City Backpacker - Hostel Biber, Zurich

23 Reviews
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City Backpacker - Hostel Biber Reviews

City Backpacker - Hostel Biber is medium-sized and well suited to guests traveling in groups or solo, although there is not much opportunity for guests to mingle and meet one another. The hostel staff are very friendly and helpful. The check-in and checkout processes are simple and clear. There are several small items (toiletries, souvenirs) available for purchase at the reception and also plenty of city information provided (maps, transport options). This hostel has a nice vibe, it's definitely not a party hostel but it's not completely quiet.

The Location

This hostel is easily located, guests can take a short (less than ten minutes') walk from the main train station and tram station. Otherwise many trams and buses stop close by the hostel. The hostel is in a great location in regard to the remainder of the city. It is thirty seconds from the main waterway and a short walk to the city's main shopping streets and hubs. There are plenty of attractions close by, and it is not necessary to buy a transport pass as everything is very walkable.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There a several levels of mixed and single gender dorms. The reception of the hostel is located a few levels up inside the building block, and the dorms are above this. The dorms are accessed with a key fob, which also accesses the main door to the hostel after hours (10 p.m. or later). The rooms are spacious and lockers (no padlock) are provided for guests to use. There are no assigned beds and linen is provided at an additional cost for those who do not have a sleeping bag or slip. Most of the rooms have a window facing outward. Each level also has a male and female bathroom (shower and toilet). There are two toilets and one shower per level per gender. The shower is relatively small but ok. The bathroom has a basin with soap and mirror. There is also a basin and mirror located inside the dorm rooms.

Common Spaces

There is a main common space nearby the reception with couches and a table; and each level has a small kitchen (cupboards, sink, kettle, stove, microwave, fridge).


This hostel is great for location and gives a welcoming vibe, thanks to the staff. It is suitable for those looking to stay in Zurich on a budget but still be close to the city centre. Although there are cooking facilities, guests may be more comfortable eating out.
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Shared kitchen
Common space at reception
Female shower
Female dorm
AD Staff Reviewer
Published on 2020-05-29

Very inhospitable and uncomfortable

I booked this hostel online and found it strange that unlike most other online credit card purchases or bookings, it did not require the security code of my card, and it said I would pay 0.00 today and the full balance upon arrival. The hostel is in a nice location, however, when I entered the building, I did not feel happy. I had to follow signs up numerous flights of stairs (there is no lift) which didn't actually bother me as much as the uncomfortable feeling and lack of welcome as I found reception to be a tiny room with no receptionist on sight. I had arrived within my estimated arrival time and also within the reception opening hours but no one was there to receive me. I waited a little while before going elsewhere to another hostel. The next day I was charged on my credit card the full price of the booking and when I expressed my displeasure in the hostel's provided contact email, I received no sympathy and instead was made to feel stupid for having apparently not read a sign that said I was supposed to ring a bell to call someone to reception. I was refused a refund and the person in the email even stated, "What if I had to go to the toilet, do the washing of another guest, clean the kitchens or check the bathrooms? It`s all part of the job, we can`t be at the reception 100% of the time." Since I did not end up staying here, I cannot say what the overly quality of the hostel is, but one thing for certain is, if you want a cozy, welcoming, and happy atmosphere, this is not the hostel you should go to.


City Backpacker - Hostel Biber provided good amenities for the price and the building is secure. The rooms and bathrooms are both very clean and comfortable.

The Location

This hostel was very easy to find, it is about fifteen minutes walking from the main train station and right off the main street on the opposite side of the bridge. The hostel is down a quiet little alleyway but easily seen from the main street. It is close to main tram routes and fifteen minutes walk from the main bus terminal. There are many shops and restaurants that surround the hostel as well as a few cafes that do an early-bird cheap breakfast, which can be a saving grace on your wallet! While the location is very safe and calm, the hostel itself is also very safe and secure.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms are clean and warm. There are free lockers in the rooms but you need to provide your own lock. There are sinks and a mirror in most rooms. The bathrooms and showers are shared but there are two to three toilets and two showers per floor so there are no lengthy waits. The bathrooms are clean but a little bit old and worn. Sheets are provided at an additional cost but are clean and new.

Common Spaces

There is a kitchen on each floor, the equipment is minimal and it is cleaned by the hostel-goers that use it so the cleanliness is variable. The common room has about a dozen seats, so finding a free one can be difficult. There are a number of power bars in the common area for charging your phone or computer. There is a computer but the Wi-Fi is free and fast, though it only works in the common room.


Reception is not twenty-four hours and closes for a lengthy period in the afternoon so you have to check your arrival time carefully and may be stuck walking around with your bags for a few hours; there is no breakfast provided, Wi-Fi does not work in the rooms; linens come at an additional charge; the kitchen can often be messy; and there is not sufficient sitting space or a big enough common room. Zurich is an expensive city, so Hostel Biber staff are able to direct you to the cheapest places and even have partnerships with some cafes to help offset the cost.

Dorm Dorm Kitchen Shower Stall Toilets

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.


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!


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.


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.


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.

anonymous, Germany

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.


More reviews...


Our hotel is well situated in the very heart of the beautiful old town – just a few minutes' walk from the main train station. All important sights are in walking distance. We are located in the middle of the walking area of the old town. There are no parking at the hostel and it is not possible to drive in front of the hostel. Parking you can find in the sourrounding parking houses.

There is a common kitchen for your service.

Our hotel is well situated in the heart of the old city – just a few minutes' walk from the main train station. We are located in the middle of the walking area of the old town. There are no parking at the hostel and it is not possible to drive in front of the hostel. Parking you can find in the sourrounding parking houses.

Reception opening-hours: 8.00 - 12.00 am and 15.00 - 22.00 pm.
Please note that there is no check-in possibility after 22.00.
We cannot wait even if your train/flight is late.

Canncellations without charge can be made up to 3 days in advance.
After you get charged if we cannot sell the room/beds to somebody else.

We are looking forward for your reservation. Please note that we need the number of a credit card (VISA or MasterCard) as well as its date of expiry for any reservation. Thank you. For further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Location and Contact




Address: Niederdorfstrasse 5, Altstadt, Zurich (Züerich), Canton of Zurich, Switzerland

City Backpacker - Hostel Biber is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld


Website City Backpacker - Hostel Biber Zurich
Phone Number: +41 (0) 1 251 90 15
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Quiet Rest

Luggage Storage

Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

City Tours

Lockers in Lobby


Board Games

Book Collection/Exchange

Clothes Dryer

Credit Card Payments

Currency Exchange

Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Meeting/Banquet facilities

Movie Library/Rental

Swimming Pool

Wheelchair Accessible

Service Animals

Max. Age: All Ages

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: 7 nights

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 08:00 - 12:00 and 15:00 - 22:00

Size: Large (60-100 beds)


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