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Swiss pearls Where are the best places to live in Switzerland?


Highly attractive: promenade along Lake Zurich in Rüschlikon


The lakeside communities of Rüschlikon, Meggen and Zug have been named the most attractive places to live in Switzerland in an annual survey. The usual ‘quality of living’ survey winners – Zurich and Geneva – appear farther down the ranking. 

Rüschlikon, Meggen and Zug – located on lakes Zurich, Lucerne and Zug – are the top three Swiss places to live, according to a ranking published on Thursday by Die Weltwocheexternal link, a weekly Swiss news magazine. 

The ranking includes every Swiss municipality with at least 2,000 residents. The 924 towns and cities were evaluated based on seven criteria: housing, jobs, population/taxpayer statistics, tax rates, public transport, safety, and local services such as schools, doctors, shops and cultural offerings. 


Zurich’s suburbs rank as particularly attractive; Zurich itself (#22 on the list) placed second in Mercer’s 2017 quality of living survey. Rüschlikon, just a 15-minute train ride from Zurich, topped the Weltwoche list for the second year in a row. 

“We’ve invested a lot in schools and daycare – about CHF35 million ($36.3 million) over the past three years. Increasingly more expats send their children to the public schools,” Rüschlikon’s mayor, Bernhard Elsener, told Die Weltwoche. “We have a thoroughly mixed population. At the newcomers’ welcome event I had to give my speech in multiple languages.” 

Roughly the same size as Rüschlikon and home to about 7,000 people, Meggen on Lake Lucerne jumped several notches from last year to capture second place. 

“A green townscape is very important to us. We’ve created protected zones that offer a lot of recreational space,” Meggen’s mayor, Urs Brücker, told Die Weltwoche. 

Zug rose five slots to take third place. Home to 29,000 residents, the city in the canton of the same name is gaining a reputation as a home for innovation. It was also the first municipality to accept Bitcoin as payment. 

Geneva, #8 in the Mercer survey, comes in “just” 45th on the Weltwoche list. However, several of its suburbs appear within the top 40. 

And what about Italian-speaking Switzerland? Comano was placed 12th, down from 6th in 2016. The next was Vezia, which ranked 49th. Rising housing prices are partly to blame for the lack of higher Ticino rankings, notes the magazine. 

Die Weltwoche has been publishing the annual ranking since 2009. The magazine based the ranking on a study it commissioned from Zurich real estate consultancy IAZIexternal link.

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