Guides

Where to Stay in Zurich

A panoramic view of Zurich's skyline showing the Fraumünster and St. Peter's churches with their iconic clock towers, set against a backdrop of distant hills, under a clear sky at dusk

Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, is known for yummy chocolate, high-end shopping, and beautiful architecture. Once you’ve decided to visit the city, you might be wondering where to stay in Zurich!

In short, Altstadt or Old Town is the best spot for your stay in Zurich as this is where you’ll find the main tourist attractions and the best Zurich hotels. 

I have visited a couple of times and LOVED my time there (Zurich is especially pretty in the summer!). 

Read this post to learn more about 5 best neighborhoods in the city that are the best for tourists (and why). I’ve also manually compared all the accommodations in Zurich and hand-picked the best of the best for you in each price category. This way you can easily decide which area to choose and which hotel/apartment to stay in!

As you might know, Zurich is not a cheap destination, and there aren’t too many budget hotels, so booking in advance is essential if you want to get the best deals on accommodations!

If you are in a hurry…

Here are the best hotels in Zurich Old Town, the best area to stay in Zurich for the first time:

Here is a map of the best areas to stay in Zurich according to my recommendations:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Zurich, with numbered locations and labels for easy navigationA colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Zurich, with numbered locations and labels for easy navigation

Check out my personalized neighborhood recommendations depending on your travel preferences:

  • Where to stay in Zurichfor for the first time: Altstadt
  • Where to stay in Zurich with a family: Enge and Riesbach
  • Where to stay in Zurich for nightlife: Langstrasse
  • Where to stay in Zurich for local vibe: Zurich West

1. Altstadt – where to stay in Zurich for the first time

The serene waters of Lake Zurich in the evening, with the spires of Grossmünster church prominent in the background, and boats docked along a tree-lined quay.The serene waters of Lake Zurich in the evening, with the spires of Grossmünster church prominent in the background, and boats docked along a tree-lined quay.

The historic Old Town of Zurich, also known as Altstadt or District 1, is the best place for people visiting Zurich for the first time. Essentially, this is the city center, so it’s ideally located for exploring the top Zurich attractions and enjoying stunning views of Lake Zurich

As for where to stay in the Zurich city center, you’ll be thrilled once you hear that all the best hotels in Zurich are situated here, so you’ll have plenty of choices. 

I’d also recommend staying in Old Town if you’re visiting Zurich in winter, especially around Christmas, as you’ll be within walking distance of Zurich’s indoor Christmas market. 

Moving on to the main attractions, you should visit at least a few museums. I suggest prioritizing the Swiss National Museum (purchase tickets on the official website), Kunsthaus Zurich, and the Zoological Museum of Zurich

Other spots worth your time are the Old Botanical Garden, Zurich Town Hall, Fraumünster Church famous for its stained glass windows, and Lindenhof (map), a hilltop observation spot overlooking the Zurich city center. 

I’d also advise you to see the upcoming events at the Zurich Opera House (Opernhaus Zürich) or head to Niederdorf, an amazing part of Old Town with stunning architecture. 

In Niederdorf, you’ll find Grossmünster (map), an iconic cathedral with 2 towers. I highly suggest going up these towers – it’s one of the best things to do in Zurich! You’ll also come across the Cabaret Voltaire Art Center, which is often referred to as the birthplace of Dadaism. 

Zurich is a cosmopolitan city, so you’ll find plenty of luxury shopping opportunities, especially if you head to Bahnhofstrasse. This is one of the main streets in central Zurich and one of the most expensive shopping districts in the entire world!

Now, let’s look at the recommendations for where to stay in Zurich Old Town!

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Altstadt Zurich: a classic European building with balconies and flowers, a minimalist bedroom with ample natural light, and a cozy sitting area with modern furniture and large windowsA collage of three hotel photos to stay in Altstadt Zurich: a classic European building with balconies and flowers, a minimalist bedroom with ample natural light, and a cozy sitting area with modern furniture and large windows

Luxury (€300 and up)

  • Widder Hotel – Possibly the best luxury hotel in Zurich, the Widder occupies 9 historic buildings in Old Town, all of which are renovated and decorated with famous artworks. 
  • Baur au Lac – This 5-star hotel is one of the best hotels in Altstadt, situated in a private park and offering spacious rooms, a fitness center, 2 on-site restaurants, and valet parking.

Mid-range (from €180 to €300)

  • Bristol Hotel – A three-star hotel in Zurich’s city center offering clean and cozy rooms and room service. Guests at the Hotel Bristol can also use the library and the business center. 
  • Ruby Mimi Hotel Zurich – This is one of the top mid-range hotels in Old Town, with allergy-free, air-conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi, and several breakfast options. 

Budget (up to €180)

  • Good4Yew BnB – This B&B is situated in a historic building and is geared towards sustainability. At the property, you can make use of a seasonal outdoor pool, a garden, and private parking. 
  • Hotel Marta – When it comes to cheap hotels in Old Town, this hotel stands out with its clean and comfortable rooms, each with a private bathroom and an amazing complimentary breakfast.

2. Langstrasse – where to stay in Zurich for nightlife

Outdoor seating at the bustling Sprüngli cafe on a sunny day in Zurich, with patrons enjoying coffee and conversation.Outdoor seating at the bustling Sprüngli cafe on a sunny day in Zurich, with patrons enjoying coffee and conversation.

Langstrasse is the focal point of Zurich’s District 4, situated 3 km (1.8 miles) West of Old Town. You may be surprised to learn that this is actually Zurich’s former red-light district; today, all that remains from this once-notorious district is the lively nightlife scene.

Don’t let the fact that this was once a red-light district scare you – feel free to explore the nightlife scene and visit at least one club. My top recommendation is the Plaza Club (map), a nightclub recognizable for its murals and period furniture, set in an old theater building.

If you’re looking for someplace more laid-back to grab a drink, I’ll direct you toward Kennedy’s Irish Pub, and if you’re feeling hungry, I have a couple of recommendations, too. The Bite serves excellent homemade burgers, and La Taqueria is a great place for authentic Mexican tacos. 

Once you’ve had your share of food and drinks, head to Bäckeranlage (map), an urban park that offers sprawling green lawns and hosts many concerts during the summertime. 

If you feel like shopping, you’ll have to venture out of Langstrasse. You can choose to go toward the Zurich city center and check out GLOBUS and Jelmoli, 2 large department stores, or head to District 9 and Einkaufszentrum Letzipark, a shopping mall with plenty of stores. 

And in case you’re wondering where to stay in Zurich for 1 night before you move on to other destinations, Langstrasse is the best choice. This is where you’ll find Zurich HB train station (map), an important public transport hub that connects Zurich to many European cities. 

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Langstrasse Zurich for shopping: a vibrant hotel facade with 'THE HENRY' sign, a simple yet elegant room with a blue-accented bed, and a bright dining area with a view of leafy treesA collage of three hotel photos to stay in Langstrasse Zurich for shopping: a vibrant hotel facade with 'THE HENRY' sign, a simple yet elegant room with a blue-accented bed, and a bright dining area with a view of leafy trees

Luxury (€250 and up)

  • 25hours Hotel – A modern and trendy hotel within walking distance of Zurich’s main train station, providing guests with access to a sauna, fitness center, and a gift shop. 
  • numa I Turi Apartments – Each of the units at this aparthotel has a kitchenette, a dining area, a bedroom, and a bathroom. You can also enjoy a great breakfast for an extra charge. 

Mid-range (from €170 to €250)

  • Guesthouse fürDich – This lovely guesthouse boasts bright, uniquely furnished rooms with wooden floors and an on-site cafe/bistro offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 
  • The Henry Self Check-In Guesthouse – Even though slightly lower rated, this is a good option if you’re looking for a mid-range hotel in Langstrasse, with rooms inspired by famous movie scenes. 

Budget (up to €170)

  • Nani City Hotel – This is an amazing budget hotel with a terrace, a garden, and a restaurant. The hotel also offers free Wi-Fi and a front desk that’s open 24/7. 
  • Hotel Limmathof – A 2-star hotel in a historic building that provides easy access to the Zurich main station and boasts an onsite restaurant.

3. Enge – where to stay in Zurich with family

A view over the rooftops of Zurich, with the Limmat river flowing through the city, and birds in flight above the historical architecture under a clear blue sky.A view over the rooftops of Zurich, with the Limmat river flowing through the city, and birds in flight above the historical architecture under a clear blue sky.

Located South of Zurich Old Town and on the coast of Lake Zurich, Enge (District 2) is a green area with a very laid-back vibe. If you’re based in Enge during your stay in Zurich, you’ll have access to plenty of fun activities, which is why this is the perfect spot for a family getaway. 

I highly recommend staying in Enge during summer so you can make full use of the many swimming spots – the area’s main attractions. Be sure to check out Strandbad Mythenquai (map) and Seebad Enge (map) – the kids will love both of these spots!

If you like to be outdoors but need a break from swimming in the lake, I advise you to visit the Sukkulenten-Sammlung Botanical Gardens, which house one of the largest succulent collections in the world, with more than 4,400 different succulent species. 

There are also many Enge parks, so make sure you pack comfortable clothes and go on to explore Rieterpark (map), Rentenwiese (map), and, of course, the Arboretum Zürich (map), the perfect place for a family picnic. 

When you visit Zurich, you shouldn’t miss out on the FIFA World Football Museum (tickets are available online) and learn more about the history of football. However, if that’s not your thing, you can see what’s on at Tonhalle Zürich and maybe attend an orchestra concert. 

You can also visit the Museum Rietberg or head to Wollishofen, another District 2 neighborhood, and attend one of the shows at the Rote Fabrik

From Enge, you can also venture out to Friesenberg, a neighborhood in District 3 (Wiedikon – Sihlfeld), and go up to Uetliberg (map). This is the peak of a small mountain that provides stunning views of this fantastic city, Lake Zurich, and even the Swiss Alps on a clear day. 

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Enge Zurich on a budget: a basic room with twin beds and simple decor, a colorful abstract wall art in a spacious lobby, and a grand historic building converted into apartmentsA collage of three hotel photos to stay in Enge Zurich on a budget: a basic room with twin beds and simple decor, a colorful abstract wall art in a spacious lobby, and a grand historic building converted into apartments

Luxury (€300 and up)

  • Park Hyatt Zurich – The Park Hyatt is one of the top luxury hotels in Zurich, with a health club that includes a sauna, steam bath, treatment rooms, and a gym, plus a wine library and a restaurant. 
  • Alden Suite Hotel – A small yet luxurious hotel where all rooms feature a hot tub and entertainment equipment, situated within walking distance of Lake Zurich and Bahnhofstrasse. 

Mid-range (from €200 to €300)

NOTE: Both of my recommendations in the mid-range category are rated a bit lower than usual, but they’re solid choices if you want to be situated in Enge without splurging on luxury hotels. 

  • Residence Mutschellen – At this property, you can rent fully furnished studios and apartments, air-conditioned and with free Wi-Fi. You can also use a fitness center and laundry facilities.
  • VISIONAPARTMENTS Waffenplatzstrasse – Each of the units at this aparthotel is individually furnished, boasts a wooden floor and a private entrance and offers free Wi-Fi and cable TV. 

Budget (up to €200)

NOTE: since Enge doesn’t have any affordable accommodations, I decided to recommend these 2 budget hostels in Wollishofen, just a short distance away from Enge. 

  • MEININGER Zürich Greencity – This budget hotel offers rooms furnished with a bed, a desk, and a flat-screen TV, as well as access to a shared lounge, a bar, and a terrace. 
  • Zurich Youth Hostel – A very affordable hostel conveniently located near a public transport station, offering a complimentary Swiss breakfast and packed lunches and dinners.

4. Riesbach – where to stay in Zurich for outdoor activities

A picturesque Chinese garden with a vibrant red and green pagoda reflected in a tranquil pond, surrounded by lush trees and a stone bridge in Zurich.A picturesque Chinese garden with a vibrant red and green pagoda reflected in a tranquil pond, surrounded by lush trees and a stone bridge in Zurich.

Riesbach is Zurich’s District 8 and consists of 3 smaller neighborhoods – Seefeld, Mühlebach, and Weinegg. Out of these 3, Seefeld is the one that attracts the most tourists due to its position along Lake Zurich and the abundance of opportunities for outdoor fun (and families with small kids!). 

The main attractions in District 8 are Zürichhorn (map) – a lovely park with several swimming spots, the Chinagarten Zürich (map) – a lakeside garden with Chinese pavilions, and The University’s Botanical Garden, which boasts 3 glass domes and a pond as well as free entrance. 

If you’re still looking for spots where you can swim in Lake Zurich, the best one in Riesbach is Strandbad Tiefenbrunnen (map) – a lake bath with a paddling pool dating back to 1886. 

I believe that no stay in Zurich, Switzerland, is complete until you walk the Lake Zurich promenade (trail map) – a 4.5 km (2.7 miles) path along the lake that you can explore at any time of day or during any season of the year. 

Another visit-worthy spot in Riesbach is the Zurich Tram Museum; you’ll see trams from the 19th and 20th centuries and learn more about the history of public transport in Zurich. 

My final recommendation requires you to venture out of District 8 and plan a trip to the Zoo Zurich, where you can become familiar with over 380 animal species. I suggest driving there – it’s just a 15-minute drive – even if you don’t have a car, you can always rent one!

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Riesbach Zurich with free cancellation: a quaint seating area with wicker chairs and vibrant cushions, a luxurious hotel room with plush bedding and modern amenities, and an ornate building on the Zurich lakesideA collage of three hotel photos to stay in Riesbach Zurich with free cancellation: a quaint seating area with wicker chairs and vibrant cushions, a luxurious hotel room with plush bedding and modern amenities, and an ornate building on the Zurich lakeside

Luxury (€320 and up)

  • La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich – A 5-star hotel in an unbeatable location on Zurich Lake, La Réserve Eden has individually furnished rooms, 2 restaurants, and a rooftop bar. 
  • Ambassador Zurich – This lovely boutique hotel boasts elegantly furnished rooms, a terrace, an intimate bar, and a restaurant where you can try traditional Swiss food. 

Mid-range (from €200 to €320)

  • Boutique Hotel Seegarten – The best mid-range hotel in Riesbach, decorated in Mediterranean style and within walking distance of several tourist attractions. 
  • Alma Hotel – This three-star hotel, situated in a 19th-century building, has a relaxation room, a rooftop terrace, and possibly the best spa Zurich has to offer – available only to female guests.

NOTE: Riesbach doesn’t have any budget-friendly hotels, so if you’re traveling on a budget, I recommend checking out the options in Zurich Old Town or Langstrasse.

5. Zurich West – where to stay in Zurich for a trendy vibe

A lively street cafe scene in Zurich with outdoor diners, adjacent to a tree-lined sidewalk and residential buildings on a sunny day.A lively street cafe scene in Zurich with outdoor diners, adjacent to a tree-lined sidewalk and residential buildings on a sunny day.

And finally, I have to talk about Zurich West, a part of District 5! As you can probably guess, this area is located West of the city center, 3 km (1.8 miles) away or about 20 minutes by public transport. Although originally an industrial area, this is one of the trendiest spots in Zurich.

I’m going to start my list of recommendations with a cool spot for a fun night out – X-TRA House of Music. This is a music venue hosting a variety of cool concerts and parties, but make sure to get tickets in advance – you don’t want to miss out! 

During your stay in Zurich West, I highly recommend you check out one of the nearby restaurants. Kitchen Republic is a fusion restaurant with a lively ambiance, while Frau Gerolds Garten is an amazing eatery set in an outdoor urban garden and the best place to eat home-style cuisine.

I also suggest you check out a couple of museums in Zurich West: the Museum für Gestaltung showcases contemporary art exhibitions, while the Swiss Finance Museum covers the history of the Swiss financial industry (and it’s more fun than it sounds). 

My last 2 suggestions will allow you to have some quality outdoor time. First up, a visit to Josefwiese (map), a park with a playground and picnic areas. Then, a day at the Flussbad Oberer Letten (map), a riverfront swimming spot where you can cool off on a hot summer’s day. 

There are definitely more affordable options in the area, so if you are traveling on a budget, this might be your place: 

A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Zurich West for couples: a stylish room with a unique headboard and mood lighting, a hip hotel reception with graffiti art, and a tall hotel building with 'RENAISSANCE' displayed prominentlyA collage of three hotel photos to stay in Zurich West for couples: a stylish room with a unique headboard and mood lighting, a hip hotel reception with graffiti art, and a tall hotel building with 'RENAISSANCE' displayed prominently

Luxury (€300 and up)

  • Renaissance Zürich Tower Hotel – This upscale hotel offers 24-hour room service, concierge services, and access to a gym and a business center, both open 24/7. 
  • Züri by Fassbind – If you like to stay at hip hotels, this one’s for you, boasting modern rooms, a terrace, an on-site coffee shop, and a sauna. 

Mid-range (from €160 to €300)

  • ibis Zurich City West – Although the hotel’s rating is a bit lower, you will appreciate the central location, the buffet breakfast, and the helpful staff. 
  • Luxus Wohnung mit Garten – This 1-bedroom apartment is perfect if you’re staying in Zurich for 2 nights or longer, with a sun terrace, free private parking, and an electric car charging station. 

Budget (up to €160)

  • ibis budget Zurich City West – The last budget hotel in Zurich I have to recommend is rated on the lower side, but it offers a good breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and a TV with cable channels in every room.
👑 Luxury price: €350
💵 Mid Range: €200
🛏️ Budget: €160
📍 Best area: Altstadt
🛎️ Best luxury hotel: Widder Hotel
🧳 Best mid-range hotel: Bristol Hotel
👛 Best budget hotel: Hotel Marta

BONUS: Best accommodation options near Zurich Airport 

Zurich Airport with a variety of planes on the tarmac, including Swiss International Air Lines jets, under a blue sky with the air traffic control tower visible in the background.Zurich Airport with a variety of planes on the tarmac, including Swiss International Air Lines jets, under a blue sky with the air traffic control tower visible in the background.

If you are coming to Zurich for a short period, arriving late at night/early in the morning, or simply need to be close to the airport for an easy departure, then you are in luck! There are a few hotels near Zurich Airport (ZRH) that will allow for this ease of arrival/departure! 

So let’s check out the best Zurich hotels near the airport:

  • Luxury (€€€): Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport Circle – This hotel is ideally located within the airport circle and boasts modern rooms, a spa with a sauna, and an on-site restaurant. 
  • Mid-range (€€): Hotel Welcome Inn – One of the best hotels near the airport, offering free parking, an on-site fitness room, and rooms with a work desk and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. 
  • Budget (€): Capsule Hotel – This budget hotel is within walking distance of Zurich Airport and provides accommodation in capsule rooms, as well as access to a shared bathroom and a bar.

FAQs about where to stay in Zurich

A scenic view of the Limmat river flowing through the historic center of Zurich, with a clear view of the Grossmünster church and surrounding old town buildingsA scenic view of the Limmat river flowing through the historic center of Zurich, with a clear view of the Grossmünster church and surrounding old town buildings

📆 How many days are enough to stay in Zurich?

I recommend a minimum of 2 or 3 days for a stay in Zurich in order to have enough time to explore the Old Town and visit some museums like the FIFA World Football Museum or Kunsthaus Zurich. 

🍫 What is the best area to stay in Zurich?

The best area to stay in Zurich is District 1, also known as Altstadt or Zurich Old Town. This is the heart of the city and houses the top tourist attractions. The Widder Hotel and Hotel Bristol are the best hotels here!

👨‍👩‍👧 What is the best hotel for families?

If you have a family trip, I recommend staying in Park Hyatt Zurich in Enge! This is one of the top hotels in Zurich, with incredible amenities and spacious family rooms, and it’s situated in the most family-friendly neighborhood in the city.

🚗 How to get around Zurich?

There are plenty of ways to get around Zurich: public transport, taxi, rent a car, bike, or, if you’re staying in the city center, on foot. Most of the attractions in Old Town are within walking distance of each other, so walking is a great option. 

🛌 Where to stay in Zurich for 1 night?

If you’re in Zurich for a night, I recommend staying in Old Town to be close to the top sights and the best hotels in the city. I’d recommend treating yourself to a stay in a luxury hotel like Baur au Lac or Widder Hotel

🚉 Where to stay in Zurich near the train station?

The main train station in Zurich is the HB station in Langstrasse, where you can stay in a luxury hotel like the 25hours Hotel or somewhere more affordable. The best hotel for a mid-range stay is Guesthouse fürDich

📍 What is the best part of Zurich to stay in?

The best place to stay in Zurich, Switzerland, is Altstadt or Zurich Old Town, but the other 4 areas recommended in this article are great choices as well, as each has something unique to offer. 

😄 What is the most lively part of Zurich?

The liveliest part of Zurich is Langstrasse, with its numerous nightlife spots and cool dining options – there’s always something going on here. The best hotel for your stay here is the 25hours Hotel, but if you’re on a budget, check out Nani City Hotel

Conclusion

A lone individual with a red backpack stands on the rocky shore of Lake Zurich, gazing out at the shimmering water and distant sailing boats under a hazy sky.A lone individual with a red backpack stands on the rocky shore of Lake Zurich, gazing out at the shimmering water and distant sailing boats under a hazy sky.

We’ve reached the end of this Zurich neighborhood guide. By now, you’ve probably decided where to stay in Zurich and have started adding stops to your itinerary. 

But if you’re not sure yet, there are my 2 favorite hotels in Zurich, both situated in Old Town: 

  • Widder Hotel – An upscale hotel in a central location and a gourmet restaurant 
  • Bristol Hotel – A comfortable hotel with modern rooms and friendly staff

Before I finish up, I have to warn you that all the best hotels are super-quick to sell out. So, make your booking in advance and secure your stay in Zurich!

If you have any more questions, please leave them in the comment section below; I will reply as soon as possible!

Have an unforgettable stay in Zurich, Switzerland!

Yulia


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