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Books Zürich’s best general source of books in English is Stäheli, Bahnhofstrasse 70. For travel books – including Rough Guides – head for the Travel Bookshop, Rindermarkt 20.
Car rental Avis, Gartenhofstrasse 17 (01/296 87 87) and airport (01/800 77 33); Budget, Steinstrasse 21 (01/450 75 35) and airport (01/813 31 31); Europcar, Josefstrasse 53 (01/271 56 56) and airport (01/813 20 44); Hertz, Morgartenstrasse 5 (01/242 84 84) and airport (01/814 05 11).
Changing money Best is the change bureau in the station (daily 6.30am–10.45pm). This is also the place to pick up money wired by Western Union.
Consulates Republic of Ireland, Claridenstrasse 25 (01/289 25 15); UK, Minervastrasse 117 (01/383 65 60); USA, Dufourstrasse 101 (01/422 25 66). New Zealand has a consulate in Geneva); other English-speaking countries are represented by their embassies in.
Email and Internet access For neon-lit surfing, swing along to Stars (“US of A”) Bistro in the station; one corner is known as Cybergate (daily 11.30am–11.30pm; Fr.15/hr). Café Urania, at Uraniastrasse 9 (Sun–Thurs 10am–11pm, Fri & Sat 10am–midnight; Fr.15/hr) lets you pay by the minute. The stand-up coin-or-credit-card terminal at the station’s change bureau costs Fr.3 for 10min.
Flights For all domestic and international flight enquiries from Zürich-Kloten airport, call Phone 157 10 60. For a train ticket to the airport, press 8058 on the ticket machines. MFGZ Rundflug, based at the airport (01/814 26 20), offers sightseeing flights long and short (April–Oct only).
Laundry Mühlegasse 11, Niederdorf (Mon–Fri 7.30am–noon & 1–6.30pm).
Libraries The central municipal library is at Zähringerplatz 6 (Mon–Fri 8am–8pm, Sat 8am–4pm).
Lost property The city office is at Werdmühlestrasse 10 (Mon–Fri 7.30am–5.30pm; 01/211 25 51). The station office is near the head of platform 17 (daily 7am–6pm).
Medical facilities Most convenient is the Permanence Medical Centre at Bahnhofplatz 15 (daily 7am–11pm, but with a 24-hour emergency room; 01/215 44 44). Dial 01/269 69 69 if you need a doctor or dentist. There’s a pharmacy beside the Permanence clinic (daily 7am–midnight); and Pharmacy Bellevue, Theaterstrasse 14, is open daily 24 hours.
Parks and gardens The small Platzspitz park (daily 6am–9pm), where the Sihl meets the Limmat, was once known as Needle Park, crunching underfoot with used syringes from the flaked-out junkies all around. These days it’s been entirely cleaned up, and is good for a short wander framed by the two rivers. The Zürichhorn park on the lakefront is a popular place for soaking up some sunshine and has an exquisite Chinese garden (Fr.7), and there’s a waterside Arboretum a few minutes west of Bürkliplatz. Further afield, the pleasant, open Botanischer Garten, Zollikerstrasse 107 (March–Sept Mon–Fri 7am–7pm, Sat & Sun 8am–6pm; hours slightly curtailed in winter; tram #2 or #4 to Höschgasse), is a riot of colour in spring and summer, and has three tropical planthouses. You’ll find luscious orchids and a steamy little tropical forest complete with birds and turtles in the fragrant Schauhäuser der Stadtgärtnerei, Sackzelgasse 25 (daily 9–11.30am & 1.30–4.30pm; tram #3 to Hubertus). There’s also a huge succulents collection at Mythenquai 88 (same times), and a 150-species-strong aviary at Mythenquai 1 (Tues–Sun 10am–noon & 2–4pm).
Police Headquarters is at Bahnhofquai 3 (01/216 71 11).
Post Zürich’s main post office is the Sihlpost, an unmissable behemoth poised over the Sihl next to the main station on Kasernenstrasse (Mon–Fri 6.30am–10.30pm, Sat 6.30am–8pm, Sun 11am–10.30pm). You can collect mail sent to you at Poste Restante, Schalter 8, Sihlpost, CH-8021 Zürich, from counter 8. There’s also a post office within the station.
Smart drugs For all kinds of weird and wonderful (and legal) party-boosting substances, check out Smart Stuff, Badenerstrasse 129 (Tues–Fri noon–7pm, Sat noon–4pm). A full range of smoking paraphernalia can be had from various Niederdorf headshops; the best is Paradise, Brunngasse 3.
Spectator sport The famous Grasshoppers (01/447 46 46; www.gcz.ch) are one of Europe’s top football (soccer) teams, and supply many players to the Swiss national outfit. With FC Zürich, the city’s other club (01/492 74 74; www.fcz.ch) too, your chance of catching a high-quality game is high. Grasshoppers’ ice-hockey team (01/317 20 72) is also pre-eminent, and there’s a host of other Zürich teams involved in the national sport.
Supermarkets Largest and most convenient central supermarket is the Coop, on Bahnhofbrücke (Mon–Fri 7am–8pm, Sat 7am–4pm).
Travel agents Most central office of discount flight agents SSR Reisen is Leonhardstrasse 10 (Mon noon–6pm, Tues, Wed & Fri 10am–6pm, Thurs 10am–8pm, Sat 10am–1pm; 01/261 97 57).
Women’s contacts First stop is the FIZ (Fraueninformationszentrum; Quellenstrasse 25; Mon–Fri 9am–1pm; 01/271 82 82). Venus, Badenerstrasse 219, is Zürich’s sole women-only bar (daily 5pm–midnight; accompanied men welcome Thursdays; tram #2 or #3 to Lochergut). The Xenix bar and cinema are women-only on Thursdays. Schema F, Mattengasse 27 (Tues–Fri 6–8pm; Oct–May also Sun 4–6pm; 01/271 96 88), is a library devoted to women’s and lesbian fiction and non-fiction, although it’s of limited use to non-German speakers.
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