Expand your social circle in Switzerland

Hello everyone,

Moving to Switzerland means leaving one's family and friends behind. Creating a circle of friends or joining an existing one should therefore be paramount in order to fight loneliness in your host country.

But how can one develop a social network in Switzerland? Where and how to meet people there?

How easy is it to meet locals? What about cultural specificities?

Share your advice and experience!

Many thanks in advance,


At frist sight it is not that easy to socialize with the Swiss. The stereotype Swiss is closed, reserved and "not too open for something new".

When you've just moved to Switzerland, don't expect your neighbours to pay a spontaneous visit to you. They won't - supposing that you're too busy organising your new life to have spontaneous visitors. Instead, after you've moved and your new house or flat is more or less "organised", it is usual to invite your neighbours for an "Apéro": an informal reception, meant to introduce yourself to you new neighbours. Plan ahead - Swiss are used to it and an invitation for an "Apéro" for next Friday evening may be rejected by many, for having already other appointments.

Socializing the Swiss way means joining a "Verein". That can be any club or association: sports, a choir, a common interest. It's an ideal place to make new friends.

In the German spoken part,  Learn Swiss-German as perfect as you can and you will sociolize very easy.

If anyone has discovered a way to do this in the Lausanne area send me the instructions! I find it very difficult. Not picking up on the French language has a lot to do with it. Then again, when you get told that you make some people's ears bleed when you speak French certainly doesn't help!

forget the swiss and buy a house in Spain to enjoy the sun as I did . The swiss are of granite. There is no social live in zwitserland. Half a year in spain brings you more friends and social live than 20 years in zwitserland. That is my expirience with the swiss. They live to work rather than work to live.  You have to speak the language to socialize and then still you none of them. They are not european they are opportunists.
The only good thing is that they are well organized that makes live comfortably in a pratical way, but live is more.

Switzerland is a fantastic place and there are several ways to meet people and socialise. One of the only downsides that becomes immediately apparent however is that culturally, there is very little variety of personality, originality, and uniqueness publicly visible. At first sight most restaurants, bars, venues, cafes, and clubs maintain a very 'status quo' feel', leading a lot of visitors and new arrivals to deem the city (referring to Geneva right now) lame and lifeless. They also develop a sense that every place is ripping them off in terms of prices and oftentimes, shitty service in several places.

Nevertheless, the very same downside is simultaneously one of the greater elements and opportunities of living here. The implication is that people who look superficially can expect superficiality and boredom around every corner. There are actually quite a few cool pockets throughout Geneva hidden away and in need of just having people take the time to investigate and discover them. This is also true with regards to meeting new personalities and socialising.     

For my own part, Geneva has been a smooth place to meet and hang out with people but they could use a facelift even more-so in terms of providing more versatile musical styles and catching up with the times in an more modern, artistic regards. Then again, those aren't really things that are the responsibility of the buildings, companies, banks, and other agencies to change but rather the people and their mentalities, and there are some great people here avoiding all that status quo and getting things going. The socialising gets better every year...


Robyn Green

Robyn Green,
If I didn't know for a fact my sister was still living in the US with her husband and kids I'd wonder what she was doing in Geneva!
Rob Green

Rob Green,
    Your post makes absolutely no sense.

My family name is Green. One of my sisters is named Robyn. Your name is Robyn. Robyn Green. Same name. Different person. Clearer now? :)

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