Where is Switzerland located?

What countries border Switzerland?

Switzerland Weather

What is the current weather in Switzerland?

Switzerland Facts and Culture

What is Switzerland famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: The Swiss are known for their skill, integrity, and punctuality. They pride themselves on honoring their contracts, working hard, and... More
  • Family: The Swiss who live in urban areas tend to have small families; one or two children are the norm. Multi-generational... More
  • Personal Apperance: Conservative casual clothes are the norm for people in Switzerland outside of the office.  When in the office businessmen wear... More
  • Recreation: Hiking is one of the most popular leisure activities in the country, and there are more than 50,000 kilometers of... More
  • Diet: Cooking in Switzerland reflects the country's various ethnic traditions. For example, fondue and raclette (melted cheese dishes) come from the... More
  • Food and Recipes: Eating customs and traditions commonly observed in Switzerland: Punctuality: Swiss people tend to be punctual when it comes to meal times.... More
  • Visiting: The Swiss are known for using polite formalities at social functions or in business transactions. They greet friends and say... More

Switzerland Facts

What is the capital of Switzerland?

Capital Bern
Government Type federal republic (formally a confederation)
Currency Swiss Franc (CHF)
Total Area 15,937 Square Miles
41,277 Square Kilometers
Location Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Language German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 19.2%, Italian (official) 7.6%, Romansch (official) 0.6%, other 8.9%
GDP - real growth rate 1%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $59,300.00 (USD)

Switzerland Demographics

What is the population of Switzerland?

Ethnic Groups German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%
Nationality Noun Swiss (singular and plural)
Population 8,403,994
Population Growth Rate 0.85%
Population in Major Urban Areas Zurich 1.194 million; BERN (capital) 353,000
Urban Population 73.700000

Switzerland Government

What type of government does Switzerland have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President of the Swiss Confederation Viola AMHERD (since 1 January 2024); Vice President Karin KELLER-SUTTER (since 1 January 2024); note - the Federal Council, comprised of 7 federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland; council members rotate the 1-year term of federal president

head of government: President of the Swiss Confederation Viola AMHERD (since 1 January 2024); Vice President Karin KELLER-SUTTER (since 1 January 2024)

cabinet: Federal Council or Bundesrat (in German), Conseil Federal (in French), Consiglio Federale (in Italian) indirectly elected by the Federal Assembly for a 4-year term

elections/appointments: president and vice president elected by the Federal Assembly from among members of the Federal Council for a 1-year, non-consecutive term; election last held on 13 December 2023 (next to be held in December 2024)

election results: 2023: Viola AMHERD elected president for 2024; Federal Assembly vote - Viola AMHERD (The Center) 158 of 204; Karin Keller-Sutter (FDP.The Liberals) elected vice president for 2024; Federal Assembly vote - 138 of 196

2022: Alain BERSET elected president for 2023; Federal Assembly vote - Alain BERSET (SP) 140 OF 181; Viola AMHERD elected vice president; Federal assembly vote - 207 of 223
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Switzerland

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 12 years including at least 3 of the last 5 years prior to application
National Holiday Founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291; note - since 1 August 1891 celebrated as Swiss National Day
Constitution history: previous 1848, 1874; latest adopted by referendum 18 April 1999, effective 1 January 2000

amendments: proposed by the two houses of the Federal Assembly or by petition of at least one hundred thousand voters (called the "federal popular initiative"); passage of proposals requires majority vote in a referendum; following drafting of an amendment by the Assembly, its passage requires approval by majority vote in a referendum and approval by the majority of cantons; amended many times, last in 2018
Independence 1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)

Switzerland Video

YouTube- Ryan Shirley Top 10 Places To Visit In Switzerland

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Switzerland Geography

What environmental issues does Switzerland have?

Overview Switzerland covers an area of 15,944 square miles. A quarter of the country consists of glaciers, mountains, and lakes; another quarter is covered by forests. Switzerland has a varied topography from an altitude of 633 feet above sea level in the Ticino Canton to 15,203 feet — the Monte Rosa peak — in the Alps.
Climate Because of the varied topography (from an altitude of 633 feet above sea level in the Ticino Canton to 15,203 feet — the Monte Rosa peak — in the Alps), climate and vegetation vary from Mediterranean to arctic. Bern does not have great extremes of hot or cold weather. Rain is common in summer as well as winter, with snowfalls in Bern occurring with more regularity in recent years. Humidity is high during spring and fall. Winter brings some warm spells, and all-day fog and cloudy weather are common. Often a 30-minute drive will get you out of the clouds and into sunshine. The Föhn, a dry south wind that passes over the Alps changing the air pressure, has an enervating and otherwise unpleasant effect on some people. The average high temperature in July is 30°C (86°F), and the average low for that month is 6.1°C (43°F). In February, the thermometer reaches 5.4°C (42°F) and dips to about -10°C (14°F).
Border Countries Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km
Environment - Current Issues air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity
Environment - International Agreements party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Terrain mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes

Switzerland Economy

How big is the Switzerland economy?

Economic Overview Switzerland has one of the most stable and prosperous economies in the world. It is known for its highly skilled workforce, innovation, strong financial sector, and high standard of living. Here are some key aspects of the Swiss economy:

Strong and Diverse Economy: Switzerland has a diverse and well-developed economy. Key sectors include manufacturing, finance, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machinery, watchmaking, and tourism. The country is home to several multinational corporations and has a reputation for precision engineering and high-quality products.

Stability and Low Unemployment: Switzerland enjoys economic stability and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. The country has a long-standing tradition of strong labor market policies, vocational training, and apprenticeship programs, which contribute to low unemployment and a skilled workforce.

Innovation and Research: Switzerland is renowned for its innovation and investment in research and development (R&D). The country has a high number of patents per capita and fosters a culture of innovation. Swiss universities and research institutions collaborate closely with the private sector, driving technological advancements and fostering a favorable business environment.

Financial Sector: Switzerland has a robust and internationally recognized financial sector. The country is home to major global banks, wealth management institutions, and insurance companies. Swiss banking secrecy laws have historically attracted foreign investors, although recent years have seen increased transparency and international cooperation in tax matters.

International Trade: Switzerland is heavily dependent on international trade. It has a well-developed export-oriented economy, with exports accounting for a significant portion of its GDP. Key export sectors include machinery, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, watches, and precision instruments. The European Union is Switzerland's largest trading partner.

Currency and Monetary Policy: Switzerland is not a member of the European Union but has a close economic relationship with the EU. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is responsible for the country's monetary policy and maintains price stability. The Swiss franc (CHF) is the national currency and is considered a safe-haven currency.

Quality of Life: Switzerland consistently ranks highly in terms of quality of life. It has a well-functioning healthcare system, excellent infrastructure, high education standards, and a clean environment. The country invests in social welfare programs, providing a high standard of living for its residents.

Challenges: Despite its economic strengths, Switzerland faces some challenges. These include a high cost of living, a strong currency that can impact exports, an aging population that puts pressure on the pension system, and the need to adapt to technological advancements and digital transformation.
Industries machinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments
Currency Name and Code Swiss Franc (CHF)
Export Partners Germany 20.4%, US 11.9%, France 9.1%, Italy 8.2%, UK 5.1%
Import Partners Germany 31.4%, Italy 10.3%, France 10%, US 6.6%, Netherlands 5.1%, UK 4.9%, Austria 4.1%

Switzerland News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Switzerland?
Source: Google News

Switzerland Travel Information

What makes Switzerland a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Switzerland is a highly developed democracy.


Switzerland has a low rate of violent crime; however, crimes of all types which may include violence do occur. Pick-pocketing and purse snatching are the most common and frequently occur in the vicinity of train and bus stations, airports, and some public parks, especially during peak tourist periods (such as summer and Christmas) and when conferences, shows, or exhibits are scheduled in major cities. Be especially vigilant in the airports and railway stations in both Zurich and Geneva, as these locations experience multiple incidents of petty theft almost every day.

You should be careful on trains, especially on overnight trains to neighboring countries. Thieves, who steal from passengers while they sleep, can enter even locked sleeping compartments. Thieves have been known to work in pairs to target train passengers; while one member of the pair creates a diversion at a train window or on a platform, the other steals items you have left briefly unattended.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law. In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Switzerland is 144 for medical/ambulance services; 117 for the police department; and 118 for the fire department.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Switzerland, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S.citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In Switzerland it is expected that citizens and visitors carry an I.D. and/or a passport. Should the police stop you, and you are without an I.D., it is possible that you may be taken in for questioning. This is the decision of the individual police officer. Travelers should also be aware that photography is not allowed in certain areas (for example, at military airports). Please observe posted signs regarding photography.

Driving under the influence of alcohol can lead to heavy fines and/or a ban from driving or in severe cases, a jail sentence, depending on the percentage of alcohol in the blood. Swiss law only allows up to 0.05% blood alcohol content (whereas the legal limit in the United States is 0.08%). Driving speeds in Switzerland are also much slower than in the rest of Europe and vary from area to area. In residential areas the speed limit is 30 km/h (18.6 m/h), on urban roads 50 km/h (31 m/h), on rural roads 80 km/h (49.7 m/h), on minor highways 100 km/h (62 m/h) and on the Autobahn 120 km/h (74.5 m/h). Travelers are advised to carefully observe the posted speed limits.

Traffic fines are costly and vary according to where the infraction occurs and by how much one exceeds the speed limit. Fines assessed within the city limits are higher than those assessed on a highway or autobahn.

Drug possession carries heavy fines and prison terms in Switzerland; these can vary depending on the amount and type of narcotics carried. Any attempt to cross an international border carrying drugs (for instance transiting Switzerland via Zurich airport) automatically constitutes trafficking charges. These charges can also carry heavy penalties.

Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Switzerland, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

Switzerland, through its 26 cantons (states), has programs to assist victims of crime and their immediate relatives. Medical, psychological, social, financial, and legal assistance are available throughout the country. This type of assistance must be applied for, and the local police can assist if necessary. These programs also protect the rights of the victim during criminal proceedings. The victim may receive compensation for some damages, if requested during the criminal procedure. Information is available at the Swiss Department of Justice located on Bundesrain 20, 3003 Bern, telephone: 41-31-322-4750.

The United States and Switzerland do not have a bilateral agreement requiring mandatory notification of a U.S. citizen arrest to the U.S. embassy. Notification of arrests is only required if the arrested U.S. citizen so requests. If you are arrested and concerned that the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police or prison officials to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest. Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Switzerland, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Switzerland is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, which requires arrestees be immediately heard before an independent Magistrate to determine if they will be held for investigative detention. Individuals “highly suspected” of a crime are generally placed under police detention until such time that their case can be heard by the Magistrate.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Excellent medical care is widely available. G

Safety and Security

Switzerland remains largely free of terrorist incidents; however, like other countries in the Schengen area, Switzerland’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow for the possibility of terrorist groups entering/exiting the country anonymously. You should remain vigilant with regard to your personal security. Although there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Switzerland, violence by anti-globalization, anti-Semitic, and anti-establishment (anarchist) groups does occur from time to time. This violence is typically in the form of property damage and clashes between these groups and the police. The potential for specific threats of violence involving U.S. citizens in Switzerland is remote. Nevertheless, the Consular Agencies in Zurich and Geneva may close periodically to assess their security situation.

Public demonstrations occasionally take place mostly in Zurich, Geneva, and Bern. These events are almost always known in advance to the police, who provide appropriate personnel to observe them and maintain order. Such demonstrations rarely turn violent; nonetheless, you should avoid them if at all possible.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Switzerland, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.

Although many roads are mountainous and winding, Swiss road safety standards are high. In some mountain areas, vehicle snow chains are required in winter. Road travel can be more dangerous during summer, winter holidays, the Easter break, and Whitsunday weekend (late spring) because of increased traffic. Travel on expressways (indicated by green signs with a white expressway symbol) requires purchase of a sticker (“vignette”), which must be affixed to the car’s windshield. Vignettes can be purchased at most border crossings points, gas stations and Swiss post offices. Drivers using the highway system without a vignette are subject to hefty fines levied on the spot.

Public transportation in Switzerland is excellent and punctual. The Swiss tourist office and train station are the best place to obtain information about special fares for tourists.

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