Whether you intend to reside in Switzerland long term or short, it is important to get to know more about the cost of living in Switzerland before moving there. while Switzerland has one of the highest quality of life, it also has a high cost of living.
Despite this, Switzerland remains an attractive destination for expats. If you are thinking of moving to Switzerland, here is what you need to know about their cost of living.
The official currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). While most places also accept Euro bills, you may get Francs in return. Some exchange rates include:
- 1 CHF = 1.11 USD
- 1 CHF = 0.78 GBP
- 1 CHF = 0.91 EUR
- 1 CHF = 1.34 CAN
While the cost of living in Switzerland remains high, it also depends on where you choose to reside and the lifestyle you choose to lead. One of the most expensive cities in Switzerland is Zurich.
As mentioned, the cost of living in Switzerland depends on where you reside. With Zurich being the most expensive city, housing here can be expensive. If you decide to live in Zurich, an average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is 2,000 CHF.
While residing in smaller towns and cities such as Bern is fairly affordable, as compared to Zurich. An average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Bern is 1,200 CHF.
If you are considering purchasing a house in Switzerland, you should know that the Swiss government imposes multiple restrictions for non-nationals when buying a house. While not impossible, it may be costly.
On top of accommodation, you will also be required to pay for utility and rubbish collection. The price you will need to pay for rubbish collection depends on the size of the bags of rubbish you use. In 2019, you may be required to pay 0.85 CHF per 17L of rubbish you throw. As recycling is a serious matter in Switzerland, do remember not to break them else you may be fined or arrested.
Utility costs are mainly privately owned. Some landlords may include these basic utility prices in their rent. These costs is typically 15-20% of your monthly rent.
The cost of food in Switzerland can range depending on your lifestyle. There are various supermarkets you can choose from — local and international. As you will have plenty of choices, it is important to know which store will meet your needs.
All Swiss supermarket chains provide a variety of goods that should be able to meet your needs. The biggest Swiss supermarket chain is Migros with over 600 stores over the country.
If you are living in Switzerland on a budget, there are also discount supermarkets that are more affordable such as Lidl and Aldi Suisse.
You can budget around 100 CHF for one person each month, depending on which grocery store you go to.
Some average grocery prices include:
- Eggs – 7 CHF
- Milk (1L) – 1.5 CHF
- Chicken (1Lb) – 13 CHF
- Wine – 14 CHF
- Apples (1Lb) – 2 CHF
While Swiss cuisine is unique, it is also expensive. A modest meal can cost around 15 CHF per person and up to 25 CHF at a cheap restaurant. Fortunately, tips are already included in the bill.
Similarly, the cost of dining out varies across the country and depends on the type of restaurant you go to.
Public transport in Switzerland is widely available. While not the cheapest, public transport is easy and accessible. Public transport here include trams, trains, buses and ships.
If you intend to take public transport daily, you can opt for a travel pass where you pay 75 CHF a month. While single fares cost around 3.20 CHF.
Travelling by train is popular in the country, especially long distance. For instance, a one way ticket from Zurich to Bern can cost around 51 CHF.
Owning a car in Switzerland is expensive, due to taxes, insurance and parking permits.
While Switzerland provides some of the best healthcare systems in the world, basic healthcare insurance in Switzerland is compulsory and can be expensive.
Depending on which health insurance you choose, healthcare can cost around 450 CHF a month. Do note that prices for insurance ranges depending on the insurer and economy.