As picturesque and lovely as it may be, Zurich is tough for travelers on lower budgets. This is definitely a business city with an emphasis on the banking crowd so most everything is geared toward those on liberal expense accounts.
|Airports||Zurich Airport (ZHR)|
Food can be tricky as most of the proper sit-down restaurants will charge outrageous prices. There are many street stands selling sausages and such, so at least filling and affordable meals aren’t completely out of reach. Drinks are quite expensive in bars and restaurants, but weirdly, they are fairly cheap in supermarkets.
|Budget breakfast||Hopefully your hotel will include breakfast. Otherwise, look for Migros or Coop markets for cheaper options.||$7.14 - $12.09|
|Budget lunch||There are some ethnic places serving casual meals at decent prices, but most real restaurants charge a lot. Sausages are a good choice here.||$9.89 - $17.58|
|Budget dinner||Take-away options are a bit less, but sit-down restaurants all start in this range for simple meals, without drink.||$20.88 - $29.67|
|Beer (.5L)||Even the local lagers are expensive in Zurich restaurants and bars.||$8.24 - $12.09|
|Bottle of wine (retail)||With low alcohol taxes, wine in supermarkets can be cheap.||$3.08 - $21.98|
|Beer (.5L retail)||Cheapskates can buy warm beer in supermarkets or cold beer from small shops in this range.||$0.88 - $2.75|
|Month||High F||Low F||PRECIP (inches)|
Zurich is in a slightly elevated valley, which keeps its climate fairly mild all year round. Summers are warm, but rarely overly steamy, even though rainfall is somewhat frequent. Spring and autumn tend to be pleasant and mild, though winters can be cold and snow can pile up and stay for a while.
There are a few hostels in Zurich, and even though they are quite pricey at least they keep the city within reach of the backpacker set, for a night or two at least. Hotels in Zurich are notoriously expensive as well, with prices rivaling those in Stockholm and London.
Hotels in Zurich are expensive all year round by nearly anyone’s definition, and they are at their peak prices during the summer high season, lasting from May through September. Prices tend to be a bit lower the rest of the year, but it’s unpredictable since this is a major business and finance capital and any major event (or lack thereof) can influences prices up or down. Some weekend bargains may be available in off season. There are only a few hostels in Zurich, and they are also expensive by European standards.
|57.14 - 76.92|
|112.09 - 147.25|
|121.98 - 208.79|
|136.26 - 245.05|
|295.60 - 343.96|
|Hostel Bed||47.25 - 53.85|
Once you have a bed things can get a little better, as transportation can be affordable, especially by just walking or using the free bikes offered during summer. Most of the attractions are reasonably priced as well.
|Taxi from airport to city center||79.12 - 87.91|
|Airport Express train to city center||7.36|
|3km taxi ride in Zurich||23.08 - 31.87|
|Tram/train/bus ride in Zurich||2.86 - 4.73|
|24-hour tram/train/bus pass||5.71 - 9.45|