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Lodging near Zurich Airport

I will be returning to the US in September from Zurich. Before that I will be in Luzern. My flight leaves at 1:00 pm. Where would be a good "last night" place to stay that has easy access by train to Zurich Airport? Or should I find lodging in the city of Zurich? All suggestions appreciated, especially budget ones.

Posted by
5 posts

Zurich Airport is pretty easy to get in to. You could just stay in Luzern and take the morning train right to the airport. If your flight leaves at 1:00p, expect a 12:15p or so board time. It's 1h30m (or less) from Luzern, so if you leave by 8:15/8:30a you'll have plenty of time.

If not, look at Chocolate Hotel or Walhalla hotel which are near the main train station.

Posted by
4549 posts

I guess I'm old school, I stay at the airport the night before my flight. Just makes things so much simpler, esp. since with a 1 PM flight you'll be wanting to be in the terminal at least 3 hours before (check with your airline).

Posted by
181 posts

I haven't decided for sure yet, but I liked RJean's idea of staying in Winterthur. I think my husband and I visited a friend who lived there at the time, maybe 20 years ago. It looked like a nice smaller sized city and it is only 20-30 minutes from ZHR. I don't like the idea of staying near the airport, because it's like wasting that last precious evening in Switzerland. We did that a couple of times when we flew out of Frankfurt, Germany and it didn't even feel like we were still in Germany! Don't think I would be comfortable with staying as far away as Luzern however. I'm already staying a few nights there. I like to move on and see some place new.

Posted by
73 posts

We were tired at the end of our two-week vacation last June, and opted to stay the night before our flight at the Hyatt Place Zurich Airport The Circle. It was expensive but so comfortable and convenient and we were ready for some pampering. Just don’t eat there; the restaurant is stupidly expensive. Instead, walk to one of the nearby restaurants or even over to the food court at the airport.

Posted by
36 posts

I consider airport hotels a "necessary evil" when I am doing early international flights.

I always try to arrive early at airports, just because I am paranoid about getting through check-in and security lines in a timely fashion. There is always time to shop afterwards in most places.

We were just in Zurich airport for an 11:30 AM flight and we stayed at the Radisson Blu Airport the night before. It is quite a modern, trendy place, a bit costly at $200.00 US plus per night, but extremely comfortable and convenient.

It was kind of fun to walk all over the airport the evening before, checking out all the stores and restaurants.

The next morning we did have to walk a bit and then take the small train to our gate, and the gate area was quite crowded.

I wish I could have spent time in a town before the flight, but knowing me, I would be too tempted to explore and shop, and then might be running late to the flight.

Posted by
4549 posts

Wow, really?

a bit costly at $200.00 US plus per night,

Posted by
3178 posts

The train from Winterthur into the airport only takes 17-20 minutes, and they are frequent, like every 10 minutes or less. Looks like a great choice.

Posted by
32244 posts


You could certainly stay in Lucerne the night before your flight, as long as you don't mind getting up early to catch the train.

My usual method is to stay in Zürich the night before a flight, so that I can do a bit of sightseeing and enjoy a fine meal at one of the local restaurants. It's an easy and quick trip to the airport as the main station is only about 10 minutes from the airport. I've stayed at the Fred Hotel (formerly the Walhalla Hotel) and that's a great location as it's only about a one minute walk from the front door to a stairway that leads down into the station (about three minutes or so if walking by street level) - . The hotel is also right across from the parking area where some of the local tour buses depart from.

Posted by
1975 posts

The "be at airport at least three hours before departure" rule originates from places with less efficient airports and public transport. Aiming for three hours you do so you have a buffer.

I always aimed for one hour for intra european flights, and 2 hours for intercontinental flights. Because trains run on time (and I have travel insurance) and ZRH is efficient there is no need to plan in more, unless you like hanging around airports (I don't).

SWISS itself will sell combined train+plane itineraries with less than 1 1/2 hour between train and plane. So they seem to agree with me as to what buffer is needed...

I live in Wengen, and for a 13:00 flight I would leave from home the morning of the flight. Only if the flight is before 10:00 will I stay overnight at the airport.

Posted by
36 posts

Dear Phred,

We are returning to Switzerland again in late December--this time we will be staying in Zermatt for skiing and New Year's. If you think $200.00 at Zurich airport is too high, please do not look at the Zermatt hotel rates. Some hotels are requiring a minimum of ten nights!! The hotel I booked last month has already almost doubled in price.

I will probably book the Zurich Radisson airport again, since we have another early flight (10:00 AM), so no time to really tour after our train gets in from Zermatt late evening.

By the way, no matter how efficient the Swiss say their airport is, if my airline tells me to check in three hours in advance, that is what I do.

No, I am not overly wealthy, but I try to splurge when needed, such as nights before long, uncomfortable international flights. We did a lot of cheap traveling when we were younger, but as we age we now need private bathrooms, beds instead of sleeping bags, and a decent restaurant meal versus a bread and cheese sandwich. Luckily my air tickets were just about free, since I used frequent flyer miles. For young people on a tight budget I would always recommend checking out the youth hostels.