The concrete, steel, and glass–clad Flughafen Zürich, also known as Zurich Kloten Airport, offers a microcosm of what to expect in the city you’re about to enter: Everything is pristine, with advertisements for watches everywhere. Zurich’s main train station, Hauptbahnhof, is just eight miles south, and a number of trains will take you there in as little as 12 minutes. The number 10 tram takes 35 minutes but might be more convenient if your destination is on the northern edges of town. Taxis are insanely expensive—about 50 Swiss francs or $55 to the heart of the city—and should be avoided unless you have lots of baggage.

It’s no exaggeration to say Zurich’s public transportation system is the most punctual and reliable in the world. Like practically everything else in this city, it doesn’t come cheap: a one-hour ticket costs 4.20 Swiss francs. But a day pass, at 8.60 Swiss francs, is a relative bargain considering it allows for travel on any of the city's various modes of public transportation, be it train, bus, tram, funicular, cable car, or boat, during any given 24-hour period. The most popular, and efficient, is the city’s iconic blue tram. A fun alternative is to tour the city on two wheels with Züri rollt, the city’s popular—and free—bike-share program. Also, considering Zurich’s relatively small size and pedestrian-friendly Altstadt, it's possible to reach many of the city’s most interesting sights entirely on foot.