I will travel to Zurich and I will stay there from June 2 until August 31. I would like some tips that will help me to minimize my expenses and also that will make my quality of life there better.

I believe that from November I will stay for some years in Zurich. Therefore give tips that are useful for tourists and also for residents of Switzerland.

I'm going to put down some tips that I found out on internet because maybe they give you an idea of what I'm looking for.

  • It's a good idea to visit Konstanz, which is a city in Germany, to buy food there. By doing this you can save a lot of money on food.
  • To save money, it is essential to prepare your own food at home. Eating in restaurants or snack bars considerably increases your expenses since in Switzerland everything is absurdly expensive.
  • If you register to Sunrise network, you can get a 50% discount on Halbtax, which is ~160 CHF.
  • With Halbtax you get some special offers during winter. For example, you can get a return ticket and a daily ski pass for ~70 CHF.
  • The ticket for night buses costs 5 CHF per ride, but if you are registered at ZKB bank, you can get the rides for free. The other most popular bank is UBS, which doesn't charge you for using any ATM in Switzerland.
  • Shop at Denner, Aldi Suisse or Lidl Suisse. They are on average 30% less expensive than comparable products in Coop/Migros.
  • Don't get your haircut in the city, where you pay at least 45 CHF. In the outskirts (e.g. Urdorf) you can get a good haircut for 30CHF

I have seen some things on the internet in relation to transport in Switzerland. One could clarify which pass would be best for me considering that I will rarely leave Zurich. I would like to leave Zurich only once or twice a month to visit other places in Switzerland and even neighboring countries.

  • @rfloc Are we to assume you have a long-stay visa? It might help get better answers if you state your monthly budget.
    – Traveller
    Apr 8, 2019 at 7:24
  • My monthly budged is CHF 1800.00.
    – user17063
    Apr 8, 2019 at 13:28
  • By far the biggest expense for this budget will be rent. Zurich is extremely expensive in this regard. I am not sure if it is possible to live with 1800 CHF in Zurich. If possible I would consider other places in Switzerland.
    – tobltobs
    Jul 16, 2021 at 10:34

2 Answers 2


ZKB free night passes are only for young people (under 22, or under 28 if a student). You only need to pay for a night pass after 1am anyway.

Depending on where you live, Waldshut, Küssaberg, or Lauchringen may be easier to get to than Konstanz.

Zürich has hills, but the cycling provision is pretty good - you can save a lot of money by cycling.

Short term, visit your dentist before you go; long term, you probably want to use a dentist in Germany (ask if you want to speak English).


Regarding your questions:

  • Going to Konstanz will also cost you money (either the train ticket or car fuel) and a lot of time. You can do it from time to time but I would not suggest to regularly buy food in Germany. Konstanz is 80Km away (1h by car, more than 1h30' by train)

  • Eating at home is cheaper everywhere in the world. I don't think that this is specific to Zurich

  • The discount by Sunrise is part of the yearly package "Sunrise Young". I would really check the different mobile providers and their condition before choosing one just for the "Halbtax"

  • About the haircut: you should always keep in mind that travelling costs you money and time. In the city there are several cheap shops for a simple haircut.

  • 1
    My US friends sometimes comment that it's barely worth shopping because eating out is so cheap. Shopping in Zurich is perhaps 10% more expensive than shopping in Germany (Aldi CH can often have better deals than Aldi DE), eating out in Zurich is 50% more expensive than Germany. Apr 8, 2019 at 9:50
  • Yes eating out is more expensive than in Germany, but would you really rent a car or take the train for several hours just to eat out? Germany can be an option from time to time but going there regularly is not really an option.
    – Matteo
    Apr 8, 2019 at 10:03
  • To eat out, no. To shop, two or three times a month? Lots of people do. (And probably have a meal out at the same time). Apr 8, 2019 at 10:05
  • I really doubt that lots of people weekly go to Konstanz. You will need a car and owning a car in the city is more expensive than what you will spare by shopping in Germany. The majority of people living in the city do not really own a car.
    – Matteo
    Apr 8, 2019 at 10:07
  • 1
    "Eating at home is cheaper everywhere in the world.". That's not quite true. When I stayed in Singapore I found that the cost of hawker centre food in "poorer" neighbourhoods was comparable to or less than what it would have cost me to make it myself. (And it tasted a whole lot better.) Oct 6, 2019 at 2:28

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