What's the cost of living in Zurich?

GlobalNomad's picture
By GlobalNomad - Posted on
19 April 2011
Is Zurich an expensive expat destination...I've heard of people having to pay pet taxes and public parking fees in front of their very own house?
Stephanie's picture
Last seen: 6 years 45 weeks ago
Joined: 19/04/2010

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Stephanie's Website
Correct! The cost of living in Zurich is astronomical - the city is rated by the Mercer 2010 Cost of Living Survey as the 8th most expensive expat destination in the world, out of 214 cities polled across five continents.

Accommodation and all retail products can be very expensive, especially near the city centre neightbourhood of Bahnhofstrasse, so try and do your living and shopping elsewhere. One funny thing about Zurich (and Switzerland in general), is that the wealthier the area you live in the LOWER the taxes. So also consider this if you think that living in a small village outside of the city will save you money - most likely you'll still spend more on transaction costs like transport and tax.

Speaking of public transport, this is also expensive in Zurich - even a short 30-minute train ride can cost you 20 CHF. So, again, unless you move into a different canton entirely, renting in Zurich's suburbs to save money may not even make sense - as the cost of transport will higher.

There a couple of different ways to save - ride a bike, buy unpackaged goods at the grocery, etc...but all in all, if you and your husband a really considering living in Zurich make sure you've negotiated an adequate salary package.

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