A Travel Price Comparison for Switzerland Bern vs. Basel for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Bern or Basel?

Should I visit Bern or Basel? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Bern

The capital city of Switzerland, Bern, is a surprisingly small city with a population of only about 130,000. It's located on a peninsula that is created by the turns of the River Aare. The city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it has a wonderfully preserved old town area. There are about four miles worth of quaint walkways that are lined with clock towers and fountains.

Basel

Basel is often overlooked as a tourist destination in Switzerland, but despite this, it does have a lot to offer visitors as well as a beautiful medieval historic center. Every year it also hosts a Carnival festival that is one of the most popular in Europe, competing with those in Venice and Rio de Janeiro in its popularity. There are also some excellent museums and great examples of regional architecture around town. Basel also serves as an excellent entry point to the Swiss Jura mountains and a jumping off point to visit more popular cities such as Zurich or Lucerne.

Which city is cheaper, Basel or Bern?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Bern is $199, while the average daily cost in Basel is $188. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Bern and Basel in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $128. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Bern the cost is $256 on average.

A hotel room in Basel is about $228 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bern $128
    Basel $114
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bern $256
    Basel $228

Food

The price of a meal in Bern can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $48 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $19 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

The average traveler spends about $49 per day in Basel for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Bern $48
    Basel $49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Basel

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Basel.

  • Taste My Swiss City Self Guided Food Tour: $38

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Bern is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $26 per person, per day, on local transportation in Bern.

The average price of local transportation around Basel is $36 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bern $26
    Basel $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Bern City - One Way: $105
  • Private Transfer from Bern City Center to Zurich City Center: $318
  • Private transfer from Bern City to Zurich Airport: $416
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Basel City - One Way: $586
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Zurich City - One Way: $661

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Basel

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Basel:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Basel to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (BSL): $40
  • Basel to Basel Airport - Departure Private Car Transfer: $50
  • Lazerfun included Transfer: $65
  • Private Transfer: Basel Airport to Basel Hotels: $86
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel City to Basel Airport BSL in Business Car: $95
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel City to Basel Airport BSL in Luxury Van: $98
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Luxury Van: $98
  • Departure Private Transfer from Basel City to Basel Airport BSL by Business Car: $98
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Business Car: $100
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Business Car: $100
  • Departure Private Transfers from Basel City to Basel Airport BSL in Business Car: $100
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Basel Mulhouse Freiburg to Basel City - One Way: $103

Is it cheaper to fly into Bern or Basel?

Prices for flights to both Basel and Bern change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Bern typically cost an average of $27 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Basel's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $29 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bern $27
    Basel $29

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45
  • Bern Capital City Small Group Tour: $90
  • Best Introduction Tour of Bern with a Local: $91
  • Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond Location) Small Group Tour from Bern: $179
  • GAILY TOUR in BERN - Gay & Lesbian Tour: $187
  • Bern Capital City Private Tour: $194
  • Zermatt Village Matterhorn Area plus Mt. Gornergrat Small Group Tour from Bern: $227
  • Adventure: Diamond Skull Virtual Reality: $230
  • Private tour of the best of Bern - Sightseeing, Food & Culture with a local: $249
  • Layover in Bern a Private Tour with a local: Best Highlights of Bern: $249
  • Zermatt Village Matterhorn Area plus Mt. Gornergrat Private Tour from Bern: $305
  • Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Small Group Tour from Bern: $329

Tours and Activities in Basel

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Basel are as follows:

  • City tour Basel: $21
  • Basel City Sightseeing Bus Tour: $28
  • Basel Adventure Tour - The city quiz: $38
  • Basel Selfie Tour 7 Attractions in 90min: $85
  • Basel Zoo Entrance Ticket with Hotel Pick and Drop Off Included: $98
  • Adventure Pool with 7 slides Entrance 4 hour Ticket with Hotel PickUp & DropOff: $105
  • Mount Rigi with Lake Cruise Small Group Tour from Basel: $132
  • Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond Location) Small Group Tour from Basel: $179
  • Luzern City Tour with Lake Cruise Small Group Tour from Basel: $190
  • From Basel to Freiburg:The full day tour to the Black Forest!: $194
  • Basel City Center Private Tour: $204
  • From Basel to Colmar (France) : The Discovery Tour of Alsace !: $218

Alcohol

The average person spends about $21 on alcoholic beverages in Bern per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

The average person spends about $26 on alcoholic beverages in Basel per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bern $21
    Basel $26


When comparing the travel costs between Bern and Basel, we can see that Bern is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

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Bern vs. Basel Travel Comparison

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