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Zurich or Copenhagen?

(47 Posts)
Chamonix1 Thu 26-Jan-17 18:34:20

Posting for traffic. Really didn't know where to put this!
Husband has been offered a job and has the choice between Zurich and Copenhagen.
We've not been to either!
Has anyone been to either of this cities or even better lived in either? What's the pros/cons.
Where would you choose based on those?
We have a 4 year old girl, I would most likely not be working, hopefully studying as have yet to get any qualifications blush---- we are also thinking about trying for another sooner rather than later.
Husband doesn't have to take the job, but we are keen to explore our options.
Thanks in advance.

GreatFuckability Thu 26-Jan-17 18:39:59

Well I've only been to Copenhagen on a holiday but it's a great city. Amazing transport links. Lots to do for small people.
But I don't know what its like as a place to live.

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Thu 26-Jan-17 18:42:45

Zurich. I am biased as I live here but dP grew up in Denmark so I have some ideas of the pros and cons of both. Quality of life is great in both countries, for your daughter learning German will be way more useful than learning Danish. Zurich is fabulous, you're so lucky to have the choice.

darceybussell Thu 26-Jan-17 18:48:25

Zurich is lovely but sooo expensive - I hope your DH is being offered a huge pay rise! It's quite compact which I think is quite nice, but if you're comparing it to London it might feel small.

capricorn12 Thu 26-Jan-17 18:51:01

Have been to Copenhagen and loved it, never been to Zurich. Copenhagen would allow you to still be in Europe (if you want to) and the Danish lifestyle is very family friendly.

HedwigHooray Thu 26-Jan-17 18:52:51

Purely on the city - Copenhagen. It's a wonderful family friendly city with loads of cool stuff going on. Zurich is smaller and has more of a moneyed expat feel. Zurich is nice though next to the lake and has the advantage of being more central for European travel and mountains close by for winter sports. I know nothing about schools but pp is right German would be more useful than Danish. They are both expensive!

Chamonix1 Thu 26-Jan-17 19:19:37

Thanks everyone. I'm so overwhelmed just don't know where to start.
I love the idea of Switzerland and think it looks so beautiful but I know that Copenhagen is meant to be very family friendly, part of the perk of the Copenhagen role is the working hours for DH who we currently only see at weekends.
I guess it's a gamble either way, DH would be getting a substantial pay rise, but I wouldn't be working immediately so there's that to consider.
Can't even think of the questions to ask re his relocation package. Totally overwhelmed

LIZS Thu 26-Jan-17 19:45:46

Zurich is good quality of life but very expensive. You'd need to ensure he is paid locally enough to fund lifestyle you want. If you have children would the company fund school fees, health insurance etc. Given the situation with Brexit it may also become tricky for you to get employed. If you opt for Swiss schools their hours are so random that few mums of younger children can work. It is also a quirky bureaucratic nightmare!

Suttonmum1 Thu 26-Jan-17 19:57:05

Zurich is the most expensive city I think I've ever visited. Would be great to live there if someone else picked up all the bills.

Patapouf Thu 26-Jan-17 20:32:21

I vote Switzerland! (Hands down)

Ingelise Thu 26-Jan-17 20:33:18

The best thing about living in Copenhagen is the cycling - your daughter will love riding in one of these!

That's Princess Mary and children, by the way.

TalkingofMichaelAngel0 Thu 26-Jan-17 21:01:10

I loved Copenhagen when we visited. Only a few days though. Never been to zurich itself.

justilou Thu 26-Jan-17 21:05:11

The Danes are supposed to be the happiest nation in the world. I would choose Copenhagen simply because of this. Zurich is stunning, but they people can be a bit "cliquey" and they tend to be more serious (boring) than Scandinavian types.

MiniMaxi Thu 26-Jan-17 21:09:39

I've been to both as a business traveller / tourist. Two good choices, personally I would rather live in Copenhagen I think but the proximity of the Alps could sway me towards Zurich!

honeytreasures Thu 26-Jan-17 21:15:19

I can't comment as I've been to neither but have Copenhagen booked and cannot wait!

Niaus267 Thu 26-Jan-17 21:18:05

Oh gosh. If that was my choice, I'd go for Denmark. Massive taxes, but wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen! Sigh.

glueandstick Thu 26-Jan-17 21:18:24

I'd go for Copenhagen. Zurich is lovely but so very expensive. Copenhagen feels very much like home (in my opinion) - it's very cosy.

ChasedByBees Thu 26-Jan-17 21:21:20

I'd go for Copenhagen too. Also you can hop over to southern Sweden in half an hour or so to the Skåne region which is lovely. It's all lovely. If the working hours are better that would clinch it for me.

mainlywingingit Thu 26-Jan-17 21:27:45

I would totally choose Copenhagen, you are also not far from the Swedish city of Malmo and southern Sweden (I am quarter Swedish) and love Sweden so much and the fact the Copenhagen has similar respectful values. Lucky you!

Doodlebug5 Thu 26-Jan-17 21:30:19

CPH definitely. My sister lives in Malmo and I've spent lots of time in CPH. It's an amazing city and very friendly and tonnes to do.

cautiousoptimist1 Thu 26-Jan-17 21:45:52

I used to live in Northern Switzerland and it's a fabulous experience. If your husband's salary is reasonable compared to Zurich cost of living then I'd go for it.

For relocation package, consider the following (at least for Switzerland):
- house hunting and relocation support
- costs of moving covered
- help selling your UK house if relevant
- language learning for the whole family
- health insurance for the whole family - even if you have private healthcare in the UK, the cost of Swiss health insurance WILL shock you!

If your husband is at a very senior level it may also be worth checking if his company would pay for your child to go to international school - especially if this would be a medium term placement.

toomuchtooold Thu 26-Jan-17 21:46:06

I live near Zurich and I used to work there. It's SO expensive (6 quid for a Starbucks, easily 12 quid for a packet of paracetamol) but then the wages are correspondingly high. Watch the school age - I think most of the cantons have harmonised it to aged 5 but not sure, that's if you would be putting your DD to state school. Anything before that age will be private, essentially - most Swiss kids are at home till school. Schools sometimes have no school dinners and Wednesday afternoon off. (Just some of the things that might be an unpleasant surprise!)
Depending on where the job is you could live more cheaply in e.g.canton Luzern... or Germany, we moved to Germany, but Brexit obviously makes that a bit more uncertain.
There's tons of English speaking expats around Zurich so shouldn't be too hard to make friends... which is just as well as Swiss are bloody difficult to get to know (and once you do make friends they will stick with you forever - they don't do casual friendship). Warm, what else? It's beautiful, safe, the public transport runs on time... it can be a bit boring and sterile if you are used to London. My Zurich friend tells me there is a vibrant night life but I don't see a lot of that as I have two four year olds! And while German is the language of the place, good luck getting to use it - Swiss German is such a strong dialect it ought to be considered an own language, and the buggers will often answer you in English if you speak standard German.

Sorry, that was all quite negative! I've only been to Copenhagen on holiday but I'd go Copenhagen in a second - suspect DH would too and he is actually Swiss!

HardcoreLadyType Thu 26-Jan-17 21:52:35

I have never been to Zurich, but I'd live in Copenhagen in a heartbeat.

Chamonix1 Thu 26-Jan-17 22:02:52

Thanks everyone again.
Lots to consider.
Concerned about the cost of Zurich for sure, crazy prices wouldn't be having Starbucks all that often! But it looks SOOO beautiful!
The manager at Zurich office is also pushing for dh to go there more than the Copenhagen manager which is swaying dh. Also apparently Copenhagen will be no bonus etc, basically he wants to move to Switzerland and I think it looks amazing but have concerns about myself making friends, for some reason feel like Copenhagen would be better for myself but I can't be sure why.
Have to start asking lots of questions for dh to put forward to potential employers.

HumptyDumptyBumpty Thu 26-Jan-17 22:02:58

Copenhagen for me, but then I lived there for a year, and have only ever been to Zurich airport before heading on elsewhere.

How long would you stay? If it's more than 3 years, be aware of the tax regulations (lower tax for immigrants for three years, then back up to 60% flat rate PLUS paying back three years worth of 'missed tax', i.e. the difference between rates).

Also, think about school ages - I believe they start school at 6/7 in Denmark - what effect would this have on you/family income/your studies/schooling if you returned?

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