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Where to Stay in Zurich: Ultimate Guide for First time Visitors


Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Choosing a place to stay in Zurich isn’t easy if you’re not acquainted with the city’s layout and landmarks. But I can help you figure it out with this detailed guide on all the best places to stay in Zurich. From the busy and historic Old Town to the residential and quiet Enge, Zurich has a perfect neighborhood for everyone. You’ll find a suitable hotel whether you want to be in the center of action, or a little further away but still close to the top landmarks. 

Best Places to Stay in Zurich

Best places to stay in Zurich

One of the great things about Zurich is that the city has an excellent network of public transport, which is very easy to navigate. Even if you choose to stay in an area that’s not centrally located, you won’t be more than 15 minutes from Bahnhofstrasse. 

The areas mentioned here are great for everyone, whether it’s your first or tenth time in the city. So, let’s take a look together at all the best places to stay in Zurich! 

Why You Should Listen To Me

Why should you trust me with these recommendations? Because I know Zurich like the back of my hand and am very well acquainted with the city’s attractions. And because I research a lot of hotels before I prepare for a trip, and I enjoy sharing what I’ve uncovered. Combine that with Dave and Deb’s knowledge after a few visits and you can be sure we know this city.

I’ve included only top-rated hotels in this guide, which will enhance your experience of the Swiss city. No matter which hotel you choose, you will enjoy quality service, clean rooms, and easy access to Zurich’s best attractions. 

Where to Stay in Zurich For Fun

Best Zurich Hotels

It’s a big city with lots of neighborhoods and countless hotels; however, Zurich’s city center is walkable, and most of the city’s best attractions are close to one another. That’s why the central part of the city is the best option for first-time visitors who want to be in the center of action. But it can get quite busy, especially in the peak season, so I’ve also included less central options with fewer crowds. 

It doesn’t matter if you book a hotel at Bahnhofstrasse or one near the airport – you’ll never be more than 20 minutes away from central Zurich by train or tram. Also, the location doesn’t even matter that much in terms of the price point; everything is expensive in Zurich, and hotels were never an exception.  

Don’t Have Time To Read The Full Article?

It’s fine if you don’t want to read everything I’ve got to say about the best hotels in Zurich. Here’s a quick summary of the best places to stay in the Swiss city: 

Where We Stayed 

Where to stay in Zurich Our Hotel

We stayed in Hotel Florhof in the Zurich Old Town and we loved it. Everything was close by and we barely had to use the trams and buses. Unfortunately, the hotel is closed at the moment for renovations, but I can recommend our second-best option in a similar price range – Hotel Alexander Zurich Old Town. 

It’s even closer to the top Zurich landmarks but features a different decor style. It’s only 5 minutes from the train station and 10 minutes from Grossmunster, plus the rooms offer nice views of the Zurich cityscape.

District 1 (Altsdadt & City): Our Recommendation

Where To Stay in Zurich District 1 Altsdadt & City

District 1 is the central area of the city, stretching from Zurich’s main train station in the north down to Lake Zurich in the south. It’s the heart of the city with most of Zurich’s best landmarks and attractions, which makes it the perfect destination for first-time visitors to the city. 

An upside of such a central location is that all the top landmarks in Zurich are within walking distance from your hotel. And beautiful views of Zurich’s rooftops and Lake Zurich stretch from most hotel rooms.

However, a downside of District 1 is that even the cheapest hotels are expensive, but that can be said about virtually anything in Zurich. 

Historic churches, the iconic Bahnhofstrasse, and some of the best museums in the city are all situated in this neighborhood. And so are all the best restaurants and cafes. Whether you want to spend your days roaming around the city streets or shopping endlessly, this is an excellent part of the city. 

Where to stay in Zurich District 1 near churches

Pros and Cons of District 1

Pros: 

Walking distance to all historic landmarks in Zurich  A wide variety of accommodation options Lots of cafes, restaurants, and bars

Cons: 

Expensive accommodation  Restaurants and cafes are pricey  Busy and crowded most of the time

Highlights of Staying in District 1

Highlights of staying in District 1 Bahnhofstrasse

District 1 of Zurich encompasses Lindenhof, the Old Town, and the City neighborhoods. All the best historic landmarks of Zurich are situated here, so there are plenty of highlights of staying in this part of the city. 

Grossmunster and Fraumunster: Grossmunster and Fraumunster are the two most famous churches in Zurich’s City Center. The former is on the right bank of the Limmat River, recognizable for its twin clock towers. And the latter sits on the left river bank and attracts the eye with the green roof of its tower.  Zurich Opera House: The Opera House in Zurich is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. Known for its neo-Baroque architectural style, the interior of the building boasts stunning paintings and lavish decorations throughout.   Bahnhofstrasse: Bahnhofstrasse is the iconic shopping street that stretches throughout Zurich old town, from the train station down to Lake Zurich. It is lined with shops on either side, and it’s the perfect place for some (window) shopping and sightseeing in Zurich.  Swiss National Museum: Situated in the northern end of District 1, the Swiss National Museum is the best destination in the city for anyone who wants to learn more about Swiss history and traditions. If you can only visit one museum while you’re in Zurich, make it this one.  Old Botanical Garden: Having fun in Zurich doesn’t have to break the bank. The Old Botanical Garden in the Zurich Old Town is an attraction anyone can visit for free. Featuring an octagonal palm house and an impressive collection of medicinal plants, it’s one of the best attractions in the city, accessible to everyone.  

Best Places to Stay in District 1 

From hostels to the best Zurich hotels, District 1 is a neighborhood where anyone can find suitable accommodation. Just keep in mind that even the cheapest hotels in Zurich are expensive, and this city really isn’t friendly to travelers on a tight budget. 

Old Town Zurich, City, and Lindenhof are the three main neighborhoods in District 1. Any one of them is a good place to base yourself, with easy walking distance from Zurich’s most popular landmarks to the best bathing spots on Lake Zurich and the Limmat River. 

Green Marmot Capsule Hotel Zürich

Green Marmot Capsule Hotel Zürich – For travelers on a tight budget, there’s hardly a better option in Zurich than the Green Marmot Capsule Hotel. The only cheaper option is a traditional hostel, and even those have the same price but you’re staying in a bunk bed in a dormitory as opposed to a more private space. 

Green Marmot Capsule Hotel is a budget hotel in the heart of Zurich, situated just a couple of minutes from Grossmunster. It’s modeled after Japan’s capsule hotels, and every guest gets their own private space, no matter how small it might be. 

You can’t stand up straight in your capsule, but that shouldn’t matter. It features a bed, a small nightstand, and an outlet to charge your phone. You must book a capsule with a locker if storage is important to you. The hotel is organized similarly to a hostel with female and mixed dormitories, but the capsules feel much more private than bunk beds. 

Shared spaces at the capsule hotel include a mini-kitchen in the lobby, bathrooms, and balconies. For 52 CHF per night, there’s hardly a better deal for solo travelers in Zurich. See reviews and availability.

Hotel Alexander Zurich Old Town

Hotel Alexander is in the Zurich Old Town, on the right bank of the Limmat River. It’s just five minutes away from St. Peter’s church and square in the heart of Zurich, and just six minutes from the Zurich HB train station. 

The hotel rooms are sleek and modern, with either twin or double beds. It’s worth noting that the rooms with twin beds are more affordable, starting at just 220 CHF per night in the off-season. That’s a really good deal for a hotel with such a central location in Zurich, especially since breakfast is also included in the price. 

Every room has an ensuite bathroom with either a shower or a bath and a designated workspace. It’s my favorite option for a December trip to Zurich because it’s right next to the Christmas market stalls. See rates and availability.

Widder Hotel

Widder Hotel – There’s no shortage of luxury hotels in Zurich, but few are as amazing as the Widder Hotel. With a central location, very spacious rooms, and opulent decor, this is by far one of the best hotels in the heart of Zurich. 

Situated just below Lindenhof and a stone’s throw away from Bahnhofstrasse, this fabulous hotel is the best option for travelers who want to be pampered while in Zurich. All rooms feature designer furniture, extravagant details, and either a walk-in shower or a bathtub. An ensuite bathroom stocked with luxury toiletries is a given. 

With a starting nightly rate of 800 CHF, this is undoubtedly one of the most exclusive hotels in Zurich. The Executive Suite is by far the best room in the hotel, with a private rooftop terrace that offers the best view of Zurich’s rooftops. Check rates and availability here.

Zurich West / Industriequartier – Best For Nightlife 

Best Area To Stay in Zurich For Nightlife Zurich West Industriequartier

Zurich West, Aka Industriequartier is the former industrial area of the city. The neighborhood has been transformed over the years, and nowadays it’s a hip and trendy locality that attracts young professionals. Even its name is starting to change, as more people are calling it Zurich West instead of Industrieqartier or District 5. 

This part of Zurich is ideal for young adults, particularly those who are interested in experiencing the nightlife in Zurich. In addition to the bars and clubs, many thrift stores and art galleries are also found in this part of the city. 

Zurich West is just 15 minutes from the Zurich Old Town by tram, which stops at multiple places throughout the entire neighborhood. With an excellent public transport connection, loads of trendy cafes, and quite a few affordable hotels, it’s easy to see why this district appeals to the younger crowds. 

Nightlife in Zurich West  Industriequartier

Pros and Cons of Staying in Industriequartier

Pros: 

Affordable hotels  Easy access to the city center with public transport Excellent nightlife 

Cons: 

No luxury hotels  Not within walking distance of historic landmarks There aren’t many tourist attractions in the neighborhood

Highlights of Staying in Industriequartier

Highlights of staying in Zurich West Freitag Tower

Zurich West or Industrieqartier isn’t home to many historic attractions. But it is home to some newer staple landmarks in Zurich, including a market underneath a viaduct and a tower made up of shipping containers. The attractions here are trendy and fun, just like the crowd they attract. 

Zurich Design Museum: Zurich has two Design Museums and both are in Industriequartier. With an exhibit that showcases the evolution of design over the centuries on everyday objects and artwork, the museum is a must for all design lovers in Zurich.  Freitag Tower: Freitag is a store that sells bags and accessories. It’s situated at the bottom of a tower, which is entirely made up of shipping containers, and an homage to the neighborhood’s former glory. Even if you’re not looking to buy a bag, it’s worth it to stop by the tower because it’s become an iconic landmark in Zurich West.  Market Hall: Shopping at the Market Hall in Industriequartier is a unique experience in this city and a must if you want to take home some delicious Swiss cheese. Local farmers and food vendors have set up shop at the market, which sits underneath the Zurich viaduct. The isles are arranged around the viaduct, with shelves leaning on the stone bridge.  Oberer Letten Outdoor Pool: With a diving platform, sun terraces, and swimming facilities, this outdoor pool is the place to be on a hot summer’s day in Zurich. Play beach volleyball and go for a Swim in the Limmat River to experience how the locals relax after work in Zurich. 

Best Places to Stay in Industriequartier

The hotels in Industriequartier are much more affordable than those in central Zurich. You can even find five-star hotels for 150 CHF per person, which is a surprisingly good deal for Zurich. Especially considering that the entire neighborhood is connected to the center with trams and trains, and you’re never more than 15 minutes away from the heart of the city. 

This area is particularly popular with couples and solo travelers. It’s one of the best neighborhoods in Zurich for travelers on a tight budget, both because of the cheaper hotels and more affordable shopping opportunities. 

ibis Zürich City West

Ibis Zurich City West is a nice, affordable hotel in the center of Industriequartier. Just don’t confuse it with Ibis Budget – although they’re in the same building, they’re two separate hotels. The price difference is minimal, but the service and amenities are much better at the standard Ibis hotel. 

For approximately 130 CHF per night, you get a room with twin beds, a desk, an ensuite bathroom, and a TV. That’s a really good deal, considering a hostel in central Zurich is only 10 CHF more per person. All guests also have access to free Wi-Fi. 

The location of the hotel is great. It’s directly opposite the Technopark tram station, which will take you to Zurich HB in just 10 minutes. Bahnhofstrasse is 10-15 minutes by public transport, so all the best attractions in Zurich are easily accessible from the Ibis Zurich City West Hotel. Check here for rates and availability.

Züri by Fassbind

Zuri by Fassbind is a four-star hotel with sleek and modern rooms. For approximately 160 CHF per night (for two travelers), you get a decent-sized room with a double bed, a private bathroom, a seating area, and a desk. All the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, but the views aren’t that great. 

What makes this hotel stand out is that all the guests have access to the sauna and fitness facilities, free of charge. There’s also a business corner with a printer, perfect for travelers who need to do some work while staying in Zurich. 

The location of the Zuri by Fassbind Hotel is excellent. It’s right next to the Escher-Wyss-Platz transit station, which is connected to central Zurich by busses and trams. It’s just 15 minutes away from Bahnhofstrasse and 20 minutes from the airport. See rates and reviews here.

Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel

Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel is in the center of Zurich West, just steps away from the neighborhood tram line. The hotel is in the Mobimo Tower, and the rooms on the higher floor offer fabulous views of Zurich’s skyline and the mountains in the background. Zürich Hardbrücke train station is just 5 minutes from the hotel. 

All the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, ensuite bathrooms, a flat-screen TV with Chromecast, and a coffeemaker. The five-star hotel is a great option for couples, families, and business travelers. There’s a gym on the 15th floor, where guests can workout while enjoying sweeping views of Zurich. 

Rooms at the Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel start at 235 CHF for a basic room on the lower floor, without breakfast. Rooms on higher floors with breakfast in the hotel restaurant go for 305 CHF per night, which is a good deal for a five-star boutique hotel in Zurich. Check rates and availability here.

Enge: Best For Families And Proximity To Parks 

Best Places to stay in Enge Area in Zurich

With sprawling public parks, mesmerizing views of Lake Zurich, and easy access to Uetliberg, Enge is the best part of Zurich for travelers who are more interested in the city’s natural landmarks. Also, Enge is a more residential area of Zurich, so a good location if you want to avoid the crowds and noise of the city center. 

That’s not to say that Enge doesn’t have any must-see landmarks or attractions. Some of the city’s best museums are situated in this part of Zurich, including both Museum Rietberg and the Fifa World Football Museum. 

Excellent hotels and easy access to the city center are what make Enge a great place to base yourself during a first-time trip to Zurich. You’ll spend less on accommodation, have access to great restaurants where the locals actually eat, and all the while you’re just a five-minute train ride from the historic heart of Zurich. 

Where to stay in Zurich Enge Neighborhood near Parks 

Pros and Cons of Staying in Enge

Pros: 

Great for staying in private apartments A more quiet part of Zurich  Easy access to parks and green spaces

Cons: 

Not centrally located  Fewer bars and clubs  Not as many historic attractions 

Highlights of Staying in Enge

Highlights of staying in Enge, Zurich Uetliberg

Enge is home to several very popular museums, but they’re not the main reason to stay in the city. Instead, stay in this neighborhood for its vast public parks and easy access to Lake Zurich, with several designated swimming areas and marinas. 

Fifa World Football Museum: A museum with more than 1,000 exhibits on football is a must for anyone who loves the sport. The museum’s collection includes everything from players’ jerseys to a preserved football from the 15th century. The Fifa World Football Museum is right next to the Enge train station, for easy access from other parts of Zurich.  Lake Zurich: Any part of Zurich offers easy access to the namesake lake, but Enge borders it entirely in the east. With beaches, lakefront parks, designated swimming areas, and marinas, Enge is the perfect neighborhood for travelers who enjoy staying close to water and want to wake up to fabulous views of Lake Zurich.  Museum Rietberg: Situated at the vast Rieterpark, Museum Rietberg is known for its excellent collection of non-European artworks. It’s the only such museum in Switzerland, and a must if you want to see some spectacular art from Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.  Uetliberg: Bordering the lower foothills of Uetliberg, Enge offers easy access to Zurich’s home mountain. Travelers interested in hiking trails and rides in mountain trains will love that this Zurich neighborhood offers such easy access to the local summit. 

Best Places To Stay In Enge

Enge is an upscale area of Zurich, so it has plenty of high-end hotels that offer premium services and amenities. You won’t find too many budget hotels or hostels in this district, but you will find plenty of private apartments. 

This is a more residential city area, which makes it a great place to stay for travelers who prefer having an entire apartment to themselves, as opposed to just a hotel room. And with excellent public transport connections, you’re always 15 minutes away from the heart of Zurich. 

Residence Mutschellen

Residence Mutschellen is an apartment hotel perfect for families and couples in Zurich. It’s close to a vast park popular for cycling and hiking, making this budget hotel an excellent option for travelers who want to engage in outdoor activities. 

Apartment options at the hotel range from a small studio to a family suite. Even the smallest studios have a kitchenette, and that’s one of the main reasons why this apartment hotel is excellent for travelers on a tighter budget in Zurich. Eating at restaurants is pricey in the Swiss city, and if you can prepare your own meals, you can save a lot of money. 

The most affordable apartments go for 175 CHF per night, which is a good deal for two adults. It’s not that much more expensive than budget hotels in Zurich city center, and you can’t even begin to compare the amenities available at apartments in Residence Mutschellen. Every apartment at this hotel has a bathroom, kitchenette, and high-speed internet. 

Engimatt City & Garden Hotel

The Enigmatt City & Garden Hotel is a four-star modern and trendy hotel in the western part of Enge. It’s close to Rieterpark and just two minutes from a tram station, which will take you to Bahnhofstrasse in about 10 minutes. The location is great for travelers who want to be in a more peaceful part of Zurich, but still have easy access to the city attractions. 

One thing I like about this hotel is that all the rooms have balconies, usually with a view of the hotel garden. And most rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, which let in a lot of light and allow you to enjoy some beautiful vistas from the comfort of the hotel bed. 

And it is a very comfortable bed! All the rooms also feature an ensuite bathroom, ironing facilities, a desk, and a coffee machine. For 260 CHF per night, this is one of the better mid-range hotels in Zurich. 

Park Hyatt Zurich

Park Hyatt Zurich is situated in the northern area of Enge, bordering the city center of Zurich. The luxury hotel offers easy walking access to all the most famous landmarks in the city, while still being far enough from the crowds and noise of the city center. 

Hotel rooms are spacious, featuring extra large double beds even in the most affordable rooms. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms with marble countertops, a rain shower, and a marble bathtub. And they’re all spotless. 

Rooms at this fabulous hotel start at around 600 CHF per night. But that’s the non-refundable rate without breakfast. With breakfast and the option of free cancellation, the rates rise to 760 CHF per night, which is close to the prices of hotels in central Zurich. See here for rates and availability.

Frequently Asked Questions

People also ask these questions about where to stay in Zurich

What Is The Best Area To Stay In Zurich? 

The best area to stay in Zurich is District 1 in the city center. It includes Lindenhof, the Old Town, and the City neighborhoods, for easy access to all the best attractions and landmarks in the city. 

What Is The Most Scenic Part of Zurich? 

The most scenic part of Zurich is Uetliberg Mountain, including the train ride up to the summit. The Uetliberg Lookout Tower offers sweeping views of Lake Zurich and the city’s skyline. 

The most popular street in Zurich is Bahnhofstrasse. The central city street stretches from the city’s main train station, through the heart of the old town, and down to Lake Zurich. 

Is Zurich Walkable? 

Yes, Zurich is a highly walkable city. Many of its best attractions and landmarks are easy walking distance from one another, and the central part of the city is mostly flat, except for Lindenhof. 

Where Not To Stay In Zurich

There’s no bad place to stay in Zurich, at least in terms of safety and access to attractions. Maybe you should avoid hotels along Langstrasse if you don’t like crowds and noise, as this is one of the best areas in the city for parties and nightlife. But if you plan to go out quite a bit while you’re in Zurich, then Langstrasse might be perfect for you. 

Also, I wouldn’t recommend staying near the Zurich airport. The hotels aren’t that much cheaper than those in the center, and the commute to central Zurich every day is a bit of a hassle. If you go shopping and want to leave your bags at the hotel, or just want to stop by your room for a quick refresh in between sightseeing sessions, you’ll have to jump on the train and lose at least 40 minutes in the commute. 

Geography of Zurich 

The Geography in Zurich

The central area of Zurich is split by the Limmat River, and the old town stretches across both river banks. The city center is expansive and mostly flat, at least by Swiss standards. Most tourist attractions are situated in the central area, just a short stroll from one another. But there are a few other places worth visiting outside the old town, and they’re all accessible by public transport. 

I can’t talk about the geography of Zurich without mentioning Lake Zurich and Uetliberg – the city’s namesake lake and home mountain. Both are stunning natural attractions you can’t miss when you visit Zurich and offer additional ways of enjoying your time in this wonderful city.

Great Zurich Views from Uetliberg

Another thing that makes Zurich a great destination for everyone is easy access to natural landmarks and outdoor adventures. Hiking trails lead from the city center to the top of the local mountain, and there’s a vast mountain biking park just 15 minutes from Bahnhofstrasse. 

You can go on a lake cruise in the morning, have lunch at a rooftop restaurant in the heart of the city’s financial district, and then ride a bike down the mountain in the afternoon. The city truly offers something to everyone who visits it, whether they’re looking for a big city vibe or outdoor adventures. 

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