A Guide on Cost of Living in Switzerland 2024

6 minute read
Cost of Living in Switzerland: A Complete Guide

The cost of living in Switzerland can be determined by factors such as the cost of studying in Switzerland, accommodation rent, utility bills, grocery expenses, etc. As we delve into the fascinating world of living in Switzerland, we must appreciate the presence of some of the top universities in the world, efficient infrastructure, unparalleled quality of life, and breathtaking landscapes of this European country. Owing to the world-class facilities available in this developed nation, a foreign national has to pay a higher charge than most first-world countries.


Let us now explore the reasons to study in Switzerland and plan a journey in this alpine paradise by viewing various expenses. 

Why Choose Switzerland to Study Abroad?

Switzerland is a popular destination for international students looking to study abroad for several reasons. Here are some key factors that make Switzerland an attractive choice for studying:

  • High-Quality Education: Switzerland is renowned for its excellent education system and high academic standards. The country is home to some of the world’s top-ranked universities and research institutions such as the University of Zurich, the University of Geneva, the University of Fribourg, ETH Zurich, the University of Bern, and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
  • Multilingual Environment: Switzerland is a multilingual country, with four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. This diversity provides an enriching linguistic and cultural environment for international students. 
  • Research and Innovation: The country invests heavily in scientific research and is known for its cutting-edge technologies and breakthrough discoveries. As a student in Switzerland, one can benefit from the country’s advanced research facilities and collaborate with leading researchers in her/their/his field of study.
  • Internship and Job Opportunities: Switzerland is known for its strong economy and offers ample internship and job opportunities, especially in sectors such as banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, and technology. 
  • Central Location in Europe: Switzerland’s central location in Europe makes it an ideal base for exploring the continent. With excellent transportation connections, overseas students can easily travel to neighbouring countries and experience different cultures, languages, and historical sites during their study breaks or weekends.

Also Read: Scholarships in Switzerland

Cost of Living in Switzerland

To estimate the cost of living in Switzerland, a study abroad student must consider transportation charges, student accommodation, utility bills, grocery expenses, and healthcare expenditures. 


Switzerland has well-connected public transportation. Each city has its own pricing for different means of public transport, taxis, and gasoline. The table below displays the average prices of different means of communication

Transportation Costs in SwitzerlandAverage Prices
Monthly Pass for Public TransportationCHF 80
Single Ticket for Public TransportationCHF 3.50
Standard Tariff of Taxi for 5 km CHF 25.75
1 litre GasolineCHF 1.91

Food and Restaurants

Monthly grocery bills vary depending on daily consumption, eating habits, and preferred brands of food products. Studying in Switzerland students must allocate around CHF 400 to CHF 650 every month for groceries. Students residing in Basel and Zurich have to pay extra as the prices are higher in these two cities. To save some money, students can purchase perishable products after 5 pm or from global supermarket chains like Lidl or Aldi.

When students don’t want to cook at home, they can explore the cosmopolitan cuisine of Switzerland. To eat out, residents can eat a value meal from McDonald’s at CHF 15 or a pizza at CHF 25. Additionally, a student can dine out at a cheap restaurant for CHF 25. Furthermore, the cost of a three-course meal for two individuals in Switzerland is nearly CHF 100. 

Moreover, the average price of a regular cappuccino in Switzerland is nearly CHF 4.70. However, in Zurich, the cost climbs to around CHF 5, which is slightly higher than in other European cities like Berlin, London, and Paris. In addition, for a pint of beer, a Swiss resident has to pay somewhere between CHF 6 to CHF 8 for a pint of beer and nearly CHF 15 for a wine bottle. 

Utility Bills

The average monthly charge for water and gas in Switzerland is CHF 194 and that for electricity is CHF 130. Whereas, the average monthly internet cost is nearly CHF 56. Furthermore, the average annual radio and television fee in this European country is nearly CHF 355. 

Healthcare Expenses

Health insurance is mandatory for everyone staying in Switzerland. However, it can be pretty expensive. The average cost of healthcare insurance premiums in Switzerland is nearly CHF 372 per month. This amount varies as per the economy of the insurer and canton. The premium cost is announced by the OFSP (Federal Public Health Office). The Swiss government has devised a tool to compare premiums between different areas. Students can compare the premium costs and opt for one to get access to one of the premium healthcare systems in the world. 

Furthermore, a beneficiary of health insurance in Switzerland needs to pay the initial CHF 300 of yearly treatment costs even though state insurance covers nearly 80% to 90% of total medical costs. The CHF 300 is the extra amount, known as excess. However, dental treatment costs are not covered by state healthcare insurance. Thus, to minimize these costs, people often opt for private dental insurance. 


Students often worry about the cost of renting in Switzerland. Here are some accommodation options for overseas students planning to study in Switzerland:

Type of Accommodation1 Bedroom Apartment in City Centre1 Bedroom Apartment Outside City Centre3 Bedroom House/Apartment in City Centre3 Bedroom House/Apartment Bordering City Centre
Average Rent in Bern (Monthly)CHF 1,190CHF 944CHF 2,339CHF 1,609
Average Rent in Zurich (Monthly)CHF 1,928CHF 1,531CHF 3,694CHF 2,718
Average Rent in Geneva (Monthly)CHF 2,007CHF 1,605CHF 4,069CHF 2,999

Also Read: Cost of Living Calculator

Average Tuition Fees in Switzerland

In comparison to some of the European universities, Swiss universities offer higher education at an affordable tuition fee. In Switzerland, public universities charge less than private institutions of higher education. The average Tuition fees for a bachelor’s course and master’s programme in Switzerland for international students are CHF 18,500 to CHF 24,000 and CHF 3,000 to CHF 13,000, respectively. 

The average Tuition Fee of some of the premium universities in Switzerland is tabulated below:

UniversityType of UniversityAverage Tuition Fee
ETH ZurichPublicCHF 1200
University of BaselPublicCHF 1,900
University of LausannePublicCHF 950
University of GenevaPrivateCHF 830
University of BernPublicCHF 1560
University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern SwitzerlandPublicCHF 1160

Things to Consider When Moving to Switzerland

If any overseas student is planning to study in Switzerland, she/they/he must research expenses and living conditions in the country. She/they/he is advised to seek consultation from official sources or expatriate communities to acquire accurate and latest information about basic amenities in the country. One must consider the following factors when moving to Switzerland:

  • Visa and Residence Permits
  • Cost of Studying
  • Cost of Living
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Housing/Accommodation
  • Linguistic Diversity
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Social Fabric
  • Culture and Lifestyle
  • Banking and Taxes

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Cost of Living in Scotland: A Guide on Expected ExpensesCost of Living in Wakefield, UK for International Students


Q.1 Is it expensive to live in Switzerland?

Answer: This European nation is expensive, owing to the high standard of living and handsome salaries in the country. Some of the costliest cities in Switzerland are Bern, Zurich, and Geneva. 

Q.2 How expensive is rent in Switzerland?

Answer: The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre costs around INR 1.20 lakh/month, whereas, the rent outside the city is INR 94k/month. 

Q.3 What is the monthly cost of living in Switzerland?

Answer: As an international student, one has to spend nearly INR 1.50 lakh to cover rent, utility bills, food, and public transportation.

So, this was all about the cost of living in Switzerland. To explore study abroad opportunities and calculate the cost of living abroad, stay in tune with Leverage Edu and Leverage Live. To plan your foreign studies journey, feel free to contact us at 1800 572 000.

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