Zurich Zürich, Switzerland (CH)
Zürich Airport lies 13km north of the city centre. It has three terminals, Terminals 1, 2 and 3, containing gate areas A, B/D and E respectively. These are linked to a central area called the Airport Center, which hosts a good selection of duty-free shops, bars and restaurants.
Make check-in easier
This is one of the most efficient airports from a passenger's point of view. At the same time, for the first-time user, it can also be one of the most confusing airports. You can feel like you're constantly being guided through different levels, having to climb stairs or use escalators. We recommend that, as all terminals are connected directly, you use the nearest to you check-in point.
You can reach the centre of the city in as little as 12 minutes by train, and enjoy a good service. Most of the city’s main hotels are minutes from a station, so we recommend it over the expensive taxis.
The local S-Bahn train going to Zürich's central station (Hauptbahnhof) is cheap, comfortable and super-reliable. There are two lines running from the airport, the S2 and the S16. They run from 05:00-00:30. The S2 leaves the airport at 20 and 51 minutes past the hour, while the S16 goes at 2 and 32 minutes past.
The S16 goes via Stadelhofen, so worth taking if your hotel or destination is near there – but the S2 platform is one storey higher at the Hauptbahnhof, and the better option if you’ve got lots of luggage.
Cost: CHF 6.80 one-way (valid 1 hr), CHF 13.20 day pass (valid 24 hrs)
Buying tickets: Machines in Customs Halls 1 and 2, counters in the SBB Travel Centre (06:15-22:30)
Location: Terminal B, Level -2, Zürich Airport station
Tip: Buying a Zürich card will be the most convenient and affordable way to travel around Zürich.
Cost: CHF 24 for 24 hours and CHF 48 for 72 hours
Bus and Tram
In front of the Airport Centre is the airport stop of the Stadtbahn Glattal, a light rail system that interworks with the Zürich tram system, together with a regional bus station. Glattalbahn Tram serves the airport along two routes: No. 10, which runs every 7.5 -15 minutes between the airport and Zurich Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) and No. 12 which runs every 15 minutes between the airport and Stettbach railway station via Glattbrugg and Wallisellen station.
These are expensive, but of course convenient if you have a lot of luggage or are travelling in a group.
Cost: Around CHF 70 (EUR 56)
Location: Outside Arrivals 1 and 2
Alama, Avis, Budget, Dollar Thrifty, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National, and Sixt have desks at the car hire center:
Airport Center, level 1
Hours: 06:00-23:30 daily
There are several lounges available at the Zürich Airport:
dnata Skyview Lounge:
Airside Center, after security, level 3, near Chalet Suisse
Hours: 06:00-22:00, daily
Cost: CHF 38
Terminal E, after security, level 3, above Gate E45.
Hours: 10:05-14:05 and 17:15-21:15 daily
Available for First Class and Business Class travellers as well as Skywards Gold members
In addition to these, there are also 8 SWISS Lounges available at the airport. Access to these lounges is restricted to specific booking classes and to various membership programmes affiliated with SWISS.
Zurich Airport has showers available to all passengers and visitors before and after security. You get spotlessly clean cubicles, space to store your luggage and get changed, a towel, shampoo and shower gel, body lotion and a hairdryer. Cost: CHF 15.00 to use
Location: Service Center, before security, by Car Park 2, level 1
Hours: 06:00-22:00 daily
Location: Transit Hotel, after security , Gates D
Zurich Airport’s offering an innovative service that lets you rent bikes, inline skates and Nordic walking poles so you can get out and about in the beautiful Swiss countryside between flights.
Bikes are available for CHF 20.00 for up to 4 hours or CHF 35.00 for a full day. Inline skates are CHF 15.00 for up to 4 hours or CHF 20.00 for the day. Nordic poles are CHF 10.00 for the day. Adults’ and kids’ sizes are available, with helmets. To use the service, go to the Service Center, Car Park 2, on the 1st Floor. There are also lockers for storing your luggage at the Service Center (open 6.00 am to 10.30 pm, CHF 6.00 for a small locker, CHF 8.00 medium, CHF 9.00 large, each for 12 hours), and great excursion tips around the airport.
Have your kids enjoy some fun and take them to one of two playrooms in ZRH airport. The rooms are bright and generously sized, equipped with toys for all ages, Playstations and computer games, a football table and a craft workshop.
Passengers with babies will find changing tables, baby care products, rooms for sleeping and breastfeeding, a kitchenette with a microwave, cutlery, and utensils, baby products for sale
The rooms are free to passengers of all airlines and children have to be accompanied by an adult.
Gates A, after security, next to the transfer desk
Hours: 06:30-22:00 daily
Gates E, after security, level 1, arrival level west
Hours: 07:00-13:00 daily
Go for some unmistakably Swiss cuisine before taking off elsewhere. For some of the best, look no further than Chalet Suisse, the restaurant claims to offer ‘everything the Swiss miss’ when abroad. Believe the hype.
We take the clear potato soup and Lucerne roesti whenever we’re here, washed down by a large glass of Turbinenbräu. They also do seasonal speciality menus, with Graubuender until the end of the high skiing season in February.
Airport Center, after security, Level 2, towards B/D Gates
Hours: 05:30-22:00 daily
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Non-Schengen (primarily US) flights from Zurich depart from E Gates. This is a remote terminal, and can only be reached by taking the escalator from the main waiting area down to the Skymetro train. This departs every 3 minutes and takes 3 minutes to reach its destination. Plan in 20-30 minutes for the transit.
We’ve found it makes sense to use the toilets and do any shopping for food for your flight in the main waiting area before boarding the Skymetro. The gents’ toilets in Terminal E are one floor up from the waiting area, and there’s no lift, so you’ll need to use the escalators, which can be tricky if you’re carrying heavy luggage. Also, Terminal E only has a tiny sandwich shop with a limited range of food (which doesn’t get any less expensive). You’re much better off eating before going through security.
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