Cost of Living in Bern, Switzerland

Bern belongs to the top ten most expensive cities in the world.

Indeed, its cost of living now outranks many of the major cities in Europe.

Even though the living expenses remain high in comparison to other European countries, Switzerland boasts extremely high salaries to cover all these costs.

By deciding to live in Bern, you will certainly have access to one of the world’s highest life qualities and perfect living conditions for both yourself and your family.



The cost of food and alcohol is very high here in Bern, particularly if you are eating out on a daily basis.

The prices are considered astronomical compared to the rest of the world, and even the bottle of water is almost $4.



If you are a savvy person, you already know that the most affordable foodstuff can be found in large supermarkets and Bern has to offer a number of them with food frequently sold at discounts.

Fresh fruit and vegetables can be found at the local markets at reasonable prices.



Living out of the city center might save you money that you will be supposed to give for the rent, but it will cause additional expenses, such as transportation.

Driving here is unaffordable as the gasoline and insurance are very expensive, while the public transportation is a cheaper option.



Utilities are usually paid on top of the rent and they represent an additional expense.

Due to a wide range of telephone and Internet providers in Switzerland, you can choose which one suit you best, but have in mind that the average price of the Internet is $50 per month.

Sports and leisure


It might be useful to sports people to know that Bern is not as expensive when it comes to fitness clubs and tennis courts as some other major cities in Switzerland.

Doing activities outdoors might save you quite an amount of money, but if you prefer exercising inside, you should devote $80 per month for a gym.

Clothing and shoes


If you are interested in shopping, Bern has something for everyone.

You can find the finest designer fashion from all over the world, but bear in mind the fact that these branded fashion boutiques are pretty pricey.

A pair of jeans or running shoes costs around $100.

Rent per month


Owning a property is not very usual here and over 60% of people rent their homes, so the rent takes them around 23% of monthly salary.

Apartments are expensive, especially in the city center, so if you are not obliged to be there, renting a place at the suburbs would be of great benefit to your budget.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Bern

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $19.91
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $5.97
Water (0.33 Liter) $3.43
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $5.51
Loaf Bread (500g) $2.23
Eggs (12) $6.06
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $3.98
Monthly Pass $78.64
Gasoline $6.09
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $225.61
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.30
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $50.32
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $77.16
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $46.45
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $17.92
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $100.72
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $45.77
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $107.01
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $1053.80
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $852.76
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $2199.01

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Bern?

Despite the high cost of living in Bern, it remains an attractive destination for foreigners, who decide to try their luck there.

Even though it is pretty expensive, renting is usually the most affordable option for newcomers, as they are not ready to buy an apartment once coming there.

Utilities are not included in the rent and the average cost of basic utilities, such as electricity, gas and water, takes 6% of your monthly salary.

Make sure that you earn enough to cover all these expenses.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Bern: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Switzerland is a hugely expensive country and living on a budget can be difficult, especially if you live in major cities such as Bern.

If you are earning at least the average salary, living conditions there would be ideal for you and you will be able to provide a stable, decent and idyllic life to your family.

If you do not have such a great salary, the best way to save money is to live outside the city center and to use public transport where possible for commuting.

That way your Swiss life will remain more affordable.

Average Salary$5028.20
Minimum Wage$
Mortgage Interest Rate1.74%

Cost of Living by City in Switzerland

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Basel 126.89
Bern 118.42
Geneva 118.33
Lausanne 119.62
Lugano 111.88
Zurich 128.65

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