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LiveinHope

Economy Trip To Switzerland

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I know there are some posters on here who live in Switzerland.

I have a friend whose young child has been selected to go to an event in Winterthur (from the UK)

They would really like to go with their child as they are very proud, but finances are really tight and they feel probably, prohibitive.

Any tips on the cheapest (& safe) way to travel and places to stay ?

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Don't live there, but have visitted.

Easyjet flights to Geneva and Zurich can be surprisingly cheap if you book ahead and fly on a cheap day.

The Swiss rail system is excellent, but standard price tickets are expensive. There are a range of discounted fares available though.

The cost of accomodation might vary with time of year, being highest during the winter skiing season and the summer holiday season, but possibly cheaper outside those periods. Non-tourist hotels (eg. a business hotel in an airport business park) might be cheaper than city centre or tourist resort hotels. Depending on the time of year, how about a campsite?

I don't know Winterthur, but I suspect Switzerland in general has fewer unsafe areas than most countries.

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You want Zurich flights for Winterthur.

Rent a car unless in town centres, if in Zurich or any other significant town no car required - in towns get the tickets that are for a few days or a month and not the individual ones.

There might be some tourist rail deals available but if you just show up the prices are horrible.

Cheapest places to stay are hostels which are fairly good, if a small dormitory is acceptable it won't be too ruinous. Or of course there are quite a few websites now where people will rent you their spare bedroom or couch.

If the person concerned is worried about safety in Switzerland then I presume they never leave the house in the UK?

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To Swissy

Thanks

I've passed on the info. 'Safe' wasn't meant to be dramatic :)

All the best

(What's going on with HPC of late ? seems to be very flaky at many levels. Replying doesn't seem to work atm)

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To save travel costs, take your bikes across on the ferry and cycle from France or Belgium.

To save accommodation costs, take camping gear.

To save on food costs, include cooking gear in the camping gear. Note that carrying any kind of liquid or gas fuel (possibly even an empty camping stove if it has a tank) will preclude some things, notably flying.

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You can get Easyjet flights from Gatwick and Luton to Zurich (or you could last time I checked). Winterthur is a fairly large city by Swiss standards, I would not have thought you need a car even if the event is in an outlying village public transport should be ok. You can check with:

rail.ch and zvv.ch

The youth hostel sounds like a good idea, you may be able to get a twin or family room. Plus they are likely to have a kitchen. Eating out (or even food in the supermarket) is pretty expensive, so cooking in the hostel would be good. A good saving would be to get organised and bring all require food and snacks.

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Ironically (and I really mean that, I have no point to make at all) the only time I've been teargassed was in Geneva. I'd tagged along with my mum and her gang of sixth form kids on a visit to CERN, think it was Feb 2009. There was some sort of economic conference going on down the road, it might have been the G8. On the way back to our hotel we rolled out of the train station and all started weeping and spluttering. Turned out there had been some sort of altercation between protesters and police a few minutes before we got there- the streets were eerily calm when we got there but the gas had hung around!

As a tightwad I found the cost of food in Geneva absolutely ludicrous- one day the teacher in charge set the kids free to sort their own lunch, so I went off as well, but when I found that a McDonalds double cheeseburger was the equivalent of 5 quid, and a Croque Monsieur from a street food van was more like 6 quid, I decided to go hungry until the evening meal. Ended up taking a 10 Franc note home with me, and within a few months it had gone up a further 50% in value! Goodness knows how expensive it is there now. Take a packed lunch (or four) is my advice.

On the plus side when I went you could still smoke in nightclubs, which IMO is a hallmark of a civilised society.

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As a tightwad I found the cost of food in Geneva absolutely ludicrous

Switzerland is not expensive at all when you are paid a Swiss salary. ;)

Seriously the only reason it appears expensive is because the CHF is so overvalued, even someone working at Aldi or Lidl in CH is able to afford a better life than someone working at Aldi or Lidl in the UK as even entry level salaries are quite decent compared to the cost of living.

On the plus side when I went you could still smoke in nightclubs, which IMO is a hallmark of a civilised society.

Not any longer, smoking has been banned almost everywhere in CH too.

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Switzerland is not expensive at all when you are paid a Swiss salary. ;)

Seriously the only reason it appears expensive is because the CHF is so overvalued, even someone working at Aldi or Lidl in CH is able to afford a better life than someone working at Aldi or Lidl in the UK as even entry level salaries are quite decent compared to the cost of living.

Not any longer, smoking has been banned almost everywhere in CH too.

not true: i was smoking away quite happily in a nightclub in the swiss ski resort of sass fee in march this year!

and geneva airport still has a smoking lounge

the min wage worker thing is true though any old job pays a decent living standard.

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I assure you you wouldn't live that well in geneva on minimum wage although perhaps marginally better than in the uk.

Property and food prices here make the uk look cheap, then there's health insurance etc.

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