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Southmartin

Living in Switzerland (for a month)

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Have been asked if I want to go and do a bit of house-sitting (e.g. feed the dog) at a friends home in Geneva this summer... Am actually quite keen on the idea - make for a nice change of scene and a bit of an adventure. Certainly more fun that just lying in the sand for  week somewhere on the Costas

I've read Switzerland is expensive - though i'm not sure if that's meant generally, or just if you're going out eating and drinking all the time (which I wouldn't be). 

So, to those members who already call the place home, what tips/advice could you give me to make the trip enjoyable and not too wallet-busting?

 

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Posted (edited)

@swiss_democracy_for_all Your thread has arrived. 

All I know of Geneva is that I had to remortgage the house to go out for a pizza. I think living just over the border in France and commuting into Geneva could be a good idea.

Edit- Sorry, just saw the housesitting bit. Never mind about the commute. I'd jump at the chance personally, I'm not overly familiar with Geneva itself but forty minutes drive out from it is some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. I'd give my left nut actually...

 

Edited by Sgt Hartman

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Posted (edited)

I don't think the price of supermarket food is that bad really, bread cheese sausage that sort of thing. Migros and Co Op. And try Rivella, only the Swiss could make a soft drink out of milk. Get a half-fare card for trains as the fares are quite high, priced on the assumption that everyone already has one.

Edited by Panther

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Posted (edited)

As long as you aren't paying for accommodation and eating/drinking out it's not super expensive. Lidl and Aldi good quality and value. Manor and Co-op to be avoided on a budget. 72chf buys you all the transport for a month, trams, buses, trains in canton and boats(bring passport photo and know the address of house by heart). 10 or 12 chf day by day so get that before anything else. not sure of weekly ticket price. Wine cheaper than UK. You can PM me if you want and tell me roughly where you'll be and I can perhaps give more specific advice. If you like outdoor swimming then there is an embarrassment of riches. It might get really hot. Drinking out fairly ruinous but cheap at home. Summer is really nice here, my advice is to jump at it, but don't expect great excitement, you could go out to the cheaper Latin night clubs but even that is going to cost you.

Edit. If you can bring a car then the Alps come into play as well, the Chamonix valley is an hour away for example. @Sgt Hartman is a walker like me so you may not be quite so enthused as him, but still, they’re spectacular for anyone. 

Edited by swiss_democracy_for_all

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Make sure you have you story ready at the border.  Check whether under your passport(s) you are allowed to work or not, and for how long.  If not, make sure that you are NOT in a position where the immigration could say you are working (being paid money/in kind).  You may wish to ensure that all communication is clearly stating the vacation nature of this holiday...

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30 minutes ago, wherebee said:

Make sure you have you story ready at the border.  Check whether under your passport(s) you are allowed to work or not, and for how long.  If not, make sure that you are NOT in a position where the immigration could say you are working (being paid money/in kind).  You may wish to ensure that all communication is clearly stating the vacation nature of this holiday...

that stuff is a lot less closely followed than before the EU agreements. 

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2 hours ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

As long as you aren't paying for accommodation and eating/drinking out it's not super expensive. Lidl and Aldi good quality and value. Manor and Co-op to be avoided on a budget. 72chf buys you all the transport for a month, trams, buses, trains in canton and boats(bring passport photo and know the address of house by heart). 10 or 12 chf day by day so get that before anything else. not sure of weekly ticket price. Wine cheaper than UK. You can PM me if you want and tell me roughly where you'll be and I can perhaps give more specific advice. If you like outdoor swimming then there is an embarrassment of riches. It might get really hot. Drinking out fairly ruinous but cheap at home. Summer is really nice here, my advice is to jump at it, but don't expect great excitement, you could go out to the cheaper Latin night clubs but even that is going to cost you.

Edit. If you can bring a car then the Alps come into play as well, the Chamonix valley is an hour away for example. @Sgt Hartman is a walker like me so you may not be quite so enthused as him, but still, they’re spectacular for anyone. 

Thank you Swissy! This is a great start 😉

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Posted (edited)

As a former Genevois I would say eating out is very expensive unless you are used to London prices. The restaurants / food isn't really something Geneva is known for. The Lipp in the old town is nice but old school. The Bains des Pâquis are great if you have good weather. Au pied de cochon and Restaurant du Hotel de Ville are good traditional restaurants/cafes. There are some nice parks but in general you get the feeling of a bit of a fuddy duddy town full of very well heeled people.

Be careful about parking, the Swiss are manic about where and how long you can park a car. Geneva is very busy. Carrouge is full of dodgy eastern european scum.

The Jura just behind is great for hiking as are the alps. Ditto for cycling. The Saleve is a great spot for downhill mountain biking.

As others have said food isn't that expensive. Migros has a good range or there is Lidl in Ferney-Voltaire if you have some transport.

Visit Lausanne and Yvoire by boat. As Swissy says, give us more info about what you like doing and where you will be located and perhaps we can be of more help.

Edited by davidg

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I’ve been to Geneva a few times mostly as a gateway to the Alps for paragliding and prepared for the worst however stick to coffee and pan au chocolat for breakfast and Le Big Macs for lunch. If you get a car or take the bus (as I did) and cross over to France they won’t bother you at the border. Eating out in Annecy wasn’t a fortune and the supermarket prices between the two countries wasn’t dissimilar. 

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On 01/05/2018 at 16:44, Southmartin said:

Thank you Swissy! This is a great start 😉

Oh one thing I forgot - don't forget travel insurance that cover health/accidents and make sure CH is covered not just the EU, because the insurance is cheap, but if you had an accident or health issues while here, it could cost you more than you would possibly believe. Swiss healthcare is excellent but ruinously expensive, second only to the US I think.

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Be sure to check out Montreux Festival, if youre in the area at the right time as its a quick train ride from Geneva, cold beer in the sun, sampling the sun and atmosphere is something to behold, Lausanne waterfront, Chateau Chillon, a month will not be enough.

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sadly not. We had a weekend away with both kids before we had to decide and they fought like the little shits that they are. Consequently the thought of spending 2 months in a house in a place where we didn't know anyone, where going out to entertain them wasn't cheap - and we just though "there's no fucking way" - we'd have ended up on the Swiss national News after killing the little sods.

2 weeks in an all-inclusive resort instead - at least they could bugger off and leave me alone in safety

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27 minutes ago, Southmartin said:

sadly not. We had a weekend away with both kids before we had to decide and they fought like the little shits that they are. Consequently the thought of spending 2 months in a house in a place where we didn't know anyone, where going out to entertain them wasn't cheap - and we just though "there's no fucking way" - we'd have ended up on the Swiss national News after killing the little sods.

2 weeks in an all-inclusive resort instead - at least they could bugger off and leave me alone in safety

Aha - yes there's plenty for kids to do here but only the swimming-related things are cheap. I've always thought my daughter would be better off if she'd had a brother or sister of similar age but by the sound of your experience maybe not! :)

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