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Old 04.11.2007, 20:33
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Netherlands to Zurich

Hello

Is there anybody who is from the Netherlands or have lived in the Netherlands and now lives in Zurich? I am currently living in Den Haag and contemplating moving to Zurich. It would be good to get a point of view of somebody that has lived here (Netherlands) and can compare to what life is like in Zurich. ie. the people, bike paths etc? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 04.11.2007, 20:59
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Re: Netherlands to Zurich

I spent a fortnight in Zoetermeer and visited Den Haag a few times if that helps!

It is easy to cycle around here and most roads have dedicated cycle lanes. As someone who never really cycled (certainly not commuting) before i came here, i have found it very easy to adapt and feel 100% safe doing it, so you should have no problems.

As for the people, I really like the Dutch on the whole, but i guess they can be quite blunt until you get to know them. The Swiss are fairly reserved, so i guess you may have a slight clash on that one, but nothing that can't be overcome with a bit of effort.

I liked Den Haag very much as a city and i think in terms of architecture on beauty, Zurich is its equal, i'm sure you'd enjoy it here!

Hope this helps.
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Old 04.11.2007, 22:02
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Re: Netherlands to Zurich

Well I am Dutch, having lived in Amsterdam for 12 years of my life. The biggest difference I noticed between the countries are 1. the hills and mountains (Holland being perfectly flat) and 2. the fact that Holland is completely overpopulated and Switzerland is not. I'd pick Zürich over Amsterdam any day, but then again that's a personal preference. I'd encourage you to come down here for a few days and check the place out yourself. Zürich however isn't as "exciting" as Amsterdam in terms of bars and nightlife, but then again Amsterdam is hard to beat when it comes to that.
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Old 04.11.2007, 22:28
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Re: Netherlands to Zurich

Thanks for your feedback. I guess I will have to go there and check it out before I accept the offer. I'm originally from Canada but live in Den Haag and find the people here in the Netherlands so friendly and that is one of the reasons I like it here so much. I'm not into the night life at all as I have a family but love nature and miss that a lot since I am from Canada. I don't speak German so I'm hoping the Swiss are as friendly as the Dutch are to foreigners?
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Old 04.11.2007, 22:34
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Re: Netherlands to Zurich

Hi Csester,

I lived in Amsterdam, but my family is from North Holland.

For a comparison, I'd ask you first what you do on the weekends and in your spare time -If you like the woods, you'll be ok here, if you can't live without the beach, it will be hard. People bike a lot in Switzerland, but not as much as in Holland and more on the weekends for touring. The public transportation system is great, traffic jams not as bad as the Randstad. The biggest difference is the reservedness, conservatism and resistance to change of the Swiss vs. the comparative openess, flexible practicality and good humor of the Dutch.

If you're as multi-cultural as your profile indicates, can learn some German and enjoy some of the nature and activities that Switzerland has to offer it will help to adjust. The general quality of life here is great.

That said, I've never had the "neighborhood" feeling that I had in Amsterdam or that you might like from Den Haag, filling my place with flowers is financially ridiculous, and I do miss the Concertgebouw being a 10 minute walk by foot.

Offhand - I would never swap my old A'dam neighborhood for Zurich - but Den Haag is quieter and smaller, so a move to Zurich isn't such a comparative shock.

Feel free to private message me.
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Old 04.11.2007, 22:38
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Re: Netherlands to Zurich

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I don't speak German so I'm hoping the Swiss are as friendly as the Dutch are to foreigners?
No, they are not. They are not unfriendly (if you're caucasion) but I would not call them friendly. Plus the level of Enlgish fluency is lower compared to Holland so that can hinder conversation also.
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Old 05.11.2007, 00:47
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Re: Netherlands to Zurich

Yes definitely learn some German, but then again in Zurich you can manage without, well according to people on the forum here (I cannot judge this because I do not know Zurich). Switzerland is like the Netherlands was 20-30 years ago. That is what it feels like anyway, less crowded, safer, more space. But bureaucracy is worse than in the NL.

There is a good thread here somehwere that compares Canada and Switzerland. Have a search, it has excellent info on the cultural and natural differences. I would say Switzerland has much more to offer than the NL scenery wise; the main drawback is social life compared to the NL but if you are in a family phase, it is probably less of a problem.
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Old 19.02.2011, 21:03
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Re: Netherlands to Zurich

Hi everybody!

I've been living in Netherlands for almost one year and probably will get an offer for a job in Basel soon. I like both countries and now need to decide where to spend rest of my life. :-)

Mostly I'm concerned about cost of living in CH comparing to NL. Hopefully somebody has similar experience and can help me to estimate future expenses.

I'm non-EU citizen and in NL I'm as a high-skilled migrant have 30% ruling, so my tax rate is relatively low and compulsory health insurance is not very expensive here. Also I'm thinking on buying a house here since interest rate is tax deductible, so often it's cheaper then renting here. In addition to 30% ruling my wife (who is also non-EU) does not require work permit, but she is still looking for a job. :-)

After a few hours reading the forum, I realize that in CH I would not get any of the above described benefits. So I would expect that salary difference should cover all these. So what the difference should be to have similar living standard?

Many thanks in advance and looking forward for your comments.

---Maxim---
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