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How to spend it Here’s what (the new) Swiss ten-franc note will get you

several banknotes

The new CHF10, unveiled with much fanfare

(Swiss National Bank)

Crisp, yellow, and adorned with train tracks and watchmaking supplies, the new CHF10 banknote will soon be in circulation across Switzerland. But what can you buy with it? 

Revealed by the Swiss National Bankexternal link on Wednesday, the banknote is the third in the new series that features better security features and more elaborate artwork than the previous editions. New versions of the CHF50 and CHF20 notes are already the standard in Swiss wallets and cash registers. The new CHF10 goes into circulation on October 18.

Of course the value of the new CHF10 is the same as that of the old note, and both will be accepted as payment until the old one is eventually phased out. But what can you get with Switzerland’s smallest form of paper currency – worth $10.26 or €8.68 according to Wednesday’s exchange rate? 

Here’s a round-up of some basic goods and services that cost about CHF10. 

FOOD & DRINK 

Cheese on a wooden plate
(Keystone / Gaetan Bally)

Swiss cheese

CHF10 translates into about 500g of Swiss cheese, whether it’s Appenzeller, Emmentaler or Tilsiter. 

Swiss chocolate

Depending on quality, Swiss chocolate can run you anywhere from CHF20-70 per kilo. So for CHF10 you could either have three or four supermarket bars or a small bag of pralines from a posh chocolatier. 

Basics

You can fill a small shopping basket with a few essentials like a litre of milk (CHF1.50), a loaf of bread (CHF3.50), six bananas (CHF3) and a head of lettuce (CHF2). But it will quickly cost more if you add a “big-ticket” item like 500g of coffee beans (CHF9) or a 375g box of breakfast cereal (CHF5). 

Fast food

For CHF9.90, McDonald’s and Burger King regularly offer package deals – a sandwich plus fries and a soda. Alternatively, many kebab and pizza joints will sell a basic kebab wrap or a small takeaway pizza for exactly CHF10. 

Drinks

At a Swiss bar, a pint of imported beer, like Guinness, costs nearly CHF10. For that price you could have up to a litre of local beer or cola, or two coffee drinks. Alternatively, you could have a medium (2dl) glass of wine. 

TRANSPORT

two bikes at lake
(Keystone)

Bike

In many Swiss cities, you can borrow a bikeexternal link for 14 hours for CHF10; an E-bike costs CHF9 for three hours. 

Train fare

A one-way ticket from Bern to Solothurn (45km) costs CHF9.20. Oh, you wanted a return ticket? Better invest in a half-fare cardexternal link for CHF185/year! 

Tram and bus

A day card for two zones in Zurich costs CHF8.80. But in Bern it’s CHF13, unless you have that half-fare card. 

Taxi

Taking a taxi is a luxury for most. For CHF10, you can’t even ride for a kilometre in Bernexternal link, where the base rate is CHF6.80 plus CHF3.90/km – or more if it’s not between 6am and 8pm on a workday.

Fuel

For CHF10, you can purchase about 6.5 litres of unleaded gasoline or diesel. Your vehicle’s fuel efficiency will determine how far that takes you. 

LEISURE

condoms
(Keystone / Christian Beutler)

Condoms

A pack of 20, endorsed by the Federal Office of Public Health’s LoveLife campaignexternal link, costs CHF8.30.

Press

There’s a good selection of magazines – at least in local languages – for CHF10 or less. The Economist costs exactly CHF10, and the FT Weekend is CHF7, but other English titles cost a lot more. 

Movies/Concerts/Museums

You can forget about a trip to the movies as tickets generally cost at least CHF13. Typically, a concert will set you back by CHF20-25, and much more if it’s a well-known act. Admission to museums varies wildly, but many Swiss ones will let you in for CHF10 or less, especially if you’re a student or a pensioner. 

Babysitting

If you do go out, the Swiss Red Crossexternal link recommends paying babysitters aged 13-15 about CHF8-10 per hour.

New Swiss banknote series

The inspiration behind the new banknote series is ‘The many facets of Switzerland’. Each denomination depicts a typically Swiss characteristic, which is then illustrated graphically using a range of elements. The CHF10 note focuses on Switzerland’s organizational talent, as expressed in the key motif of time. Core design elements in the new series are the hand and the globe, which appear on every denomination.

The next denomination of Swiss currency, the CHF200 note, will be issued in autumn 2018. The last two denominations in the new series, the CHF1000 and CHF100 notes, are to be issued over the course of 2019.

Source: Swiss National Bank

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