Anyone vacationed to Switzerland from California ? What was ur total cost for the trip ? Just trying get an ideal what I’m looking at in terms of cost. Is $6000 about right for two persons ?
For how long? Off-season or high season?
10 days. Off season and high season. Best to know both. Thanks.
Plan on $200/day for meals and activities, plus $150 - 250 per night for lodging, plus any transportation costs. Excluding transportation costs, you $6000 should be about right for two weeks on the ground. And another $3,000 for RT airline tickets.
Since people have widely varying standards for lodgings, it would probably be worthwhile to take a look at the costs for a couple of your planned Swiss destinations on booking.com. Switzerland is very expensive.
Where in Switzerland are you going? Zurich? Geneva? Lausanne? I've been to all three and none are inexpensive. Business Insider ranks Geneva and Zurich as the fifth and fourth most expensive cities in the world, respectively (Paris, Singapore, and Hong Kong are tied for first). Zurich is one of the most expensive places that I have ever visited. Luckily for the budget, it is also one of the most boring so you do not have to stay there long. You might have a tough time staying in your $6,000 budget for two weeks in Zurich and Geneva if you spend $3,000 on airfare. That being said, I think you should be able to get two RT tickets from SFO or LAX to Zurich for less than $3,000 and if you do that and get something for under well $2,500, which is quite doable, you should be able to stay in your $6,000 budget. (not including transportation within Switzerland).
Assuming you're flying from LAX, then 2 airline round-trip tickets should not cost as anywhere as high as $3,000, especially for economy seats. You should be able to price out the flights to get some idea.
So many questions asked by the others will help us help you, but a couple of comments from personal experience as we come to CH every year.
stay in one place long enough to savor it rather than moving every two or three days. Mountain weather is fickle and if you plan 2 nights in a place your one full day might be rainy, cloudy, drizzly and you’d miss the mountain experiences. So stay 4 or more nights especially in a fabulous place like the Berner Oberland.
staying longer means renting an apartment is feasible and cooking a couple of dinners in will help with budget. Restaurant meals are crazily expensive. $23 for a pizza for one person.
transportation within Switzerland really adds up. Once you know where you are going, you need to do some math the figure out the best passes for you.
Popping in to say do not let the high cost of Switzerland deter you from visiting. Yes, it is pricey but it remains one of our favorite countries in Europe due to simply spectacular scenery around every corner. Since you live in California, you may be able to take a cheaper flight to the East Coast and then perhaps find a deal coming from New York, Boston, Atlanta, or Washington DC to Zürich.
Travelling in mid – late September, I spent about $250 a day (that includes the cost of airfare and lodging and travel). I bought a Swiss Travel Pass and used trains/buses for transportation. Hotels ranged from $75 - $150 a night. I ate a big breakfast when it was included with the hotel stay, ate little for lunch (fruit, chocolate bar) and some nights bought food at a grocery store (sandwich, fruit, tomatoes, chocolate) and had a picnic at a scenic location. Other evenings, I splurged on a nice restaurant meal ($40 - $60).
I only stayed in Zurich my arrival day and the night before my departure. The rest of the time was in smaller cities and the Alps.
Much of my entertainment expenses were visiting museums and exhibits covered by the Travel Pass or hiking (most of the funicular/cable car rides also covered by the Pass). I attended a few festivals and street markets (enjoyed the free samples and bought local vegetables, cheese, meat, bread for lunch/dinner at those).
I’m not a big drinker, so dinners only included one drink, plus coffee and dessert. If you add more wine or beer, the meal prices go up a bit. You can easily spend $50 - $60 just on a main course at some restaurants and spend hundreds on hotel rooms.
As someone suggested, it’s best to check some prices on web sites for the types of places where you plan to stay and for the types of activities you plan to enjoy. If you book day tours or guided bike rides/hikes, etc. the price goes up significantly.
All the best,
Thanks for all info. Very helpful. A lot to consider. Kinda funny though, when watching uTube and they say Switzerland expensive and give hotel, food etc breakdown I think that’s not expensive. I live in Rancho Cucamonga, pay $2000 mth for a small two bedroom apt. Gas $4 and up. Dinners run me about $40-50. If I want fast food, a pastrami sand, use to be $5...now $11. Movie $20. My wife and I can easily spend way over $100-$200 going out on a weekend. I think I can afford Switzerland, it’s normal for us...lol
What I found expensive in Switzerland was transportation -- I am used to €25 train rides in France and Italy, so CHF100 + for a mountain lift ...
Meals were usually pig out at hotel breakfast, picnic food for lunch and many dinners (Co-op !!) with a few pricey but nice dinners. Hotel prices were comparable to what we paid in Paris for similar basic rooms.
Would I do it again ? Absolutely!