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When looking for a cheap place to stay in Geneva I found quite a few places close to the French-Swiss border especially in Gaillard which are a few steps from the Geneva tram. Is there a similar trick for Bern? Places with very good connection into Bern but cheaper? I am trying to word this in a way so it's not too broad. (Obviously not France but perhaps cheaper places than Bern itself.)

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    The thing is that Gaillard is relatively cheap because it's in France. It's even pricier than most other places in France despite the fact that it is a thoroughly unremarkable little town. Small towns around Bern might be marginally cheaper but hotels there will still have Swiss prices. – Relaxed Aug 24 '16 at 16:08
  • I don't know what you consider cheap or cheaper. Would 90€ qualify at the ibis Budget Bern Expo at Guisanplatz ? – Giorgio Aug 24 '16 at 16:48
  • About 30 EUR is very cheap (that's what I got in Marseilles and Lyon), 60 EUR is cheap, 90 EUR is not, I can get an entire apartment on airbnb in the centre of Bern for 90 EUR. – chx Aug 24 '16 at 17:10
  • And how would you qualify 72 EUR? – Maître Peseur Aug 24 '16 at 19:27
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    Then you might consider Marthahaus, in the heart of the Bern on Wyttenbachstrasse. It has singles (shared bath) from €/CHF 75, as well as a lovely bonus, a Bern Ticket for free public transport during your stay. While it's for zones 100/101, it does cover travel to/from the airport, or as a transfer ticket from the station or airport to the hotel. marthahaus.ch – Giorgio Aug 24 '16 at 23:10
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The answer is no. There is no such trick for Bern because Bern is not right next to the French border like Geneva is. There is a reason for economic differential you described in the Geneva case: it is the unnatural political boundary which separates expensive Geneva from the relatively inexpensive French countryside. The French government has to keep the prices down to some extent so their own citizens who have lived their for scores of years can afford to remain. Even the French side is getting more expensive now though. Still, it is certainly an opportunity for arbitrage. My dad is a physicist who works at CERN and he and his students certainly arbitrage this almost every trip.

bern city

If you really want to get cheaper deals, then I'd recommend using hostelworld.com or airbnb.com or couchsurfing.com. You'll find yourself making more friends if you choose the former and living much cheaper. Plus, you will get to live right in the city center and be connected to the Bern tramway. However, you will have to share a room.

The above answer is based on my experience as the digital nomad founder of learningdollars.com.

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