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Zurich Airport is the largest international airport in Switzerland and might just be your gateway to this small but absolutely beautiful Alpine country. Transport between the airport and Zurich is very easy, clearly not an exception to the efficient Swiss public transport system. Driving in and around Switzerland is highly recommended as well, especially when the roads you drive through in the Swiss countryside offer stunning views of the snow-capped Alps and their serene lakes.
Who to Book With
The offices of the car hire providers at Zurich Airport are found on Level 1 of the Airport Centre. Travellers wishing to hire a car can choose from five providers: Sixt, Hertz, Europcar/National/Alamo, Budget and Avis. Offices are open from 06:00 to 23:30. Returning your car at Zurich Airport is easy as there are sufficient signs for Car Rental Returns as you approach the airport.
Need to Know Essentials
When picking up your vehicle at the Airport Centre, you will need the following:
- National driver's licence held for at least a year (International Driving Permit for non-EU drivers)
- Proof of identity and age (at least 25 years old)
- Credit or debit card
Speed limits must strictly be followed as fines for speeding can be grave in Switzerland. The speed limit for built-up areas is 31mph while outside, it is 49mph. On motorways, it ranges from 62mph to 74mph. While in Switzerland, it is obligatory to always have snow chains and a warning triangle in the vehicle. The vignette sticker is also required to be posted on a vehicle to show that the annual motorway tax has been paid for that vehicle. All persons within the car must wear seatbelts, including passengers in the rear seats. Some filling stations may not accept UK credit cards. It is always best to check with your bank before travelling.
Zurich Airport is no exception to the efficient Swiss transport system. The dedicated Swiss Federal Railway station at the adjacent Airport Centre is used not only by the trains but also by trams. Buses take passengers to Zurich city centre and to other regional destinations. Taxi and limousine services are available, too. Driving here from Zurich city centre is easily done via route L1 to get to the E60/E41 motorway, which provides direct access to the A51 toll road taking you directly to Zurich Airport.
The Swiss Federal Railways has a railway station for Zurich Airport located on the lowest level of the Airport Centre. From the Arrivals area, simply head out and cross the street to reach the centre. A one-way direct train to the main railway station Zurich Hauptbahnhof (HB) takes 12 minutes and costs around £4.50. Two ZVV tram lines also depart from the same station every seven to 15 minutes. Glatttalbahn 10 goes to Zurich HB via Zurich Oerlikon while Glatttalbahn 12 travels to Stettbach via Glattbrugg and Wallisellen. A single-journey tram ticket begins at about £2.
Taxi and limousine services are available at the airport. The taxi queues are located right outside Arrivals 1 and 2. Official airport taxis are also available and the queues can be found right after travellers clear customs. The base rate is £4, increasing by £2.50 per kilometre travelled. Cabs may charge additional fees for luggage. Credit cards are accepted.
Zurich Airport to Zurich city centre is about £40
Zurich Airport has a dedicated bus terminal located at the Airport Centre's ground level. Bus line 10 travels from the airport to Zurich HB. A single-journey covering one bus zone costs about £3 while the fare for two bus zones is £5.50. For those travelling in winter, a number of companies take passengers from the airport to the ski slopes in and around Zurich. Two such companies are Arlberg Express and Davos Express. It is best to check with your hotel, too, for dedicated bus services as most major hotels in Zurich provided shuttle services to and from the airport.
Zurich Airport has two terminal buildings (A and B), with Departure gates A and B/D connected to the main airport complex, and Gate E easily accessible by the free shuttle train, the Skymetro. Right beside the airport is the Airport Centre where most passenger facilities and services can be found. Being the largest international airport in Switzerland, Zurich receives flights from around the world: Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific.
Seven car parks around the airport provide for short-stay and long-stay parking. Car parks P1, P2, P3 and P6 are the closest to the airport and rates here are more expensive. Three hours here costs £8. Car parks P5 and P40 are further away and P60 the farthest. Three hours here will set you back £6.
Computer stations are found in both public and passenger areas. Charges apply for access. Wi-Fi access is available in all passenger lounges. Access to the Zurich Airport site is free while that for external sites must be paid for.
Service and information desks are found in car park P2, Check-in 2, Arrivals 1 and 2 and Transfer and Shopping Area A.
Flight Information: +41 900 300 313
Airport Information: +41 43 816 2211
Passengers with reduced mobility are offered a number of assistance services at the airport. The services are provided by car port AG and are free of charge. Assistance is provided for luggage carriage, customs and security controls, passport controls and wheelchairs. Toilets, parking, phone booths, lifts and ramps are also provided.
Restaurants and Bars
The Airport Centre and the airport terminal have a number of restaurants and bars. A Bye Bye Bar is located in Check-in 2. Starbucks has locations in the Airport Centre G01 and Check-in 1. Asia im Foodland has restaurants in Airport Center G0 and Check-in 1.
Transfer Area A:
Swiss Business Lounge
Swiss First Lounge
Swiss Senator Lounge
Swiss Arrival Lounge
Non-Schengen Service Zone:
Swiss Lounge D Senator/Business
Dnata Skyview Lounge
Money and ATMs
Credit Suisse branches and cash dispensers, at least three each, are found at the airport. There is a branch at the Airport Centre G0 and a dispenser (bancomat) in Arrivals 2. There is also a UBS counter at Arrivals 1/2 and Check-in 1, and a cash dispenser in Check-in 1.
Various shops can be found in the terminal building as well as in the Airport Centre. Mango sells women's clothes and accessories at the Airport Centre G01. Kkiosk stores, selling all manner of snacks and conveniences, are scattered throughout the airport complex. There are two in Check-in 2. Vögele-Shoes has a store at the Airport Centre G0. The same goes for TravelStar which sells travel equipment. A Duty Free Store is located in Gates B/D (Levels 0 and 1).