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.
[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]
Zürich Card – Your city travel pass
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. It also gives you free and discounted entry to a whole host of top Zurich attractions and experiences.
Where can I buy the Zurich 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.
What public transport can I use with the Zurich Card?
The Zurich Pass allows unlimited 2nd class travel around Zurich and nearby areas for either 24 or 72 hours. The pass 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.
The transport services operating in the city belong to the Zurich Transport Network (ZVV), and the areas are split into fare zones. Zurich Pass 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.
Pass holders can also use their Zurich Card to travel from the airport to the city, and a couple of additional excursions are thrown in for good measure. Cardholders can take a trip on the Felsenegg cable car and pay a visit to the impressive Uetliberg Mountain.
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.
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).
How much Does a Zurich Card cost?
A Zurich Pass 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.
Zurich Card price:
Can I upgrade to First Class?
You can choose to travel by first or second class on SBB trains and the S-Bahn. Some boats also have a class system in operation. 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.
GET SWITZERLAND TRAVEL TIPS, NEWS, SPECIAL OFFERS AND INSPIRATION DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX EVERY MONTH. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!
Which attractions are free or discounted with the Zurich Card?
The Zurich Pass 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.
Zurich: What to do and where to go with your pass
Enjoy reductions and discounts as you explore Zurich. You can use your pass at selected:
Visit around 50 establishments; all are linked to The Zurich Museums Association (VZM). Visitors can immerse themselves in the exhibits, enjoying topics such as art, cultural history, architecture, science, medicine, and plant-life.
Take a stroll around the Alterthümer-Magazin (Sihlamtsstrasse 4, 8001 Zürich) and get a feel for the city’s style and typical interior design. More than a mere furnishing store, Alterthümer-Magazin features rare and historical household items such as lamps and kitchen appliances.
The Zurichcard also entitles you to a 30% discount off entry to FIFA World Football Museum (Address: Seestrasse 27, 8002 Zürich). A great experience for soccer enthusiasts, the museum gives you an interesting insight into FIFA and the World Cup.
Marvel at the original FIFA World Cup™ Trophy and browse over 1,000 items of memorabilia, such as national football shirts. There’s a bar serving refreshments and a shop at the FIFA World Football Museum, too.
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 Pass Partner venues) and you will receive a free culinary surprise with each main meal.
Shops and Stores
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.
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). The smell of chocolate permeates the air as the Lindt and Sprüngli’s production plant is based nearby!
Lindor chocolate balls, pralines, and chocolate bars literally fill this store – leaving empty-handed is simply not an option!
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.
There are other attractions and experiences to enjoy with your Zurich Pass, 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).
The new Zurich City Guide App
Zurich Pass holders can now download the new Zurich City Guide App. This handy appis 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.
Is the Zurich Pass 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.