generic transport image train
© Renato BagattiniA picturesque train trip through Switzerland

Swiss travel guide

Get around Switzerland with ease with our essential guide to Swiss travel – both within Switzerland and in and out of the country

Written by
Time Out editors

Zurich Airport

Zurich Airport is 10 minutes by rail or 20 minutes drive from the city. The best way into town is by train. Rail tickets can be purchased from the machines in customs halls 1 and 2. There are more ticket machines next to the SBB railway travel centre, which is below the Airport Centre in the Check-in 3 area. The SBB counters are open between 6.15am and 10.30pm. Trains run into town at approximately 10 minute intervals (1st class CHF 9.80; 2nd class CHF 6.00). The main bus routes into Zurich are line 10 to the main train station, line 12 to the Stettbach train station and line 531 to Bülach station. Fares range from CHF 4.10 to CHF 8.20, plus a CHF 5 supplement for evening journeys. There is a large number of car hire outlets at the airport and the car hire centre is in the Airport Center (level 1). The cab fare to the city centre varies, but could be around CHF 80. 

Geneva Airport
022 717 71 11

The airport is less than four km from Geneva's city centre. The best way into town is by train and the journey takes 6 minutes; trains are every 12 minutes at rush hour. The airport's check-in and arrivals areas give direct access to the airport railway station. All trains stop at Geneva-Cornavin station (city centre). Buses into the city centre take around 20 minutes. The bus stops are at the check-in level, adjacent to the airport railway station. Note that you can get a free Unireso ticket for public transport from the machine in the baggage collection area. This allows you to use public transport in the canton of Geneva free for up to 80 minutes and covers trains, buses, trams and boats in the region. Car hire facilities are located next to the baggage claim area. Taking a cab to the city centre could cost around CHF 45 and takes around 15 minutes. 

Basel Airport (Euro Airport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg)
0033 3 89 90 31 11

Basel Airport is seven km from the city centre. The airport is actually sited in France and it also serves the French city of Mulhouse and the German city of Freiburg. The Swiss bus service 50 to Basel from the airport to Basel's main railway station takes 15 minutes(CHF 4.20). The French bus service 11 from the airport to the Saint-Louis train station takes ten minutes (CHF 1.00). Saint-Louis and Basel are five minutes away by car and it takes half an hour get to Mulhouse. The French A35 motorway is linked to the airport, while Berne, Zurich and Lucerne are all approximately one hour's drive away. Many car hire companies have outlets at the airport.

The Swiss Train Service
00800 100 200 29 (free international number)

Travelling to Switzerland by train from nearby countries is a good option, given the high speed links available, but it is on arrival that rail travel really comes into its own. Switzerland has an excellent internal rail system and targets numerous discount deals at overseas visitors which are all worth checking out. There are five main Swiss Travel System Tickets (ie multi-trip rail passes) and three regional rail passes, as well as the ZurichCards, which offer unlimited public transport in Zurich.

The Glacier Express

The Glacier Express runs from between the Alpine resorts of Zermatt and St Moritz. The journey takes just under eight hours, which might make this the world's slowest express train but provides one of the most enjoyable railway trips anywhere. The train passes traditional villages and mountain lakes and its observation carriages give fine views of the Rhine Gorge, the Oberalp Pass and the Matterhorn at Zermatt. Stopping points en route include Brig and Andermatt, and the Express also travels between Zermatt and Davos. The winter season (December to May) second class fare from Zermatt to St Moritz is CHF 149.00 (first class CHF 

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