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About Vacation Rentals in Switzerland

Pauline Kenny

Vacation rentals in Switzerland are usually apartments, either in small apartment buildings or part of a private home, that you rent from Saturday to Saturday. They are fully furnished and equipped. Vacation rentals are available in all the mountain towns. They are used for tourists skiing in the winter or hiking in the summer. They can be booked directly through the tourist office for each town, local agencies or a few agencies in the US.

Vacation Rental Prices

Vacation rental apartments in Switzerland are reasonably priced. You may pay about $400 - $700 per week for a one bedroom apartment in the summer (July and August); less in off season; slightly higher in winter. Usually you pay an extra $40 or so as a cleaning fee when you leave.

Tourist Tax

There is also an approximately $2 per person per day tax that you pay on hotels or vacation rentals for every day you are in Switzerland. This may be paid when you arrive at your vacation rental or they may ask you to pay at the tourist office and leave the receipt in the apartment for them. We have always had to pay this. When you pay the tax, you usually get a card for the period you are in the town that gives you discounts on bus rides, etc.

Book Through Tourist Offices

It is easy to find vacation rentals in Switzerland. You can book them ahead by contacting the Tourist Office for the town you want to stay in. Most towns have web sites and email now, so you can contact them online or by fax. You tell them what you want and your dates and they email or fax you listings. Some will also notify all the apartment owners in town of your dates and these owners will approach you directly (via email, fax or phone - one person called us in the middle of the night!). The Tourist Office will not recommend places or even tell you much about a place, but some towns apply the star rating system to vacation rentals so that helps.

Many of the Tourist Office websites now have all their vacation rentals in a database, so you can find all the information online.

If you are booking in person (which you can easily do in the summer, because there always seem to be vacancies), the Tourist Office will give you a list of addresses that you can drive by or even look at before you book.

Find the website for the town you are interested in and get the contact information from there. Switzerland has sensibly reserved the town name for the web site for all towns. For example, the Zermatt Tourist Office web site is www.zermatt.ch.

Quality of Vacation Rentals

Most Tourist Offices give a star rating to each vacation rental. They will list the criteria for each level of rating on the site. Higher stars are awarded for better amenities, for example, private parking, telephone, dishwasher, etc.

We have stayed in many Swiss Vacation Rentals, ranging from two stars to four, and all have been of good quality. With a four star rental, you are getting a lovely place. Newer furnishings, great location, good amenities. But in the less expensive rentals, you can still expect to find a clean place, well furnished and with good appliances.

Switzerland has great vacation rentals.

Vacation Rental Listings

See the Switzerland Vacation Rentals section for vacation rental listings for different regions of Switzerland. We have listed the tourist offices, some agencies and some owner web sites.

Vacation Rental Reviews

See the Switzerland Vacation Rental Reviews section to read the reviews we have received.

Searching on the Internet

Use the Google search engine to find websites for Switzerland vacation rentals. www.google.com (But, remember, the local Tourist Offices are your best resource for vacation rental listings.)

Here are some terms to use when searching for vacation rentals in Switzerland:

  • Ferien (holiday)
  • Ferienwohnungen (holiday apartments)
  • Ferienhuser (holiday house)
  • Schweiz (Switzerland)
  • holiday apartment
  • holiday rental
  • vacation rental
  • chalet rental

Here is a link to a search engine list in German:

http://www.bellnet.de/suchen/reisen/ferienwohnung/ch.html

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