Swiss Village Life

We are considering moving to a Swiss village from a town. Has anyone considered it/has experience with?

Would love some feedback on our thoughts what we think Swiss village life offers:

  • save on costs
  • be close to nature
  • reduce distractions
  • more time and focus on loved work/studies
  • simple lifestyle
  • child friendly
  • village schooling culture tend to be more humane
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Add save on Taxes depending the village you are going to and the city you come from.

I you are an outgoing person who can get on well with different kinds of people, it can be a lot of fun socially, since you tend to see the same people over again so it’s pretty easy to make friends. If you plan to settle there long term, make sure to look into the school setup (right up through secondary school, gymnasium, etc.) in the area. I’d say that would be the primary problem/issue. You don’t necessarily want your kids to have to spend 2 hours a day on public transportation when they hit their teens. Of course, it is possible that more flexible schooling options will become more common in the distant future. Home schooling is also an option in some cantons.

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Homeschooling is the whole separate subject. Wondering what Mustachians think of it. It is very liberal in Vaud.

I spent 80 min a day going to gymi and back (40 min each trip, from the mountains in ticino down to the town). And I didn’t have smartphone to use to pass the time!
I wonder what would be the problem?

But life in a village is not simpler. I don’t know why you would believe that? We had to plan our days weeks in advance to combine all town trips with multiple goals (courses - doctor - dentist whatever) there was nothing around us. Not even a bakery.

So it depends on your definition of village :smiley:

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I’ve been thinking about moving to the countryside recently. Some advantages of city life:

  • I’ve always considered living close to the workplace important, not to lose time on the commute. Covid changed that.
  • Being in Zurich also means you have quick access to a variety of services, restaurants
  • Zurich is a great time killer for flaneurs, there are hundreds of beautiful streets to stroll along
  • It’s a great starting point for holidays (HB for trains and Airport for planes)
  • If you have no car, you don’t miss it that much if you live in a city

However, I would like to open the window when I want, not have the loud noise from the street and neighbours, have a more relaxed living setup. But when I look for flats for in Zurich or in Bezirk Horgen/Meilen, the nice ones often cost upwards of 2’000’000 to buy and $4’000 to rent. Whereas in some more remote place, I could even buy a house for $1’000’000.

Then there is the point about independence. I’ve recently watched a few video rants of this guy walking around the woods. He talks about each decision you make should go towards you being more independent. And living in the country somehow forces this mindset on you.

I grew up in a german-speaking swiss village.

What @Daniel said about being pro-social.
If you are seriously considering moving to a village, visit one of their celebrations or festivals (maybe only really possible from 2022). You’ll learn a lot about their culture and how you fit in.

Beware that you will lose privacy. If you have family problems and you would like to talk with your local friends about it, count on the whole village knowing about it.

Do you tend to get into conflict with people you interact with? Having a conflict with the wrong person could seriously impede your social life and the one of your children.

It’s possible that education is on average better. But if there is a teacher your children are not compatible with, there is no easy way to evade them spending 2 years with them.

(ETA: All of this also greatly depends on what kind of live you want to lead. If you’re ok with living a private life, having a few close local friends, not caring too much about what your neighbours think about you, you’re also more likely to benefit from living in a village.)

Otherwise living in a village is great :wink:

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I live in a village and always have as I don’t like cities.
We have low housing cost but transport costs are only low because I work from home (already before the pandemic)
Yes, you are close to nature. We wmare also very close to a nuclear plant.
I don’t know what you mean by reduce distractions.
I would have less time if I still had to commute. So that really depends where you work and live.
It is child friendly here, but also all the children’s activities are during the week when we work so it is difficult to meet other parents. Also most woman here work up to 40% so I feel like an outsider with my 80%.
School we will only have to worry about in some years. Will see how it will be.

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Good point. With public transportation you might be closer to some nature but likely further away from most nature. If, for example, you want to go hiking outside of your local area, you will likely have to go through (several) large cities.

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Do you live near Döttingen? I lived in Aargau for a while, in a town sandwiched between 2 of Switzerland’s nuclear plants. The town had less than 2000 residents. Interestingly, that 2k people included Canadians, Brits, Americans, Japanese, Spanish, etc. In Switzerland even small towns tend to be pretty cosmopolitan.

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Regarding cost and villages:

  • child care might be more affordable than higher populated areas
  • but needing a car for rather remote places or living with the 1-2 connections per hour of public transport might add costs.

My experience, talking to collegues that live in villages close to Zurich, is that lower taxes seem often to go hand in hand with more expensive day care – or simply the absence of day care.

With the current holidays in Zurich, two of my collegues that live outside have, for example, only one week of day care offered. The other week the kids have to stay at home.

I am doing the inverse path, moving form the suburbs of Zurich to Zug city.

Main reason from my wife is the variety of services (courses, restaurants, kids activities…), already scared on our finances.
My main reason is a financial one.

At the end, what do you consider a swiss village? I am living in a village (6000 people), 25 minutes by train to Zurich and I will not consider any of your points, except the child friendly and may the simple lifestyle.

This is depends how much fur you want to be. I am 25 minutes away from zurich HB (even closer in time when you compare to other places in Zurich area, without a direct train station access).

depends on where you life.
Zurich and villages close to zurich will be a but lower, but they lack the flexibility in the timetable and opening days (always depends on the location)

here is the same. Next week Spring holidays. Hort is only opened 1 week out of 2. So I must to take holidays for a week…

I have lived all my life in small villages and I would not trade it for anything else.

It’s very quiet and clean. I am just next to fields, forests, and rivers. There are many children’s playgrounds.
People are friendly (but it’s true that information travels quickly).
There is no traffic. And we can walk to the post office, to the butcher, to the milk shop, to the bread shop.
But, you have to have a car.

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Is is easy to build a social circle? I live in a city, with lots of people around me, but it’s tough to get in touch with the neighbours. There is this expectation, that I feel, of not getting in the way. We live so close to each other, so at least let’s respect each other’s privacy. You know, this kind of thing. I’m actually afraid of starting smalltalk with neighbours, because there is nothing to talk about, and if you say something wrong, you will feel awkward each time you see them.

My parents live in a village in Poland, but Polish villages are different than Swiss ones. You can have a village in Poland that has 2000 inhabitants, and apart from a church and a small grocery shop, there is nothing else there. No restaurants, no main square, even no pavement. So my parents do not socialize with the neighbours. Once a year there is this open air dinner and that’s it.

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It’s probably easier than in cities, but I would not say it’s easy. We just moved to a new village and we had already good contacts with our two closest neighbors. But I know people in the same village that have never really talked to their neighbors.

Us, Swiss people, are not the most friendly when it comes to making new friends. I think it takes a while to get well integrated.

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Swiss people connect very well within societies. Smallish villages still have one or more of societies: music, singing,soccer, orienteering, athletics, knitting, shooting, gardening, hiking, scouts etc there is always something for everybody. The easiest way to get integrated is to get involved in these societies. Just ask for the list of societies there and in neighboring villages.
In my small village in the mountains (600 people! ) we didn’t have a grocery store but we had soccer team, scouts, music. I was plenty busy.

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I have been thinking about this for a while now:
How can there be no traffic if every inhabitant needs to have a car?

If you don’t mind my curiosity, what valley was that?

I know a few people who grew up in small mountain villages in Ticino, say <100 inhabitants. Some hated it and kept dreaming of life in a big city. Some loved it and valued the exceptional nature around them. But all said that you have to “be used to it”. Especially in winter I’d think, when everything slows down even more.

Certainly not. I once visited a childhood friend in such a small village in Ticino. I happened to wear dark clothes. A few minutes after I’d left her neighbor (whom I did not know) stood at her door: “Was that a priest visiting you? If so, why? If not, who was that?” :smiley:

Maybe it’s like moving from a large corporation to a smaller company: Still politics and rumors, but on a smaller scale?

Because wherever they go, they have to leave the village.

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