A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Austria vs. Switzerland for Skiing, Hiking, Families, and Museums & Attractions

Should you visit Austria or Switzerland?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Austria or Switzerland? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which country has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.


Austria Switzerland
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Austria

Graz, Austria Graz, Austria

Austria is a beautiful, scenic, and surprising country. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the skiing, nightlife, food, and hiking.

This central European country offers a variety of reasons to visit from the beautiful Alps in the west to the historic cities of Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. This combination of history and natural beauty extends to every part of Austria, as visitors will find quaint villages, castles, ski resorts, wildlife parks, hot springs, hiking trails, outdoor activities, and royal palaces. Any time of the year is a good time to visit, because the winters provide beautiful snow-covered landscapes and winter sports, while the summers are a good time to experience the culture, festivals, and historical attractions.

Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland

Switzerland is a adventurous, beautiful, and mountainous country. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the adventure travel, national parks, history and culture, and skiing.

In the heart of Europe, this mountainous nation is full of culture and beautiful scenery. The Alps are great to explore any time of the year, as are the world-class and cultural cities of Switzerland. This country is the perfect combination of history, art, outdoor adventure, and nature, and that's why so many visitors come every year.

Austria and Switzerland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Popular for skiing
  • Good for hiking
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Adventure!
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Great culture, history, and arts
  • Popular for skiing
  • Good for hiking
  • Beautiful national parks
  • Adventure!
  • Great road trips
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


Innsbruck, Austria Innsbruck, Austria

How is Austria different from Switzerland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Austria and Switzerland. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Austria or Switzerland?

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Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Austria and Switzerland.

Austria offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Visitors can find a variety of museums across the country that showcase art, culture, history, and more. In Vienna, don't miss the Hofburg, the natural history museum, the Albertina, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and the Imperial Treasury with all of its crown jewels. There are plenty more, such as the Military Museum, the Haus der Musik, and the National Library, too. In Salzburg, the fortress on the hill known as Hohensalzburg is a combination of a castle and museum with plenty of sights and epic views. Mozart's birthplace museum and childhood home are also interesting places to visit, along with the Museum of Natural History, and the terrific Salzburg Museum which showcases the history of the city. Innsbruck offers the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum and the Swarovski Crystal Museum, both of which are much better than expected. The Audioversum and the Museum of Anatomy are also very interesting, even for kids. Other smaller towns and cities have even more museums, many of which are focused on regional history and culture.

Many visitors head to Switzerland specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Multiple cities offer plenty of opportunities to explore museums. Basel, for example, is known as the city of museums because it offers so many from art to culture to toys to science. Bern, Geneva, Zurich, and Lucerne also have museums of all types, whether they showcase art, history, technology, or culture. There's a museum for everyone here.


Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Culture, Arts, and History?

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You'll find great culture, arts, and history when visiting both Austria and Switzerland.

Austria is an extremely popular destination for those that want to visit historical and cultural sights and attractions, as it offers plenty. Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and other towns in this European nation offer historic architecture, art, and culture around every turn. In Vienna, visitors can tour the famous Schonnbrunn imperial palace, the town hall, the cathedrals, and peruse the old town center. Theater productions and local craft shops provide more intimate details of old Vienna, too. Salzburg also showcases its deep history starting with the large fortress on the hill and the winding streets below filled with churches, shops, hidden alleyways under arches, and gardens. Innsbruck also has plenty of history within its city center, which is easily explored on foot after a day of hiking or visiting museums. The old towns in the mountains also offer their own historical sights with historic churches, old markets, and more.

Switzerland has many famous historic and cultural sights and attractions worth visiting, and is one of the main reasons why poeple come here. The cities here have a culture and history all of their own. With museums, castles, restaurants, cafes, and beautiful architecture, the Swiss cities offer plenty of historical and cultural activities. Even the countryside provides opportunities to understand the idyllic and mountainous lifestyle of the region.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Big City Activities?

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Austria and Switzerland are similar when it comes to the great big city activities.

Austria has some large cities, so you'll find plenty of things to do when visiting. While Vienna is the largest city, you can also find historic urban centers in Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, and Linz. However, as Austria is not very large, none of these cities are particularly known for their huge populations or tall skyscrapers. Instead, you'll find historic buildings, beautiful winding alleyways, castles and palaces, old cathedrals, theater productions, public gardens, world-class museums, and zoos and parks. The larger cities of Austria pack a great amount of attractions and activities into their city centers for everyone to enjoy.

See also The Ultimate 3-Day Guide for Vienna, Austria.

Because of the large cities in Switzerland, visitors will find many sights and attractions. The major cities here are very nice to visit and offer plenty of sights and attractions. Lucerne, for example, sits on a lake and offers restaurants, nightlife, museums, and history around every corner. Other major cities include Basel (the city of museums), Bern, Geneva, and Interlaken. Each has their own vibe, but all offer something interesting for guests.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Small Towns and Villages?

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Austria and Switzerland are somewhat similar when it comes to visiting the great smaller towns and villages.

Because Austria offers so many small towns with a variety of charming activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. Through the Alps and the lowlands, the quaint small towns are some of the highlights of a visit to Austria. Some of the best and most scenic are those found in the mountains alongside lakes, or tucked into a beautiful valley surrounded by peaks, farms, and hiking trails. Hallstatt is perhaps the most famous. Located not far from Salzburg, here you'll find a charming church and old village on the banks of a scenic lake surrounded by epic mountain views. Durnstein, near Vienna, is an old walled town on the river with a castle and abbey, and is surrounded by wineries. Zell am See is a ski resort in the winter but also popular in the summer with hikers, bikers, and sightseers, as it sits on a lake with gorgeous views. Lienz, near the Italian border, offers a Midieval town center, nearby mountain coasters and hiking in the Dolomites, and is within close proximity to the Hohe Tauern National Park. St. Gilgen and Mondsee are two towns not far from Salzburg that offer scenes from The Sound of Music in addition to plenty of fun activities and historical sites. There's plenty more beautiful small towns to explore around Austria, so make sure you spend part of your time here visiting at least several of them.

Since Switzerland offers plenty of small towns and villages with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. Small towns with a charming atmosphere and stunning views are what Switzerland is all about. In the Alps, visitors will find no shortage of gorgeous mountainside villages with traditional Swiss architecture, mountain vistas, and plenty of surrounding activities. For example, check out Murren or Lauterbrunnen near Interlaken, or Stein am Rhein, or Zermatt. And in the winter they are just as beautiful as in the summer.

Is the Food Better in Austria or Switzerland? Which Country Has the Best Restaurants?

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Switzerland

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Switzerland a bit more than Austria.

Switzerland has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Of course, you can't visit without tasting the fondue. But Swiss food goes beyond cheese, as you'll also find great steaks, fresh fruits and vegetables, and an influx of German, French, and Italian cuisine at local restaurants.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Austria area. The major cities offer a mix of traditional cuisine, European restaurants, and global fare. Visitors and locals enjoy a range of terrific food from casual cafes to fine dining establishments. Make sure you try the traditional dishes, especially the desserts which Austria is known for. Generally, the cuisine is similar to German and Swiss recipes as you'll find plenty of sausage, heavy meats, and stews with vegetables and potatoes. Traditional dishes include the famous apple strudel, which you can learn to make yourself in a cooking class which is a great activity for the whole family. Also try the Salzburger Nockerl, which is a fluffy and sweet meringue-like dessert. For your main meal, the classic pork Wiener Schnitzel hails from Vienna and tastes better here than anywhere else. Knödel dumplings and Käsespätzle are also terrific. One of my favorites is the Tiroler Gröstl, a mix of meat, potatoes, eggs, and herbs that will fill you up in the most delicious way possible. There are plenty of other examples of wonderful traditional meals that shouldn't be missed, so head to Austria to try all of them.


Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Nightlife?

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Switzerland

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find great options in both Austria and Switzerland.

If you're looking for night time activities Austria has a few options to choose from. Plenty of bars, pubs, and nightclubs can be found around Vienna, Salzburg, Graz, and Innsbruck, and other cities. The city centers are the more popular places for nightlife. Theater shows, fine dining, and cultural shows are also popular, especially with tourists. Also, the ski resort areas in the winter draw large numbers of visitors, and in the evening the bars in these towns are full of partygoers. In Vienna, check out Flex, Celeste, Donau, and Fluc, among others.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Switzerland. Some of the major cities offer bars, clubs, restaurants, and theatres for those looking to go out at night. Geneva, Basel, Bern, and Lucerne are all fairly active in the evenings.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Resorts?

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Switzerland

Switzerland tends to offer a wider variety of resorts than Austria.

Switzerland is known as a popular and fun resort destination. Ski resorts are common here, as Switzerland offers world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter months. Many of these resorts also offer luxurious amenities such as indoor pools and spas, nice restaurants, kids' activities, and more. You can also find some resorts and luxury hotels on the shores of the larger lakes.

Austria has a few great resort options. Ski resorts in the mountains are very popular in the winter, as the skiing here is terrific and world-class. The best ski resorts have plenty of nice amenities, luxury rooms, great food, and more. A few of the best include St. Anton, Kitzbühel, and Solden, but there are plenty of others.

Is the Shopping Better in Austria or Switzerland?

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Switzerland

If you're looking to go shopping, Austria and Switzerland both offer plenty of great spots.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Austria. Vienna is perhaps the best city for shopping in Austria, although you'll find plenty of other options around Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Graz, too. In Vienna, you can find a variety of fashion boutiques, arts and crafts, and souvenir shops around Graben and the surrounding streets and in nearby Kohlmarkt. Plenty of shopping malls are around the city, too, such as Westfield Shopping City. The Naschmarkt is a terrific food market with a variety of local stalls, and it's worth a visit, too. In Salzburg, the streets of the old town area have a variety of shops. The areas around Getreidegasse have a variety of clothing boutiques, food shops, restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops. In Innsbruck, you'll find more touristy shops in the old town streets around the Golden Roof, but more clothing boutiques along Maria-Theresien-Strasse. There's also a large mall just off of this street with plenty of clothing stores and more.

Vienna: The city is filled with pedestrian streets that are lined with designer shops, jewelry stores, and art galleries.

Salzburg: The city's historic heart is filled with boutique shops, chocolate markets, and charming local vendors. It's fun to peruse the many shops that line the streets while you shop for local souvenirs.

Many visitors go to Switzerland to go shopping. The larger cities of Geneva, Lucerne, Bern, and Basel are popular with shoppers looking to find the latest fashion trends or local arts and crafts.

Zurich: 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.

Geneva: Famous for its posh shops and luxury brands, this city is a popular shopping destination. From chic boutiques to deluxe toy stores, you'll find something for everyone. In particular, the city is known for its Swiss watches, Swiss Army knives, chocolate, and wine.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Christmas?

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Switzerland

With various activities, both Austria and Switzerland are great places to visit during Christmas.

People travel from all around to experience the Christmas season in Austria. Almost every city and town displays decorations, raises Christmas trees, and hosts some form of festivities during the holiday season. Vienna is where the holidays are showcased the most, as the entire city hosts various activities. Starting with the huge Christmas market in front of the old town hall, visitors can then enjoy various shows and theater productions, go ice skating, and more. Don't miss the fun puppet shows, too. Innsbruck hosts its own holiday markets, too. And you can't miss the huge Swarovski Crystal decorated Christmas tree in the square near the Golden Roof, along with all of the other lights around the old town shops and restaurants. Linz has a market that is focused primarily on food. Try the Linzer Tortes along with local crafts and fairytale characters. Yet another large market can be found in Salzburg during the holiday season, along with ice skating, horse-drawn carriages, a Christmas Museum, and holiday concerts. Graz showcases a large nativity scene made of ice, plus its own market and decorations and an ice rink designed for curling. Various small towns also host holiday events. St. Anton, the ski resort town, hosts a market for visitors along with plenty of activities such as arts and crafts for kids. And Zell am See decorates the entire town with lights, and has a unique Christmas tree reveal from the waters of the lake on Christmas Day. No matter where you go in Austria, you'll find festive holiday activities to enjoy.

Switzerland is a world class destination during the Christmas season. Christmas here is very popular, and the alpine setting makes it magical. Many cities and towns will decorate their churches and town squares with Christmas trees and other decorations, and many also have markets, festivals, theatre shows, and more.


Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Christmas Markets?

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Switzerland

Visiting the great Christmas markets is popular activity in both Switzerland and Austria.

Austria has some of the best Christmas markets in the world. Almost every major destination puts on some type of Christmas market. Most begin in late November and run through New Years. The market in Vienna is one of the most popular. Located in front of the famous Vienna Town Hall, the scenery is breathtaking. In Salzburg, a huge portion of the historic old town area becomes one large market, as stalls selling food and crafts are found everywhere. The view from the fortress above is terrific! Innsbruck puts up a large tree in the center of old town, and the surrounding streets are filled with market shops selling everything from crafts to yummy treats. Even smaller towns such as Zell am See, St. Anton, Hallstatt, Seefeld, and others put on quaint markets in their old town areas over the holidays which are full of charm, lights, and festivities.

Many people travel to Switzerland specifically for the Christmas markets. Some of the best places in the country for Christmas markets include those in Baden, Basel, Gruyeres, and Lausanne, although plenty of other cities and towns host them. Visitors can find more than just arts and crafts, though. Many of these markets include parades, baking contests, outdoor concerts and performances, and delicious food.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Skiing?

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Switzerland

Even though Switzerland and Austria provide opportunities for snow skiing, most people consider Switzerland to be more popular.

If you're an avid snow skiier, Switzerland should be on your list. World-class skiing and snowboarding is found across the entire country. After all, these are the Alps. From the mountain peaks of Zermatt and St. Moritz to the beautiful Lauterbrunnen valley to the family-friendly resorts at Titlis and Grindelwald/Jungfrau, Switzerland offers skiing for everyone.

Zermatt: This is Europe's highest ski resort and it is one of the most famous and beautiful, at the base of the world renowned Matterhown. The slopes attract professional skiers from around the world who come for the challenging skiing and spectacular setting.

Murren: If you're visiting in the winter, you're in luck because the scenery and the slopes are both amazing. The top of Schilthorn is quickly accessed from the gondola and ski lifts, and heading down you'll find some difficult runs along with easier slopes. Enjoy your apres-ski in the village with cozy drinks and a dinner of fondue. And with more time, you can easily get across the valley to the Grindelwald-Wengen ski area, too.

Austria is a well-known ski destination which attracts visitors from far and wide. Honestly, it's hard to find better skiing and snowboarding opportunities than those found in the Alps of Austria. Some of the neighboring countries such as Switzerland, France, and Germany might have comparable options since they share the same mountain ranges, but the epic beauty combined with the resort amenities of Austrian destinations is top notch. Some of the most popular ski areas include Kitzbühel, St. Anton am Arlberg, Soll, Mayrhofen, Saalbach, and Zell am See. This last one has gorgeous views overlooking the nearby lake surrounded by mountains, along with a lively town on its shore. A ski trip in Austria should be on any ski enthusiasts bucket list.

Kitzbuhel: There are four ski resorts near the village and 145 miles of slopes. Hahnenkamm Streif racecourse is world famous, but there are also 57 lifts that offer access to skiing for everyone from beginners to professionals. This is a world class ski area that is considered to be one of the best in the world. It attracts international skiers who come for the well maintained slopes and world class skiing.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Hiking?

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If you're looking to go hiking, Austria and Switzerland both have great trails.

People visit Austria specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. Hiking trails in the Alps and Dolomites offer a variety of difficulties, but always stunning views. Some hiking trails can be quite easy and relaxed, and others offer serious climbs that take dedication and commitment. Either way, the combination of the beautiful natural landscapes, quaint mountain villages, and cultural history means that any hiking trip to the area will be terrific. The famous Salzburger Almenweg is a "hut-to-hut" hike which takes around a month to do the entire route. But it's possible to just do a small section of it just for a day or two if you don't have the time. The Wachau valley area of the Danube is another popular region for hiking, as it's not far from Vienna and provides easy to moderate hikes, many of which are through vineyards. If you're looking for something close to Salzburg, many trails can be found in the area, especially around Mondsee or over the German border around Konigsee. If you're in Innsbruck, it's easy to hike from the city up the trails to the north towards Nordkette Klettersteig. No matter where you visit, hiking opportunities are everywhere.

Kitzbuhel: During the summer months the area is filled with miles of stunning hikes. There's the famous Kitzbüheler Horn, as well as more relaxing mountain strolls. You'll enjoy breathtaking views and serene mountain pastures.

Many people visit Switzerland specifically for its hiking. All across the country, visitors will find hiking trails of all skill levels. Some are very easy, such as those that leave from alpine villages and meander through farmland. Others are only for experts, like the edge-of-the-cliff trails high up in the peaks. Most are somewhere in the middle and suitable for most hikers, and offer stunning views of the Alps along with the occasional stop at a mountainside café.

Zermatt: There are countless hiking trails in the area that cater to all levels of fitness. Almost all trails offer some sort of view of Matterhorn, and it's possible to enjoy a great view without much effort. It's also possible to do a multi-day trek while staying in mountain huts which will get you well into the amazing scenery.

Interlaken: Hikes in the area range from easy to challenging with every option in between. You can experience beautiful waterfalls, breathtaking views, and dramatic ridge hikes. Several of the best hikes in the area include Schynige Platte Ridge Trail, Mt Niesen Panorama Trail, and Giessbach Waterfalls.

Grindelwald: Hiking in the area offers spectacular views of the Bernese Alps including Wetterhorn, Eiger, Jungfrau, and Breithorn. There are trails that cater to all levels and hiking is the best way to explore the countryside.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for its National Parks?

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Switzerland often provides a better experience visiting national parks than Austria.

Exploring the beautiful national parks is a popular activity in Switzerland. With 19 national parks, this country offers a diverse set of natural areas to explore away from crowds and development. As this is the Alps, many of these national parks are in mountainous alpine settings, and they offer great views, hiking, and an accessibility to nature that is hard to find in many other countries. Some are rugged, while others are pastoral, and a few are also agricultural (with vineyards).

Many visitors go to Austria to see the national parks. The 6 national parks here offer visitors a chance to enjoy the mountain and lowland scenery with outdoor activities on lands that are protected, surrounded by wildlife and native flora. Hohe Tauern National Park is the oldest, and here you can see wildlife such as marmots and the huge golden eagles. Also in this area are beautiful waterfalls and huge glaciers. Much of the park is accessible on hiking trails, too. Both Donau-Auen and Neusielder See-Seewinkel national parks offer lowland scenery with lakes, forests, and birdwatching opportunities. For more gorgeous mountain scenery, visit Gesause or Kalkalpen national parks, both of which offer hiking, mountain rivers and streams, and mountain lakes. Thayatal National Park is home to the European wildcat as well as beautiful forests and grassland. In any case, they all offer plenty of amazing experiences.


Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Adventure Travel?

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Overall, Switzerland is considered to offer more adventure travel options and experiences to visitors.

Switzerland offers a great deal of adventurous and exciting experiences. Many visitors here partake in snow skiing and snowboarding in the winter. In the warmer months, you can experience paragliding, river rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, cliff walking, bungee jumping, ropes courses, and mountain coasters. This country seems to pride itself on extreme sports in some of the mountain areas, or at least provide every type of sport to visitors.

Austria is an extremely popular destination for those interested in adventure travel. The Alps offer plenty of adventurous activities such as hiking, snow skiing, mountain climbing, rock climbing, paragliding, rafting, canyoning, and horseback riding. Whitewater rafting on the Salzach river is a popular trip, as it's not far from Salzburg and can be done in a day or less. Some of the best places for paragliding are Zell am See, around Salzburg, in Tyrol near Innsbruck, and many other mountain destinations. Horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking can be experienced just about anywhere in the mountains, and local outfitters can provide you with equipment and guides if needed. In fact, many travel companies in the larger cities and towns offer tours into the nearby countryside for a day trip or longer to take part in adventure sports any time of the year.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Visiting the Mountains?

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Both Austria and Switzerland have some great mountain areas to explore.

The beauty of the mountains of Austria are one of the main reasons people come to visit. The western and southern regions of the country are home to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. Here you'll find the Alps and Dolomites, intertwined with quaint mountain villages, beautiful clear blue lakes, ski resorts, hiking trails, and more. Near Salzburg, you can visit the salt mines and ride the mining trains. Or, see the ice caves in Dachstein. Go visit the gorgeous mountain towns such as Hallstatt or Zell am See, both surrounded by mountains and perched on the shore of an alpine lake. Or, find some adventurous activities such as rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, paragliding, or horseback riding. No matter which area you visit, you'll find plenty of activities for every type of visitor in the mountains of Austria.

Switzerland is famous for its beautiful and stunning mountain scenery. The Alps are absolutely gorgeous, and everyone should see them. Switzerland is at the heart of them, and here you can fully immerse yourself in the alpine lifestyle from skiing to hiking to rock climbing and more. Or, just relax in a small mountain town with a stunning view and a cup of coffee while listening to the cow bells in the distance. Either way, it's hard to beat the mountain settings that you'll find in Switzerland.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Outdoor Activities?

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Switzerland

Both Austria and Switzerland have some great outdoor areas to explore.

With world-famous outdoor activities, Austria attracts many visitors interested in natural scenery, exploration, and adventure. Most of Austria lies in the Alps and Dolomites where outdoor activities and adventures are plentiful. With hiking, camping, kayaking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and more, every type of visitor will love to get out into nature here, whether you seek relaxing with an epic view or experiencing an adrenaline-filled activity. Some of the most popular activities are wine tasting through the vineyards in the Wachau valley, hiking and mountain biking around Innsbruck, boat rides on the beautiful mountain lakes and rivers, and exploring small towns such as Hallstatt, and snow skiing in the Alps.

The huge number of outdoor activities in Switzerland is one of the main reasons people come to visit. As a country totally immersed in the mountains, the outdoors are the main attraction here. Visitors can explore the Alps on foot, or by horseback, or on skis. Ropes courses and zip lines are found throughout the nation, as are camping and rock climbing. Fishing and boating are common in the rivers and lakes, too. It's easy to get out of the cities and into the mountains, and this accessibility makes the outdoors that much more fun here.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for a Road Trip?

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You can't go wrong planning a road trip in either Austria or Switzerland.

Austria is a very popular destination for those that love to take road trips. A road trip is ideal here because much of the natural scenery and small towns are difficult to reach on public transit, and rental cars can be hired easily, too. Many people like to drive in from Germany, although it's easy to start in one of Austria's major cities and make a big loop through the mountains in the west, then head through the southern towns, east to Vienna, and then around to Salzburg in the north. The roads are in great condition, and you likely won't need a 4WD unless you purposely intend to drive off road. Many of the small towns, hiking trails, and national parks are also much more accessible when driving, too. Some of the most popular routes include driving from Vienna to Innsbruck via Salzburg with stops along the way at Hallstatt, Berchtesgaden in Germany, and Zell am Zee, among other scenic spots. Or, head from Vienna to St. Gilgen, or from Vienna down to Carinthia in the south. Both drives are not too long and offer epic views of the mountains with small towns, lakes, and more. From Innsbruck, it's not far to get to many of the smaller towns around the Alps in the western regions of the country, too.

Taking a road trip through Switzerland is very good way to see the countryside and smaller destinations. A drive through the Alps is an amazing experience. It's hard to find anywhere else where you are surrounded by beautiful mountains while also exploring historic villages, pastoral farmlands, and world-famous cities.


Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Families?

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Kids will enjoy a visit to either Austria or Switzerland.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Austria is a very family-friendly destination. You'll find a true mix of family-friendly activities here because this country combines outdoor activities, historical attractions, and cultural activities very well. Kids love the hiking trails in the Alps where everyone can explore the mountains dotted with cute towns and alpine lakes. You can explore the ice caves in Dachstein, too. Everyone will also enjoy the salt mine tours near Salzburg where you can ride a mine train and zoom down the miners' slides underground. Or, visit Familypark Neusiedlersee, Austria's largest amusement park in Burgenland. You'll also find mountain coasters and toboggan runs around the Alps, such as the one at Hirschalm. Or see the dinosaurs at Styrassic Park. The famous Sound of Music Tour is also extremely popular in Salzburg because they take you to many of the filming locations of the movie. And don't forget about exploring Salzburg's huge fortress on the hill. Vienna has plenty of kid-friendly activities, too, such as the zoo, Wurstelprater amusement park, and the natural history museum. In the famous Schönbrunn Palace you'll also find a children's museum which lets kids dress up in period costumes and learn about imperial history. And in Innsbruck, take the gondola up to the Nordkette Klettersteig for the great views, and on the way down stop at the Alpenzoo to see local wildlife in a unique setting. Nearby is the Swarovski crystal museum, which contains various interactive experiences and also offers plenty of outdoor activities for kids including a 4-level play building. No matter which region or city you visit, there's so much to do for families and kids in Austria.

See also Hostels and Hotels in Villach, Austria for Backpackers, Families, and Bikers.

Switzerland is one of the most popular family destinations. With cultural cities, gorgeous mountains, outdoor activities, mountain resorts, and terrific food, it's no surprise that this country is very family friendly. The small towns in the Alps offer a mix of relaxing and adventurous things to do such as hiking, exploring playgrounds, admiring views, and visiting farms. It's easy to get around almost anywhere in the country with public transit, too.

Interlaken: While the city is beautiful, it's really the surrounding areas that you and your family will enjoy. There are amazing hikes, stunning views, playgrounds, lakes, and more. There's also an impressive ropes course that adventurous kids will love, funiculars, gondolas, and so many water sports!

See also Hostels in Geneva for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Families, Hostels in Lucerne for Backpackers, Couples, and Families, and Hostels in Lausanne for Backpackers, Families, and Couples.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Couples?

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Switzerland

With fun activities for couples, both Austria and Switzerland make for a great place to visit.

Austria is a great country if you're traveling as a couple. From quaint mountain towns to the grand castles and palaces of the cities, couples will love exploring all corners of Austria. You can spend your days exploring the history in the famous cities such as Salzburg and Vienna with their grand cathedrals, palaces, and winding streets. Then, in the evenings, enjoy theater shows, fine dining, cultural shows, and more. Spend even more days exploring the mountains hiking or just relaxing on the lakes surrounded by small towns with romantic bed and breakfasts. Innsbruck has that perfect combination of history and the outdoors, as you can dine and shop through the old streets and hike in the mountains on the same day. In Salzburg, the historic cathedrals both in the city and in the surrounding towns such as Hallstatt and Mondsee are backdrops for honeymooners hiking through the mountains and dining at intimate cafes. In Vienna, the famous palaces and world-class museums are accompanied by glamourous balls, wine tasting tours, and Lipizzaner horse shows. A honeymoon trip would need at least a week to see everything, but a quick romantic getaway to one of these amazing destinations could probably be done in a weekend. Either way, Austria is full of romantic activities.

Vienna: With it's Baroque architecture and classical concerts, this city is filled with romance. Explore the palaces, take a carriage ride, or enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant.

Salzburg: The town offers a romantic setting with elaborate breakfasts, beautiful architecture, live shows, and plenty that couples can enjoy. You can simply wander around old town or explore the many gardens around town. Couples will also enjoy the concerts and music that the city is so famous for.

See also Hostels for Solo Travellers, Couples, & Groups in Salzburg, and Hostels in Kitzbuhel and Ellmau for Snowboarders, Skiers, Backpackers, and Couples.

Switzerland is a very popular place to visit for couples. Gorgeous mountain views are just the beginning, as Switzerland also offers the chance to relax in a cozy mountain chalet up in the Alps after a day of hiking or adventure sports. Here, couples can truly experience a wide variety of activities, whether they are athletic, historical, or cultural. The charming hotels, natural beauty, and delicious food just add to the already amazing experiences.

Zermatt: Couples who seek an adrenaline filled adventure will be in heaven in this iconic alpine destination. There are breathtaking views of Matterhorn, stunning hikes, impressive skiing, and a charming town where you can enjoy a great meal after a day filled with adventure.

Interlaken: The mountaintop views, breathtaking hikes, and beautiful lakes make this a top destination for couples. Make sure you head out of town and fully immerse yourself in everything that the area has to offer. Kayaking, canoeing, paragliding, and more will make this a trip of a lifetime.

Murren: This small town offers charming hotels, hidden viewpoints, and romantic hikes through the Alps. If you want to experience an authentic side to the Alps, then stay in this town and explore the many hiking trails in the area.

See also Hostels in Geneva for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Families, Hostels in Lucerne for Backpackers, Couples, and Families, and Hostels in Bern for Backpackers, Solo Travelers, and Couples.

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Austria
Switzerland

Travelers usually think of Austria as a better destination for backpackers than Switzerland.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Austria. With relatively affordable prices, this country provides a great opportunity to see the Alps in combination with world-class historical cities on a reasonable budget. Backpackers and budget travelers can stay in hostels and budget guesthouses that are found everywhere in the country. It's also fairly easy to find affordable food, and the public transportation system can take you just about everywhere cheaply and efficiently. Compared to the prices of nearby countries such as Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, the overall cost of accommodations and food in Austria makes traveling here more accessible. You'll also find plenty of free activities. In Vienna, you can take free walking tours of the city and the Rathaus, browse the markets, and enjoy some of the free museums such as the Bezirksmuseen and MUSA. In Salzburg, stroll through Mirabell Gardens for free, and enjoy many museums for just a few Euros each. The old town area also has plenty of cheap places to eat or grab a snack, such as from the many food vendors in the larger squares and plazas. Linz, Innsbruck, Graz, and other cities are also fairly affordable and offer even more free and cheap activities, too.

See also Hostels for Solo Travellers in Vienna, Austria, Salzburg Hostels & Hotels Near the Main Train Station, and Vienna Hostels & Hotels Near the Opera House.

Switzerland is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Plenty of hostels and outdoor activities can be found throughout the country, allowing budget travelers to explore the cities and mountains on their own. However, since Switzerland is a fairly expensive country, this tends to keep budget travelers away. Plenty of visitors come for outdoor backpacking and camping in the wild, though, as the scenery is top notch.

See also Hostels for Backpackers in Zurich, Switzerland's Best Budget Hostels, and Interlaken Hotels & Hostels Near the Train Station (Interlaken West).

Is Austria or Switzerland Better for Students?

Austria
Switzerland

For students, both Austria and Switzerland are great places to visit.

It's common for students to visit Austria. The major cities such as Vienna, Innsbruck, Graz, Linz, and Salzburg all have large universities where student activities and nightlife are popular. But keep in mind that Austria is not a very large country with a population just under 9 million, so even the larger cities are not as busy as you might expect. But with plenty of affordable food, accommodations, and attractions, students usually have a great time living or visiting this dynamic country.

Vienna: The city is a popular destination for international students who are interested in art, architecture, and music.

Salzburg: International students appreciate the high quality of life, excellent educational opportunities and unique European setting that makes this city special. There are also a number of beautiful places just outside of town that you can explore, as well as many travel connections to other popular cities in Europe.

See also Hostels in Austria for Students and Backpackers.

Switzerland is a good country to visit for students. A variety of study abroad and student programs can be found around the country, most notable in the larger cities of Lucerne, Bern, and Basel.

Zurich: The city offers a number of unique experiences for international students. The academics are good and the university campuses are nice.

See also Hostels in Switzerland for Backpackers and Students.


Is Austria or Switzerland Easier for Transportation? Which is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Austria
Switzerland

Switzerland has better transportation options to get you around the region.

Switzerland has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the country. The Swiss rail system is fast, efficient, and comfortable. It's very easy to get around between the major cities and small towns, and also easy to reach the peaks of mountains and higher-up towns, too. Major cities and even smaller areas all have some form of public transit. In the mountain areas, this often takes the form of gondolas and old cog-railways up to higher elevations, making travel part of the fun.

Is it easy to travel around Switzerland?

  • Traveling by train is extremely popular.
  • It's possible to travel by bus.
  • It's fairly easy to travel by car.
  • Travel by airplane is possible.

The transportation system in Austria can get you almost everywhere very easily. The train and public bus system here is terrific, and can take you just about anywhere you want to visit. The OBB trains, although not as quick and smooth as in some neighboring European countries, are affordable, efficient, and clean. At times they can be crowded, so book in advance with a seat reservation if possible. The buses can take you to most towns where the railroad doesn't go, but there are a few places where it's best to have your own car, such as in some of the small towns in the mountains and the national parks. The roads are terrific for driving, too. Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and other large cities have international airports with connections around Europe.

Is it easy to travel around Austria?

  • Traveling by train is very common and fairly easy.
  • It's fairly easy to travel by bus.
  • It's quite common to get around if you join an organized tour.
  • It's quite common to travel by car.
  • Traveling by airplane is possible but challenging.

Is Austria or Switzerland more Comfortable for a Trip?

Both Austria and Switzerland can feel quite modern and comfortable as they both have an established tourist infrastructure.

People often come to Austria because it is such a comfortable and luxurious destination. Because this is a modern, developed nation in Europe that enjoys a high standard of living, visitors will find comfortable accommodations and amenities at every turn. The transportation network, roads, tours, and restaurants are all of high standards and good quality. Even the smaller towns in the countryside have modern amenities and comforts for visitors and locals.

Switzerland is extremely comfortable for travelers as it is a modern destination with plenty of amenities. Despite the rugged terrain of the Alps, the overall travel infrastructure of this country is second to none. Swift, clean, and efficient public transit is everywhere, and sometimes it will even take you all the way to the top of the mountain peak. Small towns in the Alps are connected to all of the major cities. Hotels are often high-end and provide plenty of comforts, even those at the lower price points. Resort areas are common, too. The cities are modern with enjoyable amenities such as cafes, restaurants, and museums - and the clean public transit can take you around town.

Is Austria or Switzerland more Touristy?

Switzerland generally has a more touristy vibe than Austria.

Plenty of tourists come to Switzerland every year, as it's a popular destination. This country is a travelers dream, but its not undiscovered. Plenty of visitors come to this fairly small European nation every year to admire the beauty of its mountains and explore the culture of its cities. During peak travel times (summer and the winter ski season), it can be hard to find a hotel unless you book ahead. You'll find plenty of other visitors when you arrive, especially in the major cities and at top tier attractions such as Jungfrau peak.

Austria is fairly touristy, with a decent number of visitors coming each year. While it has plenty of famous cities, sights, and attractions, many of the most visited places in Austria are spread around the country, so no particular place is too overwhelmed with tourists. The summer months are the busiest with visitors, but even then, the crowds tend to be less than in other European cities. The most frequently visited attractions are the major sites in Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck, such as the palaces, castles, and museums. You might need to queue for a few minutes to purchase a ticket to the popular locations and museums, but it's often not too bad. Visiting during the off season or in the winter also means that you'll deal with less tourists. Some of the ski resort areas can be crowded in the winter, such as in St. Anton or Soll. And of course, the Alps are a popular draw any time of the year, but since they cover so much area, it's easy to avoid other tourists and have that private mountaintop view to yourself.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Austria, The Best Adventure Tours to Austria, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Austria, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Austria, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Vienna, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Salzburg, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Austria, The Best 10-Day Tours in Austria, The Best 2-Week Tours in Austria, The Best Tours for Seniors to Austria, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Austria, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Austria, The Best Christmas Market Tours in Austria, The Best Bicycle Tours in Austria, The Best Music Tours in Austria, The Best Budget Tours to Austria, The Best Luxury Tours to Austria, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Switzerland, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Switzerland, The Best 10-Day Tours in Switzerland, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Switzerland, The Best 2-Week Tours in Switzerland, The Best Bicycle Tours in Switzerland, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Switzerland, The Best Adventure Tours to Switzerland, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Switzerland, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Switzerland, The Best Luxury Tours to Switzerland, The Best Tours for Seniors to Switzerland, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Zurich, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Geneva, The Best 10-Day Tours from Zurich, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Zurich.


Geneva, Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland

Should I spend more time in Switzerland or Austria?

How long in Austria or Switzerland?

Austria and Switzerland both offer a nice selection of activities for visitors. In our opinion, Switzerland has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Switzerland than Austria. However, 5-14 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Switzerland than Austria. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Switzerland, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Switzerland than Austria. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Switzerland that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.


  • How many days should I spend in Austria or Switzerland?
    Austria 5-14 
    Switzerland 5-14

A weekend in Austria or Switzerland?

Visitors enjoy the food, hiking, and mountains when visiting the scenic destination of Austria. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. This destination offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

In Switzerland, you'll find history and culture, skiing, and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Visiting national parks can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.


Five days in Austria or Switzerland?

Visitors enjoy the hiking, mountains, and shopping when visiting the beautiful country of Austria. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Switzerland is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Switzerland has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Austria or Switzerland?

Visitors enjoy the mountains, shopping, and museums when visiting the destination of Austria. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this country.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Switzerland. In Switzerland, you'll find nightlife, food, and hiking. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Two weeks in Austria or Switzerland?

Visitors enjoy the mountains, shopping, and museums when visiting the destination of Austria. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for two weeks. Adventure travel is very popular here, too. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then two weeks is just the right amount of time to spend here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Switzerland. In Switzerland, you'll find nightlife, food, and hiking. Many travelers plan to spend time at the national parks on their trip. Two weeks is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Switzerland has to offer.

Vienna, Austria Vienna, Austria

Which country is cheaper, Switzerland or Austria?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Austria is €151, while the average daily cost in Switzerland is €266. 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 country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Austria and Switzerland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Austria 81
    Switzerland 156
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Austria 162
    Switzerland 312
Compare Hotels in Austria and Switzerland

Looking for a hotel in Austria or Switzerland? 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 Austria


Hotels in Switzerland


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: Austria Hotel Prices and Switzerland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Austria 25
    Switzerland 36
Typical Local Transportation prices in Austria

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


  • Bus to Airport
    30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austria

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

  • Private transfer from Vienna to Zagreb: $946
  • Private transfer from Vienna to Munich: $946
  • Vienna: Melk Abbey and Salzburg Trip with Private Transfer: $937
  • Private transfer from Vienna to Salzburg: $750
  • Private transfer from Salzburg to Vienna: $750
  • Private transfer from Salzburg to Prague: $707
  • Cesky Krumlov: Private One-Way Transfer to Salzburg: $651
  • Vienna: Private One-Way Transfer to Cesky Krumlov: $651
  • Private transfer from Vienna to Prague: $647
  • Private transfer from Vienna to Budapest: $598
  • Transfer by Car to/from Vienna & Budapest: $451
  • 2-in-1 Jewish Museums in Vienna Private Tour with Transfers: $366

Typical Local Transportation prices in Switzerland

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Switzerland:


  • Cable Cars (for 2)
    62
  • City Pass (2)
    27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Switzerland

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

  • Private Transfer from Nice to Geneve: $2,750
  • Private Transfer from Nice to Geneve: $2,609
  • ZURICH: VAN LUX 6 PAX TRANSFER FROM AIRPORT ZURICH TO DAVOS: $1,651
  • ZERMATT: VAN STANDARD 6 PAX TRANSFER FROM TO AIRPORT ZURICH: $1,596
  • ST. Moritz Luxury Private Transfer to Zurich Airport: $1,420
  • Private Group transfer Zurich Airport - Interlaken: $1,321
  • TASCH: SUV LUXURY 4 PAX TRANSFER FROM TO AIRPORT ZURICH: $1,210
  • ZURIGO: SUV LUXURY 4 PAX TRANSFER FROM AIRPORT TO DAVOS: $1,210
  • SUV LUXURY TRANSFER FROM AIRPORT ZURIGO to MILANO MALPENSA: $1,210
  • TRANSFER FROM AIRPORT MILANO MALPENSA TO ZURIGO: $1,210
  • Geneva Airport (GVA): Private Transfer to Meribel (FR): $1,148
  • Private Transfer Zurich Airport to Zermatt Tasch Station: $1,094

Is it cheaper to fly into Austria or Austria?

Prices for flights to both Switzerland and Austria 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
    Austria 38
    Switzerland 58
Typical Food prices in Austria

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


  • Lunch Salad
    9.00
  • Leberkäse (Sausage Loaf)
    4.20
  • Lunch
    8.50
  • Ice Cream
    2.40
  • Lunch from Market (for 2)
    6.62
  • Kebabs for Dinner (for 2)
    8.00
  • Chocolate
    1.70
  • Strudel and Drinks
    19
  • Ice Cream
    2.60
  • Pizza Supper (for 2)
    16
  • Soup for Lunch
    3.75
  • Pasta Lunch
    8.20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Austria

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

  • Vienna: Hard Rock Cafe with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $29
  • Vienna: Traditional Kaiserschmarrn Cooking Class & Tasting: $41
  • Performance Of The Lipizzans At Spanish Riding School: $44
  • Cookies and Apple Strudel Cooking Class Including Lunch: $60
  • Austrian Apple Strudel Cooking Class including Lunch in Salzburg: $61
  • Salzburg Christmas Cookies and Apple Strudel Cooking Lesson: $61
  • Vienna: Traditional Vienna Tasting Dinner With Folk Music: $70
  • Traditional Vienna Tasting Dinner with Folk Music: $71
  • Vienna: Naschmarkt Guided Food Tour: $75
  • Vienna Evening Sightseeing Cruise With Music and Dinner: $75
  • Vienna: 3-Course Evening Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Salzburg: Best of Mozart Fortress Concert and Dinner: $83

Typical Food prices in Switzerland

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


  • Tea at Interlaken
    31
  • Breakfast for 2
    13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Switzerland

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

  • Cooking delicious Spanish paella in Switzerland.: $66
  • Zürich Food Tour: $99
  • Lugano: Self-Guided Food Tour: $99
  • Zermatt: Evening Tapas Tour with Dinner and Drinks: $120
  • Lake Lucerne: Candlelight Dinner Cruise: $142
  • Fondue Cooking Class and Cheese Workshop in Switzerland: $144
  • Geneva City Tour with Cooking Class: $146
  • Sunset hike with outdoor Cheese Fondue dinner: $152
  • Geneva: City Tour and Fondue Cooking Class: $186
  • From Zurich: 2-Day Mt.Titlis including 4-course dinner: $495
  • Interlaken: Cheese and Chocolate Full-Day Food Tour: $737
  • Food tour in Geneva: $2,421

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Austria 22
    Switzerland 53
Typical Entertainment prices in Austria

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


  • Schloss Ambras Entrance
    8.00
  • Botanical Garden Entrance Fee
    2.00

Tours and Activities in Austria

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

  • Private themed Tour of the Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum):"The Saviour, the Ruler, and Simply a Beauty: Women in Art": $166
  • „Welcome Tour“ von Per Pedes, geführte Stadtführung: $20
  • "The Third Man" Film Location Tour: $28
  • ( Night Tour ) With Private Guide + wine or prosecco: $220
  • 2 Hour Private Alpine Hiking, Gosing Mountain Vienna Tour: $171
  • 2-Hour Private Hiking Tour Helenental Castles Hike from Vienna: $171
  • 2-Hour Private Hiking Tour on Kalenderberg Mountain to Meet History from Vienna: $171
  • 2-Hour Private Hiking Tour to Experience Nature and Culture at Goettweig Abbey: $171
  • 2.5-hour puzzle tour through Graz city center: $16
  • 3 hour private walking tour - Salzburg: $179
  • 3 hour private walking tour - Vienna: $140
  • 3-Hour Private Hiking Tour to historic places around Spitz in Wachau Valley: $256

Typical Entertainment prices in Switzerland

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


  • 1 Day Bicycle Rental
    32
  • The Swiss Transport Museum Entrance Fee
    33

Tours and Activities in Switzerland

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

  • Iseltwald, Aare Gorge and Lake Brienz Experience in Switzerland: $293
  • (KTG353) - Winter Tour: Gruyeres, chocolate tour from Geneva: $171
  • (KTL303) - Winter Tour Montreux and Chaplin's World from Lausanne: $158
  • (STTG04) - Sightseeing Cruise at Geneva with Wine and Aperitif: $33
  • (STTZ01) - Zurich Open Top Bus Sightseeing Tour : $25
  • 007 Elegance: Private Tour to Schilthorn from Interlaken: $483
  • 007 Elegance:Exclusive Private Tour to Schilthorn from Basel: $631
  • 007 Elegance:Exclusive Private Tour to Schilthorn from Bern: $631
  • 007-Elegance: Exclusive Private Tour Schilthorn from Zürich: $631
  • 1 Hour Sunday Vintage Tram Shared Tour in Basel: $23
  • 10-Hour Customized Private Tourfrom Zurich or Lucerne by Car: $1,184
  • 2 days hiking private tour sleeping on mountain hut: $429

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Austria 17
    Switzerland 24
Typical Alcohol prices in Austria

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Austria from other travelers:


  • Beer
    3.70
  • Beers at Hutte (for 2)
    6.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Austria

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

  • Salzburg: Stiegl Brewery Museum Entry Ticket & Beer Tasting: $16
  • Pub Crawl Vienna: $16
  • Salzburg: Stiegl Brewery Tour with Beer Tasting: $25
  • Vienna: City Center Pub Crawl: $27
  • Local Pub Crawl Vienna: $28
  • Vienna: Wine Tasting at Traditional Cellar: $35
  • Salzburg: Guided Wine Tasting in a Hidden Wine Bar: $37
  • Guided Wine Tasting in a Hidden Wine Bar: $38
  • Vienna: Guided Wine Tasting in a Private Wine Cellar: $39
  • Viennese Wine Tasting in a Private Hidden Wine Cellar: $40
  • Vienna: Wine Tasting at Schönbrunn Palace: $49
  • Wine Tasting at Schönbrunn Palace with optional Palace Ticket: $50

Sample the Local Flavors in Switzerland

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Switzerland:

  • Zurich: Pub Crawl Nightlife Tour with Shots and Snacks: $33
  • Basel: Pub Crawl Meet People and Hidden Bars and Clubs: $33
  • Swiss cheese and charcuterie wine tasting: $51
  • Activity in private minibus, wine tasting in Valais: $78
  • Wine Tasting in Valais: $85
  • Informative wine tasting with Italian appetizers in the secure wine cellar: $157
  • Lake Lucerne Region Wine Tasting: $275
  • Pinot Noir & Pinot Wine Tour to Baden-Württemberg: $281
  • Fantastic, full day, private wine tour to Alsace!: $287
  • Half Day Private Cheese & Wine Tasting in Vineyard in Basel: $292


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Austria and Switzerland, we can see that Switzerland is more expensive. And not only is Austria much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Austria would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Austria 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 Switzerland would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Switzerland than you might in Austria.

Graz, Austria Graz, Austria

When is the best time to visit Austria or Switzerland?

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.

Warm summers and cold snowy winters are what visitors should expect when visiting Austria. The Alps see plenty of snow, and the flatter lands to the east see a fair amount as well. Summer is a popular time to visit because of the warmth and the relatively low rainfall, too. Spring and autumn are both beautiful with pleasant temperatures and less crowds overall.

Because Switzerland is a mountainous nation and in the heart of Europe, you can expect cold, snowy winters here. But the summers can be warm, sunny, and pleasant. These warmer months are a great time to come for hiking and outdoor activities, as is the fall.

Should I visit Austria or Switzerland in the Summer?

Both Switzerland and Austria are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Austria for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Switzerland because of the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Vienna is around the same temperature as Bern. Typically, the summer temperatures in Vienna in July average around 23°C (73°F), and Bern averages at about 21°C (70°F).

It's quite sunny in Bern. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Vienna. Vienna usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Bern during summer. Vienna gets 255 hours of sunny skies, while Bern receives 250 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Vienna usually receives around the same amount of rain as Bern. Vienna gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Bern receives 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Vienna 23°C (73°F) 
    Vienna 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Austria or Switzerland in the Autumn?

Both Switzerland and Austria during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Austria because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Switzerland this time of year.

In October, Vienna is generally around the same temperature as Bern. Daily temperatures in Vienna average around 12°C (54°F), and Bern fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

In the autumn, Vienna often gets more sunshine than Bern. Vienna gets 140 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bern receives 126 hours of full sun.

Vienna usually gets less rain in October than Bern. Vienna gets 41 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Bern receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Vienna 12°C (54°F) 
    Vienna 13°C (55°F)

Should I visit Austria or Switzerland in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Austria and Switzerland. The skiing, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Austria this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Switzerland for the skiing, the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Bern. It's quite cold in Vienna in the winter. Vienna is cooler than Bern in the winter. The daily temperature in Vienna averages around 2°C (36°F) in January, and Bern fluctuates around 3°C (37°F).

Vienna usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Bern during winter. Vienna gets 65 hours of sunny skies, while Bern receives 65 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Vienna usually receives less rain than Bern. Vienna gets 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Bern receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Vienna 2°C (36°F) 
    Vienna 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Austria or Switzerland in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Austria as well as Switzerland. Many travelers come to Austria for the natural beauty. Additionally, many visitors come to Switzerland in the spring for the natural beauty.

In the spring, Vienna is a little warmer than Bern. Typically, the spring temperatures in Vienna in April average around 13°C (55°F), and Bern averages at about 11°C (52°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Vienna this time of the year. In the spring, Vienna often gets more sunshine than Bern. Vienna gets 202 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Bern receives 164 hours of full sun.

Vienna usually gets less rain in April than Bern. Vienna gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Bern receives 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Vienna 13°C (55°F) 
    Vienna 11°C (52°F)

Typical Weather for Bern and Vienna

Vienna Bern
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 2°C (36°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 4°C (38°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 51 mm (2 in) 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Jun 20°C (69°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 50 mm (2 in) 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 3°C (37°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)