Can I travel to Switzerland on a budget?
Switzerland is without a doubt one of the most expensive countries to travel to, so it makes sense that people regularly ask us if it is possible to travel to Switzerland on a budget. Good news: Yes, you can!
We traveled to Switzerland in July and had to start planning about 3-4 months in advance to make our two-week trip affordable, but it worked.
The key to making this work is a little-known fact: the “Programme & Adventure” guide at the Kandersteg International Scout Center is open to anyone - even people who aren’t scouts and aren’t staying at their accommodations! It does cost 10% more for people not staying in their accommodations, but the cost of your trip to Switzerland is likely to be more than 60% cheaper than if you were to put it together elsewhere. You can even save the 10% by reserving a camp site or by staying in one of their lodge-type accommodations for as little as CHF 10.00-38.00 per adult per night!
We were staying for 12 nights, but opted to get a Bed & Breakfast about a mile away near the Kandersteg city center instead (it is a small town), so we did need to pay the 10% premium for the activities - but they are QUALITY ACTIVITIES at steeply discounted prices. Additionally, the walk to the camp is very pleasant in the mornings - a road with sidewalks will bring you directly there - just make sure to greet people who ware walking by in German by saying “Morgen” as they pass by. The area is extraordinarily safe, even in the evenings – plus, the camp has a number of fun outdoor day and night activities that you are invited to which occur year-round – most of which are FREE.
— FREE THINGS TO DO —
Yes, there are loads of things to do for free, but here are some that cost less than CHF 10.00 as well.
— AFFORDABLE THINGS TO DO —
Then there are some of the Uniquely Swiss activities and some of the more serious adventures and day trips. These are the serious Swiss Mountain Hikes, White Water Rafting, Canyoning, Skiing, Paragliding, and Rock Climbing type of activities. It is really amazing how much they offer to do here - and I haven’t shown even half of them!
— Uniquely Swiss & Adventure Activities —
— Here is what our Itinerary looked like —
Paragliding (CHF 160), Kandersteg Trail (FREE)
White Water Rafting & Canyoning Combo (CHF 179)
Chocolate & Cheese Trip (CHF 80)
Days 5 & 6
Three Valleys Hike’n’Climb (CHF 50) – Hike to Ueschinen Hut & Rock Climbing - Overnight at Ueschinen Hut, Three Valleys Hike (required additional food packages)
Jungfraujoch & Eiger Trail Day Trip - Top of Europe (CHF 190)
Oeschinensee Gondola (CHF 22.40), Rowing Boats at Oeschinenesee Lake (CHF 15), & Rodelbahn (ind)
R&R, Swiss Culture Night (FREE)
Furi Wanderweg in Zurmatt (ind), The Matterhorn (ind), and stay overnight in Stresa, Italy (ind)
The Borromean Islands of Stresa, Italy (ind)
Trummelbach Falls (ind), Thun Castle (CHF 6), and Ferry trip on Lake Thunersee from Thun to Spiez (ind) - Interlaken (ind)
Travel to Zurich via Train (ind), Flight back Home (ind)
(ind) = independent of KISC - we booked these activities separately
See more photo highlights from our trip in the Switzerland Gallery.
If you’re looking for a budget itinerary that you can build yourself in Switzerland, look no further than the Kandersteg International Scout Center (we are in no way affiliated with KISC - it is just an honest recommendation). If you need help with planning your trip, feel free to contact us!
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to check out some of our other blog posts or leave comments or questions at the bottom of the post.