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Renting an apartment in Olten: insider advice and tips

What do the authors Franz Hohler, Pedro Lenz and Alex Capus have in common? They all come from Olten. Maybe you might do the same? An apartment in the small, peaceful town of Olten and a job in Bern, Basel or Zurich is a winning combination for a gre

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Céline Frey
September 18, 2020

Olten is only half an hour away from a large part of German-speaking Switzerland. Ideal for an everyday commute. In Olten you will find a high number of apartments available to rent of all sizes, especially much sought-after 3- and 4-room apartments. The vacancy rate is 3.04. This means that you will find twice as many vacant apartments in Olten as the Swiss average.

Apartments for rent at a range of prices

A vacant apartment does not mean it is affordable. But Olten offers more choice when compared to Berne or Zürich. Most of the 3-room apartments are rented out at a cost of between CHF 1,200 and CHF 1,500. You will also find a lot of apartments available to rent with a cost of between CHF 1,600 and CHF 2,000.

For 4-room apartments, Olten’s rents range from CHF 1,400 to CHF 2,000. You will also find more luxurious apartments with rents upwards of CHF 2,000.

Rent an apartment in the new Olten Sud-Ouest district

In the 2000s, the Holcim buildings on the former “Zementi” site were demolished and the site was abandoned for a long time. In 2015, the first part of the new Olten Sud-Ouest district was developed.

Ideally located next to the Olten Hammer train station, the district has capacity for a population of around 4,000. You can still find new apartments available to rent dating from the first phase of the district's development. A 3.5-room apartment costs around CHF 1,600 including utility costs etc. and a 4.5-room apartment will cost between CHF 1,900 and 2,000.

Just like everywhere else in Switzerland, you have to provide the property management company or landlord with a rental guarantee to rent an apartment in Olten. With Firstcaution, you can obtain a rental guarantee without a bank deposit quickly and easily.

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Renting an apartment in a district on the right bank of the Aare

The districts of Bifang, Säli and Wilerfeld are located on the right bank of the Aare. Bifang, just behind the station, has changed a lot in recent years. It is now home to new, modern buildings. The local craft brewery Drei Tannen is located here. A wide variety of beers are brewed with ingredients from the region, and “leftovers” are also used: bread from the Pino bakery in the Old Town, “Treberwurst” sausages, and shampoos. The Bifang has been home to a vegetable market every Saturday for centuries.

Between Bifang and Säli lie the Sälipark shopping centre and the University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland. Säli itself is a typical residential area that boasts a city park feel. It is home to stand-alone houses and small blocks, surrounded by plenty of green spaces.

Finally, north of the right bank of the Aare is Wilerfeld, a residential area similar to Säli. Here, Hardwald forest and the cemetery are an oasis of greenery and peace.

Getting around by public transport and car sharing in Olten

In Olten, buses are operated by the Busbetrieb Olten Gösgen Gäu (BOGG) in a dense network. In addition to Hammer station, Olten has a main railway station, which is also a major junction. Against the backdrop of its famous station buffet - the Radical Free Democratic Party Switzerland (PLR) and the Swiss Football Association, among others, were founded here. Take advantage of the train station and its great rail links: 80% of Switzerland is only an hour away by train!

In case you still need a car: the car sharing service in Olten is excellent. Many people in Olten also use Mobility when they need it. As there are a high number of cars in the area, you can always find one.

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Our insider tips for living in Olten

Not yet convinced that you can have a great quality of living in Olten? Here are our insider tips.

Olten's aviary, the Vögeligarten, is situated on the right bank of the Aare. This is a great spot for birdwatching native and exotic species. Next door is a well-equipped play area offering hours of entertainment. During the summer months, theRobinson’s play pavilion is also open. The Robinson Hageberg open-air play area is located on the left bank, next to the city park.

Olten is a key cultural centre. In addition to the Oltner Kabarett-Tagen festival and the great poetry slam scene, there are three theatres, the “Schützi” venue for large events and many small stages in bars, e.g. Vario, Galicia, and Coq d'Or. There is a wide variety of events on offer with something for everyone. Don't forget to check out the local cultural magazine Kolt, which is on a par with similar magazines of much larger cities.

If you walk to the town hall you will get a bird’s eye view of the city. From up there you have a magnificent panorama of the entire region and you can see with your own eyes that 40% of Olten's municipal area is actually made up of forests.

Olten has dedicated a literary walk to the writers Franz Hohler, Pedro Lenz und Alex Capus. Using your smartphone or tablet, you can scan the QR codes attached to the 60 listening stations and listen to two- to four-minute clips.

Convinced? Do you already have a vacant apartment in mind? Read our guide before putting together your rental application.

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