Cost of living in Switzerland

Cost of living in Switzerland

The average cost of living in Switzerland is high. The country is known for being one of the most expensive to reside in the world. While Geneva is often considered the most expensive Swiss city, and one of the most expensive cities in Europe, Zurich took the crown this year. Zurich is nr 1 in Europe and nr 5 in the world, according to Mercer.

The following list is only an estimation of costs that you will pay while living in Switzerland.

All amounts may vary depending on your personal situation.

Cost of accommodation

The rent should not exceed 30% of net income (after deduction of social security and taxes) or 25% of gross income before deductions).Rents are high in major cities, around CHF 2000 for a small apartment.

In Zürich per example:

Average rent of a one bedroom apartment CHF 2000 month
Average rent for a 3 bedroom apartmentCHF 3600 month
Hot water & heatingApprox. 10% of the monthly rental. Usually included in the utilities.
Parkingfrom CHF 80 up to CHF 250 month
ElectricityCHF 30 to 200 quarter
Mail box name/platesName, plates for mailbox, door bells and main entrance are at tenant’s expense. The costs are around CHF 30 or more.


You will be required to put down 1-3 month rent as a security deposit on the accommodation. The deposit is to be paid before entering the accommodation and will be returned when leaving it.

End cleaning

You are expected to leave your apartment spotless clean when returning the keys at end of the contract. Professional cleaning is highly recommended as the cleaning should include everything. Costs can go from CHF 500 for a small studio up to couple of thousands for a house.


TV, Internet and landline monthly subscription:

Does not include call feesfrom CHF 50 month
Mobile phone subscription from CHF 10 month
Internetfrom CHF 30 month
TV Digitalfrom CHF 19 month
SerafeCHF 365  year


Any resident using radio and/or TV sets pay license fees. It’s called Serafe. This is also applicable to residents who only receive foreign channels and those who don’t have a radio/TV but internet at home and/or car. License fee for radio and TV programs. It costs CHF 365 per year.

Cost of health Insurance (mandatory)

Health insurance in Switzerland is mandatory, as it is in many countries. The healthcare system is very professional and good. The price varies according to deductible amount, age, location, alternative insurance model (family doctor, free choice of doctor, HMO = Health Maintenance Organization).

There is also supplementary, the price varies according to Hospital ward (general, semi-private, private ward and private global) and outpatient package (cover for glasses, treatments abroad, fitness centre, etc)

Dental insurance is not included in the basic insurance.

Adults basicfrom CHF 275 month
Child basicfrom CHF 50 month
Supplementaryfrom CHF 20 month
Liability Insurancefrom CHF 120 year
Household Insurancearound CHF 200 year for covering CHF 75’000 plus an extra CHF 20 for each additional CHF 10’000
Private Travel insurance (voluntary)from CHF 150 year 

Liability Insurance

Personal liability insurance is not compulsory but strongly recommended. Most of the real Estate agencies require that their tenants are covered. It can be extremely useful since one may unintentionally cause damage to a third party and be responsible for it. The costs start at CHF 120 per year.

Private Travel insurance (voluntary)

The annual travel insurance offers a wide range of benefits that gives you an entire protection up to 45 days consecutive per trip within an annual contract.

Convert Driving License

Conversion Fee (mandatory)from 80 to CHF 140 depending on Canton
See Testapprox. CHF 30 Done by an optician
Test DrivingCHF 130
May not apply to all drivers*

Cost of education

While public education is free of charge and of excellent quality, foreigners might prefer to send the children to an international school due to the language knowledge and continuity in the educational system. These school are more expensive. The price varies according to the different school, but they start at CHF 26’000 year.

Your own relocation coordinator

Atlas International Movers guides your move from door to door. If you have any questions during the relocation process, please contact your personal relocation coordinator. This person can answer all your questions about the move and the country. This way you can prepare for your life in Switzerland without any problems. This is all part of the Atlas Movers relocation service.

If you want help with your relocation to Switzerland, please feel free to contact us or view our website! If you would like storage for your household effects before, during or after your relocation to Switzerland, this is also possible. Click here for more information about inventory storage at Atlas. If you want to know more about Atlas International Movers, read more about our moving company here! Want to learn more about Swiss culture, take a look at this website!

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