Zurich is best known for being a global hub for banking and finance. Although many people who travel to the Swiss capital are on a flying business-related visit, there is far more to the city than high rises and stock exchanges.
Being a global financial center, it will come as no surprise to learn that Zurich was rated the world’s third most expensive city in 2018. Sitting just behind Singapore and Paris on the world’s list of most expensive cities, a trip to Zurich may require a bit of saving.
That said, it’s not all that bad. As with every city in the world, there are many ways to experience Zurich for cheap – for free, in fact; there are free bicycles to hire across the city, which is pretty incredible.
The ‘Züri rollt’ initiative allows locals and visitors alike to hire bicycles for free every single day of the week. Not only is this a great initiative that keeps costs down for budget-conscious travelers, but is a much needed eco-friendly concept for a busy and bustling city.
Let’s explore where to stay in Zurich so that you can hire your wheels and roll.
As has been established, Zurich is the global epicenter of the economy. Naturally, the financial hub can be found within the city center of Zurich itself. The central business district is split in two by The Limmat. Bahnhofstrasse sits on the west side of the river and is home to a number of Zurich’s must-visit hotspots.
Being the heart of the city, Bahnhofstrasse is one of the most expensive areas in Zurich to stay. Bahnhofstrasse is ideal for luxury travelers or whistle-stop travelers who have a fair sized budget for accommodation.
For travelers who enjoy free sightseeing opportunities, Bahnhofstrasse is a great place to visit. Within the neighborhood of Bahnhoffstrasse, travelers can see some of Zurich’s most famous monuments and statues. Geiserbrunnen on Bürkliplatz is a popular photo opportunity, as is Lindenhof to the north of the neighborhood.
There is no shortage of places to dine in Bahnhofstrasse. Lindenhofkeller has been serving classic Swiss cuisine since 1806 and is as authentic as they come.
Good For: Active Travelers, Art Lovers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, First Time Visitors, Families, Foodies, Luxury Travelers, Sightseers, Shopaholics, Whistle-Stop Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Limit Waterfront, Geiserbrunnen, Lindenhof, Centralhof Monument, Fraumünster Church, Kirche St. Peter, Paradeplatz, Giacometti Murals, Täufergedenkplatte, Museum Strauhof, Zürcher Spielzeugmuseum – Toy Museum, Uhrenmuseum Beyer Zürich – Watch Shop & Museum, Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zürich, Museum Bärengasse, Bahnhofplatz
- Hotel Storchen – Hotel Storchen is a superb hotel in Bahnhofstrasse. The rooms are ultra-modern and super stylish. There is a luxurious feel to Hotel Storchen, partly created by its location right on the banks of the Limit River. There are both rooms and suites available. High-speed WiFi is available throughout.
- Hotel Kindli – Hotel Kindli is a popular choice in Bahnhofstrasse. There is an upmarket feel to Hotel Kindli and guests receive great value for money. The staff are incredibly welcoming and are keen to help where they can. There is a bar and restaurant in-house that are well worth staying in for.
- Savoy Baur en Ville – Savoy Baur en Ville is one of the most luxurious hotels in Zurich. For travelers seeking a treat in Zurich, Savoy Baur en Ville is a great option. There is a refined and elegant interior design at Savoy Baur en Ville and this adds to the luxurious ambiance of the hotel.
Zurich Town Hall
Although the perimeters are a little vague, the neighborhood of Zurich Town Hall refers to the area that sits across the Limmat River from Bahnhofstrasse. Zurich Town Hall is a small and central neighborhood perfect for sightseers and whistle-stop travelers who are keen to get their photos and soak up the rich culture of Zurich.
The most famous landmark in the Zurich Town Hall neighborhood is the town hall itself, known locally as Rathaus. Rathaus sits right on the banks of the Limmat River and stands proudly at the very heart of Zurich.
Other must-visit hotspots in the Zurich Town Hall neighborhood are Grossmünster Church and Predigerkirche Church. Both are Protestant churches that date back to the 12th Century.
In addition to these historical gems, there are dozens of quaint cafes and coffee bars to discover in the Zurich Town Hall neighborhood. For travelers who enjoy a leisurely inner city stroll, broken up by lattes, this is the perfect place to stay in Zurich.
Good For:Active Travelers, Art Lovers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, First Time Visitors, Families, Foodies, Luxury Travelers, Sightseers, Shopaholics, Whistle-Stop Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Zurich Town Hall – Rathaus, Grossmünster Church, Predigerkirche Church, Kulturhaus Helferei, Zunftstadt History Museum, Helmhaus Art Museum, Haus zum Brunnhof, Musée Visionnaire, Wasserkirche Church, Cabaret Voltaire Art Center, Theater am Hechtplatz, Kunstwarenhaus Art Gallery, Zentralbibliothek Zürich – Central Library, Grande Café & Bar, Café Schober – Historie Cafe
- Boutique Hotel Wellenberg – Boutique Hotel Wellenberg is a very good hotel in Zurich. There is free WiFi and a complimentary buffet breakfast is included in the room rate. This makes Boutique Hotel Wellenberg great value for money. Little luxuries like room service and complimentary tea and coffee are available for all guests.
- Hotel Adler – Hotel Adler is a popular choice for travelers in Zurich. The rooms are generous and all have ensuite bathrooms complete with a shower unit. Set within the Old Town of Zurich, Hotel Adler is in a great location for travelers who want to explore on foot. There is free WiFi.
- Marktgasse Hotel – Marktgasse Hotel is a great hotel in the Zurich Town Hall neighborhood. All rooms contain a flat-screen TV and ensuite bathroom. All rooms have air conditioning and access to free and unlimited Wifi. The outdoor terrace offers impressive views of Zurich’s cityscape. There is a fitness center too.
South of Zurich Town Hall and Bahnhofstrasse, and to the western edge of Lake Zurich, is the expansive neighborhood known as District 2. For travelers who want to experience the bustling city center, but equally want some more quiet time to relax, District 2 offers the perfect mix.
For sports enthusiasts, District 2 will be of great interest. At the northern tip of District 2, travelers will find the acclaimed FIFA World Football Museum. Open Tuesday to Sunday, the museum is incredible. Featuring over 1000 different exhibits, a football library, and a bar, the museum is a must-visit for any self-confessed football fan.
District 2 offers too much to explore. The Museum Reitberg displays artwork from around the world. Specializing in non-European artwork specifically, the gallery is set in a 19th Century villa within the immaculate Rieter Park.
Sukkulenten-Sammlung Zürich – also known as the Botanical Gardens of Zurich – are simply exquisite. Featuring greenhouses and outdoor gardens, it’s not to be missed.
Good For: Active Travelers, Art Lovers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Outdoorsy Travelers, Longer-Stay Visitors Sightseers, Shopaholics, Sports Enthusiasts
Neighborhood Highlights: FIFA World Football Museum, Museum Reitberg, Rieter Park, Sukkulenten-Sammlung Zürich – Botanical Gardens of Zurich, Park-Villa Rieter, Strandbad Mythenquai – Lakeside Beach, Rentenanstalt Arboretum, Thermal & Spa Zurich, Klopstockwiese Park, Lake Zurich Promenade, Landiwiese Park, Belvoirpark Swiss Restaurant, Vees Bistro – Thai Restaurant
- Engimatt City-Gardenhotel – Engimatt City-Gardenhotel is a fabulous hotel in District 2. There is a beautiful garden complex within the grounds of Engimatt City-Gardenhotel that provides a retreat-like feel to the hotel. The rooms are modern and spacious; many offer a balcony with seating. An excellent breakfast is included.
- Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity Zurich – Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity Zurich is a highly recommended hotel in Zurich. With modern yet homely rooms that offer guests more than enough space, Four Points is a real winner. There is air conditioning in every room and guests are gifted with coffee to go during their stay.
- B2 Boutique Hotel + Spa – B2 Boutique Hotel + Spa is a wonderful hotel in District 2. The library-themed restaurant is reason enough to book – it is magical. The rooms are wonderfully designed and offer a minimalist yet comfortable stay. A very good breakfast is included in the room rate and is not to be missed.
For longer-term travelers or savvy travelers who prefer to stay in a more authentic area of a city, District 4 in Zurich is just the ticket. Residential enough to help you feel like a local but close enough to the landmarks and must-visit hotspots to feel like a tourist, District 4 is a happy medium.
District 4 is a great option for the night owls and the party people out there. There are a number of Zurich’s hottest nightclubs that reside within the limits of District 4. Plaza Club and Bar on Badenerstrasse 109 is a very popular hangout, as is Stall 6 Bar & Foyer. For lovers of indie music and the alternative scene, Gonzo is a good option too.
After a long night of dancing – and likely drinking too – there are some wonderful parks to discover in District 4. One is Kasernenareal, and the other is Bäckeranlage. In the balmy summer months, Bäckeranlage regularly hosts outdoor concerts of an evening and is a great place to meet locals.
Good For: Active Travelers, Art Lovers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Outdoorsy Travelers, Longer-Stay Visitors, Night Owls, Party People, Relaxed Travelers, Young Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Kasernenareal Park, Bäckeranlage Park, Jeansmuseum, Stall 6 Bar & Foyer, Plaza Club and Bar, Gonzo Nightclub, Kanzlei Club, Alte Kaserne – Event Venue, Club Zukunft, Kantonspolizei Zürich Kriminalmuseum – Police Museum, Vagabundo Bar, Lugano Bar, Caduff’s Wine Loft, Bullingerhof Park
- Greulich Design & Lifestyle Hotel – Greulich Design & Lifestyle Hotel is a super modern hotel in District 4. There is a warm and welcoming feel to the hotel and guests feel right at home the moment that they arrive. There is a bar and outdoor terrace where guests are welcome to enjoy a drink and mingle with locals.
- Mercure Stroller Zurich – Mecure Stroller Zurich is a great option for travelers in District 4. Offering great value for money and consistently affordable room rates, Mercure Stroller Zurich is not to be overlooked. There is a mini bar in every room and tea and coffee making facilities. Parking is available at the hotel.
- Olympia Hotel Zurich – Olympia Hotel Zurich is a bestselling hotel in Zurich. Simple and affordable, Olympia Hotel Zurich is a great option for budget-conscious travelers. The staff are ever so helpful and can assist guests in any way that they can. The rooms offer a private ensuite bathroom and many include a bathtub.
District 8 is another great option for travelers who are planning on staying a week or more in Zurich, or for long-term travelers who like to embrace the local side of a city.
District 8 sits on the northeastern edge of Lake Zurich and offers travelers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors and escape the hustle and bustle of Zurich’s central business district. For business travelers who find themselves settling into Zurich for a longer period of time, or visit rather regularly, District 8 is a great place to use as a base.
District 8 is very well connected to the central business district, as is all of Zurich. The extensive tram and bus network functions almost seamlessly. It is always on time and an affordable way to explore the city.
In terms of cultural and historical highlights, District 8 has a lot to offer. Le Corbusier House is one of the most popular places to visit in the neighborhood.
Good For:Active Travelers, Art Lovers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Outdoorsy Travelers, Like-a-Local Travelers, Longer-Stay Visitors, Relaxed Travelers,
Neighborhood Highlights: Lake Zurich, Le Corbusier House, Atelier Hermann Haller Art Museum, Johann Jacobs Museum, Zürichhorn Park, China Garden, Blatterwiese Park, Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen Outdoor Swimming Pool, Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich, Nordamerika Native Museum, Heimatschutzzentrum in der Villa Patumbah, Tram-Museum Zürich, Ortsmuseum Zollikon
- City Stay Furnished Apartments – City Stay Furnished Apartments are a great option for long-term travelers heading to Zurich. The apartments offer everything guests need to feel right at home. There is a living room space and a fully equipped kitchen too. The apartments are bright and always immaculately clean. There is free WiFi.
- Romantik Hotel Europe – Romantik Hotel Europe is in a great location within District 8, just a few steps from Lake Zurich itself. There is a bar and a restaurant in-house and guests are welcome to order room service should they wish to do so. There are family rooms available and pets are permitted.
- Boutique Hotel NI-MO – Boutique Hotel NI-MO is a gorgeous hotel in District 8. All rooms have access to free WiFi and an air conditioning unit. Guests have access to complimentary tea, luxury Nespresso coffee, and water in the hotel’s breakfast room 24/7. Breakfast is included in most room rates and is not to be missed.
Zurich is one of the busiest business cities in the world and it is safe to say that Zurich Airport is well equipped for the hundreds of thousands of travelers that come and go every month.
The majority of visitors to Zurich are business travelers who are in the city on a flying visit. For business travelers, the most convenient place to stay in Zurich is close to the airport itself. There are dozens of airport hotels close to Flughafen Zürich and they are of an excellent standard.
Unfortunately, in many cities around the world, airport hotels are often cheap and rough around the edges. Not in Zurich. For business travelers and whistle-stop travelers, Zurich provides a touch of luxury to a short and snappy trip to Switzerland.
Zurich Airport is very well connected to the center of the city. The tram and bus network stretches as far as the airport and travelers can be through the immigration gates and outside Rathaus City Hall in under 30-minutes.
Good For: Whistle-Stop Travelers, Business Travelers, Long Layovers
Neighborhood Highlights: Zurich City Centre, Lake Zurich
- Mövenpick Hotel Zurich Airport – Mövenpick Hotel Zurich Airport is an outstanding hotel just five minutes from the airport and a 10-minute drive from the city center. There are free airport shuttles on a regular basis too. Guests can dine at one of the three restaurants or work off the tightness from the flight at the fitness center.
- Dorint Airport-Hotel Zurich – Dorint Airport-Hotel Zurich is a modern and easily accessible hotel close to Zurich Airport. There is a minibar in each room and complimentary tea and coffee. All ensuite bathrooms feature a walk-in shower unit. The rooms are generous and all have been soundproofed for guest comfort.
- Radisson Blu Hotel – Radisson Blu Hotel can be found just two minutes from the airport train station. There is a garden terrace for guests to enjoy, in addition to a spa complex and a fitness center. All rooms have a laptop safe and work desk. Radisson Blu Hotel offers an express three-hour laundry service for an additional fee.