Should you visit Zurich or Lausanne?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Zurich and Lausanne. 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 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.
Located on Lake Geneva, Lausanne is the capital city of French-speaking region of Vaud, Switzerland. The slopes of Lake Geneva's shores are known for growing wine, while the city of Lausanne sprawls across three hills. The city is also home to the International Olympic Committee, the Olympic Museum, and lakeshore Olympic Park, as well as an old town that dates to medieval times.
Which city is cheaper, Lausanne 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 Lausanne is $181. 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 Lausanne in more detail.
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 Lausanne is about $216 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
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 Lausanne 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.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Zurich
Some typical examples of dining costs in Zurich are as follows:
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:
Overnight Mount Titlis including 4-course dinner:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lausanne
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Lausanne.
Swiss Dinner in an Igloo tour with transport & shopping opportunities:
Lavaux Panoramic Dinner Tour:
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.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $32 per day to get around in Lausanne.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Zurich
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Zurich:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zurich
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zurich:
(Airport) transfer: from Zürich airport or Zürich to Bern, Fribourg, Thun, Biel:
Arrival Private Transfer Zurich Airport ZRH to Lucerne-Basel-Bern by Luxury Van:
Arrival Private Transfer from Zurich Airport ZRH to Zurich City by Luxury Car:
Arrival Private Transfer from Zurich Airport ZRH to Zurich City by Luxury Van:
Departure Private Transfer Zurich to Zurich Airport ZRH by Luxury Car:
Departure Private Transfer Zurich to Zurich Airport ZRH by Luxury Van:
Departure Private Transfer from Zurich to Zurich Airport ZRH by Business Car:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Friedrichshafen Airport to Zürich City - One Way:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Zürich Airport to Bern City - One Way:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Zürich Airport to Zurich City - One Way:
Premium Transfer from Zürich Airport or city to Basel city, port or Airport:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lausanne
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lausanne:
Limousine Transfer & Chaplin's world visit:
Private Transfer: Lausanne to Geneva Airport (GVA):
Is it cheaper to fly into Zurich or Lausanne?
Prices for flights to both Lausanne 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.
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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $30 per person, per day in Lausanne. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
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:
Historical Zürich: An audio tour through the city of a thousand fountains:
Museum Rietberg Zurich Entrance Ticket:
Zurich Old Town Walking Tour:
Shopping and History Tour of Zurich:
Zürich Historic District Tour:
Swiss Chocolate Walking Tour of Zurich:
Zurich City Tour Experience:
Zurich Highlights Tour:
Zurich Like a Local: Customized Private Tour:
Private Tuk-Tuk City Tour:
The Best of Zurich Including Panoramic Views in a Small Group Walking Tour:
Tours and Activities in Lausanne
Here are a few actual costs in Lausanne for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Medieval Tour this historic city & its architecture on an audio walk:
The Olympic Museum Entrance Ticket in Lausanne:
Lavaux Panoramic Tour from Lausanne:
Riviera Col du Pillon & Glacier 3000: High Level Experience Swiss Alps from Lausanne:
Glacier 3000 High Level Experience in the Swiss Alps from Lausanne:
Riviera line to Vevey, Chaplin, Montreux, Lavaux tour and optional cruise from Lausanne:
Riviera tour with long cruise in Montreux and Lavaux Unesco Tour from Lausanne:
Winter Gruyères, chocolate and cheese tour from Lausanne:
Panoramic Cheese Tour to Gruyere with Cheese Fondue:
Chamonix Mont-Blanc, Aiguille du Midi Tour:
Les Jewels of Jura - all-inclusive wine and culinary day-tour:
Lausanne Private Walking Tour with Professional Guide:
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.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Lausanne may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $21 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Sample the Local Flavors in Zurich
Also in Zurich, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Zurich and Lausanne, we can see that Zurich is more expensive. And not only is Lausanne much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lausanne would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lausanne 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 Lausanne.
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