Bern named the priciest place for pizza out of all of Europe's capitals

Bern named the priciest place for pizza out of all of Europe's capitals

It's a commonly held trope that prices in Switzerland are higher than in most parts of the world, but it isn’t ideal to learn that even when it comes to simple pleasures like pizza - while it may be the best pizza outside of Italy - the alpine nation makes you pay the most: a new study by Travelnews has found that Bern is the most expensive European capital city for pizza, beating out second place by 1,7 francs.

Bern found to have the most expensive pizza out of European capitals

To create the study, Travelnews analysed the average price of a standard 30-centimetre diameter pizza margherita in 43 European capitals. According to the results, the fusion of dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil costs the most in the de-facto capital of Switzerland, Bern, where the average price stands at 17,70 euros, or 17,15 Swiss francs.

The seat of federal government is in familiar company at the top of the ranking, with Vaduz, Liechtenstein taking second place with 15,97 euros. Reykjavik in Iceland rounded out the top three with a cost of 15,90 euros. The cheapest pizza analysed was in Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where a pie costs just 3,44 euros. 

Most expensive European capitals for pizza

In all, the 10 most expensive European capitals for pizza (in euros) are:

  1. Bern, Switzerland (17,70)
  2. Vaduz, Liechtenstein (15,97)
  3. Reykjavik, Iceland (15,90)
  4. Oslo, Norway (15,68)
  5. Helsinki, Finland (13,90)
  6. Monaco (13,07)
  7. London, United Kingdom (12,84)
  8. Athens, Greece (12,17)
  9. Dublin, Ireland (11,73)
  10. Nicosia, Cyprus (11,27)

The three cheapest European capitals for pizza are Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (3,44), Pristina, Kosovo (4,08) and Tirana, Albania (4,16).

People in Bern surprised and even satisfied with pricy pizza

Needless to say, the reaction in Bern's pizzerias to the news that their pizza is the most expensive was a mixture of “not surprising” and “annoying”, with one patron telling 20 Minuten that "I thought it was expensive in Bern, but I didn't think it was the most expensive capital." Another diner said, "I think in Switzerland you have to be prepared to pay at least 15 francs in a restaurant."

Others were more understanding, with one diner noting that they were "willing to pay 17,50 francs for a margherita, for a good pizza with a fine crust and homemade dough, so also [one with] a bit of passion." Another agreed, stating that if you can “see that there is love in a pizza, then it's worth it to me."

Why is pizza so expensive in Switzerland?

So why is pizza in Switzerland so much more expensive than in other European countries? Ivo, managing director and owner of the Pizzeria San Gottardo in the centre of Bern, told 20 Minuten that a combination of high salaries, the cost of renting and a desire to “maintain quality” are the reasons why their pizzas are as expensive as they are.

“How are we supposed to sell a pizza even cheaper? Even in a fast food restaurant, pizzas are sold for almost the same price and they are mostly frozen and not made on-site like in a real pizzeria... For 10 years I refused to sell my products at higher prices. But since everything is so much more expensive, I didn't have a choice", he explained.

Finally, the entrepreneur concluded that while Bern may be the most expensive capital for pizza, he knows with near certainty that prices in Zurich, Geneva and Lausanne are even higher.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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