The vibrant and diverse city of Zurich is the largest in Switzerland. The city sits on Lake Zurich and even boasts its own 870 meter-high mountain, Uetliberg.
Visitors can expect to find a fantastic mix of culture, art, shopping, leisure, and entertainment opportunities and it’s the ideal destination to spend a couple of days.
Getting around the city is easy, so why not check out all the wonderful things to see in Zurich by utilizing the first-rate public transport system? Travel on the extensive network is included with the Zurich Card.
In this guide, you’ll discover the advantages of purchasing a Zurich Card for your visit to the city. It not only covers public transport but also provides discounts to many of Zurich’s attractions.
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What is the Zürich Card
Explore all the city has to offer at your own pace by investing in the Zürich Card (sometimes called the Zurich Pass).
This great-value travel card provides access to Zurich public transport in and around the city but it is more than just a Zurich transport card.
The Zurich Card is a complete Zurich visitor card as it also gives you free and discounted entry to a whole host of top Zurich attractions and experiences.
It’s available for durations of 24 hours or 72 hours and serves as a hop on hop off ticket for public transport in Zurich as well as offering added bonuses.
Where to buy the Zürich Card
The Zürich Card can be purchased online (click here to buy now) as a PDF ticket and you can print it off or use it via your smartphone.
Alternatively, you can buy a Zurich Pass from the tourist information point at Zurich Main Station or from Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and Zurich Transport Network (ZVV) ticket machines.
The best option is to buy your Zurich Card online so that you can start using it as soon as you arrive in Zurich. Airport to city trains are also covered by the pass. > Click here to buy your Zurich Card.
Zürich Card benefits
The Zurich Card not only allows you to take advantage of unlimited public transport, but it also gives you free or discounted entry to a number of attractions as you’ll see below.
Free Public Transport with the Zurich Card
The Zurich Card allows unlimited 2nd class travel around Zurich and nearby areas for either 24 or 72 hours. The card prevents you from having to buy multiple Zurich public transport tickets.
One pass covers a multitude of transport options. Travel by Zurich tram, bus, and cableway – you can even climb aboard a boat and enjoy a lake cruise.
Included cruises are the Mini Lake Cruise, Short Lake Cruise and Limmat River Cruise.
With a Zurich Card, airport to city transport is also included and if you’d like to visit the local mountain Uetliberg, Zurich Card holders can travel there for free, too.
Zurich Card zones
The transport services operating in the city belong to the Zurich Transport Network (ZVV), and the areas are split into fare zones.
Zurich Card holders are entitled to travel around Zurich fare zone area 110 and the nearby Zurich zones of 111, 121 140, 150, 154, and 155.
If you want to travel to other fare zones you will need to purchase a zone upgrade.
The Zurich Card also allows you to take advantage of the night trains and buses that operate in the city on Friday and Saturday evening.
You will have to pay a small supplement of CHF 5 for the privilege of doing this, and the supplement can be paid at ticket counters and automated ticket machines.
Zurich Museums – free or discounted entry
You can visit around 50 establishments (all are linked to The Zurich Museums Association) with the Zurich Card. Museums feature exhibits covering a wide range of topics such as art, cultural history, architecture, science, medicine, and plant-life.
Zurich Card holders receive free entry to the following museums:
- National Museum Zurich
- Kunsthalle Zurich
- Beyer Clock and Watch Museum
- Swiss Finance Museum
- Tram Museum Zurich
- Migros Museum of Contemporary Art
Admission to many other Zurich museums is discounted with the Zurich Card. There’s a 50% discount to the Kulturama Museum of Mankind and 10% off entry to the fabulous Lindt Home of Chocolate.
Football fans should definitely visit the FIFA Museum (Zurich Card holders receive 30% off admission) for an interesting insight into FIFA and the World Cup.
Zurich Restaurants – bonus offers
Sightseeing and shopping can be hard work so when it’s time to have a rest and re-fuel, there are more savings to be made. Zurich Card holders can also benefit when dining in selected restaurants in the city.
Visitors to the Restaurant Adlisberg (Address: Adlisbergstrasse 75, 8044 Zürich) can relax in peaceful surroundings and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The menu offers authentic Swiss and Zurich fare made from fresh, regional produce.
The Bierhalle Wolf (Address: Limmatquai 132, 8001 Zürich), based in the heart of the Old Town, is also a partner of the Zurich Pass. This German-style beer hall serves good hearty food and plenty of beer to wash it down with!
Soak up the lively party atmosphere and sway along to the live music.
Show your Zurich Card when dining at these venues (or other Zurich Card Partner venues) and you will receive a free culinary surprise – an aperitif, chocolates or a dessert – with each main meal purchased.
Other partner restaurants include Brasserie Spirgarten, Cafe & Restaurant Sprüngli, Panorama Restaurant Felsenegg, Haus Hiltl and Zeughauskeller.
Zurich Shopping – bonus offers
Zurich is a mecca for shoppers. Visit the chic Bahnhofstrasse, and you will come face to face with exclusive brands and swish jewellery stores.
Head to Zurich-West, and you can browse the on-trend offerings from new and contemporary fashion designers.
The city also boasts upmarket grocery stores offering tasty delicacies. If you like to shop, you’re in luck; the Zurich Card provides pass holders with a 10% discount in designated shops and stores.
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Pay a visit to the Berg und Tal Market Store (Address: Limmatstrasse 231, 8005 Zürich) and prepare to be tempted by the array of sustainable, hand-made, and downright indulgent groceries on offer, including pasta, cakes and oils.
For a mouth-watering experience, visit the Lindt Chocolate Shop, Kilchberg (Address: Pilgerweg 58, 8802 Zürich). Lindor chocolate balls, pralines, and chocolate bars literally fill this store – leaving empty-handed is simply not an option!
Those looking for the perfect memento of their visit to Zurich will find it at Zurich Souvenir and Teddy’s Souvenir-Shop. A 10% discount on present of your Zürich Card will make memories of your stay in the city even fonder.
Zürich Tours and Sightseeing
Enjoy Zurich sightseeing at its best. Take a comprehensive tour of the city and discover everything Zurich has to offer. The Zurich Pass allows you to benefit from some attractive discounts on various tours.
The Zurich Card entitles you to 50% off the Old Town Walking Tour. An experienced tour guide will lead you through the Old Town and provide a fascinating insight into its history.
You can explore the winding alleyways and pretty squares, and find out more about famous Zurich residents of years gone by, including Einstein, Wagner, and James Joyce.
A 50% discount also applies to the City Tour: Me, My Zurich and You, whilst you’ll get 10% off an E-bike City Tour, Zurich Food Tour and eTukTuk City Tour.
There are other attractions and experiences to enjoy with your Zurich Card, too. There’s free entry to Wildnispark Zürich Langenberg (Address: Albisstrasse 4, 8135 Langnau am Albis), a park situated west of Lake Zurich with lots of wild animals, including wolves.
Your Zürichcard also entitles you to a 15% discount off entry to Alpamare (Address: Gwattstrasse 12, 8808 Pfäffikon, SZ). This thrilling aqua park features twelve water slides, thermal baths, and a Rio Mare river current pool.
You can also take advantage of 20% discount on entry to Bruno Weber Park (a fantastical landscape with interactive art), and get 10% off admission to Hürlimannbad & Spa Zurich.
Zürich Card holders also benefit from 20% off rental of a Traveler’s WiFi device.
How much does a Zürich Card cost?
A Zurich Card entitles you to second class travel for 24 or 72 hours. Child fares apply to children aged from 6 to 16 (up to the day before their 16th birthday). Children under 6 years old can travel for free.
Zürich Card price
|Zurich Card 24 hours|
|Adults||CHF 27 / CHF 29*||BUY NOW|
|Children||CHF 19 / CHF 21*||BUY NOW|
|Zurich Card 72 hours|
|Adults||CHF 53 / CHF 56*||BUY NOW|
|Children||CHF 37 / CHF 39*||BUY NOW|
The Zürich City Guide App
Zurich Pass holders can now download the new Zurich City Guide App. This handy app is available in iOS and Android and is offered in four languages – English, German, French, and Italian.
The app allows you to access your Zurich Card via your smartphone, supplying you with a mobile ticket that can be used to access public transport in and around Zurich. Easy to use and convenient, you can open the app whenever you need to.
The Zurich City Guide App has a digital travel guide and offers plenty of useful travel tips. You can also peruse the handy Zurich city centre city map.
Use the app to browse up to date information on the latest Zurich travel pass discounts, and check out the Zurich card partners located nearby.
How do I validate the Zurich Card?
If you have purchased your Zurich Card online and have a digital copy of the pass, you simply need to show the QR code to a ticket inspector.
If you have a hard copy version of the Zurich Card you will need to validate it before you can use it. You can do this at a ticket machine or an orange-coloured validation machine.
Once validated, your pass is valid for either 24 or 72 hours (depending on the type of pass you have purchased).
Can I upgrade to First Class?
The Zurich Card includes travel in 2nd class on all public transport in the designated Zurich Card zones.
All SBB trains and the S-Bahn offer both first and second class coaches as do many of the boats. However, there’s only one class of travel for buses and trams.
If you do fancy an upgrade, you can purchase a class upgrade ticket from a ticket machine or at the counter.
Is the Zürich Card worth buying?
Yes! If you’re planning to visit Zurich, investing in the 24- or 72-hour Zurich city pass will provide you with an affordable and easy way to see the city.
If you don’t intend to purchase a Swiss Travel Pass, or you’d like to start using your Swiss Travel Pass after you leave Zurich, a Zurich Card is a cost effective alternative, especially when you can take advantage of the discounted offers at museums and restaurants, too.