Solo Travel in Switzerland under $1000: 8 Days 8 Cities Budget Trip

Solo Travel in Switzerland under $1000: 8 Days 8 Cities Budget Trip

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 many of the travel buffs cannot fulfill their dreams thinking about the expensiveness of Switzerland trip. Is it really that much expensive to explore Switzerland for a mediocre backpacker? Let’s find it out if you can also do a Switzerland solo trip on a low budget.

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best places to visit in switzerland

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Here I am going to tell you how you can do a solo travel in Switzerland with $1000 covering 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
  • 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 to visit Switzerland:

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 or if you want to enjoy nice weather with mind-blowing sightseeing then you can go in June, September to mid-October. But if you want to plan a Switzerland solo travel then April is the best month.

Swiss Currency:

Swiss currency(CHF) is the only currency accepted everywhere in Switzerland and Euro is 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 option in entire 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 and Passport to travel to Switzerland:

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 four international airports: Zurich, Geneva, Basel. You can take your flight from your nearby major international airport and land in any International Switzerland Airport.

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

Skyscanner to book cheapest flight
Skyscanner

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.

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 route is the French-Swiss high-speed rail from France to Switzerland. 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:

DAY 1:

Zurich:

Zurich is one of the biggest cities in Switzerland and most people enter to 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 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.

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

Budget 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= 3000 INR/Night/Dorm Bed. For the honeymoon couples, there are 3-star hotels at the city center cost around 100-130 CHF in Tripadvisor and double accommodation, good Airbnb apartment in Zurich cost around 70-100 CHF.

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 Govt. 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 for a fashionista.

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 entire Europe.

Churches of Zurich: The main highlight is the two main and historic churches 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.

Lindenhof Hill Park: Next you can go to the next famous location over here. After a five minute walk from the city comes the 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 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.

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 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 from here and it’s totally free.
  • Boat Ride in Zurich Lake: After the university visit get on a tram and visit some other attraction like Zurich City Hall, Zurich Opera House and then head towards Lake Zurich again to take a Boat Ride. Transport Pass also includes boat ride and boat here 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 and in this boat, 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 riding, a hangout for a while and take the return boat. This park has free entry and 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 in your trip then surely consider this place.
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. 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).

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 from home 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.

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Zurich Cost details of Day 1 & Day:

  • 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 solo travel cost: 128 CHF= 128 USD= 9000 INR


DAY 3:

Lucerne:

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

Budget hotels 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 of staying in Lucerne Youth Hostel is, this hostel provides a free guided walking tour to their guests in the city center.

Tips: Hostels and hotels provide their guests free Public Transport Card in a lot of cities in Switzerland. So all of your internal transport(bus, tram, boat) for the day will be for free.

Best Things to do in Lucerne:

You can take the free guided tour provided by 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.

  • 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 a relaxing evening cruise in its boat ferries are 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 hotspots 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 which 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 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 built in 1633. Whenever you visit a medieval European city, don’t forget to spend some time in a church or a cathedral and observer 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 which is a small beautiful city, 30 minutes drive from Lucerne.

Engelberg:

It is one of the prettiest towns of Switzerland but unfortunately, many travelers don’t keep it in their itinerary. Here you can see Mount Titlis, the most popular attraction among travelers for the massive glacier and the ski hill.

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.
  • Titlis Glacier Cave: Walk through a 150 meters glacier tunnel at a freezing temperature of -15 degrees Celsius.

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Cable car ride at Mt. Titlis
Cable Car Ride at Mt. Titlis

Depending on the weather you can enjoy a lot of other outdoor activities. If you still have enough time before sunset then you can explore Engelberg town which is quite popular for couples or honeymooners, but 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.

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 in their website. You should always check this before starting your mountain tour, otherwise you will miss all the scenic views.

Expenditure details of Day 3 in Lucerne:

  • 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 solo travel costs: 42 CHF= 42 USD= 2900 INR


DAY 4:

Interlaken:

Interlaken is a small village town in Switzerland but basically it is 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 and that’s why you should stay here for a minimum of three days. Here all types of hostels, BNBs, holiday homes, hostels are available in abundance. Maximum travelers come here by train either from Bern or Lucerne for which you can get a ticket on www.goeuro.com for 20 Franks. During this hour and a half journey the scenic route this train takes they are breathtaking in every sense of the world.

Budget Hotels in Interlaken:

Here in Interlaken for your solo trip to Switzerland, you can book Backpackers Villa Hostel from hostelworld for around 30 CHF/Night. The best part here, parking is free and as it is suggested to stay a minimum of 3 days here, it will help you to reduce your Switzerland solo travel cost. But if you want to get a full Swiss feel, you can try holiday homes 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. In Switzerland, it is the most preferred accommodation which results in high room rent.

You can also get budget private 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.

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Interlaken is a city where people come to enjoy only natural beauty leaving behind the hustle-bustle, nightlife, parties and shopping of cities and the most popular activities experienced here 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 the city. And 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.

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen, Image by enriquelopezgarre

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 in Interlaken plan to visit some beautiful and historically preserved medieval villages. To explore the rural way of life and its farming culture, these two villages Gimmelwald and Murren are very good options. Both of them are mountain top villages and to reach them, you can either take a cable car or can hike up the mountain. So 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.

Cheaper 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 from where 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).

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, first check the weather condition from their official website and then plan accordingly and if you want to cover the main two villages like Gimmelwald and Murren, then the cable car ticket cost will be around 22 Franks which you can get from a counter in front of the bus stop(If you have 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 and you will have an experience of the living style of the farmers in a Swiss village. If you want to stay here, Airbnb is also available with a charge of around 200 CHF which is very costly for backpackers but to get the Best of Switzerland I will recommend to stay here one night.
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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 go 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.
Murren, Switzerland
Murren Village

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Expenditure Details of Day 4 in Interlaken:

  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 solo travel costs of Day 4: 61 CHF=61 USD= 4200 INR


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 get there 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 and after changing a couple of trains including cogwheel train you will reach to Jungfraujoch. You can book your ticket from their official website which costs 189 Franks, a bit costly, but the scenic beauty throughout the journey is really mind refreshing.

During the journey over 7 km, you will pass within the 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 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: Take a cable car ride from here and get 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 ride which costs 30 CHF for the entire day. During this journey total, 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, 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 budget Switzerland solo travel is 65 CHF for 2 activities which include cable car ride and any two activities.

Tips: One thing please keep in mind that weather in Switzerland(specially 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 destination of Switzerland.

Plan A:

Harder Kulm Mountain:

It 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 hiking that takes around two and half hour 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 compared to others in Switzerland. It’s a small detour on your way to Bern as Bern and Gstaad are totally 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 destination 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 European village and two minutes from the station there is a house that has a cute doll collection.

It will be a wise decision to stay one night here to enjoy the beauty of nature more closely. Hostels can be booked from the youth hostel’s official website for 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 but against all odds, if you are not a fan of Bollywood Saanen valley won’t disappoint you and the church itself is worth to visit. Inside the church, it has 15th-century mosaic type paintings all over the wall. It is one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland and if you want to come here by train then board on a train from East Interlaken.

Saanen in Switzerlnd
Sannen Railway Station

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

Expenditure details of Day 5 in Interlaken:

  • 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 solo Travel Costs: 367 CHF= 367 USD= 25500 INR

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


DAY 7:

Gstaad is just 2 km away from Saanen which is also a favourite 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 apart from ski resort(popular among ski enthusiasts for its large snowfields which open from end October to May), it has much more to offer you. You can see some bakery shops, luxury restaurants as well as famous brand outlets and their specialty is that they are made completely in Chalet style wooden design. So don’t forget to visit this place as walking through a beautifully crafted wooden market is a unique experience.

Gstaad Mountain
Gstaad Mountain

Expenditure details of Day 6 in Gstaad and Saanen:

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

Total Gstaad & Saanen solo Travel Costs: 39 CHF= 39 USD= 2800 INR

Bern on a Budget:

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 our 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 and 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 and then the locals decided to make the whole city with sandstone.
  • Zytglogge: Next visit Zytglogge which is a 13th century clock tower, one of the most crowd pullers of 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 worth visit in Bern.

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

  • Parliament Building: After seeing the tower go towards the parliament building and from there you can see a little bridge with beautiful and shining turquoise water. Behind the parliament building, there is a beer garden also and if you are with kids, this place is a must-visit. The weather is pretty calm(9-11 degrees celsius) in October and here near to parliament building there is a free swimming pool, but you can also swim in the river if you wish which is allowed here.
  • Bern Historical Museum: There are a lot of museums in Bern and is not a good idea to visit all, so better go for Bern Historical Museum which is the main one and if you want to know the details of Bern from prehistoric times to present then is the ideal place to visit. This Einstein 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.
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parliament building bern
Parliament Building of Bern
  • Bern Historical Museum: There are a lot of museums in Bern and is not a good idea to visit all, so better go for Bern Historical Museum which is the main one and if you want to know the details of Bern from prehistoric times to present then is the ideal place to visit. This Einstein 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.
  • Bern Cathedral: Going toward the central railway station you will get to see this old cathedral which was built in 1421 in Gothic style, one of the oldest 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. There is a separate set of stairs going up from going down. You see the largest bell on the way down, it was startling and loud to be up there at the top of the hour.
Bern River, Switzerland
Bern River

Tips: Try to explore Bern from early morning if you to do a day trip in Bern because most of the museums and cathedrals are opened from 10am – 5 pm. One more thing while you are travelling 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 hostels are available for 35 CHF to 40 CHF from Hostelworld. Decent airbnb accommodation with double bed is available for 40-50 CHF from Airbnb.

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

Expenditure details of Day 7 in Bern:

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

Total Gstaad & Bern solo Travel Costs: 56 CHF= 56 USD= 4000 INR


DAY 8:

Geneva(On a Budget):

Geneva is another small but expensive city of Switzerland which is surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains. After taking your complimentary breakfast from Nyon hostel board on a train from a station nearby hostel 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 and seeing your country flag among them you will surely feel proud. In front of the building, there is a big one leg broken chair which depicts the use of land fine for which thousands of people became handicapped.
United Nation or Palace of Nations, Geneva
Palace of Nations, Geneva
  • Bicycle riding: The best way to explore Geneva is to ride on a bicycle. From Geneva central station takes a free bike rent for 4 hours(after that 2 CHF/Hour will be charged). Geneva itself is a small city and 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” as all the popular sightseeing is well connected with public transport which includes boat taxi also.
  • Geneva WaterFountain: Start your bike journey from Central station and passing by the Geneva river go towards the shopping street. While passing the river from the bridge 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 which includes the entry fees of some museum as well as a toy train ride which stops only on the main tourist’s 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 centre, 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 attractions while returning don’t forget to visit this garden specially 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 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 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 renting 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.

Expenditure details of Day 8 in Geneva:

  • Hostel at Nyon: 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 Solo Travel Costs: 56 CHF= 56 USD= 4000 INR


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 Costs: $939 (approx. 65000 INR for Indian citizen)/Person for 7 Night 8 Days.

READ ALSO: 7 Cheap Visa-Free Countries to Visit from India

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 hostel to keep budget within limit.


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Travel solo 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 more 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 cost 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.

Read also: Why you need a Travel Insurance: World Nomads Insurance Review

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 19 Comments

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

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

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

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

  6. This is a really great guide. Thanks for sharing

  7. 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. Great post keep up the great work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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