BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SWITZERLAND
- 1 BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SWITZERLAND
- 2 ZURICH
- 3 BERN
- 4 LUCERNE
- 5 INTERLAKEN
- 6 ZERMATT
- 7 MONTREUX
- 8 GENEVA
- 9 TICINO
- 10 ST. MORITZ
- 11 CONCLUSION: BEST AREAS TO STAY IN SWITZERLAND
Are you planning your Switzerland trip and are wondering about where to stay in Switzerland? Then read on, here I share my favorite places and accommodations in Switzerland with you.
There are tons of reasons to visit one of the most beautiful countries in Europe: Stunning scenery, lovely little towns and villages, the most amazing lakes, and of course, gorgeous cities. Though these are just a few reasons, you will quickly discover more once you are in the country.
While it is easy to discover its beauty, it is a bit more difficult to find the perfect accommodation in Switzerland. I mean, just finding one hotel nestled among the beautiful landscapes is quite easy. But finding one for your budget (especially if you do not want to spend a small fortune) is not that easy. So, this post will help you find the best place to stay in Switzerland.
Here is a list of some of my favorite places all over the country, naming reasons you should stay in an area and giving you a few of my top hotel choices. So, whether you do a Switzerland road trip or stay in one place, these tips should help you plan your trip.
- Normally, each region/city charges an extra tax on accommodation. The amounts differ. The tax is around 1-4 € a day, per person.
- You often, not always, also get a guest card in return. You can use public transportation for free, and sometimes you get access to some attractions / or a discount.
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Swiss Travel Pass
Before talking about the best places to stay in Switzerland, I like to introduce you to the Swiss Travel Pass.
If you use public transportation, I recommend getting a Swiss Travel Pass. Swiss Travel Passes are available for non-Swiss residents and are absolutely amazing. I visit Switzerland often, and most of the time I get one – even if it’s a road trip.
- It allows you to use trains and buses without any extra costs – so basically, you can use almost all trains and buses for free.
- You can also do boat cruises without additional costs.
- It also gives you a 50% discount on most mountain rides (you can get up via cable car/funicular for half of the price, and if you follow my tips, you will need it twice), some mountain excursions – like Mount Rigi near Lucerne – are even included.
The initial prices for a Swiss Travel Pass are quite high – but it pays for itself if you get around via public transportation and are active in Switzerland for more than three or four days. So, check out prices for boats and trains and then calculate if it is a good option for you. For me, it usually makes sense as I am very active and use public transportation/mountain rides often (even if I road trip Switzerland). I also love boat rides – which means many, many boat cruises for me whenever I have a Swiss Travel Pass. Check out prices for a Swiss Travel Pass here.
Zurich is a fun city to explore and a base to explore other parts of Switzerland. It is big enough that you will not get bored, with nightlife, loads of restaurants and cafes, and plenty of activities and culture around.The city itself is home to a costly shopping street (the Bahnhofstrasse), many clubs and bars, museums, and of course, Lake Zurich. For more tips on what to do in Zurich, click here. It is quite close to the main attractions in Switzerland, like the Rhine Falls; the world-famous cliff mountain guest house, the Aescher in Appenzell; Lucerne; Stein am Rhine; and Schaffhausen.
Here are some tips for places to stay in Zurich.
Baur au Lac in Zurich
If you are looking for a luxury hotel in this beautiful city, go for this one. It is definitely a good choice. This beautiful 5-star hotel is located right next to the Bahnhofstrasse, Lake Zurich, and is close to several tram and bus stations.
Whether you enjoy the view from the hotel, relax in the private garden, or walk to the lake or the city center. You will have plenty of options to discover Zurich or to enjoy all the fantastic hotel amenities – all this is easy while staying in one of the best hotels in town.
Mövenpick Regensdorf in Zurich
This four-star hotel is a good choice if you want to stay in a good hotel without breaking the bank. It is not located in Zurich but in Regensburg, a lovely, quiet village-like area. Thanks to the amazing public transportation, you can get to the city center of Zurich quickly and easily.
Admittedly, the building itself does not look very inviting from the outside but it is actually very beautiful, modern, and friendly on the inside and offers all you need if you are looking for a peaceful stay. You even have access to the gym and a large pool, and of course, the famous Mövenpick restaurants serve excellent food!
Oldtown Hostel Otter
Switzerland is not known for many amazing budget accommodations – Zurich is one of the most expensive places to stay in Switzerland. However, I recently stayed in a nice hostel I actually liked.
It is located in the old town of Zurich – from there, you can easily reach many sights and attractions in Zurich on foot. Also, you can stay out late and do not have to worry about “getting home.” A train station is close by so you can also do day trips quite easily.
The rooms are basic but okay, and it is actually known for its famous bar “Wüste.” I have not visited the bar myself, but for those who are into meeting people from all over the world, this hostel is probably the best choice to stay in Zurich.
Bern is probably one of the prettiest capitals in the world – and the prettiest city in Switzerland. Though it is quite small (way smaller than Zurich), it is the official capital and actually a great place to stay.
Due to its location, it is THE best place to get around from – whether you head to Interlaken or the Italian- or French-speaking parts, many train connections are via Bern.
But there is a lot to do and see in Bern, too. Visit the bears that live at the Aare River, right in the heart of the city center, stroll the old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (yes, the whole beautiful town is one heritage site!), or enjoy the views from the Rosengarten on the “house mountain” Gurten – these are just a few reasons to pick Bern as your base and stay for a few nights.
Here are some tips for places to stay in Bern:
Bellevue Palace in Bern
This 5-star luxury hotel is the most luxurious one in all of Bern. Its very central location (right in the heart of the Old Town) makes it convenient to walk to many top attractions in Bern.
Its classy interior and the amazing views from the rooftop restaurant make it a perfect place for those who like to start and end their day in a top-notch hotel right in the capital of Switzerland.
Bären am Bundesplatz
This 4-star hotel is also located right in the Old Town of Bern, which comes very handy as you are just a stone’s throw from the train station and main tourist spots. The hotel is not very big (69 rooms), and you can choose between single and double rooms. It is surely a great choice for those who do not want to spend a fortune on accommodation while still staying in a welcoming hotel with a great location.
Bern Youth Hostel
Unfortunately, Bern, like many other tourist hot spots in Switzerland, does not offer a lot of budget hotels. Most cheaper options include the fact that the restrooms are shared. If you are traveling with a family/group, then you can also book a private room.
Bern Youth Hostel is located in the city center. It offers affordable dorm beds but also private rooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast is always included – which makes it great value for money.
Lucerne is probably in the top 3 most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland. It seems that all visitors are crazy about this small city that is located on the shores of Lake Lucerne.It actually does not surprise me, as the scenery is among the most beautiful around. Mount Pilatus, Mount Rigi, and places like Weggis or Vitznau make it a great Switzerland vacation area.
The city itself is also perfect for some nice evening strolls (with the Chapel Bridge as the main tourist attraction) or walks along the lake. It is probably the most romantic place – perfect for love birds! But even for families, friends, or solo travelers – it is an amazing place to stay. In addition to it, it is quite easy to get around from Lucerne – many train connections are via Lucerne.
Here are some tips for places to stay in Lucerne:
This iconic luxury hotel is the best choice for a stay in Lucerne. It is a festival hotel – meaning smaller concerts and music events take place here. Also, you will find many music-oriented details here. Though I did not experience a concert during my 2-night stay, I fell in love with the hotel.
Friendly, charming, and with a fantastic location, it is for sure a hotel you cannot go wrong with.
While the wellness part falls a bit short, the location (just in front of the lake and a stone’s throw from the Chapel Bridge) and the atmosphere make up for it.
Hotel des Alpes
I also stayed at the Hotel des Alpes next to the Chapel Bridge for two nights. It is a mid-range hotel, and the location is perfect. If you choose a river view, you can admire the stunning Mount Pilatus and the Alps. The city rooms of the old town. So, I recommend paying a little extra to see the great panorama of the river.
The breakfast was another little highlight – not only way it a good breakfast buffet, but the views that came with it were also very nice!
Lucerne, without question, is a treat for the eyes, but unfortunately, not a treat for your wallet. It is expensive. And so, this simple but sufficient hotel is a good choice if you are on a budget.
This hostel is located close to Kriens, not too far from Lucerne’s old town, and perfect if you plan a trip to the Mount Pilatus cable car station. You´ll find some restaurants and cafes nearby, and you can catch a bus directly to the train station in Lucerne.
Though the prices are much lower than hotels, you still get the ticket to use public transportation for free because you get a guest card.
If you are wondering about the best place to stay in Switzerland, I would probably say somewhere in the Interlaken and Jungfrau region.
If you visit Switzerland, you cannot – no, you should not – miss out on Interlaken. It is one of my very favorite areas in the whole wide world – it even makes me write like a teenager in love. Despite the high prices in summer and winter, I keep going back.
Its beauty is almost overwhelming. The prettiest lakes, the most stunning mountains, the cutest towns, and much more: that region has it all. Even for Switzerland, the region is expensive. However, given its gorgeousness, it is worth the money.
HERE ARE THE BEST PLACES TO STAY IN INTERLAKEN
Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
Though Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa does not look very impressive outside, it is the most luxurious hotel in Interlaken. Located right in the heart of Interlaken, amid beautiful mountain views of the Bernese Highland, this is the hotel to stay in if you are looking for top-notch service and amenities.
The hotel leaves nothing to be desired (including two pools), and if you have the budget, this hotel is the perfect choice in the perfect region on Interlaken.
Though it is only a four-star hotel, it is fantastic in every single detail. The best views, the most stunning sceneries, and the most interesting, historic interior design make this a perfect hotel in Switzerland.
Even the restaurant’s food is delicious – it is known as one of the best restaurants in the region and I must say, the food was great!
Some bad news: If you head there between April-October (it is closed in winter), this is a good choice for your trip to Switzerland (and make sure you book a room with a waterfall or Lake Brienz view).
Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof
One of the best hostels I have stayed at is the Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof next to the Höhenmatte. It is not the cheapest hostel but definitely worth the money.I stayed four nights and loved getting around easily. The rooms are modern and clean – and the views were quite beautiful. They even offered free parking (the main reason to book this hostel, to be honest), and breakfast is always included (a very simple yet decent breakfast). I only missed bed curtains to have more privacy, but sticking towels on the top-bunk bed will do as well. So it is my top tip for a budget tip in Interlaken.
Toblerone! When I found out that the Matterhorn is printed on the Toblerone chocolate, it was a real eye-opener. After all, this astonishing mountain is the main attraction in Zermatt and one of the most impressive natural wonders in Switzerland.
As a ski resort, it is a perfect destination for the winter. In the summer (prices are lower in summer for basically all hotels here) you can do some amazing hikes and explore what this area has to offer (spoiler alert: it is a lot).
This beautiful, car-free town is a bit remote so it is not a perfect base to explore the rest of Switzerland. However, it is home to many attractions – so you do not have many reasons to leave. You can also start the famous Glacier Express train rides from here.
Riffelalp Resort 2222m
This hotel – at 2222 meters above sea level – in Zermatt has probably the best location of all. Though I have not stayed there myself, this place is where I would love to splurge – looking at those pictures make me really want to stay there.
Most of the rooms have breathtaking panoramas of the Matterhorn (make sure to book a room with a view), and all rooms have a bathroom with a bathtub and/or shower, a Nespresso coffee machine, and a Smart-TV. But the outdoor pool with the view of the Matterhorn is probably one of the best facilities. It is located quite remotely – so perfect for spending some nice days in the hotel and enjoying all the amenities.
Sunstar Hotel Zermatt
This accommodation is a lovely four-star hotel. Since Zermatt is quite small, most hotels have a perfectly central location, and so does Sunstar Style Hotel.
The hotel has a rustic Swiss charm, and you can walk to many Zermatt attractions and the shopping street (mostly for luxury watches). The cafes and restaurants are just around the corner.
After Lucerne, Montreux is probably the best place for love birds. Walking along the most beautiful water promenade in Switzerland while watching Lake Geneva’s sunset is quite romantic.However, it is also a perfect Swiss destination for everyone else. Whether with kids, as a solo traveler, or with your friends, Montreux is a good option for your Switzerland holiday. Stroll along Lake Geneva, visit the picturesque Chateau de Chillon, and overlook the most impressive vineyards – Montreux might be small, but there is plenty to do and see in the area.
Eurotel Riviera Montreux
This is a lovely and friendly, four-star hotel right on the shores of Lake Geneva – which is quite handy, as the hotel has no pool and you can easily take a dip in the pristine water of the lake in front of the hotel.
The hotel itself is bright, friendly, and has a fantastic location. You can stroll Lake Geneva and have many restaurants and cafes close by. Getting to Chateau de Chillon (one of the main attractions in Montreux) takes about 30 minutes on foot (including some stops to snap pictures of this beautiful area).
All rooms come with a view of the lake (though I just got a small glimpse of it), and if you start your day with breakfast on the terrace, the day cannot go wrong!
Geneva is a city with quite a lot of history: the Geneva Conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United Nations. If you are into these things, you will enjoy them as much as I do.
If you are not into politics or luxury watches, you might not love it (but I am also nuts about Lake Geneva). Actually, I see many people returning a bit disappointed. There are more beautiful and fun cities to visit in Switzerland. However, it is a great place to stay if you want to explore the area of Lake Geneva.
As I do not have much luck with Geneva’s hotels, I can only recommend this one.
WHERE TO STAY IN GENEVA
Hotel Manotel N’vY Geneva
This hotel is fun. And stylish. And extremely colorful. So, it does not surprise, I loved it. While there was no pool or any super facilities (apart from the Nespresso machine and very cool light), the proximity to the lake (just a 1-minute walk to the lake and a 5-minute walk to the busiest part of the promenade) and the friendly and bright interior make up for it.
Whenever you are in Switzerland, make sure to visit the Italian-speaking part of the country, too. I admit that part of Switzerland sometimes comes up short in my posts, but you can believe it is beautiful! Do not miss out on this area.Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, the Alps, the waterfalls along the highways, historic castles, and…Valle Verzasca – these are just a few reasons to stay here. And on top of that, the people here are a bit louder, friendlier, and livelier. This spark of Italy makes a trip to Ticino even more beautiful.
Villa Orselina in Locarno
To date, this is probably my favorite hotel – Villa Orselina! If you want to feel ZEN, then book your stay here and enjoy dinner at the restaurant with a view of Lake Maggiore. I have never felt calmer or more at peace than here.
This has probably influenced my perception of the hotel, but since it was named the best small hotel in Switzerland, I am not the only one who fell head over heels in love with it.
The hotel has less than 30 rooms and suites. All rooms have a view of Lake Maggiore, and so does the restaurant (where you can have a fantastic dinner or breakfast) and the pool.
Whether you decide to get pampered in the spa area or take some spa time in your own bathroom (there is a sky ceiling, meaning little lights in the ceiling which you can turn on and off and which make it look like a beautiful sky with stars), or swim in the outdoor pool – nothing is left to be desired.
P.S. Unfortunately, the hotel is not open in winter.
I have fallen in love with the Engadine valley and St. Moritz. I passed it many times and liked what I saw but when I finally stayed there for a few days, it became one of my favorite areas in Switzerland to stay. There is just sooooo much to do and see – at any time of the year (since then I have visited at all seasons).
Glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, amazing road trips, and stunning train travel (including the Bernina Express) – staying in St. Moritz is a great idea.
There is no shortage of luxury hotels in St. Moritz – but I have also listed some more affordable accommodations for your trip to St. Moritz – all these hotels offer “Bergbahnen inklusive” tickets if you stay for a minimum of two nights in St.Moritz. This is amazing. Why? because you can use public transportation for free + ALL 13 cable cars in the region without any extra costs (not available in late fall and early spring). Check out my St.Moritz guide for more information.
Battrud´s Palace Hotel
This luxury hotel has everything you are looking for when booking a 5-star hotel in St.Moritz. From an extensive spa area, a lounge and bar area, luxurious hotel rooms and suites, and more. Shuttle service to the Corviglia Cable Car Station is perfect if you want to spend days on the slopes. Check out prices for the stunning Battrud´s Palace Hotel in St.Moritz.
Hotel Corvatsch is a 3-star hotel located in the lower part of St.Moritz. and only a 3-minute walk from the lake and the Signal Cable Car. Find out more here.
St. Moritz Youth Hostel
The St. Moritz Youth Hostel is situated at the edge of the forest in the lower part of St. Moritz. During the day, there is a bus that gets you to the St. Moritz train station. The rooms all have shared bathrooms, and breakfast is always included – you cannot find better prices in all of St.Moritz. Here are the prices and availabilities for the hostel.
CONCLUSION: BEST AREAS TO STAY IN SWITZERLAND
- Here is a 10-day itinerary for Switzerland
- Find a 5-day itinerary for Switzerland
- Find out about the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland
- Read more about the best things to do in Switzerland
- This post is for those who like to find out the best ways to save money in Switzerland