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Ibis Hotels in Zurich

On our return trip to the States in May my husband and I will be flying out of Zurich. In the past we have stayed the night before at the Ibis Zurich Messe in Oerlikon. This hotel has been relatively inexpensive and has had a free shuttle to the airport. It appears there is now a fee to take the shuttle to the airport.

I see there is also an Ibis Budget hotel at Glattbrugg which is located very near the airport which does not have a shuttle to the airport but is near a bus stop.

The only difference between the two hotels that I can see is the cost. The Ibis Budget hotel is approximately $100 less than the Ibis at Oerlikon.

Has anyone stayed at the Ibis Budget Hotel at Glattbrugg? If so did you take the tram or a cab to the airport? If a cab, what was the approximate cost? We plan to travel with 15-day Swiss Travel Passes. Our last day on the passes will be the day before we fly home. Not all bus stops have places to purchase tram tickets. We have never purchases any transport tickets online. Perhaps it's time to change that.

All hotels are booked except the park and fly and the last night in Switzerland. As expected all are much more expensive than we've ever paid in any of our many trips to Switzerland, including the one youth hostel we've booked. But we are happy to be planning travel again.

I'd be grateful for any info you can provide.

Traveler Girl

Posted by
1208 posts

Hi. Good to check airport connections. I see the Ibis Budget says tram stop in front of hotel and then only two stops to airport. Sounds easy, hopefully it's that simple. Note that Ibis Budget chain is different / very spartan vs. regular Ibis. Check room pics; small room, sometimes small bunk beds and not much else; usually only food is vending machines in lobby. But we have used them for one night stays and has worked fine as long as you set expectations.
Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
154 posts

Thanks for the quick reply. I will carefully check regarding breakfast if we choose the Ibis Budget option. Breakfast is an option on their specific website and the photo shows a breakfast area. We would not use a vending machine, but just eat at the airport after check-in if there is no breakfast option.

If we do choose the Ibis Budget we'll likely take a cab. We will both have checked luggage. And our airfare includes two checked bags. I'm not much of a shopper at home but when I travel I am. I just might check two bags this trip. I can hear the gasps of minimalist packers! But to each her/his own. :)

Traveler Girl

Posted by
32652 posts

I haven't checked the Ibis near the airport, but I will say that if you can get the Holiday Inn Express at the airport at a decent price it is very good. It is across the airport from the terminal and while it is walking to a train station that train doesn't go to the airport. But they have a good looking shuttle that runs frequently and most of the people staying there were coming or going from flights, including some crews last June. (we weren't, we were using a convenient hotel to meet a friend). Good breakfast, and it starts early.

I'll tell you one I wouldn't try again - Ibis Winterthur which isn't all that far from the airport. Didn't like it at all, and that was when we were in our anything as long as it is Accor phase.

Posted by
4366 posts

Might end up being simpler and not much more to just stay at the airport.

Posted by
154 posts

Thanks for the replies. We haven't decided on a hotel yet. Nigel, thank you for the Holiday Inn Express idea. I looked at their website which indicates they no longer have a shuttle to the airport. I likely need to contact them via email. I get a sense many of the airport hotels are using an independent shuttle service, if they use one at all. I need to get started again on the last two. When we travel to Munich we stay an hour away from the airport via local transport. So maybe we'll try that in the Zurich area too.

Posted by
1597 posts

Note that in Zurich all bus and tram stops do have ticket vending machines, so buying a ticket to the airport is not that big an issue. One advantage of the tram is that it has level boarding. Just roll your luggage on board.

(Another note: There is no such thing as a bus ticket, or a tram ticket, or even a train ticket for that matter, in Switzerland :-)

Posted by
154 posts

Thanks, WengenK! I did not know there were ticket machines at all stops in Zurich. I haven't flown out of Zurich in a number of years. Mostly lately I've flown into Zurich and out somewhere else. Several years ago I took a boat across the Bodensee to enter Switzerland, Swiss Pass in hand ready to be validated at the ticket counter at the station on the Swiss side. Except there was no place/person to validate it and not even a ticket machine. We ended up getting it validated in Bern. I was a nervous Nellie thinking that we'd be fined, although I have no idea what else we could have done. I like to have all my trips carefully planned so there are no surprises. Okay, so there are minimal surprises. So I appreciate your information.

I don't understand your statement regarding no tickets in Switzerland. Could you please explain?

Posted by
32652 posts

there are tickets. But it is an integrated system so the mode of transport is not important. If going from a to b via train, other train, tram, train, cable car, train, you don't buy train tickets and tram tickets and cable car tickets, you buy one ticket from a to b and it is valid on all those different modes of transport in a direct route.

Posted by
1597 posts

About validating your (paper) pass: The rule is that you are indeed supposed to validate it at the station before you use it. The exception is however if you are entering Switzerland via public transport. In that case the train conductor can do it. So if you would have encountered a train conductor before reaching Bern he would have done the validation.

Regarding the tickets: I bring this up because people often still seem to believe that when you buy a ticket you buy a "place in a vehicle". That is not how it works. In another forum someone was asking if they should buy at ticket for the 8:23 of the 8:31 train. And that misses the point. You do not buy a "ticket for a train". You buy a transportation service, to get transported from one point to another. That is why you get a "titre de transport" or "vervoersbewijs", or "fahrkarte", depending on the country but not a train ticket.
And in Switzerland public transport is fully integrated, so if you are for example going from Zurich Downtown to the Airport the ticket you buy allows you to take the train, the tram or the bus, or any combination of these...

On trains where reservation is compulsory you will see "ticket + reservation" often printed on your ticket. That is because it is the reservation that ties to you a particular service, not the ticket.

Posted by
154 posts

Thanks for the clarification Nigel and WengenK. I was mostly concerned about no machine at the bus stop. I have not used public transportation in Zurich for a long time, other than with a Swiss Travel Pass which makes traveling most anywhere in Switzerland a breeze.

On a side note, years ago when I traveled to Geneva once a year I had become quite adept at using public transportation in Geneva. During one trip to Geneva I rode every bus route to the end and back again

I'm always interested in up-to-date information. Sharing your knowledge is appreciated.

Posted by
32652 posts

if you have data at the bus stop or in your hotel room and the SBB app you can whip up a ticket on your phone faster than I could type this. No machine necessary.

Posted by
1597 posts

The SBB app is great. And yes, if you know how it works you buy tickets in seconds. Even better is the "easyride" function, which basically gives you the same "pay as you go" functionality as for example the Oyster Card in London offers, but without all the expensive infrastructure...

Posted by
154 posts

Thanks again you two. I do have the SBB app and my husband is currently working to decide how we want to do our data. He does this for every trip. It's his "thing". Your suggestion is exactly what we will plan to do.

The first trip we took using the SBB and DB Navigator apps I was sure I didn't want/need them. Of course I was wrong. I ended up being the one who looked up routes for public transportation. I was sold at the beginning of that first trip. We have never purchased our fare online. We will use the Swiss Travel Pass for the rest of our trip. It's just that last short trip to the airport we'll need to purchase separately.

I'd better get going again on arranging a hotel for the last night. Typically I start planning in April for an October trip. This trip I have much less time. I keep forgetting that!

Traveler Girl

Posted by
4667 posts

Someone just posted a day or two ago about a deal on the Swiss Travel Pass starting April 15. I'll see if I can find the link.

Posted by
154 posts

Thanks, Pat! I saw that post. We are considering taking advantage of that sale. We were planning on a 15 day pass but perhaps we could plan one day where we stay in one area. I do appreciate you bringing this sale to my attention. This sale might work well for us. Currently I am making lists of possibilities for each day. We are returning to familiar places we have loved over the years. But Switzerland is so beautiful and there is so much to see and do we still have many "want to do" items on our lists. I feel I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have had the opportunity to travel there so often.

Traveler Girl

Posted by
977 posts

As a Swiss and a former resident of Zurich, I would not consider Glattbrugg to be near the airport from a travel point of view.....

Oerlikon is the airport route and you can expect the authorities will make more of an effort to ensure there are no cancellations or delays on that route. So if you do go the Glattbrugg route make sure that public transport is running during the times you need to get to the airport and check on the realtime service to ensure there are no delays on the morning of your trip.

Posted by
154 posts

Thanks Jim. That info is good to know. I think this weekend we will book something. On our way soon to a concert 100 miles away. A string quartet is playing the music of Queen. Should be fun. Experiencing an Alberta Clipper snowstorm combined with Lake Effect snow. Travel could be interesting. Packed a bag in case the roads are too treacherous to make it home after the concert.

Posted by
381 posts

I stayed at that Ibis Budget a few years ago. The tram to the airport is very easy, practically outside the hotel. There are two lines and they run from early until late. The #10 tram begins at the Zurich HB main station (35 mins travel time).
The hotel itself is definitely no frills "budget" almost hostel-like style (more so than the regular Ibis, look at room photos) and the area is semi-industrial, but it was clean when I stayed there. There are a couple of pizza places in walking distance.
If all you need to do is sleep and get to the airport, it is cheap and will do the job.

Posted by
381 posts

And I am almost 100% sure there is a ticket machine at the tram stop.

Posted by
154 posts

hopper18 - Thank you for the information.

To everyone who offered suggestions, it is appreciated.

"Life" got in the way of making a hotel decision. But on Sunday we made a fully refundable reservation at the Ibis Budget. We don't mind budget accommodations, esp. for one night.

Now off to choose a "park and fly" hotel.

Happy Travels Everyone!

Traveler Girl

Posted by
32652 posts

I'm glad you have that organised.

Ibis Budget is usually pretty decent.

Posted by
154 posts

I thought I would add an update to this thread regarding our night at Glattbrugg Budget Ibis hotel on May 10, 2023. My husband and I took a train from Luzern directly to the Flughafen train station. I knew how to get to the hotel stop by bus but not by tram. So we took a bus. If we'd taken a tram we could have saved a lot of time and trams were leaving frequently and the buses not as much. At the bus stop upon disembarking we started walking the wrong direction. But we soon realized we needed to try walking the opposite direction. We found the hotel on the same side of the street as the bus stop. We should have gone right but we went left (forward vs. backwards). When we got to the hotel we discovered the tram stop almost directly across the street from the hotel.

We had checked in online a couple days prior to arrival. We stopped at the desk to obtain our key card and obtain information about the breakfast buffet which we had chosen to add when making our reservation online. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We inquired about dinner options and were told there was a pizza place. My husband wasn't interested in pizza so after settling into our room we headed out again.

Our room was on the ground floor which was very convenient. In the afternoon and evening we were able to see jets coming in to land from our window. If I remember correctly the flights stop sometime before midnight. We could not hear them. As we really enjoy watching aircraft this was a plus for us. There was a busy road outside our window but we also did not hear traffic noise. We did not hear any neighbors. The room was small but big enough we could repack our big backpacks and prepare for our travel day.

After settling in we left to find dinner. We rode a tram all the way to Oerlikon where we walked around a while before stumbling upon a restaurant where we had dined twice before. It appeared to be a favorite of the locals. After dining we took a tram back to Glattbrugg.

The breakfast buffet opened at 5:00 a.m. We were able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before donning our backpacks and heading out. The buffet offered a wide variety of food which was of very good quality. A breakfast buffet was included in all of our lodging places this trip. The breakfast at the Budget Ibis was one of the best.

Check out was simple. We dropped our key card in a slot by the door. We wandered across the street to the tram stop. Two tram lines make frequent runs to the airport. The terminal stop is the second stop from where we boarded. Our Swiss Travel Pass had expired the day before so we planned to purchase tickets for our short trip. However, my husband and another guy could not make the machine work. So my husband took a photo of the inoperable machine and we boarded the next tram. As of the time of this post the SBB app indicates the earliest tram leaves at 04:55.

Our reservation was a "Flexible rate bed and breakfast that we could cancel up to a certain time (Sorry, .I can't recall how long in advance we would have had to cancel.). The total was $141.00 which we paid when checking in.

I would recommend this hotel as a convenient and affordable place to stay the night before a flight. For me it would be too small to comfortably stay for more than a few nights but for one night it was perfect.

Happy Travels!

Traveler Girl

Posted by
4667 posts

Always nice to read the updates. Thx so much!

Posted by
1597 posts

Nice update. But let me point out something:

"My husband and I took a train from Luzern directly to the Flughafen train station. I knew how to get to the hotel stop by bus but not by tram. So we took a bus. If we'd taken a tram we could have saved a lot of time and trams were leaving frequently and the buses not as much. "

I bring this up is this shows how people often overlook how integrated Swiss public transport is. You probably assumed that you needed to get to the airport first and so researched how to get to the Airport, and then how to get from the airport to the hotel.

However the proper way to go about this is not to try to second guess what the best route is. Just go to www.sbb.ch (or use the app) and then just search "From: Luzern" and "To: Ibis Budget Glattbrug", and you would have been given the best route, which in this case was train to Zurich Oerlikon, and tram T10 from there.

Posted by
154 posts

WengenK,

Thanks for the suggestion. I am a fan of the SBB app and constantly used it during this trip to Switzerland. One stop on the trip to the Ibis (we didn't start the day in Luzern) the planned connection train was cancelled. The app made it easy to find the next train that would work for us. We are somewhat spontaneous with our plans for each day. We made full use of our 15 day Swiss Travel Passes and the SBB app.

For the trip Luzern to the airport I purposely chose to travel the route we took. I wanted to see where the bus stop was. located in reference to the airport. If there was a mistake I would say it was not paying attention to the possibility of using the tram. I don't know why I didn't check that. However, overall I am happy with the route we took.

I will encourage anyone who travels with public transportation in Switzerland to use the SBB app. It is the best!

Thanks for all the assistance you give those traveling to your beautiful country.

Traveler Girl

Posted by
288 posts

I realize this is late to this topic..but I am in Zurich airport now .having been "forgotten bumped" yesterday after sitting in the plane for 5 hours. Booked Radisson Blu..here at airport..terminal access .3 minute walk indoors .lovely staff..clean modern comfy rooms.
Incredible breakfast buffet. They could not have been nicer. If u get stuck..check them out,,!

Posted by
1597 posts

The Radisson Blue is a great hotel if you have an early flight. But there are now to more hotels with direct terminal access, and at the next opportunity I am going to try them out...