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

Should you visit Zurich or Barcelona?

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 Zurich and Barcelona. 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.

Zurich

Zurich is a liberal, beautiful, and historic city. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a laid-back, historic, and cultural city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

How is Zurich different from Barcelona?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Zurich or Barcelona better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Plenty of people visit the sights and museums in both Zurich and Barcelona.

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.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Barcelona that are not to be missed. Architecture and history all contribute to the city's impressive sights and museums. Famous landmarks include the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Casa Milà, and the Palace of Catalan Music.


Is Zurich or Barcelona better for Food?

Both Zurich and Barcelona offer a number of unique restaurants to choose from.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Zurich. 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.

Many restaurants in Barcelona have been singled out for their culinary prowess. With easy access to fresh produce, there are many food markets around town. You'll also find great fresh local dishes at the many restaurants. Make sure you try the paella, croquettes, and Jamon Iberico.

Is Zurich or Barcelona better for Nightlife?

Both Zurich and Barcelona are comparable when it comes to partying.

Zurich offers plenty to do in the evening. 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.

Barcelona is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.

Is Zurich or Barcelona better for Music?

Both Zurich and Barcelona offer a variety of live music venues.

The music scene in Zurich is very popular with diverse venues. There are many nightclubs that offer a variety of music types including electronic music, rock, and even reggae.

Barcelona is a world class music destination. Popular music venues include Tablao de Carmen, Razzmatazz, and Jamboree.

Is Zurich or Barcelona better for its Old Town?

Visitors enjoy the old town areas in both Zurich and Barcelona.

The rich history of Zurich can be explored in its historical center. The city has an old town that is split into two parts on each side of the Limmat River. The historic districts are filled with churches, squares, and charming areas that are fun to explore. Walking tours are the best way to explore the old town.

The old town of Barcelona is one of the most recognized in the world. Dating back 2,000 years the Gothic Quarter remains a hub of life and activity. It's fun to explore the wandering streets or people watch in one of the plazas. There are also many fascinating boutique shops and restaurants.


Is Zurich or Barcelona better for Shopping?

Both Zurich and Barcelona are good shopping destinations.

The abundance of shops in Zurich make it a world-class shopping destination. 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.

Barcelona is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Head to Portal De L’Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.

Is Zurich or Barcelona better for Families?

Both Zurich and Barcelona are family-friendly destinations.

Zurich is a very kid-friendly city. 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.

Barcelona is a very family-friendly place to visit. Check out the Magic Fountains Show near Plaça d’Espanya, wander through the aquarium, or sample some chocolate at the Chocolate Museum. There are also many great parks and playgrounds around town.

Is Zurich or Barcelona better for Students?

Zurich and Barcelona are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

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.

Barcelona is a very popular city for students. This is a popular study abroad destination and you'll find international students from around the world. It's a beautiful city with plenty to see and do.

Is Zurich or Barcelona better for Public Transit?

Both Zurich and Barcelona offer public transit options.

Zurich has some very good public transit options. The system is made up of streetcars and buses.

Barcelona has a great public transit system. There's a metro, bus, and tram system that navigates the city.


Is Zurich or Barcelona a more walkable city?

Zurich and Barcelona both are comparable when exploring on foot.

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

Barcelona is very walkable. The city is more spread out than some other major European cities, but there are many plazas and outdoor areas that are fun to explore on foot. The city has designed "superilles," which are areas where car traffic has been directed around pedestrian-friendly plazas so visitors can explore, relax, or play.

Zurich and Barcelona: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Should I spend more time in Barcelona or Zurich?

How long in Zurich or Barcelona?

Both Zurich and Barcelona have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Barcelona than Zurich.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Zurich is 2-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Barcelona is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Zurich or Barcelona? Ideal Length of Stay
    Zurich 2-5 
    Barcelona 3-7

One day in Zurich or Barcelona?

You'll find nightlife and live music around the city of Zurich. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Barcelona is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Zurich or Barcelona?

You'll find live music and food around the historic destination of Zurich. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Barcelona is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Zurich or Barcelona?

You'll find food and shopping around the historic city of Zurich. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Most people head to the area for the shopping. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Barcelona. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Zurich or Barcelona?

Zurich is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Barcelona is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Which city is cheaper, Barcelona or Zurich?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Zurich is $197, while the average daily cost in Barcelona is $130. 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 Zurich and Barcelona in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zurich $124
    Barcelona $79
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zurich $248
    Barcelona $158

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zurich $26
    Barcelona $16
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:

  • Ultra - Zurich Private Airport Transfer from Train Station to Zurich Airport ZRH: $9.41
  • Ultra - Zurich Private Transfer from Train Station to Zurich City Centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Zurich Private Transfer from Zurich City Centre to Train Station: $9.41
  • Ultra - Davos Private Airport Transfer from Zurich Airport ZRH to Davos: $9.41
  • Ultra - Zurich Private Airport Transfer from Zurich Airport ZRH to City Centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Zurich Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Zurich Airport ZRH: $9.41
  • Ultra - Zurich Private Airport Transfer from Zurich Airport ZRH to Train Station: $9.41
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Zurich Airport to Hotel: $31
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Zurich Airport: $31
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Zurich Airport: $39
  • Private Departure Transfer from Zurich City to ZRH Zurich Airport: $39
  • Private Arrival Transfer from ZRH Zurich Airport to Zurich City: $39

Typical Local Transportation prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Barcelona are as follows:


  • 10 Trip Metro Ticket
    $8.20
  • Airport Bus
    $5.26
  • Metro
    $2.21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Barcelona

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Barcelona:

  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Barcelona Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Transfer from Barcelona Cruise Port to City Centre: $9.41
  • Ultra - Barcelona Private Airport Transfer city centre to El Prat Airport BCN: $9.41
  • Airport Transfers: $20
  • Private Departure Transfer from Barcelona City Center to El-Prat Airport (BCN): $24
  • Private Transfer from Barcelona City to Barcelona Airport: $27
  • Barcelona Airport Transfers: $27
  • Barcelona Airport Transfer: $28
  • Private Transfer from Bcn City Centre to Bcn Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Private Transfer from Barcelona City Centre to Barcelona Cruise Terminal: $29
  • Barcelona Private Transfer from City Centre to Cruise Terminal: $29

Is it cheaper to fly into Zurich or Barcelona?

Prices for flights to both Barcelona and Zurich 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
    Zurich $45
    Barcelona $28
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

Typical Food prices in Barcelona

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


  • Hot Cocoa & Churro
    $4.36
  • Sandwich
    $1.79
  • Baguette & Horchata
    $4.00
  • Tapas on the beach
    $8.71
  • Gelatto
    $2.63

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Barcelona

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

  • Live from Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Live from Barcelona to China: Potato Gnocchi Online Cooking Class: $23
  • Barcelona organic dinner in a beautiful rooftop garden: $35
  • Paella Cooking Experience + Boqueria Market Tour: $48
  • Interactive Spanish Cooking Experience in Barcelona: $49
  • Hands-on Brunch Cooking Class with Bottomless Mimosas!: $50
  • Born district food tour and tasting in Barcelona: $51
  • Street Food Tour & Gothic Quater Sightseeing with Local Expert: $52
  • Barcelona Street Food Tour: Local Market & Gothic Quarter with Expert Guide: $52
  • Tasty Barcelona Street Food Tour With Local Market Visit: $59
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show and Dinner Ticket: $62
  • 2-Hour Bites & Flavors Private Food Tour: $66

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zurich $26
    Barcelona $28

Tours and Activities in Zurich

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

  • Zurich Private Tour: Albert Einstein Old Town Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Historical Zürich: An audio tour through the city of a thousand fountains: $9.99
  • Lindt Home of Chocolate Museum Entry Ticket: $16
  • Museum Rietberg Zurich Entrance Ticket: $21
  • Zurich Old Town Walking Tour: 2-Hours: $27
  • Shopping and History Tour of Zurich: $30
  • Zurich Old Town Walking Tour: $30
  • Zürich Historic District Tour: $30
  • Swiss Chocolate Walking Tour of Zurich: $36
  • Zurich Highlights Tour: $40
  • Zurich City Tour Experience: $40
  • Zurich Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45

Typical Entertainment prices in Barcelona

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Barcelona are as follows:


  • Picasso Walking Tour and Museum Pass
    $44
  • Souvenir Gaudi Book
    $8.99
  • Admission to Museo Picasso
    $6.31

Tours and Activities in Barcelona

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

  • A Culinary Audio Tour of El Born by VoiceMap: $5.50
  • Self-Guided Tour with Over 100 Sights: $5.67
  • Private Barcelona Ghost Tour: Gothic Quarter Exploration Game: $7.45
  • Museu de la Xocolata Admission Ticket: $7.46
  • History Museum of Catalonia Skip-The-Line Ticket: $9.08
  • Skip the Line: Erotic Museum of Barcelona Admission Ticket with free souvenir: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: Human Bodies - Entrance to the exhibition Ticket: $9.95
  • Skip the Line: History Museum of Catalonia & Rooftop Access Ticket: $9.95
  • Guided Tour at Catalonia's Royal Academy of Medicine: $10
  • Guided Tour at Barcelona's Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts: $10
  • IDEAL Frida Kahlo, the Life of an Icon Ticket: $10
  • Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum Entry Ticket: $10

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zurich $22
    Barcelona $14

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Barcelona

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Barcelona:

  • Estrella Damm Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $9.08
  • Generation Pub Crawl in Barcelona: $19
  • Barcelona Pub Crawl: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience in Barcelona: $22
  • Opera Samfaina: Food and Wine Tasting Interactive Experience in Barcelona: $26
  • Wine tasting & tapas: $39
  • Barcelona Guided Local Wine Tasting Tour: $44
  • Wine Tasting near Sagrada Familia: $47
  • Home Food and Wine Tasting with Wine Lover: $51
  • Fun Wine Tasting in Barcelona with a Sommelier!: $53
  • Spanish wine tasting in a historic building with a Sommelier: $54
  • Food Tasting Tapas and Wine Tour: $62


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Zurich and Barcelona, we can see that Zurich is more expensive. And not only is Barcelona much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Barcelona would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Barcelona 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 Barcelona.

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
Zurich vs. Barcelona 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.