19 Fun Things to Do in Switzerland on a Budget

things to do in switzerland

The first thing that comes to everybody’s mind about Switzerland is secure banking, multi-millionaires playground, expensive cities and the Swiss Alps. Which actually is not very far from the truth but budget travelers can also experience Switzerland without a problem. Only if you plan well beforehand and use some travel hacks.

List of of the best things to do in Switzerland

1. Hike The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces

Lavaux Vineyard Terraces Switzerland

There is nothing more relaxing and rewarding as hiking around Switzerland. This mountainous country is a heaven for people that like to take mind-blowing pictures on Instagram. And the famous travel bloggers have visited Switzerland for the most epic mountain sceneries. If you are into wine than the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces hike is for you. This hike starts from St. Saphorin to Lutry.

2. Eat at foreign restaurants

cheap food in switzerland

Food is expensive in this country and if you do not want to break a bank we encourage you to eat at foreign restaurants. There are many Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Thai restaurants that will give you food that’s worth your bucks. And if you want pizza there are many Italian restaurants in Switzerland.

3. Drink water from the many fountains

a fountain in basel switzerland

Switzerland has many free public fountains that you can drink water from them. If you are in need of water and you don’t have a water bottle with you then you can find water fountains nearly everywhere and enjoy the clean and fresh water. This is great because you can refill your water bottle every time you find a fountain.

4. Sleeping on a budget

balmers hostel switzerland

While everything is expensive also you will have to find a way to sleep at lower costs. The best thing to do is to sleep in a hostel with many fun things to do in some properties. There are youth hostels that can offer you accommodation for $30-40 per night.

5. Couchsurfing in Switzerland


The best part about Couchsurfing in Switzerland is that you can make your own meal and the price of accommodation will be $0. Sleeping for a couple of nights at someone’s home is capable with couchsurfing.


6. Visit Swiss National Museum

swiss national museum

Most of the museums in Switzerland are with no entry fee. You can see many beautiful art collections by some of the most famous artists and painters in the world. Also, some watch museums are for free.

7. Free parliament tours

parliament bern switzerland

The parliament building in Bern is opened for tourists to have a guided tour in several languages. It’s a nice walking tour where they will take you around the building to tell you some history of that place. Just keep in mind that the tours are open only when the parliament is out of session.

8. Visit Old Towns

old town murten switzerland

If you want to see towns that look the same as they did in the medieval times you should visit Switzerland. Most of the towns have Old medieval Towns that are kept intact because the Swiss never went in any war. Best preserved old towns are Murten and Stein am Rhein.

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9. Cheese Tours

cheesery in affoltern

The Swiss are not only famous for watches and chocolate but cheese as well. The cheesery in Affoltern gives free tours to anyone that visits them. They will walk you to the whole process from milk to cheese and at the end of the tour there is a tasting room, and if you like some cheese you can buy it.

10. Visit Omega Museum

One of the most famous free watch museums is the Omega one. Omega watches have been made in Switzerland for more than 100 years and the tradition of watchmaking is huge in Switzerland. Their museum in Bienne is a watchers heaven, but also people that are not interested in the watch industry will surely have some fun.

11. Have a ride with BlaBlaCar


Some people think that they can go bankrupt while in Switzerland but there are ways where you can travel on a budget. Have you heard of BlaBlaCar? It’s a ride-sharing app where you get to share a ride with someone that is on the same road as you are. Using it properly can get you from Geneva to Basel in no time.

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12. Swim in the Aare River

aare river

In the winter it can be cold we are aware of it, but in the summer the weather in Switzerland is hot. It’s not extremely hot but it’s the perfect weather to chill in a river. And we think that swimming in the clear and pure water in Aare river is the perfect thing to do in Bern.

But, don’t forget that a visit to their bathing clubs is a must in order to swim in their rivers.

13. Live in a farm

farm in switzerland

While some people love fancy hotels others like the more authentic feel of any location. So if you want to live on a farm there is an option where you can rent a place where you will sleep with the host and have fresh ingredients from the backyard. This way you can save some money on accommodation. And your whole family can be hosted.

14. Sleep with the locals in the mountains

mountain switzerland

Another option to find some cheap accommodation is to find properties using their national apartment-rental networks. The properties are nice and you can negotiate with the owner of the house or apartment directly. You can strike a goldmine with prices where it can suit everybody’s budget.

15. Visit car-free villages

zermatt switzerland

One of the best ways to experience how locals lived in the past is to visit some of the car-free villages. These places can be reached only by funicular and they are car-free where you will have to walk around. But don’t worry the best views are all yours to take and the peace and quiet will surely astonish you. That kind of villages are Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Rigi, Murren and few others.

16. Bike around Switzerland

cycling switzerland

What can be better to enjoy for free then the amazing nature of Switzerland? Wherever you may go there is the amazing scenery of the Swiss Alps. And nature is all for you to take as many pictures as possible. And the weather is always great in the summer and in the winter the snow will give you an amazing view of the mountains. If you are visiting Switzerland in the summer than biking in the nature will surely be an amazing activity worth doing.

17. Have a train ride with Bernina Express

bernina express

The train tickets are usually not budget friendly but for someone that wants to experience Switzerland from a train, this fun activity might cost him/her a bit more than the usual budget. But believe us, it’s the best thing you can do in Switzerland.

We recommend you to take a ride at the highest railway in the Alps with Bernina Express. While on the train you will cross 196 bridges and you will have an amazing view of the glaciers as well. The train connects Chur and Poschiavo in Switzerland and Tirano which is a place located in Italy.

18. Discover lake Brienz

lake brienz switzerland

Switzerland is home to many lakes, and one of the best things to do is to explore them one by one. These lakes are home to many cute villages where you can stay on a budget and take in the best views of the lakes. Our picks are lake Lucerne and lake Brienz.

19. Enjoy an open-air cinema at the castle yard, Oberhofen

oberhofen castle

One of the most fun activities to do in Switzerland is to go on a open air cinema. It’s an attraction for the locals in Switzerland where you get to see a movie outside in the open. Many people go to these events because they are a perfect thing to do to feel like a local. At the castle yard are shown international movies and you can have a dinner and drink wine while watching the movie.


Even though this small landlocked country in Europe is home to one of the wealthiest people in the world we encourage you to visit it and try to spend as less money as possible. This guide will surely help you to keep you active during your stay in Switzerland. Pack your bags and book your plane ticket and start exploring the Alps.

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