train stations in Zurich, Switzerland

Jan 3rd, 2007, 10:17 AM
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train stations in Zurich, Switzerland

We are travelling from Portofino, Italy to a hotel close to the airport (about 5 km) in Zurich. Which train station is the closest to the airport. When I go to
Trenatalia site and put in airport, it comes up with train stations in London and when I put in Zurich, it gives many choices. Any help would be appreciated.
Jan 3rd, 2007, 10:20 AM
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Zurich Flughafen (sp?) is the Zurich Airport train station. Hbf (Hauptbahnhof) is the main intown Zurich station, where you may have to change for trains to the airport. Go to for the easiest schedules for all of Europe i've seen.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:06 AM
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Don't go to the Germans, go to the Swiss site,

Input Portofino for departure and Zurich airport as the destination. Define the date ( and the departure time.

You'll see trains come up departing from S. Margherita Ligure-Portofino, listed with all stations where you have to switch trains, until you get to Zürich Flughafen (the German word for airport).

You asked "Which train station is the closest to the airport."

The answer: The station underneath the Zürich airport itself, called, not surprisingly, Zürich airport or - in the local German - Zürich Flughafen.

Coming from Italy, you will first get into Zürich HB (short for Hauptbahnhof - principal train station), then you make a switch to a train for the airport. Its final destination may not be Zürich airport but a city far beyond - maybe St. Gallen, or Vienna - the airport is just one stop on a major train line heading east from Zürich HB, not all trains that stop at the airport are just a local airport shuttle. But it will always be marked with the word Flughafen or airport, plus any other long-distance destinations.

Where exactly is your hotel? It may be reachable by train from the principal station in Zürich called Zürich HB, on a train line other than the one that goes from Zürich HB to the airport and beyond.

Or you can take the train to the airport and your hotel will be a short taxi ride away.

On, input Zurich HB as departure and the town/suburb where your hotel is, and see if a different option comes up. Or google the website of our hotel and see if they have a "How To Get Here" link that defines an S-Bahn (suburban light rail) or other local solution from Zürich HB. If that is the case, make your switch at Zürich HB accordingly.

For example, if your hotel is in Kloten (the town nearest to the airport), you get off the Italian train in Zürich HB, take the S7 from track 21/22 and get into Kloten 15 minutes later.

The S7 runs every 30 mins (more often in rush hour), and in between you can do a two-hopper, by taking the S2 from platform 52 and switch to the S7 in Bassersdorf (arr. track 2B, depart 3B).
WallyKringen is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:21 AM
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Our hotel is 5 km from the airport. Most sites are not selling tickets yet from Santa Margherita to Zurich such as Rail Europe and Trenatalia. Do you know when they start selling tickets on the swiss site? You have been very helpful---maybe as close to just take a taxi from HB instead of taking another train from HB to the airport. I have emailed the hotel and asked them the closest train station so hopefully they will respond. Any information you can give me is helpful as you can see I have no experience with train travel in Europe. Thank you palenqueBob
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:22 AM
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and thank you to Wally Kringen, your input is very helpful
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:28 AM
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The best train connections between Italy and Switzerland are Cisalpino (CIS) trains ("chiss-alpino") and info can be found at these trains require reservations but if you are going to be in Italy some days before the train i'd just wait to buy your ticket upon landing in Italy - can do at Milan and Rome airport's rail desk and, in Rome the airport train station. Price should be the same though you may catch some online deals at either trenitalia or sites.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:42 AM
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Cisalpino trains use the leaning-into-curves Pendolino trains that have a dreadful reliability record. The Swiss are fed up with the lousy job the maintenance works do in Milan - too many breakdowns, and the Germans have switched to their own Intercity trains for the last leg from Zürich to Stuttgart.

So if you take a Cisalpino, don't expect it to be on time leaving from Milan - something that the Swiss just can't fathom with their sense of punctuality. They are working on it...

You need not worry about booking a long time ahead - when you get to Italy, go to any major train station with a ticketing window and get a ticket, all the way from Portofino to Zürich HB (Centrale in Italian) or Zürich airport (aeroporto in Italian), plus seat reservation if it is either mandatory (in Italy) or if you wish to have it (optional in Switzerland).

You can certainly find a taxi right outside Zürich HB if that avoids that last switch - you may be a bit worn out by then from having done it so many times...
WallyKringen is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 12:07 PM
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<something that the Swiss just can't fathom with their sense of punctuality>

I've ridden hundreds, literally, of Swiss trains in the past several years and have kept track of that ballyhooed and rather mythical clock-work network of Swiss trains...and i've found that they are just as likely to be late as trains in any country - in fact few seemed to leave right on time. Of course in a country the size of a postage stamp trains can't get too late i guess but i find Swiss trains don't live up to the always on the second hype. But granted they are a whole lot more likely to be just a few minutes late and not hours like at times in Italy or Germany.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 12:34 PM
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With apologies to OP kakiebell:

Bahn 2000, a project that was begun in 1987 and aimed at being in place in 2000, was a complete restructuring of the Swiss train network, with Taktfahrplan being a major component - but it took longer, only came into being in 2004 and had a shaky first year of introduction.

Many estimated connection times could not be maintained reliably, and the Takt (as in musical beat - meaning a finely coordinated and synchronized system of connections with trains at regular intervals, hourly or every 30 minutes or whatever, connecting with minimal transfer times) worked at first like a badly rehearsed orchestra - just not every component was in sync.

So if your experience is limited to the last few years you have witnessed the first big restructuring since 1845 (some called it an experiment) that took a lot of ironing out, and still is fragile because of the ripple effect one single incident can have.

At the same time a lot of the magic disappeared - severe retrenchments, longer intervals between cleanings, and on and on - it just wasn't the "good old" SBB any more, and in some respects still isn't and never will be again.

But it is functional, it is solvent within the complicated legal and financial framework it lives in since 1999, and with NEAT and the new tunnels it will be faster and more productive, and you have to marvel at the way it works: You can arrive pretty much anywhere, get off the train, and have a corresponding train (or even postal or local bus) leaving within a minimum of waiting time.

So when Pendolinos keep breaking down, sending the entire network into a tizzy - plus other unavoidable mishaps occur, and when trains arriving late at the borders slow down the synchronized system, minutes get shaved off the punctuality goal, for sure.

Bally who?
WallyKringen is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Dukey is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 02:49 AM
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kakiebell, what hotel are you staying at? If you take a taxi from the Zurich main station (Zurich HB or hautbahnhof) to a hotel “near the airport”, you can expect to pay about US$60-80 for the ride, which will take 10-15 minutes. Taxis in Switzerland are very expensive. If you tell me the name of the hotel, I may be able to give you better advice as to which train station would be better. Also, some hotels participate in a shuttle bus service from the airport, so it may be a good idea to take a train to the airport and then the shuttle bus to the hotel. The shuttle may not be free, but will be much cheaper than a taxi from the train station.
Cicerone is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 06:24 AM
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The hotel is Park Inn in Flughofstrasse 75, Zurich ruemlang Zu. I think they are close to the hotel so I could take the train to the airport and take their shuttle? I have asked on another post the name of the airport in Zurich because I am trying to get train tickets. Is it called Zurigo? I am looking on the Trenitalia web site.
Jan 9th, 2007, 06:27 AM
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>I have asked on another post the name of the airport in Zurich because I am trying to get train tickets. Is it called Zurigo? I am looking on the Trenitalia web site.

No, Zürich airport is called Zürich Airport (in english), Zürich Flughafen (in German) and probably Zurigo Aeroporto (here I guess) in Italian.
altamiro is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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>Flughofstrasse 75, Zurich ruemlang Zu

So it's in Rümlang, not in Zürich.
Then you will have to take an S5 train from Zürich main station to Rümlang. No need to go to the airport.
altamiro is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 06:52 AM
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thank you very much Altamiro, you have saved me a lot of time going to the airport needlessly.
Jan 9th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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The Zürich airport can be located on the Deutsche Bahn and the Swiss Bundesbahn websites by the simple expedient of using
Zurich Airport.

The airport is close to the suburb of Kloten where you will find several hotels that offer shuttle services between the hotel and the airport.

You can travel from Milano Centrale to the train station in the Zürich Airport with one change. There are a couple of connections that avoid Cisalpino trains.
I have ridden Cisalpinos a couple of times without delays, but my experience with them is not extensive.

Last year I stayed at the Fly Away hotel in Kloten after taking a train directly to the airport from Interlaken. Then I rode the shuttle to the airport.

Our flight departed shortly after 10:00 am. Security was relatively routine except for the most peculiar security measure I have ever encountered. Swiss security took ALL of our presciption container caps and stuffed paper into the container to hold the pills in place. I am still trying to figure that one.

As for my aritificial hip, the security agent asked if he could fee of it. I said yes. He made sure I had no gun or knife under there and said goodbye. Contrast that with the TSA procedure of spread-eagle wanding by people who look like they don't know a femur from a scapula. E.g. I set off the alarm at security. I wait in purgatory while some shuffling agent tears himself away from whatever he was doing. The man comes over and wants to know what the problem is. I tell him I have an artificial hip. He replies by asking, "

bob_brown is offline  

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