How to make friends in Switzerland

We have been talking about loneliness when you are abroad, let's now talk about how to make friends (locals and other expats) when you're living in Switzerland :top:

Which are your best tips to meet people and to make friends in Switzerland??

Thanks in advance for your participation


I guess you've had time to see yourself how easy or dificult it is to make friends.

I am thinking about moving to Bern.
How did it go for you?

I am a tag-a-long spouse without children or a job (yet). Joining the American Women's Club has been very helpful. This is my first time living out of the United States. There are women in the club who are Swiss and have lived in the United States; there are women who have moved from country to country for decades; there are women like me who are new at all of this. Center Point is a good resource also if you aren't female or don't have ties to the U.S.
I don't know how long we are going to be here and don't expect a person who has no ties to the expat community to invest a part of their personal life away from their family to create a friendship with someone who could pack-up and leave in a few months. I'm happy to get a familiar smile from the produce lady at the Coop or the frozen foods guy at the MParc when they see me come in their store.
I have never been a social club sort of person. I prefer to have associates at work and just hang-out with my husband on my own time... but being here is different than being there. Ladies let me borrow clothing, dishes, towels, etc when my shipment was late and I had nothing. They have let me borrow furniture and come to my parties. I'm smiling now just thinking about how much I appreciate every single one of them.
Wow I typed a lot!

You can also use the expat network switzerland :)

I've also been thinking about this - making new friends in CH. I haven't moved there yet, haven't even been in Switzerland once, but am thinking of doing a Masters there in the spring. I've lived in a foreign country and am used to having multi national friends. Would love to meet different people in CH as well. I only registered now, but think that I'll check out a lot of the posts here :)

Its nice to go to a language course or dance course or talk to ur neighbours. Friends are very important everywhere.

i love ur writing skills

My First time in Switzerland way back 2002, I was in culture schocked because, I dont know how speak their Language, I dont have work yet, I was just a shadow to my husband, hes a Swiss National. So what I did since I  know that everywhere in the world there are Filipinas like me, so My husband called up the Philippine Embassy to asked if there are Filipina nearby to Winterthur, so I was lucky when I met them, the boredom was over, until I found a job. I love to lived there but my husband loved my country very much because of the Tropical climate here.

Hi Trachsler,
I live in Winterthur also  I moved here 3 months ago, boredom and homesickness is killing me. I'm from.Cebu also. Hope I could meet Filipinos here.

omg homesickness is killing me too...i don t know what to do..

Hi Novi, I lived in Wimterthur before, but if i came back there again in Switzerland, I will be in Thurbenthal because my husband work there. There are many Filipino who lives there in Wimterthur, you try to go to Smiling Fish inside the Migro mall in Winterthur, so many Filipina or Filipino meet there. Thats a meet up point of Filipino living in Winterthur. Actually Smiling Fish is a Chines Restaurant and there are some Filipina works there, you might could hang out with them.

Thank you  for the info Trachsler. I would definitely go there! :-)
I've been shopping in Migro/Neuwiesen a lot of times I never seen any Filipino there or perhaps I'd just missed it. Again, thank you, Have an excellent day ahead! :-)

Ur welcome! You try again to go there, actually the In charge there is a Filipina, but I think shes on vacation right now, thats what ive read in her facebook. Actually, for a Filipina, I dont want to mingle much especially there in Winterthur, I hd already experienced that if its too much attached to the same race its hirap kay suyaay, ingitay. kapoy kaayo. But for a Filipino okay lang sa imo mingle ka kay para pud dili ka ma bored diha.

c est qq un e d lausanne ?

Hello raisaa -> In english please on this English speaking forum. ;)

Thank you,

oh yes i m sry...i know eng also..its better like this

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mak e friends with me

Hello elvis kiwanga -> Could you please introduce yourself? :)

Thank you,

hi iam from hong kong

@ collins42 --> Would you mind introducing yourself to the other members? Thanks. Karen :)

Hi Raisaa, your best bet is to get yourself in to some sort of club .For eg; if you are into jogging, or  a bit of dance or sulza is  a good laugh and guaranteed to meet people .Have  a think of what you like  and see whats on the go in that field.Once you make the first step its never as bad  as you imagine.It will help with homesickness and give you a new vocus .I am just outside Geneva  at Evian ,all the best Don xx

I have dual nationality South Africa/Belgium. Loneliness is killing me. I have moved over alone while my son studies in the UK. I am working in Rolle and living in Tolochenaz.

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HI i'm from algeria and i have a friend from china

Hi, Im half swiss, born in switzerland. Would love to meet expats living here. Im 25 years old.

Hi everyone,

I'm based near Lausanne and have been a member of since I moved over here in 2009. I've always found it hard to make friends here (partly because I am very shy), but being part of the expat community via this site always makes me smile! :)

It's nice to speak to other expats and learn their point of view on the world, especially if they come from totally different backgrounds.

Maybe should organize some sort of big meet up for expats in Switzerland?

hi im cuban, im 29 years old, and i will be here for one year.I dont know almost anyone besides my partners in the lab.

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I have been here for more than a year & it's not quite easy to make friends here. Hope you would be delighted to befriend me!




Totally agree, it is pretty difficult to make new friends here.

Expat communities are great for this sort of thing! :)


Bring a large block of gruyère or emmentaler and some bread, maybe a nice bottle of wine to any lake and you will have plenty of friends in no time.

Hi :D
I'm moving to Lausanne at the beginning of March, and decided to have a nosy on these forums to start making a few friends, or to seek advice on my I'm pretty anxious!! :/
I read a couple of messages that people have found it a bit difficult to make friends over there any particular reason you've found this?


can we be friends?

The only reason it might be difficult to make friends is because the Swiss do not like to take sides.

It is said in Switzerland if a Swiss person moves from one part of the country to another and settles down in a small town or village, then it will take about 5 years for the newcomer to be accepted.  :)

(Please note this is said partly in jest, but it also has some truth to it.)

Hi everyone,

I am with you guys. I am also having a hard time making friends here. so why don't we all get together some time? Anyone is welcome! Who's in??

Finding friends from your "own" country: usually there are clubs or organisations of people "like you". They organise meetings, drinks, events, and that allows you to meet people from your own country and exchange experiences.

About meeting the Swiss:
- Introduce yourself to the neighbourhood when you've rented an appartment. Traditionally, a Swiss that comes to live in a new appartment will invite his neighbours to a small "apéro" (drinks) at his home. No, don't ring doorbells and ask if they'll be there in half an hour - Swiss are very organised and plan ahead - therefore not always as flexible as one would desire.
- A lot of Swiss social life occurs in "Vereine" (clubs). Sports, music, ..., you'll be very likely to find a "Verein" in your town that meets your interests and/or hobbies.
- Speak the local language - and if you don't: start to learn it. There are plenty of language courses and you'll not only learn the local language, but will also be able to meet other "foreigners".
- Take your time. The average Swiss may be a bit reluctant to make spontaneous friendships. It will take some time to make friendships here - on the other hand: friendships are long-term investments and once you've got a Swiss friend, he won't easilly let you down.

Does it only mean one can have or make a swiss friend ONLY when living in Swistzerland?

Join an ex-pat club and go out and chat with new friends. Or join a Swiss association.

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