A Travel Price Comparison for Switzerland Geneva vs. Bern for Attractions, Food, Old Town, and Families

Should you visit Geneva or Bern?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Geneva and Bern. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.


Geneva is a diverse, international, and professional city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.


Bern is a beautiful, cultural, and historic city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

How is Geneva different from Bern?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Geneva or Bern better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Geneva and Bern have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Geneva. Famous sights and landmarks include the spectacular Water Jet, St Pierre Cathedral, and the Palais des Nations. There are also impressive art and history museums in the city.

Bern offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and Bern Cathedral.

Is Geneva or Bern better for Food?

Dining out in both Geneva and Bern can be an enjoyable experience.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Geneva makes for a great culinary experience. The city has an amazing mix of traditional Swiss restaurants as well as diverse ethnic options. Traditional dishes include fondue and raclette, both of which involve the decadent Swiss cheese.

Bern offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Is Geneva or Bern better for Nightlife?

It's hard to distinguish whether Geneva or Bern has a better nightlife scene.

Geneva has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. During the day the city is all business, but at night the professionals, interns, students, and NGO workers all come together to enjoy a drink at a bar or dance at one of the city's diverse clubs.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

Is Geneva or Bern better for its Old Town?

Visitors enjoy the old town areas in both Geneva and Bern.

Many visitors go to Geneva to see the historical old town. The Old Town offers a number of charming streets where you can wander as well as historical buildings including St. Pierre Cathedral.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

Is Geneva or Bern better for Shopping?

Shopping in a popular activity in both Bern and Geneva.

Geneva is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Famous for its posh shops and luxury brands, this city is a popular shopping destination. From chic boutiques to deluxe toy stores, you'll find something for everyone. In particular, the city is known for its Swiss watches, Swiss Army knives, chocolate, and wine.

Bern is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.

Is Geneva or Bern better for Families?

Both Geneva and Bern are family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Geneva. This diverse city has a number of chocolate shops, toy stores, and parks where kids can play. They'll be impressed by the Water Jet and there are few places where you can swim in the lake when the weather is warm.

Bern is a very family-friendly place to visit. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Is Geneva or Bern better for Couples?

Geneva and Bern both fun destinations for a couple.

Geneva is a nice destination for couples. Wandering Old Town, sampling Swiss chocolate, and enjoying one of the many ethnic restaurants around town all make for great date activities. Fondue in a traditional restaurant is also a not to be missed experience.

Bern is a very popular place to visit for couples. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Is Geneva or Bern better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Geneva and Bern.

Visitors in Geneva can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The very comprehensive system includes trams, buses, and boats.

Visitors to Bern can move around easily with public transportation. There are trams and buses that run around town.

Is Geneva or Bern a more walkable city?

Geneva and Bern both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Geneva is very walkable. Most areas where visitors spend their time can be easily explored on foot.

Bern is very walkable. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.

Geneva and Bern: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty

Should I spend more time in Bern or Geneva?

How long in Geneva or Bern?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Geneva and Bern. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Geneva is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Bern is 1-3 days.

  • How many days in Geneva or Bern? Ideal Length of Stay
    Geneva 1-3 
    Bern 1-3

One day in Geneva or Bern?

Geneva is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One day is usually enough time for a trip here.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Bern. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to spend here.

A weekend in Geneva or Bern?

Geneva is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the shopping. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

Bern is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Geneva or Bern?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the international big city of Geneva. This city offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Bern. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Geneva or Bern?

The professional city of Geneva offers nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the beautiful destination of Bern. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Bern or Geneva?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Geneva is $160, while the average daily cost in Bern is $190. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Geneva and Bern in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Geneva $110
    Bern $123
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Geneva $220
    Bern $246

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Geneva $7.15
    Bern $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Geneva

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Geneva:

  • Private Departure Transfer: Geneva Hotel to Geneva Airport: $37
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Geneva to Geneva International Airport (GVA): $39
  • Geneva to Geneva Airport (GVA) - Departure Private Van Transfer: $41
  • Superior Private Transfer from Geneva Hotels to Geneva Airport: $47
  • Geneva to Geneva Airport (GVA) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $68
  • Geneva Airport (GVA) to Geneva - Arrival Private Car Transfer: $68
  • Geneva to Geneva Airport (GVA)- Departure Private Car Transfer: $68
  • VIP Transfer: $74
  • Departure Private Transfer Business Car Geneva City to Geneva airport GVA: $93
  • Geneva Departure Private Transfers from Geneva City to Geneva Airport GVA: $95
  • Geneva Airport Transfers : Geneva City to Geneva Airport GVA in Business Car: $100
  • Private Transfer from Geneva City to Geneva Airport: $100

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Premium Private 1-Way Transfer to/from Interlaken: $250
  • Geneva: Premium 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Bern: $277
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Basel City - One Way: $586
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Bern City - One Way: $105
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Zurich City - One Way: $661
  • Private Transfer from Bern City Center to Zurich City Center: $318
  • Private transfer from Bern City to Zurich Airport: $416

Is it cheaper to fly into Geneva or Bern?

Prices for flights to both Bern and Geneva 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Geneva $40
    Bern $46

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Geneva

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

  • Old Geneva food tour: $268

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Geneva $23
    Bern $26

Tours and Activities in Geneva

Here are a few actual costs in Geneva for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1-Hour Lake Geneva Cruise: $9.83
  • International & Panoramic Tours Geneva: $27
  • 2-Hour Tour of International Quarters and Old Town: $60
  • Geneva City Tour: $64
  • Annecy Half-Day Tour from Geneva: $80
  • Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise: $82
  • Independent Chamonix and Mont Blanc Tour from Geneva: $90
  • E-Bike Tour of United Nations Square and Lake: $96
  • Photogenic City Photography Tour: $103
  • Chocolate Flavors Walking Tour of Geneva: $108
  • Riviera Montreux, Lavaux UNESCO & Optional Cruise: $118
  • Glacier 3000 Experience and Montreux: $119

Tours and Activities in Bern

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

  • Tour with iPod Audio Guide: $20
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45
  • 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour: $72
  • Tirano to St. Moritz: Bernina Red Train Return Day-Ticket: $79
  • Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide: $83
  • Instagram Highlights Tour: $83
  • Bern Capital City Small Group Tour: $90
  • Best Introduction Tour of Bern with a Local: $91
  • 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour: $162
  • 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

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Geneva $17
    Bern $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Geneva

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Geneva:

  • Seneca Lake Wine Tasting & Tour: $167
  • Farms, Flights: Finger Lakes Brewery Tour: $180
  • Lavaux Panoramic Wine Tour from Geneva: $289
  • Winter ski tour: Wine tasting tour in Rhine region: $746
  • Swiss Wine Tasting at Lavaux Vineyards: Private Trip From Geneva: $1,097

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Geneva and Bern, we can see that Bern is more expensive. And not only is Geneva much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Geneva would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Geneva and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bern would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bern than you might in Geneva.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Geneva vs. Bern Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.