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Switzerland, Zug: More Than Just a Tax Haven

Switzerland, Zug: More Than Just a Tax Haven

On June 2018 this year, I was given the opportunity to go to Switzerland, Zug, for a one-month training stint with my company. In this post, I will pen down some of my thoughts of living in Switzerland for a month, the Swiss culture, and tips on saving money in this affluent country.

Background

The canton of Zug is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland, and it’s located in Central Switzerland, between Zürich and Lucerne. Zug has one of the lowest tax rates in Switzerland, so it’s not surprising to see lots of Ferraris and Mercedes Benz on the streets. 🙂

Culture

The Swiss are a group of industrious, hardworking, and driven people. No wonder their economy is thriving so well without the need to be part of the European Union. They are very pragmatic when it comes to work, and have no time to waste. That being said, they are still a bunch of friendly people who are willing to help you should you encounter difficulties during your travels within Switzerland.

Getting around

The SBB Mobile App is a must have if you’re going to Switzerland. All you need is to register and key in your credit card details, and you can buy train tickets on your phone.

If you are intending to travel extensively within Switzerland, consider getting a Swiss Half Fare Card for CHF 120 which is valid for a month. I got mine at the Zürich Airport railway station (Bahnhof Zürich Flughafen) upon arrival, and the process took less than 10 minutes.

However, please note that the SBB Mobile App is only for applicable for buying train, boat, or certain funicular tickets. If you are travelling by bus, you have to buy a ticket from the ticketing machine. The Swiss authorities are very strict when it comes to checking for a valid ticket. There was once on a Sunday, I saw plainclothes officers on the bus pretending to be civilians and once the bus took off, they started checking everyone for a valid ticket!

Interface of the SBB Mobile App. Source: sbb.ch

Easy to use touch-timetable to purchase tickets. Source: sbb.ch

Food

Food in Switzerland is comparatively more expensive, especially if you are coming from other parts of the world. A meal at McDonalds can cost anywhere between CHF 10-20.

One of my favourite places to dine in Zug is a restaurant called Restaurant Freimann, where they serve delicious traditional Swiss food. It was so good that I went there 4 times in total.

Exterior of Restaurant Freimann

The Cordon Bleu dish, typically consist of meat wrapped around generous serving of ham and cheese, which is then breaded and deep-fried.

Yoghurt ice cream with honey

Locally brewed beer

Another place that I really like is 67 Sixtyseven Sportsbar, which serves delicious burgers and ribs. On Wednesdays, they offer CHF 32 for all you can eat spare ribs! Pretty good deal I would say.

All you can eat ribs with potato wedges

67 Sixtyseven Knock Out Burger

Supermarkets

There are a few supermarkets where you can get your groceries from namely Coop, Migros, Lidl and ALDI. I personally find that Lidl offers the largest selection of groceries at a slightly cheaper price than the rest. Do note that supermarkets in Zug tend to close early.

Places of Interest

If you’re an avid hiker, or someone who enjoys nature, then Zugerberg is a must visit place for you. You can access this local mountain by the funicular railway in just 8 minutes. The view at the top is magnificent and there are nice restaurants to drop by along the way. It is not surprising to see people bringing their bikes up on the mountains, and then biking down.

View of the funicular up Zugerberg

Place where you can buy cherries while hiking

Fresh cherries to quench your thirst during the hike

 

All in all, Zug is a nice place to relax and unwind after work. There are sufficient activities to do which isn’t covered in this post such as swimming in the lake during summer, but most might take a train and head to Zurich and Lucerne where there’s plenty more to see. More about Switzerland to come in another post!

 

Safe travels,
Vincent



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