British expats: Best cities in Switzerland for Britons named but ‘insanely expensive’

Simon Calder discusses food and drink ban on French rail

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British expats normally choose to move to Switzerland for job prospects or the country’s excellent healthcare. It is also home to stunning mountain scenery with plenty of hiking and skiing options.

The InterNations Expat Insider City Ranking asked expats around the globe to rate their city based on several key factors.

Expats ranked their home on several features including the cost of living, friendliness and safety.

The best city for British expats in Switzerland was Basel which was ranked in the world’s top 10 cities for expats.

Basel’s public transport system was rated the best in the world with one expat saying: “The public transportation system is excellent – there is no need to own a car.”

Nearly all the expats felt safe in Basel while 90 percent were happy with the political stability.

Over 80 percent found their household income to be adequate in Basel while 75 percent were happy with their working hours.

The pretty city is located on the shores of the River Rhine and is close to the borders with France and Germany.

It offers visitors a medieval Old Town, a zoo, a gothic cathedral and many interesting museums.

The second best city in Switzerland for British expats was Lausanne which was rated just outside the global top 20.

Expats were especially impressed with the city’s urban environment which one expat said was “stunningly beautiful”.

They added: “Every season is interesting in a different way.”

While Lausanne was popular with expat residents, over two thirds of expats were unhappy with the local cost of living.

One expat said: “The food at supermarkets, restaurants and cafes is insanely expensive.”

The idyllic city is located in the French speaking part of Switzerland and borders Lake Geneva.

The next best city for British expats in Switzerland was the popular tourist destination of Zurich.

The majority of expat residents were happy with the city’s public transport system while 85 percent were satisfied with their household income.

It was also rated as very safe for expats, one said: “It is very safe for a lone woman.”

Another expat added that they liked: “The proximity to forests, as well as the lack of billboards and highways in the city.”

In last place and just avoiding the bottom 10 of global expat cities, was the popular city of Geneva.

The majority of expats found housing in Geneva unaffordable while 35 percent thought local people were unfriendly to foreign residents.

One said: “It is certainly not easy to integrate into the local culture and community.”

Switzerland best cities for British expats (InterNations) 

  1. Basel
  2. Lausanne
  3. Zurich
  4. Geneva

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