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City Backpacker - Hostel Biber

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Hostelz.com's Review
The Zurich City Backpacker is a nice little hostel in a great location. It's not far from the train station, just a short walk across to the other side of the river and a short distance down a side street. But once you reach the hostel, you're only halfway there since it's bit of a climb up four or five sets of stairs just to reach reception. Note that the reception has limited hours (currently 8-11 AM and 3-10 PM), so you must arrive during those times.

It's a small hostel with about 60 beds in total. Coed dorms are available, but many of the dorms are male or female only (so ask if you prefer a coed dorm). The rooms have sinks, with the toilets and showers are shared by the floor. The rooms and facilities are clean and very well maintained.

The common area is very small, consisting of just a small sitting around outside the reception office. There's also a small kitchen, but it's only open when the reception is open. The sitting area does have an internet computer, but it's very expensive and you're better off walking down the street to use the internet at the McDonalds or one of the internet cafes. There's a very comfortable couch and plenty of brochures about hostels and things to do in Switzerland, so it's a good place sit and plan the rest of your Swiss travels. Incidentally, Zurich is a neat little city, but it's expensive and it does tend to be just a stopping point between other destinations. Most backpackers only stay for one night, so the crowd changes every day.

by David
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
August 2005
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City Backpacker - Hostel Biber Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Basic, adequate, no complaints! just about ok. great location! only slight problem is that reception is not open in the morning so you cant claim deposit back but in fairness i suppose thats a minor gripe.  , wales ()
1   Bad. Do not stay there. I stayed two nights in sept '08. I will never return to this hostel! The rooms were strange (the floor were kind of inclined), they don't have big lockers (only small ones that not fit your backpack), nor Wi-Fi for internet. The bathroom is very weak. They also have some rules that they did not put on their website and they only tell you when you arrive for the check-in (too late to find other hostel) like if you check-out earlier than 8 a.m. (time that reception opens) they will keep a copy of your credit-card to charge you if they don't receive the key of your room (that you leave in the mailbox in front of the reception). The common room appears more like a smoke room, impossible to stay there if you dislike cigarette. The location is good, near the train station. In the past it were a red zone but today no more, you find McDonalds and Starbucks near the hostel. I don't recommend this hostel!  , Brazil ()
1  This hostel has no redeeming features. It really is awful and I wouldnt recommend anyone stay here. It looks so dirty (it isnt -- I saw the cleaner everyday) but because everything is so tatty and dated it looks horrible. The room was cluttered and uncomfortable. It is close to the centre and station but it is located on a sort of red light district -- very sleazy. The only positive is that there is a nice man who works on reception and he helped me book my next hotel when the women on the phone didnt speak English. Avoid.  ()
2  found this hostel experience probably the worst ive ever had in a hostel, not all the hostels fault, and its out of season so not many travelers about. the annoying thing is the guy said the place was not even half full, yet had so many crammed into that one room, why not apply some common sense and let people spread out, your rooms are tiny anyway so its not comfortable. Have to admit the main problem was a snorer and a guy whispering to himself like some sort of a chant or prayer in another language for hours in the wee small hours then sleeping all day -- creepy. if the snorer made me feel unable to sleep then this dude made me wonder if sleeping was a good idea. i feel this could have been avoided by spreading out the five people in this tony six-bed dorm though the hostel. in lucerne after all i had a hostel room to myself, hey november is quiet for traveling switzerland! anyway i seemed to survive the night after a few doubts during some stages. i don't have to stay at hostels and do so mainly to meet other travelers and share stories and just have a laugh, but it just didn't seem like there were many people like me at this hostel. i asked reception about tours and if they're running and he said most people cant afford much when they're staying here and he only sells one or two a month. he also didn't seem overly friendly. anyway i wouldn't stay at this hostel again, in my second night i considered paying an additional 220 francs and get a hotel to get some sleep, but i decided not to in the end.  ()
4  I stayed in this hostel in July for three nights. There are two showers and toilets and one kitchen for four six-bed-dorms on each floor. They were clean and never crowded even the hostel was booked-up every night. It is well located in the city of Zurich, next to shops, restaurants and bars but because of that it isn't a very quiet place, too. I stayed over the weekend and we let the windows open all night so we heard the noise of the bars. I cannot say whether the windows will silence the noise but maybe it is better during the week or in autumn/winter when people cannot sit outside. There is a small common area next to the reception and also on the roof of the house (kind of balcony, not opened all day). Was a pity that I first didn't realize it. Staff was friendly, they have one computer with internet access (you have to pay for), all in all good stay.  ()
4  Extremely clean rooms, pleasant staff. The hostel is only eight minutes from the main train station. It's located on a narrow cobblestone street with shops lining both sides. At night the town is very alive with people partying and staying out late. So, it's very noisy there during night time, and so it can be difficult to get a calm night's rest. The hostel has one internet station so you can check your e-mail. Great location, and it's only a few minutes walk to the river so you can enjoy lunch by the water. My g/f and I stayed two nights, the other hostellers were friendly and we felt very comfortable there. Clean, safe, and decent price.  ()
4  Great hostel. Staff were pretty helpful. The rooms were a bit cramped, but the kitchen was quite good. The common room was cosy, and the internet was quite expensive, but it is zurich! Our only problem was with the smokers in the common room, as it was small, and when you are a non-smoker, fresh air is important. Other than that, the location was brilliant. Oh and dont leave it too late to go clubbing during winter, even on Saturdays, as everything was basically closed or empty, by 11pm!  ()
4  I thought this hostel was really good. We left our backpacks in lockers at the train station and took everything we needed in small bags, then rented free bikes (outside the train station) and cycled to the hostel, which wasn't far at all. The best thing about the hostel is the balcony, which is a great place to sit and drink with people you've met in the hostel, and look over the busy street (niederdorfstrasse) below. Definitely visit the Lindt chocolate museum (loads of free chocolate and free entry!) and the rheinfall waterfall, which was really pretty.  ()

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