Creating an airline traffic web straight in the core of Europe, airports in Switzerland are the starting points for travels throughout the entire continent and to more faraway destinations.

Several international and private airports arrange domestic flights in and out of the country. Besides the perfect flight organization, their excellent services include tasty pre-flight meals and plenty of other activities to keep you entertained during your layover.

In this complete guide, we will give you all the necessary information about your flight to and from Switzerland, and we will mention what amenities you can expect at each airport.

Keep reading and find out everything about the Swiss airports!

airplane landing in Zurich airport - sunset

List of Airports in Switzerland

Airports in Switzerland can be divided into two main categories: international and private.

Check them out in the lists below:

International airports in Switzerland

There are 7 international airports in Switzerland:

  1. Zurich Airport (ZRH)
  2. Geneva Airport (GVA)
  3. EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (BSL)
  4. Bern Airport (BRN)
  5. Lugano Airport (LUG)
  6. Sion Airport (SIR)
  7. St. Gallen – Altenrhein Airport (ACH)

Private airports in Switzerland

The country has several private airports, too, including these two:

  1. Emmen Airport (EML) in Lucerne/Emmen
  2. Samedan Airport (SMV) in St. Moritz

Furthermore, Switzerland has a small civil airportLausanne Airport.

Interesting fact: Lausanne airport isn’t used for commercial traffic. Instead, it is used for general aviation and it serves as a base for rescue services.

International airports in Switzerland

Swiss international airports are very important because they transport more than 50 million passengers per year!

As we mentioned before, there are 7 international airports in Switzerland, and in further text, we will inform you about each of them.

1. Zurich Airport (ZHR)

Zurich Airport (ZHR) is also referred to as the Kloten Airport since it is the busiest airport in the country.

The airport is located only 13 km north of the center, so reaching the city is quite easy. If you take the train, you’ll be in the city’s center in just 11 minutes.

Zurich airport is the main hub for Swiss International Airlines such as Belair, Germania, and Swiss global airlines.

airplane parked at the zurich airport - airports in switzerland
The airport in Zurich is the busiest in the country. | Source: Unsplash

If you check the busiest routes by the total number of passengers per year, these are the results:

  • London (888,876)
  • Berlin (508,589)
  • Vienna (492,968)

If you want to pick someone up straight at the arrival hall, and need parking for a short while, you can use the Arrival curbside lane. But if you are staying for a bit longer, the staff will direct you to the parks P1 or P6.

The airport offers more than 80 shops in the Airside Center, and they are open until 9 pm (groceries until 11 pm).

2. Geneva Airport (GVA)

The second busiest airport in Switzerland is Geneva Airport (GVA). It is located about 5 km northwest of the city center, so you can reach the city center in less than 10 minutes by train.

Geneva airport is used as the main hub by Swiss airlines and with Easyjet. It provides an impeccable connection with all European major cities.

Geneva airport - airport in geneva
Panoramic view of airport in Geneva | Source: Pixabay

If you check the busiest routes by the total number of passengers per year, these are the results:

  • London (2,469,786)
  • Paris (1,052,447)
  • Amsterdam (679,826)

It is very useful to know that upon your arrival you can pick up a free 80-minute public transport ticket at the luggage retrieving hall, on the left of the arrival zone.

At the airport, you get free parking for up to 10 minutes. For a longer stay, at the Palexpo complex (500 m away from the Terminal) parking is free for the first 3 hours.

Related: The most popular airport transfers from the Geneva airport

The airport offers 29 shops, 25 bars, cafés, and restaurants, a playground for children, and a meditation room.

Geneva airport is one of the best options for passionate skiers since, in just a 3-hour drive from the airport, you can reach more than 300 skiing resorts in Switzerland, France, and Italy. It is advisable to hire an airport transfer that will take you straight to your destination and in the highest comfort.

3. EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (BSL)

EuroAirport Basel is regarded as a Swiss airport, even though it is located on the French ground – 3.5 km north-west of Basel.

There are two exits to both countries, and they together run it very efficiently. If you take the bus, you will reach Basel center in less than 15 minutes.

The airport is used as a hub for EasyJet, Belair, and Euroairport, and it mainly organizes flights to European cities and leisure destinations.

airports in switzerland - areal view of basel airport
Areal view of the Basel airport. | Source: Flickr

On both sides, you can count on parking for both short and long stays. There is no shuttle bus from the parking, but in just 10 minutes of walk, you’ll reach the bus station.

The airport offers 13 bars, restaurants, and snack stops with several sit-down spots. Within the terminal are many play areas for the kids.

There are not many shops, so if you need some souvenirs, it is better to buy them before heading to the airport.

4. Bern Airport (BRN)

Bern Airport (BRN) isn’t as big as the previously mentioned airports in Switzerland. It is positioned 6 km southeast of the capital center.

The airport is used as a hub for SkyWork Airlines and Helvetic airlines. Together they run flights to destinations such as London, Berlin, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Antalya, and Heraklion.

There are no domestic flights at this airport.

bern airport - winter- mountains in the background covered in snow
Bern airport during winter. | Source: Wiki

Presently, the only year-round operating route is to Munich.

The cheapest transportation to and from the airport is the bus. It runs between the airport and the main railway station. There is no train station at the airport.

Even though is quite small, the airport has many bars, restaurants, and sporting options to kill the time.

For instance, at Charly Bistro & Lounge you may find plenty of culinary options. On a warm and sunny day, you can have a great time on the terrace and enjoy the fresh air.

If you like Swiss, Italian, French, Argentinian wines with game and fish, you can sit at the rustic restaurant Jägerheim.

For a more active time during the layover, you can go to the gym or take a dip at the amazing outdoor pool at the Giessenbad that overlooks the mountains.

Right of the terminal, you will find the two different parking zones.

5. Lugano Airport (LUG)

Lugano Airport (LUG) is located several kilometers south of Lugano’s center and is the most southern of airports in Switzerland. Its runaway spreads to Lake Lugano so while landing and taking off, you will be blessed with mesmerizing views.

lugano airport - parked airplane - rainy day
Rainy day at the Lugano airport. | Source: Wiki

Chiefly, the airport operates on seasonal and charter flights, but it also includes domestic flights from Geneva and Zurich all year round.

From the airport, it takes about 10 minutes on foot to reach the train station. Just in 3 hours, you can get to more than 200 ski resorts in both Switzerland and Italy.

The airport doesn’t have many shops, restaurants, and bars. There you will find just one duty-free shop and a newsstand. For a decent meal, we recommend you the Aviator.

In the terminal, the internet is free. Several conference rooms that provide enough space and privacy for a successful business meeting can be found at the airport.

Just 65 km away from Lugano Airport lies the airport Milan Malpensa which can be used as an alternative when needed.

6. Sion Airport (SIR)

Sion Airport (SIR) is located in the center of the Swiss alpine region of Valais, and it is mainly used for charter flights. It is just 2.5 km away from the city center.

mt pilatus - sion - airplane taking of from the airport in switzerland - castles on the mountain
Airplane taking off at the Sion airport with amazing Mt. Pilatus in the background. | Source: Wiki

Its location provides quick access to plenty of ski resorts – it is only 75 km from one of the most visited ski resorts, Zermatt. Other ski resorts that are close are Saas-Fee, Verbier, Crans Montana, Nendaz, and Veysonnaz.

The airport is quite small – there is only one restaurant, a bar, and a shop. However, you will be supplied with the basic things you need.

From the Sion bus station, you can easily reach the airport. Parking is allowed for both long and short stays.

7. St. Gallen – Altenrhein Airport (ACH)

St. Gallen – Altenrhein Airport (ACH), or, how many call it, the People’s Business Airport represents a small airport positioned on the shores of the Bodensee. The city center is about 20 km away.

Thanks to its size, it is enough to get to the airport just 30 minutes before the flight, and still, take your seat on time.

The airport is used as a hub for People’s Viennaline which provides flights to Vienna, Cologne, Friedrichshafen, Naples, Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca, Calabria, Cephalonia, and Lefkada. As you can see, the airport is an ideal launching point for visiting the Greek islands.

st gallen altenrhein airport
St. Gallen – Altenrhein Airport is great if you want to visit the Greek islands. | Source: Wiki

A business lounge with snacks, traditional specialties, and appetizers can be found at the terminal. The airport has only one restaurantWings.

The airport boasts two conference roomsEmbraer and Challenger which provide the latest tech amenities. They can be rented for a long time.

Several ski resorts can be reached from the airport. For example, Saint Anton am Arlberg is about 100 km away.

Furthermore, the airport in St. Gallen is the closest airport to Liechtenstein.

Private airports in Switzerland

They may not be the busiest airports in Switzerland, still, private airports fulfill their purpose.

Below, we will mention two of them. Keep reading and find everything about private jets in Switzerland!

1. Emmen Airport (EML) in Lucerne/Emmen

Emmen Airport (EML) is a military airfield, located northwest of Lucerne.

The airport is primarily used by the military and it is operated by the Swiss Air Force.

Besides the military use of the airport, civil use is possible but not on a big scale. To be exact, RUAG runs about 1, 000 flights per year for civilian use.

When flying to and from the Emmen airport, you can pick the window seat that overlooks the stunning Luzern. You can do it during your web check-in, and the airline may charge it by an insignificantly small fee.

Passengers are allowed to come 4 hours before the domestic flight or 6 hours before the international one.

In case you stay for the night, you can ask for the airline desk or Emmen customer care.

Washrooms and food are also available at the airport.

2. Samedan Airport (SMV) in St. Moritz

Samedan Airport (SMV), also known as Engadin Airport, is located just 7.5 km (10 minutes) northeast of the St. Moritz center.

Samedan airport in st moritz - private airport in switzerland
Samedan Airport (SMV) in St. Moritz. | Source: Pixabay

You can easily conclude that the airport is busier during the winter season, and it runs just a small number of chartered jets.

Since the airport is located at the foot of the valley, it is not provided with an instrument landing system.

The runway is very small (1.8 km in length), and it is very sensitive to weather. This airport is the highest airport in Europe and one of the most challenging due to its heavy topography, the thinness of the air at this altitude, and frequent winds.

Don’t forget to check the weather before planning a flight from this airport.

During summer, the airport is chiefly used by the gliders, the general aviation traffic, and the flight schools.

What airports in Switzerland are the closest to ski resorts?

If you want some of the world’s class skiing and snowboarding, you should start your flight from Zurich (ZRH) and Geneva (GVA) airports.

Reaching any ski resort in Switzerland is quite easy from those two major international airports that run flights across the entire globe.

From Zurich airport, you can reach the following ski destinations:

  • Engelberg
  • Anderamtt
  • Grindelwald
  • Wengen
  • Gstaad
  • Jungrfau
  • Murren-Schilthorn
  • Graubünden
  • Arosa
  • Lenzerheide
  • Davos-Klosters
  • Laax
  • St Moritz

From Geneva airport, you can have quick access to the ski resorts listed below:

  • Aletsch Arena
  • Crans Montana
  • Grimentz Zinal
  • Portes du Soleil
  • Saas Fee, Verbier
  • Zermatt)
  • Leysin
  • Villars Gryon
  • Grindelwald
  • Wengen
  • Gstaad
  • Jungfrau
  • Murren-Schilthorn)
  • Chamonix

Read more about ski resorts close to Geneva airport here.

Interesting facts about airports in Switzerland

  • There are 7 international airports in Switzerland, running flights for more than 50 million passengers per year. They are dotted through the entire country, so it is up to you which one you will pick.
  • The biggest airport in Switzerland is Zurich airport (ZRH).
  • The busiest airports are in the following Swiss cities: Zurich, Geneva, and Basel. Their airports are considered the major airports in Switzerland.
  • In 2019, Zurich airport transported more than 31.5 million passengers.
  • In 2018, Zurich Airport transported 31.1 million passengers and ran 278.458 flights.
  • The second place goes to Geneva airport which transported more than 17.9 million passengers in 2019.
  • Unofficially, Geneva Airport is also known as the Cointrin Airport.
  • Zurich, Geneva, and Basel are the major airports in Switzerland as they have more than one million passengers on an annual level.

Precisely, their engagement looks like this:

AirportIATAPassengers
Zurich AirportZHR31,507,692
Geneva AirportGVA17,926,629
Basel Mulhouse Freiburg AirportBSL9,094,821
swiss airplane - person holding a glass of water with an airplane reflecting in it
Those were some very interesting facts about airports in Switzerland. | Source: Unsplash

How to get an airport transfer in Switzerland?

Most of the airports we have mentioned offer train or bus stations right in front of the airport. In case they don’t, you won’t need more than 10 minutes of walk to reach the first bus or train stop.

If you are carrying big luggage, you can always hire a private airport transfer. After all, there are no more reliable means of transportation for this occasion.

Taxi services can get quite expensive and they usually fail to provide the quality of a ride you expect.

If you have an important corporate vent, we eagerly recommend our Swiss Limo service, and you can count on leaving quite an impression on your client.

For a reliable and efficient airport transfer, hire a limousine service, and you will have nothing but a successful experience!

Airports in Switzerland – conclusion:

Now that we have acquainted you with the list of airports in Switzerland, both international and private, it instantly becomes much simpler for you to orient while traveling in, out, and through the country.  

Related: 5 top tips when visiting Switzerland

By choosing the nearest airport, you will save a lot of time on ground travel.

To ensure you have only the best ride the entire time, hire a limousine service for your airport transfer, and keep your travels comfortable and stylish to the very end.