Zurich, always one step ahead
To live in Zurich is to live surrounded by natural beauty in an extremely vibrant city. A small but influential metropolis, Zurich is the 6th most powerful financial center in the world.
It’s true, Switzerland is already a small territory (41,285 km2, 15,940 mi2), so each of its cities carry a lot of weight and play a very important role. Berne may be the de facto capital of the Confederation, but Zurich is the economic capital. Geneva is home to major international organizations, while Lausanne holds the Federal Supreme Court. In any case, let’s discover one of the world’s most enjoyable cities to live.
Zurich, an international city
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland in terms of people (over 400,000 inhabitants). The population is very international, more than 30% of residents are of foreign nationalities.
Although the official language is Swiss-German, the canton’s dialect is Züritüütsch. We recommended learning this language as quickly as possible, and an extra special emphasis on pronunciation (practicing in front of the mirror is best) … But in all seriousness, knowing German or, even better, Swiss-German would be of great use. Since the city hosts a large number of international companies, having a grasp on the English language is very important. Italian and French are also widely heard on the streets of Zurich, because their borders are nearby.
As a cosmopolitan city, Zurich offers multiple options for schooling: Lycée Français Marie Curie de Zurich just outside the city, and both international and Swiss schools. When it comes to higher education, there are many prestigious schools that attract Swiss and foreign students: the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH ZURICH), the University of Zurich and the Zurich University of the Arts, to mention a few.
Your Swiss city of choice is Zurich, if...
- Finance is your area of expertise
- You’d like to invest in real estate and your children’s education
- You are a polyglot
The sweet life on the lake
Zurich offers an incredibly high quality of life.
Bordered by Lake Zurich and surrounded by the Uetliberg and Zürichberg Mountains and forests, this historical city boasts the most extraordinary panoramas of the natural landscape. Better yet, residents and visitors benefit from all the advantages of a seaside AND mountain resort - the Alps being only 30 km (approx.19 mi) away. In the summer, it’s swimsuit and water sports, and in the winter, it’s all about the ski suit and snow sports.
Like many Swiss cities, the level of safety and security is exemplary. For example, it’s completely normal for 6-year-olds to return home from school alone. Even more, in Zurich, being late is not an option. Punctuality might as well be a rule of law. We advise if you have a rendezvous with a Swiss native, plan ahead to arrive early. Adapting to this tradition of timeliness will make life in Zurich a breeze, and highly efficient.
This peace of mind has a price. Zurich has a reputation for having the highest standard of living in the world, according to The Economist, and the salaries to match. The setting and services provided by the city are substantial.
The city is divided into 12 districts called Kreis. The Limmat river begins at the lake and crosses the old town, known as Altstadt, and beautiful walking and biking trails along the shores. Among the most popular are Kreis 1 (Altstadt) and the historic district of Lindenhof for its promenade and 90 lime trees overlooking the Limmat. The districts of Oberstrass and Unterstrass are favorites of foreign nationals.
Green spaces occupy nearly a quarter of the city. Parks and gardens are mainly in the vicinity of the lake. There are also many pedestrian-friendly streets like Niederdorf Street, beloved for its medieval ambiance, restaurants and trendy bars. As for shopping, the 5th Avenue of Zurich is called Bahnhofstrasse. For the prettiest of sights, stroll through the picturesque streets of the Schipfe district.
Zurich is a very clean city and also respectful of the environment. The fight against pollution is a priority. You’d be hard-pressed to come across any huge, modern buildings. That’s because the city’s architecture is very traditional. Some buildings date back to the Medieval Period (and are restored, of course), and others to the Belle Epoque. Between the two, the city lives in perfect harmony, ornate and beautifully maintained.
In Zurich, a city that’s always one step ahead of the rest, the revolution of community living has begun. Stay tuned.
Living in Zurich is your greatest dream come true, if...
- You look forward to a swim in the lake after work
- Stress, worry and tardiness, you can live without them
- A tête-à-tête with Matt Damon (aka Jason Bourne) in the streets of the banking district is your dream