Detailed living costs

Here’s a useful (hopefully) table that I used for estimating expenses for St.Gallen.  This is just about the minimum required to live comfortably within the city limits.

  1 working adult Young family of 4 Student
Accommodation CHF 800 CHF 1300 CHF 650
Food, clothes, general shopping CHF 500 CHF 1200 CHF 300
Phones, TV CHF 200 CHF 200 CHF 50
Facilities (electricity, etc.) CHF 200 CHF 300 CHF 100
Insurance (health and house) CHF 300 CHF 900 CHF 100
Travel (no car) CHF 300 CHF 500 CHF 70
Leisure (optional 🙂 ) CHF 500 CHF 500 CHF 200
Misc. CHF 1000 CHF 1000 CHF 500
Total CHF 3,800 CHF 5900 CHF 1,970


If you are coming as a student there are a number of ways to cut a lot of costs. If not though you should plan to earn about CHF 500-1000 above this (if possible) to avoid problems with non-planned costs, particularly health related.



Going to the hairdressers (Coiffeur) in St.Gallen is not the easiest of experiences.  There are a number of issues: Language, result and cost

Firstly, I have yet to find an English speaking hairdresser in this city so this may affect the outcome of the haircut. At the very least it makes for an interesting exchange when it comes to describing what you need. Many hairdressers are also uncomfortable with high German…

The result is also not always optimal.  There isn’t a single place that fills me with confidence. This could be because of the language or style expectations in a different country.

Lastly, cost – which I can help with. The average men’s hair cut (wash and cut) is CHF 60! This can go up to about CHF 80 for nicer establishments.  There are two places that offer discount haircuts though and are not listed on google maps in case you try searching for them:

Coiffure Fachschule

Both of these are near the train station and have trainees available who charge about CHF 30 for a men’s cut. P2 needs to be booked in advance as they don’t always have someone available. It is also not easy to find as it is inside another hairstudio. The Fachschule is a lot better, with trainees and recent graduates (CHF 40) available. They also offer free unlimited ‘trimming’ to tidy you up in between haircuts.  Appointments are also not needed.

There are lots of other studios around town though, so I am sure there will be other bargains out there. Or you could just pop down to Bregenz or Konstanz for a better price. You should probably consider this if the whole family need a haircut or if you are looking at the women’s prices…!

A little map here for you with many of the hairdressers in St.Gallen listed:

10 things I wish I’d known before moving to St.Gallen :-)

1) Just because French is an official language that they all learn at school, doesn’t mean the locals are happy to hear it! If you can’t speak German, try English next 🙂

2) The Swiss are different from the Germans and Austrians. And that is the only thing they want to hear you say. Never group the three into a single statement!

3) Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because Switzerland is a rich country, that all accommodation is 1st world standard. Take no basic service for granted!

4) Swiss don’t seem to cook at home. So prepare for a small, inconvenient kitchen even in the largest of flats.

5) “Switzerland has high quality education” does not equal “all Swiss schools are good”.

6) Most Swiss people use public transport, not because it is so good (which it is), but because owning a car is so bloody expensive and inconvenient!

7) Figure out how to shop over the border in Austria. For everything. Its all a lot cheaper.

8) Don’t expect to ever be invited round to a Swiss person’s house.  Be happy when it happens, but prepare for it never happening.

9) Working from 9-6 is unSwiss. 8am is already late in the office.

10) Plan your life around the shops opening times. You’ll save much stress…

Cheap Skiing day trip to Davos

Skiing can be an expensive hobby, but there are some bargain deals to be had. The main costs for a skiing trip are: equipment, hotel, skipass and transport.

I can’t help much with equipment other than the tip that if you expect to ski more than 10 days, at least buy a pair of boots. End of season always has lots of bargains in town, or head down to Dornbirn in Austria and get them really cheap.

The hotel can be eliminated, and transport and skipass reduced with this simple tip: use the Heini bus and do a day trip to Davos. It picks up from outside the Walhalla at 7:00 and from Blumenwies swimming pool at 7:05. You get your discounted ski-pass on the bus. Bus leaves Davos at 16:30 and will have you back by about 19:30.

The nice thing about this is that you don’t need to think about parking or that sleepy drive home after a long day on the piste. And you don’t have to settle for a low resort with dubious amounts of snow – Davos has plenty.

adult with skipass CHF 62
Child with skipass CHF 27

Book online here: