Cost of living in Switzerland vs the US

Cost of living in Switzerland vs the US


Is it expensive to live in Switzerland? Staying in Switzerland can seem costlier for some people. It is because the cost of living is high in Switzerland and the swish cities. You have to pay the amount of $2,150 (CHF 2,000) per month for rent only. Plus, additional living costs of $1,600 (CHF 1500). You can get an idea of expenses in Switzerland.

Cost of living in Switzerland vs the US

Can you live cheaply in Switzerland? When it comes to Switzerland, it becomes the most expensive to live. However, a few places like Cantons of Valais, Jura, and Friborg offer affordable living for families. Because it provides some tax deductions, subsidies, and allowances to people.

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Cost of living for one person & family

Salary after tax

What is the basic salary in Switzerland? Switzerland has no formally minimum salary rate for a person. But, most of the collective voluntary bargaining agreements include sections on the lowest reimbursements. It starts from Swiss francs 2,200 (USD 2,398) to Swiss francs 4,400 (USD 4,796) per month for untrained workers and 2,800 (USD 3,052) to Swiss francs 5,300 (USD 5,777) for skilled employees.

Besides that, in 2020, a married taxpayer pays tax in a % of 11.5% in Switzerland. Also, a couple does not need to provide a tax if they earn below CHF 28,300 (USD 30847). But, taxpayers have a few advantages and disadvantages of paying taxes.


How much should you spend on rent in Switzerland? Due to its high standards of living, it becomes expensive to live. Moreover, a few largest towns like Geneva, Bassel, Zurich, and Bern are high rented. Therefore, not only for the families it becomes more expensive to live but also for a single person.

In addition to this, it requires CHF 2,000 (USD 2,150) per month for the single-bedroom apartments. And, you may have to pay the amount of CHF 4,000 (USD 4,360) per month for a two-bedroom apartment. But, sometimes, it becomes difficult to count the value of the cost of living in Switzerland vs. the US due to a change in the dollar rate.



Around 3,230 miles (5,200) of railway networks are available in Switzerland. Therefore, people can book an e-swiss pass to travel. A person needs CHF 63.38 (USD 70.72) to travel from Zurich to Vienna (Austria). On the other side, a family of four needs CHF 513.85 (USD 555.85).


Switzerland has a few lakes to give you roaming with boat experiences, and a single person does not have to provide more than CHF 998.50 (USD 1,080) for seven days tour. However, you have to pay CHF 5,628.04 (USD 6,088).

Cable cars

The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is one of the best places to experience the great cable cars in Switzerland. Every alone traveler spends CHF 90.50 (USD 98.65) for a round trip here. But, you have to pay up to CHF 272 (USD 296.48) for the same.

Is Public transport expensive in Switzerland? Public transportation is one of the best mediums to explore the city. It involves trains, road transport, etc., to make your traveling journey enjoyable as well as lovable. People can get discounts of up to 70% for booking 60 days before.


What is the largest health care for Switzerland? Swiss health care collects the high contribution from the private households only by taking 64% of their total cost. As a result, the health care of Switzerland becomes the best health care and expensive too.

Apart from this, a person should spend around CHF 300 (USD 320) for health care purposes. And, on average, a family spends 10% of their income on health care. E.g., if a family earns CHF 5,000 (USD 5,408), they have to give the CHF 500 (USD 540.86).


Can I eat cheap in Switzerland? When it comes to eating, the lunch rates differ from city to city. However, the lunch box in a cheap restaurant will cost you from CHF 25 (USD 27.29) to CHF 30 (USD 37.2). It may be cheaper for families but might look expensive to individuals. Plus, in the evening, the cost can range from CHF 20 – 50 (USD 21.63 – 54.09).

Besides that, a few families leave their houses to enjoy their peaceful evenings on the lakes on the weekends. And after that, when a family is out for lunch, it will cost up to CHF 100 (USD 108.17) for a meal that includes three courses.


Groceries are essential for a person and a family. Therefore, it involves the daily need items. Such as bread, local cheese, milk eggs, boneless chicken breast. Vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, onions, etc. Fruits say apples, bananas, oranges, etc. As a result, the people of Switzerland should know the actual prices per month of groceries. Therefore, we have found the following dollars for you.

When a person lives in Switzerland, he has to spend an average of CHF 100 (USD 108.17) per month. On the other hand, a family spends CHF 300 (USD 324.52) per month.


How much does it cost to study in Switzerland? Apart from the glorious beauty of alpines and lakes, Switzerland offers a great learning experience to its students. Also, international students can take admissions in most universities in Switzerland. If we talk about the higher education universities in Geneva, it will take CHF 934.59 (USD 1,010.97) per year for a student.

But, the cost of living increases when a student lives with a family of four persons in Switzerland. When a candidate wants to study in Switzerland, he pays CHF 64,344 (USD 69,602.58) per year. Although it offers the best education, living with a family becomes more expensive to get the proper knowledge from these universities.


How much entertainment expenses are in Switzerland? Switzerland provides some entertainment facilities to its people. Therefore, individuals can enjoy them on vacations, weekends, or holidays. Further, the entertainment benefits involve monthly local membership at the gym, movie tickets, a cappuccino in the restaurants, and more.

Therefore, it requires CHF 40 (USD 43.27) for two adult persons to go to the cinema halls and watch the movies. However, it can cost different for the families. So, if you have a family of four persons and are adults, it will cost you up to CHF 80 (USD 86.54). Even so, the price rates can fluctuate from time to time.

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Table of comparison

We have the following table which will help you understand the different rates in Switzerland for a single person and family.

 Switzerland (Swiss francs)US (USD)Switzerland (Swiss francs)US (USD)
CategoriesFor one personFor families
Salary after tax2,200 – 4,400 p.m.2,398 – 4,796 p.m.2,800 – 5,300 p.m.3,052 – 5,777 p.m.
Rent2000 p.m.2150 p.m.4,000 p.m.4,360 p.m.
Trains (Zurich to Vienna)  63.3870.72513.85555.85
Boats (Seven-day cruise)  63.38  70.72  513.85  555.85  
Cable cars (Matterhorn Glacier Paradise peak for 7 days)90.5098.65272296.48
Food   Groceries25 – 30   10027.29 – 37.2   108.17100   300108.17   324.52
Studies934 p.y1,010.97 p.y64,344 p.y.69,602.58 p.y.
Entertainment (Movies) (for 2 people)  40  43.27  80  86.54

In the above table, we have taken a travel distance from Zurich to Vienna, a seven-day cruise, and Matterhorn Glacier Paradise peak. Also, we have mentioned movies cost for 2 people in the entertainment category.

Pros and Cons

Pros –

  • Living in Switzerland gives you the freedom to travel in public spots like the Matterhorn, Geneva lake, Europe’s top, and much more.
  • Delicious food such as rosti, raclette, flour soup, tartiflette, etc., are available.
  • International schools and universities.
  • It becomes uncomplicated to start your business activities.
  • People can open a bank account comfortably.
  • A better standard of living is possible.

Cons –

  • The cost of living in Switzerland is not cost-effective. You have to pay more for every essential thing.
  • Taking an apartment on rent becomes complicated for foreigners. Therefore, it might be a problem for many people.
  • Everything is shut down on Sundays.


  1. What is the cost of living in Switzerland?

If you compare the cost of living in Switzerland vs. the US, you will see that it requires $7095 per month for the family in the US and CHF 5,325.75 per month for a family in Switzerland. It means you need $5,761 per month to live in Switzerland.

  1. How much does it cost to live in Switzerland?

The average cost of living in Swiss countries is not low. It is expensive to live in Switzerland because of the high standards and high rates. Only a single rent in Switzerland costs CHF 2,000 (USD 2,150) for a person.

  1. How much does it cost to move to Switzerland?

Moving to Switzerland provides the benefits of a high standard, better education, and the best spots to visit. Therefore, the US people need $3,450 to move to Switzerland without any issues.


Switzerland is one of the everlasting destinations for ex-pats, tourists, or travelers. Therefore, most people visit Switzerland to see the attractions of alpine, snow, and different places. Apart from this, you can plan a cruise on Switzerland’s beautiful lakes, roam through cable cars, and much more.

And, people move to Switzerland to enjoy the above benefits. Therefore, we have a few costs that help you in various ways.

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