Destinations / Europe

3 Days in Zurich: What to See and Do

A fairy tale city set on the banks of a picturesque river and lake, Zurich is a vibrant city with charming neighbourhoods and fascinating attractions that make for an ideal city break. A shoppers paradise, top-notch shopping districts are nestled amongst a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and centuries-old mansions. A modern city that’s known as a centre of commerce, visitors will also discover Zurich is filled with stunning architecture and stylish neighbourhoods with avant-garde Dadaism movement roots. An award-winning capital known for its world-renown livability factors and breathtaking vistas, travellers who come to Zurich are greeted with quaint streets and a buzzing atmosphere from nearby cafes and restaurants.

Home to a variety of hotels that range from 5-star luxury to budget-friendly comforts, Zurich has an abundance of accommodation choices to choose from. From the ancient Old Town city centre to the trendy Zurich West, visitors will find a wealth of accommodation options that allow you to explore the winding lanes of Zurich on foot. With over 300 million visitors per year to HotelsCombined, we’ve taken the guesswork out of hotel searches and highlighted the top hotels in Zurich that are in walking distance to the city’s most popular sights. An appealing city to all types of travellers, we’ve also created a suggested 72 hour Zurich itinerary to get a taste of what Zurich has to offer.

3 Days in Zurich

3 Day Zurich Itinerary

Day 1: Getting Acquainted with Zurich

Day:
Start your Zurich trip meandering through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, where you’ll be surrounded with beautiful medieval architecture lined with antique shops, fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Dominating the skyline with its Romanesque features, discover where the Swiss-German Reformation began at the stunning 12th-century Grossmunster before taking a five-minute stroll to another one of Zurich’s most noteworthy churches, Fraumunster, to catch a glimpse of its vividly coloured stained-glass windows. After soaking in some of the city’s most important landmarks, cross the River Limmat and stroll down one of the most attractive shopping streets in Europe and Zurich’s main pedestrianised street, Bahnhofstrasse, to find quaint shops alongside beautiful fountains and lush greenery.

Day 1 in Zurich

Night:
Start your evening at Didi’s Frieden, one of the Zurich’s top restaurants serving French cuisine with a Swiss twist. Headed by an award-winning chef, patrons will find an ever-changing four-course menu paired with an extensive list of superb wines. Walk off your hearty meal with a casual 15-minute stroll to the famous Cabaret Voltaire, a cafe-clubhouse where the trendy go to sip on absinthe and attend a variety of art exhibitions and events, and is noted for being the birthplace of the zany Dada movement. Cross the River Limmat for a short three-minute walk to the Old Crow, a lively nightlife venue in the city centre. Known for their innovative drinks and an impressive 1,600 bottles of rare liquor, patrons should take particular notice of the remarkable collection of whiskies.

Day 2: Discover Zurich’s Treasures

Day:
Begin your day at the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, the Swiss National Museum, where you’ll find over 820,000 artefacts detailing the cultural history of Switzerland. Next, stroll down the Bahnhofstrasse for a 15-minute walk to Cafe Sprungli, an iconic Zurich institution that entices visitors in with stacks of macaroons beautifully displayed in the window front. Satisfy your sweet tooth with cakes, chocolates or ice cream in the on-site cafe or grab your newly acquired treats and head to the nearby Lindenhof. An idyllic square just three minutes away on foot, Lindenhof offers visitors sweeping views of the Old Town, Limmat River and Swiss Alps. After soaking in the sights, head to Kunsthaus Zurich, the city’s favourite modern art museum just 10 minutes away.

Day 2 in Zurich

Night:
Dine at the iconic Swiss restaurant, Zeughauskeller, conveniently located on Bahnhofstrasse. Built in 1487, Zeughauskeller is where both tourists and locals alike go for a traditional meal and Zurich sample specialities such as “geschnetzelte”, which are strips of veal in creamy mushroom sauce. Hop on a tram and head to the trendy Zurich West side of town to explore the Frau Gerolds Garten, a unique complex that boasts various shops, local artwork, a garden, and a restaurant and bar area. Only a two-minute walk away is the tallest building in Switzerland, where visitors can soar to the 36th-floor and visit Clouds Bar, which combines spectacular views over Lake Zurich with a delicious range of gin. Less than 15-minutes away on foot, end your evening at the stylish Alice Choo, a luxury lounge where locals come to dance late into the night.

Day 3: See Zurich From a New Perspective

Day:
For an adventurous day out, head to Uetliberg, a popular area just south-west of Zurich that is readily available via the city’s railway. Only a 10-minute walk to the summit, visitors will find stunning views of the Valais, Bernese and Glarus Alps. Return to the city and visit MuDA, Zurich’s most fascinating museum where digital art is created from numbers and algorithms. End your day wandering the streets of Zurich’s Old Town area of Niederdorf, a pedestrian-friendly street lined with shops, restaurants and small alleyways. Parallel to Niederdorf is Limmatquai, an area dotted with guild halls, restaurants and notable landmarks that line the scenic riverside street.

Day 3 in Zurich

Night:
Just before the sun sets on Zurich, board a river cruiser or head straight to Burkliplatz to cruise on Lake Zurich to catch the last bit of light that shines on the Glarus Alps. When you’ve grown an appetite, visit Kindli, an elegant Swiss restaurant that has been serving traditional European dishes in Zurich since 1474. To fully soak in the most of your last day, cross the River Limmat and take a 10-minute walk to join a crowd of energetic revellers at the city’s popular club Mascotte, where you’ll find a century-old music venue bursting with live music that ranges from funk and soul to techno.

Staying in Zurich

Staying in Zurich

Whether you arrive in the city via the Zurich Airport or at the central train station Zurich Hauptbahnhof, for an efficient itinerary of exploring Zurich on foot, visitors will want to ensure that they’re close to the city’s most beloved neighbourhoods and attractions. While many visitors only look for hotels in Old Town or near the airport, they’d be amiss to overlook hotels that are near the other vibrant areas of Zurich. From the famous shopping street of Bahnhofstrasse to the lively nightlife in Niederdorf and the contemporary galleries and trendy restaurants and bars in the up-and-coming Zurich West area, Zurich has a variety of interesting neighbourhoods to stay in.

Zurich Hotels Near Zurich Airport

Zurich Hotels Near Zurich Airport

Ibis Zurich Messe Airport

Ibis Zurich Messe Airport

Conveniently located less than a 10-minute drive from the Zurich Airport, Ibis Zurich Messe Airport is ideal for quick trips to the city. A free shuttle bus whisks travellers to the hotel, where they’re greeted with 252 comfortable rooms, a contemporary on-site Ibis Kitchen restaurant and private car park.

Dine on the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet before exploring some of Zurich’s most famous attractions. A five-minute walk from a tram stop, guests can reach the heart of Zurich’s city centre in less than 30 minutes where they’ll be in walking distance to the famous Old Town, historical landmarks such as Grossmunster and the many shops on Bahnhofstrasse.

Star Rating: 2*
Price: CHF 51 – CHF 189
Guest Rating: 7.7
Address:  Heidi Abel Weg 5, Zurich, Switzerland

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Hotel Location

Zurich Hotels Near Zurich Hauptbahnhof

Zurich Hotels Near Zurich Hauptbahnhof

Hotel Montana Zurich

Hotel Montana Zurich

Only a five-minute walk from Zurich Hauptbahnhof, Hotel Montana Zurich is a charming boutique hotel in the heart of the city. Ranging from Comfort Double to the spacious Family Room, newly renovated suites come with amenities to ensure a comfortable stay, including a Nespresso machine, flat-screen TV and separate work area.

The hotel’s restaurant serves a hearty breakfast with delicious homemade goods such as strawberry jam with mint, in addition to coffee, pancakes and fresh fruit. A convenient walking distance to many of the city’s attractions, guests are only a two-minute walk from a tram stop and minutes from shopping at Bahnhofstrasse and the colourfully painted bay windows in Augustinergasse.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: CHF 49 – CHF 195
Guest Rating: 7.9
Address: Konradstrasse 39, Zurich, Switzerland

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XTRA Hotel

XTRA Hotel

Just steps from the Swiss National Museum and a 10-minute walk from Zurich Hauptbahnhof, XTRA Hotel is a three-star property with 40 individually designed and allergy-free guest rooms. Guests can choose between a Standard Shared Bathroom Single Room, Standard Quadruple Room or a Triple Room, all featuring comfortable seating areas and satellite channels.

Guests can dine at the modern restaurant Elle’n’Belle serving Vegan cuisine on-site, while the cosy lounge bar offers a variety of tea and coffee that are perfect for relaxing break or a quick treat on the go. The hotel also conveniently features free on-site parking in addition to a 24-hour reception and newspaper service.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: CHF 52 – CHF 134
Guest Rating: 6.8
Address: Limmatstrasse 118, Zurich, Switzerland

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Hotel Krone Unterstrass

Hotel Krone Unterstrass

A short walk from Zurich Hauptbahnhof and next to a tram stop that whisks travellers quickly to the city, Hotel Krone Unterstrass is located in a fashionable part of Zurich. Guests who stay here will be greeted with 74 bright and spacious rooms and suites with wooden floors and kitchenettes. Maintaining a focus on quality and sustainability, Hotel Krone Unterstrass is a historic hotel that dates back to 1720, yet offers many modern amenities for business and leisure travellers alike.

Differente restaurant invites guests to taste their high-quality seasonal menus of Mediterranean and Swiss cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients, while the open fireplace and inviting atmosphere at the Differente bar is hard to pass up. Take advantage of the hotel’s on-site facilities or soak in the sights on the bustling streets of Old Town less than a 10-minute walk away.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: CHF 65 – CHF 363
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: Schaffhauserstrasse 1, Zurich, Switzerland

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Hotel Location

Zurich Hotels Near Old Town

Zurich Hotels Near Old Town

Sorell Hotel Seidenhof

Sorell Hotel Seidenhof

Located in Zurich’s city centre less than a five-minute walk from Bahnhofstrasse, Sorell Hotel Seidenhof offers modern accommodation with luxury amenities. Whether guests opt for the budget-friendly Standard Single or splurge for Superior Double Room King, all guests can indulge in the variety of delicious jams and farm-fresh eggs and cheeses that are served at the daily breakfast.

After a day of exploring the city, visit the fitness and health club with a spa area, sauna and steam bath, or treat yourself to a pampering deep-tissue massage or wellness treatment at the in-house massage studio. Come evening, and guests are spoilt for choice in dining, entertainment and nightlife options in the area. If a night in sounds more appealing, guests can dine on a menu of Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese cuisine at the on-site Mishio Restaurant.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: CHF 105 – CHF 266
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: Sihlstrasse 9, Zurich, Switzerland

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Boutique Hotel Wellenberg

Boutique Hotel Wellenberg

Only a six-minute walk from Zurich’s Old Town on a trendy pedestrian street, Boutique Hotel Wellenberg provides a blend of charming decor and comfy guest rooms. Cosy and stylish, rest your head in a Double, Queen or King Room adorned with modern artwork, or find affordable luxury in one of the Junior Suites that feature a separate living area and sofa.

A daily breakfast buffet offers lovely rooftop views on its seasonal terrace, while the on-site restaurant Louis serves a menu of classic French cuisine. Guests can explore the hotel’s lobby and library that pairs splendid Old Town vistas with 400 books, newspapers and media technology for a perfect day of lounging, or end your day with a refreshing cocktail or glass of wine at the legendary Tina Bar, one of the oldest bars in Zurich.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: CHF 105 – CHF 334
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: Niederdorfstrasse 10, Zurich, Switzerland

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Hotel du Theatre By Fassbind

Hotel du Theatre By Fassbind

Less than 10 minutes from Old Town and the fashionable Niederdorf, Hotel du Theatre by Fassbind is a three-star property that accommodates travellers who are looking to explore Zurich’s city centre on foot. Boasting 50 bright rooms and suites with individually designed furniture and vibrant artwork, guests of this hotel are provided express check-in services and a 24-hour front desk.

Easily accessed from Zurich’s central train station, Hotel du Theatre By Fassbind dates back to 1950 and treats guests to free use of a nearby fitness centre and a choice between a pre-ordered, in-room, buffet or a full breakfast.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: CHF 77 – CHF 184
Guest Rating: 7.9
Address: Seilergraben 69, Zurich, Switzerland

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Hotel Location

Zurich Hotels Near Bahnhofstrasse

Zurich Hotels Near Bahnhofstrasse

Hotel St Gotthard

Hotel St Gotthard

Nestled on the famous Bahnhofstrasse shopping street, Hotel St. Gotthard positions guests only a few steps from the city’s top museums, shops and restaurants. A 19th-century family-run hotel, this recently refurbished five-storey property now provides an extensive list of spacious rooms and suites to choose from.

Those looking for luxury amenities will find the Two Bedroom and St. Gotthard Suites will fit their needs, as they feature separate living rooms, marble bathrooms and private balconies with spectacular city views. Treat yourself to deliciously fresh seafood at the Lobster and Oyster Bar restaurant or book a relaxing massage treatment with the on-site physiotherapist.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: CHF 132 – CHF 320
Guest Rating: 7.8
Address: Bahnhofstrasse 87, Zurich, Switzerland

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Central Plaza Hotel Zurich

Central Plaza Hotel Zurich

Overlooking the River Limmat, Central Plaza Hotel Zurich is a 19th-century Art Deco style property just minutes from Zurich’s city centre and a three-minute walk from Zurich Hauptbahnhof. A range of cosy rooms and suites provide modern amenities to ensure a comfortable night’s stay, including complimentary toiletries and slippers, while guests also have access to a 24-hour health club.

Refuel for another day of adventure at King’s Cave, where guests will find a royal-like ambience and a menu of grilled specialities and an extensive list of wines. Wind down at the on-site Central Cafe Bar with a fruity cocktail and relaxing piano music, or soak in the city’s sights on the terrace of the stylish on-site Central Garten.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: CHF 100 – CHF 382
Guest Rating: 8.0
Address: Central 1, Zurich, Switzerland

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Bristol Hotel Zurich

Bristol Hotel Zurich

Guests staying at Bristol Hotel Zurich are less than a 10-minute walk to Zurich’s lively Bahnhofstrasse shopping street and nightlife in Niederdorf. This historic haven treats its guests to a tranquil atmosphere and a classic Neoclassical style, while its 56 bright and airy rooms also feature modern decor and contemporary furnishings.

If guests are looking for a further exploration of the surrounding area, a 24-hour reception is available to reserve an organised tour or can provide helpful travel tips and information, as the city’s central station is conveniently less than a five-minute walk away across the River Limmat.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: CHF 56 – CHF 219
Guest Rating: 7.9
Address: Stampfenbachstrasse 34, Zurich, Switzerland

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Hotel Location

Zurich Hotels Near Niederdorf

Zurich Hotels Near Niederdorf

Adler Hotel Zurich

Adler Hotel Zurich

Operating as an inn since the 11th-century, Adler Hotel Zurich is a charming property located in the lively centre of Niederdorf. Guests will be greeted with beautifully displayed artwork and a welcoming ambience, choosing from 52 fully-refurbished rooms and suites with soundproof windows to ensure a peaceful night of sleep.

For a taste of Switzerland’s traditional specialities, from cheese fondue to rosti potato pancakes, head to the on-site Swiss Chuchi restaurant for a memorable meal of hearty cuisine. For guests travelling with their four-legged friends, the hotel also accommodates dogs and features a water fountain to keep them fully refreshed.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: CHF 89 – CHF 300
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: Rosengasse 10, Zurich, Switzerland

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Hotel Continental Zurich – MGallery by Sofitel

Hotel Continental Zurich

Providing convenient access to Zurich Hauptbahnhof and Niederdorf, Hotel Continental Zurich – MGallery by Sofitel is just steps from the city’s best restaurants, such as Didi’s Frieden. Warm colours highlight the 138 Swiss chalet-inspired rooms, where guests will find amenities that reflect the comforts of home, such as flat-screen TVs, slippers and coffee making facilities.

Enjoy a relaxing meal at L’Entupada, the on-site restaurant, or wind down with a handcrafted cocktail at the cosy lounge bar. Business travellers can take advantage of the hotel’s large conference rooms equipped with modern technology, as they are ideal for a meeting or training session.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: CHF 102 – CHF 278
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: Stampfenbachstrasse 60, Zurich, Switzerland

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Zurich Marriott Hotel

Zurich Marriott Hotel

A five-star hotel that overlooks the River Limmat, Zurich Marriott Hotel is less than a 15-minute walk to Niederdorf, Swiss National Museum and Zurich Hauptbahnhof. Pillow menus, pillowtop mattresses and down comforters ensure guests can get a quiet night of beauty sleep in the 251 spacious guest rooms and suites, while the dazzling panoramic views of the city from a private balconies is a real highlight.

Ideal for business and leisure travellers alike, guests can indulge in Thai dishes at the on-site White Elephant restaurant, dine on quintessential Swiss cuisine at Echo or treat themselves to a martini at Bar & Lounge 42. Maintain your fitness in the modern fitness centre or end your day in the hotel’s impressive sauna and solarium where you can enjoy a luxurious massage.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: CHF 149 – CHF 373
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: Neumuehlequai 42, Zurich, Switzerland

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Hotel Location

Zurich Hotels Near Zurich West

Zurich Hotels Near Zurich West

Novotel Zurich City West

Novotel Zurich City West

An ideal location for a fun-filled city break, Novotel Zurich City West is located in Zurich West and within an easy reach of the airport and central train station. Elegant decor and an array of amenities await travellers, where guests will find 142 spacious and contemporary rooms.

Sample Swiss cuisine at the on-site GourmetBar restaurant, take a dip in the indoor pool and finish your day in Zurich with a sophisticated cocktail at the hotel’s inviting cocktail lounge. Start your day with a warm coffee at one of the nearby cafes before exploring the city’s best galleries and museums in one of Zurich’s most popular quarters.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: CHF 105 – CHF 264
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: Schiffbaustraße 13, Zurich, Switzerland

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Ibis Zurich City West

Ibis Zurich City West

Only a two-minute walk from a tram stop and the Technopark business centre, Ibis Zurich City West offers comfortable rooms in the fashionable part of Zurich West district. Comfortable guests rooms come with city or square views and feature modern decor, satellite channels and flat-screen TVs.

The mountain chalet-inspired Swiss Bistro serves traditional Swiss cuisine, while a 24-hour bar area offers light meals throughout the day. An all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet gives guests the perfect start to their day, while nearby bars and clubs in Zurich West allow guests to easily discover what the local nightlife has to offer.

Star Rating: 0*
Price: CHF 44 – CHF 122
Guest Rating: 7.2
Address: Technoparkstrasse 2, Zurich, Switzerland

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25hours Hotel Zurich West

25hours Hotel Zurich West

Ideal for the budget-savvy traveller, 25hours Hotel Zurich West is a colourful and quirky property with modern interiors and a rooftop sauna with city views. A range of stylish rooms and suites are available, from Silver to Gold and Platinum, and feature contemporary furniture, tea kettles and garden balconies.

The on-site Neni restaurant offers a delicious range of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, where guests are enticed by the funky lounge and summer terrace. Only walking distance from the district’s most popular nightlife and the Frau Gerolds Garten, guests can also walk to the famous Prime Tower and enjoy a cocktail on the 36th-floor Clouds Bar.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: CHF 84 – CHF 192
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Pfingstweidstrasse 102, Zurich, Switzerland

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Hotel Location

What is your favourite attraction in Zurich?

A vibrant city with an abundance of exciting attractions, Zurich’s streets are lined with historic churches, quirky shops and a variety of nightlife options that are sure to fill up an itinerary quickly. From 12th-century churches to world-class museums and iconic Swiss cuisine, visitors will find Zurich is a city that offers the perfect mix of old and new. Explore Zurich’s cafe-lined cobblestone streets a bit further to understand its role in the Dada movement and soak in the city’s sweeping views of the Alps and Lake Zurich for a peek into the city’s undeniable allure and charm.

With more than 300 million visitors to HotelsCombined per year, we’ve highlighted the hotels in Zurich that are most preferred by travellers. Guests often choose hotels that are within walking distance not only to the Zurich Airport and the central train station but also to the city’s most attractive neighbourhoods that are dotted with plenty of sightseeing, shopping and nightlife opportunities. Hotels in these areas tend to accommodate a range of preferences and budgets, with many boasting on-site eateries serving Swiss specialities, inviting lounges and spectacular views of Old Town, River Limmat and Lake Zurich.

What is your favourite attraction in Zurich?  Let us know which museum, historical landmark, shopping area, restaurant or bar that you can’t pass up when visiting Zurich.

References

  1. Visit Zurich
  2. MySwitzerland.com
  3. City of Zurich
  4. Zurich Airport
  5. Zurich SBB

 

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