Holiday Accommodation Options in Switzerland

Taking a holiday in Switzerland? Information on finding the right place to stay: self-catering, bed and breakfast, Swiss chalet, budget hotel or backpacker accommodation...

There are many different types of holiday accommodation available in Switzerland, appropriate to different sorts of holidays and budgets.


Hotels in Switzerland are classified in various basic categories. There are the well-known star categories and other supplemental basic categories. The stars are also common internationally and make it possible to gauge a hotel's service quality, infrastructure and furnishings.

Star system

  • Hotel with restaurant: 0 - 5 stars (perhaps with additional "Superior" for 3 - 5 stars)
  • Hotel "only with breakfast": 0 - 4 stars

The following basic categories are not labelled with stars and have to fulfill specific standards or correspond to their given business definition

  • Apartment/hotel residence
  • Hotel category "unique"
  • Mountain guesthouse/passers-by lodgings
  • Backpacker lodge

Chambres d'Hôtes

These vary from a room in a private house to well organised, professionally run guesthouses.


Also known as Auberge de Jeunesse in French and Jugendherberg in German. These are competitively priced and ideal for those travelling on a budget. A feature of hostels in Europe is the shared, dormitory-style bedroom and bathrooms.


This is halfway between an apartment and hotel in that it is an individual accommodation unit but is usually within the grounds of a hotel and the hotels' services (cleaning service and dining facilities) can be used by the guests in the apartment.

Camping and Caravanning

The French and German word for a campsite is camping. There are campsites all over Switzerland with varying quality of facilities.

Private Rooms

Homeowners in Switzerland often rent out private rooms at reasonable prices. They are easy to find, ask for a list in the local tourist office, or look for signs in the windows of private homes that read: Zimmer frei, Privatzimmer, Chambre à louer, or Affitasi camera.

Sleep in Straw (Schlaf im Stroh, Aventure sur la Paille)

The Swiss Farmer's Association offers farmhouse stays. When the farmers send their cattle to graze in higher pastures during the summer, they turn their barns into rustic hostels for hikers, families, nature enthusiasts and youth groups. Facilities vary according to the farmhouse.

  • For further information visit the My farm website


Ski resorts in Switzerland have many chalets available for rent in winter and summer. In Switzerland you can find catered or un-catered ski chalets for small families or groups.

Mountain Inns

Mountain inns in Switzerland are a popular option, especially for hikers. Often situated in remote locations, they provide basic accommodation, usually in old Alpine farmhouses. Amenities may be limited and the accommodation may vary from dormitories to single or double rooms.