We’ll give it to you straight—the cost of living in Switzerland is high. This is why we’re giving you this guide so you can prepare your funds for your stay.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the cost of living in Switzerland:

Student Accommodation Costs

Monthly rent depends on the location, the number of bedrooms, and other inclusions. In major cities, an apartment would range from around CHF 1,700 up to CHF 5,000. 

Apartments outside the city cost less. You can expect to pay around CHF 900 to CHF 2,000 every month.

Cost of Food and Dining Out

Basic grocery items would cost you about CHF 75 to CHF 100 every week. This amount would get you deli meat, bread, eggs, vegetables, and some fruits. 

If you’re dining out at a mid-range restaurant, you’ll spend around CHF 35 per meal. Common lunch meals at business districts cost about CHF 25.

Fast food meals are relatively cheaper. For about CHF 13, you can get a nice combo meal. 


Health insurance is compulsory in Switzerland. If you’re a non-EU/EFTA student, you can get health insurance from various providers.

Swisscare offers a standard plan with a monthly premium of CHF 65. There’s also Academic Care that offers an insurance package with a monthly premium of CHF 90.

Other things to consider about your health insurance are the deductibles and coverage. Pick the one that offers the best coverage for your needs.

Public Transportation Costs

Certain cities in Switzerland offer travel cards. You can use this card to make payments for train, bus, or tram rides.

You can buy a second class ticket to board the SBB German for CHF 50. You can also catch a taxi ride for CHF 20.

Per month, you can expect to spend an average of CHF 100 on transportation alone. You can opt to buy a bike to save on costs for close-distance travel. 


If you’re alone in your apartment, you may spend around CHF 150 per month on basic utilities. Other services like WiFi can cost you up to CHF 85 per month.

You can save on utility bills when you’re staying with roommates. Make sure to divide each bill fairly to each person. 

Clothing Expenses

Clothing is expensive in Switzerland. If you want to save, take advantage of your student discount cards and get the best deals.

Footwear such as running shoes or casual sneakers costs around CHF 145 per pair. A nice dress costs about CHF 60. For a great pair of jeans, expect to pay around CHF 125. 

Entertainment and Travel Costs

Movie tickets cost about CHF 20 each. Meanwhile, a standard Netflix plan would cost CHF 12 every month.

For outdoor adventures such as skiing, prices vary depending on the activity and the season. For example, it’s more expensive to ski during peak seasons such as winter. 

Understanding living costs gives you an insight into what to expect in Switzerland. Want to read more related content? Check out our stories here at MSM Unify.