Airport Guide: Zurich Airport

The Zurich International Airport is one of the major hubs in Central Europe. As the airport is that big, an airport guide helps passengers to get around. This is especially important for Star Alliance passengers that may need to change the airplane in Zurich when flying with the national flagship carrier Swiss. Moreover, a subsidiary of Air Berlin as well as Etihad Regional offer several routes from Zurich to destinations in Europe and North Africa.

With close to 25 million passengers a year, the Zurich International Airport is one of the biggest airports in Central Europe. The three runways are able to handle about 260.000 departures and arrivals that happen each year.

As one of only few airports in the world, the Zurich International Airport is a so-called “One-Terminal-Airport”. That does mean that people may pass security at any point of the airport and still are able to get to any gate.

The Zurich Airport is sleek and modern

The Zurich Airport is sleek and modern

Also, connection flights with any airline are easy to handle, as passengers don’t need to clear security once again. Due to that and due to other reasons like nice shopping, good food and short connections, the Zurich Airport was named one of the Top 10 Airports by Skytrax for several years.

Main hub for Star Alliance carrier Swiss

A crucial information for an Airport Guide are the airlines that are relevant for each airport. In Zurich, Swiss, the flagship carrier of Switzerland, is by far the most important airline handling flights. In 2011, the airline handled more than 50 percent of all flights departing or arriving in Zurich. The second biggest carrier by this time was Belair, part of the Air Berlin Group, with less than 10 percent of the aircraft movements.

Overall a good experience

Zurich Airport is the major hub of Swiss

Nowadays, the Zurich International Airport is also important for Helvetic Airways, Edelweiss Air (both as wet lease partners for Swiss) and rising regional carrier Etihad Regional. Not to forget about Lufthansa and their subsidiary Germanwings that are connecting Zurich with all major destinations in Germany several times a day.

Most important Airline at Zurich International Airport: Swiss

Other important Airlines at Zurich International Airport: Belair (Air Berlin), Etihad Regional (Darwin Airlines), Helvetic Airways, Edelweiss Air, Lufthansa, Germanwings

Shopping and eating at Zurich Airport

Passengers departing or transferring at Zurich International Airport have the chance to enjoy a high-quality shopping and eating experience. The One-Terminal-Airport offers the unique opportunity of unlimited shopping options. Passengers that do like Swiss goods are in a very good spot as the airport offers several shops for watches, chocolate and other traditional Swiss items. Nevertheless, many major international brands from the world of fashion and other businesses also have shops at the Zurich International Airport.

Several Swiss shops are opened througout the day at Zurich Airport

Several Swiss shops are opened througout the day at Zurich Airport

Not to forget about the high-level gastronomy offered by Swiss restaurants all around the airport. For friends of fast food, there also is Burger King and Starbucks at the airport. Anyway, international passengers may be shocked by the high prices in Switzerland.

Sleeping at Zurich Airport

Whoever has a longer layover in Zurich may enjoy the sleeping facilities at the Airport. Passengers can find a hotel on an hourly basis close to the gates B/D. The rooms are equipped with comfortable single beds, a TV and a wash basin. The prices start at 45 CHF for a single room (up to three hours) and may be up to 94 CHF for an overnight stay. Double and Triple rooms are also available, shower and toilette facilities are included in the price.

The Transit Hotel offers clean and convenient rooms (Image Source: Zurich Airport /

The Transit Hotel offers clean and convenient rooms (Image Source: Zurich Airport /

Passengers that do not want to spend that much money may try one of the couches in the rest area equipped with a locker and a wool blanket for 20 CHF (up to three hours), 25 CHF (up to six hours) or 30 CHF (up to nine hours). Also, there are hotels located close to Zurich International Airport. Anyway, as Zurich is a very expensive city, the hotels come with a really high price.

Lounges at Zurich Airport

Apart from several relaxing areas spread all around the airport, guests reading this Airport Guide may also take advantage of the Family Services located a little off-the-track at the gates A and E. Travelers may also have a shower for 15 CHF (including towels and spa products) close to the gates B and D. Moreover, there are smoking lounges located on several spots on the airport. Last but not least, there are several different airline lounges at Zurich International Airport.

Swiss Lounge Breakfast

Breakfast at a Swiss Lounge

Flagship carrier Swiss offers several different lounges for Business Class, First Class and Frequent Traveler Passengers. Moreover, Emirates, oneworld and SkyTeam do also have a lounge at the airport. Not to forget about two private lounges, the Danta Skyview Lounge and the Panorama Lounge.

Transportation at Zurich Airport

One of the main reasons why passengers are keen on reading Airport Guides is transportation. In Zurich, the transportation system is easy to handle compared to other cities. At first, there is a railway station at the airport. From there on, guests can travel to all destinations in Switzerland and even to international destinations. Moreover, the tram lines 10 and 12 do offer a connection to the Zurich City Center. Not to forget about several regional bus lines which also connect the airport with Zurich and the surrounding countryside. Parking, drop off and pick up is also possible at Zurich Airport. Also, all major car rental companies are having an office at Zurich Airport. Guests that do want to travel to Zurich more comfortable may also decide to take a taxi or a limousine service. Both are pretty expensive in Zurich though.


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7 Comments on “Airport Guide: Zurich Airport”

  1. Pingback: Looking back on week 14 | travelux

  2. Worst airport on earth. I purchased duty free liquor in USA. Flight was Newark, NJ to Zurich, then connecting to Milan. Getting off the plane in Zurich we immediately had to go through security. I had the properly packaged liquor with me in a secure, tamper-evident sealed bag. I was told the packaging was not correct and the Zurich TSA ripped apart the stapled bag and confiscated the liquor. I am sure they have many parties with this illegitimate seizure of duty free properly packaged liquor. I will continue to go out of my way to discourage traveling to or through Zurich.

    The law effect 2014 is as follows internationally:

    The new TSA rules that allows duty-free liquor in carry-ons does come with limitations, though. Bottles must be purchased in duty-free shops overseas, and they must be placed in “secure, tamper-evident bags” (also known as STEBs) that are subject to screening by the TSA.
    “Technological advances may allow passengers to keep these liquids in their carry-on baggage,” the TSA said, “provided they are presented in a STEB and are able to be screened and cleared by Transportation Security Officers at the checkpoint.”

    • That sounds horrible. I’m quite sure that this must have been the agents/officers mistake and may not be a specific rule at Zurich Airport only. Did you have better experiences at other European airports?

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