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

Should you visit Zurich or Basel?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Zurich 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.

Zurich

Zurich has the biggest connection for trains in Switzerland. It also has the country's biggest and busiest airport. Because of its importance as a transportation center, it is likely to be the first place you visit in Switzerland. It is the financial capital of the country (although, contrary to what you may have thought, not the political capital). It has many international companies, and is home to the country's stock exchange.

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 Zurich?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Zurich is $211, 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 Zurich and Basel in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $266 for a double occupancy room in Zurich.

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


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zurich $133
    Basel $114
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zurich $266
    Basel $228

Food

Zurich food costs typically run travelers around $49 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

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
    Zurich $49
    Basel $49
Typical Food prices in Zurich

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


  • Breakfast for 2
    $13

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

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 average price of local transportation around Zurich is $28 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.

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.
    Zurich $28
    Basel $36
Typical Local Transportation prices in Zurich

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


  • City Pass (2)
    $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zurich

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zurich:

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

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 Zurich or Basel?

Prices for flights to both Basel 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.





Entertainment

Zurich's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $28 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.

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.
    Zurich $28
    Basel $29

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
  • Museum Rietberg Zurich Entrance Ticket: $21
  • Zurich Old Town Walking Tour: $30
  • Shopping and History Tour of Zurich: $30
  • Zürich Historic District Tour: $30
  • Swiss Chocolate Walking Tour of Zurich: $36
  • Zurich City Tour Experience: $40
  • Zurich Highlights Tour: $40
  • Zurich Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45
  • Private Tuk-Tuk City Tour: $49
  • The Best of Zurich Including Panoramic Views in a Small Group Walking Tour: $58

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 $23 on alcoholic beverages in Zurich 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
    Zurich $23
    Basel $26

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 comparing the travel costs between Zurich and Basel, we can see that Zurich 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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Zurich vs. Basel Travel Comparison

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