Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Welcome to Switzerland, fellow Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica! We have created this FAQ for your information as new arrivals to Switzerland or long-term residents of Switzerland looking for a touch of Jamaican culture. At the same time, this list will also be helpful for everyone else to find out where they can go for things specific to Jamaica and of course other venues where support can be found.

*This list attempts to provide guidance to all locations in Switzerland, and will be updated intermittently. If you have any suggestions, please send us your suggestions at jamaicaswiss@gmail.com.

What is the weather like in Switzerland?

The Swiss climate is moderate (even by Jamaican standards). The many mountains block out the cold Arctic air leading to quite cold winters in the mountains (perfect for skiing even late in the year) but hot summers in the plains. Snow lasts less than a month in cities like Zurich and Bern and even less in Geneva, Lausanne and Ticino, with flowers blossoming and the temperature rising around mid-April. Switzerland gets considerably hot in the summer and so do the lakes with Lugano lake being considered the warmest.

Source: http://www.orangesmile.com/travelguide/switzerland/weather.htm

Where can I buy Jamaican food products?

Luckily, we can find basic things like coconut milk, plantain and peas in most shops and corner stores here. However, for the harder to find stuff like ackee and jerk sauce. Try Jamrock Grocery an online grocery and catering service run by our very own Treasurer, Margaret Détraz.

Where can I find restaurants serving Jamaican cuisine?

There are no Jamaican restaurants in Switzerland yet but we have some good alternatives! In Swiss Romande, there is catering by Jamrock Grocery (based in Vallorbes), delivery, catering and pop up restaurants by Jamaican Canteen Chez Dawn (based in Geneva) and even JamRock food truck (based in Morges with access in Swiss German areas). Let us know of any good restaurants or catering for Jamaican food in the Swiss German and Swiss Italian areas!

Where can I do my hair?

    1. Natural hair: Tribus urbaines (Lausanne & Geneva)
    2. Barbers – Unicut (Geneva)
    3. Hairdresser & Barber – Sunshine hair salon (Geneva)
    4. All hair needs and locks – Forester Beauty (Zurich)

I’d like to learn the local language. Any suggestions?

Check out this list of schools all across Switzerland

I’d like to attend church while I’m in Switzerland, any recommendations?

Here is a list of churches across Switzerland that regularly host sermons in English.

What is the scene like for Jamaican music?

Jamaican music is growing in popularity throughout Switzerland. There are several sound systems which play a lot of Jamaican/Caribbean music – Little Lion Sound, Straight Sound, Souljourney Sound, DJ Postman, GC sound which regularly play in clubs and bars around the country. Various Jamaican artistes make stops in Switzerland as they tour Europe including Spice, Tarrus Riley, Sean Paul, Chronixx, Protoje, Koffee, Agent Sasco and many more. In Geneva, these parties and concerts are often hosted at:

  • Chat noir
  • L’Usine
  • Bypass
  • Sunshine club
  • Five nightclub
  • Alhambra Inn
  • Plein-les-Watts festival

I want to keep up with Jamaican dancing, any classes around?

You can find dancehall dance classes at:

I want to invite Jamaican dancers and musicians to a show, any suggestions?

What is the Jamaican art scene like here?

How to get a work permit?

How to get a student visa?

How to get Swiss citizenship?

How to get married in Switzerland?

If I have a resident permit, how long can I leave Switzerland while maintaining that status?