Budget for Switzerland

Feb 7th, 2013, 10:47 AM
  #1  
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Budget for Switzerland

Quick question after all the research I have done on going to Switzerland. I am planning a trip in September to Paris and Wengen (after all your wonderful suggestions) and am trying to see if I am planning around the budget ok. Once I have the plane ticket, hotels, and train tickets out of the way for both Paris and BO, I have approximately $300 per day for just me. This needs to buy food (typically something very budget friendly like pizza or burger), the sites (museums are included with the cost of the train pass), any shopping (I buy some souvenirs but nothing crazy).

For food, I have a budget of approximately 100CH per day
For sites, I have a budget of approximately 50CH per day
For shopping, I have a budget of approximately 50CH per day
This still leaves 100CH for any "unexpected" surprises or trip up the mountain (weather pending).

I don't have plans for anything crazy such as paragliding or white water rafting.

Is this enough of a budget to travel here?
catherinehaas is offline  
Feb 7th, 2013, 10:58 AM
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A Swiss Pass can be a way of keeping normally expensive train trips down cost wise - if you travel more than a few times you may find a pass to be a boon - valid on trains, postal buses, lake boats, city trams and buses and also granting free entry to 400+ Swiss museums. With a consecutive-day pass you at least know exactly how much all your transportation will cost - but compare normal prices with the pass - but keep in mind with a pass many folks end up dong more than than previsioned.

For lots of great stuff on Swiss trains, passes and alternatives like the Half-Fare Card I always spotlight these IMO fantastic sites - www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.ricksteves.com and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id3.html. One benefit of a pass is that you can just hop on anything train, bus, etc covered by the pass - no going to the ticket window - and if staying in Wengen the Swiss Pass passes 100% up there so if using Wengen as a base the pass could be a great deal if day tripping out of Wengen!
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 7th, 2013, 03:26 PM
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Is Switzerland that expensive?
catherinehaas is offline  
Feb 7th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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Switz is very expensive. The train up/down the Jungfraujoch is about 200 swissies for that alone. On the McDonalds price scale a big mac meal is about $18 versus the $8 or so it is in the US. (NOt that you should eat big macs - but other foods are equally priced).

You have more control over food - can do picnics or eat from markets - but sights cost what they cost.

The last time I was there we took the client to dinner in a pleasant but not very upscale Italian restaurant - for 4 women sharing appetizers and dessert and with 2 bottles of modest wine - dinner was almost US $ 700.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 7th, 2013, 11:33 PM
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Hi catherinehaas,

Food in Switzerland can be expensive, but not necessarily as bad as nytraveler notes.

There are lots of fast food options that are much less than the $18 Big Mac meal -- for instance, you can buy a sandwich or a Wurst from a bakery or kiosk for about 3-5 chf. Yes, stay away from the American types of fast food to save some money.

You can economize by having your main meal at lunchtime, when the restaurants typically offer a meal for around 20-30 chf (wine or drinks extra). Then, for dinner, assemble some wonderful picnics from one of the grocery stores and eat outside enjoying the view.

You can also get inexpensive meals at cafeterieas like the ones in department stores or the Coop at larger towns.

I think you will be absolutely fine with your budget.

Have fun as you plan!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Feb 8th, 2013, 04:56 AM
  #6  
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Thanks! I was starting to re-think my entire itinerary based on 700CHF for dinner. I am not really a "go and party it up" kind of girl especially when I am in a foreign county solo. I did a pub crawl for my first European trip to Dublin; however, since then I don't run the streets in Europe... LOL! Not a smart idea to not be fully aware of your surroundings in a foreign country. So drinking outside of my hotel is out. I plan to go to stores and get items for lunch and snack items. I have no problem eating cheap. Every trip I choose once to go somewhere "fancy" and this trip I might not be able to. Oh well, I will be in Switzerland... I can eat big macs to the cows come home for this opportunity.

Does anyone know how much pizza is in Wengen? Are we talking 500 CHF or something a bit more reasonable (like 20 CHF)?
catherinehaas is offline  
Feb 8th, 2013, 06:01 AM
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Hi again,

Yes, pizzas can start at around 20 chf (18 chf or so) and go up to 25 or 30 chf.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Feb 8th, 2013, 06:11 AM
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We were surprised at how expensive food is in Switzerland. This past Dec we stopped at the equivalent of an Autogrill on the highway and had 2 bratwursts with fries and 2 diet cokes and the bill came to 46CH!!!!
jamikins is offline  
Feb 8th, 2013, 06:44 AM
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Sounds good. If I eat from the markets, big macs, or pizza without anything on it, I should be ok with my budget. LOL!

Thinking about now skipping Paris altogether, which was the beginning part of my trip and staying for little over a week only in Switzerland. Flight is less, hotel is less, train ticket from Flexi Pass for 5 days vs. Swiss Pass for 8 days was only a little bit more expensive (covered by not having to travel from Paris to Wengen).
catherinehaas is offline  
Feb 8th, 2013, 06:52 AM
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>>>you can buy a sandwich or a Wurst from a bakery or kiosk for about 3-5 chf. Yes, stay away from the American types of fast food to save some money.<<<

Usually if you are a tourist, you are in the more touristy areas and the prices are higher. I did find sandwiches for around 7chf last time I was there (2 years ago), but a small breakfast at the hotel was 38chf.

Here's a thread from 2011 that gives quite a few prices of things in Wengen. It might give you some ideas of where to eat/shop.
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-expensive.cfm
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 8th, 2013, 07:57 AM
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>, but a small breakfast at the hotel was 38chf.

Curious, which hotel? I wonder because the breakfast is usually included at hotel room rates in Switzerland. Exception: 5* hotels and some "superior" 4* hotels. CHF38 is more like a 5* hotel's price for breakfast.
kappa1 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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Try the restaurant "Pasta & More" in hotel Victoria-Lauberhorn in Wengen. Reasonable prices, lower than average in Switzerland.
http://www.hotel-victoria-lauberhorn...astronomy.html
Click on "menu.pdf" (That's also for dinner.)
See Pasta and Grill sections - pasta is around CHF 20, chicken breast or pork Schnitzel (with roasted potatoes and veggies or salad) are CHF 20.50

So, there are options for reasonable food. But you cannot just walk into any restaurant, a little search is needed.
Ingo is online now  
Feb 8th, 2013, 08:10 AM
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Usually the most convenient option in Swiss cities are self service restaurants at large branches of Coop, Migros, Manor stores. A lunch may be something like 25 CHF, and not bad at all.
asps is offline  
Feb 8th, 2013, 09:10 AM
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The hotel menu looks great. I am sure that I can find a market for lunch and can go here for dinner, given that I am staying in Wengen. Thank you so much!!!
catherinehaas is offline  
Feb 8th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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The hotel menu looks great. I am sure that I can find a market for lunch and can go here for dinner, given that I am staying in Wengen. Thank you so much!!!
catherinehaas is offline  
Feb 8th, 2013, 10:58 AM
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I think $300 per day (after hotels?) is more than plenty. Are you only staying in Wengen? How long are you staying?

A big mac meal is CHF11.50. Save 12CHF in your bra for when you have no more cash.

Also, pack a real fork and knife if you intent to eat in. It's feels nicer than eating with plastic utensils. You can get a nice mixed/prepared salad for around 6/7CHF.
LucyLemonade is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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Yes hotels that offer guests at least demi-pension can be a great way to cut food costs and also get a good filling meal. Breakfast and one meal included in the room price.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 05:58 PM
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I always stay at Hotel Baeren in Wengen. Breakfast (huge) is included and I pay an extra CHF 20 for dinner. Very much worth it to pay this extra! The dinner price does not include a drink and this hotel charges about CHF 3 for tap water when no other drink is ordered. Lunch is usually a sandwich from a grocery store or bakery. I buy my Coke Light at COOP for CHF 1.
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Feb 10th, 2013, 07:45 PM
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Be sure to check the hours of the grocery in Wengen. They close during the middle of the day, usually when you are hungry, and early on Sundays. It happened to us a couple of times. Just check to be sure. The BO is beautiful...you will love it.
michele_d is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 05:45 AM
  #20  
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I feel much better cutting Paris out of my trip this time. I have been there and while there is still more to do, at the end of the day I wanted to focus all of my resources on Switzerland. It provides a bit of comfort not trying to do 2 expensive places in one trip.

Yes, I am staying in Wengen the entire time with exception of the last 2 nights will be in Zurich. With that being said, I have the Swiss Pass and marked out some places that I want to see. Thun, Bern, Gstaad, Grindlewald, etc are day trips planned. I am staying in Wengen because of the scenery but plan to rise early and travel around the area.

The hotel provides breakfast, so that is one meal that I won't have to worry about. During my travels I am sure that I will be able to find stores where I can manage lunch/dinner.

Does anyone know how late the trains run from Interlaken to Wengen?

Thank you everyone for all of your great advice!!!
catherinehaas is offline  

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