Zurich is an easy city to navigate, and the trams (streetcars) and buses are reliable.
By Public Transportation
The public transport system of Zurich is operated by ZVV, or Zurich Public Transport (tel. 0848/988-988; www.vbz.ch). The modern and extensive network of trams and buses (there is no subway) runs daily from 5:30am to 12:30am. You should have to wait no longer than 6 minutes during rush hours. Most trams and buses connect at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof, in the heart of the city.
You can buy tickets from automatic vending machines located at every stop. You must have a ticket before you get on a vehicle; if you're caught without one, you'll pay a fine of 80F. The fare is 4.10F for a trip of 1 hour. Visitors can get the most for their money by buying a Tageskarte (1-day ticket), which costs 8.20F and allows you to travel on all city buses and trams for 24 hours.
Taxis are very expensive. The budget-conscious will want to use them only as a last resort. Your hotel will usually be glad to call a taxi for you, but if you're making the call yourself, call Taxi 444 (tel. 044/444-44-44; www.taxi444.ch). The basic charge before you even get into the vehicle is 6F, plus 3.80F for each kilometer you travel.
We don't recommend attempting to see Zurich by car -- the city is way too congested, and parking is too scarce and too expensive. Save the car for exploring the environs.
Rental Cars -- All the major car-rental firms are represented in Zurich, with offices at both Kloten Airport and downtown. Representative firms include Avis, with offices at Gartenhofstrasse 17 (tel. 044/296-87-87; www.avis.com) or at the airport (tel. 044/800-77-33); Budget, with an office at the airport (tel. 044/800-77-33; www.budget.com); and Hertz, with a base at Morgartenstrasse 5 (tel. 0848/82-20-25; www.hertz.com).
Parking -- You should get a street plan, which indicates parking garages with a P sign; a similar leaflet is available from the Zurich police. Some hotels have their own parking garages, for which there is an extra charge; others, especially those in congested Old Town, do not. You'll have to inquire at your hotel for the location of the nearest public garage. Parking costs range from 6F to 15F per hour in most of the city's public garages.
Biking is a good way to get around Zurich, especially in the outlying areas. Bicycles can be rented at the baggage counter of the railway station, the Hauptbahnhof (tel. 051/222-29-04), for 33F per day or 25F for a half-day for a city bike. Hours are daily from 7am to 7:30pm.
Zurich and its quays are ideal for walking, and many of the places of interest, such as the sights of Altstadt on both sides of the Limmat, are conveniently grouped together.