Top 6 Things I Love About Living in Switzerland

We’ve been busy enjoying the summer in Zürich (despite frequent returns to autumn weather), with bike rides, picnics and picking berries at local farms.  While the month of July cruises by, it’s time to add another year to the ongoing love affair … two love affairs, actually.  Twelve years for me and my husband.  And six for me and Zürich.

Zürich, SwitzerlandZürich, Switzerland

“I walk out my door and still get giddy with excitement when I see the perfect white skyline of the Alps.  I walk through the winding cobblestone streets of the old town, or stroll along the river, looking down at the swans.  That brings me to the lake, sparkling clean and blue.  With the summer heat coming, it will once again appear to be covered with confetti – so many colorful pedal boats and sailboats, and people out on the water.  I don’t see what there is not to love about Zürich.  I have yet to find the answer to that question.”  So I said in 2009, marking my first anniversary in Zürich.  And you know what, I still haven’t answered that question.

And so, for my sixth anniversary in this city I fell in love with when arriving for the first time in 2008,… the top 6 six things I love about living here:  (Click on the photos below to read full articles)

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6. I love the four seasons. I would never want to live in a country that didn’t have snow storms, falling leaves of all colors, as well as sweltering days throughout the year.  Zürich looks awfully good in all seasons and all types of weather.

Zürich in the RainZürich, Switzerland (2013)Snowy SwitzerlandZürich, Switzerland

5. Rare is the weekend without a festival, event or local holiday somewhere in Switzerland.  And Zürich alone has its fair share – from setting a 300 foot tall snowman afire to mark the end of winter (Sechseläuten) to nautical jousting on the Limmat River (Schifferstechen), you gotta love Zürich and its loyalty to medieval traditions.  And its loyalty to age old sports and customs too, including Schwinget, yodelling and flag throwing, to name a few.  For me, a few of Switzerland’s most extraordinary events, each both beautiful and fascinating in its own right, are the hot air balloon festival in Château-d’Oex, White Turf horses races on St. Moritz’s lake and the annual Alpabfahrt (cows’ descent from the Alps), which is simply as traditional as you can get.

Sechseläuten, Zürich, SwitzerlandFestival de Ballons, Château-dWhite Turf, St. Mortiz, SwitzerlandAlpabfahrt, Schüpfheim, Switzerland

4. Whether you travel by train, plane, bus or car, you are in the very center of Europe.  France and Germany are at our fingertips; Italy and Austria just over the border too.  Within a couple of hours, you can be eating gelato in Rome, kugelhopf in Alsace, Kaisershmarrn in Berlin and macarons in Paris.  Churros con chocolate in Barcelona, pastes de Belem in Lisbon and domáci kolác in Prague won’t seem far either.

Barcelona SweetsRibeauvillé (Alsace), FranceRome, ItalyMacarons

3. Forget the plane or car, simply hop on a train or even your bicycle and countless charming villages await.  As many destinations as I have on my wish list throughout Europe, there are just as many within Switzerland itself.  Only problem is, as charming and picturesque they are, I now have a new list: “places to visit… again.”  A few high on that Swiss list: Splügen, Murten, Appenzell and Gruyères.  Ooh, and Zermatt and Vevey too.

Murten/Morat, SwitzerlandSplügen, Graubünden, SwitzerlandSplügen, Graubünden, SwitzerlandZum See, Zermatt, Switzerland

2. It has been such a joy going to the market once or twice a week, every week, in Zürich.  Rain or shine, the most beautiful and tasty fruits and vegetables, gorgeous flowers and top quality fish, meet, cheese and breads are on display, with passionate farmers and/or sellers behind them.  I have shared photos from my many market visits on the blog numerous times over the past few years, and now even have a special hash tag on Instagram, “back from the market with…”  At Bürkliplatz market in Zürich, I’ve learned more than I could have imagined about seasonal produce, made good friends, added recipes to my cooking arsenal from them, and baked countless desserts with the changing fruits throughout the year.

Bürkliplatz Market, autumn 2012, Zürich, SwitzerlandRhubarb Berry CrumbleBürkliplatz Market, autumn 2012, Zürich, SwitzerlandMarkets in Zürich (Bürkliplatz & Oerlikon), Switzerland

And the number one reason I love living in Switzerland….

1. CHOCOLATE.  Swiss chocolate.  Need I say more ?!

Countdown to Salon du Chocolat ZürichFavarger Chocolate, Geneva, SwitzerlandChocolate, Confiserie Honold, ZürichMax Chocolatier, Lucerne

words to live by

Past anniversaries:
2013: Still Finding New Ways to Love Zürich
2012: 4 Years in Zürich and it’s only getting sweeter
2011: My Love Affair Continues… with Zürich
2010: Cookies for an Anniversary
2009: Me and Zürich – 1 Year

18 Responses to “Top 6 Things I Love About Living in Switzerland”

  1. Vic Herbert says:

    Always enjoy your blog but love your six reasons! It’s such a beautiful place, breathtaking actually!

  2. Karen@Mignardise says:

    Ha! Chocolate would be my #1 reason too. You’re very lucky to live in such a wonderful place!

  3. Rosa says:

    I’m glad you love my country! A great list of reasons…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. Kerrin says:

    Vic, thanks so much for your kind words, much appreciated. And I couldn’t agree more – breathtaking it is !

    Karen, but of course, chocolate all the way ! =) And I say that to myself everyday, how lucky I am to live here…

    Rosa, mais oui ! J’adore la Suisse !!

  5. kelleyn rothaermel says:

    Happy Anniversary! I can’t believe it has been six years since I have been following you! Always enjoy your post. This post makes me miss Switzerland even though it is not my favorite country, but then had I lived in Zurich I may have been equally in love.

  6. Jenny says:

    I love your blog so much, Kerrin! Thank you for sharing your blog posts. I fell in love with Switzerland and Zurich about 2 years ago, and I would totally move there in a heartbeat if the opportunity ever arose. At least I get to live vicariously through your stories and experiences. 🙂 Thank you for that. I am hosting two friends from Zurich here in NYC next month. They both love to cook, as do you, as do I! Any recommendations for traditional Swiss recipes I should ask them to show me?

    Jenny

  7. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) says:

    Congrats on 6 years. I love living vicariously through your blog and Instagram – what I really love is how genuinely excited you are, even after 6 years, about things that many might take for granted after so many years. Your enthusiasm is infectious!

  8. Kerrin says:

    kelleyn, thank you ! And I know, how amazing !! I love that you have been reading since the very start of my blog. THANK YOU. (By the way, what *is* your favorite country then ?)

    Jenny, thank you so so much ! I’ll keep sharing,… 🙂 How fun to cook with your Zürcher friends at home and get a few recipes from them ! For dinner, that would be Züri Geschnetzeltes, the city’s signature veal dish (in a mushroom cream sauce). With a side of Rösti, of course. Otherwise, traditional Swiss recipes vary from region to region, so it depends what your friends like. I’ll be curious to see what they cook for you. Please do let me know !

    Merci beaucoup chère Mardi ! Love and appreciate your comment above. Hope you can visit one day !!!

  9. Amanda says:

    Fantastic list, Kerrin! Six years in CH? Wow, time has flown!!!

  10. Yeye says:

    Hi Kerrin,
    Reading your article makes me want to move right away to Switzerland, and Zurich in particular! You just know how to enjoy simple and beautiful things. Lucky you! Thanks for sharing your passion, as always …

  11. PostcardsfromSwitzerland says:

    Hi! Congrats for your anniversaries! I warmly suggest a visit to Gruyeres. I have been there for a day trip a couple of years ago and it was perfect: great landscape + fab food + culture!
    have a nice day

  12. Swisswife says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog !! ….and love your passion for Switzerland (and I’ll be trying the Kugelhopt recipe soon too !!!) Looking forward to reading more posts. Swisswife

  13. Kerrin says:

    Amanda, thank you ! Six years. Crazy, right ?! And look at us now… moms !! 🙂

    Yeye, absolutely my pleasure, always.

    PostcardsfromSwitzerland, thank you so much ! And thanks for the tip too. I love Gruyères. And not just for the meringues and double crème… 😉 https://mykugelhopf.ch/category/grab-your-passport/switzerland/la-gruyere-region/

    Swisswife, thank you ! I hope you enjoy the kugelhopf – and adventures here to come…

  14. Sharon @ savormania says:

    I totally agree with you! I also live in Switzerland and find that it’s the best country in the world — we have breathtaking views, lots of sights to see, are in the middle of Europe and have the advantage of being only a 2-hour plane ride away from so many fantastic destinations.

  15. Stephanie says:

    This is a joke…you are too ambitious…six good things!!!?????

  16. David Balmer says:

    Hi Kerrin!
    Well, let me just say this. I have been here for 26 years, after falling in love in San Francisco back in the 80s. I have 6 kids, all born here and enjoy my life to the max. I lived all over America from Philadelphia to Portland, Maine, Colorado to Seattle, Eugen, Oregon to Sun Valley, Idaho, Cass, West Virginia and San Francisco. I know beauty when I see it and I know distances too. For me Switzerland is an amusement park, but real. Always exciting and never boring! The best thing? Work! My job at the airport (first one with Swissair back in 1990) and then a couple of changes, but always at the airport. My salary, paid vacation and many other things could never be met, back in the US. I speak the language fluently and love it. Swiss German of course, living in and around Zürich. Now a wonderful house in Wohlen, Aargau. I never came up short here and never will.
    Happy to hear that you enjoy it too.

    David Balmer

  17. Marsha Higgins says:

    Switzerland is a great country. I moved to Zurich 2 years ago and I am still adapting. Most people adapt faster. Greetings!

  18. Siddartha says:

    [* WordPress Security Firewall plugin marked this comment as “pending”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “111@” in “author_email” *]
    A very nice blog about a breathtaking country…..came back from swiss 4 years ago and still miss that place like anything…..

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