Top 3 Ways to Save Money (or Splurge) in Switzerland

This place is not real, it’s insane. Switzerland is a country packed with incredible
scenery and charming cities. It’s no wonder that it tops many dream travel
lists. We made a swing through the Bernese Alps and
the Lauterbrunnen Valley in June 2017, and the Swiss countryside definitely lives up
to the hype. But all that beauty comes at a price. Switzerland is an EXPENSIVE travel destination,
but don’t get us wrong – a visit to Swiss Alps is definitely worth the money. The important thing to know is that you can
make this a more affordable bucket list trip by figuring out where to splurge and where
to save. Here are our top three things to consider
when it comes to stretching your travel budget in one of the most stunning places on earth. NUMBER ONE: Location and Lodging
There’s no shortage of gorgeous valleys and mountain villages for you to pick from
when planning a Swiss vacation but our research led us to the Bernese Alps and the Lauterbrunnen
Valley located just south of Interlaken. The Lauterbrunnen valley features a picture
perfect Swiss village surrounded by incredible waterfalls and sharps cliffs topped by their
own villages leading up to some impressive Alpine peaks. Look at that! We stayed up on one of the cliffs in the car
free village of Murren at the Hotel Alpina and woke up to a balcony view straight into
the valley floor and up to the tallest peaks. Murren has some incredible pros. For example, you cannot beat the views. You can also walk out your hotel’s front
door and join one of many hiking paths that lead you to breathtaking fields of wildflowers
and mountain landscapes. Before you immediately book a stay in town
know that it also has a few cons. It’s not exactly easy to get to you’ll
need to take either a cable car or a cable car and a small train to reach town. It’s a fun ride, but it also costs more
money and if you plan on exploring the entire valley, you may be going up a down several
times. It’s a smaller village with an impressive
perch, so places to stay and eat are limited. Food and lodging also seem to get more expensive
the higher up the mountains you go. Maybe a stay in Murren is worth a splurge
for you. But you can find cheaper options in the valley
floor. Wengen , the cliff town across the valley,
also has a few more options to pick from. If you really need to limit lodging costs,
Interlaken is a short train ride away and is a bigger town, where you can find more
hostels, hotels, and rentals to pick from. NUMBER TWO: The second thing you need to consider
is transportation No matter where you choose to stay do the
math on transportation costs. Switzerland is connected by an incredible
network of trains, cable cars, and this now retired tiny gondola – that Darren and his
disdain for heights truly loved. Each little ride can really add up. If you’re limited on time and plan on staying
in one area, you can buy those tickets at the normal rate and use your feet to do the
exploring, which is not a bad way to get around. However, if you plan on visiting several villages
or will be riding in from a little further away, like from Interlaken, take a look at
the rail passes. They’re pricey, but if you move a lot, they
can save you money. A Swiss Rail Pass will run about $245 US Dollars
and covers all travel costs, except for the trip up to the Jungfrau Top of Europe experience,
which is a fun train ride up through mountains and tunnels to a snowy tourist center and
observation center located at over 11,000 feet elevation. You sometimes get a discount with this pass
, but the full price for the Jungfrau experience tickets start at about 90 USD each. We went with the Swiss Half Fare, so we paid
about 120 USD to get half off on tickets for every little route, including the Jungfrau
experience. So we paid about $5.50 each for every trip
from Lauterbrunnen up to Murren ,instead of about 11 dollars each. We then saved a lot on Jungfrau. Both these passes include travel discounts
for the entire country, but there’s even some travel passes that cover just this small
region. The point is you need to look at a map of
where you want to go, what you want to see, and make a list of what trams and trains you’re
going to take. We’ve put some links to different ticket
prices and passes below, but you’ll have to add up your expected travel costs, and
figure out which pass, if any, makes the most sense based on where you’re staying. We don’t want to scare you about the travel
costs, the transportation makes this place so easy to get around. You can catch a ride up a mountain and immediately
get to hiking or walking on a path suited for your skill level. Each town of size has a tourist office that
can help you figure which trails are open and can describe the path’s difficulty. I say this as someone with a chronic and painful
medical condition, we were able to find some trails that fit what I was capable of doing
and not feel like I was missing out at all. A big part of that was I didn’t have to
climb a mountain first. Look at it! All the wildflowers. It’s gorgeous! We could start at elevation, and there are
beautiful scenes at every elevation. There are trails that would be a challenge
for experienced hikers but also paths great for a family with small children. NUMBER THREE: The last splurge or save item
is food Before we went Switzerland, all we dreamed
about was food. We even planned some of our hikes around food. The source of cheese! There are several places you can walk like
in the Lauterbrunnen valley floor and in the village of Gimmelwald that include places
where can find these famed food items for easy sale and purchase at local farms. Mission accomplished. We found some cheese, and because we couldn’t
make change, we also got some sausage. We ate some meals while staring up at the
mountains, but full Swiss restaurant meals are not cheap for several reasons. We also didn’t find that the cost of a full
restaurant meal was always worth it. Some meals were just okay other than the view. Meal costs can be cheaper at lower elevations
since there are more options and the food doesn’t have to travel up a mountain. Many towns also have a grocery store or Co-Op
and the food prices aren’t unbearable. Packing snacks and lunches when you’re not
eating your farm food can really keep costs down. Our tip pick select meals and restaurants
you want to splurge on. Then save your money and find those grocery
stores and cheaper options for most of your Swiss eating. To wrap things up, the Swiss Alps simply must
be seen, so finding creative ways to lessen the sticker shock associated with a visit
to Switzerland will be imperative for most visitors. Be sure to do some planning in advance for
this incredible destination, and you can really help curb the sting to your wallet. If you liked this video, give it a thumbs
up, and subscribe to our channel and click the little bell to see more videos like this
one. Thanks for watching
and we’ll see you soon.

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