For students, the best things in Zurich are free

The Zurich Tourist Office has just come up with a new plan aimed at making this bustling, lovely city especially attractive for young people, particularly American students, traveling on limited budgets.

It is the 34-page Zurich Youth Pass and it costs nothing. So far "nothing" you get a hatful of information, also reductions to places and things, and, in some instances, you pay nothing. You merely produce the eight vouchers in the book.

Irene Dinten, young public relations officer for the Zurich Tourist Board, said, "In putting together this new idea, we met with foreign students and asked their advice as to what students and other young people would like made available.

"And we wanted to show that Zurich is not as expensive as it is touted to be."

For example, there is a guided bus tour of the city. Children up to 16 get a 50 percent reduction.

There is a long list of youth hostels, also centers that feature free films, disco dancing, and low-cost refreshments. One is the YMCA in Hotel Glockenhof, Saturdays at 8 p.m. All very orderly. Or try Taverna Catalana. You can buy your cheese and cold cuts at a local market (try one of the Migros chain), enter Catalana, pay a small cover charge which covers bread and beverages. Such a meal in this pine-paneled place costs about $3.50.

You can rent a rowboat for a trip on Lake Zurich at Enge Boat Hire Company, Mythenquai (telephone: 201 65 10), where you show the proper voucher to get a reduction of 20 percent. You get free entry to the (swiming) Wave Pool. Take tram No. 3 to Romerhof, Dolderbahn, which is in the forest overlooking the city. You also get free entry to La Ferme Dancing, Stadhausquai, 13. This place also features "old-timers" music one night a week.

Rietberg Museum, Gabblestrasse, 15 (take tram No. 7), stresses Indian, Chinese, and African art.A voucher holder pays nothing, and gets a bonus of five free art cards. Zurich Zoo gives a voucher holder a 25 percent reduction.

Although it is not listed in the youth pass, foreign students holding this passport should have no difficulty using the student dining room at the University of Zurich. Take a No. 3 tram and get off near Flor Gasse and walk left uphill. A very good meal is to be had for $2.75.

To get a youth pass, go to the main office of the Zurich Tourist Board at Bahnhofbruecke No. 1. Or try its branch in the main railway station diagonally across the road.

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