Zurich Polybahn

The Zurich Polybahn is a little funicular in the center of Zurich, linking the downtown area, just beside the river, with the University of Zurich.

The Zurich Polybahn is part of the public transport network, thus not requiring any special ticket or fare.

Zurich Polybahn Location

The easiest way to find the Polybahn in Zurich is to go to the valley station. It is located just beside the Limmat river, opposite the main railway station. Cross the Bahnhofbrücke (Station Bridge), and the entrance will be in front of you at your right hand side.

Limmatquai 144, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

Polybahn, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

It’s a bit tricky to spot the station at first however, because it looks like just a regular building from the outside. The red POLYBAHN caption is the only thing giving it away.

Zurich Polybahn valley station building

Zurich Polybahn Tickets and Fare

A funicular is usually a tourist attraction that costs a larger sum of money, but here it is included in the public transport network. It means that if you have a Zurich pass, you are able to use this little red mountain tram for free.

The best and cheapest way to try it is to buy the unlimited 24 hour Zurich ticket. This way not only can you use the Polybahn virtually free for a whole day, but also any other type of public transport in the city. Of course if you have the Zurich Card, that’s also valid for the Polybahn.

Zurich Polybahn valley station

Remember to always board the funicular from the right hand side. The other side is reserved for those who arrive from the other direction and leave the car.

Polybahn Ticket Price

In case you don’t have a Zurich pass but want to ride the Polybahn, there is also a single and a 6 ticket option. Although I don’t quite understand the latter one as it doesn’t give you any discount.

  • Polybahn single ticket price: CHF 1.20
  • Polybahn 6x ticket price: CHF 7.20

Please note that prices are valid on date of publication. For current Zurich Polybahn ticket prices check out the ‘Ride’ section on the UBS Polybahn website.

Zurich Polybahn Route

This is a very short funicular, it literally takes less than 2 minutes to get from one station to the other. Luckily the cars are running constantly, so even if you miss one, there will be another one departing in just a couple of minutes.

The most exciting section of the route is right at the beginning. The funicular exits the building where its valley station is just to cross the street behind over a bridge. This is pretty impressive both from the Polybahn and also to look at from the outside.

Zurich Polybahn bridge view from the street
Polybahn bridge

After that, it takes a couple hundred meters to get to the hill station, and the line kind of meanders among pretty Swiss houses and gardens. Don’t expect small rural houses though, we are literally in the center of Zurich.

Zurich Polybahn bridge
Polybahn switch

What to Do at the Top

The Zurich Polybahn is fun to ride just in itself. But if you get to the top, you have several options to brighten your day.

My first recommendation is to take a quick walk to the Polyterrasse and appreciate the great look at the skyline of old town Zurich with its many towers, including the Grosmünster and St. Peter church.

Zurich skyline view from the university

You can also stroll around the university area. For many people this is a great way to explore student life and younger vibe in a new city.

University of Zurich

But my ultimate recommendation is to try the university canteen and have a warm meal at a table for just half the price that you would usually pay in a restaurant. I find this being such a good trick for Zurich visitors that it’s worth using the Polybahn in itself.

They actually have 3 different prices for every food, the most expensive applied to anyone not being a student or university employee. Even by paying full price, we still had a great Tandoori Meatball for just CHF 15.50 and a Moussaka for CHF 14.50. In my opinion, nowhere in Zurich can you eat a whole meal at a table for such prices.

Zurich University canteen tandoori meatballs