Switzerland is two things. A majestic mountain paradise with delicious chocolates and a place where your bank account goes to die.
It's rated the most expensive country in the world to visit, with Zurich being one of the most expensive cities to live in.
While Switzerland will never be a dirt cheap destination, the country has plenty to offer the frugal traveller. From exploring its ancient buildings to geeking out at museums, here are six of the best free things to do in Switzerland!
1. Explore the Parliament Building in Bern
Located in the capital city of Bern is the Swiss Parliament House. It's one of the world's first modern democracies, and you can visit this piece of Swiss history for free.
The Parliament House runs free guided tours from Monday to Saturday in English, French, German and Italian. Once you've made your booking online, all you need to bring with you is your passport.
The tour lasts for about an hour and will take you through the various rooms, giving you a concise history of the building and how Parliament works.
2. Get your bearings on a free walking tour
One of the best free things to do in Switzerland is a walking tour.
You'll find one in all the major cities run by locals who are passionate about their home. The tours will take you past ancient buildings, important historical landmarks and the hottest spots to eat, drink and party.
The walks run almost every day, and it's a great way to get your bearings while experiencing the city through the eyes of a local.
3. Take on Switzerland's greatest hikes
Switzerland is home to some of the most dramatic of the Alpine mountain ranges.
But you don't need to be a skilled climber or even have money to enjoy its natural beauty on foot.
Choose from thousands of miles of trails, varying in difficulty and length. One of the most popular is The Route de l'Absinthe which stretches over 30 miles and takes you past wine farms, museums and historical monuments.
4. Geek out at the CERN museum
Want to discover the mysteries of the Universe? Head to CERN, it's home to the world's biggest physics laboratory and runs free guided tours and exhibitions.
It’s one of the best free things to do in Geneva. Learn about particle physics, go behind the scenes of the famous Hadron Collider and more. The tour takes at least two hours, and you'll need another 60 minutes to work your way through all the fun interactive exhibitions.
5. Save money by hiring a bike for free
If you're going to Zurich, get ready to explore the whole city for free.
From May to October, you can hire one of the 200 city bikes without it costing you a dime. All you need is a valid form of ID and CHF 20 for your refundable deposit.
You'll have all the independence of having a car, without the dent in your wallet.
6. Wander through the ancient cathedrals and churches
No matter which Swiss city you visit, you'll always see the tall spire of a cathedral in the distance.
Some of these buildings date back to the Middle Ages and are jewels of Gothic architecture. Entrance to these places of worship are usually free, but avoid going on Sundays unless you plan on joining the service.
While it's no Thailand, you don't have to wait until you're rich to explore Switzerland. With a little bit of creativity and taking advantage of all the freebies, it's possible to visit this European country even on a tight budget.
What are some of your favourite free things to do in Switzerland?