Zurich on a Budget: The overview

In the last weeks myfriendfromzurich blogged about saving money in Zurich and enjoying the city for free - here’s an overview on all our posts.

Part I Transportation: 8.40 Swiss Francs for unlimited public transport and surprising sightseeing done by foot.

Part II Lodging: Stay in the heart of busy Kreis 4 or pay a bit more for a lovely boutique hotel.

Part III Food: Shop a local grocery stores and do a picknick or follow our tips for a good dinner that doesn’t cost more than 20 bucks.

Part IV Activities: Parties, concerts, city tours and even bikes for free.



Zurich on a Budget IV: Activities

There are some great possibilities to spend time in Zurich without spending a franc:

Dance at the Cool Monday party at Mascotte and only pay for your drinks.
 Tuesday is concert night at La Catrina and the bar of Hostel Langstars. There is no entrance fee, only a small donation for the local bands is expected. 
On Wednesday afternoons you can visit the Collection of the Kunsthaus for free

Rent one of the free bikes at the stands of „Züri rollt“ and discover Zurich by bike. 
If you understand German, check the city department of cultural heritage preservation, they offer free tours.


Zurich on a Budget III: Food

A good way to prevent spending a fortune on food is to shop at grocery stores such as Migros and Coop and cook your dinner yourself or have a pick-nick.

Eating out in Zurich often requires a fat wallet. But there are some places where you can fill your belly and get away with 20 francs straight – you might have to cut back on first course, dessert and wine though.

Here are some Zurich eating out tips: For hearty food, Aargauerhof is the place for you: Meatloaf with fries and a fried egg or rösti with bacon, cheese and a fried egg, both for 18.50. At Da Michelangelo you’ll get a Pizza Margarita for 14.50. It’s 18 francs for fish n’ chips and a salad at Rössli and 20 bucks straight for a sausage, fries and grilled veggies at Wurst & Moritz. For a variety of asian meals under 20 francs, rely on restaurant Saigon.


Zurich on a Budget II: Lodging

Unfortunately, Zurich isn’t a backpackers paradise. The most central backpacker place is Hostel Langstars, only a 10 minutes’ bus drive from Zurich main station. At City Backpackers (in the old part of town called Niederdorf) and at the Youth Hostel (a bit further out) you’ll also find reasonable priced beds.

Our housing tips for Zurich is to use airbnb and couchsurfing -  also in Zurich a possibility to avoid an overpriced hotel room.

If you’re willing to pay a little more, have a look at our suggestions for hotels in Zurich.


Zurich on a Budget I: Transportation

Zurich, as whole Switzerland too, isn’t a place for a small budget. But myfriendfromzurich knows some ways to save money and to even enjoy your stay in the city for free. Read our tips for Zurich on a Budget – part I starts right here:

Zurich is not a large city, sights in the city centre all are in walking distance. Do your sightseeing by foot – you save on public transport and might walk into something unexpected.

Best bargain is to get a day pass for the city centre. For 8.40 Swiss Francs you’ll get to to use busses, trams, trains and even the ship. Buy your tickets at the vending machines at every bus and tram stop or at the ZVV office inside Zurich main station. With the Half-Fare travelcard you pay half of the prize.

Traveling to the city from Zurich airport, the train is the fastest and cheapest way into the city. A cab will cost you at least 50 francs.

If you wish to explore the canton of Zurich by train, you’re best off with a so called „9 o’clock pass“. It costs 25 francs per day and you can use all trains within canton Zurich. Get it at SBB railway vending machines or the ticket office at any train station.