Back again with another installment of how to travel on a budget, this time it’s all about Zürich on a budget. One of my favourite pastimes in college was travelling to really expensive countries with barely any money. Now I’m aware that Zürich is not usually a major destination to travel to, when people usually go to Switzerland they head to Geneva or the Alps for a ski trip. But Zürich was a great place to explore and it’s not as expensive as you would think. Here are my money-saving tips to get the most out of your trip to Zürich on a budget.
Where to Stay
Airbnb have great options for a relatively cheap stay. This brand of service apartments called Swiss Star offer great apartments close to the city centre at an affordable price.
To save up to €40 on your first Airbnb stay you can use this link here.
We stayed in one of these apartments which we booked through Booking.com. It had everything we needed for a short stay and it was extremely comfortable.
You can book it here.
What to Do
Lake Zürich is a beautiful lake that can be found in the south of the city. It’s beautiful at sunset so I would recommend you head down there at sunset to watch the orange hues hit the water in the most beautiful way. This is free to walk around and explore!
Lindt Chocolate Shop
Lindt Chocolate is my favourite type of chocolate, if you haven’t tried it, you NEED to! While in Zürich I had to go to the factory shop to buy as much chocolate as I could possibly fit in my suitcase. The best thing about the factory shop is that the prices are discounted! You can buy a box of the classic red truffle balls for a lot cheaper than you would get them in a regular store and they also have a wide range you different flavours that you might not see elsewhere.
When you arrive to the area, when you get off the bus (you can take the 165 bus here) you immediately smell chocolate. It’s incredible, and extremely strong, that’s because the production plant is right beside the shop
Address: Lindt Chocolate Shop, Kilchberg, Pilgerweg 58, 8802 Zürich
This might not be something that interests everyone but if you have someone in your life who is obsessed with soccer, playing the FIFA game, or even someone who just likes watching the World Cup, this place is super fun and a really interesting, interactive museum.
Tickets cost CHF 24 ($26, €22, £20) for adults and CHF 14 ($15, €13, £11.80) for children aged 7-15 years. Children under the age of 6 get free admission.
Buy tickets here
Address: Seestrasse 27, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland
Closed on Mondays
Felsenegg Cable Car
For some panoramic views of the city, a trip up to Felsenegg is a must-see. To get there from the city take the S4 train in the direction of Langnau-Gattikon and get off at Adliswil. From there it’s a 10-minute walk to the valley station of the aerial cable car, which leaves every 15 minutes for Felsenegg. We went during the autumn time and the foliage was gorgeous, it was a crisp, clear day too so you could see the Alps.
The cable car costs 4.40 CHF ($4.80, €4.10, £3.70). It might make sense to buy a Zürich card which includes the cable car in the price, more info about that can be found below in Transport.
Where to Eat and Drink
This place is a must-try cheap eat. The place was full of locals and it is apparently one of the best places to try Wursts. You basically just get sausage and bread, which doesn’t seem like much of a meal but it is! Order a beer too and you’ll be eating like a local!
Address: Bellevueplatz, Theaterstrasse 22, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Wine Library at B2 Boutique Hotel
I found this place by chance on Pinterest and it was just as dreamy in person. You sit amongst towering bookshelves filled with more than 33,000 books and you can gaze up at the spectacular chandeliers made from original Hürlimann beer bottles. We popped in for a drink and we ordered a dessert too. This place is a must-visit if you love a quiet drink in a gorgeous setting.
Address: Brandschenkestrasse 152, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland
This place is definitely a little bit on the pricier side of things but you have to try the cheese Fondue while you are here. It was a big pot of melted cheese with bread to dip, so indulgent! You get here by taking the cable car, that I have mentioned previously. You can sit outside and take in the panoramic views or sit inside the cosy restaurant, depending on the time of year you visit.
Address: Felsenegg 1, 8143 Stallikon, Switzerland
Babu’s Bakery and Coffeehouse
This place was amazing, great decor, great food and overall such a nice ambiance.The menu had so many great options it was hard to choose. I ordered the Acai bowl which was super tasty. Coffee was great too!
Tip: Just have brunch here one of the days and eat a supermarket breakfast for the other days to help save some money.
Address: Löwenstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
I would suggest visiting in the Autumn time before ski season begins to really maximize on flights being that little bit cheaper. If you’re really serious about visiting Zürich on a budget maybe you’d be willing to not fly direct from Dublin. And instead of flying direct, you can fly with Lufthansa to Frankfurt and then Frankfurt to Zürich. This saved us €100 on flights, and it only added an extra 1.5 hours to the journey.
This card allows you to
- Enjoy unlimited travel on public transportation (including the airport)
- Experience a short boat trip on Lake Zurich
- Get free or reduced admission to 40 museums
- 24 Hours- CHF 27 ($29, €25, £23)
- 72 Hours- CHF 53 ($58, €49, £45)
This may not work out cheaper for everyone but it does depend on what you plan to do when visiting Zurich.
What I would suggest is planning the timings well to really make the most out of the card, i.e. if you get the 24 hour pass at 2pm on the first day, fit as much as possible until sunset and then the next morning use the card until 2pm from the moment you wake up in the morning. This way you can do many things over a “2-day” period but fit it into 24 hours. We did this and it worked out well.
You can find more information about the card here
So as you can see traveling to Zürich on a budget is not as difficult as you may think. If you’re clever about when you go, what you do and where you eat you can save a lot of money. I hope this guide helps you travel to Zürich on a budget. Let me know in the comments if you have any more money-saving tips! Happy travels!