Eight all-too-easy ways to spend Switzerland's new 100-franc notes

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Eight all-too-easy ways to spend Switzerland's new 100-franc notes
In eastern Switzerland, 100 francs will buy you around 24 coffees. File photo: Depositphotos"

Switzerland's new 100-franc note was unveiled on Tuesday. But what can you get with one of the bills? The Local takes a closer look.


The 100-franc bill is the most common note in Switzerland, making up 28.4 percent of all notes in circulation.  It’s also a large denomination bill, worth around €92 or just over $US 100.

But Switzerland is a notoriously expensive country and 100 francs might not take you as far as you might think. Here we take a look at just how easy it is too rid yourself of the country's new banknotes.

The 'world’s most expensive kebab'

In Zurich, you can buy 91-franc kebab made with Japanese Wagyu beef. But you may be pleased to hear the average kebab in Switzerland has a price tag around the 12-franc mark, which is (slightly) more reasonable.

A 'half-price' first-class train ticket across Switzerland

The 'reduced' price for a one-way, first-class journey from Geneva in Switzerland’s south-west to St Gallen in the country’s north-east is 94.50 francs. But this reduced price only applies to people with a Swiss half-price network railcard. If you don't have a network saver card (as is the case with tourists), the four-hour journey costs a painful 189 francs (or 108 francs for second class). 

However, there also so-called supersaver tickets on offer which takes away some of the pain.

A cannabis fine

Adults who consume cannabis illegally in Switzerland face a fixed penalty fine of 100 francs. Confusingly, there is no penalty for the possession of 10 grams or less of the drug. The 100-franc fine also doesn’t apply to the consumption of ‘legal’ cannabis products containing less than one percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Two and a half years of motorway driving

The Swiss motorway sticker enables you to drive on the country’s first- and second-class national roads for 40 francs a year. Therefore, 100 francs will give you thousands of hours of driving pleasure on this well-maintained network.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Switzerland's motorway charge sticker

Five cinema tickets for adults

Leisure costs are high in Switzerland: Zurich was recently named the world's most expensive city for a cheap date.

Cinema tickets are one of those many discretionary items that cost more here than elsewhere. Most screens in the Kitag group of cinemas in German-speaking Switzerland, for example have a ticket price in the 17-franc to 19.50-franc price range. That means buying five movie tickets is an easy way to blow one of the country's new 100-franc notes.

File photo: Depositphotos

One night’s rent in a family-sized apartment in Zurich

The average monthly rent in Zurich for a 4.5-room apartment measuring 100–110 square metres is 3,073 francs, according to one recent analysis. That equates to around 100 francs a night. Sometimes it's best not to think about these things.

Federal citizenship fee

Swiss federal authorities charge a flat fee of 100 francs for citizenship applications. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones to levy charges. Switzerland’s cantons and local authorities also pile on their own fees and how much you end up paying depends on where you live. One recent survey identified Lausanne as the cheapest place to apply for Swiss citizenship (800 francs) and Schwyz as the most expensive (3,600 francs).

Around 25 coffees (depending on where you are)

A coffee in eastern Switzerland will set you back an average 4.17 francs, meaning you can buy around 24 before your 100-franc note is used up. In the Lake Geneva region, your note will get you close to 30 coffees and in Italian-speaking Ticino, which has the cheapest coffee in Switzerland, that figure is close to 37 cups

READ ALSO: So what is actually cheap in Switzerland?


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