Zurich is a city of just under 400,000 people and offers the best of a small town, (few people, little traffic, little stress) and a big city, (lots of job opportunities and the ability to find everything you need). The city is also centrally located in Europe, so you can be in France, Austria, Germany or Italy in a few hours by train. Living in Zurich is a good choice.
The city is beautiful. It is perhaps the cleanest and safest city in the world. Zurich is very green. But the best part of nature is definitely the lake, which gives you a nice feeling.
The public transportation is fantastic. Zurich has an excellent public transport network with trains, buses, streetcars and boats (on the lake and on the river). To get around the city, a car is unnecessary, and many residents do not own one because they do not need it. You can use the streetcars and buses to reach urban destinations, or the regional train that will take you out of the city.
The only drawback is the weather: it rains a lot, in winter the days are gray and dark, it can also be very cold and then there is the fog, which can sometimes be very intense.
The Swiss are incredibly well organized, and Zurich is no exception. Even the Germans make fun of how organized and unspontaneous they are. If an authority tells you that you will receive something in two weeks, it will probably be in your mailbox after just 4 days. Everything works perfectly. You can fully rely on public transportation, all social services, perfect organization of events and offices.
The people of Zurich are generally very closed and reserved, and they do not even remotely think about getting in touch with people they do not know. That is why it is difficult to integrate in Zurich, but fortunately it is an international city where you can meet many expats from many countries.
Life in Zurich is not chaotic: people like to go to work, come home for dinner, ride their bikes and go to bed. On Sundays all, (or almost all), stores are closed and people devote their time to excursions or family. During the week, there is not much nightlife. It is difficult to find open clubs, and many bars close at midnight. However, the city offers many social and cultural opportunities (concerts, clubs, theater, opera, museums). Ultimately, Zurich offers some of the advantages found in large metropolises: a lively arts scene (opera, classical music and theater) and many trendy nightclubs and bars, without having to accept the disadvantages of living in a big city (long distances, pollution, crime, etc.)
Speaking of work, Zurich is the economic center of Switzerland, so you will find many good jobs here. Not only in finance and banking, but also in IT, engineering and medicine. The pace of work is generally high. However, salaries are on average very high compared to most countries in the world and even higher than in other cities in Switzerland.
In Zurich, there are several industries where many foreign workers can be found: banking, technology, hospitality, and all those manual or low-skilled jobs that the Swiss do not want to do. The unemployment rate in the city is currently 2.0%,
There is a shortage of skilled labor in Switzerland and in Zurich. 40% of Swiss companies are having difficulty filling vacancies. If you really want to work, it is quite easy to find a job in Zurich, in any field, as long as you know German. I am not saying that it is impossible to find a job without knowing the language, for example in a cleaning company or in a restaurant as a dishwasher. In any case, without knowing German, you should know that in 99% of the cases you will be underpaid, if not exploited. So I will never tire of repeating that you invest a few months in yourself and leave only when you have reached at least an A2-B1 level of language proficiency.
Living in Zurich is expensive. Things cost a lot, starting with rent. A studio costs around 1,500 francs per month. So, especially if you have an unskilled job, it can sometimes be difficult to support yourself. Therefore, before you decide to move to this city to live and work, you should calculate your net salary carefully.
Living and working in Zurich, conclusion
In summary, I would say that Zurich is a perfect city for those who have a family and want to raise their children: full of greenery, quiet and with services that work perfectly.
For young or single people, however, Zurich can be summed up in four words: “nice, clean, safe and boring”
If you are interested in moving to other Swiss cities, read the article: Moving to Switzerland
If you are interested in working in Switzerland, read the article: How to work in Switzerland