Category Archives: Zurich Travel

Pets and the holidays

So after a prolonged stretch of time in Zurich many people will inevitably have picked up a pet along the way, or sometimes even arrived with one.\r\n\r\nPets like children are sometimes an unexpected but much loved part of the household.\r\n\r\nUnlike children though pets can be difficult to travel with and will result in you jumping loops though a series of complicated and expensive procedures and requirements for transport or holiday care

Holiday care –

petsitting

professional

neighbours

EF petsitting

network Kennels

 travelling with the pet 

moving your pet flights

car train boat

Cheap Train Tickets In Switzerland

 

As someone who has just arrived to Zurich I have not yet purchased a “half price” train card or a “GA” reduction card. Especially since the cost of using public transport encourages me to cycle as much as possible. This however has its drawbacks and the exorbitant costs of full price train tickets becomes painfully clear when you try to book an intercity train.

Paying anywhere in the region of 6-60 Swiss francs for a one way ticket is not the ideal situation for someone on a budget. However there is hope for people here visiting or just without a card, as the National Swiss train company the SBB are currently running a “Supersaver” ticket scheme. This scheme allows you to book tickets on line at a much cheaper price than buying them at the train station.

Supersaver Tickets can be a whopping 60% cheaper than the regular fare, making them even cheaper than what you would pay with the half price card. The supersaver tickets are also available for half price card holders, but here the reduction is only a few swiss francs.

The catch. Obviously this is not just a cheap ticket free for all, and there are only a certain amount of cheap tickets available per route. Also the tickets are not usually available for more popular travelling times. The most important point to note these tickets are only available until the 20th of February 2012.

While the scheme is limited until the 20th of February it has been popular before and this is the 4th time these types of tickets have been available, so hopefully they will relaunch the scheme again after February or even make it permanent.

A couple of quick tips on Supersaver tickets.

 

    • the ticket is only valid for the train you booked so don’t try and change it after

 

    • you can only book the ticket a maximum of 14 days in advance

 

    • print your ticket at home. you can not print them at the train station and they do not accept smart phone screen shots

 

    • be flexible as the availability of tickets can sometimes be limited

 

    • make sure you type in Zürich correctly with the “ü”. The search wont recognise the city with out it.

 

However on one of my journeys the first train was delayed and as a result I missed my connection. Worried about receiving a fine I went to the ticket office and the clerk stamped and signed my original ticket making it valid for the next train. Remember though I missed the connection because the train was late, not me.

Another point to note about buying tickets at the train station is that recently they have added a 10CHF charge for this service. Kinda of like a tax for the non computer savvy. But I suppose there is a point to this concept and the SBB could only be considered to be falling in line with cost reduction policy’s that certain airlines have been pioneering for quite some time.

So if you are planning on travelling around Switzerland and need to book a train do it on line and print it at home.

Cecily

Don’t Get On A Train Without A Ticket

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On the train this morning, Samichlaus (Santa Claus) and his friend Schmutzli were on the train giving out promotional cakes to remind travellers that from 11th December 2011, you cannot legally board a train in Switzerland without a valid ticket.

This has been the case in Zurich for some time but is now also the case on inter city trains, where you could previously buy a ticket on board.

20111206-090853.jpg

Streetparade: 20 Years Love, Freedom, Tolerance & Respect

Streetparade 2011: Centre Stage, Bellevue

 

Zurich: A city renowned for business, banks and a high standard of living. It all sounds so formidable. And serious! But every year at around about August, it’s time for the people of Zurich – and beyond – to let their hair down. It’s time to party!

 

The Streetparade event has been a magnet for techno and trance fans in ist 20 years of existence. With the first parade having taken place in 1992 with approximately 1000 participants, this number has now increased by a thousandfold. Throughout the 20 years it has established itself as one of the largest techno and trance events on an international level. With themes such as ’Peace!’ (2002), ’Today is Tomorrow’ (2005), ’Move Your Mind’ (2006) and ’Friendship’ (2008), the event is known for having proportionally few severe incidents throughout the years. An event that is affected by weather conditions, Streetparade 2003 and 2004 saw record temperatures of 37°c. But even at 17°c (2002 and 2006) partygoers still had a blast.

 

This year’s Streetparade was no exception. Starting at 13:00, six stages and approximately 30 floats known as ’lovemobiles’ caused the centre of Zurich to bounce. Under the theme of ’20 Years Love, Freedom, Tolerance & Respect’ approximately 900,000 ravers partied hard under the sun of Zurich. As every year the event featured big names in the world of techno and trance – Boy George, Carl Cox and Paul van Dyke, just to name a few. With free admittance one must add! Not a bad deal for an event taking place in Switzerland’s largest city in the heart of Europe. Everyone can come! And they did… Many loyal ravers have travelled from various parts of Europe to attend the 20th anniversary of Streetparade.

 

Many attend Streetparade afterparties – Energy being the most prominent. Starting well before the midnight hour, the event takes ravers through the night and into the early morning hours. Known as the largest indoor event of Switzerland, thousands of ravers flocked from Zurich’s city centre towards the Hallenstadion in Zurich-Oerlikon. The amazing David Guetta, DJ Antoine and Sir Colin were some of the DJs in this year’s lineup at Energy.

While the Streetparade event itself is free, the CHF 90.40 charged for Energy 2011 may cause some partygoers to think twice about attending. For the first time also, this year’s Streetparade organisers insured themselves against a financial loss due to bad weather conditions. So while Zurich became unimaginably unrecognisable on Saturday 13th August 2011, some things simply remain to remind us that we are in Switzerland after all…

Streetparade: Temperature vs. Participants

 

YEAR

TEMPERATURE

PARTICIPANTS

1992

1,000

1993

27°c

10,000

1994

20,000

1995

24°c

150,000

1996

350,000

1997

27°c

475,000

1998

28°c

450,000

1999

30°c

550,000

2000

32°c

750,000

2001

21°c

1,000,000

2002

17°c

650,000

2003

37°c

900,000

2004

37°c

1,000,000

2005

23°c

1,000,000

2006

17°c

800,000

2007

23°c

800,000

2008

24°c

820,000

2009

19°c

600,000

2010

22°c

650,000

2011

28°c

900,000

 

Happy Birthday Switzerland!

August 1st is Swiss National Day so I am pleased to say Happy Birthday Switzerland!

Initially it’s nice to see the holiday fall on a weekday so we actually get the day off but it’s a day taken very seriously in Switzerland.

 

 

It celebrates the creation of the Swiss Federal Confederation in 1889.

All cities and most towns will be running their own celebrations and if you have gone past a Migros lately, you will know to expect a lot of fireworks! 

Watch The Böögg Burn

Monday April 11th is Sechseläuten in Zurich and for most companies in the city, is a half day public holiday.

Traditionally, it is the celebration of the end of Winter, with the culmination being the burning of the Böögg, a snowman perched atop a huge bonfire.

 

The Böögg snowman burns in Zurich

 

The burning takes place in Sechseläutenplatz, the area between the Opera House and Bellevue:

 

 

The burning of the Böögg snowman is said to determine the quality of the Summer to come. The bonfire is lit from below and once the flames reach the snowman, the excitement in the very large crowd grows.

The Böögg’s head is filled with explosive and the shorter the time between the lighting of the bonfire and the exploding of his head, the better the Summer will be.

In 2010, his head exploded in 12 mins 54 seconds.

 

Sechseläuten 2010

 

More information is available on the official Sechseläuten website and via Sechseläuten. You can even get your own mini Böögg at home!