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Is it possible to visit Switzerland on a budget of 30 francs a day?

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 12 Oct, 2022 Updated Wed 12 Oct 2022 15:34 CEST
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Bicycle is the best (and one of the cheapest) ways to explore Switzerland. Photo: Pixabay

Switzerland is notoriously expensive for tourists — everything from hotels and public transportation costs more here than in many other countries. But you can travel ‘on the cheap’ if you really try.

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Whether or not you can travel though Switzerland on 30 francs a day depends on how willing you are to forego pleasures and comforts such as hotels and eating out in restaurants.

If you are not a fussy traveller and are open to new (simple) experiences, then you could travel on the cheap, at least according to Moneyland price comparison service, which outlines several ways to visit Switzerland without breaking the bank (or into it).

Here are some suggestions:

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Sofas instead of hotels

You can save quite a bit on your accommodations; while even the most affordable hotels can set you back at least 120 francs a night, other options include the Bewelcome, Couchsurfing and Trustroots platforms that let you stay with private hosts across Switzerland at no cost at all. 

All that is expected of you is that you reciprocate by opening your home to others needing a bed / sofa to crash on when visiting your country.

Eating and drinking

With only 30 francs a day to spend, restaurants are definitely out, but you still have to eat.

Your best options, according to Moneyland, are budget supermarkets like Denner, where 15 francs "will buy you one item each of baked goods, dairy products, fruit and vegetables, and meat products".

And, this budget "should also suffice for buying no-name items at Coop and Migros, or at discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl", Moneyland noted.

Transportation

Public transport in Switzerland is expensive, so don’t expect to hop on trains, trams and buses too often — if at all.

Instead, Moneyland recommends that for short distances bikes are a better option. They can be borrowed free of charge using Swiss sharing economy platforms.

On these sites you can also find carpooling and car-sharing rides which will help you cover longer distances that bikes won’t.

Sightseeing

Whoever said that best things in life are free, probably didn’t mean it in terms of sightseeing.

However, nearly everywhere you go in Switzerland — whether in cities, countryside, or mountains — you will find spectacular scenery, and it won’t cost you a penny (or a franc) to enjoy it.

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Telephone / Internet

If you use prepaid mobile cards, you can get one with unlimited local calls and internet, starting  at around 40 francs per month, or about 1.31 francs per day, according to  Moneyland.

So here, again, is the million-dollar question: can you travel in Switzerland on 30 francs a day?

"Theoretically at least, yes, it is possible to tour Switzerland on 30 francs per day, or even less", Moneyland said.

 But this can be done only " if you are willing to adopt some unique lifestyle practices".

READ MORE: 13 things that are actually ‘cheaper’ in Switzerland

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/10/12 15:34

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