Swiss housing types

Swiss housing types

In Switzerland, there are many different types of housing that expats can call home. If you are looking for a house or apartment in Switzerland, it is important to know what is available and what type of accommodation is best to suit your needs.

Furnished apartments and aparthotels in Switzerland

If you plan to stay in Switzerland for a short period of time, you can stay at short stay apartments or at an aparthotel. These are flats rented out without a rental contract for a short period of time, like a hotel. They are always pre-furnished and are typically used for holidays or business trips.

Apartments in Switzerland

The most common way of living in Switzerland is to rent an apartment. Apartments offer greater privacy than other accommodation and will allow you to choose your own furniture. Prices vary depending on location.


Renting a house is an excellent long-term plan for living in Switzerland, particularly for families. Houses are in high demand in Switzerland due to their size and character. It is not uncommon for houses to be handed down through generations of Swiss families, leading to the picturesque buildings we can see today.

Rooms & House sharing in Switzerland

It is not uncommon for young people to share accommodation in order to stay closer to university or employment. House sharing in Switzerland is cheaper than renting your own apartment, to the detriment of privacy. If you are applying for a house share or are renting a room with people you do not know, you will often have to attend an interview to make sure that you and your housemates will get along.

House sharing for professionals

Landlords may also offer house-sharing specifically for professionals. These houses guarantee that all residents are in gainful employment and not in university. This is in order to ensure a more relaxed and quieter atmosphere than a traditional house share. It is also not uncommon for there to be a minimum age requirement for applying.

Student housing

Although some universities provide onsite housing, many ask that you find your own accommodation while studying. Student housing in Switzerland is available, particularly for overseas students as the tradition for Swiss students is to live at home.

What is a Bastelraum?

On many housing websites, you will see adverts for Bastelraum, WG or Parkplatz. Be advised that these are not housing types but rooms or parking spaces. Bastelraum and WG are rooms that can be rented out for hobbies or working, they cannot be lived in. Living in a Bastelraum is illegal and the landlord renting the room can be prosecuted.

It is also not uncommon for residents in cities to rent out a parking space to others. Be aware of these words if you see an unusually cheap listing in a large city.

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