Switzerland is more than chocolates, luxury watch brands, and the snow-covered mountain peaks of the Alps. Ski resorts and hiking trails are popular, but Switzerland also has beautiful palm trees in the tropical southern alpine region. But before you pack your bags for a Switzerland trip, you'll need to know everything the trip will cost you.
The average cost of a 1-week trip to Switzerland is $1900-$2530 to cover flights, hotel, food, transportation, and attractions. The estimate includes $700 flight fares, $833 for accommodation, $189 for transportation, $308 for food and drinks, and $400 for attractions. With this estimate, you can expect to spend an average of $205 daily throughout your trip.
No doubt, Switzerland is an expensive travel destination; but that doesn't stop tourists from flocking there. With the right spending attitude and a budget, you can experience an excellent Switzerland vacation without spending much.
Read on for a detailed breakdown of the cost of traveling to Switzerland to help you better plan your trip.
How Much Money Should You Take For A Trip To Switzerland?
Switzerland is expensive, and you will need a lot of money for your basic expenses. But what exactly would you need to spend throughout your trip? A solo traveler on a 1-week trip to Switzerland should go with $1900-$2530.
The data of flights emanating worldwide to Switzerland show an average price of $700-$1000. Accommodation takes a considerable chunk of your budget, going as high as $120 per night for a hostel. You can expect your daily spending to include $50 for meals, $27 for travel, and $100 per activity.
If your travel style leans more toward luxury, you can expect to spend slightly or significantly higher than the quoted figures. Remember, there's no limit to Switzerland's luxury.
The high-end hotels cost between $400-$1200. First-class flight tickets are priced between $1244 - 1800, depending on where you're flying from. Food, transportation, and activities can cost a daily average of $400.
The Swiss Travel Pass comes in either first or second class and costs $419 to $664, respectively. It is perfect for both local and intercity transportation.
Can You Travel To Switzerland On A Tight Budget
Switzerland may be expensive, but it is not unreasonable to want to visit the land of chocolate on a budget. After collating data from several travelers, we've decided what a budget trip will cost. You can have a fun 1-week vacation to Switzerland with an average budget of $1080-$1500.
There are flights for as low as $350 if you are willing to deal with inconveniences such as standby flights. Another factor to consider when searching for cheaper flights is the season. Flight tickets are typically cheaper during off-peak seasons, so it makes sense to travel during this period.
The average daily spend when traveling to Switzerland on a tight budget is $90. With this amount, you can stay in shared hostels or Airbnb at an average cost of $40 per night. Another advantage of this arrangement is that you can save by cooking meals or buying foodstuffs in bulk.
The average cost of lunch per day is $15, and you can prepare your dinner for as low as $10. You can take advantage of Switzerland's $455 tourist travel pass for access to transportation, free museum pass, and excursions. Or you can take free self-guided tours and enjoy mountain climbing and trail hiking.
Basic Expenses On A Vacation To Switzerland
Figures are important while preparing your Switzerland travel budget. A breakdown of each category will show you the exact amount of money you'll need for everything. The following estimate is calculated from the budget of past travelers and how much they spent.
1. Flight Tickets
Flight tickets are a top priority when preparing for your trip. Unfortunately, it takes a significant chunk off your travel budget.
Flight fares will always vary depending on where you are starting your journey. Flights from North America to Switzerland are common all year round, although some may require a stopover. Just like other destinations, flight fares depend on factors such as peak season and advanced booking.
The average airfare for a round trip to Switzerland from North America is $700. These flight fares increase to $1000 during the peak summer season or decrease to $600 in November. The above price can also reduce significantly if you book earlier or take advantage of discounts and other promotions.
Switzerland's accommodation caters to every style, from hostels, Airbnb, vacation rentals, and hotels. Each style costs differently, so you'll find something that suits your budget.
However, note that housing in Switzerland is more expensive than in the average city, and it gets higher during peak seasons (summer and winter). Therefore, it's usually the second biggest part of any budget.
Hostels are the cheapest accommodation you will find in Switzerland, but even they are a bit pricey. The average cost of a hostel is between $70-$120 per night.
Switzerland's hotels range from luxurious 5-star to mid-range hotels. The average hotel fee per night is between $250-$350 for mid-range hotels and $750-$1200 for the luxurious style.
There are different levels of Airbnb and vacation rentals to cater to the budget and the luxury traveler. Since it's Switzerland, the idea of a budget may differ slightly from the rest of the world. Average prices for Airbnb are $200, while vacation rentals cost $100-$1000.
With a land mass of 41,290 KM² and lots of attraction sites, there's so much to do and see. No wonder travelers often say it costs an eye to move around the city.
Switzerland's train system is one of the best options for intercity travel. It's a perfect way to travel around big cities and small towns. However, the best thing about transportation in Switzerland is the Swiss Travel Pass made for tourists.
The average cost of a 4-day pass is $300, with unlimited travel on buses, trains, and lake cruises at a discounted fee. Additionally, it comes with free entry to over 500 museums in the country, plus free or discounted excursions and lake cruises.
The Swiss Travel Pass is often preferred by tourists when it comes to intercity travel. Chances are you will be visiting different Swiss cities, and the travel pass will save you several hundred dollars.
However, the pass may not be worth it if you travel shorter distances in just one city. In this case, you can opt for the relatively popular taxi.
There are taxis at almost every bus stop, and you can pick one at your destination. There the average cost of taking a taxi per day is $27.
4. Food & Drinks
Food prices vary in Switzerland, but the average cost of food in a day is $50. Like everywhere else, breakfast is cheaper than lunch and dinner, and fast food is more affordable than in a sit-down restaurant.
However, it still boils down to where you decide to eat and what part of the city you're in. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner cost an average of $10, $15, and $25, respectively. Most hotels provide complimentary breakfast, or you can buy sandwiches or hot meals from popular grocery stores to save money.
Swiss drink a lot of alcohol, and you can expect to spend an average of $19 per day on alcohol. The average cost of bottled water is $3, although public water is considered safe enough to drink.
5. Attractions & Activities
Switzerland is a popular tourist destination because of its natural beauty, and sightseeing activities such as hiking are free. Depending on how you choose to live, you can enjoy new activities every day until you leave the country.
Your budget can catch a break, and the Swiss Travel Pass will allow free entry into museums, excursions, and boat cruises.
However, you can partake in many other fun activities at an average cost of $100 per activity. Some of the activities below will give you a general idea of the cost.
A day trip to Grindelwald from Zurich costs $96. A day trip to Mount Titlis by cable car from Zurich costs $160. Jungfraujoch day tour from Zurich costs an average of $200.
6. Travel Insurance & Random Spending
Before packing your bags for Switzerland, it is essential to get travel insurance to protect you from unforeseen circumstances. Switzerland is an expensive country, and insurance will save you money in the event of, say, a medical emergency.
Fortunately, there are several insurance providers and that can pull down costs reasonably. Compare quotes from different agencies and go for one that covers everything without forcing you to break the bank.
Random spending usually comes up on vacations, such as souvenirs and tips. An average of $150 should be enough to cover any unexpected bill.
Tips To Save Money While Vacationing in Switzerland
Switzerland may be expensive, but it is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. However, that doesn't stop you from traveling on a budget.
With the right hacks, you can significantly pull down the cost of your Switzerland trip. Here are some tips and tricks to help you cut costs and make the most of your trip.
1. Travel Off-Peak Season
The best money-saving tip or advice you can get when traveling anywhere is to go during the low season. Switzerland is a year-round travel destination but peaks in summer and winter. Flight and hotel fees are steep because people come in for summer lakes, hiking, or winter ski mountains.
September, October, November, and January to March are the cheapest months to visit Switzerland. During this window, flight and hotel prices go down, and you can see picturesque and charming villages.
2. Book In Advance
Most travelers found that booking their flight, accommodation, and train tickets well in advance saves them several hundred dollars. Sometimes the difference between securing your flight 3-6 months in advance compared to 72 hours can get up to $300.
Additionally, some days are cheaper than others when buying tickets. A survey of several flights to Switzerland found Tuesdays and Wednesdays to be more affordable.
3. Take Self-Guided Tours
Self-guided tours will save you money on activities and even accommodation. As a rule, the longer you stay in a hotel, the more likely you will get multiple deals on the room. You can pick a hotel as your base and take day trips around the country.
Cable cars offer a fun but expensive way to explore, although you can explore the country yourself. Partake in a few snowboarding and skiing activities and still save money enjoying the beautiful lakes, rolling hills, and flat plains.
Switzerland has well-established hiking trails and rock-climbing sites that you can enjoy without spending much.
4. Take Advantage Of The Swiss Travel Pass
The practical benefits of getting the Swiss Travel Pass includes free access to over 500 museums and discounted mountain excursions. An 8-day travel pass costs CHF418 and CHF663 for second-class and first-class tickets, respectively.
For example, you are traveling from Zurich and stopping at Luzern for the lake cruise and Mount Rigi excursion. With the Swiss Travel Pass, you get to do this for free instead of paying $118, saving you some money.
Alternatively, you can opt for the Swiss half-fare pass, which will save you 50% on trains and buses. It costs CHF99 a month, and remember to push the half-fare button when you get on the train or bus.
5. Cook Your Own Meals
Eating and dining out in Switzerland is pretty expensive and will eat into your budget. Preparing your meals will save money and allow you to partake in more activities.
Migros and Aldi are popular Swiss supermarkets where you can buy Swiss bread, coffee, and groceries to prepare your meals. These supermarkets also have hot meals such as chicken and sandwiches that will save you a few bucks.