Friday, 18 May 2012

Moving to Switzerland: Culture and Customs

Hamiltons Removals have over 20 years experience of helping customers who are moving to Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe. Our removals to Switzerland service covers all the Swiss cantons including Berne, Geneva, Valais, Zurich, Jura, Aargau and Lucerne.

Whether you are moving to Switzerland to start a new job or whether you are relocating your business there, we can provide whatever level of assistance you require, from packing, unpacking, transportation, storage, cleaning, insurance, customs documentation and more. Our removals to Switzerland service is designed to make your move as easy as possible, giving you peace of mind that everything is being taken care of.

Removals to Switzerland - click here for full information on our removals to Switzerland service or click here for an instant European removals quote.

Moving to Switzerland: All About Swiss Culture and Customs

Moving to Switzerland or any new country is a daunting prospect, and not one to be undertaken lightly. The list of things to do once you’ve decided to go could be almost infinite, but there is a lot to do before even getting to that point. Most people move for one of three reasons; a new job, to join family or to retire. The boxes to tick for all three are not dissimilar, and you can boil them down to a small number of important questions.

It is always a good idea to be able to speak at least a few words of the native language, and this goes for the whole family. Even if the locals speak good English (which is partly true of most European countries and certainly true of Switzerland) you will assimilate much quicker into the local culture by learning the language. On a similar line, always read up on local habits and customs such as acceptable dress codes, local religions, attitudes to alcohol and behaviour. Be prepared to change some of your habits to ensure you don’t offend any of your new neighbours, colleagues or hosts.

Check on local health care, including dentists. Is it legally necessary to have insurance? Are there waiting lists for GPs? Does the area you’re moving to have a pharmacy nearby? There are many more considerations than we can go into here, but moving to Switzerland is not only about necessary changes and stress - it will also be vastly beneficial to you and your family. Swiss cities have historically enjoyed lower crime rates, cleaner air and more efficient public transport systems than its European neighbours. You will certainly need to review and renew your ‘green’ credentials - the Swiss encourage recycling like no other country, with 50% of solid waste being recycled.

And it will help to get acquainted with cycling too - there are over 9000km of cycling paths in Switzerland, helping you to get around quickly and more efficiently. If cycling isn’t your thing, don’t worry about getting about. The public transport system is clean and efficient, with over 9000 trains a day covering 3000km of network. The people of Switzerland travel further by train than any other country in the world.

Of course it’s not all about changing to fit in - one of the best things about moving is the opportunity to embrace the wide range of new experiences offered by the country you’re moving to, and the people who live there. If you are prepared to do the research before you go, the benefits will far outweigh the costs.

Moving to Switzerland: Guide to Swiss Festivals

If you like festivals and are moving to Switzerland, you’re in luck. Switzerland is well known for hosting a number of interesting and diverse festivals throughout the year. Chestnut festivals, or ‘Castagnatas’, are held across Ticino during October, and one of the most popular happens in Ascona. There is music and a number of markets to stroll through, selling all sorts of chestnut delights. Another food based event, ‘Bénichon’, is based in the Fribourg region, and grew from a harvest thanksgiving festival. Today it is a popular folk festival with a feast of food offerings.

Moving to Switzerland doesn’t mean that the only festivals available are food based. 15,000 skiers and boarders attend the Witches’ downhill races in the Aletsch area, and afterwards find their way to the hippest parties in Valais. The future of Chamber Music is safe thanks to the ‘Festival of the Future’, held every August in Ernen, and a little bit further south you’ll find the Carnival Evolène - a parade of ‘peluches’, or carved wooden masks, created by local artists and worn with sheep, chamois, fox or marmot hide. Listen out for the cowbells!

Up in the Lake Lucerne region you’ll find the Rigi folklore day, an authentic Swiss musical delight, with the local Bahnhöfli Restaurant treating visitors to Swiss specialties, and traditional "Chilbi" festivals take place on a number of different Alps in the Diemtigtal region at the weekends in summer. Folk music, dancing, games and the usual festival fare all help visitors enjoy themselves. Moving to Switzerland never sounded so good.

Removals to Switzerland - click here for full information on our removals to Switzerland service or click here for an instant European removals quote.

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