Bonjour Geneva, Switzerland!

Considering becoming an expat in Geneva Switzerland? Doing my research for an upcoming blog on the art of watchmaking, my curiosity as to how the rich and famous select Geneva as a travel playground or even a permanent second home. Known for a reputation of its’ favorable tax environment, it also offers a solid education system, strong safety ratings and superior quality of life as primary factors for high end net worth individuals.

Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland (second to Zurich), with a population near 200,000, and is viewed as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe with over 40% of its’ population coming from outside the country of Switzerland which is higher than Paris, France or London, England. The official language is French, but as a result of immigration in the mid twentieth century, Italian, German, Portuguese and Spanish are also spoken. English is quite common due to the increasing population of expatriates and foreigners employed in international institutions and the banking industry.

Geographically, Geneva is surrounded by France from the west, south and east. Located on Lake Geneva, the largest lake in Western Europe and is bordered by the Jura Mountains to the west and at the foot of the French Alps to the east. The city is easily reached within 2 hours by plane from most major cities in Europe and is a hub of Europe’s highway network. High speed train connections to Paris and Milan, as well as fast trains to Spain and Germany are all accessible.

Perhaps baking in the current Midwestern heatwave for the past week has the most diehard warm weather person dreaming of cooler climates. The snowcapped mountains surrounding Lake Geneva and associated winter sports within this region has produced my naïve thoughts of a constant cold climate. However, winters are relatively cool and summers can be quite warm. Snowfall, in the nearby mountains, substantially impacts a booming ski business throughout the winter months.

Known for its thriving international economy, Geneva’s primary industries are private banking, inter-governmental agencies, technology and tourism. A number of multinational companies like Caterpillar, Dupont and Cargill have their international headquarters located in this city. This city is home to around twenty multi-international organizations including the United Nations European Headquarters, World Health Organization(WTO), as well as the International Red Cross Headquarters. Of course, the art of watchmaking is rooted in Geneva and is still the home to numerous companies such as Patek Phillippe, Rolex, Chopard, Universal Geneve and Vacheron Constantin to name a few.

Geneva maintains a lovely balance of both dynamic city life and healthy green life. The city offers many cultural events and culinary delights defined by a surplus of shops, fine restaurants and historical sites; and green life with over 20% of the area covered in parks and surrounded forests, lakes and streams which add to the quality of life for her inhabitants.

Across the board, all media publications list Geneva as one of wealthiest cities in the world and has built a reputation as a destination for the ultra wealthy for vacationing or taking up residence.

Photography Credit: -Unsplash
Ebarhard Grossgasteiger
Jack Ward
Tran Mau Tri Tam
Photography Credit: -Pixaby
Edwin Surbeck

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