capital of the canton of Zürich, Switzerland
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Zürich or Zurich (German: Zürich [ˈt͡syːrɪç]; Swiss German: Züri [ˈt͡syɾi]) is a city in Switzerland. Zürich is the capital city of the Canton of Zürich. About 415,000 people live in the city and over 1.5 million live in the metropolitan area. This makes Zürich the biggest city in Switzerland.

Zürich / Züri
From top: View over Zürich and the lake, the Opera House, Prime Tower at night, ETH main building and Fraumünster church in the old town.
Coat of arms of Zürich / Züri
Location of Zürich / Züri
Zürich / Züri is located in Switzerland
Zürich / Züri
Zürich / Züri
Zürich / Züri is located in Canton of Zürich
Zürich / Züri
Zürich / Züri
Coordinates: 47°22′N 8°33′E / 47.367°N 8.550°E / 47.367; 8.550
 • ExecutiveStadtrat
with 9 members
 • MayorStadtpräsidentin
Corine Mauch SPS/PSS
(as of November 2020)
 • ParliamentGemeinderat
with 125 members
 • Total87.88 km2 (33.93 sq mi)
408 m (1,339 ft)
Highest elevation871 m (2,858 ft)
Lowest elevation392 m (1,286 ft)
 (31 December 2018)[3][4]
 • Total415,367
 • Density4,700/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
DemonymGerman: Zürcher(in)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (Central European Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (Central European Summer Time)
Postal code(s)
SFOS number0261
Surrounded byAdliswil, Dübendorf, Fällanden, Kilchberg, Maur, Oberengstringen, Opfikon, Regensdorf, Rümlang, Schlieren, Stallikon, Uitikon, Urdorf, Wallisellen, Zollikon
Twin townsKunming, San Francisco, Srinagar
SFSO statistics
Logo of the city of Zürich



Zurich is in the North of Switzerland, and it is 408 m (1,339 ft) above sea level. It is at the northern end of Lake Zurich and is surrounded by hills; at the left side of the lake, there is the Albis mountain range, including the Felsenegg (accessible by Zurich's only cable car) and Zurich’s "house mountain" Uetliberg. At the right side of the lake, there are the hills Zollikerberg, with the prominent Dolder hotel and Zürichberg. The rivers Limmat and Sihl flow through the city. The Limmat and the Sihl flow through the city, whereby the river Sihl is connected to the Lake Zurich through the Schanzengraben, which used to be a part of the city fortress.

Left side of the Lake:

The architectural beauty of the Enge station, made of Ticino granite, the Rietberg Museum with its beautiful park, the Enge bathing establishment and the Rote Fabrik give this district a Mediterranean feel.

Right side of the Lake:

This district starts behind the Opera House and stretches as far as the Tiefenbrunnen lakeside resort. Boutiques, villas, the Chinawiese (Chinese meadow) and, of course, the Utoquais lakeside establishment are the highlights of this area.

The city is divided into twelve districts (known as Kreis in German), numbered 1 to 12. The first district is the old town of Zurich.



The history of Zurich starts with prehistoric settlements that were found at the border of today’s Lake Zurich.[5] There were different settlements and some date back to 500 BC.[6] From 100 BC, Celtic people inhabited the area.[6] When the Romans arrived, they built a military base, which they called ‘Turicum’. This is where the term Zurich originated . The Alemanni and the Franks (Germanic tribes) also took hold of Zürich later.[6]

In 1218, the last member of Zürich ’s ruling family died. After that, Zürich became a free city. Its location in Europe contributed to its economic development.[6]

In 1336, Rudolf Brun and the tradesmen of the city stormed the Town Hall. After that, half of the government was made up of tradesmen. The tradesmen grouped themselves into guilds.[6]

The Canton joined Switzerland in 1351.

During the Protestant Reformation period (16th century), the city became the head of Protestant Switzerland. It was in contact with other Protestant Swiss cities, like Bern and Geneva. Protestant refugees came to Zürich, and further contributed to the city’s economic development.

During the 17th and the 18th century, the city grew culturally and economically.



In the city of Zürich, most of the people work in the commerce part of the economy. Zürich is one of the largest financial centres in the world. Many famous banks and insurance companies are located here, for example UBS, Credit Suisse, Swiss Life and Swiss Re.

The airport of Zürich is located about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) to the north, in a town called Kloten. Zürich Airport ("Flughafen Zürich", IATA:ZRH) is the biggest airport in Switzerland. Zürich Main Station is the busiest train station in Switzerland with many national and international connections.

The headquarters of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is also in Zürich.

Public transport


Many people in Zurich use public transport. Roughly 50% of people who live in Zurich use it to get to work or school.[7] The ZVV network uses at least four types of transport – trains, trams, buses (both diesel and electric, also called trolley buses) and boats on the lake and river. The public transport network also includes funicular railways and even cable cars like the one between Adliswil and Felsenegg. Tickets are valid on all main types of public transportation. The boats run on the Limmat and the Lake Zürich. It connects surrounding towns between Zurich and Rapperswil.



Zurich has two universities. ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world.[8][9] Over 20 Nobel Prize winners have studied or worked there, for example Albert Einstein.[10] The other university is the University of Zürich. It is the largest university in Switzerland.

Zurich’s Educational System[11]:

All children living in the Canton of Zurich have the right to education in compulsory Public Schools (Volksschule), which are free of charge. The compulsory education in the canton of Zurich generally begins at the age of four and is of 11 years duration. The compulsory period of Education includes Kindergarten, Primary School and Secondary School, where the children receive basic education qualifying them for access to vocational education and training (VET/ apprenticeship) or to continuative intermediate schools. Kindergarten is the first step of the compulsory education, where the children stay for two years before moving on to primary school, which is divided into lower level (Grade 1-3) and middle level (grade 4-6), thus takes six years to complete.

After grade 6 of primary school, the students have two different options. They either pass on to secondary school or change over to baccalaureate school (Gymnasium). To change over to long-term baccalaureate school, the students need to pass an admission examination.

After primary school, students pass on to secondary school, which takes 3 years to complete. During this time, students acquire the skills to successfully transition to a Vocational Education and Training School (VET School) or they enter Intermediate School after having passed the admission examination. (https://www.zh.ch/en/bildung/bildungssystem.html#-1461266662)

Primary and Secondary Schools[12]:

The total number of scholars in public schools in the Canton of Zurich in 2019 was 275260, 49.7% of them were women. Instead, in Private schools the number of scholars was 29021, 48.1% of them were women. Since the 2014 school year, there has been a sharp increase in the number of primary school pupils in the canton of Zurich.The growth from the 2018 school year to the 2019 school year 2019 was 2.4%, i.e. around 100 classes.

The number of public schools in the Canton of Zurich is 504.

The number of teachers teaching in public schools is 15962.


ETH Zürich

Zurich has two universities: ETH and UZH.

ETH Zürich is a public research university in the city of Zürich, that was founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists. The school focuses primarily on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zurich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world. Over 20 Nobel Price winners have studied or worked there, for example Albert Einsteins. For Swiss students, ETH Zurich is not selective in its undergraduate admission procedures. Like every public university in Switzerland, ETH Zurich is obliged to grant admission to every Swiss resident who took the Matura. ETH Zurich has two campuses. The main building was constructed 1858–1864 outside and right above the eastern border of the town, but nowadays it is located right in the heart of the city. In the year of ETH Zurich's 150th anniversary, an extensive project called "Science City" for the Hönggerberg Campus was started with the goal to transform the campus into an attractive district based on the principle of sustainability. The annual Polyball is the most prestigious public event at ETH Zurich, with a long tradition since the 1880s. At the end of November, the Polyball welcomes around 10,000 dancers, music-lovers and partygoers in the extensively decorated main building of ETH Zurich. The amicable rivalry between ETH Zurich and its neighbor, the University of Zurich, has been cultivated since 1951 (Uni-Poly). There has been an annual rowing match between teams from the two institutions on the river Limmat.


The University of Zurich was founded in 1833 and it was the first university in Europe to be founded by the state rather than the church or a monarch. It is closely linked with ETH in the fields of bioscience and finance.  According to the GWTS Leiden Ranking, the University of Zurich ranked 37th in the world in social sciences and humanities. Bachelor courses are taught in Swiss German but use of English is increasing in many faculties. The only bachelors program taught entirely in English is the English language and literacy program.All Master courses at the Faculty of Science are held in English. Master courses in Economics and Finance are mainly held in English, while the Master of Science in Quantitative Finance is held completely in English.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeinden nach 4 Hauptbereichen". Federal Statistical Office. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  3. Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  4. Error: Unable to display the reference properly. See the documentation for details.
  5. Bleicher, Niels (Summer 2018). "Middens, currents and shorelines: Complex depositional processes of waterlogged prehistoric lakeside settlements based on the example of Zurich-Parkhaus Opéra". Journal of Archaeological Science. 97: 26–41. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2018.06.010. S2CID 54018266 – via ResearchGate.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "History of the City of Zürich - City of Zurich". www.stadt-zuerich.ch. Archived from the original on 2021-10-20. Retrieved 2021-10-20.
  7. "ZVV Market data". Archived from the original on 2021-10-20.
  8. "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). 2019-08-20. Archived from the original on 2019-09-18. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  9. "The World's Top 100 Universities". Top Universities. 2013-06-17. Archived from the original on 2022-02-27. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  10. "Nobel Prize laureates". ethz.ch. Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  11. "Educational System". Kanton Zürich. Archived from the original on 2021-10-20. Retrieved 2021-10-20.
  12. "Bildungssystem numbers" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-10-20. Retrieved 2021-10-20.

Other websites


  Media related to Zürich at Wikimedia Commons