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-   -   St Gallen or Rorschach (https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-general/296850-st-gallen-rorschach.html)

Miluktoch 20.02.2020 17:23

St Gallen or Rorschach
Hello all!

I'm moving to Switzerland to work in Arbon.

I have only visited the area for the interview. This involved getting a train from Zurich to Arbon, walking to the office and then getting the train back. No time for sightseeing.

Since I don't know the area I was hoping people could tell me something about St Gallen, Rorschach and Arbon, where to live and where to avoid.

I am thinking to live in St. Gallen. It's easy enough to travel to Arbon with or without a car and it's a bigger place with more people. I thought that would be easier for meeting people.

All thoughts are welcome!

Ato 20.02.2020 17:43

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach
I understand that Rorschach has varying perceptions depending on your state of mind.

In honesty I've only been to St. Gallen on the weekend, it's a pretty little city/big town though. I prefer living somewhere where there are people about so I'd say St. Gallen is a better bet than Rorschach with 7 times the people.

You'll need to wait for somebody else to tell you how it is living there though.

blackbird 21.02.2020 10:37

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach
The problem is, in ST.Gallen Stadt the taxes are really high, compared to small
towns like tübach, mörschwil or horn.
The public transport here in this area is ok, it has night connections (friday/saturday), so if you are on your own ,you don't need a car.
St.Gallen is about 30-40 mins by bus from Arbon, from Horn (where i live, it is 4 mins to arbon and 33 mins to st.gallen).
The rents is St.Gallen are the same, when you are looking from something modern, so the difference are the taxes.
Have a look at comparis to calculate the taxes

Even here in horn, there is fiber internet connection , own washing machine/dryer, minergie standard, underground car park.

Miluktoch 21.02.2020 11:37

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach
Thanks for the responses. I'll have a look at smaller villages in the surrounding area.

I am planning to visit the area and have a look around.

I think I'll consider looking around the area. I was thinking of St Gallen, only to make it easier to meet people.

I plan on buying car when I get to Switzerland, but the 30 - 40 min bus journey to Arbon for work is ok in my book. If not done every day. I even plan to cycle to work and back every now and then.

Dack Rambo 21.02.2020 15:13

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach
If you are being taxed at source then you will pay the same tax in St. Gallen as in Rorschach. Source tax is based on the canton, not the town - see lohncomputer.ch. I have lived in St. Gallen which is a much livelier place than Rorschach. Easier to get to Zurich and airport from St. Gallen also.

Miluktoch 21.02.2020 20:25

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach
Thank you Mr Rambo, that's some helpful info.

Dack Rambo 22.02.2020 18:31

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach
In common with the rest of the Bodensee area, Rorschach has a lot of fog in winter. It is nice to be beside the lake in summer but you can easily reach any part of Bodensee (Lake Constance) from St. Gallen. I don't know how old you are but St. Gallen is a much better choice for people who want to socialise and go out in Zurich now and again.

Miluktoch 23.02.2020 13:32

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach
Thank you again Rambo.

I'm mid 30's. I would like access to a running club, language lessons, and a social scene.

Do you know about parking spaces and parking permits?

With regard to St Gallen, am I right in thinking anyone can apply for a parking permit but you can also get a parking space that comes with a flat for example?


Urs Max 23.02.2020 16:14

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach
Wherever you decide to live:
Make sure you don't need to change means of public travel to get to your workplace, as that will easily double your commuting time. Depending on where you work exactly, using a bicycle (esp. along the Lake shores) may be an option during 3/4 of the year. I would bike from Steinach to Romanshorn and back for about six years, which also got that "gym" issue settled.

Perhaps check out the "Schnellbus" between Arbon and St.Gallen train stations. Subject to details it takes about 20mins one-way, which is roughly half the ordinary travel time, google "Ostwind Tarifverbund" for the details. Commuting St.Gallen-Arbon will cost in the ballpark area of 2k per year (do make sure to include both the zones for Horn and Roggwil SG, if applicable). You may want to consider a "Generalabo" instead for some 3.9k, which gives you free rides on most Swiss public transport, though quite a few touristy peaks are excluded.

Also keep in mind that, almost always you're welcome to upgrade whereas downgrading is usually costly or downright impossible. The more pricey short-term offers are probably the better option for your first calendar quarter or three.

As usual, rent is generally a bit more expensive in the city (St.Gallen in this case) than in the more rural areas (exceptions apply). It's common to have a minimum 12-month rent duration, but you do want to make sure it's not longer and that you're able to cancel the contract by any month's end afterwards (with the exception of December). Housing is moving towards "a renter's market" around here, if it hasn't entered that territory already, so feel free to make good use of that.

Can't comment on living in Rorschach. Going out there, and this is purely my experience, comes with its own issues though as the ratio of people from the Balkan countries is unusually high. I do like the Münzhof and its Bar though. I'd probably opt for Rheineck/Thal instead of Rorschach as you get to chose from what Austria has to offer as well while commuting is still acceptably short with roughly half an hour one-way. Eating out for instance is much less expensive; you may be able to get an Austrian mobile subscription; picking up packages from some kind of dropbox or PO box in Austria or Germany is much simpler, too, and I simply love the inland landscape despite of me yearning the lakeshore.

Mhh, maybe public traffic isn't really your thing. In that case a lot will depend on your actual route and times, it can be literally free of traffic jams or include an extension of at least half an hour each way, every day.

Dack Rambo 23.02.2020 17:06

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach

Originally Posted by Miluktoch (Post 3150557)
Thank you again Rambo.

I'm mid 30's. I would like access to a running club, language lessons, and a social scene.

Do you know about parking spaces and parking permits?

With regard to St Gallen, am I right in thinking anyone can apply for a parking permit but you can also get a parking space that comes with a flat for example?


I have never had a car in Switzerland. You only really need one uf you have kids. Public transport here is excellent.

Deep Purple 23.02.2020 17:37

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach
A friend used to live in that area. Originally in St Gallen, then just outside Arbon and later Salmsach, near Romanshorn.

As a visitor, I would say that St. Gallen is the best as a larger city with more facilities. Arbon and the other towns are smaller but have the advantage of the lake nearby if you want that for leisure activities.

I guess that you will have to decide between price, facilities and travel time

YuropFlyer 23.02.2020 18:27

Re: St Gallen or Rorschach
Rorschach has probably the lowest rents from any (semi-large) city in Switzerland, having lost roughly 1/3rd of it's population. It has one of the highest rates of people being on social benefits, and while the lake is a bonus, it's certainly NOT the most fun place to be living in. Also, no larger park/any forst in the city. I commuted there for a while, and to be honest, I wasn't even thinking of living there.

St. Gallen is quite alright, and as others said, easy to get to the airport, plus other areas in Eastern Switzerland, good to access Appenzell for hiking (or shopping for Appenzeller Bier :D ) - with rents still reasonable.

If you're relatively tight on funds, and not having to pay "local" taxes, Rorschach might not be the worst choice actually, but for someone with your interests (as laid out by you in your posts here) I'd probably suggest somewhere in St. Gallen or actually nearby your workplace. NOT having to commute / just a short commute definitely beats a lower rent to quite some extend in my books.

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