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Old 30.09.2011, 09:54
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Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

Hi

As mentioned in earlier introduction, we are on our way to Aargau (employer: Holderbank) next year, and after staying for 1 month in employer's furnished apartment, we will have to 'choose our Kleinstadt'. Can't say if we will be staying in Stadt proper or Bezirk, that will depend on what's available and convenient.

Anyhow, I am interested to know what your impressions/experience are of life in these cities, particularly if you have a young family. Would be nice to hear from the locals.

My own initial impressions, after visiting each, for what it's worth:

Brugg: Picturesque, a bit more sombre than Aarau, unhurried, very good rail connectivity, Altstadt liveliness: mellow & low key.

Lenzburg: very nice Schloss, leafy residential areas, provincial vibe, great centrality, did I mention fantastic Schloss?, Altstadt is pretty but a bit dull.

Aarau: sunny, energetic (by Swiss standards), excellent public facilities and amenities, Altstadt is beautiful but crowded, a 'growth is good' vibe.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:38
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

I live close to Lenzburg and I can say that it has to be one of the dullest towns of that size I have ever experienced.
On the plus side, great for kiddies, excellent rail connections and 10 minutes to Haliwillsee, which is a joy in the summer.
You could save yourself a good wad of cash by going to any one of the villages which are 5 only minutes away from those cities.
If I had the cash, I would go for Baden which is a bit livelier, but it all depends on what your priorities are.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:49
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

Yes, I left Baden out on purpose because it's so damn perfect.
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Old 30.09.2011, 10:55
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

I lived in Brugg for almost 1 year and did not liked it. Too small and too much of a deep-Switzerland feeling (might be just me of course...). However it is practical, with good train connections to Zurich/Basel/Bern.
If you have a family and are looking for a house instead of an apartment then you'll probably have more options in Windisch, just on the other side of the train station.

I can't really tell anything about the other places you mentioned, however I can suggest Baden. Compared to Brugg you'll need 10 more minutes to get to Aarau by train, however I find it much more "modern", and due to ABB, Alstom, etc. it is quite expat-friendly. The housing is a bit expensive (and rare) though, due to the proximity to Zurich (16min in the fast-connection train).
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Old 30.09.2011, 11:03
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

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Aarau: sunny, energetic (by Swiss standards), excellent public facilities and amenities, Altstadt is beautiful but crowded, a 'growth is good' vibe.
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Old 30.09.2011, 11:07
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

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Hi

As mentioned in earlier introduction, we are on our way to Aargau (employer: Holderbank) next year, and after staying for 1 month in employer's furnished apartment, we will have to 'choose our Kleinstadt'. Can't say if we will be staying in Stadt proper or Bezirk, that will depend on what's available and convenient.

Anyhow, I am interested to know what your impressions/experience are of life in these cities, particularly if you have a young family. Would be nice to hear from the locals.

My own initial impressions, after visiting each, for what it's worth:

Brugg: Picturesque, a bit more sombre than Aarau, unhurried, very good rail connectivity, Altstadt liveliness: mellow & low key.

Lenzburg: very nice Schloss, leafy residential areas, provincial vibe, great centrality, did I mention fantastic Schloss?, Altstadt is pretty but a bit dull.

Aarau: sunny, energetic (by Swiss standards), excellent public facilities and amenities, Altstadt is beautiful but crowded, a 'growth is good' vibe.
All of these are small-town places with a slightly rustical redneck feel, though this is stronger in some cases than in others. If that's what you like, then go for it. If you share that mindset then you'll love it there. However, if you're a city type of person, you won't be happy there for long so I'd advise commuting from Zürich. I worked in Lenzburg myself for many years and then in Dättwil and also got to know the area well in my free time and have several good freinds from there but I could never bring myself to live there myself.
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Old 30.09.2011, 11:19
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

One particular memory of Aarau that stands out as slightly atypical is young guns taking their pimped up cars for spins around the city centre (and around and around). Screeching acceleration at each robot. I've seen this on both occasions I've been there.
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Old 30.09.2011, 11:21
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

I think you have to make your own fun out here in the sticks.
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Old 30.09.2011, 11:23
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau



Am I missing a metaphor?
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Old 30.09.2011, 11:40
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

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All of these are small-town places with a slightly rustical redneck feel, though this is stronger in some cases than in others. If that's what you like, then go for it. If you share that mindset then you'll love it there. However, if you're a city type of person, you won't be happy there for long so I'd advise commuting from Zürich. I worked in Lenzburg myself for many years and then in Dättwil and also got to know the area well in my free time and have several good freinds from there but I could never bring myself to live there myself.
I am a bit of a rustical redneck. I can see why Baden is attractive for expats - more of an international vibe going - but that is not priority 1 for us. I am half-Swiss, so intending to immerse the forgotten half in Swiss culture and integrate. Zurich not an option at all - changing the SA lifestyle of a 45 min. commute to a 15-20 min. commute.
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Old 30.09.2011, 11:45
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

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I live close to Lenzburg and I can say that it has to be one of the dullest towns of that size I have ever experienced.
On the plus side, great for kiddies, excellent rail connections and 10 minutes to Haliwillsee, which is a joy in the summer.
You could save yourself a good wad of cash by going to any one of the villages which are 5 only minutes away from those cities.
If I had the cash, I would go for Baden which is a bit livelier, but it all depends on what your priorities are.
If you live in one of the 5 minutes away villages, is public transport from there frequent enough not to be a hassle for dad to get to work (via Lenzburg BH)?
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Old 30.09.2011, 11:54
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I heard complaints about public schools in Aarau. Children-wise a village close to one of these cities might be a good place.
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Old 30.09.2011, 12:15
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

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If you live in one of the 5 minutes away villages, is public transport from there frequent enough not to be a hassle for dad to get to work (via Lenzburg BH)?
Hi we stay in a small town/large village just 12 mins from Aarau, we have a very good transport service a tram service running every 15 mins to Aarau Bahnhof starts around 4.30 am and finishes are 12.30 am, so pretty good I think.

Our village has a lovely community and great school which our children have settled in to with no problems.

I would suggest the same as most have, choose one of the smaller places that you can commute to the large towns with ease, here is a map of the tram network that we live on within reach of Aarau. Hope this helps!

http://www.aar.ch/zonenplan2_gross.php

We live in Muhen so if you find it on this map the tram no s14 goes from Schöftland to Aarau then follows round to Menziken, this gives some smaller towns to maybe look at! Good luck!
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Old 30.09.2011, 12:16
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

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I heard complaints about public schools in Aarau. Children-wise a village close to one of these cities might be a good place.
What did you hear?
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Old 30.09.2011, 12:40
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

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One particular memory of Aarau that stands out as slightly atypical is young guns taking their pimped up cars for spins around the city centre (and around and around). Screeching acceleration at each robot. I've seen this on both occasions I've been there.
And you will continue to see this in all the other small towns as well - if there are no clubs to go to, or the ride there takes an hour - kids tend to turn their cars into a club on wheels. In Zurich, they'd rather ride an old roadbike and pretend it is cool.
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Old 30.09.2011, 12:43
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

yeah I would say so, I have to say most of the villages have either a Denner, Volg or small Migros/Coop. We are very lucky that we have a good Denner with great Metzgerei, an apotheke, bakers, coffee shop and two typical village bars/restaurants, we also have a 24hr milk machine and farm shops!

Yeah school was very important to us, our kids were not kindergarten age but primar when we came here so High school was important and we are lucky to have everything on our doorstep.

We can get to pretty much anywhere under an hour too, so if you want the bustly shops/bars or a day at the zoo that a city offers then this can be done easily!
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Old 30.09.2011, 12:54
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

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yeah I would say so, I have to say most of the villages have either a Denner, Volg or small Migros/Coop. We are very lucky that we have a good Denner with great Metzgerei, an apotheke, bakers, coffee shop and two typical village bars/restaurants, we also have a 24hr milk machine and farm shops!

Yeah school was very important to us, our kids were not kindergarten age but primar when we came here so High school was important and we are lucky to have everything on our doorstep.

We can get to pretty much anywhere under an hour too, so if you want the bustly shops/bars or a day at the zoo that a city offers then this can be done easily!
Thanks and sorry for pulling out my previous post from under your feet! I thought this was actually a standalone topic so I started a new thread under 'Village life non-negotiables'...
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Old 30.09.2011, 13:27
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

Hi guys

I'm new to this forum.
I lived in and around Aarau for years and can only recommend it to live there.
I like it a lot, you have lots of places to go with your family. If you want to live a little outside, then try Buchs, Suhr, Rohr (which belongs to Aarau now), Rombach/Küttigen, Erlinsbach. All those villages have good connections to Aarau and from there you get the train to everywhere.
I have also been working in Holderbank for almost 3 years, that took me about 10-15 mins to go there by car. The train connections are not as good as to go to zurich or baden because it is just a small station there. But you have a train at least every hour or half an hour.

best regards and good luck with your decision
Fabian
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Old 30.09.2011, 13:57
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

My village has an hourly bus service to Lenzburg, twice hourly during peak hours. Failing that it is a ten minute bike ride from my door to the Bahnhof, 14 minutes on the way back because it is uphill. We dont have a denner, migro or co-op, just a volg. It is a 5 minute drive to a co-op pronto which can be handy on a Sunday. I also have a wald 100 meters in front of my house and cows grazing 20 meters from my back door. There is not a lot of action in my village by it sure is pretty
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Old 30.09.2011, 14:18
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Re: Brugg vs Lenzburg vs Aarau

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And you will continue to see this in all the other small towns as well - if there are no clubs to go to, or the ride there takes an hour - kids tend to turn their cars into a club on wheels. In Zurich, they'd rather ride an old roadbike and pretend it is cool.
What you will also observe in such towns is that at most clubs that do manage to survive, most of the visitors are teenagers. Anybody old enough to drive a car gravitates towards Zürich for the nightlife and entertainment so there's a whole chunk of the demographic that's missing.

Also politically, Aargau is a rather crusty style of right-wing conservative. Think of them as the people who elected Giezendanner. You might need a thick skin to survive in some of the smaller places (but places like Baden and Aarau are definitely better, comparatively speaking).
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