GLOBAL GREY NOMADS
Spread the Word!
Swiss insider tips for a visit of Zürich Switzerland on a budget. Enjoy a city trip to Zürich at Lake Zürich on a budget

Zürich On A Budget Insider Travel Guide

You think, you can’t visit Zürich Switzerland without paying an arm and a leg? You have heard that Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world? I grew up in the region of Zürich and give you some valuable insider tips to visit Zürich on a budget.

GreyWorldNomads_Zürich48

Grossmünster Cathedral in the Old Town of Zürich

hotels in zurich switzerland - best hotels in zurich - hotels in zurich switzerland - zurich hotels switzerland - zurich switzerland on a budget - cheap eats in zurich - zurich cheap eats - free things to do in zurich - zurich on a budget - zurich for free - zurich switzerland one day - one day trips from zurich - one day in zurich switzerland - zurich budget hotels - zurich winter - zurich switzerland summer - zurich switzerland travel country - zurich switzerland travel trips - zurich switzerland travel bucket lists - zurich switzerland travel summer - zurich switzerland travel beautiful - zurich switzerland travel winter - zurich switzerland travel things to do - zurich switzerland winter things to do - zurich switzerland winter swiss alps

Sleeping In Zürich On A Budget

The cheapest option is to housesit or house swap and therefore not to pay one “Rappen” (the equivalent to cents in Switzerland) for your accommodation. See more about house sitting in our previous post on house sitting and house swap. You can sign up here to the housesitting or house swap website by following the links.

If there is no housesit or house swap available during your stay and you don’t want to sleep on a couch via couchsurfing.com, you may find some pretty affordable options in shared apartments on airbnb.com from about CHF 40.— or for an even smaller amount in shared bedrooms at hostels.

Accommodation In Zürich On A Budget

If you’d rather stay in a hotel or apartment, we put together a list with cheap hotels and apartments in the center of Zürich with have the best customer ratings.

citizenM Zürich

citizenM Zürich

This 4-star hotel is conveniently located in the center of Zürich. A bar and a restaurant are available at citizenM Zürich. Best value for money.

Zürich on a budget

Click here for more information, photos and prices

Hotel Rössli

Hotel Rössli

Boutique style hotel, just 100 m from the banks of the Limmat River, located in the vibrant Old Town of Zurich, a 5-minute walk from Lake Zürich and the opera house.

Zürich on a budget

Click here for more information, photos and prices

HITrental Niederdorf - Apartments

HITrental Niederdorf – Apartments

Niederdorf II – Apartments enjoys a central location with many bars and restaurants, just a 5-minute walk from the Zurich Main Train Station and from the Bahnhofstrasse Shopping Street.

Zürich on a budget

Click here for more information, photos and prices

Motel One Zürich

Motel One Zürich

Motel One Zürich has a great bar. It is around 601 m from Paradeplatz, 601 m from Bahnhofstrasse and 0.7 mi from Grossmünster.

Zürich on a budget

Click here for more information, photos and prices

Hotel du Théâtre by Fassbind

Hotel du Théâtre by Fassbind

The Hotel du Théâtre By Fassbind is a former theater, just 300 m from Zurich Main Train Station. The Central Tram and Bus Stop is right outside.

Zürich on a budget

Click here for more information, photos and prices

Pop Up Hotel Krone Zürich

Pop Up Hotel Krone Zürich

Located in Zurich, a 6-minute walk from Grossmünster, Pop Up Hotel Krone Zürich features views of the city. The property is close to Paradeplatz, Kunsthaus Zurich and ETH Zurich.

Zürich on a budget

Click here for more information, photos and prices

For longer stays you may want to try one of the plentiful websites for holiday accommodation, where you can contact the owner directly. Don’t hesitate to ask for a special price. This always pays off.

GreyWorldNomads_Zürich14Zürich Tram

Eating Out In Zürich On A Budget

Buy your food and cook for yourself. This way you can avoid pricy restaurants. If you go for sightseeing, take a picnic with you as kiosks and restaurants near tourist attractions are very expensive. Cheap shops are for example Denner, Aldi, Lidl and a little bit more expensive Migros and Coop.

The prices are lower in the surrounding suburbs than in the city itself or shops in smaller villages. Drink the water out of the tap. It’s as clean as bottled water, Switzerland’s authorities confirm.

If you’d like to eat out cheaply, opt for one of the restaurants in one of the bigger supermarket stores. You can find affordable and very good food for example in Migros or Coop Restaurants during the day. Check out the ETH Restaurant or the restaurant of the University of Zürich Switzerland. Depending on how late you want to eat dinner, you will probably find all previously mentioned restaurants closed.

In general, “cheap” places to dine do not exist in the form of full-service restaurants. You will end up paying CHF 30 – 40.– per person for a dinner without wine. Relax – it’s not as bad as it seems. In Switzerland, you are not expected to tip the waiter more than just a few Francs. With this in mind, it will make the price seem a bit more reasonable. Don’t forget street food as this is your most affordable option. Click here for a selection of cheap restaurants in Zürich.

Transport in Zürich On A Budget

Public transport in Switzerland goes almost everywhere and is legendarily punctual, but expensive. If you stay for less than a month, there are not many affordable offers for reduced ticket prices. Nevertheless, there are a few options.

Zürich offers day tickets within the city center, which are less expensive than buying a normal return ticket. They count for all public transport like trains, trams and even ships on Lake Zurich. Look also into the ZürichCard, if you want to visit several museums, restaurants, and shops. This card offers free transport like the day ticket for 24 or 72 hours and additionally, some good deals, which you may want to check out.

One ticket costs CHF 24 for the one day pass, respectively CHF 48 for the 3-day pass. Children up to six years are free. All versions of tickets can easily be bought at every tram or train station in Zürich and online. If you arrive by airplane it may be wise to buy it in advance, as the train journey to and from the airport is included.

GreyWorldNomads_Zürich20

View from the Üetliberg’s watchtower to the West

For families with children or groups, there are special ticket deals. There is a large Tourist Information Centre at the main station of Zürich for more in-depth information. Don’t forget to check, if it isn’t cheaper to hire a car. If you are not alone, it may be cheaper and you have the advantage to be mobile. Discover the beautiful surroundings of Zürich around the lake and the nearby mountain region!

For the sporty tourist (Zürich is quite mountainous) Züri Rollt provides bikes for free right in front of the main train station year-round, or at a host of locations around the city in summertime. With a deposit depending on the bike you choose, you can rent a normal bike, an electric bike, and even kids’ bikes or adult bikes with children’s seats.

GreyWorldNomads_Zürich13

Traditional Music Instrument in Switzerland – Alphorn

What To Do In Zürich On A Budget

Start first with a bicycle tour to get a good oversight of Zürich. Then, a City tour in the medieval part of Zürich will be most exciting. Afterward, choose another one like the Cosmopolitan Tour in the new center of Zürich West to get an overview of the more modern part of Zürich. If you don’t mind big groups, you can join a free walking tour. A tip of about CHF 10.– per person is appropriate for the guide but purely voluntary.

Book here the Zürich Highlights Tour by bicycle (from 25 CHF / Person)

GreyWorldNomads_Zürich51

One of the World’s longest viaducts – now refurbished with trendy shops

Free Museums And Art Galleries In Zürich

  • The archaeological collection of the University of Zürich Switzerland
  • Collection of prints and drawings of the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
  • Zürich Toy Museum
  • Kunsthaus Zürich (house of art; only Wednesdays free entrance)
  • Kunsthalle Zürich (Thursdays between 17 – 20.00h free entry)
  • Migros Museum (Thursdays between 17 – 20.00h free entry)

This is only a selection of museums. There are many more.

GreyWorldNomads_Zürich38

Winter in Zurich, Switzerland

Affordable Outdoor Activities in Zürich On A Budget

  • Old Botanical Gardens
  • Arboretum
  • Zürich Zoo
  • Voliere – plenty of birds
  • Wildnispark Langenberg

Of course, you can swim in the lake and in the river in the summertime as well, stroll along the shores and listen to street music and art without any costs.

Explore The Outskirts Of Zürich On A Budget

Zürich lies at Lake Zürich in the middle of rolling green hills and the snow-capped Swiss Alps in the background. Within just an hour’s drive, you can visit mountains, roam around medieval castles, cross majestic rivers and explore beautiful landscapes, hiking through some extended forests of Switzerland.

  • The home mountain of Zürich is the Üetliberg. Most enjoyable is a walk up to the top, from where you have a beautiful view over Zürich and the lakes’ region. A train departs from Zürich main station up the Üetliberg, if you’d rather have it easier. A restaurant and a small kiosk on top of the mountain provide refreshments and lunch.
GreyWorldNomads_Zürich17

Train to the Üetliberg, Zürich, Switzerland

  • Don’t miss to go on the Lake Zürich by boat. With the day ticket for the public transport in Zürich, a round trip is included. Go a bit further though and visit Rapperswil with its medieval center, beautiful castle and rose garden. There is a Zoo for children of the National Circus KNIE of Switzerland. For some wet pleasures, you can spend an enjoyable day at the Alpamare in Pfäffikon in Europe’s biggest covered water and fun park.
  • Ferry Ride on Lake Zurich & Cable Car to Felsenegg Viewpoint – book your ticket here
  • If you have a bit more time, you may want to visit the famous, impressive Monastery in Einsiedeln, only an hour’s drive from Zürich.
  • If you want to take a chairlift and hike some real mountains or if in the winter, you’d like to do some snow sport, you can find all you want in Atzmaennig near Goldingen only an hour’s drive from Zürich.
  • Swiss skiing adventure day tour to Titlis with roundtrip from Zürich – book it here
  • Swiss Ski Experience at the famous Jungfraujoch with Transport from Zurich – tickets here
  • Tickets for Jungfraujoch with Transport from Zurich – book it here
  • Mount Rigi: Day Tour from Zurich – get the tickets here
  • Mount Pilatus with Transport from Zurich – book it here

GreyWorldNomads_Zürich28Rheinfall, Switzerland

  • The Rheinfall, largest waterfall in Europe, and the medieval town Schaffhausen with the Munot fortress.
  • Stein am Rhein with Burg Hohenklingen

Book your combined ticket for Rhine Falls & Stein am Rhein with ticket from Zürich here

Zürich Switzerland: Events

There are some famous events in Zürich worth joining, for example, Sechseläuten and the Streetparade. If you want to mix with locals and experience their culture or encounter waves of excited people in party-mood, this is it!

Preferred Means Of Payment In Zürich Switzerland

You can pay with a credit card almost everywhere, even for tickets at tram stations. You need some cash, but you won’t get around only with your Euros, which you’ve probably got from your trip around the rest of Europe as not all machines take Euro coins. Avoid paying in Euros anyway as you will get an adverse exchange rate compared to the one you’ll get from the bank.

GreyWorldNomads_Zürich15

Zürich by night at Christmas Time

Get your travel guide by clicking on the picture below:

Communication And Internet Throughout Switzerland

Check out the best deals from your telephone company back home for calls and roaming in Switzerland. Swiss “pay as you go” SimCards are quite pricy, but if you stay for several weeks, you probably want to buy one.

Free and unlimited internet access is available almost everywhere in Zurich Switzerland and fast. Just call your family and friends back home via the internet. This costs you nothing and you can even send your newest travel pictures in an instant.

GreyWorldNomads_Zürich12

Lake Zürich, Switzerland

More inspiration for what to do in and around Zürich Switzerland, you’ll find on the official website of the Swiss Tourism board. For tours with the train beyond Zürich, you find a lot of information on the website of the Swiss Railway Company (sbb.ch).

Starting out in Zürich you’ll consider discovering other parts of Switzerland. Read also our guides Brienz in Bernese Oberland and Swiss winter holidays on a budget.

Please feel free to contact me, if you’d like more recommendations about other parts of Switzerland. Comment, if you know hidden gems in Zürich, which you’d like to share. Have a great time in Zürich Switzerland!

hotels in zurich switzerland - best hotels in zurich - hotels in zurich switzerland - zurich hotels switzerland - zurich switzerland on a budget - cheap eats in zurich - zurich cheap eats - free things to do in zurich - zurich on a budget - zurich for free - zurich switzerland one day - one day trips from zurich - one day in zurich switzerland - zurich budget hotels - zurich winter - zurich switzerland summer - zurich switzerland travel country - zurich switzerland travel trips - zurich switzerland travel bucket lists - zurich switzerland travel summer - zurich switzerland travel beautiful - zurich switzerland travel winter - zurich switzerland travel things to do - zurich switzerland winter things to do - zurich switzerland winter swiss alps

Leave a Comment:

Diese Seite kann kompensierte Links enthalten. Siehe unser Impressum. This page may contain compensated links. Read our disclaimer.