Living in Vaud

With its lakes and mountains, the canton of Vaud offers an unparalleled quality of life, allowing those who call it home to find the ideal work/life balance. The possibilities for tourism, culture and sports are exceptional.

Incredible diversity in such a small area – this is one of the most notable characteristics of life in Switzerland. From cosmopolitan Geneva to the more traditional cantons of Central Switzerland, via the alternative side of the capital city Bern, the variety in the country is as surprising as it is inspiring. It also provides an excellent work/life balance, with Switzerland’s cities regularly ranking among the most pleasant in the world.

Set-Up Guide

Living in Switzerland

All of the above can be found in an area that can be crossed in just half a day by train – another of the country’s major plus points! Even when you are in the back of beyond, you are still never far from a city; and conversely when you are downtown in an urban environment, you are still just a handful of kilometers away from getting back to nature.

« Switzerland’s cities regularly ranking among the most pleasant in the world »

The canton of Vaud is one of the most attractive areas in the country. Visitors enjoy 2.5 million overnight stays here every year, which is 10% of the national total. In summer, in the space of one day it is possible to hike on an Alpine glacier in almost complete solitude, go swimming in the afternoon in Lake Geneva, then round off the day amongst the crowds at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival.

What Vaud has to offer in terms of culture never ceases to amaze. The Montreux Jazz Festival and the Paleo Festival are famous across Europe, while in dance, Ballet Béjart performances are sold out as often as not. The Collection de l’art brut, the Olympic museums, and the recently opened Aquatis Museum have put Lausanne on the map for global tourism. The canton also has many other attractions, including the terraced vineyards of Le Lavaux that are a UNESCO world heritage site, Chaplin’s World on the outskirts of Vevey, the Château de Chillon (which receives an incredible 28% of all tourist visits!) that was feted by the poet Byron, and the International Hot-Air Balloon Festival at the Château d’Œx, to name but a few. The museums in the canton have some 1.4 million visitors a year.

Mercer Ranking (2017)

for quality of living in cities around the world (450 cities were evaluated using 39 criterias)

1. Vienna
2. Zurich
3. Auckland
4. Munich
5. Vancouver
6. Dusseldorf
7. Frankfurt
8. Geneva
9. Copenhaguen
10. Basel and Sydney

« The museums in the canton have some 1.4 million visitors a year »

Sporting activities are just as plentiful, with the opportunity to go sailing, diving, or fishing, or do stand-up paddle on the various lakes in the canton. In the Jura mountains and the Alps, hiking, paragliding, mountain-biking, skiing, and caving are very popular. The countryside in Vaud offers many unforgettable walking and cycling routes, while the vineyards have a multitude of rustic terraces and gastronomy restaurants, often in the most unexpected of locations.

The canton of Vaud also has a vast array of eateries and fine-dining establishments, with the best of the local terroir and cuisines from around the world widely represented. The canton’s capital, Lausanne, has a young, outgoing vibe. It is a dynamic student city offering plenty of nightlife, with concerts, cinemas, music, bars, and open-air terraces when the weather is fine. Last but not least, the shopping possibilities in Lausanne and Geneva are seemingly endless, with a wide range of stores of every kind; in particular, big fashion chains and watch specialists.