In recent years, Switzerland has become a mecca for the highly skilled or uber-rich with excellent companies offering attractive packages and low tax rates. Switzerland offers an abundance of job opportunities at all levels though, and an excellent quality of life that has attracted many walks of life to reside in Switzerland. Not to mention you will be surrounded by natural beauty no matter which city you choose. By the end of this article, we’ll have you confident of whether it should be your next home or not.
So, is Switzerland a good place to live? Yes, it is a prosperous country that is considered quite conservative, safe, and stable. It offers an excellent work/life balance, low crime, and unemployment rates, and is well connected with some of the best transportation systems in the world.
Switzerland has a population of a little over 8.5 million people and is centrally located within Europe making it an enticing prospect for many Brits looking to relocate. With multiple airports dotted among Swiss cities, Brits can easily return to the UK to visit family with flight times of under 2 hours. We’re going to share why so many Brits are moving to Switzerland, living costs you can expect versus the UK, work prospects, and how to make the move with little fuss.
Is Switzerland a good place to live?
Many Brits that have made the move discovered you don’t need to be super-rich to enjoy a high quality of life in Switzerland. Alongside excellent job opportunities in the service sector, international schools and universities, and plenty of outdoor recreational activities, Switzerland is an enticing prospect for families and individuals.
Of course, then there are the travel opportunities from Switzerland! No matter where you decide to hang your hat, you’re likely to be well connected by state-of-the-art transport facilities that connect internally and with neighbouring European countries. In fact, if you lived in Basel it’s possible to enjoy a breakfast croissant in France, a hearty pork knuckle lunch in Germany, and a Cheese fondue in Switzerland, all on the same day!
Many cities in Switzerland have been voted as one of the best places to live numerous times and all regions of Switzerland are considered to have an excellent standard of living. Crime and unemployment rates are low, salaries and quality of life are high, and most people are offered ample opportunity to succeed in such a prosperous country.
Switzerland may seem expensive at first or when taking a vacation there, but living expenses are comparable to the UK and Swiss salaries are amongst the highest in Europe. There are a huge number of international companies looking for talented and highly skilled Brits to base themselves in Switzerland and many offer generous incentives.
Is it expensive to live in Switzerland (vs UK)?
By UK standards, Switzerland could be considered quite expensive to live in. However, it is comparable to many larger cities in the UK. If you’re used to the cost of living in London, relocating to Switzerland will take little adjustment financially. If you’re used to living in a small village in northern Scotland, some prices may come as quite a shock.
The cost of living in the UK is around £900 per month excluding rent or accommodation costs. In Switzerland, the average cost of living is around CHF 1,600 per month excluding rent.
The biggest financial burden for those looking to relocate to Switzerland will be absorbing the high rental costs. An average 1 bedroom apartment in a city center costs around CHF 2,000 per month, considerably more than a comparable apartment in London.
Here’s a chart comparing some everyday costs between Switzerland and the UK:
|Item||UK (£)||Switzerland (CHF)|
|Bottle of water||£1||CHF 1.5 – 2|
|Pint of Beer||£4 – 6||CHF 6 – 7|
|The average cost of food (per day)||£15-20||CHF 40-60|
|Restaurant meal||£15-25||CHF 50-80|
|Monthly Utility bills||£60-90||CHF 200|
|Phone/internet contract||£30||CHF 60|
|24-hour Tube/Metro pass||£12.70 (London, zones 1-4)||CHF 27 (Zurich City pass)|
|1 Hour Train journey||£30-60 (LDN to BIR)||CHF 33 (Zurich to Basel)|
While living costs are high, there remain plenty of reasons why relocating to Switzerland is an attractive option for people from the UK. The quality of life is excellent, and most highly-skilled workers are generously remunerated by companies luring people from the UK for work opportunities.
Is Switzerland a good place to work?
Switzerland has been ranked one of the best places to work numerous times over the years by many lifestyle polls. Generally speaking across most of the country, unemployment is low and there are a lot of training programs offered to help people find working arrangements.
Excellent companies to work for
Many companies have corporate offices based in one of the major cities (Zurich, Geneva, Bern) and offer excellent relocation salaries and benefits for those looking to work and be based in Switzerland.
Highly skilled individuals will have no trouble finding work in Switzerland, and nearly half of all executive jobs are filled by foreign talent lured from overseas. A majority of jobs available for foreigners are in the service sector, including business, finance, and tourism, with the latter offering many flexible seasonal jobs.
If you are career-oriented and looking to work hard and advance through the ranks, then Switzerland will provide excellent job opportunities that allow you to make progress throughout your career. Companies also offer excellent job stability, with most companies happy to entice foreigners with 3-5 year packages.
Swiss working conditions
Switzerland offers an excellent work/life balance, with most working weeks capping out around 40 hours per week. Companies offer excellent working conditions and amenities, and with such excellent transport links, you’re well-poised to have plenty of convenient travel options when you need to do business on the road.
Excellent salary packages
Salaries in Switzerland are some of the highest in Europe, with most comparable to UK standards or higher. Living expenses are also high, so this should be considered before jumping at a job offer.
The average gross salary for a UK individual is £25,971 and by comparison, the average annual salary in Switzerland was CHF 60,847, which comes to £49,209.34 when you factor in the CHF/GBP exchange rate.
Is Switzerland safe to live in?
Switzerland is consistently voted one of the safest countries in the world to live in, with the 2021 Global peace index ranking Switzerland at 7th place in the world (the UK came in a lowly 33rd place). Switzerland has over 8.5 million residents scattered in all corners of the country with the majority of the population residing within one of the larger urban cities such as Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne, and Bern.
Low crime rates
Crime rates in Switzerland are incredibly low when compared to any country in the world and the likelihood of being affected by any crime (even petty crime) is below 0.5%. The most common crimes in Switzerland are theft, pickpocketing, and minor property-related offences with a majority of these offences occurring in high-tourist zones.
Despite gun ownership being quite high in Switzerland compared to European neighbours and the UK, serious criminal offences are incredibly rare, and this is likely due to the strict and highly enforced laws that are policed. Of all crimes committed the conviction rate is around 50%.
High education rates and equal rights for citizens
The majority of the population of Switzerland has excellent educational opportunities with over 85% of the population earning a high-school diploma or higher level of education. Switzerland is also a very liberal country and offers its citizens equal rights and opportunities in all facets of life. Swiss Federal law enacts that all people living in Switzerland are entitled to a stable education, job, and equal pay.
Is moving to Switzerland from the UK easy?
Switzerland is easily accessible from the UK and the rest of Europe and has some of the best transportation hubs in the world. If you’re looking to fly, you can access any of Switzerland’s airports from major UK airport hubs (London, Birmingham, Manchester) in around 2 hours.
If you’re planning to drive, take the Eurotunnel, and then it’s an easy drive through the fields of France and up into the mountains of Switzerland. The European journey from Calais to Basel takes a little over 7 hours. Calais to Zurich by car takes a tad over 8 hours.
For those looking to take a picturesque train journey, make your way to the ‘Chunnel’ (Channel tunnel), and then you’re spoilt for choice when making your way to Switzerland with a few train changes along the way. Depending on which way you go, it’s best to allow a few days to enjoy the various European cities and sights.
When it comes to moving your things, it is convenient and fast to move from the UK to Switzerland with Lopa Removals – you can have everything moved in 3-7 days, including customs. You will also get free sofa covers and free mattress covers to keep your furniture protected. As well as all that, we do offer full customs support, packing services, and furniture disassembly as optional extras, meaning moving couldn’t be simpler.
Find out more: Customs requirements when moving from The UK to Switzerland
Switzerland, with its glorious mountains, stunning lakes, impressive economy, and excellent job prospects is well worth considering if you’re looking to relocate from the UK. Getting to Switzerland is easy and convenient with a number of excellent transport options available. No matter if you’re looking to improve your career prospects or simply after a more pleasurable quality of life, Switzerland has many Brits considering the move.