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Winterthur, Switzerland

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Mar 10, 2023

Summary: The approximate population of Winterthur, Switzerland is approximately 110,000 people. People describe Winterthur as a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage, a great quality of life, and a strong economy. Expats love living in Winterthur for its excellent public transportation, its proximity to Zurich, and its beautiful parks and green spaces. The weather in Winterthur is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-60s Fahrenheit (0-20 Celsius). The average cost of living in Winterthur for an expat is estimated to be around $2,500 USD per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment in Winterthur is estimated to be around $1,200 USD per month, while a two bedroom apartment is estimated to be around $1,500 USD per month.

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What do I need to know about living in Winterthur?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Winterthur, they said:

"Before retiring in Winterthur, expats should be aware that the cost of living is relatively high. It is important to research the local housing market and the availability of rental properties. Expats should also be aware that the Swiss healthcare system is one of the best in the world, but it is also expensive. It is important to research the different health insurance options available to expats. Additionally, expats should be aware that the Swiss language is German, so it is important to learn the language or at least some basic phrases. Finally, expats should be aware that Winterthur is a great place to retire, with plenty of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and a vibrant nightlife," wrote one member in Winterthur.

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What do I need to know before moving to Winterthur?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Winterthur, they said:

"Winterthur is a city in the canton of Zurich in Switzerland. It is known for its cultural attractions, such as the Oskar Reinhart Collection, the Winterthur Museum of Art, and the Winterthur Library. Expats should be aware that the cost of living in Winterthur is high, and that the city is home to a large number of international companies. Expats should also be aware that the city is very safe and has excellent public transportation. Additionally, the city is home to a diverse population, with many different languages spoken. Finally, expats should be aware that the Swiss culture is very different from other countries, and that it is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions," wrote a member in Winterthur.

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How do I find a place to live in Winterthur?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"One of the best ways to find a place to live in Winterthur is to use online resources such as websites and apps. Websites such as Immoscout24, Homegate, and ImmoStreet are popular in Switzerland and offer a wide range of rental properties in Winterthur. Additionally, there are a number of real estate agents in the city who can help you find a place to live. It is also possible to find rental properties through classified ads in local newspapers and on bulletin boards. Finally, it is worth asking around in the local community as word of mouth can be a great way to find a place to live," explained one expat living in Winterthur, Switzerland.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Winterthur?

"Expat homes and apartments in Winterthur are typically modern and spacious, with large windows that let in plenty of natural light. Many of the apartments have balconies or terraces, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The interiors are often decorated with contemporary furnishings and feature high-end appliances. Expats in Winterthur can also expect to find plenty of storage space, as well as access to a variety of amenities such as gyms, swimming pools, and saunas," said one expat who made the move to Winterthur.

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What is the average cost of housing in Winterthur?

If you are thinking about moving to Winterthur, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Winterthur is generally quite high. Renting an apartment in the city can be expensive, with prices ranging from around 1,500 Swiss Francs per month for a one-bedroom apartment to around 3,000 Swiss Francs per month for a three-bedroom apartment. Buying a property in Winterthur is also costly, with the average price for a three-bedroom apartment being around 1.2 million Swiss Francs," wrote one member in Winterthur.

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How do I meet people in Winterthur?

When we asked people living in Winterthur about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Expats living in Winterthur can join a variety of clubs and activities, such as sports clubs, language clubs, and cultural clubs. Expats can also join local meetup groups, which are a great way to meet people with similar interests. Additionally, many expats find it helpful to attend local events, such as festivals, concerts, and art exhibitions, as these are great opportunities to meet people and learn more about the local culture. Finally, expats can also join online forums and social media groups to connect with other expats living in the area," remarked one expat living in Winterthur, Switzerland.

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What should I bring when moving to Winterthur?

People living in Winterthur were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"When moving to Winterthur, it is important to pack warm clothing, as temperatures can drop below freezing during the winter months. It is also important to bring a good pair of walking shoes, as Winterthur is a very walkable city. Additionally, it is a good idea to bring a raincoat and umbrella, as the city experiences a fair amount of rainfall throughout the year. Finally, it is recommended to bring a few items to make your new home feel more comfortable, such as pictures, books, and other personal items," remarked one expat living in Winterthur, Switzerland.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Winterthur?

We asked expats in Winterthur what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"Before retiring in Winterthur, expats should be aware that the cost of living is relatively high. It is important to research the local housing market and the availability of rental properties. Expats should also be aware that the Swiss healthcare system is one of the best in the world, but it is also expensive. It is important to research the different health insurance options available to expats. Additionally, expats should be aware that the Swiss language is German, so it is important to learn the language or at least some basic phrases. Finally, expats should be aware that Winterthur is a great place to retire, with plenty of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and a vibrant nightlife," wrote one member in Winterthur.

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Will I be able to find a job in Winterthur?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Winterthur, they reponded:

"Foreigners often have jobs in the service industry in Winterthur, such as working in restaurants, hotels, and retail stores. They may also find employment in the manufacturing sector, working in factories or in the engineering and technology fields. Additionally, there are many opportunities for foreigners to work in the healthcare industry, such as in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Finally, there are also opportunities for foreigners to work in the education sector, teaching English or other languages," said one expat who made the move to Winterthur.

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What is life like in Winterthur?

When we asked people living in Winterthur what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Winterthur is an attractive destination for expats and digital nomads due to its high quality of life, excellent infrastructure, and proximity to major cities like Zurich and Basel. Expats and digital nomads in Winterthur can enjoy a variety of activities, from exploring the city's historic old town to taking advantage of the nearby hiking trails and lakes. The city also offers a wide range of cultural activities, from museums and galleries to music and theater performances. The cost of living in Winterthur is relatively high, but the city's excellent public transportation system and low crime rate make it a safe and comfortable place to live. Expats and digital nomads in Winterthur can also benefit from the city's strong international community, which provides a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends," remarked one expat who made the move to Winterthur.

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What do expats in Winterthur appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expatriates in Winterthur appreciate the city's rich cultural heritage, which includes a variety of museums, galleries, and theaters. They also enjoy the city's vibrant nightlife, with its many bars, clubs, and restaurants. Additionally, expats appreciate the city's excellent public transportation system, which makes it easy to get around. Finally, expats enjoy the city's friendly and welcoming atmosphere, which makes it easy to make friends and feel at home," said one expat who made the move to Winterthur.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expats in Winterthur often find it challenging to adjust to the local culture due to the language barrier. Although many people in the city speak English, the majority of the population speaks German, which can make it difficult for expats to communicate with locals. Additionally, the Swiss culture is known for its punctuality and formality, which can be difficult for expats to adjust to. Furthermore, the cost of living in Winterthur is quite high, which can be a challenge for expats who are not used to the high prices," said one expat in Winterthur.

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Is there a lot of crime in Winterthur?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Winterthur is generally considered to be a safe city. While there is some crime, it is generally low compared to other cities of similar size. The most common crimes are petty theft and vandalism, but violent crime is rare. The city has a strong police presence and a good public security system, which helps to keep crime levels low," wrote a member in Winterthur.

"Winterthur does not typically have high crime rates and many report the city to be quite safe. The number of reported crimes has dropped in recent years, however anti-social behaviour and vehicle thefts are the most common crimes reported to the police," commented one expat who made the move to Winterthur.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Winterthur accepting of differences?

"Winterthur is a diverse city with a population of over 100,000 people. It is home to people from many different backgrounds, including Swiss, German, Italian, and French. The city is known for its acceptance of different cultures and religions, and its citizens are generally welcoming and tolerant of differences. Winterthur is a great place to live for people of all backgrounds, and its diversity is celebrated and embraced," commented one expat who made the move to Winterthur.

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What are the schools in Winterthur like?

"The International School of Z├╝rich (ISZ) is one of the best international schools in Winterthur. It is a private, non-profit, co-educational day school offering an international curriculum for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). ISZ offers a rigorous academic program that prepares students for university studies and provides them with the skills and knowledge to become global citizens. The International School Winterthur (ISW) is another excellent international school in Winterthur. It is a private, non-profit, co-educational day school offering an international curriculum for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). ISW offers a comprehensive academic program that prepares students for university studies and provides them with the skills and knowledge to become global citizens. The International Bilingual School of Winterthur (IBSW) is a bilingual school in Winterthur, Switzerland. It is a private, non-profit, co-educational day school offering an international curriculum for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). IBSW offers a bilingual program that prepares students for university studies and provides them with the skills and knowledge to become global citizens. The school also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, such as sports, music, and art," commented one expat when asked about in Winterthur.

"Read the contract very carefully. The school direction interprets this contract very liberally to their own advantage. Do not think that the school board will be willing to intervene if something appears unfair," explained one expat in Winterthur, Switzerland with kids at International School Winterthur.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Winterthur?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Winterthur responded:

"Expats and digital nomads living in Winterthur appreciate the city's convenient location near Zurich, its excellent public transportation system, and its vibrant cultural scene. They also enjoy the city's beautiful parks and green spaces, as well as its proximity to the Swiss Alps. On the other hand, some expats and digital nomads may find the cost of living in Winterthur to be quite high, and the city's weather can be unpredictable," mentioned one expat inWinterthur.

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What type of social life can someone expect in Winterthur?

When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in Winterthur, they replied:

"Expats, retirees and digital nomads living in Winterthur typically have an active social life. There are many opportunities to meet people and make friends, such as joining local clubs and organizations, attending cultural events, and taking part in outdoor activities. The city also has a vibrant nightlife, with plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes to explore. Additionally, the city is well-connected to other cities in Switzerland, making it easy to explore the country and meet new people," commented one expat who moved to Winterthur.

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"Winterthur is a vibrant city with a lively social scene. There are plenty of bars, pubs, and clubs to explore, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes. The city also hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year, such as music festivals, art exhibitions, and theatre performances. Additionally, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, biking, and swimming. Winterthur is a great place to meet new people and make friends, and the locals are known for their hospitality and welcoming attitude," commented one expat living in Winterthur, Switzerland.

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What advice to expats in Winterthur have about housing?

"When looking for housing in Winterthur, it is important to research the area thoroughly and be aware of the local rental laws. It is also important to consider the cost of living in the area, as well as the availability of public transportation. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the local customs and culture, as this can affect the type of housing available. Finally, it is important to be aware of the safety of the area, as this can affect the quality of life," remarked one expat living in Winterthur.

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What are medical services in Winterthur like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Winterthur, they replied:

"Winterthur offers a wide range of medical services to its residents. The city has several hospitals, including the Kantonsspital Winterthur, which is a large public hospital with a wide range of specialties. There are also several private clinics and medical centers in the city, offering a variety of services such as general practice, dentistry, and specialist care. In addition, there are numerous pharmacies and health stores in the city, providing access to a wide range of medications and health products. Winterthur also has a number of alternative health practitioners, such as homeopaths, naturopaths, and acupuncturists, who offer treatments for a variety of ailments," commented one expat living in Winterthur, Switzerland.

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Winterthur?

"Healthcare and health insurance in Winterthur can be expensive. The cost of health insurance is determined by a variety of factors, such as age, income, and the type of coverage desired. Healthcare costs can also vary depending on the type of care needed. Generally, the cost of healthcare in Switzerland is higher than in other countries, due to the high quality of care available. Additionally, the cost of health insurance in Switzerland is also higher than in other countries, due to the comprehensive coverage offered," said one expat.

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Is the cost of living in Winterthur high?

We asked people about the cost of living in Winterthur, they wrote:

"The cost of living in Winterthur is generally considered to be high. Rent for a nice 1 bedroom apartment in Winterthur is typically around $1,500 USD per month, while a nice 2 bedroom apartment can cost around $2,000 USD per month. Eating dinner at a moderately priced restaurant in Winterthur can cost around $30 USD per person," wrote one expat living in Winterthur.

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What are the visa & residency requirements in Winterthur?

"In order to visit or stay in Winterthur, a person must obtain a visa from the Swiss Embassy or Consulate in their home country. The visa application process requires the applicant to provide proof of identity, a valid passport, and a valid travel document. Additionally, the applicant must provide proof of financial means, a valid health insurance policy, and a valid residence permit. In order to apply for residency in Winterthur, Switzerland, a person must first obtain a residence permit from the Swiss Embassy or Consulate in their home country. The residence permit application process requires the applicant to provide proof of identity, a valid passport, and a valid travel document. Additionally, the applicant must provide proof of financial means, a valid health insurance policy, and a valid residence permit. The applicant must also provide proof of employment or self-employment in Switzerland, proof of accommodation, and proof of sufficient funds to support themselves. Once the application is approved, the applicant will be issued a residence permit," mentioned one expat inWinterthur.

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Why do people move to Winterthur?

When we asked people why foreigners move to Winterthur, they responded:

"Winterthur is an attractive destination for expats due to its high quality of life, excellent public transportation system, and close proximity to major cities such as Zurich and Basel. The city is also known for its vibrant cultural scene, with a variety of museums, galleries, and theaters. Additionally, Winterthur is home to a number of international companies, making it an ideal place for expats to find employment. The city also offers a wide range of outdoor activities, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and biking in the summer. Finally, Winterthur is known for its low cost of living, making it an attractive option for expats looking to save money," said an expat in Winterthur.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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