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

Should you visit Lucerne or Basel?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Lucerne and Basel. 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. So, let's dig into it.


Lucerne is a relatively small city in the center of Switzerland. It is located across the lake from Altdorf and it has a thriving tourism industry. It's close proximity to many of the major sights in the country make it a great base for exploration. Many people use it as a jumping off point for exploring Mount Rigi and the Rutli Meadow.


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 Lucerne?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lucerne is $168, while the average daily cost in Basel is $185. 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 Lucerne and Basel in more detail.


For a normal double-occupancy room in Lucerne, $216 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Lucerne, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $108, such as in a hostel.

A hotel room in Basel is about $224 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lucerne $108
    Basel $112
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lucerne $216
    Basel $224


While meal prices in Lucerne can vary, the average travelers spends about $49 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Lucerne should cost around $20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Lucerne is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

The average traveler spends about $48 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
    Lucerne $49
    Basel $48

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

Lucerne's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $9.83 per person, per day on transportation in Lucerne.

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.
    Lucerne $9.83
    Basel $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lucerne

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

  • Private transfer from Lucerne City to Lucerne Train Station: $110
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Lucerne City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Business Car: $118
  • Private Transfer from Lucerne City to interlaken City: $174
  • Departure Private Transfer Lucerne-Basel-Bern to Zurich Airport by Business Car: $191
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Lucerne City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Luxury Van: $207
  • Departure Private Transfer Lucerne-Basel-Bern to Zurich Airport by Luxury Van: $251
  • Private transfer from Lucerne City to Zurich Airport: $271
  • ZRH Airport - Lucern City (Transfer Service): $287
  • Transfers Zurich Airport - Lucerne: $431

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Basel

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Basel:

  • Transfer from Basel Airport or City to Zermatt: $1,309
  • Private Transfer: Basel to Basel Airport (BSL): $622
  • Private Transfer from Basel to Several Destinations in Switzerland: $616
  • Private Transfer from Basel to Several Destinations in Switzerland (luxury Van): $585
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport to Zurich City - One Way: $390
  • Private Arrival Transfer: from Basel Airport to Zurich City: $387
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport to Bern City - One Way: $302
  • Private Transfer from Basel City to Zurich City: $174
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel City to Basel Airport BSL in Luxury Car: $149
  • Basel Airport Transfers : Basel Airport BSL to Basel City in Luxury Car: $142
  • Departure Private Transfer from Basel City to Basel Airport BSL by Luxury Car: $108
  • Departure Private Transfer from Basel City to Basel Airport BSL by Luxury Van: $108

Is it cheaper to fly into Lucerne or Basel?

Prices for flights to both Basel and Lucerne 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.


Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Lucerne can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $27 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

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.
    Lucerne $27
    Basel $29
Typical Entertainment prices in Lucerne

For Lucerne, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:

  • 1 Day Bicycle Rental
  • The Swiss Transport Museum Entrance Fee

Tours and Activities in Lucerne

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Lucerne.

  • Swiss Chocolate Adventure Experience at Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne: $19
  • Lucerne Swiss Museum of Transport Entrance Ticket: $39
  • Golden Round Trip from Mt. Pilatus Self-Guided Tour: $113
  • 2-Hour Gourmet Lunch Cruise on Lake Lucerne: $121
  • Mt. Pilatus by Cable Car and Cogwheel Train & Lake Cruise: $140
  • Pearls of Switzerland Cristina Tschuppert Private city walking tour Lucerne: $178
  • Chocolate World Experience and Tasting Private Tour from Luzern: $226
  • Luzern City Tour with Lake Cruise Private Tour: $231
  • Lucerne City Walking Tour in Portuguese (1-2 guests): $231
  • Lake Lucerne Castles and Villas Tour: $261
  • Mount Rigi with Lake Cruise Private Tour from Luzern: $279
  • ALL TRANSPORT INCLUSIVE Mt. Pilatus Guided Golden Roundtrip Tour: $280

Tours and Activities in Basel

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

  • Adventure Pool with 7 slides Entrance 4 hour Ticket with Hotel PickUp & DropOff: $105
  • Artisan Cheesemaking and Chocolate factory with Tasting Private Tour from Basel: $424
  • Basel Adventure Tour - The city quiz: $38
  • Basel City Center Private Tour: $204
  • Basel City Sightseeing Bus Tour: $28
  • Basel Private Walking Tour: $366
  • Basel Private Walking Tour with Professional Guide: $472
  • Basel Selfie Tour 7 Attractions in 90min: $85
  • Basel Zoo Entrance Ticket with Hotel Pick and Drop Off Included: $98
  • Basel pick up and Zurich Luzern or Bern or Mountain experience: $603
  • Basel's Old Town Historical Walking Tour: $637
  • Bern Capital City Private Tour from Basel: $285


Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Lucerne, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $17.

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
    Lucerne $17
    Basel $26

Sample the Local Flavors in Lucerne

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Lucerne:

  • Chocolate, Cheese and Wine Tour in Luzern region: $627

When comparing the travel costs between Lucerne and Basel, we can see that Basel 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.

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Lucerne vs. Basel Travel Comparison

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