Plan Your Budget Trip to Zurich

When it comes to traveling, planning a trip to a city is never easy. One needs to think of so many little details at once: flights, accommodation, attractions, transportation, and dining. To make your life a little easier, we have put together some key aspects of planning your trip to the Swiss city of Zurich, without breaking the bank.

However, before you get all excited for a summer trip in Zurich, we must warn you: it is the most expensive time of the year to visit. Winter is similarly expensive, so if you aim for a budget trip, visit the city in early autumn or late spring, when lodging and flights are more affordable, and the weather is still nice.

1. Opt for Budget-friendly Transportation

Switzerland has a very efficient railway system, but unless you buy a local rail pass, a train ride can get pretty expensive. That’s why it is more advisable to get in by airplane, through one of many low-cost airlines operating in Zurich airport. The 20-minute train ride from the airport doesn’t cost much, and once you’re in the city, you can get around and see most sights on foot.

Bahnhofstrasse - photo by Melanie Zahnd via Trover

Bahnhofstrasse – photo by Melanie Zahnd via Trover

2. Plan Ahead for Cheap Accommodation

You can easily score a last-minute bargain, but only if you have flexible travel dates. If you have already bought your plane tickets, you can get your best deals on accommodation 2-3 months before arrival. Look out for Bed & Breakfasts and Airbnbs, which have proven to be the cheapest choice when it comes to lodging in Zurich.

3. Eat Your Way Around the City

Eating every day in restaurants can easily empty your wallet, and that’s why you should choose an accommodation site which has its own kitchen. If you don’t want to cook during your holiday, take-aways are the best budget-friendly option for you. Also, you might want to consider eating in the prepared food section, which every supermarket has.

dish in Hiltl - photo by Kate Stella via Trover

dish in Hiltl – photo by Kate Stella via Trover

4. Hang Out with Locals

Staying at a local’s house can be the best way to get to know some insider ticks and trips about inexpensive possibilities in the city. They can give you some hints on some places off the beaten path, hidden from the crowds of tourists, thus opening your eyes to a less popular, but more authentic side of Zurich.

5. Experience Zurich for Free

Though considered one of the most expensive cities in Europe, the city has plenty to offer for free. Act like a local and read a book on a warm spring afternoon, whilst admiring the mighty Lake Zurich. If you like nature, visit the botanical gardens and spend a whole day strolling among tropical plants. Walk up to Uetliberg to have a look at the panoramic view of the lake and the city.

Check out one of the most important religious sites of the city, the Grossmunster, and catch an organ concert while you’re there. Take part in a free walking tour to explore the important attractions of the city, or hire a local to take your around on a private, detailed tour of Zurich.

Old Town - photo by Six Bones via Trover

Old Town – photo by Six Bones via Trover

Article part of the #HipmunkCityLove campaign.

4 Responses to “Plan Your Budget Trip to Zurich

  • Great post and good ideas for a cheap visit in Zurich.

    In terms of getting around in Zurich, I personally recommend buying a “ZürichCARD” for three days, which only costs 16 Swiss Franc and even includes the ride from the airport to the city center by train, and is a flat rate for all public transport in the city.

    The more you are in the city center or banking district, the more expensive things are. Prices are getting better a bit outside, and if you have your “ZürichCARD”, it should not be a problem to stay a bit outside of city center, as there are plenty of trains and buses which take you to the center.

    As Zurich is not that overcroweded with tourists, there is always a good balance between guests and locals. And I (as a local 🙂 ) usually enjoy having a talk with guests from all around the world.

    • Thank you very much for your comment and your awesome advice & tips! I have to start looking up city cards from now on, because they seem like a great deal.
      It’s always great to read feedback from a local 🙂

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