Vivre à ZurichIyna Bort Caruso
Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and a major presence on the global stage, yet locals say it has the best attributes of a small town. Safe, compact, with few skyscrapers in its skyline.
It is, of course, one of the world’s great financial cities. Low tax rates draw international companies to this picturesque spot on the northern end of Lake Zurich and divided by the Limmat River in the German-speaking region of the country. Zurich is wealthy, worldly and consistently at the top of the list in quality-of-life rankings.
In recent years it has started to shed its buttoned-down image, attesting that not everything revolves around banking. Former industrial areas are now trendy entertainment districts. Shipping containers have been converted into bars and warehouses into galleries and restaurants. Along with opera, ballet and symphony performances are film, art and music festivals. More than 1,300 works of public art grace city streets and parks.
Zurichers take advantage of their surroundings, sailing in summer and skiing in winter. The mountains are an hour’s drive away.
In some neighborhoods the Alps are a backdrop in the distance. The city is broken out into 12 districts, many packed with winding alleys and pretty green squares.
Germans, French and British, particularly those working for financial companies, represent a large percentage of international real estate buyers. Some of the most valuable real estate in the entire country is in Zurich. The city core offers historic residences including stunning homes in Art Nouveau buildings as well as new residential towers. The eastern shore of Lake Zurich is known as the Gold Coast for its abundant sunshine. Here, towns like Zumikon and Kusnacht feature in-demand properties that span country manors as well minimalist estates and villas.