There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
— Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850 - 1894
EN
EN

Switzerland

Background

Switzerland

The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two World Wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.

About

Switzerland (German: Schweiz, French: Suisse, Italian: Svizzera, Romansch: Svizra) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It has borders with France to the west, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east and Germany to the north.

The climate is temperate, but varies with altitude. Switzerland has cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters and cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers.

Switzerland is known for its mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) but it also has a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes. The highest point is Dufourspitze at 4,634 m while Lake Maggiore is only 195 m above sea level.

Read more about Switzerland in our Switzerland travel guide »

Featured journals from

Switzerland

Is the idealism between work and life balance actually exist?

by estyindra

Euro Trip Trilogy - part 1 (Summer 2006), part 2 (Autumn 2012) and part 3 (Spring 2013)

Sep 2012 - Apr 2013  »  Netherlands | Indonesia | Germany | Switzerland | Belgium | Austria

Info of Montreal

by gauravks

Montreal is one of Canada's largest and most popular city,is geographically as close to the European coast as to Vancouver,and in look and feel it combines some of the finest aspects of the two continents.This is also the second-largest French-speaking metropolis after Paris. Montréal is also innovative and invigorating,offering a whirlwind of cultural creations,both traditional and modern. It is a unique city offering a vibrant night-life and several world-renown restaurants,bar clubs and lounges.The city is also a favorite destination for avid shoppers.It is a wonderful city offering a unique living experience from anything else in the world.Montreal is an enormous metropolis and the second-biggest city in the whole of Canada,known for its friendly atmosphere and ambiance, historical architecture and lavish churches, enormous shopping malls and top restaurants.One of Montreal's most surprising features is the 'Underground City'which is a vast network of tunnels,shops hotels,cinemas and business, protected from the cold winter weather extremes. No matter what you are looking for,outdoor/indoor attractions, music, dance,culture,great food,nice people,beautiful scenery or quiet tranquil moments,you can find it all in this wonderful city of Montreal.It will astound you with all its beauty and impress you with all it has to offer. Want to know more about Montreal,visit http://www.ticketstocanada.co.uk for more information.

Mar 2011 - May 2011  »  Switzerland | Portugal | Italy

Corée du Nord

by SoMaGaDe

Voyage dans le temps et l'espace

Apr 2017  »  China (People's Republic) | Switzerland

Featured hotels in

Switzerland

SwitzerlandSchoenegg Swiss Q Chalet Hotel 

Riedweg 35
Zermatt 3920
Switzerland

Price (US$): $526 - $619 / night

Check rates »

Location. Schoenegg Swiss Q Chalet Hotel is located in Zermatt, close to Sunnegga Ski Resort, Gornergrat Infrared Telescope, and Gorner Ridge. Nearby points of interest also include Schwarzsee. Hotel Features. Schoenegg Swiss Q Chalet Hotel's restaurant serves lunch and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. Recreational amenities include a health club. There is a full service health spa on site. Complimentary high… more »

SwitzerlandMoevenpick Hotel Zuerich-Airport 

Walter-Mittelholzer-Strasse 8
Glattbrugg
Opfikon 8152
Switzerland

Price (US$): $218 - $798 / night

Check rates »

Location. Near the airport, Moevenpick Hotel Zuerich Airport is located in Opfikon's Glattbrugg neighborhood and close to Zurich Exhibition Centre, Shopping Center Glatt, and University of Zurich. Other area points of interest include Zurich Zoological Garden and Swiss National Museum. Hotel Features. Dining options at Moevenpick Hotel Zuerich Airport include 3 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Recreational amenities include a fitness facility and a children's club. This 5 star… more »

SwitzerlandGrand Hotel Park 

Wispilestrasse 29
Gstaad
Saanen 3780
Switzerland

Price (US$): $571 - $946 / night

Check rates »

Location. Grand Hotel Park is a business friendly hotel located in Saanen's Gstaad neighborhood, close to Gstaad Ski Resort. Regional points of interest also include Chateau d'Oex Ski Resort and Les Diablerets Ski Resort. Hotel Features. Dining options at Grand Hotel Park include 3 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club,… more »

SwitzerlandLe Richemond 

Jardin Brunswick
Geneva 1201
Switzerland

Price (US$): $523 - $3540 / night

Check rates »

Location. Le Richemond is a business friendly hotel located in Geneva's Geneva City Centre neighborhood, close to Paquis Baths, Geneva City Hall, and United Nations European Headquarters. Additional points of interest include Geneva Palexpo Fairground and Jet d'Eau Fountain. Hotel Features. Le Richemond's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in the breakfast… more »

SwitzerlandGrand Hotel Eden 

Riva Paradiso 1
Paradiso 6900
Switzerland

Price (US$): $353 - $613 / night

Check rates »

Location. Near the airport, Grand Hotel Eden is located in Paradiso's Lake Lugano neighborhood and close to Museum of Modern Art, Palazzo dei Congressi, and Santa Maria degli Angeli. Nearby points of interest also include Piazza della Riforma and San Lorenzo Cathedral. Hotel Features. Grand Hotel Eden's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A swim up bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning… more »

Browse more hotels in Switzerland »

Switzerland

Full name
Swiss Confederation
Capital
Berne
Location

Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy

Geographic coordinates

47 00 N, 8 00 E

Area comparative

slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

Border countries

Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Climate

temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers

Terrain

mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes

Lowest point

Lake Maggiore 195 m

Highest point

Dufourspitze 4,634 m

Natural resources

hydropower potential, timber, salt

Population

7,623,438 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%

Religions

Roman Catholic 41.8%, Protestant 35.3%, Muslim 4.3%, Orthodox 1.8%, other Christian 0.4%, other 1%, unspecified 4.3%, none 11.1% (2000 census)

Languages

German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 2.8% (2000 census)

Government type

formally a confederation but similar in structure to a federal republic

Independence

1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)

National holiday

Founding of the Swiss Confederation, 1 August (1291)

Chief of state

President of the Swiss Confederation Micheline CALMY-REY (since 1 January 2011); Vice President Eveline WIDMER-SCHLUMPF (since 1 January 2011); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government representing the Federal Council; the Federal Council is the formal chief of state and head of government whose council members, rotating in one-year terms as federal president, represent the Council

Head of government

President of the Swiss Confederation Micheline CALMY-REY (since 1 January 2011); Vice President Eveline WIDMER-SCHLUMPF (since 1 January 2011)

Internet country code

.ch

Internet users

6.152 million (2009)

Airports

65 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Basel

Other countries in the region