We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

short trip to zurich

Which Zurich hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
16 posts
26 reviews
Save Topic
short trip to zurich

hello. i'm considering a short trip to zurich (2 days, 2 nights -- middle of march), and was looking for some advice. i've read oller's recommendations here (tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188113-i337-k2699…), and i'd probably do most of it. but still, a few questions...

zuerich.com shows some walking/trolley tours. are they worth the time? (the site says 2 hours required.) i'm just afraid the city would be too big/confusing to brave alone...

i've read something about a chocolate factory tour... that sounds like a lot of fun. is this in zurich, or will require a train ride?

switzerland, of course, is famous for the mountains. would it take too much time for such an excursion?

as for hotels, i'm on a budget. the 2 i'm thinking of now is Hotel Sternen Oerlikon (which hotel.com lists as in "Fair Trade Ctr - Hallenstadion / Zuerich") and Hotel Basilea (Downtown / Zurich). are either of them too far away for convenient sightseeing? i will be relying on public transportation, and from what i've read, seems like it should be easy enough to get to and from (i hope)...

what about any other "must-see" sights in or close to the city?

sorry for all the questions... it's my first time to europe actually, and i just want to be prepared. thanks for any help.

Zurich, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Zurich
Level Contributor
3,080 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: short trip to zurich

Hi fielight

Great you found my old post, so I can save the time to write a suggestion again...

You are from NYC and you are afraid that Zurich will be too big for you??? This city will most likely appear like a relaxing village to you! The city center is really quite compact and you can do almost everything by walking. I'm sure with a map you can do my suggested roundtrip by your own without problems, but a guided walking tour is recommendable too as you will be provided with lots of useful informations.

Tours of chocolate factory: The only place you can do it is at 'Schoggi-Land'. It's in Flawil, about an hour from Zurich. If you just have 2 days for Zurich, then I would say forget about it - there are much more interesting things to do in this time! But anyway their website is www.schoggi-land.ch

If the weather is good and you like nature, then an excursion to the mountains could be recommendable. For instance a trip to Mt. Rigi as described here: tripadvisor.com/…2757041. Or you could do a short trip to Mt. Uetliberg just above town. It can be reached by direct train from the main station. There is a nice view over Zurich and the lake, but it's rather a hill than a real mountain!

About hotels: Hotel Sternen is out of the city center, about 15-20 min. per tram. Otherwise I don't know anything about it. Hotel Basilea is very central but had a 'redlight reputation'. It's now renovated and maybe the clients have changed. At least there is still some redlight business going on in the street in front of the hotel. It's not a dangerous place but you just have to be prepared. Modestly priced hotels are also Hotel Walhalla (just next to the railway station, www.walhalla-hotel.ch) or Hotel Otter (in old town - more a place for younger crowds, nice rooms but shared bathrooms, could be noisy due to the own lively bar. http://www.wueste.ch/hotel/index.html)

I hope this helps. Just ask if you need more information!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
16 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: short trip to zurich

thanks oller! your post was great... (it even answered one of my yet unasked questions -- just what exactly is Uetliberg? -- so thanks.)

i'm looking into the train passes right now, and i was hoping you might help me there too. i know there is a Zurich Card (via zuerich.com), what is the extent of the rides? is it inclusive for all of Zurich city, or just aldstadt or one area like that? i'm also considering going to Bern or Lucerne. would it be better to get the Swiss Pass (i actually qualify for the "youth" discount under 26yrs) then? but would the Swiss Pass include unlimited access within Zurich like the Zurich Card?

sorry for all the questions... i tried looking on www.sbb.ch, but it wasn't very complete as to what the Pass includes. and i haven't been able to get into zuerich.com all day (i'm guessing some server problem...)

Mannheim, Germany
Destination Expert
for Zurich, Mannheim
Level Contributor
13,710 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: short trip to zurich

>i'm looking into the train passes right now, and i was hoping you might help me there too. i know there is a Zurich Card (via zuerich.com), what is the extent of the rides? is it inclusive for all of Zurich city, or just aldstadt or one area like that? i'm also considering going to Bern or Lucerne. would it be better to get the Swiss Pass (i actually qualify for the "youth" discount under 26yrs) then? but would the Swiss Pass include unlimited access within Zurich like the Zurich Card?

For the Altstadt you wouldn't need any card - you can walk from one end to the other in 15 min. The Zürichcard covers the entire Zone 10, which is the whole city. If you only make short trips to Bern and Luzern the Swiss Pass won't pay off - normal tickets will be cheaper. It would cover city transportation in Zürich too, though. If you don't plan on too many museum visits just buy normal 24 h passes - they cost exactly as much as 2 single tickets, for the city it would be 7.20 Fr for 24 h (including boats)

Zurich, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Zurich
Level Contributor
3,080 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: short trip to zurich

Unfortunately as a resident I don't know too much about tourist passes. But there are some experts on this forum who certainly can provide you with the necessary informations.

www.zuerich.com should work again. I checked the information about the Zurich card - you find it on zuerich.com/zurich/zuerichcard/index.html. Obviously it doesn't only cover all public transportation for the city but even in the surroundings, for instance trains up to Uetliberg or to the airport. For CHF 15 a day (or CHF 30 for 3 days) a good value if you consider visiting some museums as well (which are also included). If you just need transportation within the city and nothing else then a day pass for CHF 7.60 would be cheaper (you can buy it at the vending machine at every tram or bus stop).

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage, Zermatt
Level Contributor
17,129 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: short trip to zurich

Hi, if you are travelling on a weekend, you might find great weekend rates at the primarily business hotels in Zurich - check websites. I have seen rates in other cities that were 1/4 the normal rate if you want a room on Fri., Sat. Most are located a bit from tourist areas but in Zurich that isn't a problem as the tram system is excellent and fast. Of course, the rate won't go down if it is a holiday weekend.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
16 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: short trip to zurich

altamiro and oller, thanks for your replies. they were very helpful.

i've had a recent change of plans. when i was booking my flight last night, i found out that by staying an extra day, i save almost $200 in airfare. since i have nothing better to do, i will be staying for 3 days instead.

on day 1, i'm thinking of touring zurich. on the 2nd day, i'm thinking of following oller's suggestion (lucerne --> engelberg --> Mt. Titlis cable car), which seems like a very unique experience. now, i just need to figure out day 3...

by the way, when does it get dark (in general) in switzerland around this time? i want to be able to time it right so i don't arrive at a nature site just when everything becomes dark : )

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
16 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: short trip to zurich

kileysmom:

you know, i've noticed that too! i thought it's really strange that rooms seem to get cheaper on the weekends compared to weekdays... it's very counter-intuitive compared to the usa (in my experience, at least).

Mannheim, Germany
Destination Expert
for Zurich, Mannheim
Level Contributor
13,710 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: short trip to zurich

Zürich is somewhat to the north from NY but not that much... so you can expect sunrise/sunset times to be similar to NY, give or take 1/2 hour...

Mannheim, Germany
Destination Expert
for Zurich, Mannheim
Level Contributor
13,710 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: short trip to zurich

As to the hotel rates - during the week the guests are mostly on corporate expenses, on weekends mostly paying out of their own purse :-) you can squeeze much more from a company... is it different in USA?

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage, Zermatt
Level Contributor
17,129 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: short trip to zurich

Hi, we don't seem to have as much discount here for weekends but instead get special packages for couples/families that aren't really geared for the tourist. At least that's what I find. Anyway, the hotels here certainly are interested just like the airlines and all other travel companies in getting the corporate money which, of course, means we all pay in one way or another! The best discount I've found is the ichotelsgroup.com which includes Intercontinentals, Crowne Point and Holiday Inn hotels so they have hotels in most cities around the world. The IC in Zurich looks like it can be booked on a weekend for 184 SF for one or two people. At today's exch. rate that is roughly $140 plus a very few francs in tax (I think mine last week was about 4 francs on a 214 SF room) so under $150 but that doesn't include breakfast - try to get their breakfast included rate as the breakfast is really good and you can probably skip lunch in favor of tea and pastries mid-afternoon or an early dinner. You can buy your tram pass for 24 hours right at the front desk and the stop is about 2 long or 3 short blocks down the street. It's about 10" by tram to the center of town. There may well be other hotels that have the same lower rate so it's worth checking on the web for rates. You will save by staying a short tram ride out of the city center. As you have a short time, have you checked the hotels nearer to the airport? There were a couple I considered in Kloten that seemed to be just fine and with easy transport into the city. The airport is only 15" from downtown by car. Check the hotels on the swiss tourism sitge. Hope this helps. Have a great long weekend!