Cost of living in Switzerland

Cost of living in Switzerland

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Where to live in Switzerland

British expats are attracted to Switzerland for a number of reasons, including stunning Alpine scenery, high skilled career opportunities and a relaxed outdoor lifestyle. Switzerland is also renowned throughout the world for its high quality of life. This does, however, require a significant cost of living for expats moving to the country.

Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey included 3 Swiss cities within the most expensive 15 cities in the world, with Zurich ranked as high as number 5. Zurich and Geneva are often considered the most expensive Swiss cities to live in, however other locations such as Lugano, Luzern and even capital city Bern provide more affordable alternatives. That being said, the cost of living in these cities is relevant to the lifestyle you wish to lead and may not be too dissimilar from your expenditures in the UK. 

The currency used in Switzerland is the Swiss franc, with 1 British pound equalling 1.27 francs (as of 3rd January 2020). Converting Swiss prices into British pounds can help you to gauge a clearer comparison between the cost of living in Switzerland and in the UK. Monitor the GBP to CHF exchange rate from our Currency Zone.

(All figures taken from Numbeo.com and exchange rates calculated on 3rd January 2020 at 8.20am).

 

How much does accommodation cost in Switzerland?

The cost of renting and buying property in Switzerland can differ greatly depending on the region or city in which you choose to live. Below is a general guideline of the property prices and rental costs you can expect to find within four different cities in Switzerland.

 

Bern

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£850.26 (1,083 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£723.97 (922.14 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£1,712 (2,180 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£1,298 (1,653 Fr.)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (city centre)

£6,158 (7,843 Fr.)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (outside centre)

£5,286 (6,733 Fr.)

 

Zurich

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£1,433 (1,826 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£1,060 (1,350 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£2,604 (3,318 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£1,939 (2,471 Fr.)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (city centre)

£9,539 (12,155 Fr.)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (outside centre)

£6,286 (8,010 Fr.)

 

Basel

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£974.65 (1,242 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£846.73 (1,079 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£1,932 (2,462 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£1,572 (2,003 Fr.)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (city centre)

£10,069 (12,833 Fr.)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (outside centre)

£7,721 (9,840 Fr.)

 

Lugano

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£1,044 (1,330 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£727.10 (926.67 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£1,913 (2,438 Fr.)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£1,444 (1,841 Fr.)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (city centre)

£8,102 (10,333 Fr.)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (outside centre)

£5,332 (6,800 Fr.)

 

Cost of transport in Switzerland

Transport within Switzerland is considered on par with what you might be expected to pay in the UK. Public transportation costs, for single journey tickets and monthly passes, are at a similar level, while the average cost of petrol is almost identical.

 

Owning a car in Switzerland will allow you to travel more independently to experience the natural beauty of the country, however there are cross country rail and coach options that are highly popular options amongst locals.

Single bus ticket

£2.59 (3.30 Fr.)

Monthly public transport ticket

£59.60 (76.00 Fr.)

Petrol (1 litre)

£1.29 (1.65 Fr.)

Volkswagen Golf

£19,525 (24,900 Fr.)

Toyota Corolla

£20,331 (25,925 Fr.)

 

What is the cost of living in Switzerland?

The cost of living in Switzerland is considered extremely high when compared to other European countries, and is more in line with costs you might find in London than anywhere else in the UK. Below is a list of the average prices that you might encounter for various goods and services within Switzerland.

Milk (1 litre)

£1.23 (1.57 Fr.)

Bread (500g loaf)

£2.14 (2.73 Fr.)

Eggs (12pk)

£4.15 (5.29 Fr.)

Water (1.5 litre bottle)

£0.64 (0.81 Fr.)

Chicken Breast (1kg)

£19.15 (24.41 Fr.)

Cappuccino (regular, in a restaurant)

£3.55 (4.53 Fr.)

Beer (500ml, in a restaurant/pub)

£5.49 (7.00 Fr.)

Cinema ticket

£14.12 (18.00 Fr.)

Gym membership (monthly)

£62.57 (79.77 Fr.)

Preschool/Kindergarten (monthly)

£1,737 (2,215 Fr.)

Primary School (yearly)

£20,698 (26,388 Fr.)

 

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GBP to CHF exchange rate

Keep an eye on the pound to Swiss franc exchange rate in our Currency Zone.

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