Newly Swissed Online Magazine

The “Hobby” Side of Switzerland – Photography about Quirky Swiss Hobbies

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Scouts Club (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

Switzerland is a country of hobby clubs and leisure organizations. There is even a saying that all Swiss belong to at least one club. Two Swiss artists have spent the better half of seven years uncovering the "hobby" side of Switzerland, documenting at least 50 such clubs.

The result of all this work is an ingenious collection of photographs. Ursula Sprecher and Andi Cortellini are both based in Basel. Their project started with the essential question: "How do the Swiss spend their free time?"

I feel that in return, they have found out more than they had asked for. They have portrayed Swiss people from all walks of life. So of course, there was the oh-so-typical coffee-cream-lid trading club. But they also found the kind of things you and I will never know existed.

Take the butchery enthusiasts club, for instance. Or the legion of Star Wars fans - or dare I say, geeks? I love realistic photographs, so I immediately fell in love with these authentic depictions of Swiss hobby clubs.

A selection of quirky Swiss hobby clubs from the book:

Pipe Smoking Club

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Pipe Smoking Club (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

Pool Billard Club

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Pool Billard Club (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

Firefighters Club

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Firefighters (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

Cheerleading Club

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Cheerleaders (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

Diving Club

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Diving (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

Chess Club

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Chess (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

Friends of Butchery Club

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Friends of Butchery (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

Swiss Poodle Club

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Poodle Club (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

Tram Enthusiasts Club

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Tram Enthusiasts Club (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

Swiss Garrison (Serving the 501st Legion)

Swiss Hobby Clubs - Star Wars Legion (Copyright by Sprecher & Cortelli)

HobbyBuddies - Freizeitfreunde - The Collection

Sprecher & Cortellini have released the entire collection of photographs in a book: HobbyBuddies - Freizeitfreunde. We think it is a must-have book for anyone striving to better understand Swiss culture and society:

Hobby Buddies - Freizeitfreunde - Sprecher & Cortellini
Hobby Buddies - Freizeitfreunde - Sprecher & Cortellini

(All photographs copyright by Sprecher & Cortellini)

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators. Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.


    • Actually, the original name of the club (in German) is “Freunde der Metzgerschaft”. According to the photographers, this club even has its own certification (“Meisterprüfung”) and club song… ^Dimitri

      • exactly what i was saying: professional butchers run their own ‘club’…unlike the other clubs here just interested people cant apply and become members. sounds like a ‘zunft’ to me.

  • Swiss Garrison (Serving the 501st Legion) is the best by a far. I just looked though all 60. There were a couple of surprises, but why does everybody look so serious??

Dimitri Burkhard

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