Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. Zurich is located in the north of the country along Limmat River at the northern tip of Zürichsee (Zurich Lake). The city is the country's main commercial and cultural center and a major international financial hub (82 of 208 banking institutions in Switzerland have their headquarters in Zurich). The finance sector generates around a third of the wealth and a quarter of the jobs in the city. Along with Geneva the city is the most important gateway to the country.
Permanently settled for over 2,000 years, Zürich was founded by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. However, early settlements have been found dating back more than 6,400 years (although this only indicates human presence in the area and not the presence of a town that early).  During the Middle Ages, Zürich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, became a primary centre of the Protestant Reformation in Europe under the leadership of Huldrych Zwingli.
Zurich is an up market banking city and the financial capital of Switzerland. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that it's often labeled as the most expensive city in the world.
Data and facts
- As of January 2020 the municipality has 434,335 inhabitants, the urban area (agglomeration) 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million.
- The official language of Zürich is German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect, Zürich German.
- The lowest monthly mean of daily minimum temperature are measured in January with −2.0 °C (28.4 °F) and the highest monthly mean of daily maximum temperature are measured in July with 24.0 °C (75.2 °F). On average there are 74.9 days in which the minimum temperature is below 0 °C (32 °F) (so-called frost days), and 23.7 days in which the maximum temperature is below 0 °C (32 °F) (so-called ice days). There are on average of 30 so-called summer days (maximum temperature equal to or above 25 °C [77 °F]) throughout the year, while so-called heat days (with maximum temperature equal to or above 30 °C [86 °F]) are 5.8 days.
- The currency used in Switzerland is the Swiss franc. The ISO code is CHF. The Swiss franc is divided into 100 Rappen (Rp.).
- 2017 Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Swiss francs was 95,608
- Zurich is famous for luxurious lifestyles, high-end shopping, and fancy chocolates. ... And all this at the foot of the Swiss Alps.
- In Switzerland, you can spell Zurich six different ways. Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. As a result, you’ll see several spellings for Swiss cities throughout the country
- Zurich is the proud owner of the largest church clock face in Europe.
At a political level, a municipality is the smallest unit of government in Switzerland. The City of Zurich itself is an example of a municipality. The next level is the canton of Zurich, which also has its own government and parliament. There are 26 cantons which are part of Switzerland and form what is known as the Helvetic Confederation. The City of Zurich as a municipality enjoys significant decision-making powers and autonomy within Switzerland's political system. Voters can have their say on proposals and laws and elect candidates to office, giving them important involvement in how the politics of the City of Zurich are shaped. Innovative decisions and unconventional solutions often have an influence on both national politics and those of the metropolitan region of Zurich.
The city is able to attract business and employees from around the world thanks to its high quality of life and its attractive educational and employment opportunities. 330,000 people have found work here, notably 90% of them in the service sector. Zürich is one of Europe's most important financial centers. The finance sector generates around a third of the wealth and a quarter of the jobs in the city. Various innovative businesses and industries, both small and large, form an important basis of the Zürich economy.
Zurich is committed to create a healthy business environment in the region. It focuses on existing, new and emerging companies. As part of the cluster policy which it is pursuing in partnership with the Canton, it is developing strategies to create within the Zurich area a diverse industry structure with sustainable businesses. In cooperation with its partners, it aims to promote Zurich as an international business location. It provides companies interested in being located in Zurich with information about the city as a business location, helping them to find consulting services and assisting them in the search for business premises.
The effective and efficient transport network which includes trains, buses, trams and even boats provides the Swiss with affordable and reliable mobility, which in turn has helped the growth of suburban Switzerland and made it a model for other countries. In fact, it is not only the outstanding railway infrastructure that makes Switzerland a world-class business destination. The air travel infrastructure is extraordinary as well, with airports strategically located in all regions. (eg. Zürich, Geneva, Basel, Bern, Agno, St. Moritz). The Zurich airport (ZRH), for instance, boasts 30 intercontinental flights and is one of the world's top rated airports according to Skytrax.
The fifth airport expansion programme at Zurich International Airport (also called Kloten Airport) was developed to include the modernisation of existing facilities at the airport and to introduce new facilities and technology to make Zurich a first-class international airport. The expansion required a total investment of CHF2.4bn, and included the construction of the airside centre (the new central hub of Zurich Airport), midfield pier (a new passenger processing terminal), the Skymetro transportation link, a new taxiway system with de-icing pads, a service tunnel for improved ground support and a new robotic baggage handling system. The expansion also improved passenger transport links that included a restructured road system and improved rail links (new rail terminus). The aim of the fifth expansion was to promote Zurich Airport into a position as one of the world’s leading air-transport hubs.
Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and has one of Europe’s greatest concentrations of rail infrastructure. As well as a comprehensive tramway system, it is the focal point for local, national and international railway traffic. The Durchmesserlinie project, also known as the Diameter Line, increases capacity at the Zürich Central Railway Station. Projects such as the Glattalbahn (VBG) and Tram Zurich West light rail schemes were partly aimed at dispersing demand by creating more interchanges around the metropolitan area.
Corine Mauch SPS/PSS
(as of February 2014)
with 125 members