Zurich may be the biggest city in Switzerland. However, it’s not a very large city. As a tourist, you are able to explore pretty much everything by foot. Yet, the public transportation system is very decent as well. There are trains, trams, buses, taxis and even some boats that are connecting different parts of Zurich with each other. Transportation in Zurich is an experience in itself.
When we are working on our transportation guides, we usually focus on trams, buses and taxis. In Zurich, it’s also worth a mention that the regional transportation system (the “S-Bahn”) is pretty much perfect. With more than 30 lines, all cities around Zurich are connected with the biggest city in Switzerland.
Even cities further away like Aarau, Schaffhausen or Stein am Rhein may be reached with one of the several S-Bahn trains. This is especially great for tourists as you are able to visit multiple cities at once when using the transportation system of Zurich efficiently! It’s also worth a mention that S-Bahn and regional trains are connecting the Zurich airport with the city center.
Not only the S-Bahn network, but also the tram network of Zurich is very extensive. There are 15 lines that are mainly operating in the city center. However, some trams are also connecting the center of Zurich with more detached villages around the city and though support the S-Bahn lines. The stations “Hauptbahnhof”, “Central”, “Bellevue” and “Paradeplatz” are the most important interchange stations.
Only tram line 12 is passing neither of the above. For travelers arriving by plane, line 10 is of huge importance. It connects the airport with the city center. Tickets for trams are available at pretty much all stations. Single tickets cost 2.60 CHF (~2.50 Euro / 2.65 US-Dollar) at the moment and are a valid for a ride of 30 minutes.
Additionally to the many tram and S-Bahn lines, the city of Zurich uses buses to connect different parts of the city that are not connected to the network. Most of the buses operating in and around Zurich are very environmental friendly and may be accessed on the ground level.
Bus lines usually got three numbers and have electronic displays showing the destination (many also got screens that give information about all stops on the route in the inside of the bus). Buses, trams and S-Bahn trains may be used with the same kind of ticket if you buy a day ticket or any other kind of long-term ticket.
As the public transportation system in Zurich is very efficient, not many tourists use taxis to get from one point to another in Zurich. The price for a taxi ride may be another criteria why many people decide against choosing that means of transportation.
Taxi fares in Zurich usually start at 6.50 CHF (~6.20 Euro / 6.70 US-Dollar), every further kilometer is charged 4 CHF (~3.85 Euro / 4.10 US-Dollar). Due to these fares, taxi rides in Zurich are very expensive. However, pretty much all taxis are very safe, convenient and modern.
Unquestionably, Zurich got one of the most efficient transport systems in the whole world even though it does not have underground trains. Yet, there are also some special means of transportation that may not be the most efficient, but very interesting for tourists anyway. As Zurich is located right at the Zurich Sea, there are several boat lines operating on a regular schedule.
These are part of the public transport and may also be accessed with the same ticket (depending on the zones you bought). Most villages at the Zurich Sea that you may reach by boat can also be reached with a train. However, the boat ride may be way more special, so be sure to not forget about this very special means of transport that is part of the regular transportation system in Zurich.