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Wengen/Bernese Oberland is CRAZY expensive

Wengen/Bernese Oberland is CRAZY expensive

Aug 4th, 2011, 09:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,581
yk, same experience for me - been in the Engadin *way* more than once and was never charged for tap water. E.g. stayed in Hotel Edelweiss in Sils for two weeks in 2008 and always had tap water and wine with the dinner. No charge for tap water. missypie - you sure you didn't get mineral water but filled into a pitcher?
Ingo is offline  
Aug 4th, 2011, 11:44 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,312
Tap water is still an unresolved issue in Switzerland. People have just started ordering tap water in the last 10 years. Many restaurants just haven't figured out how to deal with it yet.

Because many Swiss restaurants do not have much turnover, they rely on each customer's contribution. Drinking free tap water will not help the restaurant survive financially.

I have found that if you order a drink and then ask for a glass of tap water, the tap water will usually be free (but not always, especially in touristic restaurants). When ordering a coffee, especially an espresso, a glass of tap water will most likely be for free and quite often is included even without asking for one.

Most tap water is delicious. I would rather pay for a glass of delicious tap water than for a glass of watery coke.
kleeblatt is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 04:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 41
Switzerland has allways been expensive... and will allways be... and you should consider, that we here in switzerland need to pay those prices 24/7, while if you cross the border, the prices drop at least 30%..

and in addition, most of you "complain" about interlaken & lauterbrunnen, which is one of the most touristic places in the whole of switzerland..

this is like beeing annoyed about the high prices of hotels in mid manhattan... go to brooklyn or statten, and the prices will drop considerabely...

maybe next time, look for a hotel which is just outside interlaken - maybe two or tree villages further and the prices will be considerabely less...
and for shopping, you need to stick to the supermarkets and grocery stores... there the food is cheap compared to pretty much everywhere else...
travelzomg is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 04:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
My post was started not exactly as a complaint (although I admit that I have complained) but as a warning. We honeymooned in the area exactly 22 years ago. Back then, we were not shocked by the expense at all, but at the time the exchange rate was flip flopped. I have been to NYC, Paris, we had just come from Amsterdam, I know that the dollar is weak....I was just very surprised at the prices in Switzerland. Traveling with a family of 5 and a weak dollar, we have gotten pretty good at staying within a budget without starving. It was just a stressful few hours when I realized that it would be impossible on this trip. For our family, yes, we could go the ATM, we coud use the credit card...I'll have a glass of wine or two before I open the next credit card bills...but we can pay. However, if someone is truly traveling on an unyielding budget, they might want to consider traveling to other areas.

As for water, it's there on the menu, not a surprise - tap water, with a price. And yes, the water is good and my kids would prefer it to a Coke. But if I am spending $150 for a meal, there is no way that a full restaurant can argue that they wil go broke if they give my kid a free glass of water (or charge a 1 franc service charge.)
missypie is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,154
Your problem's not the dollar's weakness, but the CHF's strength.

Over the past 12 months, the $'s fallen about 12% against the € and about 9% against the CNY. It's fallen over 30% against the CHF.

You might think $150's a lot of money for a meal. But, when expressed in real money, it doesn't make much of a contribution to the wages of the hard currency earners serving it (who don't expect to have to beg from customers to make up their wages), the water bills or the energy needed to pay for washing the crockery.

There may or may not be arguments for charging for tapwater. Your government's determination to inflate its way out of its debts isn't one of them.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,285
I've been able to get free tap water at several places in Gstaad, but only if I've also ordered a glass of wine.

Along those lines, Gstaad has a reputation for being super expensive, but during its early summer low season it can surprisingly reasonable. The scenery is beautiful, the town has a variety of cafes and restaurants and a few grocery stores (you don't have to shop at the uber expensive food porn showplace on the main street), there's usually something interesting going on (concerts, sporting events).

In early summer, apartment rentals in Gstaad and the nearby villages (Saanen, etc) are "value priced". Plus you're an easy train journey from Gruyeres or Montreux or Spiez etc.

Wengen and the Jungfraujoch region are magnificent, no doubt about that. But now that we've seen them, we'd much rather explore the countryside around Gstaad. And IMO, Gstaad is a more pleasant place to stay than the BO's usual suspects - Grindelwald, Wengen, Gimmelwald, Interlaken, etc.
FoFoBT is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 05:59 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
The hard part about staying "a few towns away" comes if you've never been there before. When I think about my own city, there are terrific, well kept small towns 15 miles away, there are more gritty "industrial" towns the same distance, and there are high crime areas about the same distance. On-line features such a google Earth are certainly helpful, but the first timer could still end up where she doesn't want to be.
missypie is offline  

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