How much holiday money will you need for Switzerland?

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Switzerland is on the Governments green list at the moment so it’s easy to travel there if you’ve been fully vaccinated. Similarly, the Swiss authorities are allowing British travellers to enter the country providing they can show full vaccination status or proof of a negative test. This could include the proof of vaccine available on the NHS app.

Switzerland is a beautiful country with picturesque lakes and countryside, amazing little villages and of course breath-taking mountain scenery and ski slopes. Around 1 million brits travel there every year. The currency is the Swiss franc (CHF) and is a popular currency bought in the UK so you can find competitive Swiss franc exchange rates.

Switzerland has a reputation for being expensive. In 2020 Zurich was the 4th most expensive city in the world to live. Is this fair? Lets take a look. We used a baseline of approx. £10.00 = Fr12.00.

Food and drink

A meal in a cheaper restaurant in Zurich will cost around Fr25.00. That’s about 20 quid. If you want to look at a 3 course meal in a mid-priced restaurant then think about Fr60.00 or £47.00. You may find Bern a little less expensive but not by much.

A pint or 500ml of local beer will cost between Fr6-7.00 about £5.00. A coffee can cost £3.50 and a coke or bottle of water up to £2.50 in Bern and £3.20 in Zurich.

A bottle of wine mid-range will cost £10-12.00.

If you are self-catering,  a litre of milk is around £1.30 and loaf of bread will cost around £2.00 in Zurich. In Bern up to 15% cheaper. Other prices include: 12 eggs = £5.00, Chicken fillets = £22.00 kg, potatoes = £1.88 kg and onions £1.80 kg.

If you smoke, a packet of cigarettes is £6.70.

Even if you compare these prices to London prices, they are still on the expensive side.

Transport and travel

A one way ticket in Geneva on public transport is around £2.50 (Fr3.00)

A taxi fare will start at around £5.00 and cost a further £2.50 per kilometre. So a 3 mile/5km journey will cost £12.50 (Fr15.00)

If you want to hire a car, the prices we saw started from £270 a week from 1st October for a small car like a Seat Ibiza. If you really want to splash out a 5 series BMW is £1255.00 a week. Petrol is about £1.40 per litre.


Many tour operators will include accommodation but if you are looking to book independently, these are the prices we found on a hotel booking website for Geneva, for week commencing 1st October.

A small one bedroom apartment was on offer for £378.00. At the other end of the scale the sky is the limit of course, but we saw a lovely suite in a hotel in Geneva for £25,000 for a week (not including breakfast). It did look nice though!

Leisure and attractions

All the major cities have ‘Old towns’ that you can wander around for free. You will find a host of self-guided walks to enjoy that take in the major landmarks including:

Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, Geneva

Cathédrale St Pierre, Geneva

The Nightwatch, Lausanne

Chillon Castle, next to Lake Geneva at Veytaux. Inside Entry Fr13.5 adults, Fr7.00 child.

Neuchâtel Castle, Neuchâtel. Guided tour inside is Fr5.00

There are many picturesque mountain villages with train journeys into the mountains. One of the most popular is the train journey to Jungfraujoch, the ‘Top of Europe’ with an observation terrace and observatory. At Fr91.00 pp it’s not cheap though. 

Switzerland has some of the most breathtaking scenery and picturesque villages you will find anywhere in the world. It’s safe to say it isn’t the cheapest destination though and you may need a little bit more holiday money than some other countries.

One of the best sources of information for visiting Switzerland is the Swiss Tourism Website. And up to date information on entry requirements can be found on the GOV.UK travel page.


Posted by Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.

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