Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dear Frau: Budget Hotels in Zurich

Welcome to another edition of Dear Frau. It’s kind of like Dear Abby, except with an international twist. Remember, if you have a question, don’t hesitate to contact The Frau.

Dear Frau,

Do you have any suggestions for an inexpensive, central place to stay in Zurich? I know it is a very expensive city.

Nice to find you,
Canadian in Texas on my way to Switzerland

Dear Canadian in Texas on your way to Switzerland,

In 2012, The Economist Intelligence Unit named Zurich the most expensive city in the world. That’s nice for Zurich, but not so nice for you, the visitor, who does not a Swiss salary make.

Where to stay in Zurich, Switzerland?
Never fear, penny-pinchers. Switzerland may not have pennies (the smallest coin they mint is a 5-cent one) but The Frau has a solution for that. It’s called painful research and she’s done it for you.

Since she has written about Zurich on a budget before (and also runs a writing workshop in Zurich that’s on a writer kind of budget) she leaves you now with five great places to stay in (or near) Zurich that won’t break your non-Swiss bank account.

Think of what would happen if IKEA made a hotel and stuck it in the center of the world’s most expensive city. Then you would have Hotel Marta, which is Zurich’s newest pick for those who like to be in the old town. It offers free wifi and free breakfast and there’s a promotion right now where you can get your third night free too. From CHF 125

Older than Hotel Marta but still centrally located about a ten-minute walk from the main train station, it’s a good budget option if Hotel Marta is fully booked. From CHF 125

10 minutes. That’s about how long it takes to walk to just about any main sight in Zurich from Hotel St. Josef.  10 minutes to the main train station. 10 minutes to the old town. 10 minutes to the lakefront. Not to mention all the rooms include a TV, a refrigerator, and a tea and coffee maker. From CHF 140

Perfect for Brits looking for a home away from home in Zurich, the Townhouse Boutique Hotel is decorated like an English townhouse.  Accordingly bathroom amenities come from Molton Brown. Key word, bathroom amenities, since despite high prices, many Swiss hotels leave a lot to be desired—like soap. From CHF 160

If you’re willing to venture out and stay in a spa town a direct 15-minute train ride from Zurich (which will cost you CHF 10 one way), then Frau Meise could be for you. Located in Baden’s old town between a castle ruin and a Medieval wooden bridge, Frau Meise is a bed and breakfast with only two rooms but plenty of character. From CHF 100

Anyone else know of decent budget hotel options (in other words, rooms under CHF 200–yes...this is budget for Switzerland) in Zurich to help our Canadian in Texas?


Dominik said...

How about EasyHotel Zürich? It's from EasyJet and dirt cheap :) But the rooms are super tiny, though.

Amy said...

When we first moved here, we had a week without temporary housing and not much money. We stayed at the guest above the restaurant Zum Guten Gluck. It's fairly central, in a trendy neighborhood, basic but functional rooms (no TV, kind of sketchy wireless), and shared bathrooms (with the other four rooms on your floor). Rooms from 69 to 109 CHF. (Similarly, Kafischnaps - a trendy cafe/bar - also has guest rooms above the restaurant)

My in-laws stayed at the Olympia Hotel near Albisriederplatz. Also a bit away from the center, but well connected on the tram line. En suite bathrooms, functional and boring rooms. (but rates are cheaper on

Friends just stayed the Weststrasse Guesthouse, which is near Idaplatz.

Finally, friends have had success with nice apartments on Air B&B. Our friends rented one in May with a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and balcony for 95 CHF/night.

Chantal said...

Thanks, great tips!

Jérémie said...

There is also the youth hostel. Single room with shower and breakfast is around 120CHF...
If you are a member, there is a (small) rebate.
Granted, the "Stimmung" is inbetween a dorm and a hotel, but I kind of like it...

Anonymous said...

Ze Widder Hotel, Rennweg 7, 8001 Züri

Budget Hotel Delhi said...

It’s also unspoiled and spacious, with some lounges, two terraces and a amazingly well-appointed bar. great tips! Thanks for sharing this.


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