Zurich Airport Guide
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Zurich Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!
I found the airport very beautiful. It's big and a lot of very helpful people who spoke with me in my language. -mayss94
by a traveller
October 2015 - My flight from Madrid landed in Zurich at 10pm, and I was scheduled to depart for Helsinki the next morning at 6am. Instead of trying to find a hotel (which are quite expensive in the area) and worrying about whether or not I'd be able to make through security for my early-morning flight I decided to sleep at the Zurich airport. Since my bags were being checked through to my final destination (Helsinki) I didn't leave the post-security boarding area of Terminal A/B. The stores had pretty much all closed by the time my flight landed. I talked to the agents at the Transfer desk and they said lots of people sleep at the terminal. I found a spot that was a little bright and started to settle in. A security guard came by and asked if I had a boarding pass for an ongoing flight, and I did and showed him. I appreciate that they check on that kind of thing, made me feel safe. I wasn't the only person trying to catch a few zzzs in the terminal because I saw a few other people, but it wasn't super busy either. The chairs aren't super comfortable to lay on, but if I used my backpack as a pillow it wasn't too bad. I'd sleep for an hour, then wake up. I did try finding some more comfortable chairs but the only really comfortable chairs were at a coffee shop, which had really loud music playing. Staff for the stores/restaurants came in to setup around 530am, so if started getting busy then. You probably won't get much sleep after that. This wasn't the best sleep I ever had, but it's sleeping at an airport, and I did manage to get a few hours of sleep. It felt very safe in the boarding area, and the airport itself was clean. I found going to the benches by the duty-free store, next to the black glass wall on the side, was the best because the lighting was a little darker for sleeping. Still bring an eyemask and earplugs to help you get a better night sleep.
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In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Zurich airport either by purchasing a lounge pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):
- Dnata Skyview Lounge - Location: Airside, 2nd floor of Airside Center - Access via Check-In # 1 and Check-In # 2. Hours: 6:00AM - 10:00PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (CHF 32) • Book Online (£28.00) • Priority Pass.
- Panorama Lounge - Location: Airside, 3rd Floor, near Gate E45. Hours: 6:00AM - 10:00PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (CHF 36) • Book Online (£28.00) • Priority Pass.
- Swiss International Airlines Lounge - Location: Airside, Airside Center, 2nd Floor of the Airside Center and access is from Check-in 1 or Check-in 2. Hours: 5:45AM - 10:45PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Priority Pass.
- Swiss Lounge D - Location: Airside, Non-Schengen Area, Transit Area D. Showers are available. Hours: 6:00AM - 8:30PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Priority Pass.
- Aspire Lounge - Location: Airside, Schengen Area, 3rd floor of Airside Center. Hours: 5:30AM - 9:00PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Book Online (£28.00) • Priority Pass.
Airline Lounges that require a first or business class ticket or elite membership: Emirates Lounge > SKYTEAM Lounge > Swiss Arrival Lounge > Swiss Business Lounge > Swiss First Lounge > Swiss Senator Lounge > Swiss Senator/Business Lounge
- Free WiFi is available at Zurich Airport for 60 minutes. Connect to the ZurichAirport network. After you register, you will receive a code by text message. After the 60 minute time limit, you can purchase additional time 1 hour (6.90 CHF) 24 hours (14.90 CHF)
- Internet Kiosks are available both landside and airside. The first 60 minutes are free.
If sleeping in Zurich Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels inside and near the airport:
- Transit Hotel - Located in the transit area at Gates B/D. The transit hotel offers private rooms and a rest area. The private rooms are equipped with beds, television and sink with running water. The rest and relaxation area has 12 bed-style seats in private cubicles. Blankets are provided. Showers are included in the cost of the room and sleep chairs. Bath towel, toiletries and hair dryers are provided. Single Rates: CHF 45 (3 hours), CHF 59 (6 hours), CHF 75 (more than 6 hours). Double Rates: CHF 59 (3 hours), CHF 79 (6 hours), CHF 99 (more than 6 hours). The rest & relaxation area rates are: CHF 20 (3 hours), CHF 25 (6 hours), CHF 30 (more than 6 hours). Email the hotel at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation.
- Radisson Blu Hotel Zurich Airport - (2 min walk to the airport terminal) Connected to the airport terminal via walkway.
- Holiday Inn Express Zurich Airport- (5min from the airport) Free airport shuttle runs from 5:00AM to 11:45PM (seat reservation suggested).
- NH Zurich Airport - (6 min from the airport) Free roundtrip airport shuttle bus runs from 5:35AM to 11:35PM daily. Day rooms are available 9:00AM to 6:00PM. The shower rooms are available for non-guests at a rate of CHF 35.
- Mövenpick Hotel Zürich-Airport - (7 min from the airport) Free roundtrip airport shuttle operates from 5:10AM to 11:45PM.
- Park Inn by Radisson Zurich Airport - (8 min from the airport) Free roundtrip airport shuttle runs daily from 5:00AM to 11:30PM (seat reservation suggested)
To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near Zurich Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.
- Airport Tours - Sightseeing tours take you behind the scenes to the aprons, Pier A, and the Airside Center, and then through the tunnel beneath runway 28 to Pier E, where you can get out of the bus and enjoy a close-up view of aircraft landing and taking off. Duration: 1 hour 15min. Departures: tours for individuals depart on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Check the Observation Deck for the current schedule. Rate: CHF 8.00 (adults) / CHF 4.00 (child). Location: purchase tickets at the observation deck.
- ATMs / Cash Machines - ATMS can be found Airside and Landside.
- Bicycle Rentals - If you are an active traveller, you can rent bicycles, inline skates and nordic walking poles at the airport and get outside for some fresh air in between flights. Rates: Bicycles - CHF 20 (up to 4 hours) or 35 (full day) • Inline Skates - CHF 15 (up to 4 hours) or 20 (full day) • Nordic Poles - CHF 10 (full day). Location: Service Center, multi-story car park 2, 1st floor.
- Children's Areas - If you are travelling with children, the Family Services Areas provides day care workers, play areas, sleeping areas, etc. Locations, near Gates A, next to the transfer desk (Hours: 6:30AM - 10:00PM) • Gates E, 3rd level above Gate 45 (Hours: 7:00AM - 1:00PM).
- Currency Exchange - There are many options for foreign exchange located both Airside and Landside, including locations with 24 hour ATM currency dispensers.
- Food -
There are many food options located landside and airside, but none of them are open 24 hours.
- Information Desk - Locations: Arrivals 1 (Hours: 7:30AM - 11:30PM) • Arrivals 2 (Hours: 5:45AM - 11:30PM) • Service Center Car Park 2 (Hours: 6:00AM - 11:30PM) • Check-in 2 (Hours: 5:30AM - 8:30pm) • Transfer and Shopping Zone (Hours: 6:15AM - 1:30PM and 3:30PM - 9:00PM)
- Luggage Storage - You will find the left luggage office and coin-operated lockers next to the Service Center near car park pay station 2. Hours: open 24 hours. Rates: 5€ to 12€ (storage) or 6€ to 13€ (lockers) per 24-hour period.
- Medical Services - If you requires medical or dental attention, there are 3 clinics to choose from, all located in the Prime Center 1 area. Hours: 7:00AM - 8:30PM (Daily).
- Observation Deck - There are two observation decks. The newly renovated Observation Deck B has multimedia binoculars and a miniature airport for children to play. Entrance: beside check-in 2. Hours: 8:00AM - 9:00PM (summer) and 9:00AM - 6:00PM (winter). Rates: CHF 5 (adults) and CHF 2 (children). Observation Deck E is accessible by shuttle bus and is onpen in the summer only. Hours: unknown. Rate: CHF 4.00 (adults) and CHF 2 (children).
- Rest Areas - In Transit Area D, you will find 12 comfortable reclining chairs with wool blankets near the Day rooms. [ see Hotel section above ]. Rates: CHF 25.00 (3 hours), CHF 30.00 (6 hours), CHF 35 (more than 6 hours)
- Showers - There are two shower facilities that you can pay to use. Locations: Landside, Service Center, multi-storey car park 2, level 1. (Hours: 6:00AM - 10:00PM) • Airside, Transit D, next to the day rooms. (Hours: open 24 hours). Rates: CHF 15 includes Bath towel, toiletries and hair dryers are provided.
- Smokers Lounges - There are 22 smokers lounges: 4 are located landside and 18 are located airside.
The airport is open 24 hours.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport
The covered bus terminal at Zurich is the largest and best-connected bus terminal in Switzerland, providing direct access to Check-In, the Zurich Airport Railway Station, the Glattalbahn Tram stop and the Airport Center. Sixteen bus and Postbus routes serve Zurich Airport, with over 700 departures per day to the Glatt valley, Zürcher Unterland and Zurich Oerlikon.
Flugbus offers transportation from central Switzerland to Zurich Airport, arriving at the airport as early as 5:00AM to catch those morning flights. For more information, visit Flugbus.ch.
Special services buses operate during the winter, transporting passengers between the airport and ski resorts in the Swiss Alps and across the border. Buses can be found in the airport bus terminal. Contact Arlberg Express, Davos Express or LAAX for more information on these services. Tickets for Arlberg Express and Davos Express can be purchased in the airport Service Center at Car Park 2, Level 1.
For bus routes, stop, schedules and fares, go to the Zurich Airport Regional Transportation page on the Zurich Airport web site.
A large selection of well-known hire car companies are on hand to provide assistance. Car rental companies include: Alamo • Avis • Budget • Dollar/Thrifty • Enterprise • Europcar • Hertz • National / Alamo • Sixt. Location: Airport Center, Level 01.
Providing fast and wallet-friendly ground transportation around Zurich, Glattalbahn Tram serves the airport along two routes: No. 10 runs every 7.5 -15 minutes between the airport and Zurich Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) via Glattpark, Oerlikon and Irchel; and No. 12 runs every 15 minutes between the airport and Stettbach railway station via Glattbrugg and Wallisellen station, with many interchange options along the way. Tickets are sold from vending machines at each Glattalbahn stop. For schedules, routes and fares, visit the Zurich Airport Regional Transportation page on the Zurich Airport web site.
These area hotels provide courtesy airport shuttles for their guests (bus stop on curbside lane between Arrivals 1 and 2): Hilton Zurich Airport • Holiday Inn Express Zurich Airport • Best Western Hotel Airport • Hotel Allegra • Hotel FlyAway • Ibis Zurich Messe Airport • Movenpick Zurich Airport • NH Zurich Airport • Park Inn Hotel Flughafen Zurich • Movenpick Zurich Regensdorf • Welcome Inn.
Check-In All Ways provides a shared ride service exclusively serving hotels in the city center. Shuttles depart every 30 minutes from the curbside in front of Arrivals 2 between 6:30AM - 11:00PM. Like regular shared ride services, the rates for a ride with Check-In All Ways depends on the amount of passengers riding and the destinations requested, per shuttle.
Taxis are readily available from 6:00AM - 11:30PM in front of Arrivals 1 and 2. Official airport taxis are all-white, with an illuminated sign that says “Airport Taxi”. All official airport taxis take credit card, provide VAT-compliant receipts and have multi-lingual drivers. Taxi coordinators are available onsite during peak hours. At the time of this update, the average one-way fare from the airport to the city center is CHF 70 (€ 56).
With about 350 rail connections, the Zurich Airport Railway Station is one of the best-connected rail stations in Switzerland. The SBB Travel Centre is located under the Airport Center in the Check-in 3 area. Ticket counters are open from 6:15AM - 10:30PM, but tickets are also available from vending machines located in Customs Hall 1 and 2, Arrivals 1 and 2 and next to the SBB Travel Centre. In addition, tickets can also be purchased at the Service Center; switzterlandinfo+ counters or via internet or smartphone app. Visit the SBB page for e-tickets, fares and schedules.
Last Updated: 14 November 2015
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.