A trip to Switzerland doesn't have to cost a bomb

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Interlaken
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Switzerland, as we know, is blessed with a dream-like green nature. All the same, it is one of the costliest countries for a tourist. Yet, a well-planned trip can prove to be economical.

Choice of stay

If you aim to visit most of the major destinations in Switzerland, then you need to stay in at least two towns of the Alpine nation. That is, in and around Lausanne and Interlaken. Select a low-season time (November to March) to avoid high rental rates as well as to ensure suitable rooms.

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Public transport

Switzerland tops many countries when it comes to public transportation. That means, you can visit all destinations without tour bookings or cabs.

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All you need to do is to take a 'Swizz Pass' on the days you travel. It can be secured either online or from airport counters or railway stations. Don't forget that there are train and cable car services to some places for which you may be charged (although with a 25-50 per cent discount) even with the pass. They will anyway be mentioned on the route maps mentioned in the pass. Also, the Swiss railway website gives all details about the pass.

Places of visit

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It would take a minimum of five days to get a good hang of the country as a tourist.

A visit to Switzerland isn't complete without a walk down its countryside. If you are driving yourself, please be very self-disciplined and careful in following the traffic rules. The authorities are very strict on imposing traffic-violation fine, which is one of the highest in the world. Paying it/them can upset your expenditure plans.

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If you have chosen the tourist season to travel, be particular to start a bit ahead of schedule to reach destinations on time (considering the prospect of roads getting busier in daytime). The signage on roads are clear while the maps are all so detailed.

Shopping and eating

When it comes to eatables, Coop supermarkets are the most preferred and ideal during a low-budget tour in Switzerland (more so, when it comes to chocolates). These stores sell inexpensive food items too, unlike restaurants which are costly.

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Total expenditure

Well, it all depends on the days you spend, places you stay and the months you choose. Yet, roughly the per-head amount for sight-seeing and lodging can be pegged at around Rs 57,000 if your travel is for four days and four nights during off-season and using public transport and budget hotels/restaurants. Plus, of course, the air travel expense.

It's worth it, given the clean air, beautiful nature, and excellent services.

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