A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Zurich vs. Budapest for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Zurich or Budapest?

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

Budapest

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. It has been called the "Paris of the East" because of its impressive architecture and general beauty. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987 because of its cultural importance, its location on the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrassy Avenue. In addition to its rich history, Budapest still has a young vibe with a lot of energy. There's an active night life, an impressive music scene, and a good reputation with European youth.

Which city is cheaper, Budapest or Zurich?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Zurich is $209, while the average daily cost in Budapest is $85. 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 Budapest in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $264 for a double occupancy room in Zurich.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $94 in Budapest For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zurich $132
    Budapest $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zurich $264
    Budapest $94

Food

Zurich food costs typically run travelers around $48 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.

Food in Budapest costs travelers about $21 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Zurich $48
    Budapest $21
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

Typical Food prices in Budapest

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Budapest:


  • Lunch
    $4.04

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Budapest

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

  • Lángos (hungarian streetfood) cooking class: $19
  • Dinner & Cruise on the Danube in Budapest: $23
  • Traveling Spoon Hungarian Goulash Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Vegan Food Tour / Local delights: $36
  • Private Budapest Food Tour with a Local Foodie: $37
  • Live from Hungarian Online Cooking class: $39
  • Bitemojo Self Guided Food Tour Night & The City Budapest: $47
  • Food Tour in Budapest: $50
  • Bitemojo Self Guided Food Tour of Trendy Budapest: $51
  • BBQ dinner and a Quiz Night - welcome shots (hungaricums) and 88 craft beers: $52
  • 2-Hours Strudel Cooking Class and Wine Tasting in Central Budapest: $53
  • Dinner Cruise with Live Music: $54

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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Budapest than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $10 on transportation in Budapest on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zurich $28
    Budapest $10
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:

  • Private Transfer Zurich Airport or City ⇔ Zermatt: $1,374
  • Private Taxi Transfer: Zurich Airport ⇔ Zermatt both directions: $1,374
  • Private Transfer: Zurich Airport to St. Anton am Arlberg: $1,355
  • Private transfer Zurich Airport to Zermatt (Täsch) (1-3 persons): $1,131
  • Private transfer Zurich Airport to St. Moritz (1-3 persons): $970
  • Private transfer Zurich Airport to Montreux (1-3 persons): $918
  • Private Transfer: Zurich Airport to Davos: $887
  • Premium Transfer from Zürich Airport or city to Davos or Klosters or back: $862
  • Private Transfer: Zurich Airport to Andermatt: $702
  • Private Arrival Transfer: from Zurich Airport to Disentis: $693
  • Private Arrival transfer: from Zurich Airport to Gstaad Saanen: $693
  • Private Arrival Transfer: from Zurich Airport to St. Moritz: $693

Typical Local Transportation prices in Budapest

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $8.26
  • Metro Pass
    $4.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Budapest

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

  • Private Airport Transfer Service in Budapest, Hungary: $18
  • Budapest Private Transfer: Hotel or Apartment to Airport: $19
  • Budapest Private Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Apartment: $20
  • Budapest One Way Private Transfer to or from Airport: $20
  • Private Arrival transfer from Budapest Airport to Budapest City Center: $21
  • Private Departure Transfer: Budapest City - Budapest Airport: $21
  • Private Transfer from Budapest City Center to Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport(BUD): $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Budapest to Budapest International Airport (BUD): $22
  • Budapest Airport Private Departure Transfer : City to Airport: $22
  • Private Transfer from Budapest city to Budapest Airport - departure: $22
  • Private Transfer from Budapest Airport to the city - arrival: $22
  • Budapest Airport Transfers: $23

Is it cheaper to fly into Zurich or Budapest?

Prices for flights to both Budapest 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.

Sightseeing expenses in Budapest, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $22 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zurich $28
    Budapest $22

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Budapest

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


  • Entrance to the Baths for Two
    $8.10

Tours and Activities in Budapest

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

  • Budapest Private Tour: Buda Castle District Exploration Game: $3.72
  • Discovering Explore the city's hot pools and heroes on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Private Budapest Ghost Tour: Haunted City Exploration Game: $5.65
  • Guided Tour in Budapest Castle District: $6.22
  • Urban Tour of the Outer viii district Budapest: $6.22
  • The Legendary Vampires at the Castle's Court Audio Tour: $6.59
  • Alternative Street Tip Based Walking Tour of Budapest: $6.77
  • Budapest Downtown and Inner City E-Scooter Tour: $7.46
  • Skip the Line: Aeropark Aviation Museum Entrance Ticket: $8.01
  • Robert Capa Contemporary Photograhy Center Visit Ticket: $8.71
  • Sightseeing Cruise on the Danube with Live Music: $8.87
  • Danube Cruise in Budapest: $9.58

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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Budapest, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $16.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zurich $23
    Budapest $16

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 Budapest

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

  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $15
  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $15
  • Ultimate Ruin Pub Crawl: $18
  • Generation Pub Crawl Budapest: $19
  • Ruin Pub Crawl - Your Keys to the Nightlife of Budapest: $21
  • Budapest Pub Crawl: $24
  • Pest side Pub Crawl - Unlimited drinks for an hour, discover hidden ruin pubs: $25
  • Re-opening Pub Crawls 2020 Summer-Autumn: $25
  • Budapest Pub Crawl with Skip-the-Line Access: $26
  • Epic Local Insider Pub Crawl in Budapest - Every weekend: $30
  • Party Cruise with Pub Crawl option: $37
  • Hungarian Wine Tasting (with Cheese and Charcuterie) in Budapest: $40


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

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Zurich vs. Budapest Travel Comparison

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