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travel switzerland for 15-20 days with 30euro a day budget

i am planning a trip to switzerland for 15-20 days . i have around 800 euro remaining after purchasing a travel pass for all the travelling. i will try to spend most of my days on couchsurfing if possible, still it is not guaranteed i will have host everyday.
so can i travel all over country with around 25-30 euro per day budget ?
i want suggestions/tips please.

Posted by
20316 posts

You might start by not throwing money away on a travel pass. Research the many other options ie. regional pass, half fare card, point to point. Since the Euro and the Swiss Franc are now virtually equal, it will be a pretty meager budget. Rice and beans every day?

Posted by
11 posts

i was planning to buy SWiss travel youth pass costs around 420 franc for 15 days as it covers all trains and public transport . Plus the museums. i will look into regional pass too

Posted by
32244 posts

kumar,

"cmon it cant be that expensive"

Yes, actually Switzerland IS that expensive, and now that they've "adjusted" the value of the Franc it will be more so. I really doubt if you'll be able to "travel all over country" as well as feed yourself for 15-20 days with that budget.

Posted by
4637 posts

kumar, you are right. One of the cheapest countries using Euro is Slovakia. On your budget 30 Euro a day you will live almost like a king there. It is a very mountainous country and High Tatras are like condensed Alps. Read more about this country on this Travel Forum under Slovakia.

Posted by
8889 posts

Kumar and Roberto,
The cheapest "sit down" eating in Switzerland is an Italian restaurant. A Pizza will cost you about 15 Franks, plus 4-5 Franks for a beer or other drink. A "take out" Pizza will be around 10 Franks, a Bratwurst (cooked sausage) at street stand 8.50.
A hotel in a tourist area will be about 80-100 Franks per night.
It ain't cheap 'ere!

And the exchange rate has been pegged at €1 = 1.20 Franks since 2011, until last Thursday. In 2 days it has gone to €| = 1 Frank, and it is anybody's guess what will happen in the coming week.

Posted by
656 posts

Yep it's expensive. I was in Switzerland this past September and the only meal I had was 4 slices of takeout pizza and sodas for around 30 Euro in Luzern. Luckily my hotel and a free breakfast buffet every morning. The rest of meals were purchased picnic style at the co-op grocery store in the train station. I knew Switzerland was expensive but I was stunned to see a spaghetti dinner costing 30 CHF!! I wouldn't hesitate to go back because it is so beautiful but I would have to save a lot of money to do so. The trip was worth it though.

Posted by
3392 posts

We spent a month in Switzerland last year and it was shockingly expensive. If it wasn't for the ability to shop at a grocery store and cook for ourselves, and the fact that we were there on a home exchange, I'm not sure how we could have afforded to stay. I saved for 9 months to pay for our time there without restaurants (at least not very often) and without paying for lodging.
Just to give you some perspective, we had a small SUV type car and it cost the equivalent of $140 to fill the tank. Beef was $40 per pound in the grocery store. Ordering a glass of something to drink was anywhere from $4 - 9 and refills are generally not given. A simple roll with a slice of deli meat on it was $8 - 10. If you want to buy gondola tickets to get up into the mountains to hike, that will eat up your entire daily budget.
That said, I took a look at the couchsurfing.com page for people in Switzerland currently accepting guests, and there are quite a few listings.
What about shortening your trip down to 10 days? That would give you $80 per day which can be done and a much better chance of finding people who can host you.

Honestly, Switzerland on 25 - 30 euros a day just isn't possible.

Posted by
16894 posts

Unless you store your money in euros, the euro-Swiss franc exchange rate is not really relevant, but do look at the exchange rate for your home currency. 800 divided by 15 is 53, so where do the lower numbers come from? If you don't have a guidebook to give you some costs, then internet resources can do the same. For instance, see these costs for beds and meals at the Interlaken youth hostel. Also, Switzerland does not have any overnight trains for you to sleep on (in the old budget-traveler style).

Posted by
14161 posts

I was also shocked at food prices even though I was on a Rick Steves tour and only had to cover a couple of lunches. I'm vegan so just a salad for lunch was nearly 13 CF and a bowl of veg soup and piece of bread was 15CF.

As indicated transportation was expensive too. A series of cable cars to the top of the Schilthorn and back plus a cog train/cable car combo up the other side of the valley was about 120CF in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

However!! It was worth every penny/franc. It was the most beautiful place I have ever been...and I live near some pretty awesome mountains!

Posted by
7396 posts

Here's some prices (in dollars) from last Sept. in Wengen, Switzerland (all prices for 2). We ate as inexpensive as possible except for the $73 dinner to try some local foods.

Hotel - $224/night

Breakfasts (nice breakfast included w/ hotel)

Dinner $38.85
Lunch $7.35 (grocery store food)
Dinner $73.50
Lunch $16.80
Dinner $16.80 (bratwurst stand at Kleinne Schlegg during the Jungfrau Marathon)
Lunch $7.35 (grocery store food)
Dinner $47.25

Train Transportation:

Zurich to Wengen $170
Wengen to Stresa $178
RT Wengen-K.Schlegg to hike $86
RT Wengen-Lauterbrunnen $26
RT Wengen-K.Schlegg hiking & watching the marathon $86

Posted by
656 posts

kumar,
I spent 5 nights and my hotel alone was over 1100 euro. I paraglided for 250 euro. I took a trip to Mount Rigi for 80 euro.

Posted by
4543 posts

Switzerland is amazing and beautiful but is not a great choice for a student on a tight budget. That's not the way they live, nor the way a tourist has to spend. It is amazing how much it costs to eat in just an average restaurant.

Posted by
3551 posts

As an alternate u could still include some of Switzerland with a bordering country that would be less costly like Germany or France. Say arrive in Zurich and enjoy the appenzell area, beautifully Swiss, great hiking, vistas and authentic Swiss architecture and country chalets then train it to Lake Constance area Germany another lovely area. If u depart from iGeneva you could enjoy laussanne And lake Geneva ferry then scenic train nrby. Eastern France is bordering and a beautiful area to visit ie chamoix and incredible French alps, hiking, glaciers village. I have done these 2 itins in order to save , now I did not have your strict budget or req hostels but I stayed within my 100usd a day this was a few yrs ago.
We were 2 to share a room and forget restaurants use cafeterias or grocery stores.Get a rick steves guidebk and carefully work out an itin, u may be able to do just a little bit of Switzerland. Good planning is the only way with a budget. Gd luck.

Posted by
3941 posts

We were in Switzerland in 2010...luckily, we were able to couchsurf the three nights we were there, so we saved on accoms...we were in Zurich and hubby got a hot dog and fries and a drink from a street cart - it was about 15-16 francs...at that time, the franc was close to our Canadian dollar, so we paid about 3 times what we would have at home, since you may pay $5-6 here for the same thing.

On thing I will say...we had no issue finding hosts...we stayed 3 nights in 3 diff spots (Spiez, Bern, Zurich) and in each had at least two acceptances...I think I had three in the Spiez/Lauterbrunnen area...we've also hosted more than a few Swiss at our home, so that may have worked in our favour...they like to travel! But cs has def changed in the last few years (I think more people are turning to airbnb), so I wish you luck!

We didn't go into any grocery stores, but people do mention that you can save some food budget money that way. Less moving around means less money spent on transportation costs.

I was absolutely enamored with Switzerland and can't wait to revisit someday. Venice is my fav city, but I would have to say for sheer natural beauty and cleanliness, Switzerland was my fav country.

Posted by
995 posts

OP, you should be aware that if checked, it is unlikely that the immigration authorities will allow you to entry the country with so little finances.... you would be expected to have access to about 55 to 60 Francs per day in order to show that you have sufficient funds so as not to become a burden on the state.

Posted by
3392 posts

Jim,
Do they ever ask tourists about this in Switzerland? I've never been asked about my finances when entering any country, and I've been to over 50, including Switzerland numerous times.
If one is coming as a resident-alien and staying for an extended period of time, then I would expect to disclose my finances as part of the visa application process but not as a tourist just staying for a few days or weeks.

Posted by
8889 posts

Anita,
Yes, most countries' border officers have the legal right to ask you to prove you have sufficient funds for your stay, and, more importantly, means to get back home afterwards. A credit card and a return ticket are usually enough. But 95%+ of foreign arrivals never get asked, only the ones that look as if they might not have enough funds. The USA also imposes this condition on arriving foreigners.

Switzerland is in the Schengen Area, so there are no systematic checks on land borders.

Posted by
3392 posts

Thanks Chris! I never knew this!
I guess I should be happy that I look respectable enough never to have been asked!
Has anyone on this forum had to do this before? I'm just curious as to how it went.
You learn something new every day.....

Posted by
32244 posts

The requirement to prove that an incoming visitor has sufficient financial resources is quite common, even here in Canada. Whether to ask or not seems to be at the discretion of the border official, and they may use some degree of "profiling" to determine which travellers are asked. I've never had to deal with this but was asked by border officials prior to boarding the plane on my last trip whether I had more than $10K with me.

This scenario seems to happen on a regular basis on the TV show Border Security. One example that comes to mind is the woman from France that arrived with $5 in her pocket, and plans to live with her boyfriend in a homeless shelter in Vancouver. Needless to say, she was on the next flight back to Paris.

Posted by
4543 posts

Ken, you need to stop wearing that lame tux when you travel

"whether I had more than $10K with me"