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“Just ok and lots of stairs”

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City Backpacker Hotel Biber
Ranked #7 of 53 Specialty Lodging in Zurich
Reviewed May 29, 2013

We were a family of 6 (age between 25-56).
There were many stairs to climb, and by the time we got to the reception area (after passing somewhat like a kitchen area of a restaurant), we found out we needed to climb more to get to our rooms. I considered myself ok fitness and I was huffing and puffing so i really felt sorry for my parents, especially with our huge luggages.
Location wise, this place couldn't have been better. Very close to the train station and it's basically in the city centre. Handy to everywhere.
There's a roof top terrace which we were told offers a nice view over the city but we didn't manage to get up there as it is only open at certain time of the day (plus we can't be bothered to climb any more stairs :P).
There's also time when the reception is close so if you leave you luggage there on your day of check-out, do bear in mind this so you don't miss your train/ flight.

Rooms are basic, cleanliness can be improved.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank TintoTinto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 10, 2013

You have to climb hundreads of stairs to get to the reception and a few more to the bedrooms. That can be a problem. The commum area is small and not confortable. The kitchen is good. The reception is closed at night and in a part of the afternoon and that can be a problem. But they were very helpfull. And they also have Switzland souvenirs to sell at the hostel (that can be a time safer). Shower was fine, but only if you kept the bathroom door closed (sometimes it was open).

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Luiza B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

I choose the hostel because I was traveling on a low budget and Zürich is expensive. Location is all that this hostel has. I arrive to it after climbing 3 floors of steep stairs and arrived to the 'reception' / common area / warehouse where some random people were sleeping. I arrive at 12 and even when I notified my arriving time in advance I was told that from 11 to 2 they were closed so i would have to wait. I took a look at the dorm rooms and without much thinking I left, paying the cancelation fee.

The place was terrible and not so cheap for a couple. So yes I had to spent more for a proper hotel but at least I didn't waste my time in a great city like Zürich in such a crappy place.

I wouldn't recommend this place unless you have a very short budget and you are a hardcore traveler. Good luck

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank pepeyotex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

The hostel is located about 10-15 minutes walk from the Zurich Main Train Station which is really strategic. Together with 3 other family members, we booked 2 private twin rooms as they didn't have any of the 4 bed dorm available during our visit. The management allocated us to two rooms which are side by side which was really nice.

However, the rooms were small and the cleanliness level is just passable. Rather disappointing especially that this hostel is in Switzerland and the Swiss hostels are always said to be very clean. The shared showers were quite rundown. The doors couldn't be lock and there is no place to hang your towel or clothes and keys.

Despite being in the centre of town, the hostel was located above a restaurant and the flights of stairs is a nightmare. The reception is on the second floor and you need to drag your luggage all the way up some narrow staircase. Being above a restaurant and located on a street full with bars and restaurants, getting some early rest is quite difficult.

Just average, there are better options if you could afford a little more.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank lynlynlynlyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

We stayed here for a one night layover in Zurich.

Stuff to keep in mind: It's not really a negative. Everything in Zurich is expensive. We haven't traveled much in western Europe, so we are still adjusting to that :). This place has a lot of stairs. We didn't mind at all, but you should be aware. Also, the other customers were definitely a younger (than us) crowd. We are in our mid 30's, and were just looking for a relatively cheap place to stay for the night. We knew what it meant to stay in a hostel,so this didn't bother us either. Just wanted to mention it.

The positives: The staff people were VERY helpful and very nice. The location, in the middle of the walking section, is easily reached by train and walking. Great location for what we were looking for. The bathroom (shared) and private bedroom were both clean and nice. Our room included bedding and towels. The reception area is a nice place to hangout and the building was quiet.

We didn't use the communal kitchen area during our stay.

Room Tip: Book ahead, it seems to fill early.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank NikkBT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Good location in the centre of Zurich; maybe a ten minute walk from the main railway station, about the same to the lake, and in the heart of several eateries; everything from fast food burger joints to fancy sit-down restaurants, all on the same road. Not so close to the nightlife, or maybe it was and I just couldn't find it with my pigeon German!
However: the reception is up. Up high. I lost track of how many floors up you have to go, but I think it's either two or three. There's no lift, so you get some exercise. It's not a 24 hour reception, but the reception hours are well publicised on-line and during booking, so it shouldn't pose too many problems. The lounge area isn't huge, and there didn't seem to be a lot of interaction between the people there, but it does have free wifi, or a computer you can pay to use. Linen is extra (3.00 CHF fixed), or BYO. Towels also available to rent. The staff are friendly enough, although sometimes a slight language barrier can make them sound rude when they're only trying to be helpful. It's not cheap, but it is cheap compared to many places in Zurich, which is an expensive city! If there was a breakfast, I never found it. There are lockers in the room, not huge, but no locks, so bring your own padlock.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank John C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

I stayed here five nights - this wasn't one of my favorite hostels. First thing was that nowhere on the website or during me reserving the room by phone did they tell me there were so many stairs and no elevator. This is very annoying when you travel alone with two suitcases. The room was not very clean and it was quite noisy. There was only one computer available and using the internet cost a lot of money. Bedsheets and towels were all for rent, usually that's included in the price, which it's NOT in Hotel Biber. Shower was very small and dirty. I did like the common room, where I ended up meeting a few really cool people and we stayed up a few nights having drinks and talking. I wouldn't recommend staying at Hotel Biber, unless you like climbing, noise and only carry a small bag. Good for the price though (cheap) and location is perfect.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank EvaBakker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about City Backpacker Hotel Biber

Address: Niederdorfstrasse 5, Zurich 8001, Switzerland
Location: Switzerland > Canton of Zurich > Zurich > Old Town
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 53 Specialty Lodging in Zurich
Price Range: $37 - $126 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 17
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