, http://www.hotelseehof.cf). Each of the hotel's 20 rooms (doubles from $215 per night) is simple and elegant, featuring sleek Swiss furniture and wireless internet access. The hotel also contains its own bar and Japanese food restaurant.

One easy way to explore what Zurich has to offer is by purchasing a Zurich Card. This one or three-day pass grants you admission to 40 museums, unlimited access to the city's excellent public transportation system, and special deals at many restaurants and shops. The Zurich Card can be purchased online by e-mailing the orders and information department at contact(at)zw.ch. A one-day pass costs approximately $12 for adults and $8 for children, while a three-day pass runs around $24 for adults and $16 for children.

The city's cultural activities are many and diverse. Among Zurich's more than 50 museums is the Circus Museum (Fischmarktplatz 1, 8640 Rapperswil SG), one of the few of its kind in the world. Switzerland established its own circus in 1919, and its contributions to this art are documented in the one-of-a-kind collection of memorabilia showcased at the museum. Zurich also offers an incredible selection of restaurants that feature cuisine from virtually every corner of the world. If you would like to sample some of the city's best regional dishes, make sure to stop by Adler's Swiss Chuchi (Rosengasse 10, 8001 Zurich). Commerce is another big part if city life, and tourists should make sure to check out Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich's shopping capital.

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If you are planning a vacation to Zurich you can find cheap Zurich hotels at the Search Switzerland Hotels website by going to www.searchswitzerlandhotels.com/Zurich-1.shtml You can also find flights to Zurich, car rentals, last minute deals and Zurich vacation packages.

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