Are you thinking about what the cost of living in Bern would be if you decide to study abroad? Bern is the capital city of Switzerland and one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Europe. It is famous for its medieval old town, its bear park, its cultural and political significance, and its high-quality education. But how much does it cost to live in Bern? In this guide, we will explore the average monthly living cost in Bern for different aspects of life, such as accommodation, food, entertainment, utilities, and transportation. Read on to find out!
This Blog Includes:
Also Read: A Guide on Cost of Living in Switzerland
Why Choose Bern to Study Abroad?
The capital of Switzerland is famous for its stunning scenery. Despite the high cost of living in Bern, it’s also a sought-after city, offering high-quality education to international students. Here are some other reasons why students should pursuing their education overseas in Bern:
- Bern offers top-class education to international students. The University of Bern is one of the prestigious institutions here, ranked among the top 200 universities in the world.
- The city provides excellent research facilities and opportunities for students, with more than 50 research institutes and centers.
- Bern has a low cost of living compared to other Swiss cities like Zurich, Geneva, Basel, or Lausanne. Students can also apply for scholarships and grants from various sources.
- It offers a favorable environment for personal and professional development. Students can enjoy the high quality of life and safety in Bern, which is ranked as the second-safest city in the world.
Cost of Living in Bern
The average monthly cost of living in Bern is around CHF 1,411 without rent. This is based on the assumption that you are living alone in a studio apartment in a normal area of the city. Of course, your actual expenses may vary depending on your lifestyle, preferences, and needs. Here is a breakdown of the average monthly living cost in Bern for different categories:
|Category||Average Monthly Cost|
|Utilities and Bills||CHF 221|
Let’s take a closer look at each category and see what they include.
Also Read: Cost of Living in Zurich
The biggest cost of living in Bern is accommodation. The city has a high demand for housing and a low supply, making it one of the most expensive places to rent in Switzerland. Here’s a breakdown of the monthly rent for different kinds of housing:
|Type of Accommodation||Monthly Rent|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre||CHF 1,133|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre||CHF 866|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre||CHF 2,325|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre||CHF 1,703|
If you are looking for cheaper options, you can consider sharing an apartment with other people or living in a student residence. Here are some of the monthly rent for different types of student accommodations in Bern:
|Type of Accommodation||Monthly Rent|
|Single room in a shared apartment||CHF 543-724|
|Studio apartment in a student residence||CHF 724-905|
|Double room in a student residence||CHF 453-634|
The second biggest cost of living in Bern is food. The city has a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars that cater to different tastes and budgets. However, eating out can be quite expensive, especially if you do it often. Here’s how much it costs to eat out in Bern:
|Meal in an inexpensive restaurant||CHF 23|
|Meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant||CHF 80|
|McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)||CHF 15|
|Cappuccino (regular)||CHF 4.72|
To save money on food, you can cook your own meals at home or buy ready-made meals from supermarkets or convenience stores. Here are some of the prices of grocery items in Bern:
|Grocery Item||Price (in CHF)|
|Milk (1 liter)||1.62|
|Bread (500 g)||2.42|
|Cheese (500 g)||10.67|
|Chicken Fillets (1 kg)||25.50|
|Rice (White) (1 kg)||2.10|
|Apples (1 kg)||3.35|
|Bananas (1 kg)||2.51|
|Tomatoes (1 kg)||3.49|
|Potatoes (1 kg)||1.94|
|Onion (1 kg)||1.72|
|Lettuce (1 head)||1.75|
|Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)||10|
The third biggest expense for living in Bern is entertainment. The city has a lot of cultural and recreational activities that you can enjoy like cinemas, festivals, nightlife venues, and so on. But it can also be quite costly if you do them frequently. Here are some examples of the prices of different types of entertainment in Bern:
|Type of Entertainment||Price|
|Movie ticket||CHF 18|
|Theatre ticket||CHF 36-72|
|Museum ticket||CHF 9-18|
|Concert ticket||CHF 45-90|
|Festival ticket||CHF 90-181|
|Sports event ticket||CHF 18-45|
|Nightclub entry fee||CHF 9-18|
|Drink in a bar||CHF 5-9|
|Gym membership (monthly)||CHF 68|
To save money on entertainment, you can look for free or discounted events or activities that are offered by the city or by various organizations.
Utilities and Bills
The fourth biggest cost of living in Bern is utilities and bills. The average monthly cost of utilities and bills for a 1-bedroom apartment in Bern is CHF 221. These costs will vary depending on the size of your apartment, the season, and your usage. Here are some examples of the prices of different types of utilities and bills in Bern:
|Type of Utility or Bill||Monthly Cost|
|Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment||CHF 265.05|
|Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data||CHF 60.33|
|Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||CHF 43.64|
If you want to save money on utilities and bills, you can try to reduce your consumption by using energy-efficient appliances, turning off lights and devices when not in use, and choosing a cheaper internet or phone plan.
The fifth biggest cost of living in Bern is transportation. The average monthly cost of public transportation in Bern is CHF 101. The city has a well-developed public transportation system that consists of buses, trams, trains, and funiculars. Here are some examples of the prices of different modes of transportation in Bern:
|Mode of Transportation||Price|
|Bus or tram ticket (one-way)||CHF 3.2|
|Train ticket (one-way)||CHF 4.5-9.1|
|Funicular ticket (one-way)||CHF 2.3|
|Monthly pass for city zone||CHF 101|
|Monthly pass for regional zone||CHF 181-272|
|Taxi fare (per km)||CHF 4.1|
|Gasoline (per liter)||CHF 1.95|
This is based on the assumption that you buy a monthly pass for the city zone. If you travel outside the city zone, you may need to pay extra fares or buy a regional pass. If you want to save money on transportation, you can also use other modes of transportation, such as walking, biking, or carpooling.
Average Tuition Fees in Bern, Switzerland
The average tuition fees in Bern, Switzerland varies depending on the type and level of study, the institution, and the nationality of the student. Here are some general estimates based on:
|Type of University||Tuition Fees|
|For public universities||1,600 EUR per year (UG and PG programs)
100-200 EUR per year (for PhD programs)
|For private universities||43,000 EUR per year|
|International/boarding schools||CHF 22,700 – 35,900|
However, some public universities charge higher fees for non-EU/EEA students or for all international students. At the University of Bern, non-Swiss students pay an additional 200 CHF per semester. Some private universities offer discounts for paying the full amount in advance or calculate the fees based on the number of courses or credits.
Living in Bern can be an amazing experience, but it can also be quite expensive. The average monthly cost of living in Bern is around CHF 1,411 without rent, which is higher than many other cities in Switzerland and Europe. However, there are ways to reduce your expenses by choosing cheaper options for accommodation, food, entertainment, utilities, and transportation. By doing so, you can enjoy the beauty and culture of Bern without breaking the bank!
Ans. Yes, Bern is one of the most expensive cities in the world, with a high cost of living index of 105.38.
Ans. The average monthly cost of living in Bern, Switzerland comes up to CHF 1,411.
Ans. Yes, Bern is a good place to live if you value safety, healthcare, environmental quality, and business freedom. Bern is ranked as the second-safest city in the world, with a low crime rate and a high level of social trust.
We hope that this blog helped you discover the cost of living in Bern, Switzerland. To learn more about student life abroad, stay tuned to Leverage Edu. Thank you for reading!