Zurich has a beautiful location and a thriving financial sector — just don’t forget your wallet.
Quality of life
Zurich is one of the best cities in the world for expatriates. That is according to human resources consultancy Mercer’s global quality of life survey, in which Zurich has come second for the past three years. London, the UK’s top-placed city, came a distant 40th.
Lovers of the outdoors are well catered for all year round. You can swim, sunbathe and sail on Lake Zurich in the summer, and go skiing in one of the many nearby Alpine resorts in the winter. The popular Swiss resort of Flumserberg is 90 minutes away, while Klosters, with more than 300km of pistes, is a two-hour drive.
Motorists and day-trippers are similarly spoilt for choice. Zurich’s proximity to various international borders means you could eat French croissants for breakfast, have lunch in Germany and finish the day with an Austrian fondue. For cheese lovers who need a quicker fix, the Raclette Factory on Zurich’s Rindermarkt is worth a visit. If you fancy giving your sports car a proper workout, Germany’s speed-limit-free autobahn system begins about 50km to the north.
Zurich is one of the world’s most expensive cities, though that is more than offset by the highest average net wages anywhere, according to UBS’s most recent Prices & Earnings survey.
The “Gnomes of Zurich”, as the city’s bankers were dubbed by then UK prime minister Harold Wilson in the 1960s, are still working their magic. Four-fifths of the city’s workforce are employed in the insurance and financial services sectors, and EU citizens are free to live and work in the city. If you lose your job after a year or longer, you become eligible for up to 80 per cent of your salary for at least eight months.
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