Zurich - Where to Stay for first time travelers

Where to Stay in Zurich for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2024

Dive into the soul of Zurich, and get to know more about this multilingual and multicultural city. Widely known as the Global Financial and Banking Center, this city offers travellers a taste of its excellent quality of life and leisure. Although it is often mentioned as a not-so-cheap destination, every penny you spend here will be well worth it. Don’t worry; if you play smart at picking where to stay in Zurich, you won’t need a fortune!

Although there are too many attractions, museums and art galleries to see, I want to single out the relaxing note of Zurich Lake and the excellent taste of the Swiss chocolate fantasy.

This is also the home to one of the four largest churches built in the Romanesque style- Grossmünster. Come and see with your own eyes the largest clock face in Europe. If you are interested in the history of the city, then head to the Swiss National Museum, which hides a vast collection of artefacts and historical exhibits.

Get used to Swiss Punctuality Precision because it is everywhere: in transport, while waiting in line, and even if you go on a date.

Question: Where to stay in Zurich for a first-time visit?

If you ask me when to come here, I won’t be able to point you to a specific month because every season brings a unique beauty to this city. If you enjoy picnics by the lake and long walks, choose spring. And if you come in the summer, join the locals and bathe in the Limmat River.

As for the accommodation in Zurich, Switzerland, you will likely find something to suit your taste and budget below.

Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?

Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.

Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to Zurich.

This is the extension of our guide to 7 days in Switzerland.

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated April 2024.)

But, first things first: 

Here is the question: Where to stay in Zurich for a first-time visit?

The answer is simple: Old Town (Altstadt)

This place will instantly leave a great impression on you and win you over with its picturesque streets and mediaeval charm. This is the real heart of the city, best seen in the old town’s part Niederdorf, a vibrant and famous district with beautiful restaurants and cafes.

Some of the must-visit areas here are:

  • Grossmünster
  • Fraumünster
  • St. Peter’s Church
  • Swiss National Museum

Why do we recommend these areas?

Grossmünster is one of the four largest churches in the city in the Romanesque style. Fraumünster is another prominent church that was made by a modernist artist.

Come and see with your own eyes the largest clock face in Europe in St. Peter’s Church.

If you are a history-lover, head to the Swiss National Museum and explore the vast collection of artefacts and historical exhibits.

We know that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. This guide includes the best areas for

  • the first-time visitor
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Luxury & Design
  • Solo-Traveler
  • on a budget

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.

Please note: those might not be the exact names of the districts, neither its absolute borders. I just tried to simplify this information.

📍Best Area:Zurich West (Kreis 5)
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best for Families:B2 Hotel Zürich
👩‍❤️‍👨 Best for Couples:Boutique Hotel Seidenhof
💎 Best Luxury HotelStorchen Zürich
🤩 Best Design Hotel:CitizenM Zürich
😎 Best for Groups:Townhouse Boutique Hotel
🦸 Best for Solo-Traveller:Motel One Zürich
💃 Best Hotel for Nightlife:Guesthouse fürDich
🤑 Cheapest Place to stay:Residence Mutschellen
👌 Safest Area: Altstadt

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for Zurich

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

If you ask the locals, they will describe the city as a safe place to live, offering great life quality and excellent health and education. Zurich is one of the cities in Europe where you must bring your child at least for a weekend. Moreover, the transportation is well organised, so you will get everywhere quickly without getting tired. What will leave an impression on you is the city’s cleanliness, punctuality and orderliness. Everything a family could want. The only thing left now is to figure out where to stay in Zurich.

Enge

This is a residential area on the western shore of Zurich Lake. It is very close to the water where you can have a picnic or stroll for a walk. The quarter combines tranquillity and an urban setting with diverse cultures and languages. The Opera House is also located in this part, which I highly recommend you visit.

Seefeld

This is yet another vibrant neighbourhood that stands out for its excellent culinary scene. This part is also considered a transport hub, which significantly eases your stay here. It has a lakeside location that will leave you breathless with its elegant architecture and peaceful pace of life. There are also many parks where you can relax and spend time together.

Handpicked accommodations for families

B2 Hotel Zürich, Enge

If you’re looking for where to stay in Zurich, Switzerland, B2 Hotel Zürich will delight you with its elegant rooms and family suites. It is located in a former brewery, so the rooms are exceptionally stylish. The hotel has a thermal bath, spa, and wellness and fitness centre. The nearest train station is an 8-minute walking distance.

Book B2 Hotel Zürich here

Relax and unwind at B2 Hotel Zürich

Have a great time at B2 Hotel Zürich

CITY STAY – Lindenstrasse, Seefeld

CITY STAY – Lindenstrasse is only a 5-minute walk from the lake and has a capacity for a maximum of 10 people. There is a kitchen with all the necessary elements and 2 bedrooms. Parking is free, and the quality of the WiFi connection is excellent.

Book CITY STAY – Lindenstrasse here

Private room at CITY STAY - Lindenstrasse

Have a pleasant stay at CITY STAY - Lindenstrasse

 1.2 Couples

The scenic beauty and lakeside romance are enriched with a full-day cruise on Lake Zurich. Is this how you imagined the romantic weekend? The city is safe and clean, so feel free to explore every corner with your loved one. You can also go to the street with luxury shops or spend the whole day in a renowned spa and thermal bath.

And now, more about where to stay in Zurich!

Old Town (Altstadt)

Niederdof is the most romantic part of the city. Here, you can see couples enjoying the peaceful Lindenhof Park or climbing the panoramic tower of the Grossmünster. If you are settled in one of the intimate hidden apartments, you can also visit the most picturesque street with colourful buildings, Augustinergasse.

Seefeld

The lakeside setting and promenade are simply made for long, romantic walks. Explore the Kunsthaus – the art spot or walk the shopping streets. There is also a park here that is reserved for couples called Zurichhorn Park.

Handpicked accommodations for couples

Boutique Hotel Seidenhof, Altstadt

Right next to Lindenhof Park, in a perfect location, Boutique Hotel Seidenhof offers cosy accommodation in elegant rooms. In the offer, you also get a daily breakfast. Some reviews say that they serve you champagne during breakfast. There is an excellent garden next to the hotel where you can have coffee, take a photo, or take a selfie. The room you get has a double bed and a private bath with shower, slippers and bathrobe.

Book Boutique Hotel Seidenhof here

Make yourself at home at Boutique Hotel Seidenhof

Enjoy your time at Boutique Hotel Seidenhof

Seefeld Residenz, Seefeld

If you’re still looking for where to stay in Zurich, I recommend Seefeld Residenz, which previous visitors seem to adore. The room is designed for 2 people and offers a spotless stay. Private parking is also available.

Book Seefeld Residenz here

Experience comfort at Seefeld Residenz

Have a wonderful stay at Seefeld Residenz

1.3 Luxury traveler

Zurich, or the City of Bridges, has several Michelin-starred restaurants. Still, the most famous luxury stores for clothes, jewellery and watches are in the most renowned shopping Bahnhofstrasse Area. if you’re looking for accommodation in Zurich by the lake, you can book high-end according to your preferences. Helicopter tours are available if you want to experience the city from a different perspective. You can also go on a tour with specialised limousines driven by a driver and a guide.

Bahnhofstrasse Area

In the brimming heart of Zurich, you’ll find the most famous shopping area with exquisite shops, high-end boutiques and the world’s premium shops for watches, such as Rolex and Omega. In addition, you can find great pieces of jewellery in Bahnhofstrasse Area. The quarter has an international reputation.

Seefeld

This neighbourhood is known for exclusive real estate properties and is still considered an extension of the Bahnhofstrasse area. Book a restaurant in this neighbourhood in advance if you want fine Swiss dining. After that, choose one of the spas, or even in your hotel. Also, this place is known for the many international schools that further increase the locals’ standards.

Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler

Storchen Zürich – Lifestyle Boutique Hotel, Bahnhofstrasse

Looking for where to stay in Zurich? This delightful boutique hotel with an exceptional location and a history dating back 650 years. It has a unique position in the city’s heart and has a boat pier. Choose the Riverside Double Room.

Book Storchen Zürich here

Enjoy your stay at Storchen Zürich - Lifestyle boutique Hotel

Have fun at Storchen Zürich - Lifestyle boutique Hotel

La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich, Seefeld

Get the celebrity treatment in the comfort of the modernly decorated rooms with balconies in La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich located in a historic building. Almost all rooms have a lake view, and the most beautiful view is reserved for the La Muna rooftop bar, open in spring and summer.

Book La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich here

Relax and unwind at La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich

Have a great time at La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich

1.4 Design-lovers

Zurich is a blend of different cultures and a cosmopolitan vibe, which is why the design and art also vary, adding to the diversity. This place is a creative hub with world-class design. Visit the Zurich Universe of Art or the Zurich Design Biennale. If you are a fan of aesthetics and originality, make sure to check: –

  • Felsenegg
  • Kunsthaus Zurich
  • Zurich Opera House
  • Prime Tower

Zurich West (Kreis 5)

Welcome to one of the best places to stay in Zurich, which, in a very short time, has transformed from an industrial zone to a trendy and dynamic district. The Prime Above Tower and Freitag Tower are located here. This construction of the latter is made from recycled shipping containers, making the place unique. In Zurich West, there is also Puls 5, a vibrant area where many artists exchange ideas.

Langstrasse

This is the quarter with the most youthful energy of all places in Zurich. It offers an electric atmosphere and a diverse crowd. At every turn, art galleries and Swiss restaurants are decorated with style. You will notice the exciting street art and the many abandoned buildings that have received a new chic look.

Handpicked accommodations for the design lover

CitizenM Zürich, Zurich West (Kreis 5)

Still haven’t decided where to stay in Zurich? CitizenM Zürich is located in a lively area, but it still offers pleasant and peaceful nights in soundproof, clean and spacious rooms. The entire complex is decorated in a modern style and is located a 10-minute walk from Bahnhofstrasse. A beautiful shared working area is decorated with exciting motifs and colourful pictures. All rooms also feature colourful design details.

Book citizenM Zürich here

Private room at citizenM Zürich

Have a pleasant stay at citizenM Zürich

25hours Hotel Langstrasse, Langstrasse

25hours Hotel Langstrasse features cool and funky rooms, interestingly designed corners and a bar. All rooms are colourful and have wooden elements, with a mini-bar you can use for free. The hotel has an artist’s vibe offering plenty of inspiration. It also has a sauna, and the rooms are designed for two people.

Book 25hours Hotel Langstrasse here

Make yourself at home at 25hours Hotel Langstrasse

Enjoy your time at 25hours Hotel Langstrasse

1.5 Groups

The multiculturalism in this city offers many exciting things to explore in a group. The whole atmosphere is very welcoming and the infrastructure is quite efficient. If you are a gourmet and want to try Swiss cuisine, organise a group gastronomic treat with cheese tasting, Rosti and the legendary Zurcher Geschenzeltes.

Old Town (Altstadt)

When looking for places to stay in Zurich, don’t forget to consider the city’s Old Town. All the attractions here are in one place, the most impressive of which is the Swiss National Museum and the park around the lake for group picnics. Here you have opportunities for many more group activities than any other city in the area.

Zurich West (Kreis 5)

Try street food, explore the chic quarter, enjoy the Gerolds Garten and take an art tour in the Kunsthalle. If you want another fun experience, take your shopping bags and do Freitag Tower bag shopping.

Handpicked accommodations for groups

Townhouse Boutique Hotel Old Town (Altstadt)

Townhouse Boutique Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland offers excellent non-smoking rooms and suites that can accommodate 6 people. You have wireless wifi, and Zurich’s central station is a few steps away. Also, being located just off Bahnhofstrasse, it is a real value for money. In the offer, you also have a rich breakfast.

Book Townhouse Boutique Hotel here

Experience comfort at Townhouse Boutique Hotel

Have a wonderful stay at Townhouse Boutique Hotel

Züri by Fassbind, Zurich West (Kreis 5)

Züri by Fassbind is a new hotel, opened in 2017, with a beautiful central location. The desk is open 24 hours, and the staff is pleasant and open to helping you. When it comes to the hotel’s interior design, you’ll immediately notice it has been decorated with much attention, taste and dedication. The place even has a conference hall and shared lounge.

Book Züri by Fassbind here

Relax and unwind at Züri by Fassbind

Have a great time at Züri by Fassbind

1.6 Solo-travelers

Zurich is one of the safest European cities, with the lowest crime rate. It has amiable locals and such a solo-friendly ambience. Spend the day exploring, and finally, relax in a public thermal bath or spa. And, of course, consider the best accommodations for where to stay in Zurich!

Old Town (Altstadt)

Don’t be shy about conversing with the locals while wandering through cobbled streets. Let them help you discover hidden gems and taste local traditional food, but finally, find someone to share Swiss chocolate with.

Kreis 4 (Wiedikon)

Plan a walking tour and go to Lanstrasse, the most eclectic street. Here, you can find the best places for nightlife, street art spots, and bohemian vibes.

Handpicked accommodations for a solo traveler

Motel One Zürich, Altstadt

Looking for accommodation in Zurich, Switzerland? Motel One Zürich is a spotlessly decorated hostel in an excellent location, only 600 meters from Bahnhofstrasse. You can rent a bed in a shared bedroom with a shared toilet. All rooms have a coffee machine, and there is also a laundry in the complex where you can wash your clothes for a small fee.

Although it is not included in the price, you can also arrange a continental breakfast at an additional cost. However, due to the hostel’s great central location, you have bakeries and markets nearby that work in two shifts.

Book Motel One Zürich here

Enjoy your stay at Motel One Zürich

Have fun at Motel One Zürich

Superbly, Wiedikon

An apartment that can accommodate a maximum of 2 people but is also ideal for solo travellers. It has a private bathroom and a well-equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and washing machine. You also have a garden at your disposal, as well as a fitness centre.

Book Superbly here

Have a pleasant stay at Superbly appointed 2,5 room, 1 bedroom condo Private room at Superbly appointed 2,5 room, 1 bedroom condo

1.7 Nightlife Traveler

From the nightlife here, you can expect a lot. Most of all, you will be surprised by the many former industrial complexes converted into nightclubs, such as the Hive Club, with an edgy and unique atmosphere. And you will also be surprised by the floating club on Zurich Lake, like Club Zukunft.

Rooftops, such as Widder Bar or Clouds Bar, are no worse. Finally, explore the Rote Fabrik, a cultural hub that turns into a party place at night.

Langstrasse

Formerly a red-light district, this neighbourhood is now a great choice for where to stay in Zurich for those who are looking for an immersive night out. Colourful lights and disco balls are everywhere, making the street become a lively stream at night. There are great dance clubs and live music spots you’ll certainly enjoy.

Zurich West (Kreis 5)

Kriest 5 used to be nothing but an industrial place, and now it’s full of chic bars. There are excellent rooftops, street food locations and a diverse crowd. If you want evening cinema screenings, go to the Riffraff cinema.

Handpicked accommodations for nightlife

Guesthouse fürDich, Langstrasse

Guesthouse fürDich is close to the train station and the Swiss National Museum. It is excellent accommodation for two, with one bedroom and a shared bath, as well as free parking. In the complex, there is a bistro and cafe with a very lively and artistic atmosphere.

Book Guesthouse fürDich here

Make yourself at home at Guesthouse fürDich

Enjoy your time at Guesthouse fürDich

Luxus Wohnung mit Garten Zurich West (Kreis 5)

Minimalistic furnished apartment with kitchen garden, and BBQ facilities. It has one bedroom for two, free Wi-Fi, and parking right next to the entrance.

Book Luxus Wohnung mit Garten here

Experience comfort at Luxus Wohnung mit Garten

Have a wonderful stay at Luxus Wohnung mit Garten

1.8 For the Budget Traveler

If you’re looking for places to stay in Zurich on a budget, then buy a ZurichCARD, move more or go for a picnic instead of getting lunch in an expensive restaurant. If you still want to buy something, avoid Bahnhofstrasse and run to Niederdorf or Langstrasse for more budget-friendly clothes or fashion accessories.

Download one of the apps for transportation or entrance to museums to track discounts and typically consider coming in the off-peak season, i.e. January, February, March, April, November or December.

District 2 (Wollishofen)

Wollishofen is a more residential area and less touristy. Transportation is very efficient and easy to find. This lakeside neighbourhood gives you free relaxation spots wherever you turn. Here, you also have many options for street food stands and late-night eateries at reasonable prices.

District 3 (Albisrieden)

Sihfeld is also a residential area, so the prices are reasonable. This means you can find accommodation for a reasonable price. There are not many tourists in the district, but with public transport, you are in the centre of the events in 10 minutes. If you want a meal on a budget, then visit the local markets.

Handpicked accommodations for budget traveler

Residence Mutschellen, District 2 (Wollishofen)

Wondering where to stay in Zurich on a budget? Here, you get everything you need for a comfortable stay at a favourable price. You can even get a 10% discount for early booking. Residence Mutschellen also have a private kitchen with a microwave, a dishwasher and a small stove. You can also use a dishwasher, washing machine, hairdryer, iron, and vacuum cleaner.

The bathroom is private, and the heating and Wi-Fi connection is at an enviable level. Reserve the parking lot in advance and pay the minimum amount. The apartments can accommodate a maximum of 4 people, making it a great choice if you’re coming here with your friends.

Book Residence Mutschellen here

Enjoy your stay at Residence Mutschellen Have fun at Residence Mutschellen

Hilda: Tranquillo Appartamento in Centro, District 3 (Albisrieden)

Hilda: Tranquillo Appartamento can accommodate from 2 to 7 people. It’s yet another budget-friendly accommodation with a very welcoming host, available 24/7. It has 1 bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom. There is also a minimarket in the complex. In the vicinity, some restaurants and bakeries offer products at reasonable prices.

Book Hilda: Tranquillo Appartamento here

2. Best Neighborhood to Stay in Zurich

Discovering your ideal Zurich neighbourhood is finding where you truly belong. For the night owls and epicureans, Landstrasse beckons with its vibrant nightlife, offering excellent gastronomy and quality strolls through the historic old town.

Indulge in a shopping extravaganza along the renowned Bahnhofstrasse, where luxury boutiques and Swiss craftsmanship converge. If tranquillity is your pursuit, District 2 and District 3 unveil a haven of relaxation, providing a serene escape from the bustling urban rhythm.

As you embark on your adventure and discover the best places to stay in Zurich, you’ll see that the city’s diverse districts offer tailored experiences for every taste. Amidst this cultural blend, the only dilemma left to cross out is where to stay. Secure your ideal accommodation, ensuring your Zurich sojourn is a visit and a personalised immersion into the heart of Switzerland’s enchanting metropolis.

Let the anticipation of your Zurich experience begin, from exploring charming alleys to savouring culinary delights and basking in the serenity of its picturesque districts. Your journey starts with the perfect accommodation choice, unlocking the gateway to Zurich’s unparalleled charm and allure.

3. FAQs

What is the best neighborhood to stay in Zurich?

The best neighborhood to stay in Zurich depends on your preferences. For a charming and historic experience, Old Town (Altstadt) is recommended. If you prefer luxury shopping and a central location, Bahnhofstrasse Area is ideal. For a trendy and dynamic atmosphere, Zurich West (Kreis 5) is a great choice, while Seefeld offers a lakeside setting and romantic walks.

Where should you not stay in Zurich?

While Zurich is generally safe, some areas might not align with everyone's preferences. For those seeking a quieter atmosphere, areas with vibrant nightlife like Langstrasse might not be the best fit. It's essential to research neighborhoods based on your preferences, whether you prioritize tranquility, nightlife, or specific amenities.

What should I avoid in Zurich?

Zurich is a welcoming city, but it's advisable to be mindful of high-end areas like Bahnhofstrasse if you're on a tight budget. Additionally, it's a good idea to respect local customs and adhere to Swiss punctuality. Be cautious with your belongings, especially in crowded tourist areas, to prevent any potential issues.

Where should I stay in Zurich for the first time?

For a first-time visit to Zurich, Old Town (Altstadt) is a highly recommended choice. Its picturesque streets, medieval charm, and proximity to key attractions like Grossmünster, Fraumünster, St. Peter's Church, and the Swiss National Museum make it an ideal starting point. The Niederdorf district within Old Town is vibrant, offering beautiful restaurants and cafes for a memorable experience.

4. Map + All Sights

5. Summary of Where to stay in Zurich

This was a specialised ‘Where to Stay in Zurich’ guide for you, and these are the neighbourhoods I want to point out:

  • Old Town (Altstadt)
  • Bahnhofstrasse Area
  • Züri West (Kreis 5)
  • Seefeld

Zurich is not only a financial centre and bank epicentre, but it also offers an exceptional quality of life, worth experiencing for at least two days or maybe a week. Decide how long you stay, and find accommodation for the links. Make memories because they last. And for more unforgettable trips, find inspiration on my other blogs.

Other European Destinations

Before you run off, here is a few more handwritten articles for you. These will help you to find more unique experiences and enjoy your holidays at fullest.

Any Questions?

There you have it. I hope you have no questions and found your home in my home town.

However, please remember: I am not perfect, and it is likely I missed a few things to point out.

Therefore: Do you have questions? Is anything not clear?

Please please please drop me a comment below with your email! I will reply to you ASAP via email and here in the comments.

In fact, your questions help me to make this article better. So I help you to help me.

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