A Guide to Airports in Switzerland

Plane landing in Switzerland airport

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Switzerland is one of the easiest countries to get around, whether you take the clean and efficient trains or the famous Swiss postal buses that can get you to any little village or collection of houses. The ease of travel extends to air travel, too: Switzerland has eight major airports commonly used by tourists.

Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Zurich Airport
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  • Location: At the intersection of Kloten, Rümlang, Oberglatt, Winkel, and Opfikon
  • Pros: Clean, organized, well-run
  • Cons: Expensive shopping and dining
  • Distance to Zurich City Center: Taxis to the city center will cost between $50 and $70 and will take you 15 minutes. The train takes the same amount of time but costs only $7 each way.

Zurich Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Switzerland with 31 million annual passengers. Many international airlines service this airport, which has great rail connections not only to downtown Zurich but also to the other major cities of the country. Zurich Airport offers both a train and bus service into the city center. Rail lines S2 and S16 trains take you to Zurich's main rail station in about ten minutes. Special buses, some seasonal, take you to destinations around Zurich.

Geneva International Airport (GVA)

Geneva Airport
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  • Location: Grand-Saconnex
  • Pros: Clean, organized, well-run
  • Cons: The seasonal Terminal 2 has poor amenities
  • Distance to Geneva City Center: The airport is just 2.5 miles outside of the city center. A taxi will cost about $70 and will take about 20 minutes. You're better off taking public transportation—you can get a free pass for the trains and buses in the arrivals hall. Trains take six minutes to get to the city center, while buses take about 20 minutes.

Geneva International Airport, unofficially known as Cointrin Airport, is located about three miles northwest of the city center; buses and trains provide ground transportation between the two. You can get a free 80-minute public transportation pass with no limitations in the arrivals hall. for Long-distance buses are available on the lower level; many destinations are seasonal. Hotel shuttles are also found on the lower level. All trains stop at Geneva-Cornavin station in the city center, with a number continuing on elsewhere in Switzerland.

There are two terminals at this airport: the newer, larger Terminal 1 and the seasonally-used Terminal 2.

Euro Airport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (BSL/MLH/EAP)

Euro Airport Basel
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  • Location: Saint-Louis, France
  • Pros: Close to Basel
  • Cons: Limited flights
  • Distance to Basel City Center: The airport is just two miles northwest of the city center. Taxis are expensive—about $65—even though the ride is less than 10 minutes. You can also take a bus, which will cost about $10 and take 50 minutes.

This airport with many names serves three countries—Switzerland, France, and Germany—and is jointly managed by the Swiss and the French. It's technically set in the French Alsace region, however. EasyJet is the primary operator. Buses take you to the Basel train station, as well as to Mulhouse, France, and Freiburg, Germany. There is no train service, but you can find taxis here.

Bern Airport (BRN)

Bern Airport
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  • Location: Belp
  • Pros: Close to Bern, no crowds whatsoever
  • Cons: Small airport with limited flights to only five destinations
  • Distance to Bern City Center: Taxis from the airport to the city center cost about $50 and will take approximately 20 minutes. There's also a bus that costs $15 and takes the same amount of time.

The small Flughafen Bern is located 3.5 miles southeast of Bern. It's a popular airport for visitors on charter flights heading to the Jungfrau Ski Region. The White Airport bus shuttles you between the airport and the central train station in the city center. Most visitors to Bern itself will fly into Zurich and take an hour-long train ride to the capital city.

Sion Airport (SIR)

Sion Airport
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  • Location: Sion
  • Pros: Never crowded
  • Cons: Very few flights
  • Distance to Sion City Center: You could walk to Sion's city center in 30 minutes, or you could take a $20 taxi (it'll take five minutes, but there's no taxi rank at the airport—you'll have to have airport staff call for one). There's also a bus that'll take you downtown in just 10 minutes for about $2.

Sion Airport is located 1.5 miles from the Sion, a small city in the heart of the Valais Alps near many of Switzerland's best ski resorts like Zermatt. Bus #1 connects the airport to the main bus station in Sion, which is near the train station—from there, you can catch the Matterhorn Gottard Bahn to get to Matterhorn, Zermatt, and other ski areas to the south.

St. Gallen - Altenrhein Airport (ACH)

St. Gallen Airport
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  • Location: Thal
  • Pros: Never crowded
  • Cons: Very few flights
  • Distance to St. Gallen City Center: A 20-minute taxi to the St. Gallen city center will cost about $50. There's a public bus that takes about 50 minutes to make the journey but is quite inexpensive.

St. Gallen Airport is located near Lake Constance, near the intersection of Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. It's the home airport of the small airline People's. The bus station is in front of the airport. There is no railway station at the airport, but the railway stations of Rorschach and Rheineck are only five minutes from the airport.

If you are in St. Gallen, there are frequent trains (every 30 minutes) that run between St. Gallen and the much larger Zurich airport and take just under an hour.

Samedan Airport (SMV)

Sameden Airport
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  • Location: Southeast Samedan
  • Pros: Never crowded
  • Cons: Very few flights—primarily serves charter or private flights
  • Distance to St. Moritz: A ten-minute taxi will cost about $30.

Samedan airport, also called Engadin, is located three miles from St. Moritz. The Engadin Bus takes you all over the valley, including the towns of Samedan, St. Moritz, Celerina, Bernina, and Pontresina.

Lugano - Agno Airport (LUG)

Lugano Airport
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  • Location: Agno, Bioggio, Muzzano
  • Pros: Never crowded
  • Cons: Very few flights
  • Distance to Lugano City Center: The 15-minute taxi ride to the city center will cost about $30. There's also a bus that takes about 30 minutes, but you have to walk 10 minutes to the town of Agno to catch it.

The Lugano - Agno Airport is located 2.5 miles from the city center. Shuttle buses stop just outside the terminal and run to the main train station in Lugano. The FLP train Lugano-Ponte Tresa stops at Agno station, which is just a 15-minute walk to the airport. Milan-Malpensa International Airport is the largest major airport nearby and is just 40 miles away.

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