Switzerland, the mountainous Central European country, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. From the snow-capped Alps and numerous lakes to lush green scenery and medieval quarters, everything about Switzerland is breathtaking. Not to forget the world-famous Swiss watches and Swiss chocolates. Apart from these, the progressive economy also makes Switzerland amazing in unique ways.
Visiting Switzerland could be intimidating as it is of the most expensive countries to visit. Pouring all the money down for the sake of traveling is not something a wise tourist does. Therefore, here is a detailed guide to travel Switzerland on a budget.
Get Around Switzerland In A Budget-Friendly Way
Getting around the cities and sneak-peeking into the major attractions could be costly if the traveler hires a vehicle. Therefore, it is advised to make the most out of free public transportation available in certain cities like Geneva, Lucerne, and Bern when in Switzerland. It can cut the transportation cost and help save some bucks.
Most accommodations provide transportation tickets that are valid until one stays. Many hotels like The Canton of Ticino have started the concept of a travel jackpot wherein tourists staying on their property get an all-inclusive ticket. This ticket offers free travel on buses and trains. One also gets a good discount on boats, cable cars, and selected activities.
Seeing the huge success of travel-jackpot, more and more properties are joining this concept which is beneficial to both parties. The freebies are attractive, welcoming, and, most important, pocket-friendly. One is eligible for getting the travel jackpot even if one is staying for one night.
Apart from this, it is advised not to buy a travel pass until one knows the options. Travel pass makes sense only when the traveler uses public transport to get around the city. However, if there is an option of free travel with accommodation, the travel pass will go futile and a large sum of money too.
Planning the trip in advance and listing the places one wants to visit will help make the expedition budget-friendly. Dig out the best accommodation and travel options and figure out whether a Swiss Travel Pass,
Interrail Pass, Half fare Card, or Supersaver tickets will be value for money or not.
Eat In A Way That Fits Your Pocket In Switzerland
Eating out in Switzerland is a costly affair too. Even if one catches a bargain, one meal costs 25 to 30 CHF ($27 to $32). So, embrace the inner chef and cook your own food, which is way more affordable. Groceries for a week may cost around 60 to 80 CHF, enough to keep the stomach and pocket full.
Supermarkets like Coop, Migros, Aldi and Lidl, and Denner are the best options to find groceries at affordable prices. Amongst these, Aldi and Lidl are home to the cheapest stores.
If one is not so cooking enthusiast and looking for inexpensive options, buying old bread is another way to save bucks in Switzerland. The concept of Assbar is the new fad in Switzerland in which the guys collect all the items bakeries could not sell during the day and sell them at a discounted price to people the next day. This concept was introduced to fight food wastage and provide people with affordable food options.
Through Assbar, one can get bread rolls, sausage rolls, pastries, sandwiches, and a lot more bakery items at a massive discount. What’s better than eating yesterday’s bread at half rate in order to save a few francs? Travelers can find Assbar stores in Zurich, Winterthur, Fribourg, St. Gallen and Basel. Since the concept of Assbar has gained a lot of popularity in recent times, it is expected that similar stores will open in other cities too.
While Assbar offers food at a discounted price, the farmer’s market is the place where one can get free food samples. The market offers free samples every now and then, and wise travelers make the most out of this opportunity. Although one won’t get a full meal, anything free is worth gold. Travelers can taste free olives, crackers, bread, and occasionally cheese and cookie. It is the best place to satisfy the mid-day cravings.
People visiting chocolate factories and biscuit factories can also get enough samples. However, one needs to pay a small entrance fee to visit the place.
Enjoy Switzerland's Free Activities
While there are many activities that will dig a hole in the pocket, many are totally free of cost. For instance, Switzerland, with a gorgeous landscape, offers many hiking trails. Travelers can choose the trail according to their limits and explore the lush green mountains and valleys without spending huge.
Here is a list of a few activities that are perfect for every budget-friendly traveler-
- Join free walking tours across the country organized in many cities.
- Explore the wildlife (bears) in Bern and free wildlife parks in St. Gallen, Zurich, Winterthur, Interlaken, and many other places.
- Visit free museums, churches, and old towns depicting the medieval era.
- Check out chocolate, biscuit, and cheese factories and enjoy free samples for a gastronomic experience.
- Tour the House of Parliament in Bern is free of cost.
- Explore the botanical gardens to see native flora and fauna.
- See Rhine Falls- Europe’s largest waterfalls at Schaffhausen.
- Enjoy the lakes.
With pocket-friendly ways to stay and get around the city, one can stretch the money when in Switzerland. All that is needed is elaborate research and jotting the best and inexpensive ways to visit the country. Planning strategically can help witness the Alps closer and explore Switzerland on a budget.