With mountain views and outdoor sports, the village of Lenk offers an alternative to busy city life.
Switzerland may not be the first country you think of for digital nomads, but the peaceful mountainous surroundings have a lot to offer.
After 10 years as a digital nomad traveling the world, Andy Stofferis has landed in the alpine village of Lenk. He believes that the calm environment and lack of crowds creates a much better working environment than more lively and traditional places.
“I prefer a quiet environment where I can really work and be productive because there is no real noise,” says Andy.
“In big cities, you always have a lot of things to worry about.”
Now Andy is setting up digital nomad center in the village for those wishing to join him in Lenk.
Why is Switzerland good for digital nomads?
From October 16 to December 22, the center will have private apartments suitable for everyone, from individual nomads to families. Everyone has their own desk for more individual business, but there’s also a place to work together. get to know your countrymen.
So why Lenk? This village in the Swiss Alps has about 2,500 permanent residents, about 15 percent of whom have moved from other countries.
Around 20 different hiking trails start here with a selection of the highest peaks in Europe, easily accessible by car or public transport.
During the summer months, you can also enjoy horseback riding, cycling and other outdoor activities. In winter 200 km. ski slopes take advantage of the region.
Incredible scenery means the center’s living spaces offer mountain views from every angle.
Andy says the place is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, as well as those who are a bit introverted. You don’t need to be an experienced digital nomad to stay in the hub, and it hopes to attract remote workers who are tired of working from their home countries.
However, Lenk is not completely cut off from city life.
“The capital Bern is only one hour and 30 minutes by public transport, by train,” says Andy.
Getting to the airports of Geneva, Basel or Zurich is also easy. And, compared to the rest of the country, Lenk is relatively accessible corner of Switzerland.
Prices in the center reflect this and decrease for each additional month of stay.
“In the first month, an apartment costs 1,500 Swiss francs, which is about 1,500 euros, which is quite fair for Switzerland. Then gradually everything depreciates,” says Andy.
“If you stay for the second month it will be 1200 Swiss francs and then for the third month it will be 800 Swiss francs or euros, which is very good for a private apartment in Switzerland.”
Communication with the local community
Andy’s goal is to create a community of remote workers who can integrate with locals, which can be challenging for temporary nomads.
“The goal is to organize some activities between locals and digital nomads,” he explains.
“Because digital nomads have a lot to share in terms of digital marketing experience or their work or passion. And the locals have a lot to share with them, like places to explore and things to do in Switzerland, or how to save money.”
Instead of staying for a week or two and then moving on, he recommends staying in the same place for one to three months.
While the village can accommodate up to 5,000 tourists at a time, Lenk usually doesn’t attract many visitors in spring and autumn.
Travelers tend to come for winter sports in winter or outdoor activities in summer. Digital Nomad Center can help attract digital nomads in low season.
“Some of the residents are really directly or indirectly dependent on the tourism industry,” says Andy.
So this is really what we are creating together with the Tourist Board and with [apartment provider Ferienlenk] which actually provides housing.
What are the visa requirements for Switzerland?
Although many countries in Europe have introduced them, Switzerland does not yet have digital nomad visa and there is no indication that the government is considering introducing it.
This means that non-EU citizens cannot live and work there without applying in a more traditional way. This often requires that they have a job with a Swiss employer or strong ties to the country.
Andy says that the best option for those outside the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA) might be the Schengen Type C visa. This short-stay visa allows you to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period.
But you will need to show that you have health insurance for the duration of your stay, sufficient funds to support yourself and be resident elsewhere for tax purposes.
EU citizens or people from EEA countries can stay for up to three months within any 180-day period, subject to freedom of movement rules. To stay longer, they need to register and apply for a residence permit in Switzerland.