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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Thun 2024
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Cost of Living in Thun

By Betsy Burlingame

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: If you're moving to Thun, understanding the the cost of living in Thun helps you know what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Category Cost
Apartment Rentals
  • 1-bedroom apartment in city center: CHF 1,200 - 1,600 per month
  • 1-bedroom apartment outside city center: CHF 1,000 - 1,400 per month
  • 3-bedroom apartment in city center: CHF 2,000 - 2,800 per month
  • 3-bedroom apartment outside city center: CHF 1,800 - 2,500 per month
Apartment Purchases
  • Price per square meter in city center: CHF 7,000 - 10,000
  • Price per square meter outside city center: CHF 5,000 - 7,500
Transportation
  • One-way local transport ticket: CHF 3.50
  • Monthly local transport pass: CHF 70 - 100
  • Taxi starting tariff: CHF 6 - 8
  • Taxi per kilometer: CHF 2 - 3
  • Gasoline (1 liter): CHF 1.50 - 1.70
Groceries
  • Milk (1 liter): CHF 1.50 - 2.00
  • Bread (500g): CHF 2.00 - 3.00
  • Rice (1kg): CHF 2.50 - 4.00
  • Eggs (12): CHF 4.50 - 6.00
  • Cheese (1kg): CHF 15 - 25
  • Chicken breast (1kg): CHF 18 - 25
  • Beef round (1kg): CHF 25 - 40
  • Apples (1kg): CHF 2.50 - 4.00
  • Bananas (1kg): CHF 1.50 - 2.50
  • Oranges (1kg): CHF 2.50 - 4.00
  • Tomatoes (1kg): CHF 3.00 - 5.00
  • Potatoes (1kg): CHF 1.50 - 3.00
  • Water (1.5-liter bottle): CHF 0.70 - 1.50
  • Bottle of wine (mid-range): CHF 10 - 20
  • Domestic beer (0.5-liter bottle): CHF 1.50 - 3.00
  • Imported beer (0.33-liter bottle): CHF 2.00 - 4.00
Restaurants
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: CHF 20 - 30
  • Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: CHF 60 - 100
  • McMeal at McDonald's: CHF 12 - 15
  • Domestic beer (0.5-liter draught): CHF 6 - 8
  • Imported beer (0.33-liter bottle): CHF 5 - 7
  • Cappuccino: CHF 4.00 - 5.50
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33-liter bottle): CHF 3.50 - 4.50
  • Water (0.33-liter bottle): CHF 3.00 - 4.00
Utilities
  • Basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 85m2 apartment: CHF 150 - 250 per month
  • 1 minute of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans): CHF 0.30 - 0.50
  • Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL): CHF 50 - 80 per month
Private School Tuition
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten) tuition: CHF 1,000 - 2,000 per month
  • Elementary school tuition: CHF 15,000 - 25,000 per year
  • Middle school tuition: CHF 20,000 - 30,000 per year
  • High school tuition: CHF 25,000 - 35,000 per year

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Thun

"Living in Thun can be quite expensive, as is the case with most Swiss cities. The cost of housing is high, with rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center being significantly more expensive than in outlying areas. Utilities, including electricity, heating, cooling, and water, also add to the monthly expenses.Groceries in Thun can be pricey, with basic items such as bread, milk, and eggs costing more than in many other countries. Eating out is also costly, with a meal at an inexpensive restaurant being quite high and a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant being even more expensive.Public transportation in Thun is efficient but can be costly. A monthly pass is available, but it is quite expensive. However, many residents find it worthwhile due to the convenience and efficiency of the public transport system.Healthcare in Switzerland is of a high standard, but it is also expensive. It is mandatory for all residents to have health insurance, and premiums can be high.Overall, while the cost of living in Thun is high, residents enjoy a high standard of living, excellent public services, and beautiful surroundings," said one expat living in Thun.

Can I live in Thun on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Thun for a while now, and I can tell you that it's quite challenging to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, especially if you're used to modern amenities. However, it's not impossible if you're willing to make some sacrifices.Firstly, you'll need to find affordable accommodation. The city center and areas like Scherzligen and Dürrenast can be quite expensive, so I'd recommend looking for a shared apartment or a small studio in neighborhoods like Allmendingen or Lerchenfeld. These areas are more affordable and still well-connected to the city center by public transport.Next, you'll need to be mindful of your spending on groceries and eating out. Switzerland is known for its high cost of living, and Thun is no exception. To save money, I usually shop at discount supermarkets like Aldi or Lidl and cook most of my meals at home. Eating out can be quite expensive, so I reserve it for special occasions or when I find good deals on lunch menus.Transportation can also be a significant expense, so I'd recommend getting a monthly public transport pass if you need to commute daily. If you live close to your workplace, consider walking or cycling to save even more money.As for leisure activities, you'll need to prioritize and choose wisely. Thun offers many free or low-cost activities, like hiking in the nearby mountains, swimming in the lake, or attending local events and festivals. However, you might need to cut back on more expensive hobbies or entertainment options, like going to the cinema or joining a gym.In conclusion, living comfortably on $1,500 a month in Thun is challenging but possible if you're willing to make some sacrifices. By choosing affordable accommodation, being mindful of your spending on groceries and transportation, and prioritizing low-cost leisure activities, you can make it work," commented an expat living in Thun.

Can I live in Thun on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Thun for a while now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. Thun is a beautiful city with a high quality of life, but it's also quite expensive, especially when it comes to housing and dining out.To make it work, you'll need to find an affordable place to live. I'd recommend looking for apartments in neighborhoods like Allmendingen, Lerchenfeld, or Dürrenast. These areas are a bit further from the city center, but they offer more affordable housing options. You can expect to pay around $1,200 to $1,500 for a one-bedroom apartment in these neighborhoods. On the other hand, I'd avoid neighborhoods like Schadau or Seefeld, as they tend to be more expensive.Another sacrifice you'll have to make is cutting back on dining out. Eating out in Thun can be quite pricey, with a simple meal at a mid-range restaurant costing around $30 per person. To save money, I'd recommend cooking at home as much as possible and taking advantage of the local supermarkets, which offer a good selection of fresh produce and other groceries at reasonable prices.Transportation is another expense you'll need to consider. Thun has a good public transportation system, and I'd recommend getting a monthly pass for around $70, which will give you unlimited access to buses and trains within the city. If you need to travel outside of Thun, you can take advantage of the Swiss Half Fare Card, which offers a 50% discount on train fares throughout Switzerland.Finally, you'll need to be mindful of your spending on entertainment and leisure activities. Thun offers a variety of free or low-cost activities, such as hiking in the nearby mountains, visiting local parks, or attending free cultural events. However, if you're used to frequenting high-end bars, clubs, or attending expensive concerts, you'll need to cut back on these activities to stay within your budget.Overall, living in Thun on $3,000 a month is doable, but it requires careful budgeting and some sacrifices. By finding an affordable apartment, cooking at home, using public transportation, and enjoying low-cost leisure activities, you can enjoy a comfortable life in this beautiful Swiss city," said one expat living in Thun.

Can I live in Thun on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Thun for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, but you'll have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle. Thun is a beautiful city with a high quality of life, but it's also quite expensive, especially when it comes to housing and dining out.To make it work, you'll need to be mindful of your spending and prioritize your expenses. For example, you might have to cut back on eating out at fancy restaurants and opt for more affordable options or cook at home more often. Additionally, you might have to give up some of your modern amenities, like a gym membership or a car, and rely on public transportation or biking instead.When it comes to housing, you'll want to avoid the more expensive neighborhoods like Schadau and Hünibach, as they tend to have higher rents and property prices. Instead, consider looking for an apartment in more affordable areas like Allmendingen or Lerchenfeld. These neighborhoods are still close to the city center and have good public transportation connections, but the rents are more reasonable.Another thing to keep in mind is that groceries can be quite expensive in Switzerland, so you might want to shop at discount supermarkets like Aldi or Lidl to save some money. Also, consider buying local and seasonal produce, as it's usually cheaper and fresher.Overall, living in Thun on $5,000 a month is doable, but you'll have to be smart about your spending and make some sacrifices. However, the beautiful surroundings, friendly locals, and high quality of life make it worth the effort," commented an expat living in Thun.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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