One day/one night in Zurich

Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:38 AM
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One day/one night in Zurich

We are traveling in early September from New York to Zurich, arriving 7 am. We want to check in to a hotel (hopefully early), nap a bit, sightsee, and have a memorable will be my husband's birthday! We will be leaving the next morning by train to Milan to begin a tour of Italy, flying home from Rome. Any advice for this "whirlwind" stop in Zurich? Hotel, restaurant, a small taste of Zurich in just one day? Thanks so much for any input.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:48 AM
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Here is an old thread called "6 hours in Zurich" which has listed a number of restaurants in Zurich:
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Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 11:15 AM
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Thanks, yk. I read through the link you recommended. Now, about hotels...any advice from the message board? Thanks! I'm thinking of the Adler.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 05:56 AM
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I live in Zurich. Let me get to the restaurant question first. I assume a splurge here is OK, so I have listed fairly expensive restaurants. Ballpark would be something over US$150 per person without wine, but the first two would be above that:

Petermann's Kunststube
Seestrasse 160
tel 41-1910-0715

This is a Michelin 1-star. Very expensive but excellent. It is in Patricia Schultz's book 1,000 Places to see before you die. Location may be a drawback for you, you would need to take a train to Kuschnact (about 15 minutes) and then a cab (or a fair walk), so with only one night it may not be feasible, but I put it first because it is one of the best restaurants in Switzerland. You could take a ferry down, but they may not be running at the end of the evening, so you would have to train or cab back. Cabfare from Zurich would be about $60 one way. Train schedules can be found at

Blaue Ente
Seefeldstrasse 223
Tel: 41-1-388-6840
Set in an old mill on the shore of Lake Zurich. The house specialty is duck, the menu is European and Swiss specialties. A favorites among locals.
Hotel Zum Storchen
Am Weinplatz
Zurich, Switzerland, 8022
Tel: 41 1 227 2727
Fax: 41 1 227 2700

Excellent food. Great wine list. In a charming part of the old town, right on the river. If it is a warm day, ask for a table outside on the terrace, otherwise ask for a window table.

Seestrasse 457, 8038
Tel: 41-1-488 6565

Mediterranean cuisine, good wine list, nice spot along the lake. This is one of my favorite restaurants, on a nice evening ask for an outdoor table. Slight drawback for you is location, it is a bit out of downtown. You could take a tram or train to the Wolisfhofen train station, then about a 10 minute walk. A cab from the old town area would cost about $30 one way. You could also theoretically walk here from downtown Zurich, probably about 30 minutes along the lake.

Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten
Limmatquai 40
Phone 41-1-252-0834
This restaurant is in one of the old "guild houses" along the river in the old town and has a marvelous old Swiss style decor. The menu combines Zurich specialties with innovations by the current chef.
Zum Grünen Glas
Untere Zäune 15
Phone: 41-1-2516504

Very good French food in a lovely old building. This restaurant is a bit hard to locate, as it on a side street up a hill in the old town kind of near the University, but worth the walk and hunt for it. Not too far a walk from the Adler, maybe 10 minutes.

Caduff's Wine Loft
Kanzleistrasse. 126, 8004
Tel: 41-1- 240 2255

An excellent restaurant with a huge wine list and cellar. In a residential and industrial neighborhood, could be a bit hard to locate, but worth it. You can have a different wine with each course.

Rive Gauche
Hotel Baur au Lac
Talstr. 1, 8001
Tel: 41-1-220 50 60

Lovely restaurant in a very upscale hotel. On a very clear day, you should be able to see the Alps from the windows.

Rämistrasse 4, 8001
Tel: 41-1-251 6669

This is probably Zurich's most famous restaurant, also one if its oldest. A favorite with locals, their bar is worth a look and a drink. Classic Swiss-German food.

Cantinetta Antinori
Augustinergasse 25, 8001
Tel: 41-1- 211 7210

Excellent Italian food in a great location on the left bank of the old town not far from the Banhofstrasse. A bit less expensive and casual than the other places above. They have some outdoor tables which are nice on a warm evening.

Restaurant Sterne Foifi
Theatrestrasse 22
(at Bellevue tram stop)
Tel: 41-1-251-4949

Very good restaurant serving European and Swiss specialties. If you can get a window seat (upstairs or downstairs) you will get a good view of street like and lake. A bit less expensive and more casual than most of the above. There have a small terrace upstairs.

Café Terrasse
Limmatquai 3
Tel: 41-1-251-1074

On a nice evening, their outdoor terrace is lovely and romantic. A funky bar and restaurant. I think the ambience and crowd are somewhat better than the food, but overall a good choice. On the right bank in the old town.

Seestrasse. 493, 8038
Tel: 41-1- 481 6383

Has a huge deck on the lake, this would be the most casual and least expensive of all the restaurants. As with Café Terrasse, IMO, the location and views outperform the food. Location may be a drawback for you, it is not far from the Blu Restaurant. You could take a tram or train to Wolishofen, then walk. You could also theoretically walk here from downtown Zurich, probably about 30 minutes along the lake.

For your one day in Zurich, as you are staying in the old town, then naturally a walk around that area is a good start. The Fodor's book for Switzerland has a very good suggested walking tour. A boat trip on the lake is also a good idea on a nice day, you can go down to Thalwil or Kusnacht
And come back, about 2 hours round trip. If it is a clear day and you want a great view, take the little red train from the main train station to Utliberg, and climb up the hill a bit to the observation tower, there is also a hotel here with a casual cafeteria and a nicer restaurant. Take a look at the website for the train to Utliberg is (there does not seem to be an English version, so I don't know how helpful this will be but you may be able to understand the timetable for the train.) You could also go take the funicular up the hill and have lunch on the terrace of the Dolder Grand Hotel, take a look at (I have not been to their main restaurant, the Waldhaus, but it might be worth thinking about for dinner, views would certainly be good. Also, click on "Destinations" above and scroll down to Zurich and take a look at the suggestions put together by Fodors there. If it is a rainy, then a visit to the Reitburg Museum would be a good way to spend a few hours.

For hotels, what is your price range? Zurich is quite expensive for hotels. With regard to the Adler, if you are there on a weekend or if it is warm, ask for a room on a high floor, an inner courtyard (not sure there is one) or a side street, as the hotel is located in a lively bar district and can be noisy at night. The hotel has no air-conditioning as far as I know.

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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 08:08 AM
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Thank you so much for the excellent information, Cicerone! It is much appreciated. For our hotel price range, I would say about $200 U.S. for the night, since it is only our first night of a 15 day trip. I would love to hear your opinion on where we should stay. We're hoping for an early check in (very early) since we will be flying transatlantic and arriving from NY at 7:00 in the morning. We are trying to get information on train schedules,etc. since we will be traveling to Milan the following morning. I saw something about a "Cisalpino" train through the Alps, but have not found a way to buy our ticket online. Thanks again!
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 09:19 AM
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We stayed at the Hotel Bristol which is an easy walk to the train station. It was clean and quiet. The tv actually had several English language channels which was better than any other place we stayed in Germany/Austria. I would recommend this hotel and stay there again.

We spent the afternoon in Zurich and basically did the walking tour in Rick Steve's Germany, Austria and Switzerland book. Don't miss the Chagall windows in the church (can't remember the name of the church).

We didn't eat anywhere memorable so can't help you there.

Have fun.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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You can buy Cisalpino tickets from any rail station in Switzerland, or can go through their website at I personally would wait and do it in Zurich, but you can buy ahead of time if you want as you only have one day in Zurich. If you take the train into Zurich from the airport (recommended depending on your luggage amount and your hotel location) you can easily buy the ticket at the ticket windows at the railway station in the airport. The Cisalpino trains depart from Zurich 3 or 4 times a day, I was just looking at the schedule myself as I am going to Milan this weekend. There are also "regular" trains which depart every hour or so and take about an hour longer to reach Milan, but in some ways I prefer them; the Cisalpino goes VERY fast and makes me a little bit nauseous, you kind of tilt, sort of like being in the Bat Cave.. .For schedules for the Cisalpino and the "regular" trains go to Put in your departure station (Zurich or Zurich HB) and your arrival station (Milano Centrale). The Cisalpino trains are noted with a CIS, the regular trains would be an IC (for intercity) or D (for Fast Train).

For hotels in your price range other than the Adler, consider the following. There is also a Marriott that is not charming, but is very well located, perfectly fine for one night, has Alp views and if you can stay for points definitely worth it; spend your money on dinner. There is a Sheraton as well, not as well located but again if it is for free, then it is worth it. (Sheraton Neues Schloss, not the others which are outside of town.) Of them all the Kindli is probably the most charming although the Opera Hotel looks great but is more expensive. Also run a search here, as other have posted on hotels in that range.

1. Hotel Altstadt
Kirchgasse 4,
Zurich CH 8001

This is a 3 star hotel, but it has been nicely redone in a modern style. I have not seen the rooms, but the bar and small lobby are quite nice. On a charming quite sidestreet in a great location on the right bank in the old town, near to the Grossmunster and some great restaurants, including what I consider to be the best Thai restaurant in town, which is down the street. I can't seem to find their own website, but you can take a look at for some pictures.

2. Hotel St Gotthard
Bahnhofstrasse 87,

4-star This is in a great location on the Banhofstrasse, the main shopping street. It would be walkable from the main train station in under 5 minutes. I have not seen the rooms, but love the bar, restaurant and public areas. The owners of this hotel also own and run the Zum Storchen, one of my favorite hotels, so I think they management and facilities would be nice. Take a look at the website for all their hotels, including the Zum Storchen, which is out of your budget but does have a great restaurant as I mentioned.

3. Hotel Helmhaus
Schifflände 30
8001 Zürich
tel: 41-1 251 88 10
fax: 41-1 251-0403

4 star in the Neiderdorf/Oberdorf area. They definitely have air-conditioning. A very good location for sightseeing, shopping and eating. This is around the corner from the Altstadt hotel mentioned above. Probably the most plain and simple of all the hotels I have listed here.

4. Hotel Opera Zurich
Dufourstrasse 5

4 stars. I don't know this hotel but enjoy their restaurant very much (esp outdoor table), and from the outside it looks very nice and the location is very good. Worth a look I think. Not sure if it is in your price range.

5. Hotel Seefeld Seefeldstrasse 63
8008 Zurich
tel: 41-1-387-4141
fax: 41-1-837-4151
http://www.hotel-seefeld.che 63

3-star, built last year. They have a roof terrace. It is in a nice neighbourhood of restaurants and some interesting shops, and is about 2 blocks from the lake. The Seefeld area would be a bit quieter at night than the Neiderdorf/Oberdorf areas. It is on a tram line and so is convenient. They don't have air-conditioning but have a "cool air" system that some new buildings have here which circulates fresh air, not really the same as AC, but unless it is really hot, then the lack of AC is not really an issue as the neighbourhood is fairly quiet.

6. The Hotel Kindli
Pfalzgasse 1
8001 Zürich
tel: +41 (0)43 888 76 76
fax: +41 (0)43 888 76 77

3 or 4 star. I don't know it personally, but it gets generally good reviews on the site, and seems to have good prices. It is probably the most charming of the hotels mentioned here. It is in a very nice part of the old town. It might be worth a look.

7. Alden Hotel Splugenschloss
Splugenstrasse, 2
Zurich, CH-8002
Phone: 1-289-9999

5 star. This is a brand new hotel in a lovely old building. It used to be called the Splugenschloss and was a lovely old hotel which need a redo and it appears to have received a great facelift. I have not seen the inside but it looks very charming. It is part of Relais & Chateaux which generally run nice hotels. Not the most interesting neighbourhood, mostly residential and offices, but about 2 blocks from the lake, and it would be quiet. Zurich is very small and you could walk to the left bank of the old town in about 15 minutes from here, or take a tram in about 5 minutes so the location is not really a drawback. They just opened and may be offering specials, otherwise I think it is above your budget.

I would also note that the Park Hyatt open here this month. It is near the Alden Hotel mentioned above, this is not in an interesting pr charming neighbourhood, IMO, but it will be the newest and nicest hotel in Zurich (very modern design and I believe the rooms are somewhat minimalist in decor). I mention it because it is possible they may be offering good discount rates to build their business. It is about 2 blocks from the lake. It might be worth checking the Hyatt website.

I am not a fan of the Dolder Grand as it is inconveniently located on a hill outside of town, but does have superb lake views from its high hillside location. I am not sure they have air conditioning and/or is in your price range. I believe many of the rooms need a redo. Take a look at

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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 01:56 PM
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For a memorable dinner in a little different manner, you might consider the old arsenal, the Zeughauskeller, which is just off of the Bahnhofstrasse. It is a large beerhall style restaurant but an experience I would think everyone should try once while in Zurich.
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 02:15 PM
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Hotel Kindli - we stayed there for a one night stop over in Zurich as well a couple of years back. Very charming in a nice location in the old part of the city. Take a left for the beer garden at the top of the cobblestone street - nice for a break. Easy walking city.
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