Airport Guide: Zurich

Zurich Airport Guide

Zurich Airport, or Flughafen Zürich as it is locally known, is the sole airport that serves Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich. The airport is 13km from Zurich itself, and the cities transport links allow for easy travel to the rest of the country. Before you visit, make sure you know everything you need to with our Zurich Airport guide!

Switzerland is well known for its efficiency, and Zurich Airport is no different. It is regularly ranked as one of the top airports both in Europe and internationally by Skytrax and the World Travel Awards. Two of the three terminals at the airport are under one roof and moving between them is simple with moving walkways. The airline SWISS (Swiss International Air Lines), the flag carrier of Switzerland, use Zurich airport as its primary hub. Those travelling with the airline, or their Star Alliance partners will be well looked after in particular.

Even if a traveller is just passing through Zurich Airport rather than stopping, they can enjoy viewing platforms of the runways or possible also enjoy the “Treasure Hunt” that is available for families. These could be the best choices for the wallet as prices at the airport are not any cheaper than in Switzerland itself!

Zurich Airport At-a-glance

Official Website:

Airport Code: ZRH

Terminals: 3

Address: Zurich-Flughafen,

Gate Checker:

Terminal Checker:

Contact Number: +41 43 816 22 11

Timezone: GMT+1 October-March, GMT+2 March-October

Lost Property Contact:
Online Form:
Phone: +41 (0) 900 57 10 15

A comprehensive 3D interactive map with floor selection and high-level detail of every facility.

WiFi: Free WiFi is available throughout the airport. The network name is ‘Zurich Airport’. 

Apps: Zurich Airport had a free app which is no longer live. Instead, they claim that their ‘new website has been published as a “progressive web app”, which means you can use the website like an app.’

Zurich Airport Facilities

Being such a large airport, it should be no surprise that Zurich Airport has all the essentials for any traveller flying to or from it, plus some you wouldn’t expect! Currency conversion, ATM’s mobile device charging, free luggage trolleys, bars, cafes, restaurants, duty-free shopping, free WiFi connectivity, prayer/multi-faith rooms, airport lounges, water fountains, luggage wrapping, and family service rooms are all available. The airport has many businesses utilising the office space on offer, and so there are even opticians, hairdressers, dentists, and a gym that passengers can visit!

Zurich Airport Guide - Check In

There are many high-end brand shopping options for some retail therapy, but passengers shouldn’t expect to find many bargains at Zurich Airport. For something on the other end of the financial scale, pass the time at the observation decks the airport has. Both B and E terminals allow planespotters an open-air experience to watch the planes take off and land from CHF 5. While there, families looking for something different to do can pick up a leaflet detailing the self-guiding treasure hunt the airport has. If you’d like to keep fit, the airport even has a bicycle or rollerskating track (outdoors) with equipment available to hire. Speaking of exercise equipment, if you are flying to visit the Swiss Alps, there are ski and snowboard equipment hire facilities at the airport too!

Sleeping is possible with a variety of choice at Zurich Airport, as long as travellers are happy to pay. Those looking to relax for a short time can do so on one of the dozen reclining chairs in Transit Area D where a blanket is provided and valuables can be stored in lockers. It costs CHF 25 for up to 3 hours, CHF 30 for up to 6 hours, and CHF 35 for over 6 hours. 

An intermediate choice between these and a hotel is the Transit Hotel ‘Day Room‘ service. These are for passengers at D gates who would like more privacy, comfort, and a shower. Single, double, and family rooms are on offer, and each has toiletries and a towel inclusive for anyone looking to freshen up. The rates for a double room are CHF 65 for up to 3 hours, CHF 79 for up to 6 hours, and CHF 99 for over 6 hours. Check here for more information or to make a booking.

As for traditional hotels, the Radisson Blu Hotel connected via a walkway is the only hotel on-site. Nearby hotels are a short shuttle or taxi away, and possibly for lower rates. To find the cheapest deals in the area, passengers are best to use or and use Zurich Airport as your search location.

Shower facilities, like sleeping the options above, are available for those who are willing to pay the price. The Radisson Blu Hotel has showers included for those who pay for gym access for the day, which is CHF 35. If freshening up is all that’s desired, then travellers can pay a reduced CHF 15 for the shower package only which includes a towel, toiletries and hair dryers. The Transit Hotel and Service Center also has CHF 15 showers and passengers can purchase access from the reception desks at both. Several lounges also have shower facilities for passengers who have access to them.

Luggage storage can be found in three separate places with three different pricing structures. A staffed Left Luggage Room at the Service Center on floor 1 of car park P2 has storage charged by the item size. Hand luggage is CHF 5 up to 4hrs, CHF 6 up to 12hrs, CHF 8 up to 24hrs, CHF 5 per extra day, and CHF 2.50 for each day after 15 days. Larger luggage is CHF 7 up to 4hrs, CHF 9 up to 12hrs, CHF 12 up to 24hrs, CHF 7 per extra day, and CHF 3.50 for each day after 15 days. Finally, items of clothing are CHF 5 for 24hrs and CHF 1 for each additional day.

There are unstaffed, coin-operated lockers available for up to 3 days for those looking for shorter storage options, chargeable per 12hr period. It is CHF 6 for a small locker, CHF 8 for a medium locker, and CHF 9 for a large locker for 12hrs, then CHF 3 for each additional 12hr period. For large lockers, it is CHF 4 for every additional 12hrs.

Lastly, the Train Station also has 24hr lockers which passengers can pay by card with, as well as coins. The charges for these are for every 6hr period, and the latest prices for these can be found on the SBB website.

Zurich Airport Terminal Layout

Zurich Airport Guide - Gate

Zurich Airport has three terminals. Terminal E is a satellite terminal away from the main airport area, with Terminal A and Terminal B interconnected by the central Airside Center complex. The Airside Center is home to duty-free shopping, restaurants and bars. It has separate access points for transitting passengers depending on whether their point of departure was in the Schengen area or not. Any non-Schengen flights will operate from Terminal B and Terminal E, while all Terminal A and B handle Schengen and domestic routes. 

Separately, there is an Airport Shopping Center, which is a publicly accessible mall. This facility has excellent retail options for anyone to enjoy, whether they are flying or not. The shopping complex also has the train station underneath it for onward travel, and the bus terminal outside on the ground level too.

Terminal A

When passing through security, and into the Airport Center, Terminal A is to the right. Nearly all of the retail and eating options are centralised in the Airside Center, so passengers should only head to the terminal when they are happy to board the plane. There is a long pier/concourse where most of the gates are located. All gates are prefixed with ‘A’. Gates A01-A10 are on a lower level accessible going down an escalator when first entering the terminal and heading right. Gates A50-A59 are also on a lower floor via a corridor next to Gate A62 when going past the NZZ Cafe shop near the entrance of the terminal. All other gates, A62-A86 are in the main concourse, with the higher numbers being the furthest walk away.

Terminal B

Terminal B is to the left when passing through security and into the Airside Center. The terminal handles both Schengen and non-Schengen flights, so those leaving the EU will go through passport control in Terminal B before the gates. The terminal has gates prefixed with both ‘B’ and ‘D’. Generally, all Schengen flights depart from the B gates. Gates B01-B10 are on the lower level, accessible through a corridor to the left of Starbucks while Gates B31-B43 are on level 1. The D gates, mainly for non-Schengen flights, are accessed underneath their corresponding B gates, but passengers must first pass through passport control. Gates D21-D26 are separate from D31-D58 and are located underneath the Transit Hotel facility. Just like Terminal A, there aren’t as many amenities in the gate areas as there are in the Airport Center.  

Terminal E

The only satellite terminal at Zurich Airport, Terminal E can only be reached by using the ‘Skymetro’ automated underground people mover. The journey time between the terminals on the 1.1km track is approximately 3 minutes. All gates in Terminal E begin with ‘E’, with E18/19/62/64/67 all on level 1, with E22-E58 on level 2. Only a handful of concessions are available in this satellite terminal so passengers with a long wait may find their time passes quicker in the Airport Center instead. 

Zurich Airport Connections

Plane Landing at Zurich

The city of Zurich itself is 13km south from Zurich Airport. There are multiple public transport options to travel between the two, with buses, trains, and trams connecting them. Of course, taxis are available, but for the most cost-effective way to reach the city, public transport is the best.

Bus: The bus station at Zurich Airport is directly outside the front of the shopping complex. Though most buses here are best for travelling elsewhere in the country, and those that travel to the city take passengers to train stations. Bus line 10 goes to the main train station and will cost CHF 8.20 for a single journey. If several trips are likely to be undertaken on public transport, the tourist Zurich Card may save money in the long-term, as well as free entry to museums.

Train: The train is the quickest way to get into central Zurich, although onward travel is plentiful at Zurich Airport too, with the train station connecting to over 350 destinations. The station is on level -2 of the shopping centre at the airport. Tickets cost CHF 6.60 to get to the Zurich central train station (Hauptbahnhof). The journey time is only 9-13 minutes with frequent trains running as often as 13 times an hour. Like the bus, the Zurich Card allows discounted journeys for those who will utilise public transport regularly.

Plane Landing at Zurich - Plane at Window

Car: All car rental offices are on the first floor of the shopping centre, all placed close together. Eight companies operate from Zurich Airport, and all are the big international players. Avis, Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt, and Thrifty all provide their service. A petrol station is within the airport grounds for those returning cars needing to refuel last minute. The A51 highway runs close by which then connects to the city of Zurich, as well as to other roads that circle the town and then out to other principalities throughout the country and beyond.

Taxi: Taxi ranks are just outside the airport, and all official taxi vehicles are white and have an ‘Airport Taxi’ sign on them to help identification. A journey to the city centre should take 15-20 minutes, depending on traffic and will cost approximately CHF 70. Ridesharing apps such as Uber can reduce the cost for those that are happy to share a ride with another passenger.

Tram: An alternative way to get to Zurich centre is the tram which runs a much slower route, but allows passengers to see more of the city. Two lines travel to the Zurich, and both are above ground the entire way which lets visitors see more of the area. It is CHF 6.80 for a single trip with a journey taking around 35 minutes. The trams depart from an area just beyond the bus station, outside of the Airport shopping centre.


For passengers who have connecting flights that are flying on a ticket purchased from the airline or a travel agency, all connection times are pre-considered and unless there is a delayed arrival, catching the connecting flight won’t be a problem. In the event of a delay, passengers should contact the airline who are obliged to provide alternative transport options to help reach their destination.

For anyone who is self-transferring, however, consideration must be given for moving around the airport, passport control, and luggage collection. If travelling with hand luggage only, the airport states that the transfer times between gates are 25-30 minutes when moving from Terminal E to Terminals A/B, and 15-20 minutes when moving between Terminal A and B. This does not take into consideration passport control, or baggage collection and checking in for your next flight, however. We would recommend at least 50 minutes for any Schengen connections with hand luggage, and 2 hours for any non-Schengen flights with baggage that must be checked in. To prevent concern, why not book flights with a longer layover and use our helpful long layover guide for tips on what to do?

Zurich Airport Lounges

You’ll know you are at the home of SWISS when you are looking for lounge options at Zurich Airport. The airline hosts several lounges for its business class travellers, and Star Alliance partners. Every terminal has lounge selections, and the central Airside Center allows access for any passenger irrespective of their departure terminal. Economy passengers can pay to use the walk-in lounges that are unaffiliated with the airlines too.

Plane Landing at Zurich - Planes

Airside Center Lounges

SWISS Arrival Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located in Arrivals 2 landside, after clearing customs

Aspire Lounge
Located on level 3 in the Airside Center, to the left when clearing security

Terminal A/B Lounges

SWISS Alpine Lounge
Located between Terminal A and the Airside Center, near the A gate transfer desks

SWISS Business & Senator Lounge
Located between Terminal A and the Airside Center, near the A gate transfer desks

SWISS First Lounge
Located on level 3 between Terminal A and the Airside Center

Terminal D Lounges (i.e. non-Schengen Terminal B Lounges)

SWISS Business & Senator Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located after passport control, behind the Transit Hotel

Terminal E Lounges

Primeclass Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located on level 3, accessed by the elevator near Gates E44-45

SWISS First Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located on level 3, accessed by the elevator near Gate E27

SWISS Business & Senator Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located on level 3, accessed by the elevator near Gate E36

The Emirates Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located on level 3, accessed by the elevator near Gate E57

Aspire Lounge
Located on level 3, accessed by the elevator near Gate E52-53

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