A Travel Price Comparison for Switzerland Zurich vs. Bern for Old Town, Attractions, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Zurich 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 Zurich 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.

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 food, shopping, and museums.

Bern

Bern is a historic, charming, and beautiful city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Zurich and Bern: 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 Zurich different from Bern?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Zurich or Bern Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Zurich
Bern

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

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.

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 Zurich or Bern Better for Food?

Zurich
Bern

Both Zurich and Bern 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.

Bern is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Is Zurich or Bern Better for Nightlife?

Zurich
Bern

Both Zurich and Bern 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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

Is Zurich or Bern Better for its Old Town?

Zurich
Bern

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

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.

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 Zurich or Bern Better for Shopping?

Zurich
Bern

Both Zurich and Bern 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.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Bern. 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 Zurich or Bern Better for Families?

Zurich
Bern

Both Zurich and Bern 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.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Bern. 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 Zurich or Bern Better for Couples?

Zurich
Bern

Zurich and Bern both fun destinations for a couple.

Zurich is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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.

Bern makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Is Zurich or Bern Better for Public Transit?

Zurich
Bern

Both Zurich and Bern offer public transit options.

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

The public transit in Bern can get you to most places easily. There are trams and buses that run around town.

Is Zurich or Bern a more walkable city?

Zurich
Bern

Zurich and Bern 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.

Bern is a very walkable destination. 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.


Should I spend more time in Bern or Zurich?

How long in Zurich or Bern?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Zurich and Bern. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Zurich than Bern.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Zurich is 2-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Bern is 1-3 days.


  • How many days in Zurich or Bern? Ideal Length of Stay
    Zurich 2-5 
    Bern 1-3

One day in Zurich or Bern?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the destination of Zurich. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

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 do most activities.

A weekend in Zurich or Bern?

Zurich is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the shopping. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

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 Zurich or Bern?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the liberal destination of Zurich. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

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 unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Zurich or Bern?

The beautiful city of Zurich offers shopping and museums. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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 charming 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 Zurich?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Zurich is $205, while the average daily cost in Bern is $193. 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 Bern in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zurich $129
    Bern $125
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zurich $258
    Bern $250
Compare Hotels in Zurich and Bern

Looking for a hotel in Zurich or Bern? 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 Zurich


Hotels in Bern


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: Zurich Hotel Prices and Bern Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zurich $28
    Bern $26
Typical Local Transportation prices in Zurich

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


  • City Pass (2)
    $27

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Zurich or Bern?

Prices for flights to both Bern 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 $47
    Bern $46
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

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

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

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
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zurich $23
    Bern $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 comparing the travel costs between Zurich and Bern, 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.


When is the best time to visit Zurich or Bern?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Zurich or Bern in the Summer?

Both Bern and Zurich are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The music scene and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Zurich this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Bern for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Zurich is generally around the same temperature as Bern. Temperatures in Zurich average around 21°C (70°F), and Bern stays around 21°C (70°F).

It's quite sunny in Bern. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Zurich. Zurich usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Bern during summer. Zurich gets 241 hours of sunny skies, while Bern receives 250 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Zurich usually receives more rain than Bern. Zurich gets 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Bern receives 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Zurich 21°C (70°F) 
    Bern 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Zurich or Bern in the Autumn?

Both Bern and Zurich during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Zurich for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Bern in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

Zurich is around the same temperature as Bern in the autumn. The temperature in Zurich is usually 13°C (56°F) in October, and Bern stays around 13°C (55°F).

In the autumn, Zurich often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Bern. Zurich gets 120 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bern receives 126 hours of full sun.

Zurich usually gets more rain in October than Bern. Zurich gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Bern receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Zurich 13°C (56°F) 
    Bern 13°C (55°F)

Should I visit Zurich or Bern in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Zurich and Bern. Many visitors come to Zurich in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Bern for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Bern can be very cold during winter. Zurich can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Zurich is a little warmer than Bern. Typically, the winter temperatures in Zurich in January are around 3°C (37°F), and Bern is about 3°C (37°F).

Zurich usually receives less sunshine than Bern during winter. Zurich gets 55 hours of sunny skies, while Bern receives 65 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Zurich usually receives more rain than Bern. Zurich gets 77 mm (3 in) of rain, while Bern receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Zurich 3°C (37°F) 
    Bern 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Zurich or Bern in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Zurich as well as Bern. Most visitors come to Zurich for the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Bern because of the natural beauty.

In April, Zurich is generally around the same temperature as Bern. Temperatures in Zurich average around 12°C (53°F), and Bern stays around 11°C (52°F).

In the spring, Zurich often gets less sunshine than Bern. Zurich gets 150 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bern receives 164 hours of full sun.

Zurich usually gets more rain in April than Bern. Zurich gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Bern receives 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Zurich 12°C (53°F) 
    Bern 11°C (52°F)

Typical Weather for Bern and Zurich

Zurich Bern
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 77 mm (3 in) 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 5°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Apr 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
May 16°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in) 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 21°C (69°F) 104 mm (4.1 in) 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 13°C (56°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 82 mm (3.2 in) 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 4°C (39°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)


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Zurich vs. Bern Travel Comparison

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