I've just tentatively applied for a job in Zurich (Zug) and have seen chat on here from folk over that way. Its somewhere I've always wanted to spend time / live / work - whats it like in reality? Good lifestyle? Close enough to hills for biking / skiing / climbing etc?
Anyone here in Zurich?
@jimmy yes there are a few swiss based STWers.
As someone who'd like to live there I'll answer your question - yes yes yes yes ! Its a larger city than Geneva so more going on, more German obviously so reflected in culture and food. You have the lake on your doorstep for watersports, you can easily live in the hills/suburbs for biking but if not 1-2 hours away you have excellent uplifted riding at resorts like Lenzerheide (access via train or car)plus skiing etc and any amount of more local enduro (sorry) and xc.
Switzerland is expensive but if your paid as per the locals that will be fine. Property has gone a bit nuts (as everywhere) but one of he big advantages of working there is you can apply for a property purchase permit which allows you to buy anything (so not just the designated stuff for foreigners) which gives you much more choice and you can buy where you want and at lower prices.
As said, If you get swiss money it's very nice.
I was there for a week. Crazy expensive. We went for Dim Sum and a glass of wine each. 2 of us. 90CHF. I nearly fainted.
Crashed a hire car into a pillar in a carpark under the casino in Zug once. Apart from that it was ok.
i reversed a van into a bus shelter in Davos last year. i didn't call the police or wait around till they turned up. figured it wasn't going to be a cheap or positive outcome.
lovely scenery in Switzerland, horrible prices.
Zurich itself is nice in "let's just look at stuff and leave without spending any money" kinda way. but then i'm earning €€'s. if i were earning SFr i'd be living across the border in either Austria, Germany or Italy.
I've just moved back to Edinburgh from Zurich. I lived there for 5 years and had a love/hate relationship with the place. The outdoor lifestyle is great(snowboarding/biking at weekends). You have to pick carefully where to bike though as a lot of the trails are basically fire roads but the scenery is stunning so that makes up for it. Lenzerheide as has been mentioned is great.
The normal day to day things are what I didn't like. It's really difficult to find an apartment and the prices are very high. I gave up trying to find an apartment in Zurich itself and moved further out. The prices outside of Zurich are still very high. Zug is especially expensive and difficult to rent in due to the lower tax meaning lots of rich people rent there and push the prices up. You'll also need 2-3 months rent as a deposit which can mean paying out a very large sum of money right at the beginning.
If your current lifestyle involves going out for meals and to pubs regularly then you will have to be prepared to almost give that up. There's not the same pub culture over there and it's too expensive to do on a regular basis anyway. It was very much a case of visiting friends for bbq's rather than nights out on the town.
I have no regrets from the 5 years but I am so happy to be back in the UK. There's a lot of things people take for granted I find and sometimes you have to move away to find that out. Feel free to drop me a line if you want to ask any questions.
There has been a few topics on this over the years. I live in Basel, and love it (even though the most boring geogrpahically placed town in CH).
Costs are eye watering for everything (odly except electronics/cameras etc whihc are cheap), rent and housing is comically expensive, but you get used to it if you earn chuffs (CHFs)
To your questions on lifestyle, location etc, I think anywhere in CH is bloody fabulous for the criteria you outlined (except appenzeller - most beautiful place in the world, populated by the most miserable people). Even Basel is only 45 mins from Blackforest skiing, and 1.5hrs from the alps.
Caution - ex-pats either love it or hate it here. there is no middle ground.
There are idiosyncracies of life here that differ from the rest of the EU. top 2 as exmaples
1) Utter and total loyalty to process/systems. Even if they are shit or just insane, doesn't matter, they will be obeyed and followed. If you can't get over that and just follow them, and enjoy everything else that CH has to offer, you will always be miserable.
2) A quiet and rather sinister racism. Takes many forms, not from everyone, but it is there. I am still struggling with this after 7 years.
Happy to chat, pop me a note if needed.
thanks for replies. I wouldn't be moving there permanently, just 6 months + any extentson. I don't thrive on going out boozing / eating out, happy to be frugal though pay would be sufficient CHFs to live 'normally'.
Main consideration would be accommodation being cheap enough to make it worthwhile (having to continue mtg payments in UK) and making the most of being close to hills.
Re: expenses it does depend what you are comparing to, central Zurich vs central London the gap isn't so large. I believe apartments are cheaper in Zurich than Geneva. In the last 15 years the CHF has nearly doubled in value vs the GBP so yes it look expensive but less so if you earn a proper local salary and not one your employer tries to fob you off with as he thinks you won't notice.
@iolo you can and will pay those prices in London too
For skiing I found resorts like Meribel and Courcheval more expensive than Verbier and certainly Lenzerheide and Arosa for example.
@jimmy - I doubt you are going to find accommodation cheap especially for 6 months. Can you get your employer to cover the cost of that ?
FYI I just relocated to central London and short term rental (3 months) was 25% more than 12 months which itself isn't cheap.
Finding accommodation for 6 months could be tricky as you'll probably be on an L permit which landlords see as short term. Most leases tie you in for at least a year as well and you can only give notice 3 times a year. Most apartments are unfurnished as well. If you do decide to go then subletting or sharing a flat will probably be the way to go. I'd ask the employer what they can help you with. It took me 2 months to find an apartment when I moved out there and I wasn't being fussy. Luckily I was able to move between friends houses until I got the keys. Short term serviced apartments were 3000CHF a month upwards for a studio. I don't want to sound negative but I wished I had known a lot of these things before I went.
Last post by ericf contains good information and that was also my experience. Its a nice place to be but I wouldn't go back without provided accommodation. I think that will be the hardest part of a short term move.
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