Honeymoon

5+ hour layover...Explore the city?

We have a 5 hour and 45 minute layover in Zurich in July. Assuming customs doesn't take hours, do we have enough time to head into the city for a bit? We want to make sure we have 2+ hours to get checked in and through security.  Any suggestions if we do make it out of the airport?

Edit: I am going through the airport with my mom in April, so I will have some idea of the layout so we can get where we need to go quickly in July.


Re: 5+ hour layover...Explore the city?

  • Customs generally doesn't take forever, HOWEVER... I think your biggest issue will be with your carry ons.  Most places don't have lockers anymore so you'll have to lug them around.  Also, looking at the map, it appears as though the airport is a good 20+ minutes outside the city, so you'll have to add in that time to get back and forth. 

    If you're only fllying to another destination within Europe, getting back through the airport should be rather easy.  You should also have tickets, and be checked in all the way through to your final destination unless you are switching airlines.  So, you'll only have to get through security, which is a breeze here.  Anyway, I'm not going to vote in your poll, I just thought I'd give you some extra info about what it's like.  Our friends toured Paris when they came over on Christmas, but they had a 7 ish hour layover.
  • A couple of years ago I had a 12 hour layover at London Heathrow.  We ended up with about 4 hours in London which isn't much for a 12 hour layover.  It seems like almost 6 hours would be enough time to give you time in the city, but if you factor in the time through customs and the check in time for your 2nd flight, you might not really have much time to explore.

    Heathrow has at least one place where you can check your bags for a short period of time.  So if you decide to try it, you can probably look on the airport's website to see if there is a place like that and then you won't have to lug your carry-ons all around the city with you.
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  • Oh God.  UK is the worst.  I hate flying in/out of there and have only done it once, and that was at Gatwick.  Every other European airport I've been in and out of has been, tops, 30 minutes. 

    I think Heathrow is a pretty specific case of serious longevity.
  • I found mixed opinions:


    But I'd probably try it anyway ;)  Just set a "we're going back to the airport no matter what" cut-off time and stick to it.  I'd rather spend a an hour on the train and 45 minutes in downtown Zurich than 5 hours in the airport.  
  • Zurich is our only stop before arriving in Venice. We aren't switching airlines. We were thinking about just heading into the city for lunch and coming back (I'm a sucker for fondue!).

    I think we'll have a plan in place if we get in early or don't have a wait in customs, but we'll only head in if we feel comfortable. Maybe a restaurant will have fabulous fondue...

    Thanks for the responses!
  • hehe... :)  Yeah, I've been a couple of times (not by choice) to Venice (it doesn't say it, but I live in Italy) and oh my lord.  I just about had heat stroke.  Actually, I did have heat stroke. ha! 

    Just stay well hydrated, carry a bottle of water around with you, and wear some shoes that won't get slippery when wet from sweat.  I'm so not joking. :)
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