Zurich is the financial and foodie capital of Switzerland. The city is notoriously expensive but you can visit without breaking the bank. These cheap hotels and hostels – which are all bookable on Culture Trip – are just the start: the friendly staff can give you more tips on how to save your francs.
There are places you can stay to explore Zurich on a budget. With so much to see and do, you are unlikely to spend time in your hotel room. Perks such as the Zurich Card cut the cost of museum entry. If you want a wallet-preserving stay, these standout hotels have inviting rooms and offer a warm, friendly service.
The chic three-star Seehof hotel is located in Zurich’s trendy Seefeld district, a short walk from the opera house and Lake Zurich. The elegant rooms are clean and airy and breakfast and wifi are complimentary. If you can stretch to a meal out, try the on-site Japanese restaurant, which is popular with locals. The nearby area has a vibrant bar scene so make time to soak in the nightlife.
Ideally located in the heart of Zurich’s old town, this contemporary hotel is a five-minute walk from the railway station and the river Limmat. The intimate, 27-room property has a modern decor that is peppered with interesting works of art. Head to the restaurant’s popular Il Gattopardo for authentic Sicilian cuisine, then top off the evening at the Rössli bar, which often fills up with regulars from the nearby financial district.
Hotel Josef offers a boutique place to stay near to Zurich’s main railway station. The three-star hotel features stylish, modern rooms (complete with Nespresso machines) and free wifi. The concierge is happy to point out Zurich’s best under-the-radar foodie and shopping treasures. The café, Il Baretto, is a good place to grab a warm croissant and coffee. If you are a summer visitor, treat yourself to a yoga lesson on the sun-drenched rooftop terrace.
This four-star hotel is at the centre of the revitalised Zurich West district. Take advantage of the rooftop sauna with city views and a small fitness area. Even better, skip the workout and borrow a hotel bike to explore the city. The property is a 10-minute walk to the trendy Im Viadukt shopping area, which is housed in a series of railway arches.
This stately hotel is in the heart of the old town. Its room prices are reasonable and it has luxury extras including a pillow menu, hypoallergenic bedding and a concierge service. The lobby houses a striking portrait by Wolfgang Beltracchi, a former art forger. Bahnhofstrasse, home to some of the world’s most exclusive shopping boutiques, is a short stroll away.
The aptly named Placid hotel is in the Altstetten district, a 15-minute tram ride from the centre and away from the noise of central Zurich. Your room’s floor-to-ceiling windows give you panoramic views of the city or the Alps. Downstairs, the restaurant Buckhuser serves innovative twists on Swiss cuisine. The area is popular for cycling, so take advantage of the hotel’s free bike hire.
The polished Hotel Sternen Oerlikon is set on a busy junction in the historic Oerlikon neighbourhood. Zurich’s top attractions, such as the Bahnhofstrasse shopping district, Niederdorf and Lake Zurich, are a few minutes away by tram. The elegant but affordable Restaurant und Bar Ö features an array of Swiss specialities; don’t miss the duck breast with homemade spaetzle dumplings. On Thursdays the bar holds a prosecco tasting event. Book quickly to avoid disappointment.
This refined property dates to 1823 and its decor is a nod to the region’s cheese-making tradition. Bright, cosy rooms feature touches including coffee- and tea-making facilities and an honesty bar filled with snacks; some rooms have kitchenettes. Set in a residential area, Swiss Night is less than a five-minute walk to the Kunsthaus Zürich – with artworks from the 1200s up to the present day – and 10 minutes from the opera house and Lake Zürich.
If you are looking for an affordable, family-friendly stay in Zurich’s Altstadt, then book at the Alexander. Expect a warm welcome: it is not unusual to be greeted by the owners and their two daughters. The rooms are sparse but comfortable and feature complimentary wifi, flat-screen TVs and en-suite bathrooms. Free coffee is available at reception, and staff are always available to offer tips on the best tours and attractions.
In the heart of Zurich’s trendy district 4, Pension fürDich is a simple option located above a family-run cafe. The 18 rooms are bright and colourful but sparsely decorated. The bathrooms are shared and breakfast costs extra. If you have children in tow, book the family room, which sleeps three. FürDich is on the expensive side of budget hotels but this is made up for with the level of comfort on offer.
Zurich Youth Hostel is great to meet other travellers, eat cheap food and get a decent night’s sleep – for a price that won’t make your eyes water. Unlike many hostels , the rooms are comfortable if spartan. Dorms range from four- to six-bed with breakfast included in the price, and there are private doubles too. The hostel is 20 minutes from the main railway station and the city centre and 10 minutes from Lake Zurich.