How Much Does a Trip to Switzerland Cost? (Interlaken Edition)

Feb 28, 2019    /    budgeting + saving

After three years away, I finally made it back to Switzerland! This time, we came in winter and booked two months in the smallish Alpine town of Interlaken, about 20 minutes from where I used to live (by train).

I arrived in early December and had a couple weeks to myself before Chad returned from Asia and then my best friend and her family arrived for a holiday vacation. Then, starting early January, it was just Chad and I again, settled into our sunny two-bedroom overlooking the Alps.

As usual, I tracked my spending and today I’m going to share one month’s real budget with you. If you’re thinking of spending some time in the Alps, read on for real spending:


Category CHF Dollars
Accommodations 704.45 $707.53
Transportation (national/international) 133.24 $133.82
Transportation (local) 2.94 $2.95
Groceries 281.19 $282.42

 

Supplies 2.80 $2.81
Eating/drinking out 185.13 $185.94
Luna (vet bills, supplies) 47.14 $47.35
Health & wellness 179.21 $179.99
Other 12.12 $12.17
Totals 1548.22 $1554.98

Budget notes:

This spending was from January 1st to 31st, 2019. My parter had joined me by then, these are my portion of my partner’s and my expenses. We split food 60-40 (he eats more than I do), rent 50-50, and supplies (like sponges or soap) 50-50. We each cover our own transit costs, breakfasts, etc. If you’re traveling solo, expect to pay a bit more for accommodation, but otherwise these numbers should be fairly reflective of a solo trip.

For accommodation, we rented a two-bedroom apartment in Matten, just south of Interlaken, via Airbnb. For a two-month stay, the landlord graciously gave us a more local price (short-term Airbnbs in this region are intensely expensive).

Transportation was the cost of train tickets to and from Bergamo, Italy! We took a weekend trip there and these numbers reflect that little getaway. That said, I also had a free train pass for the first couple weeks of January, so if I had paid for everything out of pocket, my expenses would be higher on this line item. To get a sense of your real train costs, visit SBB and price out tickets to the places you’d want to visit.

Groceries ran surprisingly low this month. Part of me wonders if I missed a receipt or two, but I’m pretty meticulous about it, so perhaps we just ended up eating on the cheap accidentally.

Eating and drinking out includes our weekend in Bergamo (when we ate out for every meal except breakfast) and a handful of restaurant or cafe visits in Interlaken.

Luna didn’t have any vet issues this month (thank goodness), so this line item is things like food and a dog toothbrush.

My health and wellness costs include my GeoBlue insurance, which covers me everywhere in the world except the US, plus some Neocitran for an awful cold I had early in the month.

Keep in mind that the above budget is my day-to-day living and exploring costs and does not include my business expenses and certain personal expenses like books, movie rentals, and replacing water bottles and clothes. I figure those things are too personal and variable to be helpful if you’re using these budgets to figure out your own trip costs, so I generally pull them out.

It’s also worth noting that Chad and I are working while traveling. Anyone devoting their full attention to exploring will definitely spend more.

Finally, here’s a snoring Interlaken goat for you. I shot this video while goat-sitting for a few hours for a friend.


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Want to see more nomad budgets? Check out this extensive piece with links to all my published budgets from the last seven-ish years.

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2 Comments
  • Francis
    March 18, 2019

    Hello Gigi, Its very nice to have detailed expenses on your travel. This is a very helpful information for people who wanted what it is like to in your shoes. I will definitely read your other travel guides before embarking my plans.

  • Paula Elliott
    June 24, 2019

    That’s about what it cost us per week in Switzerland. I guess we dined out too often!

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