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Cost of living in Switzerland – Everything Needs to be Known!

Updated on 01 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries to study in; however, it can be expensive when it comes to the cost of living in Switzerland. Cities such as Zurich, Geneva, and Bern are the costliest. The standard of living and salaries offered in the Swiss country are incredibly high too. However, various factors determine your living expenses in Switzerland, such as the area you choose to live in, whether you go out to eat or cook at home, mode of transportation, and more.

Important Link : Cost of Living for Studying Abroad

House or accommodation costs in Switzerland  

Maximum people rent properties in Switzerland, and as a result, there is an extreme shortage of apartments. International students live in shared flats, studio apartments, or PGs near the universities. Not all universities in Switzerland offer on-campus housing, and if they do, residence halls are often limited and booked. There are benefits of living on campus, so we suggest you take it up if you can get a space in these residence halls. Here’s the cost of living in Switzerland when it comes to accommodation:  

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One bedroom apartment in city center

INR 1,20,516 per month
One bedroom apartment outside city center

INR 93,685.75 per month

Three-bedroom apartment in city center

INR 2,19,132 per month
Three-bedroom apartment outside city center

INR 1,70,022 per month

Here is the cost of accommodation in four main Swiss cities-


One bedroom apartment

INR 1,64,304 per month
Three-bedroom apartment

INR 3,91,267 per month



One bedroom apartmentINR 1,04,391
Three-bedroom apartmentINR 2,01,345


One bedroom apartment

INR 96,903
Three-bedroom apartmentINR 2,01,261


One bedroom apartment

INR 1,56,591
Three-bedroom apartmentINR 2,83,355

Country-Wise Cost of Living Guides

Transportation costs 

Travelling is an expensive activity, and different cities have different travel policies. In Switzerland, public transport is extensively used and is a reliable option. Maximum people here prefer to travel by train as they are more efficient and are always on time. However, you might have to buy tickets 60 days in advance to save money.  

Though various transportation passes will cover main cities across Switzerland. Monthly tickets and passes are also available. PostBus is an option too. Bern, Zurich, and Basel have tram networks and ferry routes. Here are transportation charges in Switzerland-  

Taxi (1 km)

INR 306
One way ticket for local transport

INR 281.81

Gasoline (1 liter)

INR 133.67

Education expenses in Switzerland 

In comparison to other countries, tuition fees of Swiss universities are relatively affordable. Tuition fees of public and private universities differ as public universities are lesser expensive.  

Public universities such as ETH Zurich, University of Applied Sciences, University of Lausanne, University of Basel, and more are affordable compared to private universities such as Webster University, International University in Geneva, Swiss Hotel Management School, etc.  


Average Tuition fee in INR
University of Geneva


University of Lausanne

University of Bern


University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland


Healthcare costs and expenses 

The healthcare system of Switzerland is top-notch and world-famous. In the Swiss country, you will have to pay for your healthcare though the amount will vary depending on where you are in the country. You will have to sign up for a private healthcare plan in the country, and you will have to pay at least INR 23,949 per month. Here are different types of healthcare plans in Switzerland- 

  • Basic healthcare plan
  • Supplementary Insurance

Remember to know the details before opting for a plan, as both insurance plans cover different medical expenses.  

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Average Salary in Switzerland 

Companies in Switzerland offer high salaries, which helps maintain high living costs. In the Swiss country, there is no minimum wage. People earning in Switzerland receive around INR 1,00,62,229 per year. This salary includes other benefits such as transportation costs, housing, and additional benefits.  

The salaries may range from a minimum of INR 25,42,216 to a maximum of INR 4,49,11,603. 

Tips to reduce expenses in Switzerland 

As an international student in Switzerland, it is mandatory to know your budget. We have already established that Switzerland is an expensive country and so we have gathered some of the most valuable tips that you can apply to manage your expenses more effectively and efficiently- 

1. Try to find accommodation on the university campus or nearby 

In Switzerland, accommodation is costly. Limited universities in the country offer on-campus rooms, and most of them are occupied by students, so if you can find one, make sure to take it. It will help you save a lot of money as you won’t have to travel and spend a fortune on buying tickets. It is way cheaper than renting a room or finding a shared apartment. However, if you can’t find one, try to find a place near the university so you can avoid travelling long distances and save money. You can get a studio flat as they are less expensive or find a room in a shared apartment. 

2. Use public transport 

If you have to travel, take public transport. Please note that public transportation in Switzerland is quite expensive. Maximum students buy a used bike and navigate the cities. A second-hand bike will cost you around INR 8,500. However, you can get a used bike for free in Zurich, depending on availability. 

3. Avoid going out frequently and cook at home 

Restaurants and pubs in Switzerland are pretty expensive. Cooking at home will help you save you a lot of money. You may not realize, but while eating out and drinking, people often forget how much money they are spending and end up exceeding the budget. 

4. Get all the student discounts you can!  

Maximum modes of transport provide student discounts. You can have discounts from movies to food, shops, and restaurants if you are a student. Whenever you go shopping, don’t forget to ask about discounts and you may end up saving a tremendous amount of money. 

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5. Find a part-time job if you are eligible!  

The average cost of living in Switzerland can become a burden if you cannot save. If you want to better your lifestyle, consider finding a part-time job with flexible working hours. You can have plenty of work opportunities in Switzerland with good pay to help you save. However, as a student, you will have to adhere to the rules and regulations set by universities and the government.  

Living on a student budget can be challenging at times, but managing finances smartly will help you in the long run. Switzerland is an expensive country, and if you learn how to micromanage your budget, you can live in any costly country worldwide.  

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What is the monthly cost of living in Switzerland?

Switzerland has a higher cost of living compared to other countries. As an international student, you will need around INR 1,02,000 to INR 1,50,000 per month to cover accommodation, food, transport, and additional utility expenses.

How expensive is rent in Switzerland?

Rent is quite expensive in Switzerland, though it also depends on various factors such as the city you live in or the type of accommodation you have rented. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost you around INR 1,20,516, whereas outside the city center, it will cost you around INR 93,685. You can find a shared apartment or a studio apartment to save money.

Is Switzerland an expensive place to live?

Switzerland offers a quality standard of living, superior healthcare services, economic and political stability, higher salary packages, making living expenses in Switzerland a bit high.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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