Swiss Franc or Euro and spendings in Switzerland?

Swiss Franc or Euro and spendings in Switzerland?

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 22. This thread is closed.
jaysuryadeb
jaysuryadeb
20 posts
new member
Apr 12, 2016 - 6:33 AM

Hi all,

My wife and I would be visiting Italy and Switzerland. While we are carrying Euros for expenses in Italy, we are not sure whether to carry Euros or Swiss Francs for our expenses in Switzerland.

Needless to say that it would help us a lot if we can carry only Euros, even for Switzerland. However, we have observed that everything in Switzerland is priced in Swiss Francs.

I have a few queries:

1) Are Euros accepted in Switzerland?

2) If accepted, then how do we pay for something which is priced in CHF? Is the price in EUR also mentioned alongside?

3) Are cards accepted in most places or cash? for eg, people say Italy is primarily a 'cash' country.

Thanks

JD

Brahms
Brahms
211 posts
active member
Apr 12, 2016 - 1:49 PM

Zwitserland is not a Euro country.

Cash is always in CHF, wit card you can pay in CHF or Euro.

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Apr 12, 2016 - 2:10 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

Hello JD

I would advise you to take Swiss francs with you. In big cities and main tourist spots they will probably accept euros, but any change will be given in Swiss francs. Debit cards could be useful for large amounts but not convenient for small purchases like coffees etc. To be dealing with both euros and francs at the same time could be rather confusing so sticking to just the local currency would be best way to go.

Maggie

jaysuryadeb
jaysuryadeb
20 posts
new member
Apr 12, 2016 - 4:04 PM

Thanks a lot Brahms and Maggie for your prompt responses. This is very helpful.

Can you also give a rough estimate of the amount of CHF that I should carry. We are two people and our accommodation and Swiss Travel Pass are already booked.

We simply need to know the bare minimum amount that's required for our food for 2 people. We would not have food at any fancy restaurant. We would buy stuff from Coop or some other supermarket and prepare sandwiches etc for our meals. Once in a while we would try out some cafe/restaurant but not the fancy ones.

An approximate estimate would be very helpful.

Thanks

JD

Last modified on Apr 12, 2016 - 5:05 PM by jaysuryadeb
Brahms
Brahms
211 posts
active member
Apr 12, 2016 - 5:32 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

Switzerland is a very expensive country. The prices are about twice as high as in other European countries. Simple cup of coffee on First for instance costs CHF 9.00 (about 9 euros). What you are going to spend, I really can not say that is very different per person.

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Apr 12, 2016 - 9:53 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

Hello JD

I can understand you need a rough idea of how many francs to take with you so I will try to help!

We spent an average of just over 500 francs a week for the 2 of us. We self- cater so this included money for breakfasts, evening meals were usually sandwiches and salad and fruit,(ingredients bought in Co-op and the local market) we ate lunch out mostly in small cafes (nothing fancy! mountain tops more expensive than lowland café). It also included the half price fares on mountain transport like cable cars (we also had Swiss Travel Pass) and a few souvenirs, postcards and stamps, cold drinks and ice-creams as it was hot! I tend to over-estimate how much to take i.e. 100 francs per day, but this because it doesn't matter if I have some left as we go every year and I just keep it for the next time!

I hope this will give you some idea of how much you might like to take. If towards the end of your stay you are running a little short, you can get a bit more from an ATM with your debit card.

Maggie

Minnie
Minnie
11 posts
new member
Apr 13, 2016 - 1:10 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Hi JD,

I agree with Maggie. Up to 500CHF/week for two people self-catering should be plenty, and you can withdraw extra cash from a cash machine (ATM) if needed. In fact, rather than pre-buying CHF at a currency exchange, I use the ATM at Zurich airport (in the train station complex across the road from the arrivals hall) as I get a better exchange rate by doing that (if you are going to do this, please just use a visa-branded ATM and not the 'currency exchange' ATM). If you are coming by train, there are ATMs at all the major train stations.

Migros and Coop supermarkets let you pay with a card when you eat in their restaurants (recommended!) or when you buy groceries.

In my experience, if you are using your card and you are asked whether you want to pay in CHF or in your own currency, choose CHF (although it is tempting to choose your own currency, you will get a better exchange rate if you make the purchase in the local currency - perhaps others from the forum can comment on this advice! Or perhaps check your own consumer organisation before you leave home, as this will apply whenever you use your card overseas...you may already be aware of this).

The Swiss CHF comes in very large notes, and this can be inconvenient for smaller operators. So, please make a purchase at a larger retailer and keep the smaller notes to use elsewhere.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Last modified on Apr 13, 2016 - 1:13 AM by Minnie
jaysuryadeb
jaysuryadeb
20 posts
new member
Apr 13, 2016 - 4:51 AM

Hi Maggie and Minnie,

Thanks for your detailed responses. These really help me atleast get a ballpark figure. Even we were thinking of carrying around CHF 600 for our 6 day stay (5.5 to be more precise) in Switzerland but we were not sure.

However, now we are more confident that CHF 600 should be sufficient - and if not, then certainly we have our ATM card to our rescue.

Hopefully we would have a great time!!

Thanks again

JD

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2641 posts
expert
Apr 14, 2016 - 1:13 AM in reply to jaysuryadeb

<<"Even we were thinking of carrying around CHF 600 for our 6 day stay (5.5 to be more precise) in Switzerland but we were not sure.">>

That figure could work if your travel is all paid for (Swiss Travel Pass) -and you self- cater, and you do not include room costs in that figure..

Maggie rents an apartment in one place for a long period, which cuts the cost of rooms and meals a lot, if you eat in your apartment.

If you do not do those things, then you will surely need more than 100 CHF per day.

www.myswissalps.com/pl antrip/doityourself/sa vemoney

ATM is the answer.

Slowpoke.

SummitClym
SummitClym
16 posts
new member
Apr 14, 2016 - 2:39 AM

Good advice from everyone.Use CHF, about 100 per day is a good benchmark.

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Apr 14, 2016 - 11:42 AM in reply to Slowpoke

JD already said they have a Swiss Travel Pass and their accommodation is booked which was the basis for my advice.

Maggie

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2641 posts
expert
Apr 14, 2016 - 1:48 PM in reply to maggiehorswell

<<"JD already said they have a Swiss Travel Pass and their accommodation is booked which was the basis for my advice.">>

Very similar to your own arrangements.

Missed that....Thanks.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2641 posts
expert
Apr 14, 2016 - 1:54 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

HI JD-

To add a couple of comments about ATM's...

In the larger cities, especially at the main stations, the set of ATM's for a big bank may offer machines which give mixed denomination bills, including small and large.

And, in the main stations, the "Kiosks" and "Apertos" -convenience stores do so much business that they can change a 200 CHF bill with no problem. Buy a newspaper or a bottle of water.

They also give Euro's in many cases.

Euros are more easily accepted as cash in the larger cities, but you'll sometimes see menus with CHF and Euros pricing at all sorts of places around Switzerland.

In the countryside, and inn keeper might well take euros but the exchange rate would be less certain. And, as noted, you'll get your change in CHF.

There are still many establishments in Switzerland which are "cash only."

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 14, 2016 - 1:57 PM by Slowpoke
GlobiTrotti
GlobiTrotti
26 posts
active member
Apr 14, 2016 - 2:38 PM in reply to jaysuryadeb

I am a Swiss, living in Germany. I am 2 or 3 times a year in Switzerland. I always "buy" Swiss Francs at the bancomat with my credit card or EC-card. My bank here in Germany gave me this worthful advise - and it was the best, when I compared it with all other possibilities.

vishaludawat
vishaludawat
24 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2016 - 3:43 AM

Hi everyone this discussion was really useful. I get that you need approximately (500 for a week) 70 - 100 chf per day for 2 people if you have already paid for accommodation and travel. I would like someone to please guide me if we are family of 4 ( 2 adults and 2 children of 5 and 10), how much would be the approximate cost for a day. We are having a kitchen at our disposal in the Chalet we have booked. And yes we plan to buy from coop / migros and if possible Lidl. Also can someone guide me if Lidl is cheaper. There is one Lidl market close to where I will be staying in spiez. - Vishal

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2641 posts
expert
Apr 16, 2016 - 12:22 AM in reply to vishaludawat

Hi Vishuladawt-

<<"I get that you need approximately (500 for a week) 70 - 100 chf per day for 2 people if you have already paid for accommodation and travel">>

Not sure where you saw the "70." Possibly from Maggie's comments?

For two people, you are likely to be nearer to the higher number...if you are very careful with your "minor" expenses.

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7696 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 16, 2016 - 9:07 AM in reply to vishaludawat

Yes, in general Lidl is cheaper than Coop and Migros.

Brahms
Brahms
211 posts
active member
Apr 16, 2016 - 11:05 AM

And the Migros in Interlaken and Wilderswil are cheaper then in mountain village Wengen.

But not the supermarkets are so expensive in Switserland, but the restaurants........

When you can cook self in your appartment, it is much better for your wallet.

vishaludawat
vishaludawat
24 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2016 - 12:15 PM

Thanks everybody for replying. We will be cooking our dinners and breakfast. We plan to buy something ready to eat from Lidl, coop or migros. We plan to buy yogurts, juices, ready pizza, ready to eat paneer butter masala , rice. Pasta, sandwiches, cakes, ice-cream and salads. I just wished if someone can give approximate cost for 2 adults 2 children (5 and 10) on food per day. And ofcourse we wish to try as much local cuisine as possible. If you can suggest some ready to eat food items that will be great. Maybe if we get ready to eat cheese fondue. Please advise, Thanks Vishal

Brahms
Brahms
211 posts
active member
Apr 16, 2016 - 3:15 PM

What you want to eat, is what you like to eat.

It is a bit to much to ask if other people can give you advise on what you should eat on you holiday.

Go to the store and buy what you want....... (we like carots and rice and "vlaflip" !)

Greetings from the Neteherlands, Brahms

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016