Moving to Zurich
Moving to Zurich often surprises expats who identify this banking capital with its conservative corporate image. It’s home to one of the world’s largest stock exchanges, and it is the country’s financial engine, but there’s much more to it than commerce.
The city is safe and has excellent infrastructure, consistently ranking as the one of best places to live in the world – the 2017 Mercer Quality of Living Survey puts it at second out of 231 cities.
One of the biggest challenges expats will face, aside from getting there and adapting to the local culture, is finding somewhere to live. There’s a shortage of accommodation in Zurich, so prices and competition for quality rentals are high.
Luckily, the language barrier shouldn’t be much of a problem. English is widely spoken, especially in business circles. That said, Swiss German is the predominant language. Learning at least a few introductory phrases can make a big difference to interactions with locals who are reluctant to engage in English.
There’s plenty to see and do in Zurich. Having long influenced arts and culture, it pays homage to its history with museums, galleries and theatres. Expats will enjoy strolling along the Limmat River that runs through the city, taking in the sight of boats whisking passengers along and lights glinting off its surface. The medieval Old Town is a rich backdrop for contemporary fashion stores, bookshops, bars, restaurants and clubs.
Overall, Zurich has much to offer expats who can negotiate a good salary to get around its high living costs.