Moving To Switzerland
So, you’ve decided to move to Switzerland.
You’re ridiculously excited about making the big move to a country famed for its icily cold winters and beautifully hot summers.
Making a move to a new country is hands down one of the most daunting but exciting experiences you’ll enjoy in life.
However, before moving to Switzerland, you will, understandably, want to know as much about the country as possible.
As the adage goes, “Knowledge is power”, – so the more you learn now about Switzerland, the easier it will be to get settled when you arrive.
In our Ultimate Guide on Moving to Switzerland, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the country.
And we’ll also describe the best ways to get all of your personal belongings to your new home safely and at a cost that won’t break the bank.
So, whether you’re moving to Switzerland from Ireland, the USA, China, or somewhere in between, here’s everything you need to know to give you a great head start.
Switzerland, commonly known by its nickname, ‘Helvetia’ and less widely known as ‘Confoederatio Helvetica’, is a central European country.
Contrary to popular belief, Switzerland isn’t a member of the European Union.
However, it is part of the EU’s single market, meaning that Swiss citizens enjoy the same rights to live and work in other EU member states.
With a population of around 8.7 million people, Switzerland is ranked 20th highest population in Europe.
Famed for its extraordinary alpines, mouth-watering chocolate and luxury watches, the country is politically stable, innovative and welcoming.
Switzerland Quick Facts
Languages: The four official languages of Switzerland are German, Romansh, Italian and French.
Population: 8.7 million
Currency: Swiss franc
Timezone: Central European Summer Time
Date Format: dd.mm.yyyy
Dialling Code: +41
Surrounded by five bordering countries; France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein, Switzerland is entirely landlocked.
However, the absence of coastlines doesn’t take away from the country’s natural beauty; Switzerland has over 1,500 beautiful lakes.
And if you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll feel right at home here, with Switzerland consuming more chocolate than any other country globally.
Things to do in Switzerland
Switzerland is home to some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes, crystal clear lakes, and even quirky landmarks.
Fan of heights? Say hello to Jungfraujoch: The Top of Europe. Then, take a fascinating train journey up a whopping 3,454 metres to the longest glacier in Europe.
Love the outdoors? Enjoy other-worldly scenes between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz at Interlaken, one of the country’s most popular summer holiday resorts.
Do you enjoy lazy lake days? Say hello to Lake Geneva, the largest Alpine lake in Europe.
Fancy a bit of the Old Town? Visit Zürich’s charming cobblestone streets and revel in the city’s most iconic and religious landmarks.
In the mood for some Radio Ga Ga and Bohemian Rhapsody? Visit the incredible, 3-metre high Freddy Mercury statue in Montreux.
20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Switzerland
1. Contrary to popular belief, Geneva nor Zurich are the capital of Switzerland. Bern is actually the capital and has been since 1848.
2. Although Switzerland is part of the EU’s single market, they do not use Euros as their currency, but Swiss francs.
3. Every single person living in Switzerland can fit into their nuclear bunkers.
4. Most of the main entry points to Switzerland are wired to blow up at the first sign of a hostile invasion.
5. Animals have excellent rights in Switzerland, with dogs legally allowed in restaurants and owners of certain pets having to take a course on how to look after their pets.
6. Switzerland invented Velcro.
7. Switzerland is entirely landlocked.
8. Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world.
9. The Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland is the longest tunnel globally at an astonishing 57km in length.
10. The iconic Swiss Army Knife wasn’t actually created in Switzerland but Germany.
11. Switzerland has an unusual four official languages: French, Italian, Romansh and German.
12. It is against the law to give your child a name that could damage their future interests.
13. It is illegal to do noisy DIY and hang out your laundry on a Sunday.
14. California is nearly ten times bigger than Switzerland.
15. A quarter of the Swiss population is foreign.
16. Switzerland has one of the highest qualities of life in the world.
17. Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in.
18. Only 15% of the Alps are actually owned by Switzerland.
19. Switzerland has a dizzy 208 mountains.
20. The longest staircase in the world is in Switzerland, with an astonishing 11,674 steps going up to a height of nearly 5,500 feet.
Why Should I Consider Moving to Switzerland?
Switzerland’s popularity for foreigners is usually because it has a highly stable and impressive economy.
As a result, job prospects in the country are varied, and salaries for specific jobs can be double or triple salaries for similar roles in other European countries.
Culturally diverse, with more than 25% of its population being foreign, the country is welcoming and enjoys some of the highest quality of life rankings globally.
Most popular relocation destinations for people moving to Switzerland
Top 10 Reasons to Relocate to Switzerland
- Switzerland is famed for its stable economy with plenty of career opportunities.
- You’ll have world-famous landmarks on your doorstep.
- Switzerland has over 1,500 lakes to enjoy during downtime.
- Switzerland has a friendly, welcoming local population and is a melting pot of different cultures and religions.
- Switzerland has one of the best education systems worldwide.
- The Swiss healthcare system is impressive, with life expectancy at 79 years for men and 84 years for women.
- Violent crime is rare in Switzerland, and the country is regularly ranked as one of the safest countries in Europe to live in.
- High-quality food and drink, including some of the world’s best wine, cheese, and chocolate.
- Switzerland has one of the most popular taxation systems in the world.
- Switzerland is consistently ranked in the top three happiest countries in the world.
How to move to Switzerland: Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Switzerland.
Before you move anywhere, it’s always a good idea to learn as much about the country as possible.
And by doing your research beforehand, you’ll ensure your big move is seamless, fun and exciting.
Here are some of the main things you should know about Switzerland before you move.
Visas are never the most exciting topic when you’re planning to relocate.
However, ensuring you’re legally allowed to live in Switzerland should be your main priority.
Like all European countries, you’ll need to have the correct visa to live and work there permanently.
The visa you need will ultimately depend on your home country and whether there are already immigration agreements in place between your home country and Switzerland.
Switzerland is part of the Schengen Zone, which means if you are an EU or EEA national, you will only need an ID document to enter the country.
The type of visa you need depends on the purpose and length of your stay in Switzerland.
The main types of visas are:
- Short-term Swiss visas
- Non-Immigrant visas
- Immigrant visas
For comprehensive Switzerland visa information, visit the Swiss Government’s visa website.
Cost of living in Switzerland
The cost of living in Switzerland is extremely high compared to other countries in Europe.
But it may not seem as bad when you factor in the high quality of life, high salaries, stable economy, quality educational system, and the excellent healthcare system.
However, the cost of living does need to be factored in before you move.
Indeed, some of Switzerland’s cities (Zurich, Bern, and Geneva) regularly feature in the top 20 most expensive cities to live in worldwide.
To give you an idea:
- Switzerland’s average cost of renting is 2,000 CHF (£1,581) per month for a one-bed apartment.
- Living costs amount to an average of 1,500 CHF (£1,186) per month.
Job Opportunities in Switzerland
Although Switzerland is a relatively small country, it has an impressive, highly-skilled workforce.
As a result, there are a significant number of job opportunities available for people wanting to relocate to the country.
Unemployment rates in the central European country are equally remarkable, with the latest figures showing a mere 2.8% unemployment rate.
And just like London, New York, and Hong Kong, Switzerland is an important global financial centre.
With its standing in the world, Switzerland has a wide range of skilled jobs available.
According to recent reports, Switzerland currently has skills shortages in the following industries:
- Engineering (Electronics and Structural Engineers)
- Technical (Heating, Air Con and Ventilation Technicians)
- Finance (Business Analysts, Accountants, Tax Advisors and Auditors)
- Medicine and Pharmaceutical
- IT ( Software Engineers and Analysts)
- Technical Specialists
Education in Switzerland
Switzerland has one of the best education systems in the world.
The country is home to ETH Zurich University, one of the most prestigious technical and science universities globally.
And the educational establishment has also produced more than twenty Nobel Prize Laureates, including Albert Einstein.
As a new arrival in the country, you can choose a public school or enrol your children into one of the many private, multi-lingual and international schools available.
As a newbie to the Swiss education system, you can expect to learn in a multi-cultural, multi-lingual setting that offers a high-quality learning experience.
Switzerland Health Care
Switzerland’s Health Care system is widely recognised as being one of the best systems in the world.
It is a universal healthcare system; however, everyone living in Switzerland must have a basic accident and health insurance.
Indeed, over the last two years, the Swiss health care system was ranked first in the World Index of HealthCare Innovation, ahead of Netherlands and Germany.
And unlike most healthcare systems, the Swiss system is not tax-based nor accepts contributions from employers.
Instead, you are expected to pay for your healthcare through contributions to the Swiss health insurance schemes.
Overall, the system works well.
Consequently, it has been lauded worldwide as a system that works for citizens and the health care system.
Renting vs Buying a Home When You’re Moving to Switzerland
Whether you’re moving to Switzerland for a gap year, studying, or considering moving there permanently, you’ll have ample choice between rented and owned housing.
However, the Swiss Government have made it harder for ex-pats to buy property, so renting may be your ideal option.
Of course, whether you rent or purchase a property will depend on how long you’re planning to stay.
It’s worth noting that Switzerland has an extremely high cost of living.
Zurich ranked as the most expensive city globally, 21% more than notoriously expensive London.
As a general guideline, you can expect to pay around 20% of your monthly salary on rent.
Of course, living costs such as renting or buying a home are all relative.
However, with high salaries on offer, most people moving to Switzerland can meet those higher costs.
The Swiss people are known as quite reserved and private.
But, as you’d expect, with a country with four official languages, Switzerland is a diverse and culturally-rich place.
The country is landlocked with five countries (France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein).
As a result, you’ll find that your new home enjoys an incredible amalgamation of cultures and customs.
Boasting more than 600 museums, such as the Swiss National Museum in Zurich and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, you’ll enjoy various arts, history and culture.
Switzerland food and drink
If you love quality, mouth-watering foods, you’re going to love Switzerland, home of world-famous cheese and chocolate.
The Swiss have made great tasting food an art form from cheese fondue that’ll tantalise your tastebuds to Basel-style roasted flour soups.
And after tucking into some delicious food, why not sample some of the 200+ grape varieties grown in Switzerland to produce their wines?
Languages of Switzerland
Unusually, Switzerland has four official languages: French, Italian, Romansh and German.
And while you’ll find people speaking these in different parts of the country, they are mainly confined to specific country regions.
Swiss German is the most widely spoken language in Switzerland, with over 60% of the country speaking it.
But don’t worry if you’re reading this and wondering how you’ll fare as an English-language speaker.
English is the most common non-official language, which is spoken by nearly half the Swiss population.
10 Top Tips on How to Move to Switzerland
- Start planning for your big move to Switzerland as early as possible.
- Make checklists to stay on top of what you need to do throughout the process.
- Get started on getting your immigration sorted as early as possible.
- Set up a Swiss bank account as soon as you can.
- Bring the proper clothing. Switzerland can be extremely cold in the winter and hot in the summer, so make sure your wardrobe reflects both extremities.
- Keep a record and stay on top of your finances – save, save, save!
- Sell/donate goods that you don’t need to free up space.
- Do plenty of research on your new area (social media or internet forums are both hugely helpful!)
- If you’re moving for a job, don’t be afraid to ask your employer for help.
- Compare different quotes and choose your movers wisely.
Moving Your Possessions
The prospect of moving all of your possessions abroad can be daunting, time-consuming and stressful.
But thankfully, several options can be low-cost, simple and stress-free.
That’s why it’s vital to understand each of your options; it’ll save you time and money in the long run.
And don’t forget, some options might be perfect for you while others can be disregarded.
International removal services usually transport your possessions from your home country to Switzerland by air, sea and land.
However, it’s worth remembering that costs for these services can quickly add up and skew your budget.
International removal services are ideal if you need to move bulkier items like sofas, beds, and cars from A to B.
However, it would be best to consider selling these bulkier items and buying new replacements when you arrive in Switzerland as it might work out cheaper.
If affordability is your primary goal, container shipping is ultimately the cheaper option.
Unfortunately, though, what you save in money you lose in time; you can expect to wait up to two months for all of your goods to arrive in Switzerland.
And if you’re waiting on a bed, sofa, table and chairs and other essentials, a two-month delay isn’t going to cut it.
If you do opt for an international removals service, make sure they deliver right to your door.
That’s because some companies require you to set up your own transportation from the ports, which will cost you more time, effort and money.
We have travelled 207,222,179 miles worldwide, delivering baggage to 200 different countries and across 1,000 different routes.
So it’s fair to say we’ve been around the block a few times and know how to reunite you with your baggage quickly.
Whether you’re travelling to Zurich, Geneva, Basel or somewhere in between, you’ll benefit from our convenient and affordable international moving service.
You’ll enjoy full online tracking, stress-free door-to-door shipping, and dedicated, unmatched customer support.
We know you can feel a little worried about handing them over to a removals driver when it comes to your possessions.
Don’t worry; My Baggage is proud of being a company you can trust with your most precious items.
Why Use My Baggage?
Moving country is a big deal, and it can sap your energy and quickly relieve you of your hard-earned cash if you’re not careful.
The stress of waiting, wondering and stressing about the arrival of your possessions in Switzerland will not be an ideal start to your adventure.
But at My Baggage, our goal is simple; to reunite you with your possessions quickly, safely and at a cost that won’t break the bank,
Our super-fast, convenient, dependable, and inexpensive door-to-door shipping service reunites you faster with your most treasured possessions.
Low-Cost International Shipping
Money is, understandably, tight when you’re about to move abroad.
That’s why My Baggage offers you exceptionally low rates on all of our international shipping services.
We’re incredibly confident in our pricing. We also offer a price match tool if you happen to find a better price elsewhere.
Value for money
You want an affordable option for international shipping, and you’ve come to the right place.
Our easy-to-use, reliable service offers excellent value for money.
We offer a massive 30kg/66lb weight allowance per item for as little as, for example, £44 per item from the UK Mainland to Switzerland.
Even better, you have the option to send as many items as you like with us.
What Can I Send When I’m Moving to Switzerland?
My Baggage is ideal for suitcases and boxes of all essential items you’d like to have with you in Switzerland.
In addition, you can also send oversized items – such as sports equipment and musical instruments – with My Baggage.
Full Online Tracking and Unrivalled Customer Support
From the moment you say goodbye to your suitcases and boxes, you’ll be able to follow their journey to Switzerland with our online tracking service.
If you opt-in for text and email notifications, we’ll provide you with regular updates on where your items are right now and when they’ll arrive to meet you in Switzerland.
In addition, we also provide full online tracking for every shipment, which you can access anytime in your My Baggage account.
Our Customer Support is legendary, too; check out all of our independent 5-star reviews.
And don’t forget; we’re just a phone call, email or live chat away from helping you with any issues or queries.
Fast Overseas Movers
In a rush to be reunited with your favourite possessions?
My Baggage will make sure and get your items to your new Swiss home as quickly and safely as possible.
Convenient and Reliable Removals
There’s no need to worry about transportation from ports; we’ll take care of everything from your doorstep in your home country to your doorstep in Switzerland.
How to Move to Switzerland: Shipping Oversized Items to Switzerland
The My Baggage approach has transformed how you transport oversized items abroad.
Oversized items include musical instruments, sporting equipment and bicycles; we can ship them safely to you in Switzerland.
Shipping your oversized items to Switzerland with My Baggage is the most low-cost, stress-free way to get your possessions from A – B without breaking the bank.
And, of course, My Baggage is often much cheaper than hiring an entire international removals company for just several items.
Airline Baggage Alternative
Airlines have made it an art form to charge extortionate rates to transport your goods.
Add in the hassle of waiting at airport baggage carousels; fingers crossed that none of your possessions has been damaged in transit.
Then there’s the added hassle of wheeling or carrying all those possessions through airports and onto trains and buses.
It’s not exactly the best start to an exciting new life in Switzerland.
But don’t worry; there’s good news.
Say hello to My Baggage; we’ll move everything for you.
My Baggage relieves you of that stress so you can avoid lengthy queues at carousels, and your hands don’t have to be used to drag possessions around with you.
That means you can enjoy the airport’s food and drink offerings without lugging around some heavy items.
Student Shipping to Switzerland
Are you moving to Switzerland to further your education?
If so, you’ve come to the right place!
The My Baggage team comprises former students and recent graduates, so we understand that money is tight.
As a result, My Baggage will make your big move to Switzerland as easy as possible.
Our rates are student-budget friendly.
Best of all, you can send as many items as you like with us; we offer a massive 30kg/66lbs weight allowance per box or suitcase.
And with door-to-door collection and delivery to every campus in Switzerland, our fast transit times and Express services will reunite you quickly with all of your possessions.
Find out what other students who use My Baggage think; they’re our greatest fans.
Switzerland Customs and Quarantine Information
When shipping to Switzerland, Swiss Customs must clear all goods.
Generally, My Baggage shipments clear customs promptly, free from duties and taxes.
That’s because most countries offer a generous duty-free allowance for personal effects.
However, customs processes and allowances are different worldwide.
My Baggage will automatically provide you with the appropriate customs documents to print, sign and attach to your shipment when you send luggage to Switzerland.
My Baggage has no direct association with any customs authority, so we advise doing your research into Swiss customs regulations and quarantine before booking.
Please make yourself aware of potential customs duties in Switzerland and follow any advice provided by customs.
When completing your customs documents, it is crucial to do so correctly and clearly.
To demonstrate that your shipment consists of personal effects, you will be required to describe each item included in the package accurately.
For example, you would declare: “4 x t-shirts, 2 x pairs of jeans, 3 x dresses” etc., instead of “10 x clothing”.
Suppose you need to cancel or change your booking for any reason. In that case, we will offer you full credit on your My Baggage account or a full refund if you select our Super Flexi fare.
For information regarding the current Covid-19 outbreak, please click here.
Prohibited and Non-Compensation Items
My Baggage specialises in shipping personal effects globally.
For security and customs reasons, however, certain items are considered prohibited.
Therefore, as a general rule, you can be sure that the following items are prohibited:
- Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards
- Dangerous Goods
- Animal Products
- Passports or other confidential personal documentation
- Perishable Foods
- Hazardous Goods
My Baggage also recommends that you research what may be prohibited from entering Switzerland before booking your shipment, as import allowances differ worldwide.
Certain items may be specifically restricted from entry into Switzerland by customs or quarantine.
For a comprehensive list of what you can and cannot bring into Switzerland, click here.
In addition, some items can be carried with My Baggage, but that may not be covered under our compensation cover.
Proceeding will be entirely at your own risk.
If you decide to send any non-compensation items with My Baggage, please ensure they have been packaged appropriately, with internal packaging for fragile items.
Find out more about My Baggage’s prohibited and non-compensation items.
What type of packaging can I use?
When shipping your belongings to Switzerland with My Baggage, we recommend using strong cardboard boxes or robust suitcases.
Alternatively, you can use a mixture of both.
We advise against using fragile or expensive suitcases, as our compensation cover does not cover them.
My Baggage also recommends that you tape over any handles, etc., to protect them.
With boxes, it’s always best to invest in a new, sturdy, double-walled (or even triple-walled) cardboard box as they are most durable and suitable for transit.
How To Book With My Baggage
Shipping your belongings to Switzerland with My Baggage is easy.
Our simple to use online booking system is available 24/7 and takes just a few minutes to complete.
Start by obtaining a quote from our website.
Once you’ve booked, we’ll send you some shipping labels to print and attach to your items.
After that, you can sit back and relax as we take care of everything else for you.
Five reasons to use My Baggage
- Convenient door to door collection and delivery of your shipment.
- Full online tracking with text and email notifications.
- International shipping to over 200 countries across 1,000 routes worldwide.
- Fast transit times – express services available on many routes.
- Dedicated customer support via phone, email and live chat.
Are You A Business Or Personal User?
My Baggage offers convenient and affordable shipping services for absolutely everyone.
So, whether you’re a business user, a holidaymaker, an ex-pat or, of course, relocating, then we’ve got your back.
No matter your reason, absolutely anyone can take advantage of our competitive prices and excellent services.
Many savvy business users regularly avail of our low cost and convenient shipping services to relocate their employees worldwide.
So, what are you waiting for?