The best places for expats to live when working in Geneva

The best places for expats to live when working in Geneva

Geneva is arguably one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, but it can get a little crowded and expensive in the city centre. If you’re looking to work in the city, while maintaining some peace and quiet at home, the area outside central Geneva has a lot to offer. 

Geneva has a well-known international status

For those looking to make progress in their career, Geneva is one of the best Swiss cities to make big strides. If you can handle the long working hours, the city is home to a lot of international companies and organisations offering jobs that fit around all sorts of lifestyles and needs. 

From the United Nations to American Express, there are a wide range of English-speaking jobs available in Geneva. Naturally, for internationals who can speak French or German, there are even more employment possibilities in the city.

If you’re looking to set up a company in the region, there are also many perks of choosing to do business in Geneva. Though business taxes are not as advantageous as in other Swiss cantons, with great public transport links between the airport and the city and a large supply of highly-skilled workers thanks to local universities, the city has many great options for entrepreneurs

Most popular towns to live in while working in Geneva

For renters and homeowners alike, Geneva can be expensive. Here are some of the most affordable and pleasant places you can look to for some peace and quiet just outside the city.


Nyon is a lakeside paradise, just 15 minutes away from Geneva's city centre by train, with great connections to other localities. The city has easy access to nearby ski resorts in winter and is a prime spot for holidaymakers in warm weather

Thanks to its location on the banks of one of the country’s most beautiful lakes, Nyon is a brilliant place for families and children to enjoy water sports at the weekend, and has a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of hospitality. 


The municipality of Versoix is home to several international organisations, including a training base for the International Committee of the Red Cross and departments of the University of Geneva. The town has a small population of under 14.000 and is a laid-back municipality that is popular with other internationals. 

The town is in close proximity to several international schools and is the perfect environment for raising a family, with plenty of activities for children, as well as nearby hospitals, childcare facilities and great public transport links. 


While Lausanne is one of the further options for people working in Geneva, it is still doable with a 30 to 45-minute commute. Since the route has more than 100 trains a day, it won’t be difficult for those looking to hop between the two cities! 

The French-speaking city of Lausanne, in the Canton of Vaud, is home to the International Olympic Committee and serves as both a business city and a tourist hotspot on Lake Geneva. The region is also well-known for its wine and is the fourth largest city in Switzerland after Basel, Geneva and Zurich.

Annemass and living in France

Annemasse is a small French city of almost 40.000 inhabitants, located approximately half an hour away from Geneva by train. Despite being just half an hour from Geneva’s city centre, Annemasse is considerably more affordable when it comes to renting or buying property. The Swiss housing market, in general, can be costly for buyers, so those seeking to purchase a house may fare better in neighbouring France than in Geneva. 

Naturally, the French requirements for citizenship and residence permits are different to Switzerland and there can be some logistical difficulties if your salary is paid in Swiss francs but your mortgage needs to be paid in euros. However, these financial issues can be easily resolved with the assistance of a skilled financial adviser

Living around Geneva can have many perks

Of course, there are many reasons why living in the centre of Geneva is convenient, but by living outside the city you can have a more authentic experience living in Switzerland. With a range of international schools, universities and English-speaking jobs available, there is sure to be a location to suit your needs outside the city. 

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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