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Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland and some people think it is the capital, this is not the case as Bern is the capital city. Zürich is, however, the commercial and cultural capital of Switzerland. Shoppers can indulge themselves but they need to bring a heavy purse.
The city has 350,000 inhabitants. Zürich is the heart of the urban area on the shore around Lake Zürich, where in total, about 1 million people live.
Zürich is located in the north of Switzerland to the northwest of the long and narrow Lake Zürich, at the point of effluence of the Limmat River. The Lindenhof, situated on a hill on the west bank of the Limmat River, forms the historical heart of the city.
Zürich is the financial heart of Switzerland which subsequently has a prominent position in the world of finance. The head offices of large banks and insurance companies are based in the city, including UBS, Credit Suisse and Swiss Re. The Swiss stock exchange has its seat in Zürich.
Attracted by the low tax rates of Switzerland, many international corporations are based in Zürich, including Google, Microsoft, ABB Ltd., General Motors and IBM.
Besides the services sector there is also some industry (mainly machine building) in Zürich.
Public transport is the perfect means of transport in Zürich, there is a tight network of street cars and (trolley) bus lines that run on a frequent basis.
Furthermore there are suburban subway railways, the so-called S-Bahn, a perfect way to go to more distant places like the popular medieval town Stein am Rhein. There are also ferry services on Lake Zürich and the Limmat River. In summer there are frequent services, whereas in winter most ferries are out of service.
Like other big cities it can be hard to find a parking space in the streets of Zürich. In many streets you are only allowed to park for a short period with a parking disc behind the windshield. Parking has to be paid for most of the streets in the center. Fortunately, there are many parking garages in the city and there is an electronic indication system that guides you to available parking garages.
Furthermore, the city is a junction of highways, the A1 connects Zürich with Geneva and Bern, the A3 runs to Basel and the A4 runs to Schaffhausen.
Being the financial center of Switzerland, Zürich does not lack hotels, particularly not in the more exclusive categories. The rates are quite high. For budget travelers there are several camping sites on the south side of the city.
For more information about Zürich, we recommend Google and the following sources: