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With my insider tips you will be able to spend an affordable holiday in the Swiss Alps. Visit Switzerland in the winter and enjoy the highest mountain peaks of Europe on a budget. Learn where to stay best in Switzerland and what to do in winter for skiers and non skiers, families, couples and single travelers.

Switzerland Winter Holidays On A Budget

Did you always dream of visiting Switzerland and see the alps covered in deep snow? Maybe you heard that Switzerland is a high-priced country in Europe, which may have put you off your holiday plans until now. I’ll walk you through some essential tips, which make Switzerland Winter Holidays affordable for the budget traveller as well.
Marcelle in Anzère - Switzerland Winter Holidays
Marcelle in a Chalet in Ayent, Valais, Switzerland

Switzerland Winter Holidays During Shoulder Season

If you can avoid the Swiss School- and Public Holidays you’ve already made an essential step to save money. Plan your Switzerland Winter Holidays for example at the beginning of December, the second week of January or in March, when the snow is still good. You can find self-catering studios for less than CHF 50 per night.

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Vlou, the travelling Beagle enjoying the snow.

Best Places In Switzerland In Winter

Stay in pretty little mountain villages within a short distance of Ski resorts during your Switzerland Winter Holidays. Best places in Switzerland in Winter on a budget you will find, if you avoid staying in the famous ski resorts. You can have as good of an experience at a much more affordable price. A post bus connects almost every small town with major ski resorts and added shuttles are often provided for free during peak-season.

Budget Holidays in Switzerland

Choose Self Catering Accommodation Instead of Hotels

The best move you can do is by renting a self-catering apartment during your holidays in Switzerland. Cook for yourself and save a big chunk out of your holiday expenses.

Book Accommodation Directly with the Owner

It’s a bit more work but pays off. Search for homepages, on which owners advertise directly. This way you can ask for a special price if you stay longer.

Switzerland in Winter – Buy Your Food Wisely

If you drive from one of the European countries to Switzerland, buy your stock of food before you get over the border to Switzerland (check border restrictions). Choose bigger chain shops in the valley for lower prices, if you have to stock up in Switzerland.

Hire Winter Sports Gear for Short Switzerland Winter Holidays

If you visit Switzerland only once in a year for a short holiday of one to two weeks, it’s more advisable to rent winter sports gear than to buy. Do this beforehand online, to make sure that your size is available when you arrive at your holiday destination. If you know, you are going to use the gear for more than one holiday in the same winter and you’d love to try the newest models, hire seasonally.

Deep Snow and stunning views in Switzerland

Buy Last Year’s Models of Winter Sports Gear for Longer Holidays

If you’ll visit Switzerland repeatedly or if you stay for more than two weeks, buying your own winter sports gear may be the cheaper option. Look for last year models of winter sports gear and outfits, they are perfectly fine and much cheaper in price!  Best sales are after holiday season at the end of winter. Early planning is king!

Look at Second Hand Winter Sports Gear for Sale

You’ll find good quality, used winter sports gear of the last season for your Swiss winter holidays online. Young Swiss who go skiing or snowboarding regularly, spend every year a lot of money for the latest editions of snowboards and skis. They often put their almost new used gear for sale at affordable prices. Make sure though, that you get the bindings tested and the edges done professionally before your holidays.

DON'T buy last minute at ski resorts, when the winter starts. They know you'll pay any price to be able to enjoy the mountains.

Anzère crosscountry

Choose the Right Airline

If you made your mind up, where to go in Switzerland in Winter, you will know if it’s better to fly into Geneva (Valais) or Zürich (Graubünden). Take care not having to pay for excess baggage when flying! Best, book with an airline which allows sports gear for free.

Picnic in the winter

Things To Do In Switzerland In Winter

Day-Passes in the Swiss Alps are pricey. But Switzerland in the winter has much more to offer than skiing. Check out other sports which are as much fun like cross-country-skiing, sledding, and hiking in the snow. Countless hiking trails lead one throughout the Swiss Alps and if snow is abundant, cross-country skiing and snowshoe hiking is wonderful and costs nothing or just a small contribution to the maintenance of the paths.

Switzerland in winter for non-skiers has a lot to offer!

Winter Holidays in Switzerland at it's best

Enjoy Swiss Winter With A Daypack

On your holiday in Switzerland, you’ll find that restaurants, in general, are very expensive. Restaurants in ski resorts and on ski slopes are unaffordable for many of us budget travelers. Their prices include the transport of the goods from the valley to the top of the mountains.
We usually take our rucksack with a flask of hot tea or coffee and some homemade sandwiches, fruit, nuts and Swiss chocolate with us on our tours in the Swiss Alps. We didn’t feel like we missed out on anything and neither did our dog, Vlou.

Did you hear about Switzerland being expensive and stopped planning for a holiday in the Swiss Alps because of that? Or have you been in Switzerland in the winter and want to add some further tips?  Your feedback is most welcome!

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