General travel information for Switzerland
Geographical location: Central Europe, Western Alps
Highest elevation: Dufourspitze (4634 m above sea level)
Longest river: Rhine (375 km in Switzerland)
Form of government: Federal Republic System of
Government: Directory system
Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh
Neighboring countries: Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Liechtenstein
Area: Approx. 41,285 km²
Residents: Approx. 8,604,000 people (2019)
Population density: Approx. 207 people per km²
Religions: About 75% Christians, 21% atheists or non-denominational
Currency: Swiss Francs (CHF); 1 euro is about 1 CHF. Travel
Climate: moderate to Mediterranean, in the high mountains alpine
Time zone: UTC + 1, (March to October) UTC + 2
Area code: +41
Country code: CH, CHE
Electricity: In Switzerland uses type C and J sockets. The mains voltage is 220 V with a 50 Hz change interval. A travel plug adapter is an advantage.
Travel climate in Switzerland
The Alps form an important climatic and watershed divide in the “heart of Europe” with additional alpine and inner-alpine weather effects which, despite their small size, usually result in multiple weather conditions in Switzerland.
To the north of the Alps, Switzerland has a moderate Central European climate, from the Jura Arc to the Pre-Alps, mostly characterized by oceanic winds. South of the Alps, the climate is more Mediterranean. The mean air temperatures in the lowlands are around −1 to +1 ° C in January and 16 to 19 ° C in July. The mean annual temperatures are around 7 to 9 ° C. The temperatures in the high valley of the Engadine and in the side valleys and the Goms in Valais are on average ten degrees Celsius colder.
In Central Switzerland, the Alps and Ticino, the average rainfall is around 2000 millimeters per year. Depending on the altitude, a lot of precipitation falls in the form of snow in winter, so that in the Alps and pre-Alps there is a closed snow cover for months. Fog in the Swiss Plateau is a phenomenon that occurs over several weeks, especially in autumn, winter and early spring.
Frequent winds in Switzerland are the mild foehn on both sides of the Alpine ridge and the cold breeze, from which southern Switzerland is often spared.
Cities and regions in Switzerland
Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons. The cantons are Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Glarus, Zug, Freiburg, Solothurn, Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Schaffhausen, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, St. Gallen, Graubünden, Aargau, Thurgau, Ticino, Vaud, Valais, Neuchâtel, Geneva, Jura, Federal Coat of Arms, Swiss Confederation.
The seven largest cities and economic centers in Switzerland are Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Winterthur and Lucerne.
Culture and sights in Switzerland
The culture of Switzerland is influenced by the neighboring countries, but over the years an independent Swiss culture has developed. The division of Switzerland into several linguistic and cultural regions makes it difficult to speak of a uniform Swiss culture. The three larger language regions are strongly influenced by the respective neighboring countries as well as by the Anglo-Saxon countries, while the Rhaeto-Romanic culture has developed independently.
Customs are part of folk culture and always have a local or regional character. In some cases (Carnival, Easter customs, Christmas customs) they can also be supraregional. Customs include various traditional forms of expression in music, dance, folk poetry, as well as in traditional handicrafts. There are also various rites and religious festivals. Examples of customs in Switzerland are the Lucerne Carnival, the Basel Carnival, the Unspunnenstein throwing in Interlaken, the Sechseläuten in Zurich or the winegrowers’ festival in Vevey.
Typical Swiss dishes are cheese fondue, raclette, Älplermagronen and rösti. This also defined the Röstigraben. To the east of this border, hash browns are one of the most popular national dishes, to the west of it not. The Bircher muesli, which is known worldwide today, was developed in Zurich. The honey-almond-nougat-chocolate Toblerone has only been produced in Bern for over 100 years and sold from there in over 120 countries. The cervelat is probably the most popular sausage in Switzerland.
The main scenic attractions in Switzerland include the high alpine mountains, which are accessible via numerous adventurous pass roads. In particular, the Swiss National Park in the canton of Graubünden, the area around the Dufourspitze in the Valais Alps, the Matterhorn area near Zermatt and the Trümmelbach Falls in Lauterbrunnen Valley, which, along with the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch Alpine regions, Aletsch Glacier and Bietschhorn, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites a must on an adventure trip through Switzerland.
In addition, due to Switzerland’s neutral position in World War II, a lot of historical buildings worth seeing, such as the town hall of Basel, the Maison Tavel in Geneva or the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, have been preserved throughout the country.
Holidays in Switzerland
In Switzerland, only August 1st is set as a public holiday for the entire country at the federal level. The regulation of all other public holidays is the sole responsibility of the cantons, which can set up to eight additional days as statutory rest days. Therefore, apart from National Day, there are only the New Year, Ascension and Christmas holidays, which are also recognized throughout Switzerland.
January 1st New Year
In May Ascension Day
August 1st Swiss national holiday
December 25th Christmas
Medical information for Switzerland
For legal reasons, we as a tour operator are not allowed to communicate any binding medical information for Switzerland and therefore refer to the information provided by the Federal Foreign Office, the Robert Koch Institute and the German Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health.
Travel advice for Switzerland
You can obtain the latest travel and safety information, information on entering and leaving the country, as well as special criminal information and recommendations for your stay in Switzerland from the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Mission abroad in Switzerland
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bern (There are other honorary consulates in Basel, Geneva, Lugano and Zurich.)
Administrative district / consular district: Switzerland
Street address: Willadingweg 83, 3006 Bern
Postal address: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, PO Box 250, 3000 Bern 15, Switzerland
Telephone: +41 31 359 41 11
Fax: +41 31 359 44 44
E-Mail: Contact form
Official languages in the host country: German, French, Italian
Embassy of the Swiss Confederation in Berlin
(There are other honorary consulates in Hamburg, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Stuttgart, and Munich, among others)
Street address: Otto-von-Bismarck-Allee 4 A
Postal address: Otto-von-Bismarck-Allee 4 A, 10557 Berlin
Telephone: 030 3 90 40 00
Fax: 030 3 91 10 30
E-Mail: [email protected]