Zurich airport, also known as Kloten, is located 10 km north of Zurich city center. It is the largest international airport in Switzerland and in 2015 counted more than 26 million passengers.
Travelling to and from the airport is easy, due to its vicinity, and there are a few options to choose from.
Public transport: There are two types of public transportation lines between the airport and the city centre: the streetcar and the train. In both cases, the price of the ticket for single journey is 6.60 francs, and the 1-day ticket costs 13.20 francs. Tickets can be purchased online or at the SBB machines in Arrival halls as well as at the Switzerlandinfo counters. There you can also purchase the ZurichCard which includes unlimited transport on all public lines.
Streetcar: Zurich streetcar (tram) line 10 connects the airport and the main station, passing next to the Zurich University and the Institute of Technology, along with other regular stops. The entire journey to the main station lasts about 35 minutes.
Train: The quickest way to reach the city center. The railway line runs under the airport building, so just follow the signs down the escalators and you’ll be at the platform. Trains between Zurich airport and the main station depart every 5-10 minutes, from 5 AM to 00:30. Various regional and InterCity trains along with the two local S-Bahn lines, S2 and S16, pass regularly and will take you to downtown Zurich in just 10-15 minutes.
If you are continuing your journey outside Zurich, there are different railway lines that go “directly” from the airport to other Swiss cities, e.g. Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Winterthur, etc. For all the other cities, and the international lines, you have to reach Zurich main city center station and change the trains there. The main station is easily reachable by train.
For all further destinations, you can check the timetables and compare the prices online.
Airport shuttle: The shuttle bus between the airport and the city center is a direct, non-stop minibus that will take you to downtown Zurich in 30-40 minutes. This minibus goes at least once an hour and the price is 25 francs. The ticket can be purchased online. Almost all hotels use the shuttle bus service, so for the journey to the airport you should ask at the hotel reception.
- Benefit: Children aged 12 and under travel for free when accompanied by their parents
- Children safety seats available
- Free WI-FI onboard
- The bus departure point is outside the airport building, but the driver will welcome you at the meeting point on the arrival level
NOTE: Some hotels located near the airport offer free pick-up service to and from the airport for their guests. Check with your hotel.
Transfer: If you wish to have more comfort, or you have a lot of suitcases, you can always book a private door-to-door transfer to your accommodation in Zurich area or to any other city.
- If you wish to pre-order a transfer, you can do that through a transfer company (even online), a professional driver will wait for you in the arrivals area with a name sign, and don’t worry if your plane is late, the transfer company will monitor your flight arrival.
- If you travel with smaller kids, you can order child seat
Taxi services – airport taxis are available from Arrivals exit 1 and 2. Depending on the traffic, your journey to downtown Zurich can last around 15 minutes and the prices range from 60-70 swiss francs. If you have a lot of suitcases or bulky luggage, you might be asked to pay an extra fee.
Renting a car at Zurich airport – all the major car rental companies, like Sixt, Avis, Europcar, etc. have their offices at Zurich airport, along with some local rent-a-car companies, so you can always compare the terms and conditions as well as the price. All car rental agencies are located at the Airport Center (level 1). It is, of course, possible to pre-book a car, which you can do here. NOTE: To return the rented car, follow the signs “Rental Car Return, P3” when approaching Zurich airport.
Renting a bus at Zurich airport – if you are a large group arriving to the airport, you might consider renting a bus prior to your arrival. Buses are offered by several bus rental companies in the area.
Bus Zurich airport to ski resorts: From the airport there is ski bus to Stuben, Zürs, Lech, St. Christoph and St. Anton during the winter season, the bus drives once a day from Monday to Thursday, twice a day on Friday and Sundays and on the most busy travel day there is 4 departures. Travel time from Zurich airport to St. Anton is about 3 hours, if you are travelling to other ski resorts, the easiest is to book a transfer. The bus is operated by Arlberg Express, tickets can be purchased from their website minimum 24 hours prior to departure of the ski bus.
- From Zurich airport to Zermatt, train is the best travel option.
- From Zurich airport to Verbier, train and bus are not hassle free (multiple changes required), if you budget is not an issue book a transfer.
- From Zurich airport to St. Moritz, train with 1 change e.g in Chur is good option.
- From Zurich airport to Wengen, train should work out fine.
FAQ – bus and transport from Zurich airport
Q: I arrive late at the airport. Will it be a problem for me to get to the city?
A: No, the last train from the airport is at 0:30 AM, and transfers and taxis run 24/7.
Q: I have booked a bus from Zürich to Zagreb, how to i get to the bus station from the airport?
A: The bus station Shilquai is located 500 metre walking distance from the central train station, so just take the train there as described above. From the Shilquai bus station, you have international bus to Munich, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, as well hundert other international destinations.
Q: I have an early morning departure from the airport, are there any airport hotels I can stay at?
A: Yes, there are several hotels located around the airport, in the walking distance, but it is good to know that there is also Transit Hotel&Dayroom at the airport, offering simpler accommodation, rest area and showers, open 24/7. Check it out!
Q: Can I exchange the money at the airport to pay for my transfer?
A: Yes, there are several exchange offices and ATMs at the airport, working 24/7, but it would be better to exchange the money before the trip and have some franks on you since the rate will be a lot higher on the spot.
Q: I would like to spend one day in Zurich in between flights. Is that possible?
A: Yes, of course. Since the airport is so close to the city, the best way would be to take the train at the airport to reach the center (Old town, Zurich lake). You will be there in 15 minutes.