Switzerland Overview

By | July 17, 2021


Official name of the state

Swiss Confederation.




As a country located in Europe according to franciscogardening, Switzerland borders France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein to the east, and Italy to the south. The Confoederatio Helvetica (abbreviation CH) is divided into 26 partially sovereign cantons and has four official languages. The country is divided into three major landscapes: the Swiss Alps, the hilly Swiss plateau, which stretches from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva, and the Swiss Jura, a rough, elongated mountain range.

The highest mountains in Europe are in Switzerland. Despite the country’s high proportion of high mountains, 43% are meadows and pastures. The dairy and livestock industries play a correspondingly important role. The highest mountains are the Dufourspitze in the Monte Rosa massif (4634 m) on the Italian border, the cathedral (4545 m), the Weißhorn (4507 m) and the Matterhorn (4477 m). The most popular holiday areas are the Engadine, the Bernese Oberland, the area around Lake Lucerne, the Valais and Ticino.


Parliamentary federal state since 1848. Constitution of 1874, with numerous changes, new constitution 1999. Bicameral parliament (federal assembly): National Council with 200 members and Council of States with 46 members. The head of state and government is the Federal President and Federal Council, the President changes annually within the seven Federal Council members. Administrative structure in 20 full cantons and 6 half cantons, each with its own constitution, parliament and government. The executive rests with the seven-member Federal Council, a collegial authority headed by the Federal President.

Head of state

Doris Leuthard, since January 2017.


230 V, 50 Hz. An adapter is required for a Schuko plug.

Time zone

Central European Time: CET +2 (CET +3 from March 26 to October 29, 2017)



The official languages are German, French, Italian and Romansh. 65% of the population speak German in the various Schwyzerdütschen dialect forms (Eastern, Northern and Central Switzerland); 22.6% French (western and southwestern Switzerland); 8.3% Italian (Canton Ticino / Ticino) and 0.5% Romansh (Canton Graubünden / Grisons). 6% speak another language.


  • Goodbye = Au revoir
  • Eight = Huit
  • Eighty = Quatre-vingt
  • Exit = sort
  • Beer = beer
  • Please = S’il vous plaît
  • Thank you = Merci
  • Tuesday = Mardi
  • Doctor = Médecin
  • Thursday = Jeudi
  • Three = Trois
  • Thirty = Trente
  • Entrance = Entrée
  • One hundred = cents
  • One = Un (Une)
  • One thousand = mille
  • Friday = Vendredi
  • Five = Cinq
  • Fifty = cinquante
  • Danger = danger
  • Closed = Fermé
  • Hello = Bonjour
  • Today = Aujourd’hui
  • Hotel = hotel
  • I feel sick = Je ne me sens pas bien
  • I don’t understand = Je ne comprends pas
  • Yes = Oui
  • My name is?? = Je m’appelle??
  • I’m fine. = Ça va bien
  • Wednesday = Mercredi
  • Monday = Lundi
  • Tomorrow = Demain
  • No = non
  • Nine = new
  • Ninety = Quatre-vingt dix
  • Open = crotchless
  • Restaurant = restaurant
  • Saturday = Samedi
  • Six = Six
  • Sixty = Soixante
  • Seven = Sept
  • Seventy = Soixante-dix
  • Sunday = Dimanche
  • Menu = menu
  • Do you speak German / English? = Est-ce que vous parlez allemand / anglais?
  • Toilets = toilets
  • Four = Quatre
  • Forty = quarters
  • Wine = Vin
  • How are you? = Comment ça va?
  • How much is it? = Combien est-ce que ça coûte?
  • Where is??? = Où est???
  • Ten = Dix
  • Twenty = Vingt
  • Two = deux



Roman Catholic and Evangelical Reformed (82%). Jewish and Muslim minorities.

Social rules of conduct

Manners: The usual forms of courtesy should be observed. The Swiss are very polite, in conversations and discussions you allow each other to finish speaking and take a short politeness pause before answering. You greet each other with a firm handshake. Hello and goodbye, and a Ciao in a familiar circle together seem much more polite than a simple hello and goodbye. A conversation always begins with a short small talk in which one asks about the well-being of the other person. Duzen through all hierarchies is common, academic titles are only used in exceptional cases. If you are invited, you appear punctually at the agreed time. High-quality chocolates or a good bottle of wine are suitable as a gift. It is customary to unwrap bouquets of flowers before handing them over to the hostess. You only give red roses to your partner; Chrysanthemums and white asters are only used for funerals.

Clothing: Well-groomed casual clothing is common. On special occasions and in good restaurants, people wear more elegant clothes.

Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in train stations, on trains and in other public transport and in all closed public spaces. Since 2010, smoking has been generally prohibited in restaurants throughout Switzerland; In some cantons, however, the innkeeper can set up completely separate and efficiently ventilated smoking rooms (fumoirs). In addition, the individual cantons have the option of enacting further laws, e.g. whether it is allowed to serve in the smoking rooms.

Switzerland Overview

Tip: Although a service fee is already included in the restaurant or hotel bill, it is customary to give a tip of 10%. You leave the tip on the table.


Best travel time

North of the Alps there is a predominantly Atlantic climate, south of it in Ticino there is a Mediterranean climate with very warm summers and mild, sunny winters. It is considerably cooler in the higher elevations. All year round temperate climate in Northern Switzerland. Winter sports enthusiasts will usually find the best conditions in the Alps from December to March. For summer vacationers, the best travel time starts in May and ends in September.


Area code +41 Area (square km) 41 284 Population 8379 477 Population density (per square km) 197 Population in 2016 Member of the EU No main emergency number 112