Newly Swissed Online Magazine

The Good and Bad of Living in a Tax Haven

Zug - Living in a Tax Haven
Every now and then, an article pops up talking about Zug, the tax haven, and how wonderful it is. It is wonderful, but along with the positives there are negatives.

Positives about Living in Zug

Zug is very international so you can get away with not speaking German. I knew none when I arrived here, and I had enough stresses to deal with that it was nice not having a problem with the language. (There was still a problem with understanding signs and notices, but people helped us translate those.) Now, I am able to understand most German, but sometimes still require a little help from Google Translator...

There are a lot of very rich people here in Zug. Certain amenities and a certain quality of life are expected: It is very clean. The schools are good - international and public. There are a lot of activities for kids, including English speaking kids. There are tons of parks and kid friendly swimming areas to keep the little ones happy.

Zug - Living in a Tax Haven
About 10% of the land is a nature reserve. Zugerberg is a great place for everybody. It is a common place for hiking, cook outs, and paragliding. There are 622 km of hiking trails. Lake Zug, on the other hand, is popular for boating, sailing, and swimming.

Zug - Living in a Tax Haven
There are no less than 593 farms in the canton of Zug, so you can get a lot of local milk, fruits, and vegetables. Also, Zug is famous for its cherries.

Negatives about Living in Zug

Many people like how Zug is so small, but it also causes problems. Since it is such an attractive place for businesses, and the population is increasing, housing prices are increasing as well. The prices are getting so high that even some Swiss people are being pushed away.

Cranes are a constant on the Zug skyline because of all of the expansions. New businesses and new housing developments are being built all of the time:

Zug - Living in a Tax Haven
The housing market is really very competitive. I have a small place within walking distance to the big shopping area and only a five minute walk to the train station. I searched for an apartment every single day for months to find this place. Then, one morning, my apartment-to-be popped up and I called instantly. There was a viewing at 11 AM that morning and six other people had already inquired about the property. I was the lucky one.

Apart from real estate, the job market is very tough as well. I have been looking for work for a while, which has been very difficult. Due to its role in the global commodities industry, Zug attracts very skilled workers. This makes it even more difficult for me since I had just started my career and put it on hold to raise my son. Now, the fact that I have not worked for a few years is holding me back. A recruiter said that I could not get a position because I did not have recent office experience.

Another problem with Zug being a small town is that it is a small town. Some people like that, but sometimes I don’t like getting stuck chatting at the grocery store for a long time. Don’t get me wrong: I like people, but I also like my alone time. Maybe I am being grumpy, but sometimes I would rather just get back home to my couch and be a reclusive writer...

Perspectives on Living in Zug


An American expat, mom, people watcher, and "The Sound of Music" enthusiast who loves to "climb every mountain" in her spare time.


  • Scary reality, when town folks can’t afford to live in their own hometown any longer! Hope the politicians smarten-up and do something for “the homeys”! ;-)

  • Thanks for your comment and for letting us know about this interesting project! Please do let us know should you plan a trip to Zurich as we would be happy to show you around…

  • This summer I was in Zug with my family on summer holidays. We fell in love with Zug. Calm and quite city by the side of magnificent lake Zug. Wonderful people , lovely food. We are amazed .We wish to go there again. May be in winter.

  • so interesting article!!!!… exactly the same feeling… living in Zug, I m a young mum of a 10 months old child.. I’m also looking for a job since almost 1 year…. and i speak german but not perfectly (B2 level) … I studied a lot but just started my career… soooo difficult to hear: very good profile but you don’t have any experience in that and your german…blablabla :-(

    • Thanks for sharing in your own experience, Camille! Don’t despair, it’s usually about being in the right place at the right time here in Switzerland… And you are on the right path with acquiring language skills!

  • I may be coming to work in Zug temporarily (up to a year) for an international company. I won’t be bringing family, but am one who likes to immerse myself as much as possible into the local culture and get the most out of the experience. I also will be doing genealogy research since I have family that emigrated from Sumiswald (nearby). Any suggestions about places to stay, travel, entertainment? I also hope to travel to other parts of Europe while there

  • Dear Brittany,
    Thank you for you article. Very interesting. I may establish my business in Zug soon and I could surely use your knowledge of that city in order to make some strategic decisions about where to rent an apartment. Would you share your email address with me or your phone number so we can discuss about it when you got a minute?
    Thank you in advance,


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