Zurich is an ideal place to get acquainted with Swiss hospitality. More than 120 hotels offer accommodations ranging from the most sumptuous suites in Europe to simple, clean pensions (boardinghouses). Finding a room can be a problem, however. The top hotels are usually filled with business travelers, as the city frequently hosts conventions and fairs. So, if possible, make a reservation well in advance.
For top-rate comfort in Zurich, you'll have to pay. Inexpensive hotels are often spartan and definitely have no frills, and many of the budget hostelries are in dire need of renovation. Don't believe the myth that you can't find a bad hotel in Switzerland: It's not true and probably never was.
The division between the left bank and the right bank of Zurich isn't as sharply divided as it is in Paris, for example. You stay on the left bank for greater convenience, as it is the site of the rail terminus, all the major banks, and some of the grandest shops and restaurants. However, the right bank is the site of the Altstadt (Old Town), and for many visitors this section of Zurich has far greater atmosphere. It's also the site of many of the historic guildhalls of Zurich (some of which are now restaurants). A stay here is for those who seek ambience and an old-style atmosphere when lodging in a European capital.
Note: Rooms in all our recommended hotels have private bathrooms with tub and shower unless otherwise indicated.