Getting Around, Zurich Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Zurich, Switzerland)

Picture of the city centre of Zurich showing tram linesHome to a unified public transport network comprising many different travel options, it is always easy to get around Zurich, despite its size. Tram and bus transport is extremely popular, as are S-Bahn trains and even scenic boat trips down the Limmat River, all of which are operated by the Zürcher Verkehrsverbund, also known as the Zurich District Transport or simply the 'TVV'.

Tickets should always be bought prior to travel and the majority of all public transport runs between the hours of 05:30 in the morning, until midnight or slightly later. Do bear in mind that all tickets, apart from those purchased at a dispenser, must be validated before travel, by being stamped in the 'Entwerfers' machines provided as you board. Consider purchasing a Swiss Pass is you intend to use buses and trams extensively during your stay.

Aerial view of the Zurich International Airport (ZRH)

Zurich Airport (ZRH) / Arriving by Air

Address: Kloten, CH-8058, Switzerland, CH
Tel: +41 043 816 2211
Also known as Kloten Airport, since it is actually situated within the Swiss town of Kloten, Zurich Airport is around 12 km / 7 miles from the city centre and lies directly to the north. In total, this extremely busy air facility enjoys high annual passenger volumes exceeding some 24 million, handled by approximately 100 different airlines. Some of the main airlines include Air Berlin, Belair, British Airways, easyJet, Edelweiss Air, Helvetic Airways and Swiss International Air Lines, which offers flights to around 70 destinations worldwide. Many passengers flying into Zurich Airport find that the train is the quickest way to travel into the city, featuring a journey time of only 12 minutes. However, bus transport and taxis are also on hand if required, travelling not only into Zurich, but also to neighbouring areas, such as Glattal and Winterthur.

Zurich Airport (ZRH) Guide

Photo of road across the Limmat River

Car Rental

Despite being such a busy city to drive around, hiring a car remains a popular transport choice for many tourists visiting Zurich. Parking is usually one of the biggest problems that you will find around the city centre and many metered streets have maximum stays of just one or two hours. Unrestricted parking within the 'blue zones' is often a preferred option and day passes can be purchased from a police station.

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Picture showing tram in the city centre

Buses and Trams

A number of buses and electric trams cover a large proportion of Zurich and allow you to travel with relative ease and little expense. As with all of the city's public transport options, it is necessary to buy your tickets before you actual step on board, and also don't forget to validate them first in the punching machine. Buses are extremely reliable and almost always run on time.

Image taken outside of the train station

Trains (S-Bahn)

A regional train network regularly used by local Swiss commuters, the S-Bahn trains are also perfect for day excursions and are known for their speedy travel times. The majority of S-bahn trains pass through the city's main Hauptbahnhof train station, linking destinations such as Berne, Lucerne and Winterthur.

Taxis and Watertaxis

Taxi transport in Zurich is almost prohibitively expensive and for many is only really suitable for the very shortest of journeys. The overall price is calculated per kilometre travelled and includes a mandatory service charge of 15 percent. For something a little more unusual and scenic, why not consider a watertaxi (wassertaxi). These run from one end of the city's lake to the other, connecting a total of 15 destinations along the way and avoiding all possibility of a traffic jam.