Local: Zurich

The first thing that crosses your mind when you think of Switzerland is chocolate? Watches? Cheeses? Zürich goes beyond these well-deserved emblematic associations. It is the epitome of an organized society, with its world leading banking and financial institutions, highly efficient public services and a quality of life considered one of the best in the world. As a traveler, what should you expect when you… Read more »

A fun way to visit the city attractions is by bicycle and we loved the fact that Zürich is so progressive as to offer free access to bicycles for anyone willing to ride them (a deposit of 20 francs and a photo ID are required). Zürirollt is what you should look for, they have many bike stations (Bellevue, Hauptbahnhof and Enge are near our suggested… Read more »

Do you want to see another side of Zürich, a cool and hipster up-and-coming part of town? Go to Viadukt. Located away from the old town (all our suggested hotels have tram stations nearby), a few hours around lunch time or at the end of your day should suffice to get you acquainted with Viadukt. As the name suggests, an old viaduct was converted into… Read more »

We heard of travelers going to Zürich and spending all their time at the many outstanding museums, beautiful Münsters and charming historical cobbled streets of old town. Yet, we find the lack of references to the lake quite surprising. Lake Zurich is wonderful and on hot summer days, you will see people swimming in its very clean waters, sunbathing on its lawns along the shore,… Read more »

Some travelers avoid visiting religious sites or places of worship, but do not miss the marvelous stained glass at Fraumünster by Marc Chagall in Lindehof, and the wonderful ones at Grossmünster by Sigmar Polke in Niederdorf. They are actually in close proximity, you just need to cross the river over a five-minute walk. They all depict religious figures and represent important passages of the Bible,… Read more »

This is something you must see or better yet, try out! Zurich locals love to swim in the lake in summertime. There are lake pools like the one in Enge with wooden planks, but they profit from the green waters of the Limmat River as well. The Badis are a current local trend, small riverside clubs for swimming, sunbathing and doing sports and leisure. Frauenbad… Read more »

The Swiss way of eating sausages. We were recommemded this place years ago as the best sausage in town, and recently checked it out again. We love going to places frequented by locals and the sausages really are very good. Sternen Grill is where locals stop by on their way to work or before going to cinemas or theaters in the region. Take note that… Read more »

Rright at Bahnhostrasse this café is a great option for a stroll in this elegant part of town. It is only two blocks away from the lake and surrounded by fancy shops. The name Sprüngli is readily associated to the famous chocolate maker at the equally famous Banhhofstrasse, but now they also have this café with a small menu yet delicious food. On nice sunny… Read more »

Considered the best pizza in town, you will surely enjoy this unpretentious restaurant. Try some crispy disks straight from the wood fire oven, as well as many pasta options and other Italian dishes. Centrally and conveniently located in the old town it attracts clients of all sorts, and locals adore it. There are two houses, one of them by Bahnhofstrasse, but we preferred the one… Read more »

An institution in town, Kronenhalle is cherished by locals and praised as one of the greatest restaurants for Swiss food in the country. As you enter, you almost feel you as though you are at a top notch art gallery or small museum, as wooden paneled walls are filled with original paintings by Chagall, Picasso, Miró, Klee and so on. The venue used to be… Read more »

Centrally located at Bellevue, by the lake and the Opera House, this legendary café was opened just before the first Great War. It is small Art Nouveau establishment with crystal chandeliers, brass, marble and wood. Nowadays it feels very old style, in a European way, but its historic importance brings charm to the place. We enjoyed sitting at the same tables as Einstein, Toscanini, James… Read more »

Hotel Florhof is a lovely property situated in Oberdorf, ideal if you want a quiet stay away from the busy streets of Niederdorf, yet within walking distance to Limmat river (it took us six minutes), along which sit all major attractions. We were delighted with the building’s history, previously an aristocratic mansion owned by a wealthy merchant in the silk business, as well as the… Read more »

Set in Seefeld, an upscale residential area that has seen the development of small charming hotels, and very close to Zurich’s main attractions (the lake, the Operahouse, and Bellevue are right around the corner and a short walk takes you to Lidenhof and Niederdorf). Attentive staff welcome Hotel Europe´s guests in a small but cozy and charming reception, offering fresh fruit and all the information… Read more »

We were a bit unsure whether to recommend this hotel as the location is ten minutes away from the city center, an inconvenience if you have a busy leisure or business schedule (unless the purpose of your visit is internet giant Google, right next door!). Yet, such is the beauty of the location, hotel property and facilities, we could not help but recommend this oasis… Read more »

We found this hotel extremely well situated in our favorite Seefeld area. It is just one block away from the lake and its wonderful promenade, as well as the Opera House (hence the name), Bellevue and a short walk to all major attractions in Zürich, both on the right and left sides of the river. The décor is dated yet very cozy, and the lobby… Read more »

Located across from Zurich’s main train station, this property is ideal for travelers who intend to make regular use of the train station (porter service can be arranged should you need assistance at the station). It is one block from Bahnhofstrasse and a ten-minute walk to the lavish part of this world famous street and Paradeplatz. The hotel has a small efficient lobby and a… Read more »

This charming boutique property in Niederdorf has only 27 rooms and a tiny lobby, or rather a reception desk, with a lovely welcoming atmosphere and coffee, tea and pastries served right at entrance. Helmhaus does not offer a full hotel infrastructure, but is conveniently located in Old Town right by bustling Schifflände and a two-minute walk to Grossmünster and all other beautiful Zurich attractions. The… Read more »

One of our preferred hotels in town. Conveniently located at charming Weinplatz in Lindenhof, this hotel has recently been renovated and offers a contemporary and comfortable stay at a perfect riverside location. Fraumünster is on the corner, Grossmünster across the bridge and it is a short walk to Bahnhofstrasse, business Paradeplatz and the wonderful Lake Zurich. Popular with business and leisure travelers alike, it offers… Read more »

Nestled within a very quiet residential area in Enge, this property’s contemporary elegance is particularly attractive in a city with so many classic style hotels. The region is quite charming in itself, with excellent eating choices and proximity to Bahnhofstrasse, the financial district and Old Town, and only some blocks away from the lake. The interior is beautifully decorated and we particularly loved the color… Read more »