Practical Information for
Living in Switzerland
In this section on Practical Information for living in Switzerland we list some practical resources under the following headers:
Accommodation, Shopping, Markets in Zurich, Webcams, Water Temperature of the Lakes, Skiing, Webcams, Travel, Cars and Parking, Telephony, Weather, Public Holidays and Christmas Markets.
First of all – Zurich City
Zurich consists of 12 “Kreis” or districts – these are as follows:
District 1 comprises the Old Town
District 2 comprises Narrow, Wollishofen Leimbach
District 3 comprises Wiedikon
District 4 comprises part of the former municipality Aussersihl
District 5 comprises the former industrial area to the West
District 6 comprises upper and lower Strass Rhinestone
District 7 comprises Fluntern, Hottingen, Hirslanden and Witikon
District 8 comprises Riesbachstrasse
District 9 comprises Altstetten and Albisrieden
District 10 comprises Wipkingen and Hoengg
District 11 comprises Affoltern, Oerlikon and Seebach
District 12 comprises Schwamendingenstrasse
Accommodation in Zurich The housing market in Zurich is notoriously difficult to navigate and sites such as Flats For Expats are there to help newcomers find affordable accommodation in the city. For more information please see here.
Shopping in Switzerland – See here for where to shop in Zurich and Switzerland 365 days a year.
Webcams in Switzerland
List of Webcams in Switzerland – useful to view before you plan a day trip
Webcams in Zurich
Zurich Card – ideal for visitors and available for CHF 24 for 24hours and CHF 48 for 72 hours
Cars Where to place the Auto Vignette on your windscreen – yes, seriously!
It must also be “stuck” to the windscreen (not merely propped against it). Failure to adhere and to place in the correct location on your screen could result in a CHF 200 fine. The Autovignette needs to be purchased at the Post Office or at some petrol station every calendar year. Your old vignette always remains valid until 31st January the following year.
Dipped Head Lights From 1st January 2014 you must drive at all times (even in daylight hours) with dipped headlights. Failure to do so may result in a fine. Speeding (please note the following is just a guide as this is a list from 2012)
Winter and Summer Tyres You need to make sure you have Winter tyres on your car from about October onwards. It is a good idea to book well in advance at your garage as everyone else wants to get them done at the same time too! Normally you put the Summer tyres back on in March time. Your garage will normally store the tyres for you (for a small fee) and if you need a recommendation, Pneus Alex is the garage we use.
Where to Buy Tyres
If you need new tyres and have been quoted what seems an extortionate amount you could try ordering from Reifendirekt.ch and they will deliver to your nearest garage (like the one we use).
Parku is an innovative parking service in Zurich allowing you find privately owned car parking spaces in town to rent at a cost of CHF 3 per hour. You can also rent out your parking space or driveway if you have one too. For more information read our post here.
Children’s Playgrounds For a list of children’s playgounds all over Zurich please consult the Zuriplay website.
Cooking Fahrenheit Celsius Converter
Before you Arrive in Switzerland
Telephony – Telephones, Mobiles and Internet
There are many “deals” to be had when you combine your land lines, television, internet and mobile contracts altogether – so it is worth checking what each supplier can offer. There are also some very good deals for “under 26 year olds” on mobile packages too – so do check out the sites below and call them up to discuss if you need more information. Even if their website is in German most of them do have English speaking people available on the phone or in their shops.
Top Events in Switzerland
Health Insurance Visitors over from the EU? Read about the European Health Insurance App and Card
To see all the Public Holidays in Zurich see here
There are some great books about Switzerland or with a Swiss connection that you might be interested in. Here are some suggestions: Swiss Watching by Diccon Bewes Swisscellany by Diccon Bewes Slow Train to Switzerland by Diccon Bewes Living and Working in Switzerland by David Hampshire Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known by Chantal Panozzo and Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum.
Events and Fairs Throughout Switzerland – for a calendar with all the “Messe” or Fairs held in Switzerland read here.
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