Living in Zurich

ZH Lake

Zurich offers a very high quality of life thanks to its excellent public transportation, first-rate museums and theaters, and colorful neighborhoods. For a smooth start in your new environment, it is helpful to know where to find practical information and tips regarding everyday life (cf. menu to the left).

Canton of Zurich

You may have noticed that “Zurich” may either refer to the city or a larger area called the “canton”. The city of Zurich is just one of many municipalities within the Canton of Zurich. The city of Zurich is the largest city in the canton, followed by Winterthur in the northeast. There are currently 169 different municipalities in the Canton of Zurich that differ greatly in size and in character.

Municipalities of the Canton of Zurich (in German)

City of Zurich

Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and the capital of the Canton of Zurich. It is situated at Lake Zurich and extends along the Limmat river. The Alps, cities such as Basel or Lucerne, and other interesting destinations can be reached in about an hour.

Zurich has a wide variety of cultural institutions and leisure activities. The city regularly earns top marks in quality-of-life rankings and is overall a safe place to live. About 31 percent of the 400,000 inhabitants do not hold a Swiss passport, lending the city its cultural diversity.

Switzerland’s multilingualism is anchored in its constitution. The official language in Zurich is German. The language spoken in daily life is the local dialect of Swiss German.

City of Zurich homepage