Should you visit Zurich or Lucerne?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Zurich and Lucerne. 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.
Lucerne is a relatively small city in the center of Switzerland. It is located across the lake from Altdorf and it has a thriving tourism industry. It's close proximity to many of the major sights in the country make it a great base for exploration. Many people use it as a jumping off point for exploring Mount Rigi and the Rutli Meadow.
Which city is cheaper, Lucerne 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 Lucerne is $170. 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 Lucerne in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $266 for a double occupancy room in Zurich.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Lucerne, $218 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Lucerne, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $109, such as in a hostel.
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.
While meal prices in Lucerne can vary, the average travelers spends about $50 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Lucerne should cost around $20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Lucerne is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
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:
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.
Lucerne's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $9.96 per person, per day on transportation in Lucerne.
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:
Private Transfer Zurich Airport or City ⇔ Zermatt:
Private Taxi Transfer: Zurich Airport ⇔ Zermatt both directions:
Private Transfer: Zurich Airport to St. Anton am Arlberg:
Private transfer Zurich Airport to Zermatt (Täsch) (1-3 persons):
Private transfer Zurich Airport to St. Moritz (1-3 persons):
Private transfer Zurich Airport to Montreux (1-3 persons):
Private Transfer: Zurich Airport to Davos:
Premium Transfer from Zürich Airport or city to Davos or Klosters or back:
Private Transfer: Zurich Airport to Andermatt:
Private Arrival Transfer: from Zurich Airport to Disentis:
Private Arrival transfer: from Zurich Airport to Gstaad Saanen:
Private Arrival Transfer: from Zurich Airport to St. Moritz:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lucerne
Also for Lucerne, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private transfer from Lucerne City to Lucerne Train Station:
Zurich Airport Transfers : Lucerne City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Business Car:
Private Transfer from Lucerne City to interlaken City:
Departure Private Transfer Lucerne-Basel-Bern to Zurich Airport by Business Car:
Zurich Airport Transfers : Lucerne City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Luxury Van:
Departure Private Transfer Lucerne-Basel-Bern to Zurich Airport by Luxury Van:
Private transfer from Lucerne City to Zurich Airport:
ZRH Airport - Lucern City (Transfer Service):
Transfers Zurich Airport - Lucerne:
Is it cheaper to fly into Zurich or Lucerne?
Prices for flights to both Lucerne 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Lucerne can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $27 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
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:
2-Day Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Tour from Interlaken or Grindelwald:
2-Day Mt Rigi Tour from Zurich Including Mineral Baths and Lake Lucerne Cruise:
2-Day Switzerland Tour from Zurich to Geneva: Mt.Titlis,Interlaken,Bern,Gruyères:
2-Day Winter Tour from Mt Pilatus and Mt Titlis:
2-hour Private Guided Zurich Downtown Tour:
3 in 1: Zurich Walking Tour - Cruise on the Lake - Cable Car Ride to Felsenegg:
3-Day Glacier Express Self-Guided Tour from Zurich:
3-Day GoldenPass Line Self-Guided Tour from Zurich:
4-Day Glacier and Bernina Express Self-Guided Tour from Zurich:
4-Day Switzerland Tour from Zurich Including Mt. Titlis Cable Car:
5-Day Famous Mountain Peaks Self-Guided Tour from Zurich:
Typical Entertainment prices in Lucerne
For Lucerne, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Tours and Activities in Lucerne
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Lucerne.
Swiss Chocolate Adventure Experience at Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne:
Lucerne Swiss Museum of Transport Entrance Ticket:
Golden Round Trip from Mt. Pilatus Self-Guided Tour:
2-Hour Gourmet Lunch Cruise on Lake Lucerne:
Mt. Pilatus by Cable Car and Cogwheel Train & Lake Cruise:
Pearls of Switzerland Cristina Tschuppert Private city walking tour Lucerne:
Chocolate World Experience and Tasting Private Tour from Luzern:
Luzern City Tour with Lake Cruise Private Tour:
Lucerne City Walking Tour in Portuguese (1-2 guests):
Lake Lucerne Castles and Villas Tour:
Mount Rigi with Lake Cruise Private Tour from Luzern:
ALL TRANSPORT INCLUSIVE Mt. Pilatus Guided Golden Roundtrip Tour:
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 Lucerne, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $17.
Sample the Local Flavors in Zurich
Also in Zurich, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Sample the Local Flavors in Lucerne
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Lucerne:
Chocolate, Cheese and Wine Tour in Luzern region:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Zurich and Lucerne, we can see that Zurich is more expensive. And not only is Lucerne much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lucerne would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lucerne 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 Lucerne.
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