Switzerland’s wealthiest and largest metropolis, financial center, and one of the world’s most livable cities, Zurich wears many caps. At the turn of the 21st century, it also transformed into one of the hippest destinations in Europe. A fairytale-esque center with cobblestoned corners and majestic squares, an edgy persona, and a period aesthetic make for a heady mishmash in this bohemian Swiss city. What’s more, Zurich is tolerant and liberal-minded to boot and has been championing for gay rights since the 1940s. Besides a dynamic gay scene, there are numerous gay friendly hotels in Zurich, which is Switzerland’s gay capital today. Its diverse, pulsating LGBTQ nightlife is centered around the Old Town, complete with Europe’s oldest gay bar, Barfüsser! And of course, Zurich celebrates a litany of LGBTQ festivals, including Zurich Gay Pride and the Pink Apple LGBT film festival.
What draws LGBTQ travelers to this city is its architecture, history, and gorgeous natural beauty. The fusion of German and French cultures, with a dash of Italian, is evident in the cuisine and culture. Besides a postcard-perfect, old-world Old Town, Zurich is also famous for its beer gardens, thermal baths, museums, and shopping. In fact, the world-famous Bahnhofstrasse is not just one of the World’s 9 Best Shopping Streets, but also one of the prettiest. Moreover, the Rhine Falls, one of the 20 Largest Waterfalls In The World, lies just 45 minutes north of the city. Exploring Zurich is, thus, one pleasurable experience that goes beyond its wild gay nightlife. To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Zurich, Switzerland.
25hours Hotel Zurich West
25hours Hotel Zurich West sits in a striking black cube in the trendy Industriequartier neighborhood on the banks of the River Limmat. Not only is one of the best gay hotels in Zurich, but it’s also one of the 11 Best Hotels in Zurich – and for good measure. It might sit away from the city center, but Altstadt is a mere 20-minute tram ride. It’s also a combined 20-minute walk and tram ride to the gay bars and saunas in Langstrasse. If that wasn’t enough, the hotel sits in what is a design and art hub.
Part of the German boutique hotel chain 25hours, the place is a kaleidoscope of lots of lush foliage, zany wall illustrations, and vibrant hues. You’ll love the facilities here, especially the panoramic sauna. Apart from that, the place has a compact gym, a boutique that sells the brand’s merchandise, and even a business corner. However, what’s most impressive is that you can hire not just scooters and bikes, but also a Mini for exploring around – all free of charge! The hotel even shows culinary prowess in the form of the Middle Eastern-themed restaurant, which becomes a pulsating space in the evening. Begin your mornings here with fabulous breakfasts.
Albeit no-frills, the hotel rooms are delightful and pleasing with rich shades, pendulum lights, and wooden floors. Comfy beds, Bluetooth speakers, and flatscreen TVs are a mainstay, as are slick bathrooms with huge shower cubicles.
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Motel One Zürich
Motel One is one of the best-located gay friendly hotels in Zurich. It sits in Zurich’s financial district, tucked away in a revered 1900s-built structure with stone-arched windows. Bahnhofstrasse is a 6-minute walk, while the gay scene at Altstadt is not more than 10 minutes away. Plus, the river is a block away and the lake is a 10-minute walk. Everything that you could possibly want to explore in the town, it’s close by.
Touted as ‘design on a budget’, Motel One impresses right from the outset, with the lobby stacked with local history hardbacks, pendulum lights. You can see splashes of the hotel’s signature turquoise shade throughout, but curios like wooden boat models and Swiss Alps landscapes are all innately Zurich. Since the hotel is one of the biggest in Switzerland (yes!), common areas feature workbenches, egg chairs, and soft leather sofas for you to mingle. Despite no restaurant, the hotel features a lounge that serves light snacks, baked goodies, desserts, and drinks. What’s more, breakfast is better than what’s served at some five-stars in the city. Facilities might be limited to the communal areas, free Wi-Fi, and the lounge, but for a short stay, it’s absolutely worth it.
Rooms are snug and cozy with heavy velvet drapes, Swiss Alps-shaped headboards, and bouncy and soft beds. While there’s not much by the way of mod-cons, you’ll particularly like the glass-and-granite bathrooms. For a mere CHF 20 (USD 21.5) more, it’s worth getting the top-floor room with the balcony.
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B2 Boutique Hotel + Spa
It’s hard to beat the location and exclusivity of the B2 Boutique Hotel + Spa, one of the best boutique gay hotels in Zurich. The hotel lies in the loft neighborhood of Hürlimann-Areal in Zurich Enge, an upscale quarter with leafy boulevards and plush townhouses. Moreover, a 20-minute walk will bring you both to the lakefront and the city center and Altstadt, and there are train and tram connections as well. However, the views of Zurich and the Uetliberg mountain from here are unbeatable.
The hotel occupies an 1867-built structure that used to be a brewery, complete with a brick chimney. The impressive lobby is a bibliophile’s dream. It has an open-plan library with a flickering fire and deep armchairs – and a whopping 33,000 hardbacks! Above, three beer-bottle chandeliers are Instagram-worthy, as is the geometric glass-and-concrete tunnel. When you check-in, you’re assigned an ambassador who is your point of contact for everything you need during your stay. They’ll also give you a tour and talk about the building’s history happily. Apart from a small gym, it’s the outdoor pool and thermal spa fed by an on-site mineral spring that you shouldn’t miss. Besides excellent beverages and light bites, the library wine bar also serves a hearty breakfast.
All rooms are spacious and bright, with design touches like complimentary minibars with local beers and urban-chic furnishings. Coffee machines and big windows ensure a lovely morning of enjoying the views. Moreover, the open-plan bathrooms have plush towels and spa robes. While views vary across rooms, it’s worth going for the corner room 503.
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Are you looking for a historic gay accommodation in Zurich right by the gay scene? Then you couldn’t find a better base than the Marktgasse Hotel. Not only is this hotel one of the oldest inns in Zurich, but it’s also right next to Barfusser, Europe’s oldest gay friendly bar! The icing on the cake is that most of the Top 11 Things To Do In Zurich are within an easy walking distance.
The hotel sits in a listed ‘Grade One’ heritage structure, with all bedrooms different in size and shape. In fact, many rooms have the original ceilings and tiled stoves, while white and black are smartly integrated into the design. Downstairs, we have one of the buzziest spots in town, Baltho, which features an eclectic but lip-smacking menu. The café does delicious bakery-style breakfasts and even has lunchtime offerings if you’re in the area. Even though it’s an Old Town hotel, Marktgasse has a library with books and board games. The reception-cum-sitting area has comfy sofas where you can sit and read while sipping on a cup of coffee. Finally, the hotel even has a tie-up with a wellness and fitness center nearby, which you can use.
All rooms and suites are designer-level creations with a pared-down, minimalist feel. Go for the suites which come with a slew of mod-cons, or the junior suite with a rooftop terrace. Nevertheless, bathrooms everywhere are sleek and feature bathtubs!
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If you’re looking for a spacious yet budget gay friendly hotel in Zurich, why not try Youthhostel Zurich? While it sits away from the city center, the train station in the next street means the city center, and Altstadt is a mere eight-minute ride! There’s a lot you’ll love about this hostel, beginning with all the space. It would have been impossible to find such a huge place in the city center or Altstadt. The heart and soul of the hostel is the lounge area with comfy seating, books, and even a pool table. There are even table tennis and outdoor seating areas with pretty parasols. When it comes to food, this place is unlike other hostels. Besides a lovely full Swiss breakfast, it also organizes packed meals. Plus, snacks are available round the clock. You can even grab bikes and go off exploring on your own.
Accommodations are impressive too. Choose from 4/6-bed females-only and mixed dorms, private rooms, and even a quadruple room, in case you’re a larger group. Beds are comfy and come with their own light and power outlets, and even lockers. Bathrooms, both shared and private ones, are immaculate and impeccably maintained.
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There are few, or rather no gay accommodations in Zurich like the Storchen. It’s the only hotel that sits right on the River Limmat in central Zurich and has its own pier! In fact, climbing aboard a boat from Landesmuseum/main station is one of the most fun ways of arriving here. It’s no wonder that this is one of the most popular gay hotels in Zurich.
The hotel’s been around since as far back as 1357 and is one of the oldest establishments in Zurich. What’s more, it sits right across from Altstadt or Old Town, with the amazing gay Cranberry bar a mere two-minute walk. If a bespoke, ultra-exclusive, and gay friendly experience in Zurich is what you seek, then Storchen is the right place. Every design detail about the hotel is well-thought, right from the dove-grey-mauve color palette to the motifs inspired by storks. There are lots of open spaces that open right onto the river where you can sit and watch actual storks fly past. The service is one of the best in the town, with the staff taking care of every whim and fancy and dishing out little-known tips. Finally, a river-facing restaurant serves a delicious breakfast.
That said, it’s the rooms that are the highlight here, and are like cozy and luxurious nests. Art wallpapers, teal velvet armchairs, and stylish glass and metal lamps, and marble bathrooms are opulent additions. What’s more, there are a plethora of in-room facilities, including a pillow menu and tablets containing useful local information. You’ll even find options to book dumbbells and exercise bikes, as well as complimentary bottled water, face towels, and jogging maps.
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25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse
Are you a lover of locomotives? Then you’ll definitely love the 25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse, one of the most unique gay hotels in Zurich. It sits right next to the train station, as well as the great posse of gay bars in Langstrasse. A zany aesthetic and a unique, train-spotting perspective makes this one of the most bohemian gay hotels in Zurich.
There’s so much going on at the modish hotel that you won’t know where to look first. Truck tarpaulin bags dangle from the ceiling, while giant Duplo bricks and model boats sit around the front desk. Everywhere, you’ll find a nook to lounge, whether it’s the arcade game machines, the terrace, or by the fire in the living room. Right from the small gym to what is one of Zurich’s most panoramic saunas, you can engage in train-spotting. When you’re in the mood to explore, grab the bikes or, impressively, a Mini free of charge. The restaurant, which serves a delicious breakfast in its vertical gardens, becomes a pulsating space by night. You could even end up meeting some very interesting locals here!
All rooms feature murals of the jungle or New York City and feature nostalgic and playful touches like polaroid cameras, school desks with crayons, and toy cars. Standard mod-cons aside, you’ll only find plush beds and open-plan but pleasing bathrooms.
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Ladies, this one is specially designed for you. LADYs First is one of the finest gay accommodations in Zurich, and although it caters to ladies first, gents are also welcome. The townhouse had a former life as a girls’ boarding school, hence its name. Today, it features an integration policy that provides employment to women who’re in difficult circumstances. Located just steps from the lakefront in Zurich, the bijou hotel boasts heartfelt hospitality and an experience like no other. It’s a short stroll to the main sights and the Altstadt and is removed from the bustle at the same time.
The hotel retains tons of original features, the most notable being the spiral staircase. Light interiors in soothing shades are the perfect frame for the vibrant abstract art that adorns the walls. The highlight is the ladies-only, Moroccan-like spa, where you can strike a conversation with fellow lady travelers. After a day of exploring, the heated beds, sauna, and skylit hammam feel like heaven. A roof terrace and relaxation room aside, there are even weekly yoga classes and in-room massages that can be arranged. Sip on cocktails from the honesty bar in the lounge with a fireplace, which also features a lovely rose garden. During summers, borrow beach towels and bags and head to one of the stunning lakefront swimming areas. Although it’s partnered with a restaurant for meals, LADYs does serve a delectable breakfast in a sun-kissed room.
Large windows, high ceilings, robes, minibars, and tea-making facilities are a mainstay in all rooms, while bathrooms come with either showers or tubs. If you want to splurge, then go for the superior rooms which have Juliet balconies.
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If you’re an LGBTQ traveler and have deep pockets, then we’d tell you to look no further than the Dolder Grand Hotel. The award-winning hotel is one of the most luxurious gay friendly hotels in Zurich, with its magnificent turrets making it a landmark. If that isn’t enough, a Michelin-starred restaurant, a huge spa, and artworks that look like they belong in the Louvre abound. The hotel occupies an enviable position perched above the city, nestled in lush green woodland. A tram and funicular ride takes you to the city center, as does the hotel shuttle.
Established in 1899, the hotel housed in a merlot-and-cream Belle Époque structure continues to be reputed as one of Switzerland’s best hotels. As you step inside, the oversized flowers, high ceilings, and Swarovski crystal chandeliers make you feel like you’ve entered a gallery. 19th-century features like ornate ceilings and Corinthian columns are everywhere, peppered with works by Henry Moore and Salvador Dali. The resort features all the usual facilities of a five-star, and then some. So, there’s an ice rink, tennis courts, and golf course, but the focus is the elliptical indoor pool with daybeds and a hot whirlpool with views of Lake Zurich. Since you’re in the woods, you can even grab a mountain bike and head out. If you’re here for hedonistic pleasure, then the award-winning and seductive Dolder Spa is your destination. Two restaurants, a Michelin-star one, and a bar round up the amenities.
Romance is in the air in the rooms here, which have floor-to-ceiling windows, cloud-like plush beds, and marble bathrooms that look like spas unto themselves. Go for the rooms which have whirlpool baths with candles and views of the lake for the ultimate romantic adventure.
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Platzhirsch Boutique Hotel and Bar
Are you looking for budget gay accommodation in Zurich smack dab in the gay scene? Then look no further than the Platzhirsch Boutique Hotel, which is featured on numerous lists of best gay accommodation in Zurich. Not only is the hotel’s bar gay popular, but it sits right next to Heaven club, one of the city’s best gay clubs. Even then, the surroundings are quite peaceful, and some of the best historic sights in Zurich are all right out front.
The chic, adults-only gay friendly Zurich hotel sits in a renovated historic building and boasts a good number of amenities, despite being a budget one. Aside from free Wi-Fi everywhere, it offers laundry services and breakfast in the comfort of your room. Downstairs, the elegant, gay-popular bar serves everything from beverages to cocktails to drinks. There’s even a sun terrace with alfresco furniture where you can relax. What’s more, the hotel even offers bike and walking tours.
All rooms at the Platzhirsch feature views of either Old City landmarks or the skyline and come with plush beds and parquet floors. Mod-cons are standard, like flat-screen satellite TVs and radio, with coffeemakers and minibars in the higher category rooms. Bathrooms are immaculate if minimal. In fact, some rooms have cheeky glass doors to the shower areas, leaving nothing to the imagination.
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Oldtown Hostel Otter
Oldtown Hostel Otter is one of the most wallet-friendly and centrally located gay friendly hotels in Zurich. Converted from a hotel to a hostel, the place is tucked right in the heart of Altstadt. In fact, it rises to the challenge of budget accommodation in Old Town quite magnificently. Moreover, it is within stone’s throw of all the best sights to see in Zurich. Coming to the accommodations, you can choose from seven female-only/mixed dorms or eight private rooms. Both the room types feature spotless shared and ensuite bathrooms.
Coming to the amenities, the highlight is the shared kitchen. Here, you can whip up quick meals and even enjoy talking to fellow travelers. The vibrant café downstairs is a very popular gay hangout place, complete with a free breakfast in the morning. The cherry on top is that the hostel is surrounded by some of the best bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafes in Zurich.
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Just So You Know:
- The fight for equal LGBTQ rights has been around in Zurich since the beginning of the 20th century.
Get Some Culture in Zurich:
- Zurich Pride: Zurich’s largest gay event is the Pride Parade, whose colorful parade takes place right in the center of the city. Open-air bars, parties, and stage shows make this one of the biggest events in Switzerland.
- Gaily Tour in Zurich – Explore the best sights and landmarks in the city with a gay/lesbian-friendly tour guide and/or driver.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Zurich:
- Barfüsser – This historic gay bar dates back to 1956, making this one of the oldest gay bars in Europe!
- Männerzone – Bears, otters, and their admirers congregate at this popular gay cruise bar in the town. It even has a store that sells fetish gear focused on the army, rubber, and leather attire – saucy!
- Erotik Factory – BDSM anyone? This amazing store stocks everything that all your can possibly senses desire. What’s more, it even has a basement cruising area that is popular with local gay men.
Best Gay Saunas in Zurich:
- Moustache – Zurich has many gay saunas, and this is the biggest and best. It boasts everything from playrooms, video cabins, and a darkroom to a whirlpool bath and a Finnish sauna.