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Thinking around moving come Switzerland? In this write-up by Lucy Ferguson (bio) you’ll find out what you should know prior to moving come the city that Lucerne in Switzerland. Lock include price of living, culture, language and also dialect, weather, public transportation, and more.

Reuss river in Lucerne, Switzerland

10 points to understand When relocating to Lucerne, Switzerland

Around a quarter of the Swiss populace is not actually Swiss, one of the greatest proportions of however, in the world. In the center of the country lies the city that Lucerne, a popular location for both tourists and also expats.

Here space a couple of things come consider before making the leap to life in Lucerne.

1. Getting a allow in Lucerne

Switzerland may be component of the Schengen area, yet it is not an EU member state and also its human being voted directly in favour that limiting immigrant in 2014.

Anyone wishing to job-related or settle right here will need a permit, also when moving from within Europe. You’ll have to prove the you deserve to support yourself, either by demonstrating sufficient funds or an employment contract. The self-employed can submit a business setup and client contracts or invoices come prove there is money comes in.

View that Lucerne and also Lake Lucerne

2. Price of life in Lucerne Switzerland

Moving is expensive wherever you’re going, however in Switzerland, the bills keep coming lengthy after you’ve unpacked.

Rent in Lucerne isn’t together expensive as in Geneva or Zurich, yet there space still many of invoices to it is in paid. There’s a church taxes for church members, dog taxation for dog owners, radio and television patent fees (even if friend don’t have actually a radio or television in her house), liability insurance, and, that course, wellness insurance, or Krankenkasse.

Keep in mind, too, the if girlfriend work much less than 8 hours per week or room self-employed, you won’t necessarily be insured because that accidents, which fall external of the Krankenkasse.

3. Public move in Lucerne

One expense you have the right to probably prevent in Lucerne, however, is a car. Switzerland boasts comprehensive public move network, connecting also the tiniest that villages, and also the organization within the city is excellent.

If you’ll be making use of public transport also sporadically, think about getting a travelcard. There are plenty of choices for passes covering certain travel area to the totality country. One of my first investments after relocating to Switzerland to be a Halbtax travelcard. This entitles holders come half-price travel on all nationwide rail routes, numerous local travel services, and the odd cable car.

Switzerland boundaries Germany, France, Italy, Austria,andLiechtenstein.

More reading: 10 Pros and also Cons of living in Switzerland

4. Rubbish in Switzerland

The Swiss space diligent about disposing of their rubbish, and you will be also after a quick time living here.

Regulations vary throughout the country, but there is a typical theme of only being enabled to deposit family waste in a specific — and also expensive — kind of bag. Over there is, therefore, an motivation to store as plenty of things the end of that bag as possible and to sort them into recycling receptacles.

When you move right into your new home in Lucerne, you should be notified of the recycling schedule in your area. Document and card have the right to be bundled and also left outside for collection on particular dates, or you may have actually a certain bin in the communal area of her building. My personal favourite is the food waste, i beg your pardon is collected by horse and cart.

5. Peace and Quiet

Another carefully regulated element of life in Switzerland is noise.

On moving right into an apartment building, you will most likely be listed with a collection of residence rules stipulating the requirements for maintaining it down. In ours building, because that example, over there is a Nachtruhezeit (night-time peace) from 10pm come 7am. During this time, inhabitants may not play music, usage loud equipment, or take it baths.

The Swiss also value peace and also quiet over lunchtime. This is usually the main meal the the day, because that which youngsters return house from school and workers either join their families or reap a cooked meal with colleagues. Hefty machinery is close up door down, tools space switched off, and a sense of calm falls over Lucerne for about an hour at midday.

The rules might require you to change your actions in ways you wouldn’t have anticipated. There’s to it is in no recycling of glass party on a Sunday and also no hoovering the end the car at lunchtime. Publicly holidays are precisely the wrong time because that DIY, and your children’s lunch break is for eating, no playing outside.

It may seem overbearing, however after a while, friend will come to appreciate this enforced consideration of others’ ears.

6. Language vs. Dialect

For a small country, Switzerland has a many national language — French, German, Italian, and Romansch. German is the most widely used and is the main language of the Lucerne region.

Be warned, however: when German is used in newspapers, contracts, and also official-sounding emails, what’s talked on Swiss roadways is people apart native anything you’d discover in her language classes. Fluent and native German speakers deserve to tune in eventually, yet those of us speaking German as a shaky 2nd language challenge a lot bigger an obstacle with the Swiss German dialect.

Here are a pair of instances of Lozärner Dütsch (Lucerne dialect) contrasted with high (standard) German and also English:

Lucerne: “De Bueb ond s Meitli dön dem Fußgängerweg entlang laufe.”High German: “Der Junge und das Mädchen laufen den Fußweg entlang.”English: “The boy and also the girl walk along the footpath.”Lucerne: “Ech hätti gern sPoulet bitte.”High German: “Ich hätte bitte gerne das Hähnchen.”English: “I’d favor the chicken, please.”

You might come across some Swiss who space reluctant to speak high German with you. Once this happens, you will certainly despair at having spent money top top language lessons i beg your pardon feel choose no usage at every — especially when friend realise the Swiss German varies approximately the country, too.

Just an hour away in Bern, for example, those sentences would be:

“Dr Giu u z Modi loufä ufem Trottoir,” and also “I hätt gärn z Poulet bitte.”

Over time, girlfriend will start to identify words among the sounds, and (apparently!) lock will progressively start to do sense. After a lot of exposure, it is feasible to identify some that the “rules” that your regional Swiss dialect, and maybe even use it yourself.

7. Meeting and also greeting in Switzerland

When you accomplish Swiss people, be affected by each other in mind the the traditional kind of greeting may not be what you’re supplied to. The method also varies depending upon your relationship with the other person: a handshake is most formal, three kisses (for women) is somewhere in the middle, or, for good friends and family, a hug.

When meeting a group, it’s thought about good form to greet everyone individually, even if this takes a while. The onus is top top you to get roughly the entirety group, and also failing to perform so may be seen as rude or standoffish.

8. Verein culture

One that the ideal ways to gain to know world in Lucerne is to join a Verein (a club).

Regular, structured joining in a society or team is hugely well-known in Switzerland. And, in a culture where an individual networks are an important (and decisive), membership may open a couple of doors because that you.

The Swiss approach to work-life balance also way committing come weeknight plans is much more realistic than in part cultures. Core office hours will start at or before 8 am and finish correspondingly early, while overtime is regularly tagged top top the start rather than the end of the day. Together such, there is quiet time for socializing after ~ work.

If you’re interested in coming to be a member the a club in Lucerne, you can discover a it is registered of neighborhood Vereine here (German).

9. Shop opening hours in Switzerland

What girlfriend can’t always do in your spare time is shopping. Aside from a couple of restaurants, cafés, and tourist shops, many businesses will be closed on Sundays and also public holidays.

On Saturdays and also days before a public holiday, shops close one of two people at 4 afternoon or at noon. ~ that, your only option is one emergency pilgrimage to the train station, wherein the 2 supermarkets, Coop and Migros, are open up till 10 afternoon every day.

10. Weather in Lucerne Switzerland

Lucerne really lucked the end in terms of organic beauty. The city is well known for its awe-inspiring views throughout the Vierwaldstättersee come the surrounding Alps, captivating thousands of tourists every year.

There’s just one small problem. As result of its lakeside position, Lucerne is topic to a layer of fog, the Nebelmeer, which takes host of the city for days in ~ a time. Particularly in autumn, once the waiting cools faster than the water, a mist rises native the lake but has nowhere to go, can not to filter through a wall of mountains. Instead, the sits over Lucerne, shutting out all proof of a world past the harbor.

When this happens, the ideal thing to execute is come head up, v the Nebelmeer and out the various other side, where you’ll view blue skies when again.

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More reading: 17 best Expat books for moving Abroad

Author bio

Lucy Ferguson is a freelance writer and editor. She moved to Switzerland from the UK in 2017 and also does her ideal to get to grips with the language and customs in her new home city, Lucerne.

She can be uncovered on or in the Vierwaldstättersee in every seasons, or admiring the from greater altitudes. Www.wordhouse.ch