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Comparing Frankfurt and Zurich

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Posted

Hey! I've been reading these forums for quite a long time already and I've decided to register and ask you something cos I've been unable to find a topic already dealing with my question (I suppose it is too specific). Ah, before I continue, congrats for the forum, it is great and it has loads of info!

Here it goes. I'm 21 and I have the possibility of either moving to Frankfurt or moving to Zürich. Both jobs are more or less equal (maybe the one in Frankfurt is a bit more attractive, but it marks no difference), I have no links with any of the two cities and the plan is to stay there for a looooong time, so the real question is which of these two cities has the best quality of life. I suppose it would be hard to find somebody who has lived in both cities, so any comment by anybody who has visited them or knows someone living there etc will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Posted

I know both pretty well. Both are expensive, Zurich extremely so. The people in FFM are easier going than the folks in Zurich and their German is easier to understand. If you have lots of money and like the finer things in life, Zurich wins handsdown. Not sure if I would want to spend a looooong time in either of them though...

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Posted

but if you like the outdoors, then Zurich is fantastic. skiing, lake, climbing, all really, really close.

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Posted

My recollection of the lake (valid for all Swiss and Southern German lakes) is that it was either flat calm or brewing for a thunderstorm. Dissapointing when I tried to sail there.

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Posted

To me there would be no question in it at all - I'd be in Zurich like a shot because of the outdoors sports and skiing mentioned above. However you do really need to think of the job prospects and what would give you the best experience career wise and obviously which pays more. I have been to Zurich a couple of times and it is certainly more expensive than Frankfurt so I would assume a salary there would be more.

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Posted

My experience of Zurich is pretty limited at the moment, save for a couple of day visits. I'm really only going to be reiterating facts already laid down here i think but my basic thoughts would be:

Job prospects in general for expats: Zurich most definitely

Social Activity: Pretty even

Pretentiousness: Zurich far more 'snooty' than FFM

Friendliness: Frankfurt

Safety: Frankfurt

Cost of Living: Frankfurt but as PM says i would assume the zurich job is paying more, if it's not - and if money's a big concern then i'd say you've gotto weight that up seriously

Attractiveness: Zurich

The outdoors: Zurich

Quality of life: Zurich

Rent: Frankfurt

All in all i'd make a pretty good case for either, i know quite a few people in zurich now, and they think it's heaven, i have to say that personally it's not my cup of tea... but that's mainly cos of the 'chickie mickie' element.. it's definitely the most pretentious of the major cities in switzerland..

again like PM says there's definitely some boarders with more zurich knowledge than me, but if you've any specific questions about the swiss systems etc... then feel free to ask..

where you from by the way?

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Posted

I'd like to help, but my (fast fading) memories of Zürich date from about eight years ago, so things have undoubtedly changed since then. If you're a ski-freak though, it's a no-brainer: Zürich. During the season, you can be on the slopes all weekend every weekend (weather permitting). If you're dedicated, you can go every weekend from Frankfurt too, but you're looking at maybe a good 5-6 hour drive each way for the better resorts.

What goes into making up 'quality of life' for you? Good food? Low crime rates? Wild nightlife? Purple cows? Both cities have got their charms and attractions, as well as a thousand little niggles that annoy.

And could you qualify what you mean by 'a looooong time'? 3 years? 30 years? Forever and ever? Personally, I'm with Ratbert on this one: if the job's right, I could go work in either, but I couldn't see myself making old bones there. (You never know though.)

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Posted

Job prospects in general for expats: Zurich most definitely

Social Activity: Pretty even

Pretentiousness: Zurich far more 'snooty' than FFM

Friendliness: Frankfurt

Safety: Frankfurt

Cost of Living: Frankfurt but as PM says i would assume the zurich job is paying more, if it's not - and if money's a big concern then i'd say you've gotto weight that up seriously

Attractiveness: Zurich

The outdoors: Zurich

Quality of life: Zurich

Rent: Frankfurt

Over a Ryder Cup weekend, that would be Zurich 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 Frankfurt (on the basis that pretentiousness is a negative thing).

I would say it partly depends on what it is you work as and what the prospects are there. And just how much you are likely to be taking home at the end of the month (as cost of living is a relative thing - cheap for one person might not be cheap for another)

Have you been to visit each of them? I'd def recommend that you have a weekend in each and get a feel for them, as its such a personal thing

If you are at the toss-of-a-coin stage, I'd go Zurich based on the outdoorsy aspect of it

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Posted

Thanks for all the responses ;) Really, you're helping me to make up my mind!

i know quite a few people in zurich now, and they think it's heaven, i have to say that personally it's not my cup of tea... but that's mainly cos of the 'chickie mickie' element..

What is "chickie mickie"? hehe, you mean that it looks like a Toytown?

Oh, and I'm from Barcelona... feel free to come if you love the sun and california-style beaches, but I want to try something different (though not something as different as Leipzig! :P)

What goes into making up 'quality of life' for you?

Well, on the one hand I really love skiing (yes, we also have ski resorts here!), that is a big plus for Zürich, but on the other hand the top priority when considering quality of life in my opinion is friendliness of the inhabitants, followed by the quantity and quality of jobs, the crime rate, nightlife...

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Posted

It's Schicki-Micki...comes from the Italian word sciccheria which means chic and elegant. Refers to a certain class of people who lead a luxurious lifestyle and only associate with individuals from that group.

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Posted

I was looking for some advice. I have a job offer in Frankfurt and one in Zurich. I am not sure which area is better for my family. How do they compare? Cost of living? Any advice would help. Thanks

Topics merged by admin

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Posted

Zurich is definitely more expensive but it's also a prettier and more pleasant city than Frankfurt. That's my personal opinion, of course, though Mercer quality of life survey for 2007 seems to agree. :)

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Posted

It's a tough choice you have there. I have lived just outside Zürich for a year and is currently living in Frankfurt. I like both cities a lot. Don't let other people talk Frankfurt down - I was told a lot of bad stories about the place before moving here, but love the place.

Zürich has considerably higher cost of living. That goes for food, going out and rent. The benefit is that the taxes are a lot lower.

Frankfurt has a greater offering in things to do in your spare time (who wants to watch a Swiss football game in the weekend???), great infrastructure, easy access to most of the world if you travel a lot (Zürich airport is also not bad).

There are lots of expats in both cities which makes the family integration a bit easier. I can't tell you which is the better place. The offers you have at hand play a big role here. No matter what you choose it'll be a good choice.

Henrik

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Posted

I would not recommend Frankfurt as a tourist destination. But for all I know its not at all a bad place to live. I grew up about an hour from there.

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Posted

anyone else got more info between these cities as I have the chance to transfer to Zürich from Frankfurt...should I?

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Posted

i have been to zurich a couple of times. in my opinion it would be good as a tourist but not to live and work in.

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Posted

In my opinion - Zürich is a beautiful city, Frankfurt is not. They are both very functional, but there is more of a "buzz" about Frankfurt. Zürich seems a bit sleepy in comparison to Frankfurt, definitely somewhere worth considering for retirement! I'm sure there are some really good nightspots in Zürich, but I didn't really see them (unfortunately).

As for cost of living, I can't compare as I have never lived in Zürich. I however find the cost of living in Frankfurt very reasonable.

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Posted

I've never lived in Zurich for any length of time but every time I visit I like it more and more; it's expensive all right but I think it's worth it: the city is beautiful, there's lots to do and see and I find the people friendlier than across the border to the north-east... As a matter of fact I'm spending a few days in Zurich right now and having a great time - whoever said that Zurich has no nightlife should come over to see just how wrong they are!

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Posted

I have been to Zurich, a couple of times (as a tourist and also for some work) and also seen many other parts of Switzerland. After my first visit, I thought Zurich is a small city, but I was mistaken. It aint small (I mean the metropolitan area) and has the same traffic problems, as with other cities (the roads being narrower than Munich's roads, for example). Its more cosmopolitan than Munich/Frankfurt. Many of the other locations in Switzerland, can be reached in a couple of hours (even Italian/French/German locations around the border). So, it aint a major problem to get around these places, if you are an European or have a Visa, which permits you to travel around, in other Schengen countries.

I cant really judge everything, but my impression so far, is that, its a nice city, people are a bit relaxed than here in Germany, cosmopolitan (Italians, Swiss, Germans, Indians, Americans, English, Irish, Sri Lankan Tamilians - Guess they were provided free immigration during 70's or 80's due to conflicts in their country, Good number of Afrikans who are integrated pretty well into the society, et al). Food is pretty expensive over there (almost twice the cost of items in Germany) and I know a couple of Swiss people, who live close to German border and shop for things in Germany (although they have to pay tax in Switzerland, for the food they bought in Germany). Less income tax comes as a compromise, for all these things (when compared to Germany). Apart from that, although Switzerland is mountainous, it has good infrastructure and public transport (there are tunnels everywhere).

The only thing that stops me from moving to Switzerland is the fact that I sometimes imagine the life in winter, between 2 mountains and feeling depressed. oh...NO!

EDIT: And there's good enough Night-life in Zurich! ;)

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Posted

We live in Frankfurt and just visited Zurich - Frankfurt wins hands down.

Zurich has not that much to offer and away from tourist routes it's quite dirty -lot of litter , grafitti & didn't feel as safe as FFM.

And the prices...10 CHF for a Swiss beer!!

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Posted

Have been to Zurich many times but am settled in the Frankfurt area.

First, Frankfurt is really quite small. Many people can and do live in the surrounding area and commute in. If you want the proximity of mountains (well, at least big hills) then you can live up in the Taunus, say Bad Homburg or Oberusel, just 30 mins by public transport from the centre of Frankfurt. This is actually less time than it takes to cross Zurich by public transport.

Where Switzerland wins is lower taxes and real skiing is on your doorstep, however Frankfurt seems more international and is these days quite foreigner friendly (the Burgeramt where you do your registration has a special "welcome" pack for foreigners).

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Posted

Switzerland is also a little less convenient if i may say that. shops are usually open until 18:30 or 20:00 max, and in frankfurt it's often until 22:00.

traffic jams also seems to be smaller problem in frankfurt

if you have more experience in living in both cities, please give more feedback (i don't live in zurich, but i'm considering the move)

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Posted

I have lived in Frankfurt for nearly 2 years and have visited Zurich a couple of times, Zurich is alot nicer on the surface, however there does not seem to be alot of things to do in the evening. For example, Zurich cannot compete with the nightclubs that Frankfurt has to offer, like Kingka or Cocoon.

So, if want to work and party, i would say Frankfurt would be better, but if just want to work with a quiet life, Zurich it is!

Keep in mind Zurich is only 4 hours away, and if want to go skiiing, it really is not that far away!

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