How to be Homeless in Zurich on $57 a Day


There are no homeless people in Switzerland. Okay, great for you guys. But what about those of us that want to be homeless? You know, like those of us that don't want to pay $50 a night for a thin mattress on the top bunk of a twelve person hostel room. Let me save my fellow penny-pinching travelers the trouble.

Certainly don't try to sleep in a park or on the street. This is illegal. Verboten! And the polizei will get you. Because in a sleepy place like Zurich, aside from checking that cyclists have bike lights, the polizei don't have much else better to do. So try as you may to find a nice secluded spot, these fellas will be shining a flashlight in your eyes before sunrise.

The same holds true for the train station. No vacancy in der Bahnhof. Not only is rolling out your sleeping bag in the old, "I have an early train" routine not permitted, the ever present polizei forbid lying down of any kind, as it seems getting comfortable in public would cause this 700 year old nation to collapse. So unless you can pull this off, move it along, bub.

Coffee shop, diner--nope. 24 hours is a foreign concept here. Is this because the Swiss value sleep?

At this point, exhausted and desperate, you start getting a little creative. Like climbing up a building to sleep on the roof. Seemed good, even kind of romantic. That is until some old banker gets nervous and reports a renegade stargazer on that factory over there.

It’s then, with sirens blaring as you frantically scramble down a building and into the nearest bar, that you finally understand why there are no homeless people in Switzerland. It just ain't worth it. And though it may be a bit steep, shelling out $50 for a hostel doesn't sound so bad anymore. But first, a beer to settle the nerves. So tack on another $7.