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Hotel recommendation near Zurich HBF

I need to catch a 6:30am train at zurich hbf. Can i get some hotel recommendations near the area that are around 180CHF to 250CHF per night for twin beds, no breakfast required. Coming in June. I will have a suitcase with me so needs to be suitcase friendly. No hostels please.

I can't seem to find anything in that price range around - they are more around 300CHF for a basic room.

If i can't get one for that price, how about surrounding areas close to the station where I can take a train in at that hour. Preferably on the same line as HBF so I don't need to transfer with luggage.

EDIT - party of two

Thanks

Posted by
382 posts

Are you 2 people or just 1? You say "I" instead of we but mention twin beds, so wasn't sure. If a single room, there may be more options.
Without knowing your exact travel date: Check Fred Guest House. It's more or less next to the train station and they have (tiny) twin-bed rooms for that price range. Very simple but would do the trick. If you're alone, you can also look at their other hotels which have decent single rooms (Fred Hotel HB is next door and has small single rooms; Fred Hotel Leonhardstrasse is less than 10 mins walk to HB or there is a tram that takes 5 mins).
Some other options that fit the budget:
Hotel Züri is only 5 mins from HB by public transport
Ibis Zurich City West ~8 mins by tram
H+ Hotel 14-15 mins by tram
Crowne Plaza Zurich 13-15 mins by tram
Holiday Inn Zurich Messe 15-20 mins by tram

Public transport starts up around 5am, so you will not have any problem getting to HB for a 6:30am train. The trams are almost all low-floor so not a problem with luggage.

Posted by
120 posts

Thank you for that. Ibis and Zuri both look good. I think the other 3 are a bit further out.

Its for 2 people - i'll edit my original post to add this detail.

Are the trams reliable at that hour? When I look on google maps, there seem to be a lot of trams available on different lines. How much would a taxi be to HBF from say from say Ibis?

I was also looking at hotel hottingen (Hottingerstr. 31 / Cäcilienstr. 10), between the 3 ibis, zuri and hottingen, which is the better choice?

Thanks

Posted by
19990 posts

Another question, where are you going at 6:30 am? Maybe the next stop on the line will have less expensive lodging options and you can stay there instead of central Zurich.

What approximate date are you looking at?

As for tram reliability, if they are not reliable in Switzerland, and I can't imagine anywhere else in the world more reliable. Of course there could always be an unexpected glitch, a freak snow storm, power outage. In such a case, suck it up and take a taxi.

Posted by
382 posts

Yes, trams and all public transport are very reliable. Taxis - well, I literally never use taxis in Switzerland because they are expensive and public transport is so good. But I'd guess 25 francs from Ibis to HB? And that's literally a 5 min drive, you don't really even save time.

Hotel Züri and the Ibis Zurich West are basically in the same area. Originally sort of a hipstery former industrial area, but now there are also lots of office buildings and hotels there. You can either take the tram or walk to Bahnhof Hardbrücke (less than 10mins walk), which is 1 train stop from HB and has tons of commuter trains going through. Ibis tram stop is Technopark (line 4), in front of the hotel and takes about 8 minutes, drops you off right outside HB. From Hotel Züri you can pick up the tram around the corner at Escher-Wyss-Platz (line 4 or 13), 5 minute ride, again dropping you off right outside HB.
You can check connections from either location directly on sbb.ch/en

The Hotel Hottingen has a good location, nice urban residential area. I know the neighborhood but don't really know anything about the hotel. You can walk down to the lakefront or Grossmunster church in 15 mins or so. Tram to HB (number 3) takes less than 10 minutes.

Not sure how long you will be in Zurich - if you are planning to do some tourist stuff and want to be closer to the old town and the lake, then Hottingen is a better location just because it's on that side of town (although Zurich isn't really that big). If you are just "passing through" then any of the hotels will probably be fine.

As the other poster mentioned, it's not clear if you even need to stay in Zurich? If you are going to Chur, you could of course also skip Zurich and stay somewhere cheaper the night before (on the way to or even in Chur itself!). But it's not clear where you are coming from and/or if you have an interest in visiting Zurich beyond just staying overnight.

Posted by
19990 posts

Sargans is the next stop on the line an hour from Zurich and only 1/2 hour from Chur, in which case you might as well go all the way to Chur. Take it you are on the 8:28 Bernina Express. Direct trains to Chur the night before go as late as 11:12 pm, although I don't think you want to be checking into a hotel after midnight, but there are direct train from Zurich to Chur every half hour before that one.

One more option to think about. Got back from Switzerland Saturday night and all I can say is, I love Swiss trains.

Posted by
120 posts

Thank you both, that’s really good advice.

So we will be coming in from interlaken, previously doing the Berner oberland for a few days.

Zurich is just for transit to get to chur. So I was planning to go from interlaken to Zurich using the BO pass - i m assuming there is coverage but I still need to check. I was thinking interlaken express to lucerne and change for SBB travel to Zurich - is that correct?

Depending on whether we still have things to do in BO, we may go straight into Zurich in the morning or spend the morning in BO then head to Zurich in the afternoon - we may as well make use of our pass.

In Zurich, I was only planning to walk around the city area to get a sense of the beautiful city. We haven’t decided what day we are going to be there yet but there is a high possibility it may be a Sunday - in which I understand all shops are closed anyways so may not be much to see. Which is also another reason why we were thinking of spending the morning in BO - which is open.

Does it make sense to skip Zurich in that case? And if so where is a better location and what can I do around there? Would my BO pass cover that journey?

The prices in Zurich that was recommended above isn’t so bad, but to be able to not have to wake up so early the next day to make the connection sounds really enticing. :D

Thanks again for the helpful feedback so far!!!

That taxi price by the way is shocking!!! Let’s hope I don’t have to use it.

Posted by
19990 posts

The BO pass only covers you as far as Luzern, but you should get the Half Fare Card as well. That gives you a discount on the cost of the BO pass plus the 50% off of other transport outside the region,

May I ask if you are going all the way to Tirano? Since this trip must be relatively far in advance since the BO Pass does not start until April 1.

The normal fare per person from Zurich HB to Tirano is 96 CHF plus the Bernina Express reservation fee. With the Half fare Card, it is 48 CHF, But far in advance, you can purchase a Saver Day Pass with the HFC for 39 CHF. You must be solid on the day since it is nonrefundable. If you want 1st class, that is only 49 CHF. Prices increase as you get closer to your travel date, so the further ahead you buy them, the cheaper the price.
https://business.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-tickets/tickets/day-passes.html

Posted by
382 posts

That is a lot of train time...!
Sunday or not, I'd say either leave early and stay in Zurich or enjoy the morning in BO and then just go all the way to Chur. Chur has a nice little old town and plenty of shops/restaurants to entertain you for one afternoon/evening. There aren't really any other great options in between that will be significantly cheaper or more interesting. Check hotels in Chur and see what the options are.

Zurich is perfectly nice, but if you'll only have a few hours there anyway, I'd say it's not the end of the world to skip it. Or if you really want to check it out, you could always drop your bags in a locker at HB, walk around for a couple of hours to stretch your legs and then get the train to Chur for the overnight stay.

Posted by
120 posts

The BO pass only covers you as far as Luzern, but you should get the Half Fare Card as well. That gives you a discount on the cost of the BO pass plus the 50% off of other transport outside the region,

I did look at the HF card initially and I did the maths but doesn't work out better for the limited trips I'm taking. The HF card is an extra 190CHF and for the travelling in Switzerland I'm doing, I don't think it will pay off.

For the Bernina Express, I'm going to use the hack from maninseat 61 which only costs about 58 euros full price from what I can see if i purchased early. According to him, the price of this ticket can go even lower but i have never seen it. Works out roughly the same as the saver day pass with HF card discount that you mentioned.

May I ask if you are going all the way to Tirano? Since this trip must be relatively far in advance since the BO Pass does not start until April 1.

Yes, will be ending up in Tirano. So Zurich -> Chur, Chur -> Tirano. But the Zurich -> Chur I'm now reconsidering based on what you guys have told me.

Sorry you lost me, what does the BO pass have to do with this journey?

That is a lot of train time...!

Ha! :D. May as well make use of the swiss railways :D. Sam said in his earlier post he loves swiss rail :D

Zurich is perfectly nice, but if you'll only have a few hours there anyway, I'd say it's not the end of the world to skip it. Or if you really want to check it out, you could always drop your bags in a locker at HB, walk around for a couple of hours to stretch your legs and then get the train to Chur for the overnight stay.

So if i do do Zurich, i need to take the interlaken express to Lucerne, then change for Zurich? Do I need to buy the Lucerne -> Zurich ticket ahead of time or are the prices for this leg fixed?

If I do decide to stay in Chur, how should i get there? Interlaken express again to Lucerne (covered by BO pass) and then a seperate ticket to Chur?

Thank you.

Posted by
120 posts

That is for the annual subscription Half Fare Card. You want the 30-day Tourist version costing 120 CHF.

Oh is it? I need to reevaluate it then. Will this apply to the swiss leg of the trip if i purchase ticket starting in germany but includes switzerland in part of the ticket?

Posted by
19990 posts

The seat61 hack shows a price of 47.90 EUR, or about 45 CHF on July 11 for 2nd class. Since this is a Super Sparpreis Ticket, the Half Fare Card does not apply.

You can do it with the Saver Day Pass plus Half Fare Card for 39 CHF

Posted by
16156 posts

Head to Chur from Interlaken and overnight there. It is only 3 hours 22 minutes if you go via Bern and Zurich (2 changes). The BO Pass will cover you to Bern.

Chur hotels will be less expensive than Zurich.

for your journey from Munich to Zurich, if you buy your ticket online from either bahn.de or SBB.ch, there will be an opportunity to enter a Half Fare card to get 50% off the cost of the section within Switzerland. You do not need to have the HFC in hand when you buy the ticket online (which you can do well in advance for the best price). You do have to have it when you actually take the journey as the conductor will need to see it along with your ticket.

Posted by
120 posts

You can do it with the Saver Day Pass plus Half Fare Card for 39 CHF

Yes it is cheaper if you with the Half Fare Card but don't forget you need to pay 120CHF in order to get it for 39CHF. If i use the hack directly, i can get it for 6 CHF more without needing to pay 120CHF

I understand with the HF card, I can also get reduced BO pass tickets but only about 84CHF reduction for a 4 day pass. So all up, I'm still better off going without the HF card.

Thats the way I'm seeing it, please correct me if I missing something?

I'm not doing any more train travel more than this in Switzerland other than to get to chur or Zurich on the way back from BO. So I'm more or less under the break even point with the HF card purchase.

Head to Chur from Interlaken and overnight there. It is only 3 hours 22 minutes if you go via Bern and Zurich (2 changes). The BO Pass will cover you to Bern.

Thanks. What is the best way (in terms of cost and duration) to get to Chur coming from Interlaken using the BO pass for part of the trip? Is it better to do:
1. Bern -> Chur
2. Zurich -> Chur
3. Lucerne -> Chur
or other option?

if you buy your ticket online from either bahn.de or SBB.ch, there will be an opportunity to enter a Half Fare card to get 50% off the cost of the section within Switzerland.

Thanks for that, I think @sam said it won't apply with my fare because its a Super Sparpreis Ticket I am getting.

Posted by
19990 posts

The Super Sparpreis Ticket is a product of Deutsche Bahn. The Super Saver Ticket and Saver Day Pass are a products of SBB. SBB lists the best price for July 11 with a Half Fare Card as 39 CHF using a Saver Day Pass purchased today.

Deutsche Bahn lists no further discount for having a Swiss Half Fare Card.

Posted by
120 posts

Deutsche Bahn lists no further discount for having a Swiss Half Fare Card.

Ok understand now. Thank you. :)

Thats the way I'm seeing it, please correct me if I missing something?

@sam, have I misunderstood how it works?

Posted by
120 posts

Chur hotels will be less expensive than Zurich.

I had a look at the Chur hotels and they are on par with Zuirch hotels in terms of prices if not more expensive. The cheaper ones are hostel style with shared bathrooms which I don't want. Anything with bathroom and quite modern looking at about 250CHF - not that many options.

Is chur easy to get around with public transport? Could I perhaps look at surrounding areas and travel to the station rather than walk?

What is the best way (in terms of cost and duration) to get to Chur coming from Interlaken using the BO pass for part of the trip? Is it better to do:
1. Bern -> Chur
2. Zurich -> Chur
3. Lucerne -> Chur
or other option?

Posted by
16156 posts

Please take a look at the Swiss rail map and figure it out.

https://www.sbb.ch/content/dam/internet/sbb/en/freizeit-ferien/inspiration/internationale-gaeste/Geltungsbereich-Swiss-Travel-Pass.pdf.sbbdownload.pdf

I already suggested you go Interlaken to Bern ( covered with the BO pass), then to Zurich and then to Chur. 3 hours 22 minutes with 2 changes.

If you go via Luzern it will take longer. It is nearly 2 hours from Interlaken Ost to Luzern, and another 2 hours from there to Chur via Thalwil. So that is 4 hours, plus whatever time is spent in Luzrrn waiting for the next train.

Look up the fares on SBB.ch and remember that the first price you see assumes you have a HFC. Once you have figured the regular fare, see what a Saver Day Pass will cost for that same day.

Posted by
16156 posts

On booking.com, I see 4 hotels in Chur for under $200 for a double or twin room on a random date in early July. The closest to the train station is this one, with rooms for $185-86, including breakfast, and a good cancellation policy.

https://www.freieck.ch/en/Welcome

And that room has an ensuite bathroom.

Posted by
120 posts

If you go via Luzern it will take longer. It is nearly 2 hours from Interlaken Ost to Luzern, and another 2 hours from there to Chur via Thalwil. So that is 4 hours, plus whatever time is spent in Luzrrn waiting for the next train.

Ok thanks, thats good advice. Sorry I didn't get this from your previous post but I understand now what you are saying now.

Look up the fares on SBB.ch and remember that the first price you see assumes you have a HFC. Once you have figured the regular fare, see what a Saver Day Pass will cost for that same day.

Is the difference between the supersaver ticket, that I must get on that specific train at that specific time? Whereas the Saver Day Pass gives me flexibility to get on any train on that day?

The point to point tickets are really expensive even with the half fare card. Out of curiosity, do many locals buy this? And why wouldn't they opt for a saver day pass instead since it allows them travel on any transport for the day multiple times and its cheaper?

Here's another thought, I was initially planning to buy 4 days Berner Oberland pass, the 4th day was really to just use to get back into zurich from BO. Does it make more sense for me to just get the 3 day Berner oberland pass + add a Saver Day pass for the 4th day - this will save me 40 CHF (difference between 3 day pass and 4 day pass). I'm staying in Wengen - does the saver day pass cover wengen? I couldn't find it on the map, but i saw interlaken and murren and other BO places. If it doesn't cover, it still would be cheaper for me to get a single ticket from wengen out to grindlewald or interlaken.... and then the saver day pass will kick in for the rest of the journey? Does this make sense?

Thanks

Posted by
19990 posts

I'm staying in Wengen - does the saver day pass cover wengen?

Yes, the Saver Day Pass covers anything in the "GA" area as shown on the "Swiss Travel System map of validity", buses too and some lifts and local transport. It is essentially a one day Swiss Travel Pass.
https://www.swiss-pass.ch/wp-content/uploads/pdf/swiss-travel-system-map.pdf

Is the difference between the supersaver ticket, that I must get on that specific train at that specific time? Whereas the Saver Day Pass gives me flexibility to get on any train on that day?

You have that exactly right.

Posted by
120 posts

Thanks

Okay then, it looks like the fourth day of the BO pass is not needed. Thanks for saving me some money all, much appreciated.

Does the saver day pass open up more options of getting a more direct route from wengen to chur? When I look at the map Bern/lucerne/zurich doesn’t look direct. Bern is all the way on the left, then we have to backtrack the distance to the right where chur is via Zurich.

Posted by
19990 posts

You can specify any route you want by adding stop over points in the via box with 0 time. The SBB trip planner always sends you by the fastest route on the assumption that you want to get from point A to point B ASAP. The tracks via Bern and Zurich are in the low country and are faster than routes that go over the mountains. Faster, but not as scenic.

For instance, last Thursday, I went from Zermatt to Luzern and I wanted to leave after 9 am. SBB wanted me to go like this: Zermatt to Visp to Bern to Luzern, taking 3 hours and 24 minutes and departing at 9:37 am. But the route from Visp to Bern used the Loetschberg Base Tunnel, which is a 20 mile long tunnel completely under the Bernese Alps, not at all scenic. Then from Bern to Luzern on a lowland route with straighter tracks and faster speeds, but again not very scenic.

I wanted to go like this: Zermatt to Brig to Spiez via Kandersteg over the old line that goes mostly over the Bernese Alps with a shorter 9 mile long old Loetschberg Tunnel. Then Spiez to Interlaken Ost to Luzern on the line over the Bruenig Pass. This leg is part of the Golden Pass route and is very scenic. This route took me 6 hours and 42 minutes, more than 3 hours longer than the fast way, but I nearly twisted my head off looking at all the mountain scenery. Not only were the trains slower because of the mountains, but the connecting times were much longer. Nearly an hour in Brig, but there is a nice Italian cafe in the station and I was able to help a couple of Chilean ski bums find their way to Zermatt. Then I had to spend 1/2 hour on the platform at Interlaken Ost waiting for the hourly Luzern-Interlaken Express.

Posted by
482 posts

The point to point tickets are really expensive even with the half fare card. Out of curiosity, do many locals buy this? And why wouldn't they opt for a saver day pass instead since it allows them travel on any transport for the day multiple times and it's cheaper?

This would be ideal, but to get the cheapest price you have to buy it six months in advance. Not so useful for spontaneous outings. Nonetheless, they are of course still often used by local residents. I usually get one or two a month.

Swiss people who travel on the train regularly will buy a yearly GA travel card, which is like having a Saver day pass every single day. :-)

Posted by
19990 posts

So going from Wengen to Chur, the fastest way is from Interlaken Ost to Zurich (there are handful of direct trains, otherwise a change in Bern) to Chur taking 4 1/2 hours. If you specify Luzern as a stopover, you still go to Zurich to Chur, taking 5 1/2 hours. but if you also specify Arth-Goldau and Pfaeffikon SZ as stopovers, you short cut Zurich altogether. This way takes 6 1/2 hours. The train from Luzern to Pfaeffikon SZ is called the Voralpen Express. Sudostbahn is trying to promote it as a scenic train, and I believe it is fairly scenic.

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/experiences/voralpen-express/

Posted by
120 posts

Swiss people who travel on the train regularly will buy a yearly GA travel card, which is like having a Saver day pass every single day. :-)

Ah no wonder! The prices are really quite expensive full fare. Even at half fare I still consider them expensive.

So going from Wengen to Chur, the fastest way is from Interlaken Ost to Zurich (there are handful of direct trains, otherwise a change in Bern) to Chur taking 4 1/2 hours.

Ok if i get the saver day pass, a direct from Interlaken to Zurich is covered. So maybe that is the way to go.

This way takes 6 1/2 hours. The train from Luzern to Pfaeffikon SZ is called the Voralpen Express. Sudostbahn is trying to promote it as a scenic train, and I believe it is fairly scenic.

How does the scenery compare to the bernina express? I would like to take scenic route, but I"ll be full day on the train the follwing day. Thats a lot of train. Plus there are many transfers so moving suitcases is going to be a bit of a pain and waiting for connections.

Someone suggested I go through Spiez and Brig to Chur. Also a scenic trip but has like at least 5 train changes. :o