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City trip: Zurich on a budget

Zurich signifies luxury - but trips don't have to be costly.

Zurich has a reputation for being an expensive destination, but well-informed visitors can make trips to this fashionable metropolis surprisingly affordable. We'll show you where you can make the most out of a small budget.

Carrie & Harry - Harrys Ding

What are Zurich's best restaurants and cafes? Where are the most beautiful Instagram locations? What is there to do in the city? Bloggers Harry and Carrie can answer all your questions. Carrie, 36 years old and from Singapore, and Harry, 44 years old and born in Zurich, cover all these topics in their trendy food and travel blog "Harrys Ding." Using their Instagram account @harrysding, they take their followers on a journey through the beautiful life. "We want to inspire our readers and create positive moments," say the couple.

Zurich has a reputation for being an expensive destination, but well-informed visitors can make trips to this fashionable metropolis surprisingly affordable. We'll show you where you can make the most out of a small budget. 
Price-conscious visitors to Zurich are sometimes left speechless when paying the bill at a restaurant or when paying for their hotel room. Before you know it, a pizza costs 25 Swiss francs, a coffee 6 francs and the hotel 250 francs - per night. Even for the Swiss, that's a lot of money.
But Zurich doesn't have to be like this. Over the last few years, this trendy, lake-side mini-metropolis has become the travel destination of choice - even for attractive, low-budget options. This means that anyone who travels to Switzerland's largest city on a small budget will find a whole host of bargains at their disposal (provided that they know where to find them). 

Five insider tips for a thrifty visit.

To help make sure that Zurich doesn't put too much strain on your travel budget, we've put together five insider tips for a thrifty visit. 
1. Zürich Card for public transport
It's said that you can get anywhere in Zurich by walking. But taking the tram, bus, train and ship means that you can see more of the city! The Zürich Card is the best ticket that visitors can buy for public transport in and around the city (including to the airport and for views of the Uetliberg). The card, which costs 27 francs for 24 hours or 53 francs for 72 hours, also includes a range of discounts and even free admission to some museums. 

@ibis budget Zurich City West ©Harry Dings

2. Budget accommodation at the ibis budget Zurich City West hotel
You won't find better value for money in Zurich! The ibis budget hotel offers the best accommodation for price-conscious visitors to the city - and leaves more money for other activities. Practical three-bed rooms mean that the hotel is also highly attractive for small families. The breakfast at the ibis budget is also very affordable, and for just 12 francs you can help yourself to the buffet - without a doubt the best way to start the day! Handy tip: The ibis budget is located in the up-and-coming Zurich West quarter. Here you'll find the trendiest bars, restaurants and clubs in the city. The city center is less than 10 minutes away by tram.

Technoparkstrasse 2, 8005 Zurich, Tel. +41 44 276 20 00

all.accor.com - ibis budget Zurich City West

3. Free expedition through the Botanical Garden
No matter what time of year it is, the Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich is always worth a visit. At this site, which measures some 53,000 m², Zurich's botanists cultivate almost 7000 plants from all around the world. In summer, we love walking through the beautiful, open-air garden, and in winter we like to warm up in the tropical greenhouse. Admission to the Botanical Garden is free of charge. 

Zollikerstr. 107 8008 Zürich, Tel. +41 44 634 84 61

Botanical Garden
@Maison Blunt ©Harry Dings

4. Maison Blunt for a well-priced brunch
Brunch is extremely popular in Zurich, and one of the trendiest yet cheapest places to go is the oriental-inspired Maison Blunt. For 12 francs you can get a small plate with feta, avocado, hummus, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, bread, butter and honey. This doesn't include drinks, so these will need to be bought separately. Note that you will almost certainly have to make a reservation!

Gasometerstrasse 5, 8005 Zürich, Tel. +41 43 211 00 33

Maison Blunt
@Hiltl ©Harry Dings

5. High-flying vegetarian buffet at Haus Hiltl
The oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world transforms vegetables and tofu into culinary sensations. Immersed in cool music and a relaxed atmosphere, you can help yourself to whatever your heart desires from the buffet. You pay by the weight of your food, so if you can resist temptation and choose your food strategically, you can fill yourself up for around 15 francs. Don't forget that bread, popadams and high-quality Zurich-sourced water are all free.  

Sihlstrasse 28, 8001 Zürich, Tel. +41 44 227 70 00


6. Free nibbles with a drink at Puro Bar
Nothing is ever truly free, but if you order a drink in the chic Puro Bar, situated close to Paradeplatz, you can help yourself to free nibbles at the buffet. Unfortunately, this great offer is only available Wednesdays from 5pm and ends once there's no more food left. 

Fraumünsterstrasse 25, 8001 Zurich, Tel. +41 44 221 99 33

Puro Bar

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