We arrived in Zurich, Switzerland one day before our Avalon Waterways river cruise so that we could be accustomed to the time change and have some time to explore the area.
Since we planned to use public transportation, including trams, trains, and boat, plus we wanted to see at least one museum, it made sense to purchase the ZürichCARD. We purchased it at the airport tourist information counter. It can also be purchased at train stations and online on their website.
Validate Your Card
Prior to using your card for the first time, you must validate it at a machine in a train station. Since our hotel had a shuttle, we didn't need to use the card for transportation right away, but we decided to do the validation at the airport's train station. You can find an orange machine, like the one pictured, in the lower level of the train station across from the baggage claim (and tourist information counter).
Purchasing at Train Station
We met another couple, who were also going on our cruise, when we checked in at the hotel. We talked about sight-seeing together and we explained the benefits of purchasing the ZürichCARD.
They purchased the cards, using a credit card, from an automated touch-screen terminal by the train tracks. The validation rule still applied - either insert in the orange validation machine (which might be on the opposite side of the tracks) or in the slot to the left of the screen.
(click on images above to enlarge)
Benefits of the ZürichCARD
- Unlimited 2nd class travel on all forms of public transportation in the city of Zurich and surrounding region
- Free or reduced admission to the majority of Zurich’s museums
- 10 to 20% discount in various local stores
- Culinary surprise in selected restaurants
- 50% discount on public city tours organized by Zurich Tourism
- Many more discounts on a variety of cultural and leisure activities
We'll tell you more about how we used the card in additional posts.
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