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Switzerland is famous of being one of the most expensive countries to live in and visit. I come from Canada, where the cost of living, on average, is about half of that of Switzerland’s. According to Numbeo, consumer prices in Switzerland are about 80% higher than Canada’s! Here’s a little known secret: there are a few things that I found that are actually cheaper in Switzerland than back home! I’ve come up with a list of 6 cheap things in Switzerland:
Switzerland is a pretty great place to live in for its travel perks. Situated at the heart of Europe, you can travel to almost every European country in less than 2 hours. If you fly with discount airlines like EasyJet or RyanAir, you can find cheap return flights for less than 100 euros!
This totally beats travelling back home, where the cost of a flight from Toronto to Vancouver is sometimes more than what I pay to fly from Toronto to Geneva!
In Canada and the US, most of the national and provincial/state parks require permits which could cost anywhere up to $25 per head and up to $30 per car. In Switzerland, you can go hiking for free. You don’t even need to worry about paying for a park pass or permit!
Another perk: the trails in Switzerland are really well-marked and a lot of the local trails are pretty untouched 🙂
3. Sin items
Coming from Canada, it feels like EVERYONE in Switzerland smokes and drinks. I guess that’s why Switzerland is the international headquarter for Philip Morris and British American Tobacco.
I’ve seen cheap cigarettes sold for 2 bucks at vending machines and some cheap wine for less than 2 bucks at the supermarket!
I did the math, and with the lower tax rates in Switzerland (only 8% value-added tax), it’s actually cheaper to buy electronics in Switzerland vs. back home. I bought an iPad last year and I saved around $50, currency exchange and all.
5. Swiss cheese and chocolate
It’s no surprise that it is much cheaper to buy quality Swiss cheese and chocolate directly from the source. I love Lindt chocolate, and it’s much cheaper than buying the imported chocolate when I’m in Canada.
Also, Swiss cheese is pretty much non-existent in Canada unless you go to a speciality shop which will charge you an arm and a leg!
6. Luxury goods
If you’re into the luxury goods market, then you will know that oftentimes it is much cheaper to buy goods abroad in the country where they are produced. I know tons of people who visit Paris just to buy cheaper Louis Vuitton, Chanel, or Hermes products.
Switzerland is pretty much the same when it comes to luxury goods. If you are coming to Switzerland for a short trip, then you can take advantage of the tax refund which would result in even greater savings!
Living in Switzerland is expensive. The average cost of living in Zurich is around $3,600 for a family of three. I’m a single household and I average around $1,600 on a good month. My monthly cost of living can be found here.
However, there are some things in Switzerland that are cheaper than back in North America: travel, hiking, sin items, electronics, and Swiss products!
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