Switzerland flag

Alpine Switzerland attracts tourists from all over the world with its magnificent nature. Beautiful roads, deep valleys and a functioning train system where impressive views pass by like movie scenes have made Switzerland one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.

Capital: Bern
Biggest city: Zurich
State: Federal Republic
Language: German, French, Italian, Romanesque
Religion: Christianity
Surface: 41 290 km²
Population: 8.1 million (2013)
Population density: 184 residents per km²
Life expectancy: 81 years
Illiteracy: 1%
Currency: Swiss franc (CHF)
1 franc = 8.37 kr
GDP per capita: $ 43,900 (2010)
Time difference: +0 hours
Electricity: 220 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: 1 August
Country area code: 41
2-Letter country abbreviation: CH (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: service sector 62%, industry 34%, agriculture 4%
Climate: temperate; varies with altitude. Generally cold winters and hot, humid summers

Switzerland flag

More than half of the country’s area belongs to the Alps, which occupy the southern and eastern parts. Several of the highest peaks are located 4,600 meters above sea level, and are known for their magnificent scenery.

Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. In the north, German is spoken, in western Switzerland French and in the south, many speak Italian. The south-eastern part is also Europe’s only Romantic minority.

According to Digopaul, Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world, and the standard of living is also one of the highest in the world. Switzerland is also the country in the world with the most referendums. There are many who internationally confuse Sweden with Switzerland. In China, therefore, a campaign was launched in 2013 to teach the Chinese to differentiate between the two countries.

The James Bond films “Living Target”, “Goldfinger”, “In Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and “GoldenEye” are all largely shot in Switzerland. The film “The Pink Panther is coming back” with Peter Sellers is also partly shot in Switzerland.

WORLD HERITAGE

The following objects in Switzerland are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • The Monastery of St. Gallen (1983)
  • Benedictine Monastery in Müstair (1983)
  • Old Town of Bern (1983)
  • Three castles in the city of Bellinzona (2000)
  • Jungfrau-Aletsch alpine landscape (2001)
  • Monte San Giorgio Mountains (2003)
  • Lavaux, vineyard terraces outside Lausanne (2007)
  • Two historic railway lines, the Albula line and the Bernina line (2008)
  • The Sardona mountain area, with seven mountain peaks over 3,000 meters (2008)
  • La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, two cities strongly influenced by the watchmaking industry (2009)
  • Prehistoric outbuildings in or around the Alps (2011)

ELECTRICAL OUTLET

Electricity and electrical outlets in Switzerland

Voltage: 230 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: J

Need an adapter: No, you do not need an adapter.

CLIMATE AND WEATHER

Weather in Bern

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C -1 1 4 7 13 16 17 17 13 9 3 0
Day °C 2 4 9 12 18 22 23 22 18 13 6 2
Night °C -4 -3 -1 2 7 10 11 11 8 5 0 -2

Switzerland 2

Basel

Basel is a city in Switzerland with about 166,000 residents (2004). It is the capital of the Basel-Stadt semi-canton. Basel is mainly German-speaking. There are many chemical industries in Basel. The university dates from 1462 and is the first in Switzerland. In Basel, the peace of Basel was concluded in 1795. The city is located on the river Rhine. The city is close to the French and German borders and has suburbs in both countries. The city’s airport is located on the French side of the border. There is a transit route there so you can go to the airport without passing French customs and passport control.

Bern

According to Countryaah, Bern is the capital of the Federal Republic of Switzerland and the canton of Bern. The city has 127,000 residents and is the fourth largest city in the country after Zurich, Geneva and Basel. The Bern metropolitan area has about 350,000 residents. Bern is mainly German-speaking.

The Old Town of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Geneva

Geneva is a city in southwestern Switzerland. It is the capital of the canton of Geneva and is, after Zurich, the largest city in the country with 185,524 residents (2007). It spreads on both sides of the southwestern part of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman). The local language is French.

The city is associated with the Geneva Convention and as the birthplace of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as well as the hometown of Jean Calvin. The city is also known for being the city where Henri Dunant founded the Red Cross.

Geneva is home to the headquarters of a large number of international organizations, such as the United Nations European Office, the Red Cross, the World Health Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

In Geneva is the restaurant Café de Paris, which is therefore not located in France. The restaurant has only one main course on the menu, Entrecôtes Café de Paris. The dish is prepared by placing the butter on a slice of entrecôte, which is then placed in the oven so that the butter melts. Café de Paris sauce is actually a spice butter created by Mr. Boubier in 1930. His daughter later married the owner of the restaurant Café de Paris in Geneva, who then took over the secret recipe. It is still secret today, but many imitations occur, many of which do not resemble the original at all.

Lausanne

Lausanne is a city in southwestern Switzerland with 126,766 residents (2003). It is the capital of the canton of Vaud. Lausanne is mainly French-speaking and is greatly influenced by France due to the close relations with neighbors.

This is the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee. A popular tourist attraction is the Olympic Games Museum down by Lake Geneva. Here are a number of things for those interested in sports to see, such as Carl Lewis’ gold shoes and the torch from the Berlin Olympics in 1936. Other popular tourist attractions are boat trips on Lake Geneva, Lausanne’s Cathedral or the Art de l’Art Brut Art Museum.

Zurich

Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city with 376,815 residents (2007), and just over 1 million residents in the entire metropolitan area.

Zurich joined the Swiss Confederation in 1351. This led to Zurich, at the expense of surrounding feudal lords, pursuing a successful expansionist policy. The city became the starting point for the Reformation movement in Switzerland through Zwingli’s activities in the 16th century, but at the same time allowed Catholics to settle in the city.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the city grew into a modern metropolis, among other things through incorporations and during the world wars, Zurich benefited from its central but still protected location in Europe. The population more than doubled between 1888 and 1992. The development has meant that the city is one of the world’s leading financial and banking centers.