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Living in Zurich

Do you want to move to and live in Zürich? Are you planning to spend some time in Zurich and work? Here you find basic info about living in Zurich.

Zurich, largest city in Switzerland, is a peaceful city and a symbol of modernity. It is set on the edge of Zurich Lake and is surrounded by forested hills. Zurich is called the cultural capital of Switzerland and was ranked third among the most livable cities in Europe and eleventh in the world according to 2018 data. It ranks third in terms of expensiveness for cities in Europe.

Climate in Zurich

The weather in Zurich is very changeable due to proximity of the mountains. The temperature is pretty low and large differences can occur between day and night. Therefore, always prepare for both hot and cold weather.

According to Köppen climate classification, Zurich has a moist terrestrial climate and is experiencing four seasons. The highest temperature in summer is 21°C – 24°C and the lowest is 10°C – 12°C. Winter season ranges between -4°C and 5°C.

The average temperature for the year in Zürich is 9.3°C. The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 18.6°C. The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 0.3°C.

Public Transportation

Public transport in Zurich is run by the Zürcher Verkehrsverbund (ZVV), which covers the entire Zurich canton and consists of buses, trams, ferry services and suburban trains (S-Bahn). The trams, in particular, are a good way to get around. Before you hop aboard, make sure you buy your ticket at a VBZ ticket office or an automatic ticket machine.

Zurich Hauptbahnhof, the main train station, has a continuous train service connecting destinations throughout Switzerland and Europe, as well as suburban S-Bahn trains covering the Zurich region. Online Timetable

For more information you can visit our Getting around in Zurich page.

Spending the Leisure Time

Sports enthusiasts, bon vivants and explorers can find plenty of fun things to do in, on or around Lake Zurich. Whether water sports, relaxing on the verdant lake shore, regional cuisine, family activities or thrilling festivals complete with a lake view – the region around the lake enchants visitors of all ages. Various restaurants with beautiful views of the lake treat their guests to regional and seasonal specialties.

The city boasts over 50 museums and 100 galleries, which feature everything from exhibitions on Swiss national history to cutting-edge design. With various concerts, movie nights, and theater performances, the summer open-air season is a highlight of living in Zurich. Of course, venues like the Zurich Opera House or the Zurich Playhouse offer entertainment all year long. If you have some energy left after power-shopping in Bahnhofsstrasse or exploring Zurich’s club scene, the Alps are only a stone’s throw away with numerous hiking trails and ski resorts.

The Zurich Tourist Service at the central station or the City of Zurich (cultural office and office for sports and education) can advise you with further details on recreation options in Zurich.

Education in Zurich

Given the criteria of the World Happiness Report, such as life expectancy, freedom, health, working conditions and satisfaction, Switzerland has become one of the most popular education and career destinations for international students. At the same time, most of the universities in the country has the highest employment rate, students get a job in the first 3 months after graduation. For students, business opportunities in Switzerland are mostly concentrated in medicine, watchmaking, food and beverage industry, while there are unlimited job opportunities for those studying in finance and banking.

Working in Zurich?

Competition for Swiss jobs is fierce and opportunities are more limited for those coming from outside of the EU or EFTA (European Free Trade Association), as there are often quotas for jobs in Switzerland for foreigners, even for highly skilled, well-qualified specialists. However, finding a job in Switzerland is possible, including a small selection of jobs in Switzerland for English-speakers, especially in sectors where there are high shortages of skilled workers.

There are jobs for skilled workers in engineering and technology, pharmaceuticals, consulting, banking, insurance and IT, with financial analysts, business analysts and systems analysts in great demand. Engineering, for example, which experiences local shortages, is comprised of almost 40 percent of foreign workers.

If you want to work in a regulated profession – health, teaching, technology, law and social work – in Switzerland, you’ll need to have your foreign qualifications recognised, even if you’re from the EU or EEA. 

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