When Zürich meets New York, it is a gathering of epic proportions. We have researched some prominent features of each city, including size, population and even preference in baked goods.
Here is an (incomplete) comparison of Zürich, the city at the Limmat river, and New York City at the Hudson:
Land Mass: Nine Zürichs fit in one New York City
And in order to visualize the mere difference in size: Central Park would stretch from Zollikerberg above Zürich all the way to Kilchberg across the lake!
Crowd Factor: Population Size and Density
In terms of the sheer resident population, NYC dwarfs Zürich by much: Just 400‘028 residents in ZRH vs. roughly 8.5 million in New York City!
This size factor of 21.2 decreases to a factor of just 2.5 when it comes to the population density: 11'308 Zürchers/sq mi vs. 27'578 New Yorkers/sq mi!
As the largest city in the United States, New York City is also one of the most densely populated places on earth. So despite regular discussions about the increasing scarcity of space in Zürich, Switzerland's largest city still appears to be far away from being overpopulated.
Getting Around: Cabs vs. Trams
New York City is iconic for its yellow cabs. It is impossible to miss them on souvenir postcards, in movies and in generic wall art featuring the Big Apple and sold at discount stores.
This comes as no surprise since New York City had issued 13'237 licenses as of 2009. Since public transportation with buses, trains and trams in a small city like Zürich turns out to be much more efficient (and thus convenient), one would think that cabs are not needed at all. In Zürich, many cross-town trips can easily be done by bicycle or on foot.
However, even Zürich has currently extended licenses to a grand number of 1519 taxi cabs. While this is just 11.5% of the yellow cabs in the Big Apple, we are still looking at one taxi for every 263 residents!
But what's the fare?
OK, but how much does it cost to travel two miles on a weekday afternoon, you ask? For a taxi ride in Zürich, you will need to shell out twice the amount compared to New York: 23.30 francs compared to just 11 francs – tips for your cabby included!
If you were to hop on one of those unmissable blue trams within the city vicinity, this short trip would likely cost you just 4.20 francs (ticket valid for one hour of unlimited transportation, no tip required)...
Skyscrapers: Prime Tower vs. One World Trade Center
Zürich prides itself with the (still) tallest building in Switzerland, the Prime Tower. At 126 meters (or 36 stories) tall, the blue windows of Switzerland’s skyscraper can be seen from far away.
Meanwhile, New York City's skyline seems worlds away: The new One World Trade Center tower reaches a mesmerizing 417 meters or 104 stories into the sky... (pictured on the far left during construction in 2012)
RENT: Making those costly payments
Despite the vertical nature of New York City’s architecture with floors upon floors of real estate, rent in the five boroughs that make up the New York Metropolitan area is prohibitively high. In fact, rents are an average of 29.7% higher than in Zürich!
Considering overall living costs, though, Zürich (and her sister Geneva) rates as one of the most expensive places on earth...
Baked Goods: Gipfeli vs. Bagels
No explanation needed: When it comes to their favorite baked goods, Zürichers love their Gipfeli croissants, while New Yorkers root for bagels!
Sweets: Luxemburgerli vs. Donuts (or Cronuts!)
In the showdown of most popular sweets, the contenders are from two different leagues: Zürichers are mildly obsessed with those crunchy, then creamy Luxemburgerli macaroons! There is even a Sprüngli branch located in the duty free section at ZRH airport for those who cannot part...
When it comes to the Big Apple, correct us if we are wrong, but the donut would most likely make a New Yorker’s heart beat faster! Or possibly the infamous cronut pastry?
Join us at "Zürich Meets New York" from May 16 – 23, 2014
Newly Swissed is on a quest to explore what regular New Yorkers know about Switzerland. And we are going to talk to local Swiss creatives and entrepreneurs about their city of choice.
Thanks to the very first edition of the Zürich Meets New York Festival, we will be able to attend some very interesting concerts, seminars and workshops, too. From May 16 – 23, New Yorkers will be showered with more than two dozen events in venues across the Big Apple.
Get in touch with us if you are planning on being there! We would love to meet our readers in person...
Many thanks to our partners who helped to make the trip to #ZHNY possible:
Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.
Latest posts by Dimitri Burkhard (see all)
- We wiped out on Lake Silvaplana, the alpine windsurfing capital - August 3, 2020
- 15 more photographs that scream “Only in Switzerland!” - July 29, 2020
- Why Zoo Zürich and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy are friends - July 27, 2020