Knight Frank is regularly approached by private individuals considering relocation. Whether it’s the plethora of private schools along the shores of Lake Geneva, the Mediterranean climate of Lake Lugano or the exhilarating activities in the Alps, Switzerland truly offers something for everyone.
As each local community and Canton dictates their own taxation rates, buyers invariably make their decision on a location to buy property following careful consideration from their advisors. The Knight Frank ‘Why Switzerland?’ lifestyle report was therefore developed as a guide for individuals considering the lifestyle element of a potential canton alongside the recommendations of their advisors.
The canton of Bern is Switzerland’s capital city and is renowned for its mountains, steep cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. In addition to its well-preserved towns, Bern encompasses the glacial lakes of Thun, Biel and Brienz and the high-adrenalin sports playground of Interlaken, famed for its exceptional views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau Massif. Further east lies Meiringen, famous for the Reichenbach Falls and to the west, the resorts of Gstaad and Saanen.
You can find the whole of Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva: snowy mountains, vineyards, buzzing nightlife, castles, cathedrals and even cows bells sounding in verdant pastures. Geneva forms the economic and cultural focus of French Switzerland
As well as several large handsome towns, like Schaffhausen and Chur, Graubünden has extensive rural areas with lush pastures that help to produce its famous cheeses. The high alpine areas to the south of the canton are a magnet for mountaineers and winter sports enthusiasts.
Neuchâtel is a graceful university town with a strikingly Gallic atmosphere. Notable for its pale yellow, limestone buildings – Alexander Dumas described the town as looking as if it were carved out of butter. It owes its wealth to watchmaking and precision engineering – industries that date back to the 18th century. The region is also famed for its internationally recognised fine wines, which are celebrated each year at the Fete des Vendanges festival.
The second largest canton in Switzerland and one of the most isolated, home to the highest alpine peaks and numerous glaciers. Valais is best known by its three most famous ski resorts: Verbier, Crans-Montana and Zermatt.
The Vaud canton has a flourishing service sector based around finance, tourism and telecommunications, plus a strong manufacturing sector mostly producing watches and pharmaceuticals
Zürich is Switzerland’s capital of finance and its richest city. The old town offers history and charm along cobbled streets, the numerous lakeside beauty spots offer graceful living and, all the while, an engaging and vital subculture – centered on the upcoming district of Zürich West – is thriving beneath the city’s glossy surface.
Read the full article for each area in our Why Switzerland lifestyle report.