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Old 19.03.2013, 07:53
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Anyone working in Solothurn? Relocating to work in Solothurn, live in....? Bern?

My husband has the opportunity to accept work in solothurn. We are currently living in northern England. I am Austrian, he is American. We have a 2 year old.

Northern England has been difficult for us as we've been used to living in more expat friendly cities in the past. (New York, Rotterdam, Vienna) people here are lovely but it's taken a year and a half just to start making connections with people. And there just isn't much to offer here in terms of things to do, although there are plenty of playgroups which has been great.

So we are hoping to find a place that will address some of these issues if we take the job.

So where to live? I have been looking at Bern, as it seems to be the closest bigger city, or am I wrong? We will not have cars so will depend on public transport. We are currently living in a house which we have loved, not sure if its so easy to do in Switzerland? Don't mind not living directly in city centre if shops are in walking distance and things to do. And as long as it doesnt take too long to get into city centre. I currently have one play activity a day for my daughter apart from the two days a week she goes to nursery for the afternoon. Family friendly is essential.

Easy commute for my husband is important too. So any neighborhoods, cities, towns come to mind? Or maybe solothurn is just fine for living too?

Thank you, really appreciate any advice!
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Old 19.03.2013, 08:00
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Re: Anyone working in Solothurn? Relocating to work in Solothurn, live in....? Bern?

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My husband has the opportunity to accept work in solothurn. We are currently living in northern England. I am Austrian, he is American. We have a 2 year old.

Northern England has been difficult for us as we've been used to living in more expat friendly cities in the past. (New York, Rotterdam, Vienna) people here are lovely but it's taken a year and a half just to start making connections with people. And there just isn't much to offer here in terms of things to do, although there are plenty of playgroups which has been great.

So we are hoping to find a place that will address some of these issues if we take the job.

So where to live? I have been looking at Bern, as it seems to be the closest bigger city, or am I wrong? We will not have cars so will depend on public transport. We are currently living in a house which we have loved, not sure if its so easy to do in Switzerland? Don't mind not living directly in city centre if shops are in walking distance and things to do. And as long as it doesnt take too long to get into city centre. I currently have one play activity a day for my daughter apart from the two days a week she goes to nursery for the afternoon. Family friendly is essential.

Easy commute for my husband is important too. So any neighborhoods, cities, towns come to mind? Or maybe solothurn is just fine for living too?

Thank you, really appreciate any advice!
Solothurn is one of the most medieval and most beautiful old cities of Switzerland. Comparable to Schaffhausen or Stein-am-Rhein. And quite nearby you have cosmopolitan Biel-Bienne and boring but modern Olten. An expanding area as it still offers space, something scarce in metropolitan areas of Switzerland generally. In Solothurn you are not far away from Zürich and Basel and Bern and even Geneva.
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Old 19.03.2013, 08:25
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Re: Anyone working in Solothurn? Relocating to work in Solothurn, live in....? Bern?

Maybe you should travel to Solothurn and take a look at it? It is a cantonal capital and has a cathedral with a bishop, and so it is more conservative. My English girl friend has lived in Solothurn for 35 years and likes it very much. I find it is fine, but of course it is smaller than Bern. http://www.solothurn.ch/de/

The ex-pat community is very fragmented in Bern, but agreed it does offer a bit more than Solothurn. Maybe consider living in Olten? it is excellent for rail connections in Switzerland. http://www.olten.ch/de/

You need to compare Austria with Switzerland, in many ways they are similar, and both are not at all like northern England. Don't expect any town in Switzerland to be friendly, it will take you years to find a Swiss friend.

You can check out commuting times here, http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html it includes bus journeys, so enter the street & numbers.
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Old 21.03.2013, 20:13
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Re: Anyone working in Solothurn? Relocating to work in Solothurn, live in....? Bern?

Hi there. I currently live in solothurn, working as a nanny, and solothurn is a nice place to live, but small (if you're used to big cities), but pretty, and good for kids. There are playgrounds, playgroups, swimming pools, and things to do with kids. Rail connections are good from Solothurn to other parts of the country. 40 mins to bern, 1 hour to Zurich etc.

I haven't found a huge expat community in Solothurn, but we are around, you just have to find us. :P I would also suggest coming for a visit if you can, it's not for everyone, but I have always found things to do with the children I look after. Good luck with your move.
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Old 21.03.2013, 21:52
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Re: Anyone working in Solothurn? Relocating to work in Solothurn, live in....? Bern?

<So where to live? I have been looking at Bern, as it seems to be the closest bigger city, or am I wrong? We will not have cars so will depend on public transport. We are currently living in a house which we have loved, not sure if its so easy to do in Switzerland? Don't mind not living directly in city centre if shops are in walking distance and things to do. And as long as it doesnt take too long to get into city centre. I currently have one play activity a day for my daughter apart from the two days a week she goes to nursery for the afternoon. Family friendly is essential.
Easy commute for my husband is important too. So any neighborhoods, cities, towns come to mind? Or maybe solothurn is just fine for living too?>

Not sure what you can afford - check real estate sites to get a feel for prices (www.comparis.ch has comprehensive listings). Solothurn is charming though provincial, at the foot of the lovely Jura mountains, and housing is certainly more affordable than in Bern, which is a larger city - by Swiss standards - with all the urban pros and cons. You have a child, so you will have daily activities where you will meet people and make friends, no need to worry about that. I strongly suggest that you visit both places first before making a decision. As for Olten, it is utterly charmless but has the saving grace of being point zero on the railway grid. All trains go through Olten (though not all of them now stop there).
Good luck!
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Old 21.03.2013, 22:19
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Re: Anyone working in Solothurn? Relocating to work in Solothurn, live in....? Bern?

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As for Olten, it is utterly charmless but has the saving grace of being point zero on the railway grid. All trains go through Olten (though not all of them now stop there).
Good luck!
I second this one. Olten is OK to work there, but I wouldn't
want to live there.

Solothurn might not be that foreign friendly. Bern is a wonderful
city!!!
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Old 21.03.2013, 22:21
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Re: Anyone working in Solothurn? Relocating to work in Solothurn, live in....? Bern?

I really like Solothurn, but in your situation I might recommend Aarau. It is a bit bigger than Solothurn and there are direct trains which only take 25 mins, so the commute is easy.

Aarau has also got the advantage of only being 25 minutes away from Zurich and 30 mins from Basel for when you need a fix of city life. The trains run late too, so going out in the evening is not a problem.

I would have no trouble living in Bern either, I must say, but it is sleepier than Zurich - it just depends what you value more.
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Old 21.03.2013, 22:24
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Re: Anyone working in Solothurn? Relocating to work in Solothurn, live in....? Bern?

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I really like Solothurn, but in your situation I might recommend Aarau. It is a bit bigger than Solothurn and there are direct trains which only take 25 mins, so the commute is easy.

Aarau has also got the advantage of only being 25 minutes away from Zurich and 30 mins from Basel for when you need a fix of city life. The trains run late too, so going out in the evening is not a problem.

I would have no trouble living in Bern either, I must say, but it is sleepier than Zurich - it just depends what you value more.
And Aarau isn't sleepy?
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Old 26.03.2013, 21:58
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Re: Anyone working in Solothurn? Relocating to work in Solothurn, live in....? Bern?

Hi there, I live within 5 km of Solothurn (I'm from Canada, having been living here for 5 years and have a 15 month old). There are lots of activities to do but it took me a little while to figure it out. Ex-pat community is scattered, I only have met a small handful recently after going to a "krabbel gruppe". Since you are a native german speaker, then I think integration would be easier for you. Let me know if you need any info if you decide to move here as I am familiar with a good (almost full) day care and other fun activities and play places. Best wishes!
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