Zurich Zürich, Switzerland (CH)
Zürich Airport lies 13km north of the city centre. It has one main terminal building, divided into Airport Center and Airside Center as well as Gates A, B/D and E.
- Airport Center: a ground-side center that houses airline check-in areas, a shopping mall, a railway station, car parks and more.
- Airside Center: an airside center that hosts a good selection of duty-free shops, bars and restaurants.
- Gates A are used exclusively for Schengen flights.
- Gates B and D hosts Schengen and non-Schengen flights.
- Gates E, also known as Dock E, are located in a separate satellite building and are used for non-Schengen international flights. This building is connected to the other gates by the Skymetro, an automated underground people mover.
You can reach the centre of the city in as little as 12 minutes by train, and enjoy a good service. 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 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 3.40 one-way (valid 1 hr), CHF 6.80 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: Main Terminal, before security, check-in area 3, level -2, Airport Center, SBB travel centre in the Zürich Airport station
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
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Non-Schengen (primarily US) flights from Zurich depart from E Gates. These gates are located in a remote satellite 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.
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 the Gates E building 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, Gates 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.