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11 layover in Zurich

My husband and I are traveling to Johannesburg, SA in May and will have an 11 hour layover in Zurich. I would like to take a 4-5 hour tour of the city during that time. Does anyone have any recommendations for a tour company to provide that tour? Would prefer one that picks up and drops off at the airport. Also, I am assuming it will not be a problem to leave the airport and return through security?
Thanks for your help!

Posted by
7204 posts

Well if you absolutely must have a tour guide you can always go to the www.toursbylocals.com and find one for many cities, including Zurich. Here's the exact link:

http://www.toursbylocals.com/TBL/WebObjects/ToursByLocals.woa/1/wa/mapclick?region=37&area=798&wosid=1SLW2zrL3mKWMNg8hHZbcg

However, instead of doing that you could so easily jump on the train directly in the airport and be delivered into downtown Zurich in 20 minutes. Exit the station and walk the Bahnhofstrasse all the way to the beautiful lakefront. Perhaps you might might to take a boat ride on beautiful Lake Zurich if the weather is nice. Just buy a ticket and be on your way. Have lunch at the Zueghauskellar, walk into the Fraumunster Church and view the famous Chagall Stained Glass Windows and the Grossmunster Church with the easily spottable twin towers which you may want to climb. Walk back to the train station through the old town and be back to the airport for your connecting flight. Really, an 11 hour layover doesn't give you a whole lot of time, and if it were me (which I know it's not) I would rather have a leisurely stroll and nice lunch instead of a power walking tour.

Posted by
5631 posts

Deena I would suggest reading a guidebook on Zurich and deciding if there are specifics sights you want to see with a guide. With all due respect to Zurich, it's beauty is in its setting, and not so much in museums or art that you could get to and enjoy in 4-5 hours. As Tim said, the easiest way to get to the city is from the train station at the airport. But you would have to go through customs and immigration to leave the airport if that is your concern. I would think for 4-5 hours, it is worth a walk on the waterfront, lunch and a hot chocolate, some serious shopping, and enjoying the view, before return by rail to airport. You will need Swiss Francs however - not Euro.

Posted by
15742 posts

The cost of a day ticket to cover train ticket to and from Zurich and travel around the city on street cars and boats is 13.20 chf. You can also get a Zurich Card for 24 chf also covers museum admissions (one visit to the Kunsthaus will pay for itself). It is sold at information desks in the airport and includes a city transport map and list of all the other benefits. I see it also includes 10 chf discount at the Airport Wellness and Fitness Center includes "..peace and relaxation rooms." Might come in handy during an 11 hour layover between two red eye flights.

Posted by
7204 posts

Whatever option you choose...I hope it's not sitting for 11 hours in the airport. Zurich is much too beautiful for that!

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you for the info. I do like the idea of just taking the train in and walking around, going to the lake, and eating some lunch.