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18 Aug 2014

How to get an Allotment/ Community Garden in Zurich

Getting an allotment in Zurich is not as challenging as you may have heard. Similarly to looking for housing, there are rumours that you get put on a waiting list for years before a chance to get one comes up, then you are in competition with hundreds of others. Our experience was the total opposite. I had a look on the Zurich city portal for allotments (Familiengärtner-Portal für die Gartenstadt Zürich), filled out a form then got a call a few days later to go and take a look at a few gardens. We had a pick from about five different ones.

There is a list of different areas where the gardens are (Vereine) and you just choose the one closest to you. Ours is in Wiedikon, along the aptly named Panoramaweg with beautiful views over the whole city. It is a short 10 minute tram ride from Enge on the number 13.

It costs about CHF 400 per year to rent the plot which you pay directly to the gardening association. However, you buy the shed/ hut on the land that you rent to the outgoing owner. The sheds range in price from about CHF 100 for a wooden shack and no tools to a maximum of CHF 5000. Some of the sheds have solar paneling, pizza ovens, a decking area etc. 

Our place is an immaculately kept, pretty old, 2 room shed with a dining room and kitchen area. There is no electricity or running water but we have a small cooker connected to a gas canister. There are taps with running water outside the gardens which you share between your neighbours. Our garden has a clever irrigation system with a pipe running underneath the ground so we can fill up a huge tub for watering down that end. 

We also took over all the tools, a generator, various power tools, cutlery and furniture from the previous tenant. The price was somewhere in the middle of the range. 

There seems to be a generational change within the association with many older people unable to look after their gardens giving them up. This year out of the 500 in our area, there were 77 change-overs. We took ours over from an Italian man in his eighties who had had it for about 30 years.

If you need any help signing up for an allotment or have any questions, feel free to get in touch via the comments section below. Also, If you know of anyone else keeping a blog about their allotment experience in Switzerland please share it with me - I'd love to see some other ones.

Happy gardening!

Unknown / Author & Editor

A blog about running an allotment as a novice gardener in Zurich, Switzerland (with the help of my twin toddlers).


  1. Hi there!

    My name is Lucas and I'm from Sao Paulo, Brazil!
    I'm finishing my graduation this year and some friends and I are doing a project about gardening in Brazil, but we have some difficulties to find inputs for our study.
    We found that Zurich is very developed at this issue e and I liked very much what you wrote about it and it would be an honor if you can help us to understand more about that!

    My e-mail is and I hope we can talk!

    Thank you!

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