Switzerland On A Budget – Tips For Saving Money

After living in London for the past few years, I thought I’ve already experienced the expensive costs of living. However, Zurich outdid London with its double prices. Best known as the global hub for banking and finance, Zurich is the most expensive city in Europe, or fourth most expensive in the world. Needless to say, it’s the price you pay for the best quality living, as it has been crowned one of the best cities to live in 2017. Sadly, many travellers avoid visiting it, as they are put off by the high costs. The main question is ‘How do you travel in Switzerland on a budget?‘. Luckily, it’s not as difficult as it may seem! With these travel tips, I will show you how to save money in Zurich!

Switzerland on a budget - how to save money in Zurich

Zurich Accommodation… For Free!

I’ve decided to go to Zurich for a long weekend. It’s probably best not to go there for longer than that if you don’t want to come back skint! With a goal in mind to travel in Switzerland on a budget, I started my hostel research. After finding out that the cheapest hostel in Zurich costs £40 per night, I was shocked! This would mean that a 3-night stay would cost me more than my flights! I came to a conclusion that couchsurfing is my best option.

Couchsurfing is a portal where travellers are looking for local hosts, who could provide free accommodation. Personally, I think it’s a nice gesture to give some sort of ‘thank you’ gift – let it be chocolates or a bottle of wine. In Zurich, it has been my third time staying at someone’s house in a foreign country. The one thing I’ve learned from this experience is the exceptional kindness, trust and generosity of strangers! You get to meet interesting people who can provide you with the local advice and even become good friends. However, remember to always check the profile and references of the host before you contact them.

Switzerland on a budget

Free Tourist attractions

Despite its expensive prices, there are many tourist attractions that you can enjoy without going over your budget. You can save money in Zurich by doing all the free stuff. From swimming in Zurichsee to window shopping at Bahnhofstrasse… read my full list of what to do in Zurich.

Zurich Switzerland

Cook Your Meals

Eating out in Zurich is expensive. And I’m not talking about fancy restaurants here. Even in the popular takeaway chains, prices tend to be higher. For example, McDonalds Big Mac meal will cost you $13. Buy your own food at the local food store and cook at home/ hostel. If you’re staying through couchsurfing, many hosts are usually fine with letting you use their kitchen facilities to cook a meal. Some people cook for their hosts as a way to thank them for a free accommodation. And, if you’re staying in a hostel, there’s usually a common kitchen where you can prepare and cook your meals.

Zurich Switzerland on a budget

Drink From A Fountain

Did you know, Zurich has the largest number of fountains in the world? There are approximately 1,200 fountains with drinking water! So, you can easily save money in Zurich by not buying bottled water. With so many fountains around the city, use your bottle water to re-fill.

Zurich Switzerland Fountain

Summary: switzerland on a budget

Despite the expensive costs of accommodation, eating out and entertainment… it is still possible to enjoy Switzerland on a budget. You just need to be prepared to make some sacrifices. Swap swanky hotel for a free couch, and posh meal for a homemade  candle dinner.  In conclusion, I strongly recommend visiting this beautiful country.

What’s the most expensive place you’ve visited? What are your ways of saving up money?

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Switzerland on a budget

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