Exploring the best cities in Switzerland for expats

Exploring the best cities in Switzerland for expats

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Considering a move to Switzerland? Rentola, a rental home search engine, takes a deep dive into the best places to live as an expat in the alpine nation. 

Switzerland, a country renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, thriving economy, and high quality of life, has become a sought-after destination for expats from around the globe. With its efficient public services, excellent healthcare, and safety, it's no wonder that Switzerland consistently ranks as one of the top choices for individuals looking to relocate for work, study, or retirement. 

Among the many appealing aspects of Switzerland, its cities stand out as some of the best places for expats to call home. In this article, we will explore the top cities in Switzerland that cater exceptionally well to expat living.

1. Zurich, the powerhouse of Switzerland

Zurich, the dazzling gem of Switzerland, stands as the nation's preeminent economic powerhouse and an irresistible magnet for expats seeking a life enriched with the perfect amalgamation of modernity and tradition. As the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich pulsates with vitality, offering a bustling metropolis that promises not only a fulfilling career but also an exceptional quality of life. This is one of the best areas in the country to choose as a home. 

Switzerland of course has a reputation of being quite expensive, especially for rent and purchasing properties. If you want to relocate here, it’s a good idea to start searching for your base in advance. Property portals are a great source of information, allowing you to compare and contrast prices, locations and property types. Not only will this give you a better understanding of the market but it can be a fun activity to get you excited about the big move. 

Expats arriving in Zurich are greeted by a thriving job market, brimming with an array of exciting opportunities across diverse sectors. With a strong emphasis on finance, technology, and engineering industries, the city has established itself as a global player, attracting ambitious professionals from all corners of the world. The dynamic business landscape and innovative startups create an invigorating atmosphere, fostering growth and progress for expats seeking to carve their niche.

Yet, Zurich's allure extends far beyond its bustling business sector. For expats with families, the city presents an ideal environment for growth and development. Boasting an exemplary education system, Zurich ensures that every child's potential is nurtured and encouraged to bloom. The abundance of top-notch international schools caters to the diverse backgrounds of expatriate families, easing the transition into the Swiss way of life.

While the city thrives on the efficiency of its public transportation system, getting around Zurich becomes a breeze, allowing expats to fully immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry that the city offers. Museums, theatres, and galleries abound, offering an array of cultural attractions for those seeking intellectual stimulation and artistic appreciation. From world-class opera performances to contemporary art exhibitions, Zurich's cultural offerings cater to all tastes and interests.

2. Geneva, a lakeside paradise

Nestled along the shores of the glistening Lake Geneva, the enchanting city of Geneva beckons with its cosmopolitan charm, making it an unrivalled destination for expats in search of a world-class living experience. Revered as the international hub for diplomacy and home to prestigious organisations like the United Nations and the Red Cross, Geneva casts a captivating spell on those who choose to call it home.

Geneva's cultural offerings are a testament to its vibrant and dynamic soul. An array of museums, art galleries, and theatres adorn the cityscape, enticing expats to embark on a journey of artistic exploration. From classical performances at the Grand Théâtre de Genève to contemporary art exhibits at the Patek Philippe Museum, Geneva's cultural scene caters to even the most discerning tastes, leaving residents enriched with creativity and inspiration.

While Geneva pulsates with cosmopolitan energy, it remains deeply committed to nurturing the wellbeing of its residents. The city's strong emphasis on education ensures that children and young adults receive a top-tier education, with a plethora of prestigious international schools and universities to choose from. Expats can rest assured that their children will thrive and blossom in Geneva's intellectually stimulating environment.

3. Lausanne, for nature lovers

Nestled gracefully on the northern shores of the azure Lake Geneva, the picturesque city of Lausanne beckons expats with a vibrant ambience that harmoniously blends the charm of a university town with the global allure of an international hub. As a city renowned for its rich history and contemporary dynamism, Lausanne casts a spell that captures the hearts of expats seeking a truly enriching and diverse experience.

Lausanne's position as a prominent university city infuses its streets with youthful exuberance and a perpetual thirst for knowledge. Expats find themselves immersed in a stimulating academic environment, with world-class institutions offering a plethora of courses and research opportunities. The cultural melting pot of students from various backgrounds sparks intellectual curiosity, encouraging exchange of ideas and perspectives.

Adding to Lausanne's international acclaim is the presence of the prestigious International Olympic Committee (IOC) and numerous renowned sporting organisations. This brings a unique blend of athleticism and camaraderie, making the city a mecca for sports enthusiasts and athletes alike. From local competitions to international sporting events, the spirit of competition and sportsmanship weaves itself seamlessly into the fabric of Lausanne's identity.

The city's hilly terrain is not merely a geographical feature but an emblem of the panoramic beauty that Lausanne offers. Every step taken reveals breathtaking vistas of Lake Geneva, where the water shimmers in the sunlight, reflecting the serenity of the surrounding mountains. The picturesque vineyards that grace the landscape add a touch of romance, and wine aficionados will find themselves in the lap of oenophile heaven, savouring the finest Swiss wines.

For those expats seeking an active and health-conscious lifestyle, Lausanne emerges as an ideal choice. With a strong emphasis on sports and fitness, the city offers an array of recreational facilities, gyms, and wellness centres. The opportunity to engage in outdoor activities is boundless, whether it's jogging along the picturesque lakeside promenade or hiking through the scenic hills, immersing oneself in nature's embrace.

Find your perfect city in Switzerland

Switzerland, with its breathtaking landscapes, robust economy, and high standard of living, continues to enthrall expats from all corners of the globe. The cities in this magnificent country stand out as beacons of opportunity and fulfillment, catering exceptionally well to the needs and desires of expat life.

If you’re searching for somewhere to live in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne or any other major city in Switzerland, Rentola has housing options for you. Browse thousands of rental properties across Switzerland, or set up an alert to be instantly notified when listings matching your criteria become available. 

Jane Chapman


Jane Chapman

Jane was born in the United Kingdom but moved with her parents at the age of 6 to France and grew up in Bordeaux. She graduated from Sussex University in...

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