Sunny sides of Switzerland

The Zurich Coffee Place Recommendations were edited on 1.2.2023

What are the best things about your living place?

By listing the good aspects of your living place, you get a positive lens that helps you to see the good around you.

The list is helpful also when you are struggling with your current location, reminding you about its many upsides, plus it can be valuable for those who are thinking to visit or move to where you live!

I listed 15+ positive things about our current living country, Switzerland:

 + Nature. Hello all the gorgeous mountains and lakes, forests and rivers and jaw-dropping views! We are constantly fascinated by Switzerland’s landscape. I’ve heard people describing this country as ‘annoyingly beautiful’ and I have to agree, it often looks like straight out of fairy tale.

Over 60% of Switzerland is mountainous, 25% forest and 6% lakes and glaciers. The mountains make you feel small in a healthy way, and the clear waters are calling your name. Did you know, that the highest mountain in Switzerland (and the second-highest mountain of the Alps) is Monte Rosa whose peak Dufourspitze is 4,634 m high? Probably the most known Swiss mountain standing right next to it, Matterhorn (the one on the Toblerone package) is not much shorter: 4,478 m.

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Many people in Switzerland also seem to value nature and spend a lot of time outdoors. The natural materials are used and appreciated, for example the playground structures are often made of wood and to fit to the landscape.

+ Views. It’s not a coincidence that people seek beautiful scenery. The aesthetics of the environment plays an important role in well-being. Because of the surrounding nature and altitudes, Switzerland is packed with wonderful vistas. Located in the hills, many homes also come with a view.

+ Countless places to visit. There are multiple beautiful towns, historical places, mountains, lakes and routes to explore and you can reach many of them fairly quickly.

+ Transport such as trains. Switzerland  has been ranked first among European rail systems for its intensity of use, safety and quality of service. The clean and timely trains have wonderful window views too!

+ Diverse climates and landscapes. Switzerland has generally temperate climate but it can vary from icy and snowy mountaintops to palm trees in near Mediterranean climate. If it’s raining where you are, chances are that you will find clear skies not too far from you, sometimes just by going to the nearest mountain.

+ Central location. From the heart of Central Europe it is easy to visit different places such as the neighbouring countries France, Italy, German, Austria and Liechtenstein. And it’s easy also for others to visit you.

+ Delicacies. Mouth-watering chocolate, cheese, bakery pastries, seasonal food… Yum!

+ Multiculturalism. Switzerland is a mix of different cultures with their traditions and languages (German/Swiss German, French, Italian and Romansh are the official languages), and therefore the experiences vary depending on which part of the country you are. For example, visiting Lago Maggiore in Ticino is very different to visiting Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen, even if there are only 200 kilometres between the places.


+ Safety. The Global Peace Index ranked Switzerland to be the 11th safest country in the world and Switzerland is also listed as the 3rd least-corrupted country.

+ Reliability. Many people in Switzerland are not only timely but also reliable. Planning to lose your wallet? Consider doing it in Switzerland because it did very well in a study on returning dropped wallets.

+ Four seasons, well timed. Long warm summer, proper spring and autumn and winter with the options of snow in the mountains or sun in the south. Plenty of nice swimming spots in summer, skiing and sledding in winter, hikes to enjoy the autumn colours or the spring flowers…



+ Clean air and water, compared to many other places. Switzerland is one of the cleanest countries in the world.

+ ‘Shopless’ Sundays. Naturally there is also another side to this, but the closed shops on Sundays have certainly saved me from many not-absolutely-necessary buyings and pushed me to go exploring outdoors instead of stores.

+ Precision, maintenance and cleanliness. May not sound as the most exciting words, but it’s nice when things work. Doing things properly and keeping things in good condition can improve the quality of life and the state of the environment. Naturally these things (as many others) are related to wealth – it’s easier to maintain things if you have means to do so.

+ As they say, also the Swiss flag is a huge plus! 😉


And when I zoom into my current home city Zurich, I can see…

+ The nature spots nearby. Even if we for example live quite in the city center, the forests, fields and the lake are in a walking distance. Zurich is surrounded by small mountains, highest of them being Uetliberg (869 m).

+ Scenery. Zurich looks like a postcard with the church towers, waters and alpine views.


+ Different areas with different atmospheres. Ranging from Paradeplatz surroundings with neatly dressed bankers to totally different vibe of the ‘club street’ Langstrasse area, and many in between.

+ Old buildings with stories to tell and beauty to offer. On many streets of Zurich you feel like walking in an architectural candyland – the colors, shapes and details of the houses look just delicious. Before moving to Zurich I didn’t know that many buildings’ roofs are used as terraces. They are perfect for relaxing, having a bbq with friends and for watching the ever-changing scenery or the shooting stars in the night sky. There are also restaurants’ roof terraces to enjoy.


+ Trams, ferries and other transport. The well functioning public transport, ‘öffis’, allows us to live comfortably withouth a car. Besides the basic trams, there are also a fondue tram, a coctail bar tram and a Christmas time tram where Santa is the driver. I especially like the funiculars which offer a fun and scenic way to travel up and down the hills.

+ The local schools.  At least we have been very happy with ours. Also the local DaZ (German as second language) ‘integration program’ was very helpful. It teaches kids subjects in German for one year before they change to the nearest local school.

+ The outdoor swimming places. “Zurich, city of water par excellence, where bathing is a cult.” as they aptly say at It’s been a positive surprise how many swimming places there are, around the lake Zurich and river Limmat – and also the 18 open air swimming sites, ‘badis’, offered by the city of Zurich.


+ Coffee places. Not all cafés here serve tasty coffee in a cosy atmosphere but luckily some of them do, such as these 24 coffee places I’ve been visiting and usually enjoying:

Kafi Freud
Café Lang
Auer & Co
Cafe & Bar Grande
Rio Bar
Café Noir
Le Raymond Bar
Café Henrici
Kafi Paradiesli
Monocle café
Hiltl Dachterrasse
The Artisan (on weekends)
The Studio
Coworking Lounge Tessinerplatz
Kafi Dihei

+ Stairs. Climbing the many stairs of the city can keep you in better shape.

+ Water fountains. You can drink water from the 1,200 fountains of Zurich, many of them being also beautiful works of art.


Text & photos: Helena J. Abroadland

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