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Many people think that traveling in Switzerland is incredibly expensive. That is why they eventually decide to spend a day in Zürich and walk away. However, such a decision only convinces them that Switzerland is an expensive country.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t have to be necessarily true if you can find your way. This article will convince you about the opposite side. I’ll reveal to you the 11 cheapest ways to travel Switzerland on a budget and explore as much of this stunning country as you want.
11 Cheapest Ways To Travel
Switzerland On A Budget: Quick Guide
Here is a quick list of the cheapest way to travel in Switzerland for you:
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What Month Is Best To See Switzerland
The best months to see Switzerland are June and September.
In June, everything is beautifully green, hills are full of mooing cows, rivers are full of blue waters from the melting glaciers, mountains are still snowy, and waterfalls are falling off steep rock cliffs. It’s also much less crowded than in the summertime (July & August).
September shines with autumn colors, and Switzerland gets a slight upgrade. It’s a beautiful month, everything calms down a bit after the busy summer season, and the landscape views are spectacular. However, it can snow towards the end of September, but it’s not usual.
What Is The Best Way To Get Around Switzerland
The best way to get around Switzerland is through public transportation: trains, buses, boats, and cable cars. This way, you’ll enjoy the breathtaking scenery and soak in the atmosphere.
The best way to use public transportation on a budget is to purchase a Swiss Travel Pass or a Half-Fare Card. They’ll help you save 50% of your travel costs in Switzerland. Check out the list of cheapest ways to travel Switzerland to learn more about these travel passes.
11 Cheapest Ways To Travel Switzerland On A Budget
Now that you know the best months to travel to Switzerland, let’s head straight into the 11 cheapest ways to travel Switzerland on a budget. So choose some or follow all the tips, save up, and get the most out of your Swiss trip.
1. Get Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Travel Pass Flex
The most important thing is getting a travel pass to see Switzerland. Never pay for a single ticket unless you buy it at a specific place for less or just need to make a single train ride.
With a travel pass, you’ll save up so much in Switzerland.
Swiss Travel Pass
If you want to travel to Switzerland for a longer time (at least 5 days) and see different places (at least 5), the best way to save up is to purchase a Swiss Travel Pass.
This Pass is available for 3, 4, 8, or 15 days. All trains, buses, boats, and public transportation in cities are included in the Pass.
You can choose between 1st and 2nd class. If you are young, below 26 years old, your Pass will be considerably cheaper than for an adult (26 years and above).
Depending on the number of days you choose, you must travel on consecutive days with a Swiss Travel Pass.
Swiss Travel Pass Flex
Swiss Travel Pass Flex works the same as the Swiss Travel Pass. The only difference is that you can use the flex one on the chosen number of days within a month. In comparison, the Swiss Travel Pass has to be used on consecutive days.
Traveling with a Swiss Travel Pass in Switzerland is suitable for a longer itinerary.
Follow my 8-day Switzerland itinerary, which is designed to travel with a Swiss Travel Pass. Get the most out of Switzerland and your Swiss Pass, and save a lot.
Related Article: Swiss Travel Pass -Unlimited Travel In Switzerland
2. Purchase Half-Fare Card
Half-Fare Card is another great way to travel to Switzerland on a budget. It’s very similar to the Swiss Travel Pass Flex and can be a cheaper option in some cases.
If you want to travel to Switzerland for a few days and visit only specific places on your bucket list, the Swiss Half-Fare Card can be the best deal for you.
It costs 120 CHF for a month of travel in Switzerland. Once you have it, you’ll get 50% off every train, bus, boat, and cable car ride.
Comparison 4-Day Swiss Itinerary (Half-Fare Card vs. Swiss Travel Pass)
Let’s say you have an itinerary for 4 days in Switzerland. And you only want to visit Lucerne, Interlaken, Jungfraujoch, Montreux, Zermatt, and Gornergrat.
If you calculate costs for all train rides and mountain excursions for this itinerary, you’ll see that having Half-Fare Card will be cheaper than having a Swiss Travel Pass. I calculated it, and it was around 150 CHF cheaper with Half-Fare Card.
So the longer you travel and the more places you want to visit, the better value the Swiss Travel Pass brings.
If you have a shorter itinerary and a few specific places to tick off your Swiss bucket list, Half-Fare Card will be more economical for your trip.
3. Get Saver Day Pass
If you only have one day in Switzerland, the best deal you can get is the Saver Day Pass.
It’s a pass that you can use for all trains, buses, boats, and public transportation in cities in Switzerland. However, it’s not valid for mountains in Switzerland.
Let’s say you’re in Paris and want to visit Switzerland for a day. You arrive in Zurich and want to travel to Lucerne and take a boat ride on a Swiss Lake. After, you’ll stay overnight in Switzerland and leave the country the next day. In this case, Saver Day Pass will be the cheapest way to travel to Switzerland for you.
You can buy it on the official SBB website.
PRO TIP: The more in advance you buy the Saver Day Pass, the cheaper it gets.
4. Buy Single Train Tickets Online In Advance
If you only have to take a single train ride in Switzerland, there are two ways to travel on a budget.
Get the SBB App and buy your ticket in advance through the app. It usually has cheaper train tickets.
Check the Trainline website for the best deals.
I lived in Switzerland for 3 years. I got a seasonal/regional pass for every season to explore the places I wanted to. However, this pass wasn’t valid for train connections to other Swiss cities. So whenever I had to travel to other parts of Switzerland, I got my ticket on Trainline. It saved me hundreds of money.
So check it out, buy your single ticket online, save it to your phone, and travel. Have an ID or passport with you as they’ll check it on the train.
5. Get Regional Passes
If you only want to explore a specific region in Switzerland, the cheapest way to travel on a budget is to get a regional pass.
The most popular regional passes in Switzerland are:
- Jungfrau Travel Pass
- Berner Oberland Pass
- Lake Geneva-Alps Pass
- Zermatt Peak Pass
- Davos Klosters Premium Card
With these regional passes, you’ll explore the entire region using trains, buses, boats, and cable cars to the mountains free of charge.
These passes are the best way to explore a specific region if you’re staying longer and want to do at least 3 activities there.
6. Plan Your Itinerary
Planning your itinerary always saves your travel costs. Your costs significantly decrease when you’re organized and know what you’ll do and where you’ll go.
For instance, if you purchase the Swiss Travel Pass and intend to see many places, you’ll need an itinerary to get the most out of your pass. The Swiss Travel Pass already saves you a lot, but you can waste it if you don’t plan.
Look up train departure times, boat timetables, and cable car duration, and organize your journey. You can see more within a day than if you don’t plan.
So plan your itinerary, be organized, and get the most out of your trip and a travel pass.
If you need an itinerary for Switzerland or help planning your trip, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll gladly design an itinerary for you or answer additional questions.
7. Go Camping/Stay In Hostels
Accommodation in Switzerland can get expensive. But if you know where to stay, you can travel to Switzerland on a budget and save on accommodation.
One of the cheapest ways to travel to Switzerland is to go camping. However, you don’t specifically have to stay in a freezing tent and be uncomfortable.
Some places have big tents (like a hostel) where you can stay. It has a regular bed, and it’s warm inside. The best is that you’ll save a lot rather than staying in a hotel.
PRO TIP: One such camping tent is located in Matten bei Interlaken. So you can stay there if you want to explore the Jungfrau region.
8. Stay In A Local Family
Another way to save on your accommodation and even get some pocket money is to help a local family and stay with them for a while.
I spent 14 days on a Swiss farm in the mountains above Lake Brienz at the age of 22. I stayed there for free and helped the family make cheese.
Every day, I woke up and fell asleep with stunning views of Lake Brienz. I learned how to make delicious Swiss cheese, helped the family, and got to stay in Switzerland for free.
And I even got some pocket money that I used after exploring Switzerland.
RELATED ARTICLE: How Swiss Cheese Is Made – learn about my experience on a Swiss cheese farm
9. Avoid Restaurants
Restaurants in Switzerland are quite pricy. And honestly, many are average, and the food is not good. Of course, if you want to try Swiss fondue, a typical dish, the way to go is to eat in a restaurant.
However, you don’t have to eat in a restaurant every single time during your trip. Instead, go to a supermarket, make a sandwich, or buy stuff for the day.
You can also picnic in the mountains or near the beautiful Swiss Lakes. And it’ll be a much more enjoyable experience.
10. Find Local Markets
Some places organize local markets, where you can taste samples of typical food and support local communities. So check the area you’ll visit in Switzerland and whether they organize markets when you’re there.
It’s a cheaper and better alternative to eating in a restaurant.
11. Bring Your Water Bottle
Switzerland has the best water ever. No wonder vast mountains and glaciers surround you. So the water is clean and comes directly from pure nature. So take advantage of it and bring your water bottle.
There is no need to buy bottled water in a supermarket in Switzerland. The best way to go is to drink tap water. Or you can also drink the water from springs when hiking in Switzerland.
👉 READ ALSO: Switzerland In November: Best Things To Do & See
How Much Should You Budget For A Trip In Switzerland
I’ve created a simple table for you comparing costs in Switzerland or individual travel items. Check it out below so that you know what budget you need for your Swiss trip.
Overall, you’ll spend around 70 to 100 Swiss Francs per day if you want to travel to Switzerland on a budget and still enjoy some attractions.
Get My Switzerland Packing List
Packing for a Swiss trip might be challenging because you have to prepare for all kinds of weather conditions. Nevertheless, I packed everything into a backpack for my month-long trip to Switzerland. And I want to help you with packing.
So get my Switzerland packing list for free, save time, and don’t overpack
Wrap-Up: 11 Cheapest Ways To Travel Switzerland On A Budget
These are the 11 cheapest ways to travel Switzerland on a budget. I hope it’ll help you plan your Swiss itinerary and get the most out of your trip to Switzerland. Switzerland is not the cheapest country in Europe, but you can significantly save costs.
The most important thing is to plan your journey, choose a good travel pass that suits your travel, and save up on food in Switzerland. This way, you’ll be able to travel Switzerland on a budget.
So have a great trip and enjoy this amazing country to the fullest.
11 Cheapest Ways To Travel Switzerland On A Budget: FAQs
I’ve also answered some of the frequently asked questions to help you plan your trip to Switzerland and create the best experience for you. So check them out below.
Is It Possible To Travel To Switzerland On A Budget?
Yes, it’s possible to travel to Switzerland on a budget. The most important thing is to get a travel pass, plan your journey, and avoid eating in restaurants all the time. This is the best way to travel to Switzerland on a budget.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Travel To Switzerland?
The cheapest way to travel to Switzerland is to buy a Swiss Travel Pass, Half-Fare Card, or a regional pass. With travel passes, you’ll save time and see the entire Switzerland.
If you stay in Switzerland longer and want to see many places, buy a Swiss Travel Pass.
If you have a shorter itinerary and only want to check some places off your bucket list, opt for Half-Fare Card. Get a regional pass if you only want to visit a specific region (e.g., Jungfrau region).
How Many Days In Switzerland Is Enough?
Switzerland is a beautiful country and offers many things to do. An optimal number of days to stay is between 8 to 14 days.
8 days is the shortest time to explore the highlights of Switzerland. If you want to see different regions and spend some time hiking, staying 10 to 14 days in Switzerland is best.
How Much Does It Cost To Spend 10 Days In Switzerland?
If you have a 10-day itinerary, plan to spend between 2000 CHF and 3000 CHF for the entire trip. It might seem a lot, but it’s considering that you’ll get the most out of your trip, do all the sightseeing activities and things the country offer, and eat well.
If you’re on a budget, you can plan to spend around 1000 CHF during 10 days in Switzerland.
What Is The Best Way To Tour Switzerland?
The best way to tour Switzerland is by train. Get a Swiss Travel Pass and explore all the corners of Switzerland. The best is to follow the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland on your own to see all the Swiss highlights. This way, you won’t miss anything important and will get the most out of your Swiss Travel Pass.
How To Travel Around Switzerland By Train?
The best way to travel around Switzerland by train is to follow the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland. It’s a designed itinerary by the Swiss tourism board to explore the highlights of Switzerland.
To get the most out of train travel, the best way to get around is to use a Swiss Travel Pass. It’ll give you flexibility, free travel on trains, buses, boats, and cable cars, and save you 50% off your travel costs.
More Tips For Switzerland Travel
Looking to visit more places in Switzerland? Check out my related articles:
Switzerland Itinerary For 8 Days – Explore the Swiss higlights
Top 5 Switzerland Paroramic Trains – Best rides through the Swiss Alps
Jungfrau Travel Pass vs. Swiss Travel Pass – which one to choose
Swiss Travel Pass: Unlimited Travel In Switzerland
How Swiss Cheese Is Made: 6 Simple Step Guide
About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.