This analysis of the wheelchair accessibility in Zurich, Switzerland is from Summer 2022.
We took a train from Lucerne to Zurich HB (downtown), stored our luggage at the Zurich train station and explored the downtown for a few hours, and then took a train to the airport for our flight home.
Wheelchair Accessible Train from Lucerne to Zurich
The train was roll-on, roll-off in both Lucerne and Zurich, and lasted an hour. We took a commuter car, so it was quiet and we did not want to take photos. But it was very similar to our other train rides–spacious wheelchair spots and outlets for charging my scooter.
The Zurich train station is flat, open, and accessible. However, it is large –most of the platforms have multiples trains at them, and there are multiple levels of platforms (e.g., surface level, underground). It can take a while to walk/scoot from one area to the next. We found the baggage lockers, and put our suitcases in two lockers–both the lockers and the pay station were at wheelchair height.
Note: Not all of the trains from Lucerne to Zurich were roll-on, roll-off, so we had to plan for the ones that were barrier-free. The SBB website was very clear as to which ones were barrier-free and which ones required assistance.
Wheelchair Accessible Exploration of Zurich
We walked north of the train station to the Swiss National Museum and its surrounding park. We then headed back south along the river toward the Fraumünster Church and its collection of Chagall stained glass windows. Along the way, we were entertained by some swans on the river.
Tip: The church charges admission to view the windows, there were stairs to reach them, and the church was not quite open when we arrived. So, we circled around back of the church and could see them from the outside. It may not have been quite the same experience as being inside, but they were beautiful from the outside and I didn’t have to deal with the accessibility issues inside the church.
We then walked through a historic district, enjoyed an amazing breakfast at Confiserie Sprüngli‘s outdoor cafe, and then walked along the high-end shopping district of Bahnhofstrasse all the way back to the train station.
Overall, the sidewalks were wide, generally flat, and smooth. This was particularly true along the waterfront. Curb cuts were prevalent. There were some sections of cobblestone, but they were relatively smooth and more passable than other cities.
Note: We did not take public transportation, but we observed that some of the tram stops on the Banhofstrasse were not accessible–there were significant gaps between the tram and the platform. Further research should be done before relying on the transit system.
We then retrieved our bags and took the train to the airport. I was happy with the wheelchair accessibility in Zurich–very similar to Lucerne.
LAF Cable Car
We did not have time to ride the LAF Cable Car, which goes into the mountains surrounding Zurich for a gorgeous vantage point. But they had confirmed prior to our visit that their cable cars/gondolas could accommodate my scooter. They informed me there is a ramp near the rear exit, which is located on the right side of the valley station. They assured me there were signs for this as well. The best contact for them was email@example.com.