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Zürich today is much more than a sleek, cosmopolitan financial capital which enjoys the finer things. Its lakeside position means it's not just clean, it's beautiful. And its large expat and student population means it's also arty, vibrant and possibly even 'happening'. The Hotel Guru's recommendations for the best places to stay in Zurich offer something for everyone; from the trendy and great value 25 Hours to the Dolder Grand, a renowned five star establishment with views to die for!
The elegant lake means that in summer Zurich has plenty of water based activity on offer, as well as Europe's largest street party. And in winter Zurich is a gateway to the snow of the alps - if you're here in February you might even see snow in the city. So there's action as well as culture here.
On the Limmat river's left bank are the upmarket shops, crowded along the Bahnhofstrasse, and on the right bank, the Nirderdorf, you'll find the bars and antique shops.
Along the river itself you'll find artist's studios romantically crammed in between cafes, and you'll possibly even stumble across the Cabaret Voltaire, where the Dada movement was founded back in 1916.
For more art visit the Kunthaus, where you'll see works by Munch, Monet, Picasso, Rothko and Warhol. Or one of the other hundred or so art galleries!
On top of the galleries, Zurich has fifteen museums, a zoo and an opera house. And the local tram system makes it easy to navigate.
The old town is overlooked by the towering 'pepper pot' towers of the cathedral, a realm of coffeehouses and chocolate shops.
A third of Zürich's population aren't Swiss passport holders, and those who do have a Swiss passport aren't guaranteed German speakers, you'll hear a lot of French and English in Zürich as well.
For a city break
- Eight medieval townhouses have been joined up to create the cutting edge design of the Widder Hotel. Five stars worth of ultra modern cool, including excellent food, service and music, this hotel politely yells comfort and style.
- Vibrant and funky, the 25 Hours Hotel is also one of the best places to stay in Zürich if you're on a budget. This is a colourful spot great for kids, and though it's slightly out of centre, in the financial district, it has its own fleet of free bikes, and of Minis.
- Right on the river, in the centre of the old town, the Storchen has been a hotel for 650 years. The public rooms have plenty of charm, and while the bedrooms are a bit dated, they're spacious and comfortable.
- The Florhof Hotel is in a quiet corner of the old town, a converted merchant's house around a sunny courtyard. Cosy and close to the museums, theatres and shopping district.
- The B2 Boutique Hotel and Spa occupies a former brewery, but the conversion is exceptional, giving the building a spectacular rooftop swimming pool and wonderful wellness centre. Plus a library lounge featuring around 33,000 titles which you are free to borrow.
Chic Boutique Zürich
- The Alden Luxury Suite Hotel is a five star collection of rooms and suites in a beautiful building close to the lake and the old town. Elegant and grand on the outside, the interior is all contemporary luxury.
- The Greulich Hotel has been converted from a 70s era commercial building, into a cool, minimalist boutique hotel in a funky neighbourhood. Monochrome and stripped down, this hotel also has an acclaimed 'slow food' restaurant.
For sheer luxury
- Regal 10th Century palace, the Baur au Lac's guestbook is an impressive read; there's Alfred Nobel, heads of state and royalty. Opulence and service for the most discerning of clients, and a Michelin starred restaurant.
- The Dolder Grand is fabulously luxurious, a fairytale palace of a hotel overlooking Zürich, the lake and the alps. The spa is vast and its traditions in hospitality are unimpeachable.
Best Hotels in Zürich
25 Hours Hotel, Zurich 126 rooms from $102Zürich
Part of the vibrant urban 25 Hours Hotel group, this funky, colourful contemporary hotel is in Zurich West, the financial district. Restaurant, gym, pet and children friendly. A lively bet for business or a weekend away, the hotel comes with its own bicycles and a groovy fleet of Minis for guests.Suites - Silver, gold and platinum rooms come brightly coloured in various degrees; range of sizes from bunks to suitesRestaurant - Creative and passionate chef Neni Haya Molcho produces dishes with flavours from around the worldBicycles available - Not only are bicylces available (for free) but also the hotel has a fleet of MinisLively - Hip and happening.Recommended by - Tablet
Greulich Hotel 28 rooms from $150Zürich
Quiet urban oasis in residential area in Zurich West, a trendy neighbourhood with nightclubs & boutiques. A 70s commercial building has been converted to a minimalist boutique hotel with monochrome stripped down bedrooms. Central courtyard planted with birch trees. Acclaimed 'slow food' restaurant.Suites - The Penthouse has a seperate bedroom, spacious living room and balcony with good viewsRestaurant - Creative and regional dishes, food for the soul, vegetarian menuClose to nightlife - District 4 is known for its bars and night clubsSights nearby - Easy access to all that Zurich has to offer.Recommended by - Tablet
Hotel Helvetia 14 rooms from $186Zürich
Clean and chic city hotel in central Zurich. Art nouveau rooms and apartments, modern Swiss cuisine, and popular lively bar. A very cool spot for a weekend in Zurich, in an unbeatable location, and ideal for business or leisure.Designer - Designed by the renowned Zurich interior designers Atelier ZurichClose to nightlife - Near the fashionable Kreis 4 districtRestaurant - Head chef Françoise WickiCity Style - Central Zurich location
Florhof Hotel 35 rooms from $261Zürich
An unexpected quiet oasis in the old town, this romantic, shuttered, former merchants town house has a sunny and flowery courtyard garden. Good food and wine in the GaultMillau listed restaurant. 35 pretty cosy rooms, close to the museum, theatre, university and famous shopping district.Restaurant - Gourmet cuisine with Swiss specailities using local fresh produceSights nearby - Situated in the heart of the Old Town
Marktgasse Hotel 39 rooms from $262Zürich
A Grade One heritage building disguises a seriously trendy boutique within, not to mention one of the top bars in town.Sights nearby - Five minutes walk from both Rathaus Zurich and Grossmünster.Great walks - Great walking routes around the nearby Zurich Lake.Spa
Hotel Ni-Mo 10 rooms from $266Zürich
A chic and stylish bed and breakfast in a central location. Close by to restaurants and a tram station. Rooms are comfortable, some with balconies. A breakfast room serves a delightful buffet with varieties of Swiss cheese. A simple yet perfectly formed stay.Local exploring - Super central, located in the bustling Seefeld district with lots of restaurants and cafes close byValue chic - Good value for money, its a comfortable B&B located in a hip areaLocal markets - Moments away from the Stadelhofen Station, easy to explore surrounding areas as wellFull of character
B2 Boutique Hotel and Spa 52 rooms from $343Zürich
Landmark brewery converted to boutique hotel. Modernistic five star bed and breakfast with fabulous spa and swimming pool. Well-equipped and sleek contemporary rooms, and atmospheric public spaces.Spa - Spectacular roof top swimming pool, spa and wellness centre with far reaching views over ZurichDesigner Shopping - Ten minutes by tram to the smart shops of BahnhofstrasseLibrary - Vast library with 33,000 booksSwimming Pool - Fabulous rooftop pool open year round.
Alden Luxury Suite Hotel 22 rooms from $358Zürich
Chic Five Star boutique hotel close to Zurich lake and the Old Town. Built in 1895 in a handsome listed building with sunny outside terrace. Geared for business or pleasure. Elegant suites, excellent restaurant, bar and library. Sleek staff make sure that guests' visits run like clockwork.Restaurant - Elegant and contemporary the Alden Resaurant has 13 Gault Millau points, making it one of Zurichs best restaurantsSuites - An array of suites to choose from, Loft Suites are impressive 85sqm, spa bath and roof terraceSit-out Terrace - Lovely terrace with tables and parasols for drinksSights nearby - Most attractions can be reached within 5 or 10 minutes on foot.Recommended by - Tablet
Storchen 67 rooms from $403Zürich
Centrally situated in Zurich's Old Town, on the River Limmat. The Storchen has been a hotel for 650 years. Legend has it that it was named after two rare black storks which nested on its roof. Hospitable, excellent service & good food. Bedrooms are 80s style but ideal for business or pleasure.Historic - Richard Wagner was a guest here as was author John Irving, who immortalised the Storchen in 'A son of the Circus'Restaurant - There are several dining options: the smart Rotisserie, the more informal Barchetta or the Boulevard cafeCity Style - Situated in the old city on the romantic WeinplatzGood wine list - Exceptional cellar.
Atlantis by Giardino 95 rooms from $511Zürich (Döltschiweg 234)
An urban retreat blending history with luxury. Built in the 1970's, beautifully renovated with elegance, rooms are spacious and grand. A sit-out terrace offers wonderful views. Choice of two restaurants and a legendary bar that has seen many celebrities. Stylish chic.Local exploring - Centrally located, close by to the Üetliberg forest and a short ride to the cultural hotspots, banks and boutiques of ZurichFoodies - The Ecco Zürich, a fine dining concept based on two Michelin star awarded restaurantsGreat walks - Hike up the Ueteliberg Mountain for wonderful views of ZürichSights nearby - The Zürich Opera House cannot be missed
Baur au Lac 102 rooms from $498Zürich
This regal 19th-century palace hotel is an institution. Guests have included royalty, heads of state, artists and Alfred Nobel. Magnificent roof top fitness centre. Opulent rooms together with the latest technology for the most demanding of clients, plus Michelin starred restaurant.Suites - Rooms have individual styles - Art deco, Louis XVI, English Regency combined with comtemporary featuresRestaurant - Dynamic cuisine from head chef Laurent Eperon in the Michelin-Star Pavillon restaurantSit-out Terrace - Afternoon tea or cocktails on the terrace with views of lake Zurich and the AlpsSpa - Superb roof top spa with all the amentiesRecommended by - Kiwi Collection, Tablet, CN Traveller
Widder Hotel 49 rooms from $580Zürich
Take eight Medieval townhouses & join them together using the best architects & designers to create a cutting edge Five Star Hotel. Ultra modern, faultless service, supremely comfortable. Well situated in the Old Town on the banks of the Limmat. Cool, aesthetic, hard to beat in every department.Bar - Famous for live jaz. For decades musicians & jazz lovers from all over the world have flocked to the Widder BarSuites - Each room and suite is individually custom designed and decoratedRestaurant - Awarded 15 Gault Millau points for exceptional cuisineCity StyleRecommended by - Tablet, CN Traveller, Kiwi Collection
The Dolder Grand 173 rooms from $666Zürich
Fabled, superbly grand Five Star turreted establishment with magnificent views overlooking Zurich, the lake and the Alps. All the ingredients for the most discerning guests for either business or pleasure. Sumptuous spa, first class cuisine, and luxurious suites.Suites - Exceptional suites including four 'Top' themed suites from Maestro - classical music inpsired - to Rock n' Roll in Suite 100Restaurant - For lunch try the Amuse Bouche menu and for dinner the 12-course tasting menu in the 2 Michelin starred restaurantSpa - Fabulous spa covering 4,000 sqm with every conceivable treatment and facilityViews - Wonderful views over Zurich and its lake from the hotel's elevated positionRecommended by - Tablet, CN Traveller, Kiwi Collection