Geneva is one expensive city. It’s an international and business hub and as such caters more to the slick jetsetter than to the lowly backpacker. That said, with a little bit of careful planning it is possible to get a taste of Geneva’s brand of Swiss sophistication without breaking the, um, franc.
Expect to Spend: Geneva
It will come as no surprise that charming “budget” hotels are hard to come by in Geneva . In general, rates at acceptable hotels are higher than the cheapo standards we love in other cities. The lowest rate we saw here was a not-so-cheapo CHF75—for a double room at a youth hostel.
Average rates for a standard mid-range double fall in the CHF140 to CHF190 range, with rates dropping to around CHF100 for simpler rooms or those with shared bathrooms. In our quest for cheapo-friendly rooms, we set our starting rate limit at CHF175 for a double. We know this is not cheap, but we promise: Rates go much higher in this expensive city.
A full sit-down meal is not cheap in Geneva. However, there are other options. For less than CHF 25 you can fill up on pizza or a tasty kebab. Or, cheaper still, pick up snacks or pre-made meals at the the grocery store.
Although your room and meals may cost you a pretty penny, it is a fortunate cheapo fact that you can keep other costs relatively low in Geneva. Transportation, for one, is free with the Geneva Transport Card, given out when you check into your hotel, and many of the the city's museums and attractions are quite inexpensive or even free.
Visit our Budget Tips guide for more prices and tips on how to keep cost low.