Swiss lifestyle in Berlin

Small and rich vs. big and diverse

It’s broadly known that Switzerland is one of the most exclusive and expensive countries in the world. According to the so-called Big Mac index (2018), buying the named burger will cost you the most in Switzerland (6,8$) – that’s even more than Swedes or Fins have to pay for their food! Berlin, on the other hand, with its 4,8$ per burger makes eating out look like a bargain.

In “Tsüri”, as the Swiss capital is called by the locals, you are able to make more money, but also have to deal with considerably higher costs of living: According to the UBS-report (May 2018), Zurich is the most expensive out of 77 cities in the global ranking. Somewhere more in the middle of this statistics, Berlin comes in on 30th place with a price level of 79.8 – showing how comparatively affordable the German capital remains.

Source: UBS Report May 2018

But it's not just the low costs of living that speaks for Berlin: the German capital is also home to a growing and flourishing digital and creative scene. It’s the perfect foundation to found or grow your own business in Berlin if that is your intention. If that isn’t what your're looking for and you prefer to work in an existing company, the opportunities the city offers you are endless: whether you join one of the many startups or one of the established big companies, Berlin’s diversity is also part of the job market. With over 9.138 digital businesses (2016) you won’t have to worry about finding the right position for you. More than 80.000 software developers are already based in Berlin – and with new startups and companies flourishing and popping up daily, there’s plenty of room for more. Find out more about the IT-economy in the digital capital in Berlin.

Michael Berli, CEO & Co-founder of SELFNATION, a business founded in Berlin with currently two operation locations in Zurich and Berlin, when being asked about why he chose Berlin for his startup. He is one of the many Swiss entrepreneurs who became successful in Berlin.

"Berlin is inspiring and stands for continuous development and growth. This isn't just important for the fashion industry but also for a successful tech-economy."

 Here are some platforms or organisations which will support you:

  • Business Location Center – the platform offers a variety of services and information for companies and investors who want to settle and grow their business in Berlin
  • Gründen in Berlin – if you want support and advice during all stages of founding your business, this organisation should be your main point of contact
  • Start Alliance – the international business network connects startup hubs globally and offers various programmes to help with internationalization processes.

Furthermore, various events where you can meet IT specialists and digital creatives take place regularly and invite you to establish networks and discuss business over a beer.

If you consider relocating to Berlin, or if you are a new Berlin-based Swiss citizen, you shouldn’t be afraid of the challenges that may pop up in your mind when thinking about an international move. The Swiss club Berlin has collected a full range of tips and helpful links (mostly in German) that’ll help you find your way around Berlin in case you feel intimidated by the complexity of the subject.

A piece of Switzerland in Berlin

Sometimes though, you simply miss where you came from and nothing, not even the diverse and exciting capital of Germany, can change that. But in this case, the international character of Berlin comes into action and offers remedy: Cuchi Chäschtli is a Swiss supermarket located in the Berlin district of Wilmersdorf. If you miss certain sweets, cheese or other delicacies from Switzerland, you’ll find them here and you can enjoy all the daily things. 

Berlin feels like home to many people with different backgrounds and cultures. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Swiss culture and cuisine is represented in Berlin, too. Whether you want to enjoy a traditional breakfast, lunch or tea, Villa Appenzell offers a variety of Swiss specialities to enjoy any time of the day. Right in the centre of Berlin, in Kreuzberg, you can find Schwarze Heidi, where Swiss meals with fresh ingredients are served daily.

If the city gets to your head from time to time and you just want to take a mini-vacation, you should definitely visit Châlet Suisse. Located in the “green heart” of Berlin (Grunewald), you can expect a cosy atmosphere, mixed with the best of the Swiss and German cuisine and surrounded by the wonderful nature. Speaking of nature, Nola’s am Weinberg is another restaurant that serves Swiss dishes. It is located on the green hills of “Weinberg Park” – here you can enjoy your food with a magnificent view of Berlin’s city centre.

Enjoying Swiss dishes at Nola's am Weinberg
Enjoying Swiss dishes at © Nola's am Weinberg

The Berlin-based service Schweizer Weine has specialised in selling exclusive wines. They offer only the best wines of the East-West-Valley of the Alps, the Wallis and of the Swiss canton of Tessin.

Meet the Swiss

If it’s not so much of the cuisine or culture you miss, but more the people and the conversation, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to catch up and network with some fellow Swiss:

  • Swiss club in Berlin – supports local Swiss citizens since its foundation in 1861 and counts around 202 members (as of February 2018). The club hosts regular meetings on the second Wednesday of every month (except for August and December).
  • SwissCommunity.org – is a platform connecting Swiss people from all over the world. You can sign up for free and exchange current information, latest news and events.
  • Swiss Forum Berin - Schweizer Verein Berlin – join the group to get notified about current events and networking opportunities in Berlin.
  • Swiss embassy – representing Switzerland, the embassy offers various services and hosts events throughout the year.
  • The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) will keep you informed about the latest news from Switzerland and is a central point of contact for
© Auslandschweizer-Organisation / Adrian Moser
© Auslandschweizer-Organisation / Adrian Moser

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