Is Switzerland Expensive To Visit (with Budgeting Calculations)

Swiss coins - Switzerland images for blog

In this post, I wanted to tackle the question that many of us may have when thinking about traveling to Switzerland: “Is Switzerland Expensive to visit?”

In fact, I’ll be giving you free sample calculations that may help you consider Switzerland as a potential place to visit. 

Switzerland Budget Calculator

And before you start reading all the calculations I did below, I also wanted to give you this free Switzerland Budget Calculator so that you can also get started on your budgeting journey!

What’s special about this calculator:

  1. Editable for your own use: I’ve created the calculator in a way that you can make edits of your own budgets right on it.
  2. Updates: I will be updating the calculator on a regular basis & share tips with you as well.
  3. Join the Conversation: exclusive conversations with us and our teams! 
Mt Rigi Kulm - Is Switzerland Expensive to Visit
Mt Rigi Kulm in Luzern

Now that you have the Switzerland Budget Calculator, let’s dive right into the content for today!

 

Introduction: Is Switzerland Expensive to Visit?

It’s no doubt that Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places on earth and in Europe. With that comes the perception that Switzerland is an expensive place to visit, or is it? 

Well, depending on how you look at it, this may very well be a place that’s worth investing for, at least once in a lifetime! 

Or I call it: “Happiness Investment”

(Note I emphasized on the word “investing for”, rather “spending on”, because I believe an invested experience may very well help to add value beyond what you invested in (in money terms).)

But I do agree that “happiness investment” needs to also be reasonable in terms of how much you’ll be forking out on a vacation, right?

So let’s get right into the calculations of the investment…

Is Switzerland Expensive to Visit? (with Sample Budget Calculations)

The short answer is that it depends – Yes & No

I believe that:

  1. Value: Anything in life can be considered expensive if not valued correctly.
  2.  Relative: Expensive or not is relative to each person

Because of this, I wanted to help you specifically rather than being general about “Yes” or “No”, and get right into the budgets calculations! (Honestly, I don’t like it when I read blog posts online and people are being so general about their responses, so I took it upon my own that I would tackle this for you and me.

3 Switzerland Budget Calculations (Based on Your Travel Styles)

Below, I’ve described 3 different options as a guideline for you to start thinking about how much you may be spending on a typical day per person, per couple and per time-period (1-week & 2-week period, which are the most typical periods of tourists visits, based on my researches).

Caveat: I chose to exclude your flight costs, activities costs and transport costs for now (see why below)!

Option #1: I’m Willing to Splurge Just a Little Bit

Travel Style: If you plan to travel and stay in Switzerland’s 4 and 5-star hotels every single night and eat out in restaurants 2 meals a day (lunch & dinner), then be prepared to fork out a little more on your “happiness investment”.

I did a sample calculation here, based on an example of a couple on a 1- week or 2-week trip with this option:

  • Accommodation (4-5 star hotel): $400  – $800+ / room / night
  • Lunch in Restaurants: $30 – $50 / person / meal (x 2 for a couple = $60-$100)
  • Dinner in Restaurants: $50 – $100+ / person / meal (x 2 for a couple = $100 – $200)

Est. Total Spend / Couple / Day: $560 – $1100 

On a 1-week trip for a couple: $3,920 – $7,700 / couple for accommodation and food.

  • Swiss Travel Pass (Recommended Add On): CHF418 (2nd class) or CHF663 (1st class) for an 8-Day Swiss Travel Pass (travel on consecutive days)
  • More information about Swiss Travel Pass below

On a 2-week trip for a couple: $7800 – $10,000 / couple for accommodation and food alone 

  • Swiss Travel Pass (Recommended Add On): CHF513 (2nd class) or CHF810 (1st class) for a 15-day Swiss Travel Pass (travel on consecutive days)

Option #2: Let’s Take It Easy but Still Comfortably Creating Happy Memories

Travel Style: If you plan to travel to Switzerland and willing to stay in value-for-money, quality local & boutique hotels, 3-star hotels (occasionally 4-star) and/or Airbnb, and eat in restaurants once a day (breakfast at accommodation, lunch from takeaway places / awesome swiss groceries), then this option may be for you. 

  • Accommodation (3 star hotels): $150  – $300+ / room / night
  • Lunch Takeaway: $15 – $30 / person / meal (x 2 for a couple = $30-$60)
  • Dinner in Restaurants: $50 – $100+ / person / meal (x 2 for a couple = $100 – $200)

Est. Total Spend / Couple / Day: $280 – $560

On a 1-week trip for a couple: $1,960 – $3,920 / couple for accommodation and food alone

  • Swiss Travel Pass (Recommended Add On): CHF418 (2nd class) or CHF663 (1st class) for an 8-Day Swiss Travel Pass (travel on consecutive days)
  • More information about Swiss Travel Pass below

On a 2-week trip for a couple: $3,920 to $7,840 / couple for accommodation and food alone

  • Swiss Travel Pass (Recommended Add On): CHF513 (2nd class) or CHF810 (1st class) for a 15-day Swiss Travel Pass (travel on consecutive days)

Option #3: I’m Leaning Towards the Budget side, yet I can still enjoy the Swiss experience

Travel Style: Another reasonable, yet great option to travel in Switzerland if you would like to save a bit on both accommodations and foods. This option will see your happiness investments for stays in hostels or Airbnb (if Airbnb: recommended with multiple couple friends with own rooms), eating in Swiss restaurants 1-2 times per week (maximum).

  • Accommodation (hostels/shared Airbnb): $40  – $100+ / room / night
  • Lunch Takeaway: $15 – $30 / person / meal (x 2 for a couple = $30-$60)
  • Dinner (self-made): $10 – $20 / person / meal (x 2 for a couple = $20 – $40)
  • Dinner (restaurant): $50 – $100+ / person / meal (x 2 for a couple = $100 – $200)

Est. Total Spend / Couple / Day: $90 – $200

On a 1-week trip for a couple (+ 2 dinners at restaurants per week): $790 – $1,720 / couple for accommodation and food alone

  • Swiss Travel Pass (Recommended Add On): CHF418 (2nd class) or CHF663 (1st class) for an 8-Day Swiss Travel Pass (travel on consecutive days)
  • More information about Swiss Travel Pass below

On a 2-week trip for a couple (+ 2 dinners at restaurants per week): $1,580 to $3,440 / couple for accommodation and food alone

  • Swiss Travel Pass (Recommended Add On): CHF513 (2nd class) or CHF810 (1st class) for an 15-Day Swiss Travel Pass (travel on consecutive days)

You get the idea. 

If you didn’t get a chance to get the Free Switzerland Travel Budget Calculator above, here’s another chance for you to get it below. 

What’s special about this calculator:

  1. Editable for your use: I’ve created the calculator in a way that you can make edits of your budgets right on it.
  2. Updates: I will be updating the calculator regularly & share tips with you as well.
  3. Join the Conversation: exclusive conversations with us and our teams! 
Kriens in Luzern- Is Switzerland Expensive to Visit
View of Kriens in Luzern

Final Thoughts

Depending on your spending capacity & travel styles and preferences, you might want to splurge here and there, while also be thinking about the different parts of your budgets within your Switzerland trip, which are:

  • Flight Costs
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Transport: Swiss Travel Pass (highly recommended) or rent a car & drive
  • Activities
  • Gifts (for your loved ones)

At the end of the day, I believe that when traveling to such a wonderful place like Switzerland, maximizing your trip is not just all about budgeting.

It is about so much more than that.

Of course, budget is one of the big considerations, but if you’re already spending a few thousand dollars just to be there, you might as well plan to experience the fullest of what Switzerland has to offer (sightseeing, foods etc), while re-allocating your happiness investment somewhere worthy of your taste! 

Why didn’t I include other things, such as transport and activities costs, in the calculations above?

Reason #1: Everyone needs a place to sleep and everyone needs to eat something. Without these 2 things, you won’t be able to do much else. 

Reason #2: This is because the other additional costs may vary based on your travel styles (are you free & easy, adventurous or an adrenaline junkie?). If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you might be paying investing more on the skydive (~CHF380-450 / person), while an adventurous person might go for the First Flyer (zipline in Jungfrau; CHF46) or paragliding (~CHF170) in Grindelwald.

Reason #3: Depending on your transport choices (e.g. train or cars), the costs may differ widely during your 7-day or 14-day stay. Generally, I would recommend for first-time visitors to buy and use the Swiss Travel Pass (it covers most of the your (1) public transport (in major tourist cities, including intercity trains like Luzern – Interlaken, Interlaken – Grindelwald, Interlaken – Zermatt etc.) (2) free (or discounted) transport to major sightseeing attractions (e.g. Mt. Rigi, Jungfraujoch at 50% discount, over 500 museums etc.). See more details on the official website here.

Swiss Travel Pass for Travelfaring.com
Swiss Train

Swiss Travel Pass (Recommended Add-On)

Swiss Travel Pass: Why Should You Buy? Apart from the fact that I also bought this as a first-time visitor and it saved me hundreds of dollars by the end of the trip, here are the official description of all the benefits that comes with each Swiss travel pass (obtained from Swiss Travel pass official site):

  • Unlimited travel on the network of Swiss Travel System on consecutive days
  • Unlimited travel on trains, bus, boat and public transport in cities
  • Free entrance to more than 500 museums
  • Ticket includes: Mountain excursions to Schilthorn, Stanserhorn, Brunni and Rigi
  • Up to 50% discount on most mountain excursions
  • Children <16 years travel for free if accompanied by at least one parent
  • Available as print@home ticket

Share Your Thoughts

I hope you have enjoyed what’s been shared in this post.

Post 1 comment on your travel ideas and thoughts to share with other travelers below!

GK
GK
GK is a curiosity-driven traveler who discovers places through its natural beauties, histories and people's stories. A perfect travel plan for GK and his family would be a great coffee to start off the day before taking in the breathtaking views of landscapes and horizons with some hikes in between and toppling it off with some great photos of the places and people. And how can you forget great local & fresh foods to truly be immersed and inspired by what the world has to offer.

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