Zurich – A beautiful city with beautiful people
Zurich has a misconception that it’s only a dull banking capital – don’t believe any of it. Zurich is located in the heart of one of the world’s biggest stock exchanges, as well as Switzerland’s leading financial hub; however, take a step back from the stock market, and you’ll discover a vibrant and trendy city.
The former warehouses and viaducts are art galleries with bars quirky boutiques. In Langstrasse, the city’s famed Red Light District, it’s as likely to purchase an expensive handbag as you would a piece of skirt.
Zurich’s distinctive sound is heard from the speakers at every year’s Street Parade, a mammoth techno event that dances across Zurich with dancing and DJs. There’s no banker’s tie on display.
If they are located within the eastern bank of Niederdorf, it is because they are loosening. These medieval streets are crowded with cafés and corner cafes with trendy taprooms and top eateries. It’s easy to spend the afternoon in its relaxed vibe, particularly in a season when it takes on the beach-like look.
The winter season is also exceptional. The snow on the ground, the cobbled alleyways, beautiful architecture, and fountains in The Old Town were made for the flick of an artist’s pen.
Shoppers are sure to love Zurich all year long, particularly in the upscale boutiques along Bahnhofstrasse, the city’s primary shopping avenue. It’s no longer an area for the sophisticated crowd alone. There are a variety of quirky shops to discover on the streets that are not well-known to tourists.
The city sits astride along the River Limmat and the northern edge of Lake Zurich. Mother Nature is smiling down upon Switzerland’s largest city. The architects were kind in their constructions, too, and you can see these churches: Fraumunster and the Grossmunster church, both of which are facing one another on the other side of the river.
After you’re done with the city’s many eateries, top-quality museums, and bustling nightlife, don’t forget to close the Uetliberg mountains or even a cruise in Lake Zurich to enjoy – even if it’s just to refuel before getting back into the city’s delights.
Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland and the country’s most important economic center. It offers a high standard of living, an excellent public transport system, and a prominent educational center. The most dominant local language is a dialect of German known as Swiss German. The city’s population is approximately 360,000, and Zurich’s wider canton (state) is home to one-sixth of the country’s population. It has about 700,000 and is responsible for a fifth of the national income.
The communal council governs the city of Zürich. This council comprises 125 members democratically elected by Swiss nationals on a rotating four-year basis. Zürich is also considered an area of natural beauty and has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘highest standard of living in the world’ for six consecutive years.
Zurich’s roots began in 15BC when Zurich was a part of the Roman city of Turicum was founded to supervise trade going across the Alps. Although the town was continuously being inhabited, it wasn’t until the 9th century that the initial mention of Zurich was made.
A grandchild of Emperor Charlemagne (known in the title Louis the German), The empire quickly increased and earned a reputation for its magnificent ecclesiastical structures throughout the process.
By the time the 10th century arrived, it had gained the statutory of a city and then became an integral part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1215. Although it was an imperial town, Zurich was converted into a Duchy; unlike other Duchies, it was administered through the city’s local Fraumunster (an abbess) who could assume the same powers to Duchess.
However, as the Swiss Protestant Reformation arrived in the 16th century, the clerical regime was ended, and so did the majority of Catholic worship. However, Catholicism was swapped for the new trade religion, and the city grew increasingly prosperous in the Swiss Confederacy. The 18th century was when Zurich became so focused on commerce that the city was controlled through its trade guilds. They had the authority to collect taxes and other taxes, among others.
Following the French invasion of 1798, the powers of Burghers ended, and the energy was then given to Napoleon and later by the people after a French withdrawal. Burghers or not, the city prospered and multiplied in the 19th and 20th centuries.
While the two World Wars largely passed it by (mainly because of Switzerland’s exaggerated neutrality), Zurich did change dramatically in the early part of the second half of the 20th century.
A large part of this was due in part to the expansion that included several villages around it and an increase in the banking sector. Nowadays, Zurich remains a financial and banking hub and one of Europe’s most prosperous cities.
Did you know?
- Influential German-language writer Gottfried Keller was a resident of Zurich.
- The Reformation in Zurich was inspired by the 1522′ Affair of the Sausages’ in which the pastor of Grossmünster argued in favor of meat consumption during Lent.
- Psychiatrist Carl Jung lived and died in Zurich.
The Economy of Zurich
Zürich is the commercial center of Switzerland and the main driving force behind its thriving economy. With over 70% of employees working in the service sector and 40% of the workforce being related to the financial industry. Many major financial institutions house their headquarters within this city. Companies found here include OBS, Swiss Re, and Credit Suisse. The Swiss stock exchange is located in central Zürich and is currently the 6th largest stock exchange market globally.
Over a third of all banking institutions in Switzerland have their headquarters in Zürich; the total assets of these banks amounted to 81.7% of all tangible assets currently held in Switzerland. This displays what a huge impact the financial sector in Zürich has on the total economy of its country. It is globally recognized as the significant offshore banking city of the world. The GDP figure for Switzerland is $321.9 billion.
The Swiss are world-renowned for their innovative and meticulous design. Everything in the city has been planned and constructed to the highest standards, providing a fully functional and solid infrastructure.
Multiple transportations links well service Zürich. Zürich International airport is located 10 kilometers north of the city; it has regular services to over 200 domestic and international destinations. It also has an extensive railway network which can be accessed from Zurich Hauptbahnhof; this connects major cities in Europe on the Intercity Express or TGV high-speed trains. Public transportation links within the town are also frequent and environmentally friendly. A tram system runs through central Zürich, and water travel over Lake Zürich is also possible.
Energy-wise, Zürich is considered to be one of the greenest and most eco-friendly cities in Europe. Since 1988 Switzerland has placed strict laws governing pollution and air quality, these laws have been firmly adhered to by its numerous industrial sectors. The result is that Zurich now has an extremely high air quality rating, with pollution rates being much lower than other industrial cities of the same size.
The above information indicates that Zurich is a well-developed and advanced city with an outstanding, reliable infrastructure.
The Swiss are known for their productive, hard-working natures, making them a valuable asset to any company. Zürich is diverse in its cultural make-up. The latest census revealed it is home to inhabitants from 166 different countries and that only 30% of people who live there hold a Swiss passport. The primary language is a dialect of Swiss-German, but most people are proficient in the English language. Self-motivation, the ability to work long hours, and a strong work ethic are just some of the Swiss workforce’s most common attributes.
Zurich is home to many internationally renowned educational facilities, with over 20 universities and higher education institutions in the region. The highly acclaimed Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is located in Zurich, where 22.193 students study in the advanced research facility (est. 2019). The institute has been linked with 21 Nobel prize winners, including Albert Einstein. These learning facilities and institutions produce a highly educated, skilled, and proficient workforce.
Zurich Business Costs
Zürich has been ranked the sixth most expensive city globally, plus the Euro has kept its strength compared to other currencies; therefore, business costs and wages may appear higher than other European countries. Although when dealing with business affairs, it should be noted that prices are proportionate to the quality of work provided, a new business set-up can expect an excellent cost-benefit ratio.
Company tax rates are considered the lowest in Europe, with general profits being taxed at a flat rate of 8.5%. Cantonal rates are higher and between 15% to 25%, but with careful planning of a company structure, the annual tax rates can be minimized to a rate that is lower than 8% per annum. Personal tax rates work on a progressive system whereby the amount of tax payable depends on the income generated by each individual. Tax brackets vary between 5-25%, with many deductions available for married couples but not for single or cohabiting non-married couples.
Social insurance contributions are minimal in comparison to other European countries. The Canton of Zürich has an organized and practical layout of interim payments such as pensions and disability allowances.
Rental costs for offices and research centers are also lower than in other European cities, with the cost of an office rental in central Zürich can be up to 40% less than the same size rental in central London.
Overall, Zürich is a great base for corporate offices or research facilities that require a hard-working, loyal workforce. It’s not just the financial institutions with offices in the city, but many high profile companies can be found here, such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Toyota, and General motors.
The productiveness of the Swiss workforce, along with the Meager tax rates and a solid infrastructure that is amongst the best in the world, combine to make Zürich an excellent base for both established large corporations and new business start-ups alike.