Here Are the Four Best Housing Types in Switzerland

Breathtaking Swiss landscape with river stream, rocks and houses with Alps background in a sunny summer day.
Breathtaking Swiss landscape with river stream, rocks and houses with Alps background in a sunny summer day. Source: Depositphotos

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Switzerland is its beautiful Alps, lakes, and ski ranges. These, among other cultural attractions, are the reasons behind Switzerland’s ballooning tourist population.

A good number of the people visiting fall in love with Switzerland and make it their second home. Besides tourists, Switzerland also receives thousands of people every year coming to work and study. As such, there is a growing demand for short-term and long-term accommodation.
A major concern for those trooping into Switzerland is whether there are housing types that are suitable for them. If this sounds like your current situation, this guide is meant for you.
Read on as we explore the different types of houses available in Switzerland so you can choose the best one for your situation.

Furnished apartments

Nothing beats the convenience of renting a furnished apartment. They are spaces that are ready for occupation.

In Switzerland, an apartment that has basic furniture including a bed, sofa, and kitchen appliances is considered furnished. Furnished apartments fall into three categories: fully furnished, furnished, and semi-furnished.

A fully furnished apartment goes one step further to include living necessities such as towels and silverware on top of the expected furniture fittings. A semi-furnished apartment on the other hand has the bare basics. In it, you will find a bed, chair, a stove and maybe a refrigerator.

The difference between these apartments lies in the pricing structure. For a similar floor space, the fully furnished apartment will cost you more than the semi-furnished apartment in monthly rates. Furnished rentals are ideal for short-term stays. They save you the hassle of moving heavy furniture over short durations.

The biggest worry for most people though is the restriction on reorganizing or changing the look of a furnished apartment. Consult your landlord to find out if small modifications are allowed.

A hostel is a low-priced inn of some sort that offers shared accommodation. There are thousands of hostels all over Switzerland in cities such as Bern, Zurich, Basel, Lugano and Geneva.

A typical hostel is made of a large room consisting of separate beds and a shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. This arrangement allows for a low-pricing structure which makes such accommodation popular with students, workers on a short-term stay, and volunteers.

A hostel is a great choice if you are low on funds. Some of the benefits of living in a hostel include free Wi-fi, and complimentary breakfast, and is perfect if you are in a large group. Besides, hostels tend to be situated close to city centers eliminating the need for long commutes.


You must be wondering, didn’t I just read about this earlier? No, you didn’t. An apartment is different from a furnished apartment in that it doesn’t include any furniture. The tenant moves in with his/her furniture and moves out with it at the end of the tenancy period.

Essentially, an apartment is an empty room or room available for rent to an individual. The tenant needs to sign a rental agreement for the tenancy period to be valid. The tenancy contract outlines what the tenant and the landlord are entitled to for the term of the tenancy.

In Switzerland, apartments come in various forms. There are loft apartments, maisonnette apartments, condominiums, and attic apartments. Each of these setups has its pros and cons.

Family homes

If you have been to a homestay before, chances are high that you were housed in a family home. Family homes are stand-alone spaces that feature ample, private outside space.
Many family homes in Switzerland are handed down through generations, as such carry an aura of ancient buildings. Besides having spacious rooms, these homes typically feature garden spaces.

Family homes are a great option for long-term stays and especially if you have a family. In addition, they offer unmatched privacy and allow you to have events such as barbecues.

So which housing type best suits your needs?

If you are looking at Switzerland as your next long-term or short-term stay destination, we have great news for you. Settling down here has never been easier. Switzerland is home to a variety of houses suited to different needs.

Whatever brings you to Switzerland, be it studies, work, volunteerism, or just a permanent relocation, there is a house suitable for you. We hope our brief outlook on the best housing types in Switzerland was of help to you.

Good luck in finding a great place to call home!


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