City Backpackers-Hotel Biber View from Roof
City Backpackers-Hotel Biber View from Roof

I just recently completed a central European journey which took me through Zürich, Switzerland, along with Warsaw, Poland, and several places in Germany. My time in Zürich was short, but I made up for it by obtaining a room at the centrally-located City Backpacker-Hotel Biber hostel during my stay. Walking less than 10 minutes south along the banks of the Limmat River, I arrived at the hostel without any problems.

The reception is located up on the second floor, and I was given a room on the top floor (4th), which was surprisingly burdensome to climb, though I was schlepping two moderately-heavy bags with me.

The Room

After given the key (a nifty little magnet on a key chain) to my 6-bunk room and obtaining my first of several strenuous workouts climbing the stairs, I reached my room at the end of the 4th floor. As I was checking in during the evening, nobody else was around, and my friend, Helena, who had come to meet me from where she studies in nearby Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, and I got situated and affixed the sheets and pillowcases we were given to our respective bunks before heading out.

The room was comfortable, and the decor called to mind what I imagine the quintessential Swiss Alps outing should feel like; the blankets were dark green, army surplus-style throws with the Swiss cross logo, and the bunks were solid wood. In one corner were six decent-sized lockers stacked; there was also a dresser against a wall for anyone needing more space to spread out. A sink and mirror was located near the door, perfect for brushing teeth and taking out contact lenses before retiring. My favorite part of the room, however, were the windows that swung outward uninhibitedly, with no screen or gate for protection.

Common Area & More

The common area is located on the second floor of the building, and the reception desk is also there in an adjoining room. One downfall of the place is that internet only works in this common area, and the resulting mass of travelers checking their various devices seem to overload the network’s resources at times. The common area is small, with a couch on one wall, two little tables with several chairs around each, and a wall with a coffee machine, computer terminal, and another small table with touristic pamphlets and brochures.

For a bathroom, there is one on each floor, with two co-ed toilets and two showers in it, along with one sink and mirror. Though 24-30 people might share each floor, there never seemed to be a problem obtaining a toilet or shower when needed. The shower space is small, but is partitioned into a wet side and dry side by a shower curtain; hooks inside provide adequate space to hang clothes.

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