Zurich is easy to navigate, and a modern, user-friendly network of trams and buses covers the city daily from 5.30am to midnight, with a more limited night service on weekends. Transport works on a zone system, and tickets are valid for an hour. Tickets are transferable but must be bought before boarding; they are also valid on some boats and local city trains. The most useful travel pass is the Tageskarte (one day ticket) that allows travel on all buses and trams for 24 hours; however, tourists should use the ZurichCARD which entitles the holder to unlimited free use of public transport. Travelling by taxi is expensive even by Swiss standards, but they are safe and convenient and can be hailed on the street, found at taxi ranks or ordered by phone. Getting around by car is not recommended due to congestion and expensive or scarce parking. From mid-April to mid-October, bicycles can be hired free from various stations. Walking is also a good option in the city centre.
GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October).
Electrical current in Switzerland is 230 volts, 50Hz. Plugs are of the linear, rounded three-pin type, but rounded two-pin plugs will fit the outlet.
The official currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF), divided into 100 rappen (German) or centimes (French). Although not part of the EU, many prices are nonetheless indicated in Euros and some merchants may accept Euros. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are widespread; many are equipped with the Cirrus or Maestro system. Banks offer the best exchange rates, but it is also possible to exchange money at major hotels, main train stations and airports. Banks are open Monday to Friday.
The international country dialling code for Switzerland is +41. Mobile phone GSM networks operate throughout the country. Internet cafes are available in the main towns and resorts; some public phone booths also have internet and email access.
Swiss Rail (SBB) provides fast and efficient transport to the city centre. The station is located below the Arrivals Hall and trains leave roughly every 10 minutes for Zurich and other destinations; travel time is ten minutes and fares are determined on the type of pass and the number of city zones crossed. The Glattalbahn tram line services other nearby cities and the outskirts of Zurich. Hotel shuttle buses and a variety of public bus services extend across various routes. The airport is very well serviced by public transport.
Car rental companies include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt and Hertz.
Metered taxis are available outside Arrivals 1 and 2. The 15-minute taxi journey to Zurich costs around CHF 70.
The three terminals are connected.
Facilities include banks, bureaux de change, bars and restaurants, postal services, shops including duty-free, business facilities and a crèche. Facilities for disabled passengers are excellent.
There are extensive parking facilities at Zurich International Airport, with more distant parking lots (which tend to be cheaper) connected to the terminal building by free shuttles. Prices range depending on the parking lot. Pick-up and drop-off zones are situated along the access road in front of the arrivals and departures sections, but there is a small charge for using even these areas. Parking can be reserved in advance online.
Free wifi is available for one hour. Additional time can be purchased.