Whether your situation calls for a short nap or an overnight slumber, this sleep guide will give you the essential information needed to prepare you for sleeping in Zurich Airport.
Our guide is updated with the help of airport sleepers who tell us about their experiences at Zurich Airport. If you have a tip or photos to share, please take a moment to write a review to help us keep this sleep guide up-to-date!
Covid-19 Update: This sleep guide was written before Covid-19, so the information may have changed. In October 2021, we will be starting our first guide update since March 2020. A lot has changed, so it’s going to be a massive update. If you are interested in helping, click here to add or update information or write a review to add tips or share photos to help future travellers .
This guide was last updated: 19 September 2019. Read the latest traveller reviews.
Sleeping in Zurich Airport
Locations & Seating
The sleep spots at Zurich Airport are said to be quite good, especially inside Security, where most Gates begin to quieten down around 11:00 PM. A quick look about should turn up some armrest-free seating. If you’re in the Airside Center, there aren’t a lot of comfortable chairs, but lie-flat benches are good for stretching out and it doesn’t tend to be too busy overnight. If you prefer the floor, look for some carpeted areas or bring a sleep mat for much-needed cushion.
Here are good sleep spots that travellers have reported:
- In Terminal A, head towards the vending machine corner for a few armrest-free chairs and some privacy (plus wall outlets).
- Terminal B seems to have a lot of armrest-free benches.
- The Center Bar near the E Gates may have some long, flat couches in enclosed booths.
- Inside Security, head to the Security Control Area on the top floor where it’s quiet and there’s little foot traffic.
- Pre-Security, in Arrivals and across from the Swiss Arrival Lounge, there’s a children’s play area with a few seats that is likely quiet at night.
Zurich Airport runs a designated, pay-to-use rest zone in Transit Area D. For CHF 25, you’ll get 3-hours’ access to the 12 reclining chairs and wool blankets near the Transit Hotel.
It can get very cold here, so do dress in layers and come prepared with a blanket. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.
Travellers report bright lights in the terminals. Arrive prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.
During the day, expect the usual hum of a busy airport: travellers chatting, music playing, announcements blaring. At night, it does quiet down a lot. Still, come prepared with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. If you chose a spot near any eateries, keep in mind that the staff arrive early and they can get pretty loud in the kitchen.
Freshen up (and loosen those stiff muscles) with a shower before your flight. Locations of pay-to-use shower facilities:
- Landside, Service Center, Car park 2, Level 1 (6:00 AM – 10:00 PM)
- Airside, Transit D, next to the day rooms (24-hours)
- Airside, Family Services at Gates E (7:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
- Airport Fitness and Wellness Center at the Radisson Blu Hotel (6:00 AM – 10:00 PM Mon-Fri; 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM Sat-Sun)
Shower fees are CHF 15 at airport shower rooms, which includes towel, toiletries, and hair dryer. At the Radisson Blu, CHF 15 gets you a shower-only package and CHF 35 gets you a full-day gym pass with shower access. For more information about the showers and airport facilities, visit our Zurich Airport Guide.
Food & Drink
With no 24-hour food concessions available, you will need to stock up on food and water before eateries and convenience stores close for the night.
Prefer some privacy and comfort? If you would like a good solid sleep between flights without the stress of going through security, a transit hotel is available. Located airside near the B/D Gates, the transit hotel has private rooms equipped with beds and TVs, or you can check into the rest area, where 12 bed-style seats are situated in their own private cubicles. Showers are included in the cost, too.
We’ve heard rumors on pay-to-use sleep pods in the airport, but we don’t have any details. If you prefer a more traditional hotel, check out the Radisson Blu Hotel Zurich Airport, which is connected to the main terminal via a walkway. You would need to leave the secure area to access.
Additional hotels are located within a quick 6-minute drive of the airport, with free shuttle service. See the hotel section in our Airport Guide for locations or visit Tripadvisor to find hotels deals at Zurich Airport.
While Zurich Airport has several lounges, none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you just want to relax in a comfortable seat, check out this list of lounges in our Zurich Airport Lounge Guide that you can pay to access.
Security & Safety
Airport staff seem to have no problem with sleepers and overnight campers, although they would prefer for travellers to stay in the transit hotel. If you are spending the night, do expect security staff to check your ID and boarding pass at least once. It is also likely that they will hand you a brochure for the transit hotel.
At the time of this update, we have no reports from travellers commenting on safety issues at Zurich Airport. As a precaution, here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe airport sleeping experience:
- Know Where Security is Located. Whether you are sleeping in the airport by yourself or with friends, it is good to know where security is. Know where their office is located and look for video cameras in the spot you decide to stay the night. Ask security where it is safe to spend the night. They’ve probably seen many airport sleepers before you and they will direct you to a safe spot.
- Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you are travelling alone we recommend that you sleep near other travellers. If you are sleeping in the public zone, make sure they are actual travellers and not homeless people – it is sometimes hard to tell in certain airports.
- Hide Your Valuables. Don’t leave all your mobile devices out in plain view. We have received reports from people who woke up with earphones and no ipod and a laptop bag strap and no laptop bag (or laptop). Same goes with important documents and money. Keep these secure on your body, so that no one can get them without waking you up.
- Secure Your Bags. If you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something. If your bags have zippers turn the bag upside down (zippers to the floor) or sleep with your bag up against the wall, so that it would be hard for someone to access.
- Choose to Stay Alert. If you don’t feel safe, drink coffee and stay awake and be alert. You can always sleep on the plane!
Pro-tip: If you are sleeping in the public zone, don’t be surprised if you receive an early morning wake-up call. Security is known to make the rounds waking people up as travellers begin to arrive for morning flights.
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