What makes Zurich one of the top destinations for expats?

What makes Zurich one of the top destinations for expats?

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As it is consistently voted one of the best places to live in the world, Zurich is a favourite among people looking to move abroad. To explain why people are drawn to the “Swiss metropolis”, Crown Relocations has taken a look at some of the many reasons why Zurich is one of the world’s top expat destinations.

One of the first things to say about why Zurich is one of the top expat destinations is its romantic style - it's full of idealistic fairy-tale scenes! You and your partner can walk the cobbled streets of the old town, taking in the view of the towering churches as you make your way to Lake Zurich, where you can see graceful swans adorning its shores. Another top place to visit is the local "mountain", Uetliberg, which provides breathtaking views of the city and surrounding mountains.

Zurich is full of romantic places

There are endless romantic places scattered throughout the city. One of the places you must visit with your partner is the Mühlesteg Bridge; this bridge is lined with padlocks representing the love and relationships of the people that visited the bridge, so make sure to bring your own lock! 

Strong public transport links to the rest of Switzerland

As you would expect, Switzerland’s largest city has excellent transportation links. Composed of trams, buses, trains and boats, the public transport network takes you to all parts of the city and beyond. The Zurich Transport Network is called ZVV, and it really is a network, as you can use the same ticket on all forms of public transport. 

Culinary delights in Switzerland's largest city

Zurich is a gourmand’s paradise, with a cornucopia of culinary temptations. For luxury food lovers, the city and surrounding area are home to over 70 Michelin-starred or recognised restaurants, and in the city centre, diners will be able to indulge in any cuisine that takes their fancy.

Outside working hours, the city shrugs off its suit-and-tie attitude to unwind in countless trendy and traditional wine bars, clubs and pubs. If restaurants aren’t your thing, in the summer many locals choose to barbeque, drink and have a good time in one of the many public parks and forests around the city. 

Child-friendly Zurich

The city is also incredibly child-friendly. Most new inner-city developments have factored play areas into their design, while villages on the outskirts, such as Thalwil and Schaffhausen, are also very popular among families. 

If your children are over 10 years old and do not speak any German, an international school is a popular choice - some schools also teach German and English, which is also highly recommended. However, bear in mind that while public schools are free, at an international school you might easily pay 30.000 Swiss francs per year per pupil.

Hot in summer, cold in winter

The climate in Zurich is best described as moderate. It does not get too hot in the summer (the maximum temperature is about 30 degrees Celsius in the summer, although temperatures have gone above 37 degrees in recent years) and is not too cold in the winter (seldom below minus 10 degrees Celsius). 

This can change dramatically in the mountains just outside the city, though, where snow can become very heavy at times in the winter. Adequate winter clothing is thus advisable for trips to the mountains. Also, winter tyres need to be fitted in the winter months (not a legal requirement, but advisable in order to avoid potential disputes with your insurance in the case of an accident).

Diverse and popular neighbourhoods

Along with being a great place to visit, Zurich is also a splendid place to call home. If money is no problem, one of the best places to move to is the much sought-after residential area Kreis 8 (also known as Seefeld). It is near the lake and the neighbourhood has a nice variety of restaurants, exclusive shops, clubs and bars.

The other side of the lake is also quite popular. Kreis 2 (Enge and Wollishofen) are a few districts where you can get apartments for a better price, although, being in Zurich, the price will still be very high.

Zürichberg, near the Dolder Hotel and the zoo, is home to the rich and famous of Zurich. Outside Zurich, the eastern side of the lake is very popular and is also called the "gold coast" because of the sunshine and the number of wealthy people that live there.

Kreis 4 and 5 are the most vibrant areas and are very popular with singles and young couples, mainly down to the fact that it is the home of most of Zurich’s nightclubs. Also, the prices are lower there than in the city centre.

Typically, expats choose to rent. In fact, around 75 percent of the population of Switzerland lives in rented apartments. Apartments are usually left unfurnished but fitted with complete kitchens.

Easy connection to the rest of Canton Zurich

For those who want more value for money, looking outside the city and into Zurich’s commuter belt is a great place to start - especially since most towns are less than 30 minutes train ride from the city centre.

Alongside the more popular choices of Kloten, Bassersdorf and Uster, Adliswil and Zumikon are great alternatives for expat families as they are home to the two largest international schools, while commuting time to Zurich is no more than 20 minutes by public transport.

Zurich is one of the gems of Switzerland

I hope that this brief introduction has convinced you that Zurich is well worth a visit and a great place to call home. Anything we missed that makes Zurich so great? Let us know in the comments!

If you need help making your dream move to Zurich a reality, contact Crown Relocations for the advice, support and action you need when relocating to Switzerland. Don’t hesitate to contact them today!

Daniela  Stoyanova


Daniela Stoyanova

Daniela Stoyanova is a Moving Consultant for Crown Relocations.

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