Is food really expensive in Switzerland?

Most seasoned travellers know Switzerland is an expensive place to visit, it’s in Western Europe, people are paid really well so what would we expect?  It is one of the most expensive countries to travel and that’s a reality, prices are significantly higher than the countries surrounding it like Germany, Austria, France and Italy hence I know some people who drives to Germany and buy their groceries in the border of Germany and Switzerland specifically in Lidl Konstanz or Edeka BAUR Konstanz where prices are way much cheaper.

I had been to Switzerland numerous times as all of my immediate relatives live there so I tried to prepare meals at home, but the costs are nearly as similar to eating out so why bother.  But lately German supermarkets had been opening in Switzerland and offer good prices compared to the local ones, so that is one tip if you plan to visit Switzerland anytime soon, shop at Lidl or Aldi to get the most bang for your buck.  Another thing to note most shops are closed on Sundays and the only place you can buy food is in Zürich Hauptbahnhof (Zürich Central Train Station) and it will be expensive there, so stock up on weekdays.

So how much does it cost to have a decent meal?  If you go to fast-food chains like McDonalds or Burger King then it would cost you around 10-12 CHF but you don’t like to eat burgers every time so if you choose to dine in a nicer place then it would cost you around at least 25-35 CHF.  Now if you want the mid high level stuff then prepare to shed out at least 40 CHF per meal, don’t even ask for the fancy places as it costs an arm and a leg, trust me I was a victim before when we dined in on a not so fancy one but a sushi train called Yooji’s where we paid CHF 200.00 for three people.

Now are the supermarkets a better way to save money, well a bit specially if you buy the ready-made ones like breads and microwave food.  Fresh ingredients are expensive.  To give you an idea here is a run-down of some of the food prices I saw this year in Swiss Supermarkets like Migros and Coop:

Uncooked Fish Kebabs 5.55 to 7.60 CHF per 100 grams (that’s 100 grams)
Fresh filleted fish 4.95 to 12.50  per 100 grams (Again that’s 100 grams)
Freshly baked Zopf (Braided Swiss Bread) 2.45 to 6.40 CHF
Minced Beef 19.00 to 22.50 CHF per 1 kg
Marinated Pork Chops 23.50 CHF per 1 kg
Pork Fillet 27.00 to 30.00 per 1 kg
Chicken Bread 28.00 per 1 kg
Cheese 3.95 to 6.45 per pack
Nectarine 2.60 to 5.50 per 1 kg
Peach 4.50 per 1 kg
Apricot 6.95 per 1 kg
Potatoes 5.50 per 1 kg
Salad Laves 2.70 to 3.90 per bag
Soft Drinks 1.20 to 2.10 per 500 ml

Now add your effort in preparing your meal and getting all the ingredients.  Would you rather buy stuff in the supermarket or eat out?  While for some this is not as expensive but for me, they are specially if I compare that price in New Zealand.  

Is this expensive for you? if yes, the hopefully those few tips would help.


2 Responses

  1. Chaitali Das says:

    do the supermarkets have ready made foods like sandwiches and salads? If so how are they priced?

    • Raymund says:

      There are some but it is not common, you will see them in petrol stations too. What we usually do is buy bread, cheese and salami to make our own, it would be cheaper as well.

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