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Exploring Switzerland on a Budget (6 Tips)

A guide to exploring Switzerland on a shoe-string budget.

Swiss Money

Switzerland is stunning. It’s a heaven on earth. Unfortunately, this heaven does not come cheap. A vacation in Switzerland can take quite a heavy toll on your wallet. Even if you are conservative in spending, you’ll be lured in by the beauty of this country to spend more. While it is worth every dime, we’ve put together some hacks so you can explore Switzerland on a Budget.

Zurich at Night, Switzerland
Zurich at Night, Switzerland

1. Free Public Transport

Using public transport is great for the environment. But when it’s clean, well organized and above all, free, then there is nothing like it. Many major cities in Switzerland like Lucerne, Bern, Geneva etc. offer free public transport that is reliable and safe to use. The Canton of Ticino offers you can all-inclusive travel ticket if you stay there for a night. By all-inclusive, we mean everything from buses to boats to even cable cars. What more could a tourist ask for?

Switzerland Trains
Switzerland Trains

2. Self Guided Tours

Switzerland is extremely well connected and almost custom made for the convenience of tourists. It’s so well connected that you can literally take a train to the highest peak in Europe. In lieu of this fact, you won’t need to shed extra money on a guided tour of Switzerland. Keep your phone handy and explore this beautiful nation on your own. If anything, it will only improve your experience while saving you money at the same time.

3. Cook your own food

You don’t have to eat authentic Swiss cuisine the whole duration of your trip. Eating out in Switzerland can get very expensive. Fortunately, you can go grocery shopping and buy whatever you’d like to eat fairly easily and at a reasonable price. The best part? Many hotels in Switzerland provide you with services like common kitchens. You can cook whatever you like and maybe take tips from locals on how to make your dish more Swiss!

4. Explore the plethora of free activities

Nothing worthwhile is free? Wrong! In Switzerland, you can visit cheese factories, museums, old town, churches, and wildlife parks without spending a dime. Of course, exploring nature doesn’t cost anything at all.

Farmers Cheese Market
Farmers Cheese Market

5. Bring out the Biker in you

If you visit the city of Lucerne or Interlaken, you’ll find a lot of people biking and roller-skating from one place to another. As fun as that might seem, it is also healthy and inexpensive. Zurich, Lucerne, and Bern offer you free bikes in exchange for your ID and a small deposit. We promise you that exploring Zurich or Interlaken on a bike will make your day.

6. Affordable Accommodation

Stay in Switzerland can eat up into your budget. Hotel accommodations can get extremely expensive here. You can opt to stay in the countryside in affordable AirBnB’s or holiday farms for a unique experience of the country side and downtown life. As the places are well connected with public transportation getting in and out of the cities will not be an issue, but just a 30min bus or train ride. If you have any friends you can always bunk with them or try couch-surfing as well. Its a good opportunity to meet new people as well.

Lake Walensee, Switzerland
Lake Walensee, Switzerland

Going on a vacation to a beautiful country like Switzerland is dream for many of us. Make use of the tips above for a fantastic time exploring Switzerland on a budget.

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Written by Lakshya Tyagi

Engineering Student who’s travelled the world, inspired by diversity and empowered by the pen.


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