Skip to navigation Skip to content

  • Print

Swiss Youth Hostels

Schaffhauserstrasse 14
P.O. Box
8042 Zurich / Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 360 14 14 / Fax: +41 44 360 14 60

General inquiries / Booking Center:

Booking center for youth hostels wordwide:


Bookings for groups from abroad: /

Head office business hours:

Monday - Friday: 8 am - 5 pm

Directory enquiries:

Monday - Friday: 8 am - 6 pm


By public transportBy tram 11 or 14 to  Zurich, Kronenstrasse stop

By carNo car parking spaces for visitors; please use the public car parking spaces in the vicinity.

Swiss Youth Hostels

History of Swiss Youth Hostels

28 April 1924

Around 70 youth association representatives, drawn from organisations as diverse as "Abstinente Jugend", "Pro Juventute" and "Wandervögel", spend the evening in the hall of the "Mädchenklub Gartenhof" in Zurich and found the "Zürcherische Genossenschaft zur Errichtung von Jugendherbergen" or "Zurich Youth Hostel Establishment Co-operative".

July 1924

No less than 12 simple youth hostels are already in operation.

1925 The organisation has 277 members. An overnight stay costs 50 centimes and the membership card 1 franc.

Membership of the International Youth Hostel Federation.

1926 - 1936

The number of hostels, now under the name "Swiss Youth Hostels", rises from 80 to 208, while the number of overnight stays rise from 7,000 to 168,000.


War year: only 91 foreigners stay overnight in youth hostels, while domestic guests generate 135,000 overnight stays – approx. one quarter of the domestic guests are soldiers.

20 December 1965

Zurich Wollishofen Youth Hostel opens with 318 beds.

11 May 1973

The foundation of the "Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism" marks the separation of the property and asset management side of Swiss Youth Hostels from the day-to-day running of the individual enterprises.


The 30th International Youth Hostel Federation Conference is held in Kloten in August, with 185 delegates and guests from 49 countries.


Overnight accommodation prices at the 99 youth hostels rise from the previous range of CHF 3.00 to CHF 9.00 to the new range of CHF 5.00 to CHF 11.00.


The boom year saw a total of 945,174 overnight guests recorded by the 84 youth hostels; an impressive figure which was not topped for many years.


The district associations of Zurich, North-eastern Switzerland, Berne, Eastern Switzerland and Neuchâtel/Vaud merge to form the association "Swiss Youth Hostels". The districts of Geneva, Schaffhausen and Ticino remain independent for a further 7 years, and merge in 1999.


Opening of the Headquarters of Swiss Youth Hostels in Zurich.


Conversion and expansion of Grindelwald Youth Hostel, first conversion in accordance with the new Mission Statement 2005 – contemporary and sustainable.

1996 - 1997

Restructuring phase – from administrator to host, from woollen blankets to duvets, and from dormitories to predominantly 2-bed, 4-bed and 6-bed rooms.


Tourism has changed enormously over the years. The keywords here are market globalisation, altered competitive environment as well as the new requirements and heightened conscientiousness of the guests.
Swiss Youth Hostels sets new standards, in particular in terms of buildings and construction, and begins to implement the philosophy of sustainability.


A total of 836,298 overnight guests are recorded by the now 67 Swiss Youth Hostels. In the same year the in-house travel agency "Jugi Tours" is sold off.

April 1999 - April 2000

The "Jugithlon" celebrating 75 years of "Swiss Youth Hostels" offers 75 anniversary events in and around 67 youth hostels.

24 August 1999

Wins 1st place as Event Master; in the Public Event category, for the events surrounding the 75th anniversary.


Conversion of the Sanatorium, followed by the opening of the Youth Palace in Davos.


Conversion and extension of Zermatt Youth Hostel – renovation of the historic building and the construction of two additional buildings under the "Minergie" label.


Reopening of the converted Zurich Wollishofen Youth Hostel.


The 46th International Youth Hostel Federation Conference is held from 13 – 16 July in Davos with over 220 delegates from 80 different countries.

In November 2006 the converted Valbella Youth Hostel is reopened – certified with the Minergie Eco Label.

December 2007

Opening of Scuol Youth Hostel – certified with the Minergie-Eco Label.


Milestone 2007 Swiss Tourism Prize in Berne for the sustainability strategy: award in the field of tourism, confirmation for the sustainable business strategy pursued for many years.

With their 59 youth hostels, Swiss Youth Hostels report 919,052 overnight stays. Total membership reaches 91,498 persons, around 4,200 more than in the previous year.

31 January 2008

The organisation wins a further award in the elimination stage of the "Hans E. Moppert Prize" for the best projects in the field of Alpine tourism sustainability. The project "Minergie-Eco Scuol Youth Hostel" is awarded 3rd prize.


Zurich Youth Hostel wins the special "Historical Hotel of the Year" award by ICOMOS Switzerland. This is for the conscientious and successful conversion of the building dating from the sixties, and for outstanding corporate philosophy in the field of social tourism.
Furthermore, Scuol Youth Hostel is awarded the "Hans E. Moppert Prize" for the third place as example of Swiss Youth Hostels’ sustainability strategy. 2008 is the best year in our history up to now. Overnight stays are increased by 7.3% compared with the previous year to 986,471. The total turnover is CHF 40.5 million (without franchise establishments) compared with CHF 36.3 million in 2007. This represents an increase of 11.6%.


The year of crisis hits Swiss Youth Hostels just slightly. But small drops in turnover and overnight stays are recorded. But the number of members increases. 103,000 people are annual members, thus surpassing the 100,000 mark for the first time. On the whole, the anniversary year is regarded as a success. 85 years of Swiss Youth Hostels and 100 years of Hostelling International are a reason to celebrate. More than 20 Youth Hostels have already been awarded the EU Environmental and Ibex Label.


The new Basel St. Alban Youth Hostel opens in March. A large number of guests from the local region and international associations celebrate the modern building designed by Buchner Brünlder, a Basel-based firm of architects. In April the Youth Hostel is presented with three prizes during the presentation of the "Award for Marketing + Architecture". It is the overall winner and category winner for "Hotels, Restaurants, Sports and Wellness Facilities" and "Green Technology". Scuol Youth Hostel also becomes the first Swiss Hostel to attain 5 ibexes, i.e. the highest award in the Ibex Label. The extension of St. Moritz Youth Hostel and the improvement in its energy performance are in full swing. A renovated building opens for guests on 1 December 2010. The Youth Hostel is partially open during the summer.


Swiss Youth Hostels receive two awards at once this year: On the one hand, they are honoured with the ZKB Sustainability Prize for SME 2011 for their many years of work in the field of sustainability, on the other hand they receive the Swiss Solar Prize in the Personalities/Institutions category for their comprehensive environmental management and their pioneering role in environmentally compatible tourism. The organisation looks back on a successful year in 2011. In comparison with the previous year, turnover is increased by 1% to CHF 41.5 million. This despite a slight decline of 1.1% in overnight stays. At the end of the year, the association has 101,085 members (minus 2.4% compared with the previous year).


Despite a difficult economic environment, Swiss Youth Hostels make a good showing in 2012. Overnight stays increase by 2.5% compared with the previous year and the turnover improves by 3.8%. The singling out of the business report as the "Best Swiss NPO Business Report" and the special prize "Wood Craft 2012" for the St. Moritz Youth Hostel are further confirmations of the Swiss Youth Hostels team’s good work. The new youth hostel in Interlaken opens in May. For the first time, a public restaurant – the 3a – is integrated into it. The new youth hostel with 220 beds is the first accommodation establishment in Switzerland to be constructed in accordance with the Minergie-P-ECO standard. The new building right next to Interlaken Ost railway station enjoys great popularity among international guests.


On 28 April, the organisation celebrated its 90th anniversary.
At the beginning of June, the Gstaad Saanenland Youth Hostel in the heart of one of the most attractive hiking, mountain-biking and skiing regions opened its doors.

Since 5 September, the young, dynamic and sports-oriented wellnessHostel4000 in Saas-Fee has been welcoming guests. In November it was awarded the "Milestone. Tourism Award Switzerland" and the second prize in the "Outstanding Projects" category.


In January, the two newest Swiss youth hostels, the wellnessHostel4000 in Saas-Fee and the Gstaad Saanenland Youth Hostel, were awarded the Swiss Watt d’Or energy prize from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, in the category "Buildings and Space". In September, the wellnessHostel4000 also received a second prize: third place in the "Prix Lignum Wood Award 2015" for the centre west region.


2016 brought a great deal of good news for Swiss Youth Hostels: In January, together with the Swiss Foundation for Social Tourism, it received von der Jury des Umweltpreises der Schweiz einem Sonderpreis für ihren langjährigen Einsatz und ihre Leistungen zu Gunsten des Umwelt- und Klimaschutzes. Im März werden sie von myclimate für ihre Vorreiterrolle im Bereich der ökologischen Nachhaltigkeit im Schweizer Tourismus ausgezeichnet. This was followed in October by an international award at the “Global Youth Travel Awards 2016”, with Swiss Youth Hostels taking second place in the "Green Accommodation Initiative" category thanks to its sustainable and environmentally friendly initiatives.

Two construction projects were launched: in September, work began to convert a historic hotel into a new youth hostel in Crans-Montana. The opening will take place in June 2017. In November, the green light was given for the conversion and reconstruction work on the Bern youth hostel, which is expected to last until spring 2018. In October, the Freiburg youth hostel closed its doors.

Today Swiss Youth Hostels can expect an eventful year. The conversion in Crans-Montana will be completed in June, the conversion and reconstruction in Bern will continue and other exciting projects, such as those at the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne and at Burgdorf Castle will be taking shape...




Kitchen Fällanden Youth Hostel

Kitchen Fällanden Youth Hostel

Beinwil am See Youth Hostel

Beinwil am See Youth Hostel

Annex Grindelwald Youth Hostel

Annex Grindelwald Youth Hostel

75th anniversary of the Swiss Youth Hostels

75th anniversary of the Swiss Youth Hostels

"expo-sleeper" during the Expo.02 in Neuchâtel

"expo-sleeper" during the Expo.02 in Neuchâtel

Zermatt Youth Hostel

Zermatt Youth Hostel

Zurich Youth Hostel

Zurich Youth Hostel

Scuol Youth Hostel

Scuol Youth Hostel

Basel St. Alban Youth Hostel

Basel Youth Hostel