BEST PLACES TO STAY IN ZURICH – BEST HOTELS FOR ALL BUDGETS
Are you planning a trip to this beautiful city and are wondering about “where to stay in Zurich?“ If so, you are about to find out which accommodation is the perfect one for your trip to Zurich.
While Zurich is one of the top places to visit in Switzerland, Zurich is one of the most expensive cities – the Bahnhofstrasse, the main shopping street, is supposedly the most expensive street in the world! So, it is no surprise that accommodations in Zurich are not the cheapest.
Nevertheless, Zurich is a beautiful city and, if you ask me, one of the places that should be on every Switzerland/Europe bucket list. And while public transportation in Zurich is almost perfect, the choice of your accommodation is still important and can make your stay a hit or a miss.
So, if you have added Zurich to your Switzerland itinerary and are now looking for a place to stay, this accommodation guide can help you find the best hotel for your stay in Zurich.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING WHERE TO STAY IN ZURICH
Before discussing where to stay in Zurich, here are some important tips that will – most likely – influence your decision.
Is Zurich a Good Base to Stay in Switzerland?
Yes, Zurich is a great place to stay in Switzerland for many reasons. Here are some of them:
Culture and History: Zurich is home to many museums, art galleries, and historical landmarks that showcase the city’s rich culture and history. The city’s Old Town, or Altstadt, is a well-preserved medieval area with narrow streets, charming buildings, and numerous historical sites.
Scenic Beauty: Zurich is situated on the shores of Lake Zurich and surrounded by the mountains and close to the Swiss Alps, offering stunning views and natural beauty.
Shopping: Zurich is a world-renowned shopping destination, with numerous luxury boutiques, high-end department stores, and designer outlets. The city’s Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world.
Nightlife: Zurich has a vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and entertainment options for visitors. The city’s Langstrasse neighborhood is particularly famous for its lively atmosphere and diverse nightlife.
Business and Finance: Zurich is one of the world’s leading financial centers and is home to many multinational companies and banks. The city also hosts numerous international conferences and events, making it a great place for business travelers.
Transportation: Zurich has an excellent transportation system, including a modern airport, efficient public transportation, and numerous bike-sharing options. This makes it easy for visitors to explore the city and its surroundings.
Safety and Cleanliness: Switzerland, including Zurich, is known for its high standards of safety and cleanliness. The city is well-maintained, with clean streets, well-preserved buildings, and a safe environment for travelers to explore and enjoy.
Things to Keep in Mind When Booking Your Accommodation in Zurich
ℹ️ Zurich is popular among tourists, and it is also the financial hub of Switzerland, thus many people travel there for business reasons, too. So it gets busy.
ℹ️ In this city are some of the best hotels in Switzerland. There is a high density of luxurious hotels and not many budget ones. Please keep in mind that a budget hotel in Zurich is not comparable to a budget hotel in other parts of the world.
ℹ️ Since accommodations in Switzerland, especially in Zurich, are costly, you cannot expect super bargains. The budget-friendly places in Zurich are only “quite” budget-friendly.
ℹ️ The old town and around Lake Zurich are the best areas, but accommodation near these places is much more expensive.
ℹ️ In the summer months and in December, accommodation prices go up. If you can travel in the shoulder season, you can save a lot of money.
ℹ️ In Switzerland, you will often get a visitor card if you stay in an official accommodation. In Zurich, this is not the case!
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WHERE TO STAY IN ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
Now, let´s find out about where to stay in Zurich.
BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN ZURICH
As mentioned a bit earlier, Zurich has some amazing hotels which are pure luxury. These are only a few, and most of them are located in the city center. Since public transportation is great in Zurich, you could book a hotel not located directly in the city center, but most of these hotels have great views of Lake Zurich, making a stay there a lot better and more special.
So, here are the best luxury hotels in Zurich.
One of the most prestigious addresses for a luxury stay is the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich.
The location could not be more central. The hotel is next to the Bürkliplatz – the main boat station – and between the Bahnhofstrasse (main shopping street) and Lake Zurich. This place is best for those who like to spend their time shopping and chilling at the lake.
If you like to have more exclusivity, you can spend your days at the private garden overlooking Lake Zurich and the mountains or chill in one of the 119 luxurious suites and rooms.
While the hotel has been welcoming guests for more than 170 years, you have all the modern facilities you could ask for.
Even the fitness center comes with Lake Zurich’s view. If I needed another reason, then this convinces me to hit the gym area. As you probably know, I am not the biggest sports fan but with a Lake Zurich view…I might go to the gym.
Personally, as a die-hard fan of Zurich and Lake Zurich in particular, I could not ask for a better location: The picture with the view speaks for itself.
The Dolder Grand is not directly located in Zurich’s city center. It is less than 4 km from the Bahnhofstrasse, and the city center is easily accessible by public transportation– the tram takes about 30 minutes. You could also use the free shuttle service to the center!
One of the world’s leading hotels offers amazing views of Zurich, a spa area, and several dining options that will spoil any guest.
There is no shortage of luxury, from a single room to double rooms and suites with their own butler service.
If you want to indulge in great food, you can choose one of the restaurants to dine in. One of the restaurants has even 2 MICHELIN stars.
Those who appreciate some spa time: choose between the spa area, the fitness room (for guests, fitness courses like yoga are complimentary), or the beauty salon. Or plan in enough time to do all.
The only downside is probably that you do not want to leave this beautiful hotel.
P.s. Pets are welcome without additional charge, which makes this place even better.
The best hotel in the old town of Zurich is the Widder Hotel. This exquisite boutique hotel in the city center offers 49 rooms and suites, and the interior design is anything but standard.
Since Widder Hotel is not very modern (the hotel building dates back to the 12th century), it is not everyone’s cup of tea. But every room is unique, and each traveler can feel like a unique guest, too.
You can book your own personal coach to stay (get) fit and enjoy the fitness area, which is open 24 hours to guests.
Due to the perfect location (right in the old town), you will have no shortage of good restaurants. The hotel itself also has some good dining options. In the summer months, you can end your day with a drink at the rooftop bar.
BEST MID-RANGE HOTELS IN ZURICH
Admittedly, the prices for mid-range hotels in Zurich are quite…high. While you can sleep in some luxury hotels in some parts of the world for the same price, mid-range means from around 150 CHF – 250 CHF for a night in the heart of Zurich.
It might be (slightly) cheaper if you visit during the shoulder season or outside the city center. So here is the list of my top picks for the best mid-range hotels in Zurich.
The Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel is a 5-star hotel, but it is quite simple for a hotel in this category. Prices do not differ much from 4-star hotels in Zurich, so I have added this hotel for people looking for something more affordable luxury.
The hotel is located just a few kilometers away from the city center, making it easy to get around. You can reach the town center in less than 30 minutes by public transportation, making it a good place to stay, though it is not directly in the city’s center.
There are even some free parking spots (a rarity in Zurich).
Since it is a highrise building, the hotel tower offers nice views.
The restaurant downstairs has some good dishes for meat-eaters (as a vegetarian, my options were limited). There are not many restaurants nearby.
The fitness room comes with a view and makes up for the lack of a pool.
The lovely Mövenpick Regensdorf near Zurich is the perfect choice for foodies, as it has some nice restaurants with great food. Within a 15-minute drive, you are in the city center of Zurich or at the airport.
The hotel is located in an extremely peaceful area – it feels like a little village. Still, it takes less than 30 minutes to get to the city center or the airport with public transportation.
With 149 rooms – including some suites. This medium-sized, 4-star hotel does not look fancy from the outside but it is well-equipped.
You even have a big pool you can use and sports facilities.
If you enjoy dining at the famous Mövenpick hotels, you will be happy to know that also this hotel has some great restaurants with good food.
So there are not many reasons to leave this property often.
BEST BUDGET HOTELS IN ZURICH
Okay, there is not really a budget hotel in Zurich. Even a bed at a hostel can cost up to 80€ – a NIGHT!! It might be cheaper if you visit in the shoulder season, but in the busy summer months or in December in Zurich, prices are quite high.
So, whenever you see a bargain, do not think twice and book it right away. You probably won´t find much cheaper accommodation. Thanks to the amazing public transportation, you can stay outside of the city center without worrying about missing out.
The Oldtown Hostel Otter is located near Lake Zurich in the heart of the old town. Though it does not come with lake views, it just takes 2 minutes of walking to enjoy a stroll along the lake.
The location is perfect for those who like to stay in the heart of Zurich, with lots of action going on! It is just a stone’s throw from Lake Zurich, and there are tons of bars, cafes, and restaurants close by, so it definitely does not get boring!
To explore the city, walk or get one of the free rental bikes and see what Zurich has to offer.
Prices for this hostel vary greatly. If you are lucky, you can get a room for less than 50€ during peak season – keep in mind, it is a hostel.
There are private rooms and dorms available.
Some of the rooms are decorated interestingly and individually. It definitely is not a common hostel and a good choice to stay in Zurich on a budget.
The 2-star hotel Hotel Limmathof is another budget accommodation located in the city center. It is only 300 meters from the main train station.
Lake Zurich is around the corner, and so are many restaurants, museums, and the old town of Zurich.
The rooms are very simple, but you always have your own bathroom and do not share it, unlike some other hotels and hostels.
Do not expect anything unique or special, but if you are fine with simple accommodation that offers good value for the money, this might be a perfect choice.
MORE ZURICH TIPS
As mentioned in the beginning, there is no Zurich Guest Card for visitors staying overnight. So, I highly suggest either getting a Zurich Card or a Swiss Travel Card. Why?
The Swiss Travel Pass is a type of train pass that allows unlimited travel on most trains, buses, and boats in Switzerland. It is designed for visitors to Switzerland who want to explore the country using public transportation.
The Swiss Travel Pass is available for 3, 4, 8, or 15 consecutive days of travel. During those days, pass holders can travel as much as they want on the included transportation networks. The pass also includes free admission to more than 500 museums and exhibits in Switzerland.
In addition to the Swiss Travel Pass, there are other types of train passes available in Switzerland, such as the Swiss Half Fare Card and the Swiss Transfer Ticket. It is important to research and compare the different options to find the best pass for your specific travel needs.
In Zurich, you can use it also to do Lake Zurich boat cruises or get up Uetliberg. Also, it includes a few museums that you can visit without any extra costs.
The Zurich Card provides discounts and free access to attractions, museums, and public transportation in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. It is designed for tourists who want to explore the city and save money on their trip.
The Zurich Card is available in 24-hour and 72-hour versions and includes the following benefits:
Unlimited travel on public transportation, including buses, trams, trains, and boats in the Zurich city area.
Free admission to over 40 museums, including the Swiss National Museum, Kunsthaus Zurich, and the Museum of Design.
Discounts on city tours, and other activities, as well as on selected restaurants and shops.
It is important to note that the Zurich Card is not valid for travel outside the city limits of Zurich.
IMPORTANT: As someone who has used both, especially the Swiss Travel Pass countless times, I suggest getting only one pass. You do not need to buy both!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON WHERE TO STAY IN ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
Zurich is a great place to stay in Switzerland due to its rich culture and history, scenic beauty, shopping, nightlife, business, and finance opportunities, transportation, and safety and cleanliness. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that offers a unique blend of Swiss traditions and modernity.
Choosing the best hotel in Zurich can be a daunting task. But, with the right research and due diligence you can find one that suits your needs! Whether you’re looking for luxurious accommodations or budget-friendly options, Zurich offers something for everyone.
So, hopefully, this post has helped you decide where to stay in Zurich, and you now have a good idea about the best places to stay (maybe you have even booked your stay). I wish you a great trip!
➡️ Curious to know what to do in Zurich? Here are the best places to visit in Zurich.
➡️ Find out about the best day trip ideas from Zurich.
➡️ Check out this 10-day Switzerland itinerary
➡️Planning a day trip to Lucerne? Then check out my post on the top Lucerne activities.