Seven Ways to Afford Winter Holidays in the Swiss Alps

How your dream of Winter Holidays in Switzerland becomes true.

Switzerland is hard to beat as a Top Winter Sport Destination. It is home to more mountain peaks of four thousand meters than any other European country. High price peaks therefore challenge the budget-concerned traveller. Not helpful are additionally the high exchange rate against most of the foreign currencies. But there are ways to make the dream of Winter Holidays in the Swiss Alps become true nevertheless.

Marcelle in Chalet in Ayent, Valais, Switzerland
  1. Choose accommodation in less touristy spots

If you look for accommodation, which is within short distance of cable cars but not in the same village, you will find out, that you can save a bunch of money. Often a free bus service connects these places with the main tourist hubs, so that transport is no problem. Choose a homepage for accommodation offers, where owners advertise directly. This way you can ask for a special price without being blocked by a middleman.

>>> List of Ski Areas and Resorts in Switzerland 

Fun for two and four-legged individuals – Anzère, Valais, Switzerland


  1. Opt for a ski region, which is less known

You get reasonably priced packages in ski regions, which are not on the main tourist map. Avoid fancy places like St. Moritz or Zermatt, if you are on a budget.

Ski Slope in Anzère, Valais, Switzerland
  1. Get yourself the last year model of winter sports gear

Buy a last year model of winter sport gear and clothes after the holiday season and before you go to the mountains. That’s still modern enough and fulfills its purpose entirely. In the winter sport regions the prices rise with the demand during the busy time. If you know somebody, who always buys the newest gear, ask if you could buy the last edition from him/her for a good price. Don’t forget to bring the gear into a shop, which tests and services it before use.

If you fly to Switzerland, book with an airline, which allows sports gear for free otherwise you may rather want to check out hiring opportunities at your holiday destination. You can order online in advance for example on Intersport, which shops are all over Switzerland. The longer you hire, the cheaper it gets. If you know, you are going to use the gear more than one holiday in the same winter and you’d love to try the newest models, hire seasonally.

Dogs are for free on the cable car in Anzère, Valais, Switzerland
  1. Walking in the snow instead of skiing

Switzerland is full of “Wanderwege” – so called hiking paths, sign posted throughout the country by yellow signs, respectively red-white once in the high alpine regions. In the winter sport regions you find additional signs for cross-country skiing and snowshoe hiking trails. For the use of cross-country paths you have to pay sometimes a small fee, the use of the others is for free. Maps can be fetched gratuitously at the tourist offices and cable car stations. Here you find updated snow reports and information about the snow conditions.


  1. Pack your backpack with snacks instead of buying your meal in the alpine restaurant

The restaurants in ski resorts and especially on the ski slopes are expensive – no doubt about that. They have to transport their supply from the valley to the top of the mountains, which costs. Prepare yourself a flask with hot tea or similar and a few sandwiches. Your purse will be thankful.

Enjoying a hot cup of tea out of the backpack
  1. Rent self-catering accommodation and cook for yourself

Hotels are most enjoyable and offer value for money with special packages, including cable car tickets, SPA’s etc. BUT – it is still cheaper, to buy your stuff in the grocery store (or even before you get to Switzerland in one of the bordering countries, as these are much cheaper) than to eat in the restaurant. Mind also, that the shops in the mountain villages are much more pricy than the one’s in the valley.

>>  Private accommodation on airbnb

Plentiful four thousand meter high peaks in the Swiss Alps
  1. Go on holiday, when nobody else goes

It is much more enjoyable, when the ski slopes are not busy and you can take the ski lift without standing in long queues. Additionally you get real deals. We were lucky enough to find a two-bedroom apartment with kitchen in a beautiful little mountain village in Valais only a short 10 minutes drive to the cable car for CHF 35 a night, breakfast included. Certainly it was an extraordinary good offer! The host turned out to be a highly gifted cook, who also offered dinner on demand. It was delicious and enjoyable every time.

>> School- and public holidays in Switzerland

Plenty of snow and stunning views in the Swiss Alps

We hope these tips are helpful to you. Please let us know, how your holidays in Switzerland were. Your feedback and tips are most welcome!



Author: Marcelle Simone Heller

I’m searching for natural beauty and wilderness, while I’m travelling relentlessly to find delightful places and encounters with wildlife. I try to capture the thrill of the moments in photography and words, hoping to inspire others with the love for animals and nature.

16 thoughts on “Seven Ways to Afford Winter Holidays in the Swiss Alps”

  1. Great Tips! I love the Swiss Alps but can attest to he fact it is expensive – particularly when you live in resort (I didn’t have a choice!) but the natural beauty is well worth the expense! #theWeeklyPostcard

  2. Very good advice! I love the Swiss alps but never visited the area in winter. I imagine it may be expensive, in fact it was pretty expensive even during the shoulder season which is supposed to be their least expensive.

    1. If you want to do the whole package of snow sports and visits to the alpine restaurants its pretty expensive. Hiking in the summer also with snowshoes in the winter is great and affordable, if you cook yourself.

  3. Very useful tips indeed! Switzerland is one of my dream destination. I will definitely revisit this when I do make it there.

    Thank you for linking up on Travel Tuesday!

  4. Beautiful snow scenes!
    A funny story about the Swiss Alps. A friend of mine fell at home and broke her wrist. It was still in a cast when we attended our class reunion (Class of 1968). My friend, who has never been skiing in the Alps, was laughingly telling people she broke her wrist on the ski slopes there. One of our classmates, who had been skiing there, begin to ask questions about which part of Alps she visited. My friend had to confess she actually broke her wrist at home!

  5. Useful tips! I would only add, one should regularly follow the websites & social media of different resorts for some deals.
    Also, I don’t think walking in snow is a good alternative for skiing – nothing beats whizzing down the ski slopes. 😉

    1. Thanks, Urska, for your feedback. Probably we enjoy the walks more, because otherwise we have to explain to our dog, Vlou, that he missed out on a beautiful day in the snow 😉

      1. Hehe, I haven’t thought of that! Then I get your point. Walks with furry friends are always fun, snow or no snow. 😀 I’m sure you have as much fun on your walks with Vlou (cute name, btw) as you would have skiing. 🐶

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