Zurich Airport Guide
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Trains to and from Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Zurich Airport is located in the Canton of Zurich, towards the northeastern region of Switzerland, and is approximately 12 km, or 3 miles from the city of Zurich. This is the largest airport in Switzerland, with over twenty million passengers per year, and is also a hub for Swiss International Air Lines and Edelweiss Air. Since that it is located particularly nearby to Kloten, amongst other areas, the airport is commonly referred to as Kloten Airport, and has the official airport code of ZRH. To and from Zurich Airport, passengers can use the speedy train services to travel to a variety of destinations, including the main train station in Zurich. Railway services in Switzerland are very popular as a quick and low-cost means of transport.

Passengers arriving at Zurich Airport will find two large main terminal buildings, and a third midfield terminal that was more recently constructed. The airport houses a huge array of facilities, and also boasts one of the largest shopping malls in the country. There are a variety of ways to reach your next destination from Zurich Airport, including by the S-Bahn train services. This is Zurich’s regional train network, and connects the airport to the city’s main Hauptbahnhof train station, as well as to many other surrounding areas. Trains play an important role in transporting passengers between the terminal buildings at Zurich Airport as well. The Skymetro people mover system links the new Gate E to the main terminal, and regular underground trains run continuously between the main terminals, Terminal A and Terminal B. The electric tram services in Zurich are also very popular, and some routes are available directly from the airport.

The airport’s train station, also known as the Bahnhof SBB Flughafen Zürich in German, is found underneath the terminal, below the newer Check-in 3 area. Approximately every ten minutes, a train is available to the city centre’s train station, and this journey takes about ten minutes. Direct InterRegio and InterCity services travel to Winterthur, Bern, Basel, Brig, St Gallen and Lucerne, as well as to Konstanz in Germany. Passengers will also be able to reach Munich by train from the airport, as there are EuroCity services available. The Glattalbahn tram service operates on the Zurich tramlines of 10 and 12, and also connects Zurich Airport to the main train station in the city. The trams travel via Glattpark, Zurich Oerlikon, Milchbuck and Irchel, and have exclusive use of the tracks on which they run. This ensures a quick journey even through peak travelling hours. Line 12 is a relatively newer route available, and connects the airport, Glattbrugg and Wallisellen railway station to Stettbach. The whole of route 12 is also conveniently covered by one ticket for zone 21. The tram services are available every seven to fifteen minutes.

In order to reach the train station at Zurich Airport, arriving passengers should head left after leaving Customs, to the sign stating ‘Bahn’, and with a picture of a modern train locomotive. Take the escalator, or elevator, down to reach the airport’s upper shopping area. As you enter the shopping area, there is another sign for the train station hanging over another escalator leading down to the station level. Once at the train station, passengers will find a ticket office with multilingual staff, able to provide any kind of ticket required, as well as currency exchange services. Automated ticket machines are also available, selling short range and long-range tickets. The machines have various languages, including German, French, Italian and English. Machines selling train tickets for longer journeys are usually orange in colour and a bit shorter than those with tickets for travel in the greater Zurich area, and some will take only credit cards, while others accept cash (coins and bills) as well. Ticket machines for commuters, or short range train travel are usually silver in colour, and passengers travelling to Zurich will use the postcode of 8000 for the centre of the city. Various ticket options will be provided, including a ‘day card’, first or second class etc. A popular option is the Welcome Ticket, which allows unlimited travel to and from the airport and within Zurich City.

Passengers can then make their way down another set of escalators in order to reach the platforms of the station, and the trains themselves. Signboards are available which post the departure times of each train. Take note that, in Switzerland, the public transport services are very reliable, and run according to a tight schedule. They are almost always perfectly on time; therefore ensure that you are not late for your train, tram or bus. It can be amusing to hear the announcer apologizing for a train that has left only one minute past its organized departure time!  Such an organized transport system is rarely found in many countries of the world.

The main railway station in Zurich, known as the Zürich Hauptbahnhof, or Zürich HB, is the largest train station in the city, and also in the whole of Switzerland. It is located in the old town district of central Zurich, and is served by over 2,900 trains per day. It is also home to a huge underground shopping area by the name of ‘Shopville’, consisting of over 200 shops and other business related outlets. On Sundays, it is a general law in Switzerland that there is no labour, however, this law does not apply to ‘centres of public transport’, therefore the Zürich Hauptbahnhof is as busy as usual on this day, and open for business, even though the streets of the city are mostly quiet.

At Zurich Airport, disabled passengers will easily be able to reach the train station by way of elevators. Passengers can also request assistance with boarding the train, at least an hour of their departure, from the Swiss Federal Railway Call Centre Handicap (SBB). Help may be requested from the pick-up point in the Check-In 3 area as well. Further details for train transportation from Zurich Airport is available on the Swiss Railway Company’s website, at http://www.sbb.ch.