Living in Switzerland: 10 things no one tells you before

Although in comparison with our compatriots living here for many years, we are still newcomers in Switzerland, and despite (or perhaps because of) this fact, there are some things that we are still astonished by.

Today I bring you a list of what surprised us in the first days, weeks and months of living here. In my following posts, you fill find essays/columns on each point, in which I´ll be more detailed in these funny facts (better say oddities :)), so stay tuned!

So before moving here no one told us that in Switzerland:

1. There are (almost) no robberies

Things and objects are only borrowed.

2. It is a state of mind to be courteous

But underneath all this courtesy you hardly distinguish, what people really think.

3. Rules are omnipresent

Even when washing your laundry.

4. Children go to kindergarten alone

And no one wonder about it.

5. On Sundays, shops are closed

In some cases even on Mondays and Wednesdays.

6. There are sports you´ve never heard of

Honestly, have you ever heard of schwingen or hornussen before moving to Switzerland?

7. Price of services are incredibly high

And if only of services! Food prices seem to me as a robbery in broad daylight. Oh, wait, there are no robberies in Switzerland (almost).

8. People are crazy about recycling

Although even the capsules from Nespresso are recycled here, this activity has its own rules (“what else”?).

9. Public transport works incredibly well

Well, I admit, that we learned this fact about Switzerland in geography lessons.

10. Church bells ring every quarter hour

Even at night. So you must select the location where you want to live very carefully.


So what do you think of my list? As I wrote in my post “Living abroad: 4 realities to know“, we came here with enthusiasm and a positive attitude and we fell in love with Switzerland. And I must say that even with all its oddities 🙂
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Categories: Life, Switzerland
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Hana Hurábová

6 Comments. Leave new

  • I’ve often been surprised at number 4, even though I don’t have kids yet! Great list! Glad to know I’m not the only one experiencing these things as new 🙂

  • It is true there are very little robberies, but there is a lot of apartment burglary in Switzerland. After after they broke to our apartment, we started talking to our friends and colleagues and found out it also happened to many of them.
    I agree with everything else on your list. 😉

    • I´m really sorry that you and your colleagues have had such a bad experience 🙁 But still, the criminality rate here is much lower than in any other countries.

      • Yes, Switzerland is very safe and have low crime rate in comparison with other countries. I mean where else in the world could stands selling veggies, fruits and eggs without an actual person being there be functional?! 🙂 But still, I think saying the robberies doesn’t happen is a bit inaccurate. 😉 Break-ins happen more often than one would think. I hope you won’t have to experience that.

  • […] you would like to learn more about living in Switzerland, you can find them in my older posts 10 things no one tells you before and 10 things you won´t find in tourist […]

  • […] Living in Switzerland: 10 things no one tells you before […]


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