A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Helsinki vs. Zurich for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Helsinki or Zurich?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Helsinki and Zurich can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Helsinki

Helsinki is a coastal, environmentally conscious, and waterfront city. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Zurich

Zurich is a beautiful, historic, and liberal city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the nightlife, live music, and food.

Helsinki and Zurich: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty


How is Helsinki different from Zurich?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Zurich and Helsinki. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Helsinki or Zurich Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Helsinki
Zurich

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Helsinki and Zurich.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Helsinki. Many of the city's sights and attractions center around nature and the water. Major hightlights of the city include the Fortress of Sveaborg, Seurasaari open-Air Museum, and Temppeliaukio Rock Church. The city is also home to The National Museum of Finland.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Zurich. Make sure you check out the Museum of Fine Arts, the Fraumünster, as well as the Swiss National Museum.


Is Helsinki or Zurich Better for Food?

Helsinki
Zurich

Foodies will find both Helsinki and Zurich both to be unique destinations.

Helsinki has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Food in town is all about local flavors and simple ingredients. The dishes let the flavor speak for itself without fancy cooking techniques or complex flavor combinations. Many of the restaurants are locally sourced with traditional ingredients. You'll find a lot of seafood, herring, grilled sausages, pancakes, and desserts.

Dining out in Zurich is an experience not to be missed. Many restaurants have a strong German influence, but you'll also find traditional Swiss dishes such as cheese and chocolate fondue. There are also several Michelin star restaurants in town.

Is Helsinki or Zurich Better for Nightlife?

Helsinki
Zurich

The nightlife scene is relatively similar in Helsinki and Zurich.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Helsinki. The nightlife scene is at its best on weekends when the city center comes to life with parties, dance clubs, and student activities. Many of the best clubs and bars are concentrated in the city center. Weekends are a bit calmer and things quiet down a lot.

Zurich is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. The city has some of the best nightlife in Switzerland. There are a high concentration of bars and clubs around town, or you could check out one of the badis, which are pools that also act as bars during the summer months. They're usually located by the lake.

Is Helsinki or Zurich Better for Shopping?

Helsinki
Zurich

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Helsinki and Zurich.

Helsinki is well-known for its shopping. The city is great for shopping, with many brands focused on sustainability. There are local boutiques as well as name brands. Flea markets and vintage shops are also popular.

Zurich is a world class destination for shoppers. Visitors often buy chocolate, watches, and jewelry in this city. You'll find brand names and luxury items that are of high quality. Each neighborhood has its own character with stores ranging from traditional to international.

Is Helsinki or Zurich Better for Families?

Helsinki
Zurich

Both Helsinki and Zurich are fun to visit with kids.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Helsinki is very family-friendly. The coastal setting offers many activities that kids and adults alike will enjoy. This capital city has a calm atmosphere with plenty of parkland to explore. The shoreline is dotted by islands where you'll also find a zoo and a fort. Kids will also enjoy exploring the islands by boat.

Zurich is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. It's a surprisingly mellow city with a relaxing vibe that makes it easy to explore with kids. Popular family-friendly activities include swimming in the Limmat River, sailing on Lake Zurich, and visiting Josefwiese park, which has a large playground.


Is Helsinki or Zurich Better for Couples?

Helsinki
Zurich

Both Helsinki and Zurich are good destinations for a couple's getaway.

Helsinki makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The city's many parks offer the perfect setting for a picnic or a walk. There are also botanical gardens, evening boat rides, and saunas that will help you enjoy a romantic trip away.

Couples visit Zurich frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. One of the most romantic experiences you can have in town is visiting the Zurich Thermal Baths and Spa. There's an outdoor rooftop thermal pool as well as many ways that you can pamper yourselves.

Is Helsinki or Zurich Better for Students?

Helsinki
Zurich

Both Helsinki and Zurich are popular destinations for students.

Students come from all over to stay in Helsinki. The city has an active student life with plenty of culture and nature. It's active nightlife scene and beautiful natural areas make it a wonderful place to study.

Zurich is a very popular place to visit for students. The city offers a number of unique experiences for international students. The academics are good and the university campuses are nice.

Is Helsinki or Zurich Better for Public Transit?

Helsinki
Zurich

Visitors will find public transit in both Helsinki and Zurich.

The public transit in Helsinki can get you around easily. Transit options include bus, tram, metro, commuter train and ferry services.

Zurich offers a very effecient public transportation network. The system is made up of streetcars and buses.

Is Helsinki or Zurich a more walkable city?

Helsinki
Zurich

Helsinki and Zurich are similar when it comes to walkability.

Helsinki is a somewhat walkable place. Many neighborhoods are easy to explore on foot. The air is also clean and the setting is refreshing.

Zurich is a very walkable destination. There are paths that lead along the rivers and the lake connecting the old town areas to other parts of the city.


Should I spend more time in Zurich or Helsinki?

How long in Helsinki or Zurich?

In either Helsinki or Zurich, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Zurich than Helsinki because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Helsinki is 2-4 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Zurich is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Helsinki or Zurich? Ideal Length of Stay
    Helsinki 2-4 
    Zurich 2-5

One day in Helsinki or Zurich?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Helsinki. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

The beautiful city of Zurich offers museums and nightlife. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Helsinki or Zurich?

Helsinki 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.

Zurich is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Zurich, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Helsinki or Zurich?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Helsinki. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Zurich is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that shopping is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Zurich, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Helsinki or Zurich?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the nature-focused destination of Helsinki. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Zurich is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that shopping is why people visit. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Zurich or Helsinki?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Helsinki is €112, while the average daily cost in Zurich is €194. 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 Helsinki and Zurich in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Helsinki 59
    Zurich 122
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Helsinki 118
    Zurich 244
Compare Hotels in Helsinki and Zurich

Looking for a hotel in Helsinki or Zurich? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Helsinki


Hotels in Zurich


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Helsinki Hotel Prices and Zurich Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Helsinki 18
    Zurich 26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Helsinki

Also for Helsinki, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ultra - Helsinki Private Transfer from City Centre to Helsinki Cruise Port: $8.71
  • Ultra - Helsinki Private Transfer from Helsinki Cruise Port to City Centre: $8.71
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Helsinki to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL): $33
  • Private Departure Transfer from Helsinki City Center to Helsinki Airport (HEL): $34
  • From Tallinn: Return Day Trip Ferry Transfer to Helsinki: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer from Helsinki City to Helsinki Vantaa Airport: $40
  • Airport transfer in Helsinki: $50
  • Best Transfer Helsinki: $50
  • VIP Transfer Helsinki Airport: $53
  • VIP car Airport Transfer Helsinki: $56
  • Private Chauffeur Transfer Helsinki: $56
  • Arrival Private Transfer Business Car Helsinki Port to Helsinki City: $62

Typical Local Transportation prices in Zurich

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Zurich:


  • City Pass (2)
    26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zurich

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zurich:

  • Private Transfer to/from Zurich Airport (ZRH): $96
  • Airport and City Private Transfer: $93
  • Zurich to Zurich Airport (ZRH) - Departure Private Car Transfer: $73
  • Zurich Departure Private Transfers from Zurich City to Zurich Airport ZRH: $100
  • Zurich Departure Private Transfers from Zurich City to Zurich Airport ZRH: $87
  • Zurich Arrival Private Transfers from Zurich Airport ZRH to Zurich City: $95
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Zurich City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Luxury Van: $100
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Zurich City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Luxury Car: $133
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Zurich City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Business Car: $91
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Zurich Airport ZRH to Zurich City in Luxury Van: $100
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Zurich Airport ZRH to Zurich City in Luxury Car: $126
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Zurich Airport ZRH to Lucerne City in Luxury Van: $207

Is it cheaper to fly into Helsinki or Zurich?

Prices for flights to both Zurich and Helsinki 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Helsinki 27
    Zurich 45

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Helsinki

For Helsinki, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Helsinki Food Tour Including Tastings: $137

Typical Food prices in Zurich

Some typical examples of dining costs in Zurich are as follows:


  • Breakfast for 2
    12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Zurich

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

  • Culinary Tour from Zurich with Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue Dinner: $154
  • Overnight Mount Titlis including 4-course dinner: $545

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Helsinki 22
    Zurich 26

Tours and Activities in Helsinki

For Helsinki, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Skip the Line: Flying Cinema Tour Of Helsinki Experience, single ticket: $15
  • Skip the Line: SEA LIFE Helsinki Entrance Ticket: $19
  • Helsinki Self-Guided Audio Tour: $20
  • Sea Life Entrance Tickets: $22
  • Highlights & Hidden Gems Self-Guided Walking Tour: $25
  • Sightseeing Boat Tour in Archipelago of Helsinki: $27
  • City Highlights 1.5-Hour Archipelago Cruise: $28
  • 90-minute Helsinki Boat Sightseeing on Beautiful Canal Route: $28
  • Helsinki Archipelago: Sightseeing Boat Tour: $28
  • Private Tour with a Local Guide: $33
  • Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour Valid for 24 Hours: $34
  • City Sightseeing Helsinki Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $37

Tours and Activities in Zurich

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

  • 2-Day Alps Tour from Mt Pilatus and Mt Titlis: $592
  • 2-Day Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Tour from Interlaken or Grindelwald: $557
  • 2-Day Mt Rigi Tour from Zurich Including Mineral Baths and Lake Lucerne Cruise: $474
  • 2-Day Switzerland Tour from Zurich to Geneva: Mt.Titlis,Interlaken,Bern,Gruyères: $693
  • 2-Day Winter Tour from Mt Pilatus and Mt Titlis: $592
  • 2-hour Private Guided Zurich Downtown Tour: $225
  • 3 in 1: Zurich Walking Tour - Cruise on the Lake - Cable Car Ride to Felsenegg: $98
  • 3-Day Glacier Express Self-Guided Tour from Zurich: $556
  • 3-Day GoldenPass Line Self-Guided Tour from Zurich: $439
  • 4-Day Glacier and Bernina Express Self-Guided Tour from Zurich: $768
  • 4-Day Switzerland Tour from Zurich Including Mt. Titlis Cable Car: $1,662
  • 5-Day Famous Mountain Peaks Self-Guided Tour from Zurich: $982

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Helsinki 13
    Zurich 21

Sample the Local Flavors in Zurich

Also in Zurich, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Pub Crawl Zurich: $29


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Helsinki and Zurich, we can see that Zurich is more expensive. And not only is Helsinki much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Helsinki would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Helsinki 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 Zurich would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Zurich than you might in Helsinki.


When is the best time to visit Helsinki or Zurich?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Helsinki or Zurich in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Helsinki as well as Zurich. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Helsinki this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Zurich for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences.

Helsinki is cooler than Zurich in the summer. The temperature in Helsinki is usually 17°C (62°F) in July, and Zurich stays around 21°C (70°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Zurich. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Helsinki this time of the year. In the summer, Helsinki often gets more sunshine than Zurich. Helsinki gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Zurich receives 241 hours of full sun.

Helsinki usually gets less rain in July than Zurich. Helsinki gets 58 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Zurich receives 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Helsinki 17°C (62°F) 
    Zurich 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Helsinki or Zurich in the Autumn?

Both Zurich and Helsinki are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Helsinki for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Zurich in the autumn for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Helsinki is much colder than Zurich. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Helsinki in October are around 6°C (42°F), and Zurich is about 13°C (56°F).

Helsinki usually receives less sunshine than Zurich during autumn. Helsinki gets 90 hours of sunny skies, while Zurich receives 120 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Helsinki usually receives around the same amount of rain as Zurich. Helsinki gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Zurich receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Helsinki 6°C (42°F) 
    Zurich 13°C (56°F)

Should I visit Helsinki or Zurich in the Winter?

Both Zurich and Helsinki during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Helsinki in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Zurich for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Zurich can be very cold during winter. Helsinki can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Helsinki is generally much colder than Zurich. Temperatures in Helsinki average around -6°C (21°F), and Zurich stays around 3°C (37°F).

In the winter, Helsinki often gets less sunshine than Zurich. Helsinki gets 39 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Zurich receives 55 hours of full sun.

Helsinki usually gets less rain in January than Zurich. Helsinki gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Zurich receives 77 mm (3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Helsinki -6°C (21°F) 
    Zurich 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Helsinki or Zurich in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Helsinki and Zurich. Most visitors come to Helsinki for the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Zurich because of the natural beauty.

Helsinki can be very cold during spring. Helsinki is much colder than Zurich in the spring. The temperature in Helsinki is usually 3°C (37°F) in April, and Zurich stays around 12°C (53°F).

Helsinki usually receives more sunshine than Zurich during spring. Helsinki gets 183 hours of sunny skies, while Zurich receives 150 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Helsinki usually receives less rain than Zurich. Helsinki gets 41 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Zurich receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Helsinki 3°C (37°F) 
    Zurich 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Zurich and Helsinki

Helsinki Zurich
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -6°C (21°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 3°C (37°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Feb -7°C (20°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 5°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Mar -3°C (27°F) 34 mm (1.4 in) 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Apr 3°C (37°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
May 9°C (49°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 16°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in)
Jun 15°C (59°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 19°C (66°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)
Jul 17°C (62°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 21°C (70°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Aug 16°C (60°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 21°C (69°F) 104 mm (4.1 in)
Sep 11°C (51°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 6°C (42°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 13°C (56°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 1°C (33°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 7°C (45°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Dec -4°C (26°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 4°C (39°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)


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Helsinki vs. Zurich Travel Comparison

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