Solo Travel in Switzerland under $1000: Backpacking Travel Guide

Solo Travel in Switzerland under $1000: Backpacking Travel Guide

Switzerland, the dream destination of every traveler, enriched with splendid snow-capped mountains to mesmerizing lakes, charming meadows and quaint villages – Everything is poured here to make it ‘Travelling once in a lifetime’ for the traveler’s bucket list. But the huge Switzerland travel cost stops many travel buffs from planning Switzerland travel itinerary.

Is it really that expensive to travel around Switzerland for a mediocre backpacker? Here in this Switzerland travel blog, I am going to show you how you can also do a Switzerland solo travel on a budget.

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best places to visit in switzerland

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Most of the people tend to search Switzerland 7 day itinerary or how to travel alone in Switzerland at cheap. I would recommend you to add one more day to your Switzerland one week itinerary. This Switzerland solo travel guide will show you how $1000 is enough to cover all the beautiful places that it offers without breaking your bank. Before that let me tell you what you are going to get:

  • Switzerland travel itinerary
  • Where to stay in Switzerland at cheap
  • Things to do in Switzerland
  • Switzerland travel guide
  • Switzerland travel cost with all breakup of expenses

All the expense breakup details are mentioned at the bottom of this article.


Best Time for Switzerland Solo Travel

It entirely depends on you whether you want to have a taste of adventures like skiing and activities then January-February is the ideal time. People who want to enjoy nice weather with mind-blowing sightseeing then you can go in July or August. However, the weather in Switzerland varies extremely and depends on altitude. October to March is the low season in Switzerland when the tourist rush is less and you will find some of the cheapest flight and hotel deals in Switzerland.

Swiss Currency

Swiss currency(CHF) is the only currency accepted everywhere in Switzerland and Euro is the foreign currency here as it never joined at EU. 1 CHF= 1.01 USD = 69.30 INR= 0.90 Euro=0.81 Pound.

Switzerland SIM Card

Lycamobile is the cheapest tourist SIM card in Europe for mobile network connection. Get a prepaid Swiss SIM card for 10 CHF with unlimited calls and 4GB high-speed data for 30 days. Another option is Salt which is more reliable than Lycamobile. If you need more data you can go for Salt connection(4GB data/day for 10 days validity for 10 CHF)

Visa for Switzerland Solo Travel

No visa is required for US citizens to travel(less than 90 days) in Switzerland, but for Indian citizens, the Schengen visa is mandatory which costs around 8000 INR.

How to Reach Switzerland

By Air: Switzerland is well connected with the rest of the world and has seven international airports: Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Bern, Lugano, St. Gallen and Sion Airport. You can take your flight from your nearby international airport and land at any International Switzerland Airport.

Tips: Use Skyscanner or Kayak to find cheap flight ticket while planning your flight journey. It will show you several options at the lowest price.

Skyscanner to book cheapest flight
Skyscanner
Solo Travel in Switzerland under $1000: Backpacking Travel Guide

Generally, it costs approx $435 from New York to Zurich budget flight fare and if you come from India(New Delhi) then India to Switzerland flight fare will cost around Rs.35000 to reach Zurich and 1200 AUD from Sydney to Switzerland. However, the flight fare varies from time to time.

By Rail: Switzerland is one of the center lying countries in Europe which means it is well connected with other countries of Europe. The most preferred and convenient route to reach Switzerland is the French-Swiss high-speed rail from France. Besides, there are several trains from Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Austria to Swiss cities like Basel, Zurich, Geneva.

By Road: The best route by road is France to Geneva and South Germany to Zurich.


I have added total Switzerland solo travel itinerary from day 1 to day 8 and 12 Pro Travel Tips at the end.


Best Places to Visit in Switzerland while Traveling Solo

DAY 1

ZURICH

Zurich is one of the biggest cities in Switzerland and most people enter Switzerland from Zurich other than Geneva, so start your budget Switzerland solo travel from Europe’s most beautiful, most classy and most expensive city. If you are in a group then you may take an Uber from Zurich airport and go to Zurich Youth Hostel which costs around 60 Franks which is a bit costly.

Another way is if you are a solo traveler you can search for Zurich public transport navigation in Google Maps. Generally, one can take S16 train from Zurich Airport railway station and reach Zurich Hardbrucke railway station and from there take 72 number bus and reach the hostel after 13 stops.

TIPS: Airport Connection ticket is valid for 1 hour on any transport, costs 7 Franks. On this ticket you can go anywhere in the city irrespective of the number of buses or trams you change, so by a single ticket you can board both on S16 train and 72 number bus.

Zurich City Switzerland
Zurich City

Cheap Hotels in Zurich

Accommodation in Zurich is very expensive so do proper research before check in to any hotel. I will highly recommend you to stay at Zurich Youth Hostel for 44 CHF/Night/Dorm Bed. There are plenty of 3-star honeymoon hotels in Zurich that costs around 100-130 CHF in Tripadvisor and double accommodation, good Airbnb in Zurich cost around 70-100 CHF.

Check Out More Amazing Hotel Deals in Zurich

Booking.com

After check in to hostel start your day with a complimentary European buffet breakfast which included cereal, cheese, fruits, bagels and hams and also coffee is available which costs around 3 Franks in the city.

Best Things to do in Zurich

Free Bicycle Ride: Rent a free bike from Government-run free bicycle rent outlets by depositing 10 Franks as security fees and some id and then explore the city which is the cheapest way. (Note: Use the bike till evening as keeping the bike overnight has 10 CHF fee). Again if you come with your family then you can use public transport pass of Zurich for 8 CHF/Person valid for 24 hours which includes unlimited bus, tram and boat rides.

The Bahnhofstrasse: At the city center entrance to the historic Zurich Railway Station, take some snaps then come out and discover one of the poshest streets in the world, the Bahnhofstrasse. You will get to see the upper class of Switzerland here because most of the luxury designer brands stores are available on the road.

Other than chocolates, sceneries, banks, Switzerland is also known for Swiss watches and here this road is filled with plenty of branded Swiss Watch Stores. If you want you can buy Swiss watch costing between 6000-60000 CHF from Swiss brands like Rolex, Omega, Hublot, Piaget etc. Whether it’s super expensive luxury handbags or designer jewelry this place can be the ultimate destination in Zurich for a fashionista.

If you are a die-hard chocolate lover, don’t miss the chance to visit the Läderach chocolate shop, one of the best chocolate shops in Switzerland. You must try their “FrischSchoggi” (fresh chocolate) barks and fancy bonbons.

Trams on the street of Zurich
Trams on the Streets of Zurich

Paradeplatz: Next you can visit Paradeplatz which is the most expensive square of Zurich and a very busy intersection of the city, a lot of trams go zig-zag over here. You will find one of the largest Swiss banks like UBS or Credit Swiss here and that’s why the shops on both sides of the street are the most expensive real estate properties in Europe.

Churches of Zurich: The main highlight is the two main and historic church of Zurich. The first one is The Fraumunster Church, some part of which date back to middle ages and the second is quite famous twin towers Grossmunster Church. You can go up its tower to enjoy the best view of Zurich paying only 5 Franks for entry fees. From its rooftop, you get a full panoramic birds-eye view of the historic old town of Zurich.

Lindenhof Hill Park: It is another must-visit place in Zurich. After a five minute walk from the city come to Lindenhof Hill Park where locals come to play chess and tourists come to enjoy the finest view of Zurich city.

Lake Zurich: Before ending your first day, take your bike and go to Zurich lake and nearby parks. It is perhaps the best place to visit in Zurich where you can relax after a long tiring day and accompanied by some cute ducks in this scenic, quiet and natural environment. To explore this beautiful lake and nearby areas, you at least need a day. As lake Zurich is very large. You can ride your bicycle alongside the lake and enjoy the greenery, cleanliness and natural beauty. Zurich is also considered as one of the best honeymoon destinations in Switzerland.

You can also see a lot of swans increasing the beauty of its lakes. In the evening submit your bicycle and buy a 24 hours Transport Pass at night, so that you can go back to your Zurich hostel and this pass will be valid till the next day evening, till you leave Zurich.

Zurich lake, one of the most visited places in Zurich
Lake Zurich

DAY 2

  • University of Zurich: The next day morning, using the Zurich transport pass get on a tram and leave for the first destination of the second day, the University of Zurich. The first reason to go here is the Polybahn which is included in the Transport Pass. This funicular takes you on a joy ride straight to the campus of the University of Zurich and the second reason is you can enjoy the beauty of the city view of Zurich from here and it’s totally free.
  • Boat Ride in Zurich Lake: After the university visit, get on a tram and visit some other attractions like Zurich City Hall, Zurich Opera House and then head towards Lake Zurich again to take a Boat Ride. Transport Pass also includes a boat ride and here boat operates like buses to go up and down from a location and if your ticket is valid in the zone then you can take free boat rides in Lake Zurich that is one of the best things to do in Zurich. If you want, you can take around for 90 minutes for 5 stops.
Boat Ride in Zurich Lake
Boat Ride in Zurich Lake
  • Zurichhorn Park: Get off at the first stop while doing boat ride in Lake Zurich, a hangout for a while and take the return boat. Zurichhorn park has free entry. It is an ideal park to visit with family and the special highlight here is a Chinese Zen Garden, entry fees of 5 Franks. This garden will make you feel like you are back in the history books of China and if you have a little member, the Chinese Zen Garden is a must-visit place in Zurich.
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Zurichhorn Park
Zurichhorn Park

Spending some time here and enjoying the amazing views go to the airport to rent a car from Rentalcars for the next destination to Lucerne. Renting a car while traveling in Switzerland is way much better than Swiss Travel Pass to save money on your solo travel in Switzerland.

You can easily drive from Zurich to Lucerne hostel in just 45 minutes. Complete your dinner in the hostel kitchen with ‘ready to eat’ veg meals which is less costly. After that get some sleep in Lucerne Youth Hostel which costs 30 CHF/Night/Dorm Bed(Price varies season to season). If you are looking for cheap accommodation in Lucerne, you can go for it.

Tips: If you want to visit a lot of cities in less time then after exploring a city for an entire day, you can leave for another city at night. This type of budget travel plan is very suitable as most of the major cities in Switzerland are close by. Even if you prefer train journey you can do this.

* My recommendation will be to carry some ‘ready to eat’ meals from Haldiram or MTR or any supermarket from your home town which is less costly. You can eat it in hostels or airbnbs with some bread or packed rice or noodles available here.

Day 1 & Day 2 Zurich Cost Breakup:

  • Zurich Youth Hostel : 44 CHF/Night for 2 Nights
  • Food: 15 CHF
  • Airport Connection: 7 CHF
  • 24 hours Transport: 8 CHF
  • Entry Tickets: 10 CHF

Total Zurich Travel Cost

128 CHF= 128 USD


DAY 3

LUCERNE

Start your third day in Lucerne with free breakfast at the Youth hostel and then be ready to explore the little cute Swiss city.

Cheap Hotels in Lucerne

Are you looking for where to stay in Lucerne? If you want a private room here then you can get a decent Airbnb at the City Centre of Lucerne for around 70-100 CHF/Night, but the best thing about staying in Luzern Youth Hostel is, this hostel provides a free guided walking tour to their guests in the city center.

Best Things to do in Lucerne

You can take the free guided tour provided by the hostel or board on bus number 19 from the bus stand which is 2 minutes walking distance from the hostel and get off at Lucerne Central Station and the moment you get out from station you get awestruck by the beauty of Lucerne. Although this station has been renovated recently, its old facade still reserves the glorious past of the city from 1850. Below is the list of best places to visit in Lucerne:

  • Lake Lucerne & Boat Ride: At the right of the central station there is ferry terminal of lake Lucerne where you get a free boat ride with your Swiss Pass but if you want to ride the ferry for 1 or 2 stops, depending on the distance between your stoops, you can get a ticket for 5-15 Franks. Lucerne is basically a lake city, so to enjoy the amazing natural landscape of Lucerne, a relaxing evening cruise in its boat ferries is highly recommended.
Lucerne lake and old town
Old Town & Lucerne Lake, Image by Werner Sidler

Tips: Car parking opens at 8 AM in the morning which costs 7 Franks, but parking is free during night time.

  • Chapel Bridge: Visit the historic Chapel Bridge which was built in the 14th century, this wooden bridge was almost burnt to ashes in 1993, but after restoration, this bridge is now one of the best tourist attractions in Lucerne. This bridge also has some beautiful 17h century paintings. You get a spectacular view of Lucerne city from here. Originally the city had 3 such wooden bridges, but only 2 remain now.
Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
Chapel Bridge, Lucerne
  • Old Town: The historic old town is the main highlight of Lucerne. In front of the Chapel Bridge, there is a historic medieval old town that is worth visiting. You can spot a lot of European brands and boutiques in the center of medieval Lucerne. Walking through Lucerne, you can spend hours admiring its architectural beauty and painted facades of buildings. You can also try some expensive but fresh seafood at the patio restaurants next to the Reuss River.
  • Lion Monument: In the old town, you get to see a Lion Monument which attracts many tourists that were made in the memory of the Swiss guards who lost their lives during the French Revolution. You can see a broken spear at the back of the lion if you look closely and even while dying, this noble beast is protecting the shield that symbolizes French rule. Whether its the body, the hair or its expressions every detail of this masterpiece is worth watching.
Lion Monument
Lion Monument
  • St. Leodegar Church: It is a wooden Roman Catholic Church which was built in 1633. Whenever you visit a medieval European city, don’t forget to spend some time in a church or a cathedral and observe their art and sculpture.

Please Note: To explore properly Lucerne and some of its surrounding areas like Mt. Pilatus, Engelberg, Lucerne lake you need at least 2 or 3 days.

If you take the train you will have to go straight to Interlaken, but if you drive with your rented car then you can go to Engelberg on your way. It is a small beautiful city of Switzerland, 30 minutes drive from Lucerne.

ENGELBERG

It is one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland. I will highly recommend you to keep Engelberg in your 7 day Switzerland itinerary. Here you can see Mount Titlis, one of the most popular attractions in Switzerland for the massive glacier and the ski hill.

Engelberg
Engelberg

Things to do in Engelberg

  • Cable car ride: You can take a two way thrilling Gondola ride in Engelberg throughout Uri Alps at a cost of 100 CHF. On the way, you will get a breathtaking view of the Alpine vistas with snow-covered mountain peaks.
  • Titlis Cliffwalk: A mesmerizing view down to the Titlis glacier is waiting for you at a height of 3000 meters when you take this thrilling walk on Europe’s highest suspension bridge. Unarguably it is a must-do thing in Engelberg.
  • Titlis Glacier Cave: Walk through a 150 meters glacier tunnel at a freezing temperature of -15 degrees Celsius.

Depending on the weather you can enjoy a lot of other outdoor activities in Engelberg. If you still have enough time before sunset, explore Engelberg town which is quite popular for couples or honeymooners. Although after 6 in the evening, it is pretty much a ghost town. So take your car and drive straight to Interlaken which is one and a half hour journey.

Parking at Mt. Titlis
Parking at Mt. Titlis

Tips: Weather is very unpredictable in Switzerland and can be changed even within 5 minutes but all the major mountains of Switzerland give a live webcam feed and ground weather forecast on their website. You should always check this before starting your mountain tour, otherwise, you will miss all the scenic views.

Day 3 Lucerne Cost Breakup:

  • Lucerne Youth Hostel: 30 CHF
  • Breakfast: Free in Hostel
  • Public Transport Pass: Free from Hostel
  • Dinner at Interlaken: 5 CHF
  • Parking at Hostel: 7 CHF

Total Lucerne Travel Cost

42 CHF= 42 USD


DAY 4

INTERLAKEN

Interlaken is one of the best places to visit in Switzerland. It is basically a center point for the various beautiful villages, entertaining mountain activities, and daring outdoor activities, to explore which, people from all around the globe come to this beautiful region. That’s why you should stay here for a minimum of two days in Interlaken. While planning a Switzerland itinerary for one week, you must not miss Interlaken in the list.

Here in Interlaken, all types of hostels, BNBs, holiday homes, hostels are available in abundance. Maximum people travel Interlaken by train either from Bern or Lucerne for which you can get a ticket on omio.co.uk for 30 Franks. During this scenic train journey, it offers a breathtaking view of Swiss landscapes.

Cheap Hotels in Interlaken:

For your solo trip to Switzerland, you can book Backpackers Villa Hostel from Booking.com for around 30 CHF/Night. The best part here, parking is free and as it is suggested to stay a minimum of 2-3 days here. Staying in a hostel in Switzerland will help you to reduce your Switzerland solo travel cost. Undoubtedly, Switzerland is one of the best places in Europe to travel alone and if you want to get a complete Swiss feel, you can try Airbnb in nearby villages which can cost around 110-140 CHF/Night. Basically, these are the homes owned by the local residents and they give out a room for rent. It is the most preferred accommodation in Switzerland which results in the high room rent.

You can also get cheap accommodation in Interlaken from airbnb at a cost around 60-100 CHF/Night. You can get free breakfast and free bus pass(valid for the entire duration of your stay) over here, included in the rent of the hostels or hotels.

Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof in Interlaken, Switzerland
Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof

Tips: In hostels, a lot of people leave back some food in free food section that they haven’t used and these are free to use.

Check Below to Get the Best Hotel Deals:

Booking.com

Interlaken is a city where people come to enjoy only natural beauty leaving behind the hustle-bustle, nightlife, parties and shopping of cities. The most popular activities in Interlaken include mountain peak excursions and Swiss Village tours. Interlaken has a lot of major mountain peaks and a lot of which are accessible by an amazing network of cogwheel trains.

Best Things to do in Interlaken

LAUTERBRUNNEN

Completing your breakfast take your car and ride to Lauterbrunnen(you can reach by local train also) village from where start your journey to explore Lauterbrunnen, the beautiful mountain town of Switzerland. When you reach Lauterbrunnen, you will see a beautiful church and the amazing Staubach waterfall with pleasant weather in Lauterbrunnen. There is a total of 72 waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen valley.

best places to visit in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen

The Costly Route to Explore Lauterbrunnen:

You can buy a cable car ticket from the counter near Lauterbrunnen station which will take you to Grutschalp. From there go to Murren taking a connecting cogwheel. On your first day, plan to visit must-see places in Interlaken like historically preserved medieval villages. Gimmelwald and Murren – these two mountain villages are very good options to explore the rural way of life and its farming culture. You can either take a cable car or can hike up the mountain to reach Gimmelwald.

Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, followed by a cable car and then a cogwheel train- the combined ticket price is around 40 CHF and this is the total cost to reach the villages from such routes.

The cheap Route to Explore Lauterbrunnen(Hiking):

This route is less popular, a little cheaper and relatively natural. From Lauterbrunnen drive for 20 minutes ahead to get to Stechelberg. You can hike to Gimmelwald at a height of 4500 feet, followed by Murren at an elevation of 5500 feet(55 minutes hike from Gimmelwald). This is one of the best hikes in Switzerland.

Your ticket price depends on how high do you want to go. For the last stop or Schilthorn mountain top, the ticket price is 105 Franks. Before going to any mountain hilltop, always check the weather condition from their official website and then plan accordingly. The cable car ticket cost will be around 22 Franks to travel Gimmelwald and Murren. You can collect the ticket from a counter in front of the bus stop(If you have a car then 4 CHF for car parking)

If you travel with Swiss Travel Pass then everything is free from Interlaken to Schlthorn top, be it inter city train, cable cars or cog wheel train.

  • Gimmelwald: So taking a cable car the moment you entered to Gimmelwald, you will be amazed by its serenity. Somewhere you can feel that this tiny village is still untouched by the rest of the world. Explore the village with a walking tour, visit the Swiss farmer’s house. You will have experience of the living style of the farmers in a Swiss village though Switzerland is not a cheap European country to live in. If you want to stay here, Airbnb is also available for the tourists who like to stay here. The Airbnb charge is around 200 CHF which is very costly for backpackers but to get the Best of Switzerland I will recommend staying in Gimmelwald one night.

Gimmelwald, Switzerland
On the way to Gimmelwald
  • Murren: After spending some time in Gimmelwald go back to the cable car stop and take a cable car to travel to Murren. It is a comparatively big, popular and commercial village which is crowded with tourists. You can visit the church, souvenir shops, fancy restaurants and an eye-catching view of the valley here. Exploring some time in the village, head back to cable car stop and return to Interlaken in the same way.
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Murren, Switzerland
Murren Village

Day 4 in Interlaken Travel Cost Breakup:

  1. Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof: 30 CHF/Night/Dorm Bed
  2. Food: 5 CHF(Ready to Eat)
  3. Parking: 4 CHF
  4. Cable car: 22 CHF

Interlaken Travel Cost of Day 4

61 CHF=61 USD


Day 5

Keep your second and third day in Interlaken for exploring some popular mountains of Switzerland. A maximum traveler who comes to Switzerland surely visit these two most beautiful mountains, Jungfrau and Grindelwald.

JUNGFRAUJOCH

The train route you have to go through to reach Jungfraujoch is more amazing than the mountain top. So start your journey from Interlaken railway station and get off at Lauterbrunnen station which is the jump-off point for all the mountains in this region. After changing a couple of trains including the cogwheel train you will reach to Jungfraujoch.

You can book Jungfraujoch rail ticket from their official website that costs 189 Franks, a bit costly, but the scenic beauty throughout the journey is really mind refreshing.

During the Jungfraujoch train journey over 7 km, you will pass through a mountain tunnel. At the top of Jungfraujoch, you will have some really amazing 360-degree views. You can play with the snow with others and enjoy the beauty of Grosser Aletsch glacier and the surrounding mountains.

There is a small ice museum also which has good vibes and also an interesting place for kids where you will get a chance to walk through the eternal snow.

Jungfraujoch, the most beautiful mountain of Switzerland
Jungfraujoch Mountain

RINGGENBERG

Taking some amazing snap return to Interlaken and from there take 102 number bus to go to a nearby village, Ringgenberg which is just 10 minutes away and from the top of the nearby castle you get a splendid view of Interlaken on the other side of the lake.

Brienz Lake and Brienz Village
Brienz Lake and Village

Tips: Please keep in mind that down in the city it might be sunny, but that doesn’t mean that the mountain peaks will be clear as well. So it will be a good decision not to pre-purchase any mountain activity ticket before coming here from your location. It would be better to buy the tickets from the counter after coming here and considering the live view and weather from the official websites of these mountains.


DAY 6

GRINDELWALD

On the third day in Interlaken, checking out from your hostel start your journey for Grindelwald with your rented car else you can come by a local bus from Interlaken which can be availed by the free bus pass provided from your hostel. It will take around half an hour to reach the parking zone of Grindelwald. Parking charge here 7 CHF for 5 hours.

Grindelwald is basically a combination of three things- cable cars, cliff walk and some light adventure activities, also there is a scope for mountain biking, trolley bike riding, wide gliders etc. Like Interlaken, there are a lot of options for hotels and hostels in Grindelwald and a lot of people like to stay here as well.

Farm House at Grindelwald
Farm House at Grindelwald

Things to do in Grindelwald

  • Grindelwald-First: It is a must-visit place in Grindelwald. Take a cable car ride from Grindelwald and have a real treat for your eyes for the next 25 minutes. The cable car will take you above the snow-capped mountains at a height of 7000 feet crossing alpine grasslands below. You have to buy a ticket for the cable car ride which costs 30 CHF for the entire day. During this journey, total of 3 stops are there and one can exit or re-enter at any stop.
  • First Cliff walks: At the last stop, have an experience of cliff walk on the suspension bridge which ends to an elevated platform. It is a perfect place for both adventure lovers and travel photographers.
  • Outdoor activities: Several outdoor activities like First Flieger, First Glider, Mountain Biking are available to experience some thrill. For adventure seekers paragliding might be one of the best activities here which cost around 200 CHF for 20 minutes.
Grindelwald with alpine grassland
Grindelwald

There are several packages in between 46-99 CHF, but the best budget-friendly package that I recommend for your cheap Switzerland solo travel is 65 CHF for 2 activities which include cable car ride and any two activities.

Tips: Weather in Switzerland(especially in mountain peaks) is very much volatile, so always keep your Plan B ready. After visiting Grindelwald if you see the weather is good to go then plan for Harder Kulm mountain, else you can go to Saanen and Gstaad which are another two beautiful destinations of Switzerland.

Plan A:

HARDER KULM MOUNTAIN

Harder Kulm is Interlaken’s own mountain located at an elevation of 4337 feet. It is just a 10 minutes journey from Harder Railway Valley station. Buy a ticket for 32 CHF to go to the top of Harder Kulm by a funicular train which goes almost at a vertical angle. From the top, Harder Kulm offers you a panoramic view of Interlaken with two beautiful lakes – Thun and Brienz.

Another way to reach the top is a hike to Harder Kulm that takes around two and a half hours to reach the top. Enjoying the mesmerizing beauty of surrounding mountains like Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau return to your hostel in the same way.

Funicular train that goes almost at vertical
Funicular Train

Plan B:

SAANEN & GSTAAD

These two villages are less popular places in Switzerland compared to others. It’s a small day tour from Interlaken on your way to Bern. Bern and Gstaad are totally in opposite directions from Interlaken. So you might have to drive an extra one hour or so, but the beauty of Saanen and Gstaad fully worth it. While you travel comparatively less popular destinations you may use Moovit app, this travel app will give you every detail of the location you searched for.

After 45 minutes of driving, you will reach to Saanen. Take a visit to Zweisimmen Railway Station where the famous Bollywood movie ‘DDLJ’ shooting was done. The same platform, the same kiosk shop are still there where Shah Rukh Khan made Kajol leave the train. Saanen is just a small and typical Swiss village. Walk two minutes from the station and you will see a house that has a cute doll collection.

Cheap Hotel in Gstaad

It will be a wise decision to stay one night here to enjoy the beauty of nature more closely. Gstaad Saanenland Youth Hostel can be booked at a cost of 30 CHF/Night/Dorm Bed. They provide a free bus pass and breakfast for their guests. Near your hostel, there is Saanen church and a little cute bridge where some shots of DDLJ were taken. Actually, for SRK or Bollywood lovers it’s a must-visit place in Switzerland.

Against all odds, if you are not a fan of Bollywood, Saanen valley won’t disappoint you. The church itself is worth visiting. Inside the church, it has 15th-century mosaic type paintings all over the wall. Saanen is one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland. You can board on a train from East Interlaken to reach Saanen.

Saanen in Switzerlnd
Sannen Railway Station

Tips: Maximum tourists prefer Interlaken as their base. After enjoying some mountain activities here go to Bern or Gstaad for a day trip by 45 minutes train. Both are small villages and cities, to explore which, one day is enough. Then maximum people catch a return train to Interlaken from Bern Central Railroad Station.

Day 5 in Interlaken Cost Breakup:

  • Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof: 30 CHF/Night/Dorm Bed
  • Jungfrau Ticket: 189 CHF
  • Grindelwald Ticket: 65 CHF
  • Food(Ready to Eat & others): 15 CHF
  • Parking: 7 CHF

Total Interlaken Travel Costs

367 CHF= 367 USD

(Expense details of Saanen & Gstaad are included in Bern expense details)


DAY 7

Gstaad: It is just 2 km away from Saanen which is also a favorite location for the movie directors for the picture-perfect beauty over here. Checking out from hostel drive your car towards Gstaad for which 2 hours is enough to explore. Park your car at a rate of 1 CHF/Hour for 2 hours. Gstaad is not so popular among tourists but a dream destination for ski lovers as Gstaad is one of the best ski resorts in Switzerland (popular among ski enthusiasts for its large snowfields which open from end October to May.

You can see some bakery shops, luxury restaurants as well as famous brand outlets. Their specialty is that they are made completely in Chalet style wooden design. Walking through a beautifully crafted wooden market can be a unique experience in Gstaad.

Gstaad Mountain
Gstaad Mountain

Day 6 in Gstaad and Saanen Cost Breakup:

  • Gstaad parking: 2 CHF
  • Hostel: 30 CHF/Night/Dorm Bed
  • Food(Ready to eat) : 7 CHF

Total Gstaad & Saanen Travel Cost

39 CHF= 39 USD

BERN

The capital city of Switzerland, Bern is 85 km away from Gstaad which takes around one and a half hours to reach. There is open parking near Central Railroad Station where you can park your car maximum for 3 hours for 5 Franks and explore total Bern city 6 hours is enough.

So you have to come again to take your car out and park again as per rule which costs a total of 10 Franks for parking. Start to explore Bern from Central Railway Station of Bern and once you come out of the station you will get to see a city with history, heritage and medieval architecture.

Best Places to Visit in Bern

  • Church of the Holy Ghost: The first thing that will catch your eyes is the church of the Holy Ghost which is built in Baroque style in the early 17th century. The second thing is the entire old town of Bern is made of sandstone which looks similar to everywhere. The reason behind this is the entire city of Bern was made of wood which burnt to ashes in the year 1400. Then the locals decided to make the whole city with sandstone.
  • Zytglogge: It is a 13th-century clock tower, one of the most visited places in Bern with its architectural landmark. The giant tower has a beautiful dial designed in the form of an astrolabe which represents the planets orbiting the sun – a must visit place in Bern.

In between the old town buildings, there is a small pedestrian zone, through the center of which goes to the famous market street. On the other side, a historic tower is there which is well preserved.

  • Parliament Building: After seeing the tower go towards the parliament building of Bern. You can see a little bridge with beautiful and shining turquoise water. Behind the parliament building, there is a beer garden, a popular tourist attraction in Bern for Kids. The weather is pretty calm(9-11 degrees celsius) in October and here near to parliament building, there is a free swimming pool. Swimming is allowed here for the tourists.
  • Bern Historical Museum: There are a lot of museums in Bern and it is not a good idea to visit all. So better go for Bern Historical Museum which is the main one. If you want to know the details of Bern from prehistoric times to present then it is the ideal place to visit in Bern. Einstein’s museum is also famous for the excellent exhibit of Albert Einstein’s life. You will get to see an in-depth look at his life and historical events that happened at that time.
parliament building bern
Parliament Building of Bern
  • Bern Cathedral: Going toward the central railway station you will get to see this old Bern cathedral which was built in 1421 in Gothic style, one of the oldest cathedral in Switzerland. There is a beautiful carving over the doors, depicting the Last Judgement Day. The majority of the building is built with local stand stone. The best part, however, is the amazing view of Bern city and the countryside from the top of the tower. You can see the largest bell on the way down, it was startling and loud to be up there at the top of the hour.
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Bern River, Switzerland
Bern River

Tips: Try to explore Bern from early morning if you do a day trip in Bern because most of the museums and cathedrals are opened from 10 am – 5 pm. While you are traveling a small country within a short span of time then you might have to compromise on few locations. So just enjoy the experiences that are coming along your way. However, if you want to stay in Bern then Bern Backpackers Hotel Glocke is available for 35 CHF to 40 CHF. Decent Airbnb accommodation with a double bed is available for 40-50 CHF from Airbnb.

At the end of the day completing all the major tourist attractions of Bern, go-ahead to Geneva which is around 2 hours journey from Bern. If you have a rented car then you can stay in Nyon Hostel which is 35 km before Geneva. Hostel price, food is comparatively cheap in Nyon and parking is free.

Day 7 in Bern Cost Breakup:

  • Parking: 10 CHF
  • Food(Ready to Eat & others) : 7 CHF

Total Bern Travel Cost

56 CHF= 56 USD


DAY 8

GENEVA

Geneva is the last destination of this 7 day Switzerland itinerary. It is another small but expensive city in Switzerland surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains. After taking complimentary breakfast from Nyon hostel board on a train from a nearby station and come to Geneva Central Railway Station.

Best Things to do in Geneva

  • Palace of Nations: Taking a local bus(bus pass is free and can be availed from your hostel) go to visit the United Nation headquarter or Palace of Nations. Here if you want you can take a guided tour for the UN which costs around 15 CHF. You can go inside the building where you can take pictures but videography is not allowed. There are a total of 193 flags of 193 countries all over the world. In front of the building, there is a big one leg broken chair which depicts the use of land mine for which thousands of people became handicapped.
United Nation or Palace of Nations, Geneva
United Nation or Palace of Nations, Geneva
  • Bicycle riding: The best way to explore Geneva is to ride on a bicycle. From Geneva central station take a free bike rent for 4 hours(after that 2 CHF/Hour will be charged). Geneva itself is a small city. The historic old town, shopping street and museums all are located almost side by side. You can easily explore Geneva with your free “Geneva Transport Card”. All popular sightseeing is well connected with public transport which includes boat taxis also.
  • Geneva Water Fountain: Start your bike journey from Central station and passing by the Geneva river go towards the shopping street. While passing the river you will get a spectacular view of the Geneva Water Fountain on your left side. Driving after 3-4 minutes you will reach the shopping street which is not a place for budget travelers but you can do window shopping. You will find some popular luxury designer brands outlets where a belt’s price range starts from 700 CHF.
Geneva Water Fountain
Geneva Water Fountain

If you are with your family or kids then you can buy Geneva Pass for 21 CHF/Person. It includes the entry fees of some museums of Geneva as well as a toy train ride which stops only on the main tourist attraction.

  • St. Pierre Cathedral: Next visit the old town of Geneva and you have to lift some stairs to reach there but the hike will be totally worth it as you will get a chance to see some beautiful French architecture in the roadside buildings. At the center, there is St. Pierre Cathedral which was built as a Roman Catholic cathedral but was converted to Protestant church after the reformation. The interior of the cathedral is designed with fourth-century mosaic, twelfth-century columns and fifteenth-century frescoes which is pure bliss for an art lover’s eye.

Geneva is the land of more than thirty museums and galleries presenting the cultural and historical offerings of Switzerland. The two most popular museums among them are the Natural History Museum of Geneva and Art and History Museum.

  • Natural History Museum of Geneva: This museum represents an educational approach in the world of nature with special emphasis on the ecological history of Switzerland. There is a life-size model menagerie of bears, foxes, alligators and other animals from around the world, as well as a complete collection of every mineral and plant indigenous to Switzerland.

Hours: 09:00-17:00 (Closed on Mondays)

Entry fee: 9 CHF(Free for Geneva pass holders)

  • Art and History Museum: It is the largest museum of Geneva 5 minutes walking distance from St. Pierre Cathedral. It has a rich collection of Fine Arts, Applied Arts and Archaeology which is an ideal place for art lovers.

Hours: 09:00-17:00 (Closed on Mondays)

Entry fee: Free

  • Geneva Botanical Garden: After completing all the major tourist attractions of Geneva while returning don’t forget to visit this garden especially if you are with families or kids. It is an ideal place to enjoy the serenity and tranquillity of nature after a busy day schedule.

Hours: 08:00-17:00

Entry fee: Free

  • CERN Laboratory: There are several museums in Geneva, so if you are a science student or have a keen interest in advanced Physics then you can go to the CERN laboratory. No entry fee is there but if you want a free guided tour then you have to book 15-20 days prior to your visit. Tours are arranged Monday to Saturday and start at 9 am and 2 pm. This is a three hours guided tour to CERN Laboratory followed by a film with a quality audiovisual presentation. Please note the underground installation visit is not possible for common visitors for security purposes.

Completing all the major tourist attractions of Geneva now it’s time to return back the rented car to the parking area of Car Rental and submit the key to the office or counter. If any accident happens during this rental period you should tell them as it happens to avoid further trouble. Maximum car rental companies provide free bus service from the parking area to terminal and from there take your return flight.

Tips: While returning the car back to carerental.com then you have to fill full tank of your car. Otherwise you have to pay double for per litre. So refill your car’s tank from the nearby petrol pump of rentalcar parking.

Day 8 Geneva Travel Cost Breakup:

  • Nyon Hostel: 30 CHF/Night/Dorm Bed
  • Palace of Nations entry fee: 10 CHF
  • Natural history museum entry fee: 9 CHF
  • Food(Ready to Eat & others): 7 CHF

Total Geneva Travel Cost

56 CHF= 56 USD


Total Cost of Solo Travel in Switzerland

Car and Diesel: 290 CHF

Zurich: 128 CHF

Lucerne: 42 CHF

Interlaken: 367 CHF

Gstaad & Bern: 56 CHF

Geneva: 56 CHF

Total Switzerland Solo Travel Cost: $939/Person for 7 Night 8 Days.

Your total budget might not be the exact amount listed above because it totally depends upon various factors like time(when you are going to visit), number of members(try to go in a group to lower the budget though the expense details are shared as per solo traveller) and your way of travelling.


Countries like Switzerland is very expensive for accommodation, food and transport.So try to bring Ready to Eat food from your country, use local transport or rented car instead of costly Rail Pass and stay in a hostel to keep budget within the limit.


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Solo travel in Switzerland on a budget

Pro Travel Tips Switzerland Solo Travel

  1. Although Switzerland is now part of the Schengen agreement, it is not part of the EU customs/tariff union. Passport checks are fairly common at major EU/Swiss border posts.
  2. For honeymoon couple best option to stay in a holiday home or Airbnb
  3. Best is 4 or 6 beds dorm in a hostel which is half compared to 2 or 3 individual rooms.
  4. For solo travelers, best is Youth Hostels, a total of 50 youth hostels in Switzerland. Rs.2000/bed in Dorm and private room Rs.4000-Rs.7000.
  5. The cost of food is another level in Switzerland. Buy some fresh veggies with the packed food and cook it in the hostel kitchen to save money. The same goes for fruits also, buy fruits and cut them in the hostel as pre-cut fruits cost 3.5 Franks.
  6. Else before entering the city you can buy fresh foods from any hypermarket like Lidl which is way cheaper than the two largest supermarkets in Switzerland Coop and Migro.
  7. Most hostels conveniently have fully modular kitchens with all the required utensils. So take the benefit of it and show some of your cooking skills for budget Switzerland solo travel.
  8. Try to collect food from 50% off section as the food price was reduced to 50% which is near ‘best before date’.
  9. Packaged drinking water bottle of 1.5 liter costs 1 Frank but you can refill your water bottles from many of the fountains of Switzerland which is coming straight from the Swiss Alps.
  10. Rent a car instead of a Swiss rail pass. Renting costs Rs13000 for one week.
  11. No need for a special international permit to drive in Switzerland, your country’s license is also valid.
  12. Switzerland is not a country to party here, but if you still want to party it costs 10-30 Franks for stag entry in clubs.
  13. Don’t neglect Travel Insurance in your Switzerland Solo Travel. Though it is one of the healthiest and safest countries but as a solo traveler don’t risk your health and wealth. You can go with World Nomad Travel Insurance which is the cheapest and best value for money policy.

FAQ About Switzerland Solo Travel

1. Is Switzerland Safe for Female Solo Travelers?

A: Yes, Switzerland is very much safe for female solo travelers. It is also known as one of the safest countries in Europe. However, it is always recommended to be careful whenever you are traveling in an unknown place or country.

2. Where can I travel from Switzerland after completing Switzerland solo trip?

A: Paris, Berlin, Vienna all these popular destinations in Europe are just 1.5 hours away from Zurich.

3. What is the cheapest month to fly to Switzerland?

A: November to March is the low season for Switzerland travel when you get some of the best deals on airfare and accommodations.

4. What should I bring to Switzerland while traveling solo on a budget?

A: It depends on when you visit Switzerland. However, your Switzerland packing list is incomplete without a warm and waterproof coat, a neutral turtleneck, a snood, a foldable umbrella, comfortable walking shoes, sunglass, scarf, camera, backpack, personal toiletries

5. How many days do you need in Switzerland?

A: If budget and time are not a constraint, I will recommend reserving 10 days for your solo trip to Switzerland to explore this beautiful country properly.

6. Is water Free in Switzerland?

A: When you find everything in Switzerland as expensive, you get water at free of cost. Free in the sense, you can drink tap water that you can find everywhere in Switzerland which is basically coming directly from the mountains.

6. How far is Geneva from Zurich?

A: The distance between Geneva and Zurich is around 280 km that takes about 3 hours to reach by car.

7. How much does Glacier Express cost?

A: Zermatt to St. Moritz basic fare(one way) is 152 CHF for 2nd class and 268 CHF for 1st class seat in Glacier Express.

8. How long is the Glacier Express tip?

A: Glacier Express is one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world that takes around 8 hours to reach St. Moritz from Zermatt.

If you have any queries or want me to cover any other places within budget then put your comment, I will try my best to do so.

Kindly share this post if you find this article helpful.

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Happy Travelling… 🙂

This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    This is a great detailed guide! This will definitely help me when I go to Switzerland

  2. Trijit Mallick

    Nice to hear from you Stephanie. I will be grateful if this post helps you with your next Switzerland budget trip.

  3. Ashli Ferguson

    I have family in Switzerland – it is SO beautiful!! I haven’t been in a so so long (they visit us here a lot) but I need to go back and visit!

  4. Renee

    My family is from Switzerland and I would love to visit there sometime. Thanks for this great information

  5. Kimberly Mason

    This sounds like an absolutely amazing trip. Thanks for sharing how you were able to go on a budget.

  6. SHADRACK BIWOT

    This is a really great guide. Thanks for sharing

  7. Steph S

    Wow what a great budget trip! I didn’t know it was possible to do 8 cities in 8 days in Switzerland for under $1000!! Looks like an amazing trip!

  8. Jalen

    Great post keep up the great work.

  9. aisasami

    I have never been to Switzerland but would love to go in the winter to see the wonderful snow. If I ever decide to go, I would use this guide as a tour guide. It is such a detailed guide!

  10. Mariyam

    Switzerland is such a beautiful place for a solo trip. This guide will surely help me someday 🙂

  11. anshul

    Switzerland currently looks out of budget but I will love to backpack in these beautiful hills someday in near future.

  12. Glam2Greatness

    Wow. Thank you for this detailed guide/itinerary plus tips. I have been to Switzerland, and I love the place. Zurich and Geneva are some of my favorites.

  13. Amanda Croaff

    Switzerland is beautiful! It’s always been on my bucket-list of travel destinations. This guide will be super helpful whenever I can finally make the trip!

    1. Trijit Mallick

      Thank you for your kind words. Share your travel experience also.

  14. Slavica Jovanovic

    Thank you for sharing. I believe that is one of the most in-depth travel posts I have ever read and I love it. It is great to have someone to speak to you from their own experience.

  15. Sadia

    Such a detailed post! More words than my whole traveling experience!

  16. mainak biswas

    Love the details that you have added.. we are planning for a euro-trip next year and i am sure these will be very helpful wh1le planning!

  17. Hackytips

    I have seen Switzerland only in Bollywood movies. Should plan a Euro trip soon.

  18. Puja

    Great ideas on a budget trip to Switzerland. Pinning this post for later.

  19. Ruben

    Great Post

  20. Unapologeticallymeblog

    I’ve always wondered how people manage to
    Travel on a budget. Thank you for sharing!

  21. Carriann

    So beautiful. Adding to my bucket list!!

  22. Gebby

    Switzerland is in my bucket list and only 1k to be there for ever a week? That’s amazing! Thank you for this.

  23. Luna S

    This looks like an absolutely amazing trip to go on, so many beautiful places to see.

  24. Lavern Moore

    Now I have to visit! Take me away to Switzerland.

  25. Michele

    I live vicariously through travel bloggers. I love reading about places I have never been to and only dream of going there. Thank you so much for sharing!

  26. Fransic verso

    I kinda wanna go for activities and the fun, but not sure if I’m going to be able to do it now. Thank you for the information. Bookmarking this for later.

  27. Ting

    Ohh wow. I was planning to visit Switzerland last year but didn’t end up going. Will definitely pin this post for later!

  28. Marjie Mare

    We are doing a big trip this year. Reading your post really inspires me and makes me realize that we can do it on a budget.

  29. Janay

    This was so informative and interesting! I would love to go to Switzerland

  30. Dominique Brooks

    This is a very detailed post with an intricate itinerary! I have been to Switzerland for 2 hours (haha) but this would be really helpful if I got a chance to re-visit! Thanks for sharing!

  31. Rhea m

    Okay now I need to visit Switzerland soon, not Traveling solo though, planning to take my little family. ?

  32. Sadiq Saleem

    What an amazing trip on a budget! I didn’t know it was possible to make 8 cities in 8 days in Switzerland for less than $ 1000! It sounds like an amazing trip!

  33. Cherry

    I’ve never been to Switzerland and I’d really love to visit this country! Thanks for this detailed guide. It’s really helpful, especially if you’re on a budget 😉

  34. Ch. Nikhila

    This is very detailed and awesome pictures. Love it!

  35. Majaccollection

    You mentioned that there are 4 international airports but you only listed 3.

    I do want to visit there. At one point, i wanted to live there.

    1. Trijit Mallick

      Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I have updated it with the latest one.

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