Zurich Airport Guide

Airport GuideZurich Airport

Recently while on an around the world trip I had a stopover at the Zurich Airport. I landed at the airport after a Helvetic Air flight from Frankfurt (read about our flight here) and was in was amazed to see how clean, modern and quiet the airport was.

Finding my way from the gates to the main part of the terminal was very easy with plenty of signage, and departure boards showing the upcoming flights, gates and terminals.

Arriving at Zurich Airport

It was here that I found myself surrounded by different shopping options including Duty-Free, bookshops, Swiss souvenir shops and of course chocolate shops!

Zurich Airport Shops
Duty-free at Zurich Airport
Zurich Airport Book Shops
Delicious Chocolate at the Zurich Airport

Further along the terminal were more dining options including bars, and cafes with some outdoor seating to enjoy the sunshine.

Dinning at Zurich Airport

Moving through the airport is very easy with easy to read signage throughout the airport. 

Transfer train

I had to transfer from terminal A to terminal E where I followed the signs to the Passport checkpoint and transfer train. The underground train takes you to the correct terminal, and you enter in the middle of the terminal. Compared to the shopping and cafe options in terminal A there is not much once you are past the passport checkpoint, other than a few cafes and smaller duty-free and book shops.

Smaller duty-free shops by the gates

What Terminal E did have was a rooftop deck, from here I had an amazing view of the Swiss Alps and planes landing and taking off. Also on the rooftop was some children’s play equipment and a few vending machines.

Views from Zurich Airport to the Swiss Alps

Overall Zurich Airport was very easy to navigate and had everything you could need before your flight, including your choice of places to eat and all of the chocolate you could need.


Other Airport Services 

Zurich Airport is set up to make sure you have the most comfortable time as possible which is why they have showers, family rooms and other amenities for you to enjoy while you are at the airport.

Showers can be booked on the Zurich Airport website and cost CHF 15 for a maximum of 30 minutes, and are located in gates D and E near the Transit hotel and the Family Services.

The family rooms are the perfect place to let your little ones use up some of their energy before their next flight. Family rooms are located in gates A and E and have a variety of entertainment for your children.

Zurich Airport has a variety of lounges including transit and day lounges that you can book in for when you need a refresh between flights, along with this there are also the following airline lounges –

SWISS Arrivals Lounge

SWISS Business Lounge

SWISS First Lounge

SWISS Senator Lounge

Emirates Lounge

Dnata Skyview Lounge

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Zurich Airport Guide

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Zurich Airport Guide

Zurich Airport – The Gateway To The World

Our Top 3 Tips for Zurich Airport:

1) Join Business Class travellers, even if you are on an economy ticket, and enjoy the Panorama Lounge for CHF36 pp

2) Book a Day Use Room for longer transits to sleep/rest. Book these in advance on the Zurich airport website.

3) Showers are available for CHF15 including towels. 

For those unfamiliar with Switzerland’s most accessible location, let’s start with a few facts. Zurich Airport hosts more than 24 million passengers a year, approximately 67,000 passengers per day. There are 1,400 public transport services each day made up of rail, bus, tram and winter sports coach transfers. There are also 193 shops and restaurants, meaning you’ll never run out of things to do while in transit at the airport. In 2011 Zurich Airport won World Travel’s ‘Best Airport In Europe’ Award.


Swiss Airlines, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will all be happy to check you in for your flight at Check-In 1 & 3, with most flights available for evening check-in the night before your flight departure, from Check-In 1, 8pm-9:45pm (flights to Pristina, Ohrid & Skopje are exceptions to this). Web check-in is also available to you at swiss.com/en, as well as the Self-Service Check-In machines throughout the airport. The latest check-in technology offers you even more flexibility by using your mobile. Just go to mobile.swiss.com on your internet-enabled mobile phone to start the check-in process, and your boarding pass will be sent to you via email or SMS, no printer required.


It’s easy to transfer to your onward flight from Zurich without delay. If you have arrived from a connecting flight and stay in the airport’s waiting area you need only pass through the security check before boarding your aircraft, and your baggage will automatically be transferred to your onward flight. Passengers travelling between countries that are a part of the Schengen Agreement do not even need to pass through passport control. Most countries in the western area of the Continent are a part of the Schengen group and a full list can be found here – schengenvisa.cc

If you are travelling to or from countries outside of the Schengen group you will need to negotiate passport control with your onward travel documents ready, and you should check for any visa requirements well before your departure from Australia.

If you have a transit time of more than four hours at the airport you might like to go into Zurich itself and spend some time in this beautiful and easy to get around city. It’s a very short journey into the city from one of the six trains an hour running between the airport and Zurich Main Station. We suggest taking a train up to Uetliberg for gorgeous panoramic views, before finding a spot at a waterfront bar on Lake Zurich for the afternoon. Or you could take a guided tour of the city available with zuerich.com/en/Visitor/tours/guided-tours


Plenty of transport options are available to get you from the airport if you are going to be staying in Switzerland for any length of time – the airport taxi rank is located in front of Arrivals 1 & 2 and a taxi ride from the airport to the city centre costs approximately CHF 60 (approximately $70 AUD).

Swiss Federal Railways have a travel centre in the Check-In 3 area where the ticket counters are open 6:30am-10:15pm. Also there are ticket vending machines in Customs Halls 1 & 2.
Regular regional bus & tram services (Glattalbahn) depart from the airport bus station, above the Airport Centre

During the winter months, coach services are available that run directly to the ski fields. Tickets are available from the Service Centre near car park P2

Passenger Services

Airport App – Zurich Airport has upgraded its app from the original 2012 version and it’s now available for Android as well as iphone. The app is free to download and offers extensive real time information for travellers regarding flight arrivals, departures and check-in, with push messages keeping you automatically updated on the status of your flight.  It’s now sporting a new design and has had some new features added:

  • Display of the current waiting times at security to allow you to plan your route to the gate more easily.
  • Interactive maps of the airport with information on shops, restaurants and services, so that you can find your favourite shop even faster.
  • Book your parking conveniently online for a stress-free journey to the airport.

VIP Service 

Zurich Airport has a VIP Service designed for passengers with high expectations of comfort, discretion and time management. There’s an experienced team ready to look after you and help you enjoy your stay in Zurich Airport, regardless of your airline or booking class.
The ‘Pleasant Arrivals’ programme includes:
• limousine transfer from the aircraft
• Arrivals made easy
• Relax in the VIP lounge
• Porter service for your luggage
• An escort through customs procedures and on to your departure point

The ‘Relaxed Departures’ programme includes:
• Guests are greeted at a pre-arranged meeting place
• Assistance with check-in
• Priority through security checks
• On request: assistance with VAT refunds and shopping
• Relax in the VIP lounge
• Departures made easy
• Limousine transfer directly to the aircraft

Transit packages and a limousine to/from your hotel are also available on application. Prices start from CHF300 (approximately $330 AUD) for the first person and CHF120 (approximately $130 AUD) for each additional person.

Shopping & Restaurants

The best of Swiss products are available at Zurich Airport, as well as all the big international brands, allowing you the opportunity to find the perfect gift for loved ones at home. Some of the highlights include Bally, Bulgari, Swatch, Atelier, Montblanc, Swarovski and Tiffany & Co. of course, there are also plenty of duty free stores in both the public and passenger areas of the airport with the usual variety of goods at tax & duty free prices. Shoppers must present their boarding card for their flight at the checkout.

If you’d like a meal in the airport there is a wide variety of cafes, restaurants and bars such as Marche Bakery, Sports Bar and Montreux Jazz Café. Some of the services available during your transit include Credit Suisse bank, Travelex currency exchange and Global Blue for VAT reclaims.

You can always find the latest news from Zurich Airport, as well as any other information you’d like at zurich-airport.com

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