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Switzerland Just Got Cheapo: EuroCheapo launches guides to Geneva and Zurich

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Cheap hotels in Zurich
Yes, Cheapos -- Even Zurich can be affordable!

EuroCheapo is pleased (and somewhat surprised) to announce the launch of guides to cheap hotels in Geneva and Zurich.

For years we’ve steered clear of these pricey cities (and the country in general), assuming that Switzerland was simply inhospitable to budget travelers. With many hotels starting north of $250, how could any Cheapo afford to visit?

It’s the kind of budget travel challenge we love, however. After pounding the (immaculately clean) pavement in both cities, we’re thrilled to announce our new guides. Here are a few things we found along the way:

Rooms at Zurich's Anwand Lodge offer wooden beams and flat-screens for as low as $110 a night.

Hotel prices

We found several Geneva hotels under $125 a night, (CHF 125) including some in the heart of the Old Town. Visit during the spring and fall for the lowest rates, and remember that, as Geneva’s hotels are often packed with business travelers, weekends tend to be cheaper.

Although Zurich can even be more expensive than Geneva, we found 10 central hotels in Zurich with rates under $130 a night (CHF 130), including some three-star hotels. Rates are similarly cheaper during the shoulder season and weekends, and clear of convention dates. (Check out the convention schedule ahead of time on Zurich’s Web site.)

Hit up Geneva's flea market for cheap souvenir options. Photo: Chaney Kwak

Easy ways to save

We were happy to find that most museums in Geneva charge less than CHF 10 (about $10) for admission, and many charged quite a bit less. Even better, as we note in our budget tips article, many museums are free to enter, including the Maison Tavel, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Musée de Carouge and the Natural History Museum!

Zurich’s museums are surprisingly affordable, with most charging about CHF 10-15 (about $10-15). However, we recommend that serious sightseers spring for the ZurichCARD, which covers admission to all city museums and public transportation, and even offers some shopping and dining discounts. Read more in our Zurich budget tips article.

Transportation savings

Geneva’s efficient public transit is a gift to budget travelers: Anyone staying in a hotel, hostel or campground is given a Geneva Transport Card, granting free transportation on the city’s buses, trams and trolleys. Read more about getting around Geneva.

Zurich charges CHF 5.20 (about $5) for a daily transportation pass (or CHF 25.60 for six days, about $25), although many sights are accessibly by foot. However, Cheapos are encouraged to hop on Zurich’s free bike program. Pedal off some of that delicious rösti! (Read more about Zurich transportation.)

So, Cheapos…

What are you waiting for? With a little advance planning, both Geneva and Zurich can be on your budget travel itinerary. There’s simply no reason to miss Swiss.

About the author

Tom Meyers

About the author: Tom Meyers created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys. Email Tom. [Find Tom on Google Plus]

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2 Responses to “Switzerland Just Got Cheapo: EuroCheapo launches guides to Geneva and Zurich”

Kiki says:

Being Swiss, but living abroad, I learned that often very decent accommodation can be found in Youth Hostels.

When planning to return from UK to Switzerland, we stayed a few times at the Youth Hostel in Lausanne and were absolutely delighted by the super quality (if somewhat prison-like feelings over the ‘beton pure’ concept), the cleanliness and sublime breakfasts with close proximity to lake (Lac Léman), and bus/metro to ride to the train station. Well worth a try!

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