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Where to Stay in Zurich
Zurich is known for its welcoming hospitality and upscale hotels. The Swiss city boasts many four- and five-star hotels. These exclusive accommodations cater to the many international business travelers that flock to the city's financial sector, which serves as an worldwide hub for banking and financial institutions. The most elegant hotels are located near Bahnhofstrasse, the most upscale shopping district in town and one of the most lavish retail centers in Europe. Here, visitors can shop for such specialty items as fur coats, Swiss chocolates and diamond jewelry. Travelers visiting on a budget can find affordable accommodations on the opposite side of the river from Bahnhofstrasse. These mid-range accommodations provide guests with clean and comfortable rooms as well as an assortment of contemporary amenities. They're also within easy walking distance of Zurich's bars, restaurants and cafes. History buffs will want to venture south toward Lake Zurich. Here, in the oldest part of Zurich, visitors can book reservations at one of a handful of hotels. These establishments place guests just steps from such landmarks as the Grossmunster and the Fraumunster, two famous centuries-old churches.
Zurich Hotel Tips
Zurich is home to a number of popular festivals. One of the largest celebrations in the city is Street Parade. Described as a celebration of "love, peace, freedom, generosity and tolerance," the event draws fans of dancing and electronic music from across the world. In fact, Street Parade has grown into the largest live electronic music festival in Europe. Other summer events, including Swiss National Day and the Zurich Theatre Spectacle, an international theater festival, attract thousands of out-of-towners as well. If you plan on visiting during this time, you will want to search for discount hotel rooms far in advance as many accommodations fill up fast.
If you want to take advantage of Zurich's off-season, consider a visit in late winter or early spring. Specifically, the months of February through April are low seasons for the Swiss city, which means budget travelers are more likely to find cheap flights to Zurich and hotel deal during these months.
Zurich Hotel Recommendations
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, the Widder Hotel can accommodate your every need. Considered one of the finest hotels in Zurich, this elegant boutique is located in the heart of the historic district just to the west of the Lindenhof, the city's famous hill. This five-star hotel feature 42 guestrooms and seven spacious suites all housed within nine uniquely designed townhouses. Each room is richly appointed with unique high-quality decor and includes a variety of state-of-the-art amenities. Guests can dine at the Widder Restaurant, which specializes in serving gourmet international fare. Or grab a cocktail at the Widder Bar, which regularly features live jazz music.
Visitors looking for mid-range accommodations should search for rooms at the Hotel Adler. Located on the east side of the river across from the Lindenhof, this charming boutique in the Niederdorf area is surrounded by many of Zurich's most popular bars and clubs. The establishment boasts 52 rooms, each of which sports an original wall painting depicting a scene of Zurich's Old Town district. All rooms are furnished with hardwood floors and soundproof windows for added comfort. The hotel's in-house restaurant, Swiss Chuchi, offers hungry guests genuine Swiss culinary delights. If you're visiting during warm weather, you can enjoy your meal on the adjacent city plaza.
Or stay in the lavish Alden Hotel Splugenschloss. This five-star hotel is situated east of the river just a few blocks from the lakeshore. The small and intimate establishment features 22 luxurious rooms and suites. Suites measure between 700- and 1,000-square feet and include individually decorated drawing rooms, which are ideal for small luncheons and business meetings. All guestrooms include contemporary amenities, such as whirlpool baths and separate showers. The hotel also boasts an exclusive restaurant and bar that serves up a mix of traditional and innovative dishes. Guests can walk to Zurich's nearby concert hall and opera house as well as the Bahnhofstrasse, the city's upscale shopping district.
Zurich is well known for its efficient public transportation system. The large-scale network covers the entire city and beyond and consists of a combination of trams, boats, buses, cable cars and commuter trains. Trams and buses are two of the most popular means for tourists to see the city, and both are known to be extremely punctual and clean. If you're visiting during the summer, you can catch a ride on a riverboat and travel upstream through town. Or if you're sticking to the historical part of Zurich, known as District 1, you can get around easily on foot. Most major tourist attractions are within walking distance of one another. Taxis are also available for visitors traversing longer distances.