7 Tips to Enjoy Switzerland on a Budget

Swiss money | © SofiLayla/ Pixabay
Swiss money | © SofiLayla/ Pixabay
Photo of Sean Mowbray
3 November 2017

Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world. That sure has it’s perks, but it also makes it an incredibly expensive place to travel through. Here are seven tips that’ll help you save a little cash.

Do free stuff

There are plenty of ways to enjoy Switzerland without spending a penny. Many museums and historic sites are free to visit. While the best of nature can be hiked to without paying a penny.

Get out for a walk, it’s totally free | © strecosa/ Pixabay

Search out alternative accommodation

Even cheap hotels and hostels are still pretty steep compared to other countries. A night in a hostel in Geneva will put you back around $40, a single room is around $100. There is a couchsurfing network in Switzerland and camping is possible, but beware that wild camping is not allowed everywhere.

Stay on a farm

Agrotourismus is a site that hooks you up with holiday homes and farms around Switzerland, some of them offer basic accommodation but at cut-back prices. If you want to save cash and get in touch with your rural side, then check it out.

Use free public transport

The perks of staying in a hotel or hostel in many of the bigger cities is that you get a pass for free public transport. Lucerne, Geneva, Bern, Basel or Lausanne are some of those taking part. This isn’t negligible as a day pass on public transport is around $8.

Swiss transport is great, but comes at a cost | © andischatz/ Pixabay

Use BlaBlaCar or get a Swiss travel pass

If you know where you want to go and have an itinerary all planned out then a Swiss travel pass might be a good option and gives good value for money. Otherwise, you may end up wasting your money by buying a card you really don’t need. An other option is BlaBlaCar which is quite widely used.

Stay away from chains

Chain stores, cafés (Starbucks, Pret a Manger etc, and restaurants (McDonalds, Burger King etc) aren’t safe places for cheap bite to eat. They are often more expensive than other joints. Usually it’s a good idea to stay away from Swiss restaurants that cater to tourists as they also have inflated prices.

Limit your drinking

Alcohol is expensive in Switzerland. Whether it’s a beer, wine or a cocktail you’re after, then you’re going to have to pay through your teeth for it (cocktails are around 12-15CHF). Water is free. However, if you want to try great Swiss wine for cheap prices you can enjoy the annual wine tasting at local wineries.

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