When you think of Switzerland, some of the first things that come to mind are the enormous mountains, tasty chocolate, and high prices. With high quality come relatively higher prices, which makes Switzerland the exquisite country it is. Having some of the most significant tourist locations worldwide, outstanding services, and a great nation of hard-working people, Switzerland places second in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) country rankings, with a GDP of 80,000 CHF

In the following paragraphs of this article, you’ll find out which are the wealthiest cities and most expensive cantons in Switzerland that combine attractions around the country with some of the highest-paying jobs, prices, and consumer value.  


Zurich is the capital of its canton with the same name and is the largest city in the country. But why is Zurich so expensive? Well, it is considered a financial and cultural center in Switzerland and is deemed to be one of the most exciting cities in Europe.

Zurich’s GDR was 157,389 CHF as of 2019. Salaries in Zurich are naturally pretty high. Below you can find some average annual salaries for different professions:

  • Chef – 125,700 CHF
  • Teacher – 57,200 CHF
  • Web designer – 70,400 CHF
  • IT Manager – 95,200 CHF
  • Operations Manager – 135,400 CHF

As for everyday prices in Zurich, a meal for two people will cost you 120CHF on average, utilities will cost you 211 CHF, one pair of jeans will be around 98 CHF, and rent for a one-bedroom apartment will be approximately 1,800 CHF. Without rent, Zurich’s expenses for one person will be at about 1500 CHF monthly.


genevaGeneva is a Swiss city at the border with France and is the capital of the Canton of Geneva. It’s a big city with a great culture and history, while also being considered a center of commerce.

As of 2019, Geneva’s GDP is 109,000 CHF. Average salaries in Geneva are also high, and you can see some of the yearly wages in Geneva:

  • Chef – 29,800 CHF
  • Pharmacist – 44,800 CHF
  • Office Manager – 69,200 CHF
  • Attorney – 88,900 CHF
  • IT Manager – 116,800 CHF

Prices in Geneva for day-to-day expenses include a meal for two people at around 115 CHF, monthly utility payments at 182 CHF, a pair of jeans at 102 CHF, and rent for a one-bedroom apartment at almost 2100CHF. Monthly living costs in Geneva are around 1,347CHF. 


Basel is considered a significant city in Switzerland, positioned in the north of the country. It’s known for the pharmaceutical industry, banking, and foreign trade.

In 2018, the city of Basel had a GDP of 203,967CHF. Salaries in Basel, like anywhere else in Switzerland, are relatively high, and here’s some of them:

  • Clerk – 67,900 CHF
  • Nurse – 76,700 CHF
  • Commercial Manager – 66,100 CHF
  • Account Manager – 60,000 CHF
  • Project leader – 98,800 CHF

Day to day and monthly prices in Basel include a 105 CHF meal for two people, monthly utilities that reach 240 CHF, jeans that cost a whopping 112 CHF and rent for a one-bedroom apartment at 1375 CHF. Without rent, a person will have to spend around 1500 CHF monthly in Basel.


neuenburgNeuenburg, otherwise known as Neuchatel, is the capital of the Neuchatel Canton in the west of Switzerland. It’s a city full of historical landmarks, with the economy focusing primarily on manufacturing.

According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), Neuenburg’s GDP in 2018 reached 93,277 CHF. Below, you’ll find some of the salaries in different job positions:

  • Commercial Manager – 60,000 CHF
  • HR Assistant – 68,250 CHF
  • Quality Engineer – 70,800 CHF
  • Accounting Clerk – 80,000 CHF
  • CEO – 150,000 CHF

In Neuchatel, everyday prices and monthly expenses include a tasty 100 CHF meal for two 8CHF packs of cigarettes, 195 CHF utility payments, 91 CHF pairs of jeans, and an 870CHF one-bedroom apartment rent in the city center. Nearing the end of the month, you’ll be spending around 1200CHF (without rent) in Neuenburg.


Schaffhausen is a city in northern Switzerland and the capital of its canton with the same name. Schaffhausen is mainly known for its tourist attractions, extensive railroad system, and goods manufacturing.

This city’s GDP in 2018 was 91,379. Some of the salaries in Schaffhausen are as follows:

  • Commercial Manager – 58,500 CHF
  • Nurse – 81,250 CHF
  • Account Manager – 60,000 CHF
  • Executive Assistant – 80,600 CHF

Expenses in this city include an 85 CHF meal for two, a 12.5CHF bottle of wine, 225 CHF of utilities, 106 CHF pairs of jeans, and rent for a one-bedroom apartment at 1,062 CHF per month. During the month, you’ll have spent around 1,612CHF, excluding the rent, in Schaffhausen. 


bernBern, the country’s capital city, is also the capital of its canton. It’s situated in the center-west of the country and is known for manufacturing goods, its railway junction and agriculture.

Bern’s GDP in 2019, according to the FSO, was 83,377 CHF. The capital has plenty of high salaries, and some of them are:

  • Graphic Designer – 34,000 CHF
  • Nurse – 44,300 CHF
  • Web Developer – 53,200 CHF
  • Finance Manager – 68,400 CHF
  • Account Manager – 88,100 CHF

Daily and monthly expenses in Bern include 95 CHF for meals for two, 21 CHF for a kilogram of cheese, 175 CHF for monthly utility payments, 104 CHF on pairs of jeans, and approximately 1000 CHF for one-bedroom apartment rents. All in all, you’ll be spending 1300 CHF monthly while in Bern. 


Zug is the capital of its canton which holds the same name, located west of the center of Switzerland. Its economy is based on financial services, trade services, and manufacturing goods.

Zug’s GDP per capita in 2018 was 160,884CHF, making it the richest canton in Switzerland. Some of the professions in the city and their salaries are listed down below:

  • Clerk – 70,000 CHF
  • Project Leader – 100,000 CHF
  • Software Engineer – 100,000 CHF
  • CEO – 180,000 CHF

As for the prices in Zug, a meal for two people will cost you 120CHF, a bottle of wine is 10CHF, monthly utilities will cost around 170CHF, a pair of jeans will be around 90CHF and rent for a one-bedroom apartment will be between 1,500 to 2000CHF. You’ll be spending 1500CHF monthly while in Zug without rent.


tessinTessin, otherwise known as Ticino, is a city in the south of Switzerland. The economy is based on tourism, wine-producing, and waterpower.

As of 2018, Tessin’s GDP is 87,612. There’s an abundance of professions in the region, and here are some of their salaries:

  • Chef – 50,000 CHF
  • Technician – 71,600 CHF
  • Project Manager – 89,850 CHF
  • Head of Sales – 137,500 CHF
  • CEO – 160,000 CHF

Prices in one of the cities in the Canton of Tessin include 100 CHF for a meal for two, 23 CHF for a kilogram of cheese, 177 CHF for monthly utility payments, 113 CHF for Nike shoes, and one-bedroom apartment rents that range from 990 CHF to 1300 CHF. You’ll be spending about 1400 CHF at the end of the month while in Tessin. 


Schweiz, also known as Schwyz, is the capital of the canton with the same name. The economy is focused on agricultural and industrial activities while also using the city’s hydro-centers.

Schwyz’s GDP in 2018 was around 62,000CHF. The city has plenty of different professions and some of the salaries are:

  • Waiter – 54,000 CHF
  • Nurse – 77,100 CHF
  • Salesperson – 52,500 CHF
  • Account Manager – 63,500 CHF
  • Executive Assistant – 80,600 CHF

In Schwyz, the prices for everyday expenses include a 105 CHF meal for two, 35 CHF for a kilo of cheese, 15 CHF for a bottle of wine, 90 CHF for a pair of jeans, 120 CHF for Nike shoes, and 1,200 CHF rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the center of the city. 


glarusGlarus is a city in the east of Switzerland and the capital of the Canton of Glarus. The economy in this region is based on the industry of cotton, hydroelectric plants, and machinery factories.

Glarus, in 2018, had a GDP of 69,860CHF. The salaries in the city are pretty high, and here are some of them:

  • Nurse – 78,000 CHF
  • Mechanic – 83,525 CHF
  • Account Manager – 61850 CHF
  • Team Leader – 94,000 CHF

As far as prices go, expenses in Glarus include a 100 CHF meal for two, 20 CHF for a kilo of cheese, 8.70CHF for a pack of cigarettes, monthly utilities rising to 150 CHF, jeans costing up to 103 CHF, and gas prices at 1.70CHF per liter. 


As already mentioned, the high prices in Switzerland are nothing more than a reflection of the standards of the country. However, one thing is sure; no matter which city or canton you choose to visit or live in, Switzerland will always have what you need and want with the best quality. 


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