I am considering an option to relocate to one of those countries using their working visas. Lets just imagine for now that I would be able to secure a job offer for both and need to pick one of them (I know that this is super hard etc)

So which one should I choose? My thinking:

  • Swiss salaries almost 2 times bigger then German ones;
  • According to the internet only English knowledge (no or super basic German) should be enough to live in Switzerland;
  • On the other hand it is so much easier to get a blue-card and/or permanent residency in Germany...

Is it true? Or ~80k Euro in Munchen is roughly the same as ~130k CHF in Bern? (numbers and cities picked quite randomly)

What further aspects should be taken into consideration for such a decision making process?

  • 1
    This question calls for opinion, as your preferences may be different from the next person's. This is not an opinion/discussion website; see the help page for more: expatriates.stackexchange.com/help Thus, I voted to close. Sep 24, 2020 at 5:03
  • Adding the following may make this question more acceptable: What further aspects should be taken into consideration for such a decision making process? Sep 24, 2020 at 9:00
  • What is your nationality? What. kind of job are you looking for. Only knowing English is often fine if you work in IT, but many other companies will expect you to speak the local language. Sep 24, 2020 at 12:10
  • @KristvanBesien nationality - non EU/EFTA; preferred job is in IT - developer/devops.
    – JleruOHeP
    Sep 25, 2020 at 3:08
  • 1
    "What further aspects should be taken into consideration for such a decision making process?" What are your dreams and goals in life? Short term? Long term? None of us can answer those things. We can help with the very specific technical aspects of such a decision. On a side note, as I've lived in Germany, Austria, and spent some significant time in Switzerland - all working in IT -, I would never consider living in any of those countries without speaking German, or in the case of Switzerland, one of the other local languages. But that's just me.
    – ouflak
    Sep 25, 2020 at 6:06

1 Answer 1


As in most matters, you must look at the whole picture.

The amount of currency units being earned alone does not tell the whole story.

As a general rule one should assume, that where the earnings (salaries) are higher - so is also the cost of living higher.

You must work out the monthly relation between

  • costs (Local Purchasing Power) and earnings in percentage
    • City A: 90% costs of 100% earnings
    • City B: 85% costs of 100% earnings

City B may be more interesting if your goal is to set aside a monthly sum for a future return to your home country.

Quality of Life is also an aspect that may be important based on what you wish to achive.

So a general answer is not possible, since the situation for someone who wishes to stay for about 5 years and return with savings is different to that of someone who wishes to remain permanently and start a family.

Cost of Living Comparison of Munich, Germany And Bern, Switzerland shows:

You would need around 5,750.88€ (6,188.56Fr.) in Bern to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with 4,300.00€ in Munich (assuming you rent in both cities). This calculation uses our Cost of Living Plus Rent Index to compare cost of living. This assumes net earnings (after income tax).

Indices Difference
Consumer Prices in Bern are 54% higher than in Munich
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Bern are 34% higher than in Munich
Rent Prices in Bern are 3% lower than in Munich
Restaurant Prices in Bern are 50% higher than in Munich
Groceries Prices in Bern are 80% higher than in Munich
Local Purchasing Power in Bern is 41% higher than in Munich


  • Thanks for such a detailed answer! And sorry for this opinion-based question. Did not know how to better word it to be more objective. I`ll accept your answer tomorrow, and want to keep it active if there will be some responses from people living in the cities (internet statistics is good, but you know - it is worse than a straight lie :) )
    – JleruOHeP
    Sep 24, 2020 at 6:31

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