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Zurich

Zurich is located on Switzerland's central plain, with the elevation rising towards the south and the Alps. Positioned at the northern tip of the Zürichsee (Lake Zurich), the city's fine lakeside promenades and expensive houses are prominent and can be spotted along both shores. Zurich is the world's banking capital, but as well as being a city of fat cats parading in pin-stripes, glued to their mobile phones and swinging patent leather briefcases, you'll also discover that this is the city that gave birth to the avant-garde Dadaist movement, and where James Joyce wrote Ulysses. The city's Museum of Fine Arts houses one of Europe's most extensive collections from 15th century religious iconography to the modern art works of Dali, Arp, Hockney, Cezanne, Monet, Gaugin, Munch and Picasso, so Zurich tourists have plenty to see and do.

Visitors can spend days exploring Zurich's cobbled streets, wandering through its museums, exploring its flea markets or walking away with free gifts from its chocolate factories. The quays, with their promenades, are made for walking, especially along the shores of the lake. With an active café culture, it's ideal for people-watching, and Zurich has a lively, multi-ethnic population to rival any other major European city. The exacting order of the Swiss, with their passion for neatness and precision may create an impression of rather a prim and staid society, but visitors will discover quite the opposite when exploring Zurich's nightlife. With more bars, clubs and restaurants than you can shake a stick at, as well as a calendar packed full of street parades and festivals, Zurich can exhaust even the most energetic party animal.

Zurich is a leading financial center and global city. The Greater Zurich Area is Switzerland's economic centre and home to a vast number of international companies. By far the most important sector in the economy of Zurich is the service industry, which employs nearly four fifths of workers. Other important industries include light industry, machine and textile industries and tourism. Most Swiss banks have their headquarters in Zurich and there are numerous foreign banks in the Greater Zurich Area. Located in Zurich, the Swiss Stock Exchange was established in 1877 and is nowadays the fourth most prominent stock exchange in the world. In addition Zurich is the world's largest gold trading centre. In the entire nation of Switzerland, the city of Zurich is the one place that wears the crown of being the country’s commercial capital. The city earns all its revenues from foreign investment and off-shore as well as international banking. Swiss banks are famous all over the world for their secrecy policy. Several financial establishments have their headquarters in the city. Also, the country’s Stock Exchange Headquarters is situated in Zurich. The city alone contributes to a fifth of Switzerland’s entire income.

The landscape of the city is basically hilly. In fact, the center of the city is on the tiny hill of Lindenhof. The city is positioned at the mouth of the River Limmat where it meets Lake Zürich. Most of the non-metropolitan areas of the city are covered with the dense woodlands of Gubrist, Käferberg and Oettlisberg. The city is not subject to drastic weather conditions. Moreover, the weather is pleasant all year round with the city experiencing showers between the months of April and June. The summer months last between June and September. The climate of Zurich is continental, and temperatures are modified by winds off the Atlantic Ocean. Winters are cold, while summers tend to be hot and sunny. In January, temperatures can range between 14F (-10C) and 41F (5C) and in July, temperatures can range between 59F (15C) and 86F (30C). The wettest time of year is from June to August.

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