Meeting people in Geneva

Developing your social circle in Geneva
Updated 2019-08-01 07:21

For a new person, Geneva can feel isolating at first. But although the city is small and quiet, there are a lot of activities for you to get involved in, from sports and cultural activities to volunteering. gives you some tips for efficiently building your social circle and make new friends.

A good place to start is on Geneva's social board website, glocals. People post activities they are hosting throughout the week - including book clubs, sporting activities and language exchanges - and anyone interested is welcome to join in!

Join groups and clubs in Geneva

It will be easy to join an international social group. Colleagues from global companies are generally quite welcoming in Geneva because they know how isolating the city can feel to newcomers; they were new themselves once too. You will inevitably be invited to a big social gathering by the lake, like a BBQ or picnic, where you will be able to meet a lot of new people.

There are many social clubs that you can join - finding people with similar interests is an excellent way to develop a social network in Geneva.

Participating in an 'urban picnic' with the Pique-nique urbain group is a fun way to explore the city. The group identifies unusual spots around the city to have an outdoor afternoon meal together - including a roundabout, a train station waiting room and in the middle of the Rhône river! The group welcomes anyone who passes by to join them for a bite to eat.

Sports clubs in Geneva

Joining a sports club is another good way to start developing a social network in Geneva. You will be able to find everything from volleyball to running clubs to sailing. And with the city surrounded by mountains, there are a lot of hiking clubs that go for walks during the weekends. You can find some of these groups on Meetup, including Geneva hiking with dogs or Meetup Escapades Genève et en Suisse, which have 165 and 131 members, respectively, - which means potential new friends. There are also groups for fitness, drinking wine and discovering new restaurants.

Coworking spaces in Geneva

Geneva's coworking spaces like Impact Hub Geneva and Voisins, host weekly activities for non-members to join for a small fee. These events are a great place to meet new people in a warm and friendly environment.

Language exchange groups in Geneva

Learning a new language with a group is a fun way to develop a social network in Geneva. There are many courses that you can participate in, like the Migros Schule, and language meetups where novices and native speakers from around the world talk to each other in cafes throughout the city.

Volunteering in Geneva

Volunteering opportunities in Geneva can be found through Serve the City. The website lists long-term projects - such as serving food with the Salvation Army and at the Jardin de Montbrillant soup kitchen - and short-term, one-off events, like helping clean up the Parc-Challandes zoo.

Other activities in Geneva

Other popular activities include: Cuisine Lab's bi-monthly brunch which supports asylum seeker and refugee chefs in Geneva; Mundo Lingo Genève, free language social events on Thursday evenings and ad hoc PechaKuchaNights.

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