Post by Rob
I will be arriving very late one night in October and can either spend
a few very early hours at Zürich or Bern before starting my day on the
1) Are these stations closed at night between c.01:00 and c.04:00?
2) Can anyone recommend any cafés or bars which are open in the early
hours, so I can kill some time with a drink?
Having looked on t'internet it seems that most places close at around 00:30.
Any help would be very much appreciated.
I don't know Bern so well, but I live near Zürich and occasionally go
out on the town there.
On Sunday-Thursday, most bars close around 01.00, and that is also the
time the train service shuts down. Not sure when they start, I've
never been around earlier than 06.00 (for making an early start on
longer trips, not having stayed up all night). Zürich Hauptbahnhof
(Zürich HB) itself is physically open, so you can get inside 24 hours,
though I have no idea whether the police will move you on outside fo
train running times.
On Friday and Saturday nights, bars are generally open till about
03.00, at which point punters either go home or head off clubbing. The
clubs are in the area near Altstetten station (which is on the tram
network), and they get going around 02.00 and (so I am told) run until
08.00 or 09.00. On those nights, the S-Bahn (suburban network) runs
hourly all night on the main routes (CHF5 supplement to use the night
services), centred on the underground platforms (30-34) at Zürich HB.
If you are looking for somewhere to go, I recommend heading for
Niederdorf. From the main concourse hall in Zürich HB, exit at the end
farthest from the main platforms, turn left and cross the bridge over
the river. From there, turn right, take the street one back from the
river (Niederdorfstrasse, it's the pedestrianised one, without
tramlines on it).
Niederdorf is the area on the "wrong side" of the river, and is a lot
like Soho in London (if you know it). In the past it was home to the
sex trade, although the sex and drugs trade has moved elsewhere, and
there are a lot of trendy and fahsionable bars and restaurants, but
there are also a number of "exotic" bars and gay bars, which may or may
not be your thing.
Enjoy your trip!