Apartment to rent – what are the best deals in Switzerland, and how to get them

Elvis Elvis

Apartment to rent, could this be a solution to your vacation plan for Switzerland? Are you bored of packing and unpacking, searching the next hotel, do the checking and out, rush to the train station, hauling luggage? Well You must be probably tired of this kind of things, and for sure it’s not the best way to experience different cultures.

Especially when on a hiking vacation, travelling in a group, you start to think about to search for “apartment to rent”, flat condo, house or even a castle. This idea become more and more appealing to you, because you want to stay put for a while, no “breakfast or dinner time”, you will cook your own meals, at the time you like. Therefore you are visiting typical markets, to buy a great choice of cheeses, dry meat, marvellous baked goods, and other fresh products.

This is really the way to have a better idea of what is made the country you visit; you could also have some interesting contacts with the locals. Sitting at a sidewalk café and become a local. With a bit of luck you can eat breakfast outdoors each morning on your apartment’s balcony which has a lake or mountain view, and certainly not to forget you will save money.

Saving money on hiking holidays sounds good and can happen! If you are careful.

Here in Switzerland the weekly rent for a studio apartment start around $250 for two persons, but let’s take more realistic figures which would be between $ 350 to $700 and more. What should you do to get the most for your money, avoid large rental agencies and package deals?

Apartment to rent   what are the best deals in Switzerland, and how to get them

“Apartment to rent”

Doing myself still a lot of hiking tours in Switzerland, and when the question comes up, where are we going to sleep, I can tell you that I’ve always made the best deals, going to the local tourist office, either trough the net or by phone.

Finding an Apartment to Rent

If possible do the reservation well in advance, especially in summer resort towns like in the Bernese Oberland Like Grindelwald, Interlaken, Gstaad, Saanenmöser, Lenk, because they tend to be booked long in advance. As since a few years we have a lot of visitors coming now from Asia, and those people usually are travelling in large groups. Prices are lower in summer at most ski resorts, and the month of April, May, October and November are much cheaper than in June, July and August.

If you’re looking an on-the-spot rental I suggest that you arrive at your destination when the tourist offices are open – usually 8 am to noon and 2 pm to 6 pm during the week, and on Saturdays from 8 am to noon. Most of these offices will provide you a list of apartments and a local map. Depending of the town, sometimes each apartment is marked on the map; if not scan the list then asks the office to mark your choices on the map. Searching without a list and map is difficult, because most rentals will not have a sign outside (Wohnung zu vermieten). “Apartment to rent.”

The tourist offices will provide a list of properties, but in most cases it’s up to you to deal directly with the owner. Some offices will arrange appointments with owners for you, but this is very seldom.

Using the Internet to do your search

How to start? There are thousands of web sites offering self-catering rentals in Switzerland; many are owner-operated and full of pictures. How will you find them? Rental agencies with advertising budged pay search engines to have their sites appear at the top of the lists and those will appear first when you do a search like “Self-catering Switzerland” or apartment rental Switzerland”.

To find individual properties you will have to scroll far down. I’ve made very good choices in the past doing the following: google.com then tip “Ferienwohnungen” including the name to the town or region you intend to go.

Using Tourist Offices

Once you know where you want to stay you can use google.com and do your search for ex. “Tourismus Grindelwald” or “tourismus Interlaken” or whatever town or bigger city you like to stay. Trough e-mail you can ask to get a list of self-catering or apartment to rent.

Make your choice

Create a short-list from which to pick a vacation rental, choose those properties that seem to fit your requirements and price range. Once done, go to the Internet; let’s say the first possibility on your short-list is Restaurant Pochtenfall in Aeschi near the Lake of Thun. In case the tourist office gave you the web address, makes it a relatively simple matter to checkout the property online.

Flats and apartments in private homes are the most common rentals, most of the time they are one floor either on the top floor or basement, converted into a self-contained apartment. You rarely hear the home’s other occupants. The usual amenities are one or two bedrooms, a bath and a kitchen/dining room that will include a couple of easy chairs. Nearly never found: dishwasher, washing machine and separate living room in an apartment to rent.

The begin and end of the rental period is on Saturday, and the great advantages to off-season travel is to find some owner who are willing to rent for less than a week. Think of the cleaning charge which is due even if you rent for less than a week. Some owners include other charges like state tax, heating, etc., in the rental price, but you better ask before to avoid problems. “Apartment to rent.”