ETH Zurich :
Computer Science :
Pervasive Computing :
Distributed Systems :
Zurich is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and it is well
worth your time to spend a day or two
taking in its pleasures.
The city of Zurich was established as a Roman customs post (called
"Turicum") in 15 B.C. It is situated some 400 metres (1,340 ft) above
sea level at the northern end of the 27 km (17 miles) long Lake of
Zurich. Its well-preserved Old Town is to be found on both
banks of the River Limmat, which flows out of the lake in a northerly
direction. With a population of approx. 380,000 inhabitants, Zurich is the
largest city in Switzerland. It is surprisingly compact, though, with a wealth
of old churches, fountains, and cobbled streets with buildings, some of them
more than 700 years old, housing charming galleries and small shops.
Zurich's reputation as a shopping paradise and an art centre which
is home to highly renowned auction houses has done much to make the city
known throughout the world. The main shopping area is concentrated within one
square kilometre in the heart of the city, which means it is easily covered on
foot. Strolling down the famous Bahnhofstrasse - one of the most
beautiful shopping streets in Europe - you will find elegant boutiques,
department stores, specialist shops, banks, and cafés which tempt you to
linger and relax for a while.
The pedestrian streets of the Old Town contain most of the major sights,
including winding alleyways, 16th and 17th-century houses, guildhalls and
churches. The 13th-century tower of St Peter's Church has the largest
clock face in Europe, while the Fraumünster Church nearby is noted
for the distinctive stained-glass windows in the choir, which were created by
Marc Chagall in 1970. The cities most famous landmark is the
Grossmünster with its unique dual towers. Believed to be of
Carolingian origin, its oldest parts date back to the late 11th century.
The "Kunsthaus" (the Zurich Art Gallery) is Zurich's top address for
art. It has paintings, sculptures and graphic art, mostly from the 19th &
The Museum of Fine Arts has a large permanent collection ranging from
15th-century religious art to the `modern' art of Monet, Manet and Man Ray. The
Swiss National Museum offers a permanent collect on Swiss national
history and is housed north of the city centre just next to the Main Railway
Station (which dates back to 1871). The Arboretum and Quayside
Park offer amply laid-out waterfront paths along the the shores of Lake
Zurich which pass picnic, sunbathing and swimming spots.
Zurich is also an ideal departure point for
excursions all over
Switzerland. You can easily travel to the Rhine Waterfalls, to Lucerne, or to
the Säntis or Rigi mountains and back to Zurich in just half a day.
Whole-day trips by train or coach will take you to the Ticino, Graubünden,
up the Titlis mountain or to the never-melting snow and ice on the
Jungfraujoch, or even across the border to Austria, Italy or Germany.
You will have the opportunity to sign up for a variety of guided tours at the
symposium -- be sure to plan an extra day or two after the conference to enjoy
some of Switzerlands most beautiful sights!
[text courtesy of
Lonely Planet and Zurich Tourism, pictures
courtesy of Zuerich.ch]
Getting there & around
Regular scheduled flights from every continent, and most countries
and major cities of the world, land at the international
airport at Zurich-Kloten: it is
among the largest and most efficient airports in Europe. A train service every
quarter of an hour whisks passengers from the airport to the city centre in
just ten minutes for CHF 6.00. Take a look at the Swiss timetable for
up-to-date information about Swiss Airlines flights to Zurich.
Over a thousand trains halt daily at Zurich's centrally located main railway
station. Direct and frequent services to all the large Swiss cities as well as
major European destinations ensure a pleasant journey. Please refer to the official homepage of the Schweizer Bundesbahn (SBB) (Swiss railroad service) for up-to-date railway schedules and reservations, or visit your location national railway agency.
Zurich's Public Transport System operates a comprehensive, modern tram
and bus network. Vehicles run daily between 5.15 am and midnight, with services
every six minutes during rush hours. Tickets offer unlimited travel on public
transport within the corresponding zones and time period. Detours, return
journeys and stop-offs are allowed, and you may also change lines or modes of
transport. For schedules and tickets please refer to ZVV.
Weather: With its geographical latitude of 47
degrees 23 minutes north, Zurich is only slightly closer to
the north pole than to the equator. The climate is moderate
with no excessive heat, cold or humidity. The average high
at the end of March is 12 degrees Celsius, the average low 4
degrees Celsius. For the latest weather forecast, check
Weather Forecast or
USA Today. March usually offers great skiing and snowboarding, and
Zurich is close to many great Ski-resorts.
See the Tips for Winter by Switzerland Tourism, or one of the many online ski guides such as Bergfex or Skiinfo for
up-to-date information on snow conditions.
Currency: 1 Swiss Franc (CHF) is
about 0.86 US Dollars, or 0.69 Euro (as of October 2008).
For current exchange rates, see the Universal Currency
Converter or Oanda.com, which offer detailed
conversion tables, for example for
US Dollar and
Coins in circulation are 5, 10, 20 and 50 Cents (1
Franc = 100 Cents), as well as 1, 2 and 5 Francs.
Swiss bank notes come as 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and
1000 Francs bills.
Credit Cards: The most popular credit cards are
Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Many banks in
Switzerland have equipped their ATM machines with the
CIRRUS® or MAESTRO® system, which allows you to use your
American or Canadian bank card. Many Swiss banks also offer
ATM machines for cash advances with your credit card. It is
recommended to have a small amount of cash on hand upon
arrival in Switzerland for immediate expenses, i.e. taxies,
public transportation etc. (At the airport and the main
railway station you find of course ATM machines and
Passport/Visa: If your stay is shorter than three
months you only need to bring your valid passport with you,
a visa is not required. This applies to citizens of the
following countries: countries of the American Continent,
Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Exceptions may
apply. For more detailed information on visas, please
contact the Swiss Consulate General located nearest you.
Online information is available from the Swiss Embassy in
France and Great Britain.
Tipping: Tips are automatically included in all
hotel and restaurant bills and in most taxi fares. For
special services like luggage handling, it is customary to
tip CHF 2 per bag.