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Old 07.01.2021, 11:18
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Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

Hi Everyone!
My husband has recently taken a job in Switzerland, i am still in Sussex (UK) but will be moving out with our 2 french bulldogs in March hopefully! He's living in temporary accom in Bern and we are looking at Lucerne possibly to live longer term - unfortunately due to the travel restrictions we weren't able to do our trip over xmas to visit/view different areas to see what will suit us best. We are looking for somewhere that is up to 1.5 hrs to Flammatt where his office is that has restaurants, bars, coffee shops, close to a gym and walks/lake and 30 mins drive to a golf course. It's just us and the dogs, no kids. I've heard Meggen is nice but keen to hear other recommendations. We will have a location co helping us but wanted to get the lowdown from people in a similar situation to understand more about areas. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07.01.2021, 11:26
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

Are you happy to live in the French speaking part, or not? His place of work is near the language border, all the places west with lakes etc are French speaking.

Did your husband move before Brexit - because rights of where to live of EU/Non-EU are different.
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Old 07.01.2021, 11:47
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

Does he not like Bern? I am biased, but have lived in a few Swiss cities and think it is by far the best for charming cafes, restaurants, bars/friendly night life. Lake Thun is close (I cycle regularly to there from the Bern city centre) & there are nice golf courses along the way. In the city, you have the river Aare for swimming/rafting and it has Caribbean blue waters in Summer. I also love the open minded / laid back mindset of the people here, plus you are close to some of the most beautiful nature in Switzerland.

Luzern is lovely, but the city caters mainly to tourists during normal times.
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Old 07.01.2021, 11:48
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

Note that taxes in Luzern city are pretty high, Meggen is much better in that respect and is known for low taxes. However, rent prices will be steep in Meggen. I personally believe Luzern and/or Meggen are too remote for you, traffic, under non-Covid circumstances, will prolong the commute beyond 1.5hrs.

Why not have a look at Thun for example, or Murten. Fribourg is also nice, albeit not on the lake, but will offer walking along the river and pretty good social life (bars, restaurants...).

Have a good move.
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Old 07.01.2021, 12:39
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

That commuting time pf 1½ hours max - presumed each way is not something that is "done" in Switzerland, except for ex-pats!

I would advise looking much closer to your husband's work...
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Old 07.01.2021, 13:04
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

I would normally stick up for Luzern, but that commute seems way too long to me. Yes, there is one connection per hour that does it in 90 minutes, but that is very quickly going to expand to 2 hours or more unless you are living right beside the station in Luzern. From Meggen, the commute is almost 2 hours each way.

Personally I would go for Bern: nice city, plenty going on, easy commute, well located for getting pretty much anywhere else in the country.
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Old 07.01.2021, 13:15
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

I would go to Canton Fribourg (northern part). There seems to be a fair number of golf courses if that's important.
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Old 07.01.2021, 14:58
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

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I would normally stick up for Luzern, but that commute seems way too long to me. Yes, there is one connection per hour that does it in 90 minutes, but that is very quickly going to expand to 2 hours or more unless you are living right beside the station in Luzern. From Meggen, the commute is almost 2 hours each way.

Personally I would go for Bern: nice city, plenty going on, easy commute, well located for getting pretty much anywhere else in the country.
living in Lucerne and working in Bern means
i. either get up at 5, leave at 5.30, work 7.30-16:00, back home at 18:00 and prepare to get to sleep. There are days when you need to work over 16:00.
travel on top-full trains
ii.or get up later and work on the train with a lot of stress, travel on top-full trains

living near Bern and working in Bern means
be home at 16:30, enjoy life after work.
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Old 07.01.2021, 15:21
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

The commute can be exhausting - I commute to just outside Zurich and would love to not have to.
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Old 07.01.2021, 15:37
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

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That commuting time pf 1½ hours max - presumed each way is not something that is "done" in Switzerland, except for ex-pats!

I would advise looking much closer to your husband's work...
What do you think is more acceptable to the Swiss? I do about 55 minutes each way.
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Old 07.01.2021, 15:39
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

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living in Lucerne and working in Bern means
i. either get up at 5, leave at 5.30, work 7.30-16:00, back home at 18:00 and prepare to get to sleep. There are days when you need to work over 16:00.
travel on top-full trains
ii.or get up later and work on the train with a lot of stress, travel on top-full trains

living near Bern and working in Bern means
be home at 16:30, enjoy life after work.
Or get in really late (no earlier than 10) - always been my preferred method.
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Old 07.01.2021, 15:43
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

1.5 hours to the office but 30 min to a golf course? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Each to their own but 1.5 hrs each way would be too long for many people.
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Old 07.01.2021, 15:44
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

Berne also sets you up much better on the axis Zurich - Geneva in case you/husband want to explore other jobs at some point.
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Old 07.01.2021, 15:48
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

I agree with the others, now is the time to eliminate that commute, preferably down to cycling distance.
That said, Thun is pretty nice with that lake and view of the Alps.
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Old 07.01.2021, 15:59
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

Thanks everyone for your help, much appreciated. He started in december so pre brexit. Having things to do nearby is important for me as i'll be on my own during the day and at weekends our life is beach walks, gym and golf. He doesn't mind commuting as we are used to it however i would also be keen for him to have a shorter commute to get more balance. Thanks again to you all for your replies, much appreciated! We just need to look around more i think to get a feel for places, he can't at the moment due to isolation. Natalie x
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Old 07.01.2021, 17:00
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

may I ask you if you wish to find a job and if yes in which field?
btw Lucerne does not have the fame to have a lot of jobs in the region. However a very nice town to live in.
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Old 07.01.2021, 23:09
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

From a quick look there's a golf course in that village and you have everything you described within 30 minutes of car around it, all without even having to use motorways. I also recommend Murten or Bern depending if you want the city with river or the town with lake (but you can always go from one to the other in 30 minutes).
Luzern is not doable imho, traffic can be unpredictable and extreme as you have to go through an interchange that connects western Switzerland with Zürich and Basel.
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Old 08.01.2021, 00:10
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

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Thanks everyone for your help, much appreciated. He started in december so pre brexit. Having things to do nearby is important for me as i'll be on my own during the day and at weekends our life is beach walks, gym and golf. He doesn't mind commuting as we are used to it however i would also be keen for him to have a shorter commute to get more balance. Thanks again to you all for your replies, much appreciated! We just need to look around more i think to get a feel for places, he can't at the moment due to isolation. Natalie x
I'd take a look at bern despite the absence of a lake. You do see the alps from there though, and there are higher up areas where you can live. Plenty of walking along the river to do. All the swimming activity is definitely covered by the beautiful river.
If that's no good, thun or murten would be very pretty options as well (close to bern too if you need the larger offer of restaurants and events that a larger city has).

Still, don't be expecting to walking on actual sand at either of those places either. It's still a path with trees and grass all around, or maybe a street or houses depending on the place, and a sliver of sand or a retaining wall towards the water (with actual beaches at specific points). They're lakes and not seas.
I think you could take the opportunity to try out hiking in the Alps as an alternative, it doesn't need to be hardcore.

I would avoid a crazy commute like luzern-bern, it really grinds you down to rush to take a full train every day and kills the amount of available free time. Also, train service experiences occasional disruptions, just as car traffic. It can be really frustrating. Choosing to do this despite you having nothing forcing you to be in Luzern would be a quite interesting choice, considering that Bern is well-liked as a place to live.

Last edited by Murloc; 08.01.2021 at 00:22.
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Old 08.01.2021, 00:50
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

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What do you think is more acceptable to the Swiss? I do about 55 minutes each way.



Definitely less than 60 minutes door-to-door. preferably closer to 30.



And many live walking/cycling distance.


Swiss start work early - average time for leaving for work in the morning is close to 7am.



Plus there are many months where you will leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark.


You're unlikely to find your 'perfect' home first time...I would be more inclined to stick with a temporary apartment in Bern for 6-12 months, and really shop around for a longer term option.


I have no idea about your husband's working conditions, but in Switzerland, the working hours are long, and with the weather, people tend to try to grab a 1 hour lunch break if they can to catch some exercise and sun, rather than skipping lunch to get home in the grey and dark.



And restaurants are not open particularly late either...



And there may not be Sunday shopping ...
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Old 08.01.2021, 10:01
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Re: Hi - Moving to Switzerland and looking for recommendations

Don’t do Luzern. Trust me. Don’t. It’s the worst compromise of everything, so you get all the headaches of a city with none of the benefits. I can’t wait to get out of here. Stay in the French part. Check out Biel if you don’t like Bern. My 2¢.
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