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How Expensive is Zurich?

atlanta
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How Expensive is Zurich?

My wife and I are planning a long weekend getaway and are considering both Zurich and Cologne as alternatives (as well as nearby Christmas markets) - but wondered if Zurich would be more or less expensive during our stay. We'll be using free Hyatt hotel nights, so hotel cost is not an issue, more so what I will we spend on food and drinks. etc. I thought that with the continuing devaluation of the dollar in comparison to the Euro, and the relative stability of the Swiss Franc, Switzerland might actually be the better bargain. I'd appreciate any thoughts/insight/suggestions - thanks in advance.

Palo Alto...
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1. Re: How Expensive is Zurich?

I am now in Zurich. It's an expensive city and most decent restaurants are quite formal and dressy. Note that water is not provided for free, unlike at home or in many other European countries. Admission fees for major sights are pricey.

I don't know if you enjoy shopping overseas. If you do, then wait for major sale or simply window-shop. Many European products are actually cheaper at home than in Zurich.

atlanta
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2. Re: How Expensive is Zurich?

As point of comparisons, how much should someone expect to pay for say a beer or a glass of house wine at a local cafe/bar in the city? Cup of coffee or expresso? Bratwurst from a Christmas Market vendor? many thanks/

Santa Barbara
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3. Re: How Expensive is Zurich?

Here is a link to a popular Zurich restaurant, Zeughauskeller, that is not considered expensive nor trendy. It serves traditional Swiss food but the menu appears in 6 languages so that speaks to the target audience.

You can see the prices and decide for yourself. Remember, tax and tip (although some tip a small amount in addition) are included in these prices:

zeughauskeller.ch/english/angebote/frame0.htm

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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for Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
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4. Re: How Expensive is Zurich?

Hi arthurf,

Just a suggestion -- though yes water is not provided, you can ask for it. Just ask for

"Leitungswasser"

which is tap water.

If you choose to eat in pizzerias or more trendy restaurants filled with young people, of course the dress is more casual, though you won't see many folks just in jeans and a T. I do enjoy seeing people who are well coordinated and thoughtful in their dress though!

You should get a good idea of prices from the link provided by hammersb. For a vendor Brat wurst (and these somehow are the most tasty, too), I would think in the range of 3-5 chf.

I would also take into consideration that the mountains are within an easy reach of Zürich. Luzern is about 45 mintues by train, and you can ascend at least three peaks that are nearby. That might make your quick vacation really stunning! Take a look at these sites:

www.luzern.org

www.pilatus.ch

www.rigi.ch

www.titils.ch

Have fun with the decision!

s

Zurich, Switzerland
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5. Re: How Expensive is Zurich?

I've just booked a few nights in Miami Beach and that made me think that Zurich is indeed a cheap city! USD 500 per night for a room in a 3star and, from what I read in the forum, USD 14 + service charge for a margherita is definitively more than you would pay here!

Here are some of the prices you asked for:

beer CHF 3.50-7 (depends very much where you drink it, in the clubs it's even more expensive)

glass of wine CHF 5-8 (quality bottled wine)

coffee CHF 3-6 (starbucks is among the most expensive ones!)

bratwurst CHF 5-7

I would say that Cologne is slightly less expensive compared to Zurich. But they don't have any mountains nearby!

atlanta
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6. Re: How Expensive is Zurich?

Given my free nights at the Zurich Hyatt, I'm reluctant to pay for hotels elsewhere. That said, how feasible would it be to take trains a couple of days during our stay to Lucerne, or any Alps village? I would expect that parking at the Hyatt would be cost prohibitive, so did not plan on renting a car, but did wonder if there was low-cost parking nearby that would make renting a car a good decision? Again, any insight is appreciated.

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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7. Re: How Expensive is Zurich?

Hi again,

No, I did not mean that you should switch your base; I meant that the mountains are within an easy reach for a day-trip.

Yes, the Swiss train system is truly the way to go to see a bit of the countryside -- many places do not even allow cars, so everywhere is easily accessible by train. You can use the Swiss rail site to see what the schedules are:

www.rail.ch

And the places you may want to see are: Rigi, Titlis, Engelberg, Luzern, Pilatus, etc, (these will be your "destination" for the rail site). You can get more information on them at the links I gave you above.

You may also want to see the very nice little town of Rapperswil, down on Lake Zurich. It has a lovely little harbor filled with cafes, a sweet old town, and a castle on a hill.

Have fun!

s

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8. Re: How Expensive is Zurich?

Hi arthurf,

I love Zurich anytime but especially before Christmas, and lucky you to have points for the Park Hyatt. As well as the Christmas markets in the Altstadt and the rail station, I hope you will find the *Singing Christmas Tree* at the Werdmühleplatz. See singingchristmastree.ch/Tree_2008/index.php

I agree with swandav about taking trains to see some more of Switzerland. I hope you can stretch it to a l-o-n-g weekend indeed, because as well as Lucerne and glacier at Mt Titlis above Engelberg (one day's outing), other good excursions would be to the enchanting city of Bern. Its Christmas market and town centre are lovely - stay till after dark, not hard in December. Another excursion, to give you the sense of a truly scenic train ride, would be to Arosa in the Graubunden. The train journey takes 2 1/2 hours each way, but it's worth it imo. The last hour - from Chur up to Arosa - is quite spectacular. When there, you can take a cable car up to Weisshorn mountain, you can take an easy walk on a cleared path through the woods from the Waldhotel National to idyllically situated the Hotel Hof Maran and have lunch outside, you can return from the Hof Maran to Arosa train station by horse-drawn sleigh, or by shuttle bus. But perhaps you would need 4 clear days to fit all this in. Have fun!

Zurich, Switzerland
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9. Re: How Expensive is Zurich?

I completely agree with Swandav and Swissfan: Take public transportation for your day trips, it's the most efficient, relaxing and fun way to discover Switzerland. And there is nothing like a low-cost parking in downtown Zurich - it's expensive if it's private or public.

Canton of Valais...
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10. Re: How Expensive is Zurich?

One more thing to be said about the USD vierus the CHF rates - the CHF tracks the EUR pretty consistently so if the dollar goes down against the Euro it will also go down against the Swiss franc. The Swiss National Bank keeps the CHF/EUR rate in a range between 1.52 and 1.49, no more.

It is important, as noted to remember that all restaurant prices here include service and tax. In the US you might easily pay around $30 (or more) for a main course, to which you need to add state and local taxes (maybe 5%?) and service at 15-20% so the actual cost of the main course becomes $36-37.50!!

Zurich is listed as one of the world's most expensive cities. However that index includes monthly housing costs as well as food/entertainment etc etc. You are going to stay in a wonderful hotel - for free! - so all you need worry about is the food and if you choose your restaurants wisely you will pay no more than you would in NY (and often less than we paid in May in Miami!!)