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

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


Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland, holds the title of one of the country’s most sought-after tourist destinations. Selecting accommodation in Zurich poses a challenge without a grasp of the city’s layout and landmarks. Luckily, this comprehensive guide will assist you in navigating the best places to stay in Zurich.

From the vibrant Old Town, steeped in history, to the tranquil residential area of Enge, Zurich offers an ideal neighborhood for every preference. Whether you crave the bustling city center or prefer a quieter retreat near key landmarks, Zurich caters to all. Find a suitable hotel with ease using this informative guide.

Best Places to Stay in Zurich

Discover the greatness of Zurich with its excellent public transport network, easily navigable and perfect for exploring. Even if you opt for a non-central location, you’ll never be more than 15 minutes away from the iconic Bahnhofstrasse.Explore these fantastic areas, ideal for both first-time and seasoned visitors to the city. Now, let’s delve into the best places to stay in Zurich together!Wondering why you should heed my advice? Trust me, I know Zurich like the back of my hand, well-versed in the city’s attractions. I meticulously research hotels before every trip, and sharing my findings is a passion. Add in Dave and Deb’s insights from multiple visits, and you’ve got a comprehensive guide.

In this carefully curated guide, only top-rated hotels are featured, ensuring an enhanced experience in the Swiss city. Regardless of your choice, expect quality service, pristine rooms, and convenient access to Zurich’s premier attractions.

Where to Stay in Zurich For Fun
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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
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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
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District 1, the central hub of the city, spans from Zurich’s main train station in the north to Lake Zurich in the south. This vibrant area houses Zurich’s premier landmarks and attractions, making it an ideal choice for first-time visitors.

In this prime location, all of Zurich’s top landmarks are easily accessible on foot from your hotel. Plus, most hotel rooms offer breathtaking views of Zurich’s rooftops and the serene Lake Zurich.

Despite the convenience, it’s worth noting that even the most budget-friendly hotels in District 1 can be quite expensive. Nevertheless, this is a common characteristic in the overall pricey landscape of Zurich.

District 1 is home to historic churches, the iconic Bahnhofstrasse, and some of the city’s finest museums. Additionally, the neighborhood boasts the best restaurants and cafes, making it an all-encompassing destination. Whether you prefer strolling through city streets or indulging in endless shopping, this district offers an excellent experience.


Where to stay in Zurich District 1 near churches
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Pros and Cons of District 1


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


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
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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
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Explore Zurich West, formerly known as Industriequartier, a vibrant and evolving urban landscape. The district, now a hotspot for young professionals, has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years.

Discover the trendy vibe of Zurich West, a hub that is increasingly referred to as Zurich West rather than Industriequartier or District 5. Embrace the change and immerse yourself in the dynamic atmosphere of this redefined neighborhood.

Ideal for young adults, Zurich West offers a thriving nightlife scene, featuring bars, clubs, thrift stores, and art galleries. Experience the cultural richness of this district, where creativity and entertainment converge seamlessly.

Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Zurich Old Town by tram, Zurich West provides easy accessibility. The tram stops at various points throughout the neighborhood, ensuring a seamless travel experience.

With an abundance of trendy cafes, affordable hotels, and an excellent public transport network, Zurich West becomes an attractive destination for the younger crowd. Immerse yourself in the energy and excitement of this lively district, where urban living meets cultural exploration.

Nightlife in Zurich West Industriequartier
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Pros and Cons of Staying in Industriequartier


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


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
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Zurich West, or Industriequartier, lacks many historic attractions. However, it boasts newer staples in Zurich’s landscape, such as a market beneath a viaduct and a tower constructed from shipping containers. These trendy attractions draw a fun crowd.

In the heart of Industriequartier, Zurich hosts two Design Museums, essential for design enthusiasts. Featuring exhibits showcasing the evolution of design, the museums spotlight everyday objects and artwork across centuries.

Noteworthy is the Freitag Tower, an iconic structure entirely composed of shipping containers. Even if not shopping for bags at Freitag, a visit to the tower is worthwhile as it pays homage to the neighborhood’s past glory.

The Market Hall in Industriequartier offers a unique shopping experience beneath the Zurich viaduct. Local farmers and food vendors fill the market, creating a charming atmosphere with aisles arranged around the viaduct.

For a refreshing break, visit the Oberer Letten Outdoor Pool, equipped with a diving platform, sun terraces, and swimming facilities. Enjoy beach volleyball or take a dip in the Limmat River, a popular local relaxation spot after work.

When planning a stay, consider Industriequartier’s hotels, notably more affordable than those in central Zurich. Surprisingly, five-star hotels can be found for 150 CHF per person. Conveniently connected to the city center by trams and trains, Industriequartier ensures you’re never more than 15 minutes away from Zurich’s heart.

Perfect for couples and solo travelers, this neighborhood is a budget-friendly haven, offering not only affordable accommodations but also economical 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
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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 
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Pros and Cons of Staying in Enge


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


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

Highlights of Staying in Enge

Highlights of staying in Enge, Zurich Uetliberg
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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, being an upscale area of Zurich, boasts numerous high-end hotels with premium services and amenities. While budget hotels and hostels are scarce, the district offers a plethora of private apartments.

Ideal for those desiring an entire apartment, rather than just a hotel room, Enge’s residential nature makes it a perfect choice. With excellent public transport connections, you’re always 15 minutes away from the heart of Zurich.

**Residence Mutschellen:**

Nestled in Zurich, Residence Mutschellen is an apartment hotel catering to families and couples. Positioned close to a vast park popular for cycling and hiking, this budget-friendly hotel suits outdoor enthusiasts.

The apartment options vary from small studios to family suites. Even the smallest studios boast a kitchenette, making this hotel perfect for budget-conscious travelers. Given the high dining costs in Zurich, preparing your own meals can significantly save you money.

Priced at 175 CHF per night, the most affordable apartments offer a great deal for two adults. Comparable to budget hotels in Zurich city center, Residence Mutschellen stands out with its comprehensive amenities – each apartment features a bathroom, kitchenette, and high-speed internet.

**Engimatt City & Garden Hotel:**

Enigmatt City & Garden Hotel, a modern four-star hotel in the western part of Enge, is just minutes away from Rieterpark and a tram station. It ensures easy access to Bahnhofstrasse in approximately 10 minutes, making it ideal for those seeking a peaceful location with proximity to city attractions.

An appealing feature of this hotel is that all rooms have balconies, often overlooking the hotel garden. Most rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows, offering ample light and stunning vistas from the hotel bed.

What sets it apart is the comfort of its beds! Each room is equipped with an ensuite bathroom, ironing facilities, a desk, and a coffee machine. At 260 CHF per night, it stands out as one of the better mid-range hotels in Zurich.

Park Hyatt Zurich

Discover the elegant Park Hyatt Zurich, ideally located in the enchanting northern enclave of Enge, seamlessly blending with Zurich’s bustling city center. Revel in a tranquil retreat that offers convenient proximity to iconic landmarks while ensuring a peaceful escape from the urban hustle.

Embark on a sensory journey where cleanliness meets sophistication in every corner. The rooms, an epitome of spotless opulence, create an ambiance of pure relaxation and comfort.

Experience the epitome of luxury starting at 600 CHF per night for non-refundable reservations, excluding breakfast. Elevate your stay to a lavish morning feast and the flexibility of free cancellation for rates that ascend to 760 CHF per night—a compelling choice comparable to central Zurich’s premier hotels. Explore rates and availability to plan your unforgettable stay.

Frequently Asked Questions

People also ask these questions about where to stay in Zurich
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What Is The Best Area To Stay In Zurich?

For optimal accommodation in Zurich, District 1 emerges as the top choice. This central hub encompasses Lindenhof, the Old Town, and the City neighborhoods. This strategic location ensures convenient proximity to the city’s prime attractions and landmarks. Whether you’re exploring Lindenhof or immersing yourself in the charm of the Old Town, District 1 facilitates seamless access to Zurich’s highlights. Opting for accommodations in this vibrant area guarantees a delightful experience amid the city’s finest offerings.

What Is The Most Scenic Part of Zurich?

Zurich’s most popular street is Bahnhofstrasse. Transitioning to its description, this central city street extends from the main train station, through the heart of the old town, and down to Lake Zurich.

Wondering about Zurich’s walkability? Yes, Zurich is indeed a highly walkable city. Many of its best attractions and landmarks are within easy walking distance. The central part of the city is mostly flat, with the exception of Lindenhof.

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

When considering accommodations in Zurich, safety and proximity to attractions are key. Opting for a hotel along Langstrasse? Be mindful of crowds and noise, as it’s a hotspot for parties and nightlife. However, if you’re a nightlife enthusiast, Langstrasse might be an ideal choice.

On the other hand, staying near Zurich airport isn’t advisable. Despite the seemingly cheaper rates, the daily commute to central Zurich is a hassle. For those who value convenience, it’s not practical. Whether you’re shopping or taking a break between sightseeing, the train commute back to the airport takes at least 40 minutes, disrupting your plans.

Geography of Zurich

The Geography in Zurich
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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
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Zurich stands out as a fantastic destination for a variety of reasons. Notably, its easy access to natural landmarks and outdoor adventures adds to its allure. Moreover, hiking trails seamlessly connect the city center to the summit of the local mountain.

Just 15 minutes from Bahnhofstrasse, a sprawling mountain biking park awaits enthusiasts. To enhance your experience, consider embarking on a refreshing lake cruise in the morning. For lunch, indulge in the culinary delights of a rooftop restaurant nestled in the heart of the city’s financial district.

To cap off your day, take an exhilarating bike ride down the mountain in the afternoon. Zurich is undeniably a city that caters to diverse interests, whether you crave the vibrancy of a bustling metropolis or the thrill of outdoor adventures.

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