For many people living outside of Europe, traveling there sounds expensive. It doesn’t have to be that way! A vacation in Switzerland can be done on a budget. It’s pretty easy to explore several Swiss cities while on a tight budget.
Reduce accommodation costs and lower your daily cost of travel. To find out how to save money on a trip to Switzerland, keep reading as we share seven tips!
Table of Contents
1. Sleep for Cheap
Housesitting is a great way to save on accommodation in Europe. Not only will you sleep somewhere for free, but you’ll even get paid.
However, there are responsibilities that come with housesitting. You’ll be able to explore Switzerland as long as you’re also able to perform the duties expected of you.
Once you pay for a Couchsurfing membership, you can sleep on other people’s couches for free. This is one of the few free ways to sleep in Switzerland.
Use Agrotourismus to find Swiss holiday farms.
The cost is comparable to that of a hostel. However, it’s a cool experience to sleep on a farm. And breakfast is included!
Swiss youth hostels are an extremely affordable form of accommodation. You’ll rarely find a fancy hostel, but you will be able to find clean hostels that are perfect for sleeping.
You can rent a holiday home in several places in Switzerland. Look on Airbnb, Booking.com, Interhome, or e-domizil.
This can be a pricey option, but it’s great for families or groups of friends. It can be cheaper than buying 5 budget hotel rooms if you’re traveling in a pack!
Also, you’ll generally have access to a full kitchen which will make it easy to eat at home.
Some people would never dream of camping while on holiday. However, if you enjoy camping, you can save so much money.
2. Eat Affordably
Cook Your Meals
Save money on food by cooking at home. If you stay at a place with a full kitchen, this will be pretty easy!
If you’re not able to cook a full meal, consider microwaveable meals. Or you can make sandwiches and eat lots of raw produce.
If you like to snack, pick hearty snacks to munch on and fill you up!
Eat During Lunch Hours
Many Swiss restaurants offer discounts on their food during lunchtime. If you have a foodie soul who wants to try out new restaurants in Switzerland, eat off the lunch menu!
Shop at the Market
Aldi and Lidl are affordable supermarkets in Switzerland.
Farmer’s markets are also a great place to go shopping for local food. You can also try free samples at many of these markets!
In some Swiss cities, Ässbar is becoming popular. This is the practice of selling baked goods for dirt cheap before they expire.
You can find Ässbar in St. Gallen, Winterthur, Zurich, Bern, Fribourg, and Basel.
Drink for Free
Free tap water can be found at drinking fountains all over Switzerland. Bring your trusty reusable water bottle to refill it for free.
You’ll be hydrated throughout your stay!
3. Plan Ahead
Travel in the off Season
Avoid traveling during peak tourist season. Not only will you avoid crowds of tourists, but you’ll save tons of money.
Accommodation will be cheaper since it’s not in high demand. You may notice other prices dropping since most of the business will be done with locals.
By planning ahead, you can find good deals.
Which week has cheaper accommodation? When are flight tickets the cheapest?
If you keep an eye on attractions you’ll want to visit, you might even find a sale. If you can buy discounted tickets ahead of time, you’ll save extra money!
Save Your Money
If you know ahead of time that you’ll be traveling, you can start saving money.
By skipping your $5 coffee a few mornings now, you’ll have extra cash in Switzerland later. This is a great way to increase your travel budget.
4. Prepare Your Itinerary on a Budget
Avoid Tourist Spots
Tourist attractions are fun, but they charge a lot. It’s easy to blow your budget by visiting these places.
However, there are so many fun things you can do besides visit these hot spots.
Find Free Activities
Some museums have free entry and a lot have free entry on select dates. This is also true of many zoos and wildlife parks.
Swiss cities have “green oases” or city parks and gardens that locals and tourists love to visit. You’ll see so many plant species (and maybe some wildlife) while enjoying a free activity.
It can also be fun to just explore downtown areas and historical districts. If you think about going on a tour, do it independently instead.
This will save so much money!
A lot of factory tours offer free samples. This might not be a free activity, but it’s a free way to fill up on snacks, especially at Swiss chocolate factories.
And obviously, go for a hike. Visit a lake or a waterfall. Switzerland is known for its natural beauty so go explore it!
5. Free and Cheap Transport
Free Public Transport
In some cities, you can use public transport for free. In Bern, Lucern, Basel, and more, you can get free transport along with your accommodation.
If you stay in the Canton of Ticino, you can receive an all-inclusive ticket. This includes free transport and discounts on other transportation, like cable cars.
You can also receive discounts on local activities! Many cities are starting to offer similar perks so ask the concierge at your hotel!
Ride a Bike
A lot of cities offer free bike rentals. Zurich is especially popular for this. However, Bern, Geneva, and several other cities do this, too.
If you have your ID and a 20 CHF deposit, you can rent a bike for free. You’ll get your money back when you return it.
Some cities don’t offer free bike rentals, but you can still rent a bike. It may be a great way to save money!
6. Get a Swiss Travel Pass
A Swiss Travel Pass is a great way to spend money throughout your trip!
This pass includes unlimited panorama train tickets. You can also get unlimited travel by public transportation in over 90 cities and towns.
You can also get free or discounted access to mountain railways.
Plus it gets you free admission to over 500 museums!
There are a few different options to consider when making this purchase. That’s perfect for any type of traveler!
7. Get a City Tourism Card
Many cities offer city cards that will save you a bunch of money while you’re there. This is a good way to lower the cost of popular tourist destinations.
You can get discounted or free admission to many attractions and museums. Many of them also include free public transportation.
If you won’t be receiving a guest card from a hotel, this is worth looking into.
You can visit expensive countries without breaking the bank. Switzerland is a beautiful country that you can enjoy on a budget.
After reading this, you can plan an affordable vacation to this European country!
I am Britt I have been house sitting and pet sitting for the past 7 years. I have cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 80+ houses in 15 countries.
The opportunity to experience different homes, cultures, and communities has been nothing short of extraordinary.
Through house sitting platforms like Aussie House Sitters, and Trusted House Sitters, I’ve connected with homeowners seeking reliable sitters. This unique way of living has not only allowed me to save money on accommodation but also offered a plethora of cultural exchange opportunities.
Being a member of these platforms has not only broadened my horizons but also opened doors to short and long-term house-sitting jobs. I’ve found joy in providing excellent pet care and ensuring the home is well maintained.
I get many questions about how to get start as a house sitters, so if you have any questions please reach out! I want everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!
You can read more about about Jay and me here!
Or connect with me on Facebook or in our house sitting community on Facebook