Cost of Living in Geneva



The city of Geneva ranks fourth in the list of the most expensive cities in the world. But nobody’s complaining, and more expats are moving in each year.

This mystery is solved by a survey by UBS, a top wealth management research company. Employees in Swiss cities, like Geneva and Zurich, happen to be the highest gross earners among other international cities all over the globe.

Housing and Food

An expat's primary concern would be to find the best deal for his most basic needs in his chosen expat destination. However, as in any other place, how much you spend depends on how you choose to live.

In Geneva, the prices for both accommodation and food may be a bit higher, especially in the city centre.

Living in the Alps in the background, breathing in clear air in a community of low crime rates and with a colourful culture; these are factors that definitely outweigh the cost.

The cost of monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre would be around 1,209 Euro or 1648 USD. If you are comfortable with commuting from outside the city centre, the cost for the same apartment would be 1,000 Euro (1,362 USD). A bigger apartment with two bedrooms in the city centre can be rented for approximately 1,800 Euro (2,452 USD).

You'd have to take note though that most apartments are rented unfurnished. This means that you provide your own lighting fixtures, tables, chairs, beds. So make sure to be prepared for that extra expense.

Many properties for rent or sale can be found through ads placed in newspapers or community boards. Be aware though that since Geneva is a very compact metropolis, the demand for rented accommodation is high. You may want to call the proprietor and make an appointment early on.

In a city considered home by 180 nationalities from all over the world, the local cuisine is expected to please a variety of preferences. As a result, the city has almost 1000 restaurants that offer all kinds of dishes, from French fondue to Persian kebabs.

A solo meal in a low-end restaurant would cost about 12.03 Euro (16.43 USD), while a shared meal for two in a mid-range place would cost around 50.24 Euro (68.46 USD).

Cooking at home would be less pricey, though, and considered the best option for families. Grocery stores in Geneva offer great quality products, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Food basics like milk cost about 1.29 Euro (1.76 USD) for a litre, a loaf of fresh bread around 2.50 Euro (3.41 USD), a dozen eggs about 4.00 Euro (5.45 USD) and a 1.5 litre of bottled water costs around 1 Euro (1.36 USD).

Transportation and Utilities

If there's anything outright impressive about Geneva in an expat's perspective, it would have to be the efficiency of public transportation. The city government provides frequent bus, trams, ‘mouettes' or boats, and suburban train services.

Tickets can be bought from dispensing machines, and prices would range from 1.36 Euro (1.85 USD) for short distances to 6.81 Euro (9.28 USD) for an all-day pass using all modes of transport, from buses to trains within the city and the canton of Geneva.

A recent amendment to Swiss law mandates that a tourist of the city would get a free transport pass that he can use for the entire duration of his stay.

The expense for basic utilities such as electricity, gas, and water is about 26.40 Euro (35.97 USD). Bills for these utilities are usually generated on a quarterly basis.

The telephone system is also impressively efficient and is dominated by the telecom company Swisscom. A 100-minute call through a mobile phone would cost about 33.69 Euro (45.91 USD). Internet connections can also be included in your monthly landline charges for about 28.51 Euro (38.85 USD).

Life in Geneva means enjoying the best quality of life Europe has to offer. It comes with a price, though, but doesn't everything else?



Continue reading:

Cost of Living in Switzerland

Expat Services in Geneva