Buying groceries


Recycling and handling of waste


Leisure time


Social networks


Emergency numbers and other important addresses

In order to feel at home in Switzerland, it is important to participate in social and cultural life and to have some knowledge of what makes the country tick. Living in Switzerland is a privilege for most residents and newcomers. It is safe, quiet and clean. In addition, everything is well organized and the standard of living is correspondingly high. Zurich is one of the cities with the highest quality of life in the world.


Buying groceries

The Swiss prefer to buy their groceries and other everyday items from these Swiss providers:

for brand lovers

for Swiss traditional goods

for gourmets

for the price conscious

for the price conscious

for the price conscious and for wine and tobacco lovers

Traditionally, Coop and Migros are among the biggest retailers of groceries in Switzerland. Both also offer a top home delivery service. In addition to its own products, Coop also sells many brand-name products, including alcohol and tobacco, whereas Migros sells an alcohol-free and tobacco-free range and mainly its own products. Denner, which has evolved into a market leader in the sale of good wine at reasonable prices, is to be recommended for wine, alcohol and tobacco.


Recycling and handling of waste

The recycling rate for Swiss household waste has doubled in the last twenty years and is more than 50 % today. Even though Switzerland is thus above the European average of around 30 %, it is however one of the biggest producers of waste in Europe.

The waste management industry in Switzerland is based on the polluter pays principle as regards refuse and bulky items. Everyone pays for what they throw away. Refuse bags are taxed with a charge per bag in most municipalities, and a few municipalities use customary bags and chargeable stickers for sticking on them. In every municipality, you can buy refuse bags and stickers in any stores on request at the till or over the counter as well as at the Post Office (one roll of ten bags costs up to CHF 26 depending on the size).

The official collection points have separate recycling stations where you can separately dispose of recycling material such as glass bottles, PET bottles and plastic bottles, paper, metal cans, batteries and textiles. PET and plastic bottles as well as batteries can also be returned in grocery stores and other stores, usually deposit-free. On certain days, paper and cardboard can be left bundled by the side of the road where they are collected by municipality workers. The waste collection dates are issued by each municipality in their own waste calendars, which are sent to residents annually. Big bulky items such as furniture made out of wood, plastic or metal, mattresses, carpets, electrical appliances etc. can also be disposed of at the recycling centre or at the collection point.


Leisure time

Everyone has their own needs, priorities and principles and knows how to fulfil these in their own way. Thanks to the extensive and varied range of leisure and cultural opportunities in Switzerland, there is something for everyone. Unspoilt, beautiful Switzerland, with its picturesque hills, mountains, valleys and lakes, forests, villages and cities offers countless opportunities to spend your leisure time at wonderful places. It is not surprising that the Swiss have always been a nature-loving people.

Find out more about Switzerland:

Every city has its own tourist office for offerings specific to its location. Simply enter your city into your search engine and the term «tourism», and you will make a find.

Zurich’s night life is well known and offers the biggest and brightest partying opportunities in the whole of Switzerland. Click on the link – the website is worth a visit.


Social networks

Network with other expatriates and make new contacts with companions who are away internationally like you. This could perhaps also help you to feel a little more «at home».

Here are some interesting addresses that facilitate contacts with like-minded persons:

For great tips and nice insights, we recommend that you follow the following profiles on Instagram:


Emergency numbers and other important addresses



Fire service


Ambulance service


REGA air rescue service


Poisoning-related emergencies


Road emergency service


Telephone counselling « Die Dargebotene Hand »



+41 44 255 11 11

Doctor’s station for urgent cases: Permanence Zürich Hauptbahnhof

+41 44 215 44 44

24/7 pharmacy Bellevue Apotheke, Theaterstrasse 14, 8001 Zurich

+41 44 266 62 22


+41 52 266 21 21

+41 52 267 01 01

Aerztephone, a service for finding emergency doctors for the canton of Zurich

+41 800 33 66 55

SOS-Aerzte, emergency doctors for the Greater Zurich areah area

+41 44 360 44 44


+41 41 399 11 11

+41 41 725 40 00


+41 31 632 21 11

+41 31 990 41 11

St. Gallen

+41 71 494 11 11

+41 71 228 40 40


+41 41 205 11 11


+41 61 265 25 25

Other medical clinics (“permanences”) and doctors can be found at Medbase.

COVID-19 information can be obtained from the website of the Bundesamt für Gesundheit (BAG) [Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)].

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