What to take to Switzerland?

(56 Posts)
jelliedeel Thu 13-Oct-16 14:42:15

Soon to be moving there and I'm wondering what to bring with us. Everything seems expensive there so is it a good idea to buy things before we travel....like children's clothes?
Does anyone know of good storage and removal companies with their storage based there, as i think we'll be in temporary accommodation at first?

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 13-Oct-16 14:51:31

Hopefully you are being given a suitable cost of living related wage as the £ is awful against chf atm. Chain stores such as h and m aren't too bad , supermarkets such as coop , Carrefour and Migros also are good for clothing and home basics. IKEA is also very popular. Many removals firms have partners over there but I'm not sure they will ship it from UK until you are ready to take it. Electricals such as TV aren't compatible and you'll need plenty of adapters. Bear in mind most rental accommodation doesn't have light fittings provided so ideally you want a relocation allowance for fixtures and furnishings.

LIZS Thu 13-Oct-16 20:42:24

Dh reminded me we used Sterling to move back from CH.

jelliedeel Thu 13-Oct-16 22:26:24

I have been looking through the old threads and wondering who was still out there!
Thanks for the new info.

OP’s posts: |
ample Thu 13-Oct-16 22:30:49

What area are you moving to? I lived in Switzerland for almost a year during a gap year. Loved life there.

I'm no help sorry, just wanted to say enjoy it and that I'm jealous

ErnesttheBavarian Thu 13-Oct-16 22:35:27

Our relocation company sent an electrician to change our plugs. Took a whole day! It's amazing how many plugs you find. We got plenty of UK extension cots that had 5 plug sockets and just changed the plug on that so for 1 plug change we could still plug in several things. Also useful for UK guests.what are are you moving to?

TheFirie Fri 14-Oct-16 06:30:14

It also depends where in Switzerland you are. Near a border, just do like everyone else and do you shopping in the EU.
I still remember the 9 CHF bottle of water at restaurants! Coffee is atrocious so don't remember the price of that. Meat is very expensive and beware of the customs allowance if you buy it in France or Italy. I think it is 100 gr per person or something ridiculous like that.

Life is expensive but your wages are very high, so in the end, it is fine. Especially is the house is paid by the company!


Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Fri 14-Oct-16 06:45:52

I canny really add much to what everyone else has said. At first you will find everything really expensive (chf 20 for a tiny chicken!) but once you get used to the fact that you wages will likely be a lot higher and taxes a lot lower then it seems not so bad.

It's Such a great country for kids, very safe and lots of fresh air. When you get here, get yourself a 'half-tax' card from your local railway station and make the most of the amazing public transport to get out and see some places. Whoever you live you will always have some amazingly beautiful places on your doorstep.

I've been based in Switzerland, in and around Zürich for the last 10 years so feel free to post anymore questions, I'm happy to answer them.

With regard to shopping over the border, it's fantastic (cheaper to start with and you can claim the foreign VAT back) but makes sure you know your allowances, particularly if you are food shopping. The meat and diary allowances are redo illusory low and the fines high if you are caught sneaking back more than you're allowed!

seefeld Sat 15-Oct-16 07:49:04

Where are you moving to? I've been in Zurich for the last 3 years, it's a wonderful place to live.

How old are your kids? If they're still babies/toddlers it would be worth bringing over a big box of nappies and wipes as they're more expensive here.

Next now deliver to Switzerland with all taxes included so great for kids clothes. Next week M&S will start doing the same. Zalando.ch is great for kids and adult clothes and shoes and isn't too expensive.

I'd wait and buy winter coats and boots here as the U.K. high street doesn't cater for how cold it gets here.

Newyearnewbrain Sat 15-Oct-16 19:52:21

We're just leaving after four really great years here in Geneva. The things that seem to get brought most frequently back home are kids shoes but you can't really predict how fast there feet will grow! Where we are there are a few good quality second hand shops where I've bought quite a bit of stuff and also the odd NCT-style sale. As a pp said though, with Next and M&S delivering here for a minimal spend (chf 25 I think for next) you can always find stuff online.
I always bring Marmite with me though, obviously.

70ontheinside Sat 15-Oct-16 19:59:13

Where are you moving to? We were near Geneva and could pop over into France.
I'd definitely second the power strips, makes life a lot easier.

Cailler Tue 18-Oct-16 10:53:37

Ooh I didn't know about M&S, that's fab news. I always stock up on toiletries when I go back to UK, I like the big deodorants that you can get, you only get the half size here and for the same price. And definitely things like paracetamol and ibuprofen as you can only get those from pharmacies and they are v expensive in comparison. I always ask friends and family to bring the weirdest things over too, I don't find that the supermarkets have a huge range (at least where I am in Central) so I find myself missing random home comforts like hobnobs, Whole Earth peanut butter etc.
I try to always buy in bulk here - Migros and Coop have some good bargains if you don't mind stocking up on random items as and when you see them. As others have said, the cost of meat can sometimes still shock me but it's really not too bad once you get the hang of it! The cost of bin bags still grates on me a year on but you have to buy the specific local ones so that's not something that you can stock up on!
Oh and Lea and Perrins Worchester sauce! Can only get Heinz here and it's just not the same.

Flingmoo Tue 18-Oct-16 11:01:50

Bring LOADS of paracetamol, ibuprofen, lemsip etc! My in laws live out there and we always have to bring them this stuff as it's so expensive there because I think you have to get it from a pharmacy and it could be 10CHF for a pack of paracetamol that would cost about 25p here at Tesco!

My in laws also buy most of their clothes here in the UK when they come back to visit (they lived here for 10 years) and sometimes toiletries too.

I don't think the Swiss prices are bad though if you're earning a wage there! I think petrol is actually cheaper there.

jelliedeel Tue 18-Oct-16 13:00:42

I am keeping up to date and thankyou all for the replies.

I'm making a list of the useful items that have been mentioned and adding to it quite rapidly. All the non-essential things I take for granted over here seem to be taking over.
Electricals will need some planning then as we don't have an agent and we'll be doing everything ourselves.

We'll be moving to Zurich and so I assumed that we'd shop in Germany but the meat allowance is quite shocking, I hope it is different on that border!
The children are primary age and just developing the ability to refuse to wear my choice of clothing. I think Next and M&S will still be OK for a few years though, thank goodness. Have stocked up on M&S thermals for them already and two winter coats for coldest weather here so should be just about OK I hope for Swiss winters.

I think I've spoilt the children here and usually shop around every local supermarket for specific favourite brands. They'll have to get used to having what's available but they''ll adapt. L&P Worcestershire sauce,HP Brown sauce, Marmite etc.are not things to compromise on thoughwink. We experienced the price of the food for a week over summer and our diet drastically changed to virtual vegetarianism.
Is there a big Oriental supermarket like Wing Yip near Zurich does anyone know?

I usually get OTC pharmacy stuff from Poundland and Aldi here. I'll look into the regs about shipping quantities allowed as I'm always nervous about travelling with tons of drugs! I'll have to shop for them in dribs and drabs as I was stopped from buying 2 packs of paracetamol & 2 packs of brufen last time!

What a great excuse to stock up on toiletries, make-up etc. but currently I think I have more important things to sort.....
Luker bros came this morning to quote and will try to find more removal companies. Thanks LIZS for pointing me in the direction of another one.

Please keep adding to the advice here, it is all gratefully received and digested!

I need to learn some German nowshock

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Tue 18-Oct-16 14:48:59

I think there may be a Chinese supermarket behind the main station, not on scale of Wing Yip though. The Globus food halls sell international food (like Marmite!) and ingredients, at a cost. Even our Swiss friends buy Bombay mix etc on visits to UK. Are you planning to live in ZH itself or one of the towns just outside the city?

seefeld Wed 19-Oct-16 06:45:53

There's a Chinese supermarket on Feldstrasse, 8004, near Bäckeranlage. I've not been in but it looks a good size.

seefeld Wed 19-Oct-16 07:09:44

For cheaper meat, Barkat (http://www.barkat.ch) is great. Fantastic steaks!

Also the supermarkets often have 50% off meat at the end of the day - Saturdays and Mondays seem best for this - so we stock up then and stick it in the freezer until we need it. We bought a separate freezer for this purpose.

If you're on Facebook there are some great Preloved sites. Lots of furniture - some of it only used for a year or two before the seller has to move country - as well as kitchen equipment, clothes toys etc.

mumhum Wed 19-Oct-16 22:14:01

Hi OP, we are English and near Zurich and from the sound of it you'll be fine. What more info do you need?

jelliedeel Mon 24-Oct-16 21:33:30

I'll try and join a FB group as we'll be needing furniture etc, thanks.

Have downloaded some maps and need to sort out a location to base our search in for accomodation. I'm prepared for a bit of a struggle as I'm sure there will not be an awful lot available. Think I'd like to be on the Gold coast or near Oerlikon.....expensive though.
Schools are a bit confusing for me though. For the last few years I've been living in an area where intensive tutoring is the norm, you aim for a school and prepare non-stop. Are most of the state schools OK in Zurich?

OP’s posts: |
jelliedeel Mon 24-Oct-16 21:37:10

I googled the supermarket seefeld.....and lots of others came up too! I'm really happy to see that I don't have to bring my stuff over!

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Mon 24-Oct-16 21:48:27

How old are your dc? For the most part you are allocated your nearest public kindergarten/school with no choice then get an academic or vocational pathway for secondary. It can be a steep learning curve for all concerned as it is a very different system to UK with few concessions. Are you moving permanently or on a contract? If you plan to return to UK you may want to consider the international schools but that would be funding and availability dependent. Most on expat ( as opposed to local) terms will have allowances for insurance, housing, furnishings, education etc in the package.

beresh Tue 25-Oct-16 08:20:05

The school system is very different to England - it's worth reading as much as you can about it before you come, there's a book by Margaret Oertig on Amazon about 'Going local'.

My DC's are in years 5 and 7 and have been here in canton Zurich since kindergarten, I'm happy to help if you have any questions. Personally I like the system here, I wasn't working during Kindergarten and years 1-3 and the school free afternoons and minimal homework gave us lots of time to have fun and pursue their interests. In middle school / secondary it's a different matter, lots of homework, tests and pressure for children wanting to follow an academic path.

The schools are all good, some teachers are better than others at dealing with non-German speaking children but that's just the luck of the draw. You could ask on the English Forum website about schools in specific areas.

Good luck!

StMary Wed 02-Nov-16 03:31:54

We are moving to the French speaking part soon! Good luck with your move!

jelliedeel Thu 26-Jan-17 20:20:04

After the initial excitement, and the ensuing months of chaotic packing and leaving over Xmas we eventually arrived.
Apartment hunting is dire and I have lowered every expectation I had and then comprised on everything and still found nothing.
My children are finally got places at local schools but have no language support as all the places are full.
I think we have made a huge mistake. Did anyone else feel like this?

OP’s posts: |
beresh Thu 26-Jan-17 22:28:29

I'm sorry to hear it's not going smoothly. It's so bitterly cold and grey, that can't be helping, but it won't last forever.

We live a 20min train ride from HB, the further out you go often the better value for money it is - do ask if you'd like suggestions.

On the positive side, it looks like it will be wonderfully snowy and sunny up in the mountains again this weekend - do go if you get the chance!

Best wishes

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