Although Switzerland may seem like a small country compared to other European countries, it is one with many surprises. There are so many fun facts about Switzerland that represents the history and diversity.
Switzerland is known for its safety and diverse culture; a destination where you can escape from the chaotic world while having fun. The incredible Alpine vistas, exciting adventures, scenic trains, breathtaking landscapes, delicious swiss chocolates, luxury watches, and excellent food make Switzerland a must-visit.
Here are some useful and interesting Switzerland facts about Switzerland to know when visiting.
Historical Facts Of Switzerland
Switzerland hasn’t fought an International War since 1815
You can say Switzerland is a peaceful country, and that is because they haven’t fought anyone outside their borders in a war for more than 200 years. It is a popular fact about Switzerland that they didn’t participate in World War I and II.
Women started voting in 1971
Switzerland was one of the last nations to allow women to vote at the federal level. Women started voting in 1971. However, the region or canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden did not permit women to cast local ballots until 1991, when the Swiss Federal Supreme Court ordered it. Canton is the smallest canton in Switzerland by population.
Red Cross was founded in Switzerland
This is not a well-known Switzerland fact, but the Red Cross’s flag resemblance with Switzerland’s flag is not a coincidence. It’s simply showing the proud Swiss root of the Red Cross. The Red Cross was founded in 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland, where the headquarters is to date.
Switzerland celebrates a Hot-Air Balloon Festival
One of the fun facts about Switzerland you need to know is that every January, a colorful nine-day long hot air balloon festival holds in the Chateau-d’Oex in the Vaud Alps.
The festival was first celebrated in 1979. Each year, there is a children’s day filled with tons of fun activities and decorations including night shows, cartoon character balloons and hot air balloon rides.
General Facts Of Switzerland – Demographics And The People
Switzerland does not have an official capital city
This is a surprising fact about Switzerland, but contrary to most people’s belief, Bern is not the capital of Switzerland. It might sound crazy, but Switzerland doesn’t have an official capital though the federal government is located in Bern.
Geneva and Zuch are popularly believed to be the capital as well, but none of them can claim capital status, although they are famous for one reason or another.
25% of Switzerland’s population is foreign
Another fact about Switzerland you should know is that almost one-quarter of the population are foreign residents. People from different places live in Switzerland, from the Germans to the Serbians. More than 80% of the foreigners in Switzerland are from European countries, half being from France, Italy, Germany, and Portugal.
Switzerland is geographically small
Switzerland is very small; it is approximately 41,277sq km and has a population of 8.67 million. The country is nearly the size of New Hampshire, and California is almost ten times bigger.
There are four National Languages
There are four major language regions in Switzerland.
French is the western part, and it takes about 22.9% of the population, Italian is in the Southern part which is about 7% of the people, Romansch is in some areas of the Southeast which is about 2%, the remaining part is German which is about 65% of the population.
Portuguese and English are other popular languages in Switzerland. Therefore, as a tourist, you will have no problem communicating in Switzerland.
Switzerland has many names
This is another interesting Switzerland fact that most people possibly don’t know. In English, Switzerland means “Land of the Switzer,” an old name Swiss people called themselves.
In addition, since the country has four national languages, there are other names the people of the country refer to the country. The French name is La Suisse, Die Schweiz is the German name, and the country is called Confoederato Helvetica in Latin. Switzerland’s internet code domain is .ch, which is the abbreviation of the Latin name.
Fun Facts About Switzerland For Travelers
There are 7000 lakes
It is believed that Switzerland’s lakes are the best for swimming and it is a pleasure that the country has lots of them.
The largest lake in Switzerland is Lake Geneva, which is more than 580sq km. However, you need to know that 40% of this lake is within France, where it is known as Lac Léman. The largest lake that’s completely within Switzerland is Lake Neuchâtel which is about 220sq km.
The water in Switzerland’s lakes is so clean and fresh that you can drink them, but there is an exception for the part with dirty water and where you can see the bottom of the lakes.
Most of Switzerland is Alps
One of the most incredible Swiss alps facts is that about 60% of Switzerland is mountainous, and this is the reason the country has a small population. These mountain areas and towns are some of the best places in Switzerland to visit.
Home to the highest peaks in Europe
Most of the mountains in Switzerland are over 3,000 meters high. There are 48 mountain peaks in Switzerland, meaning there are more high peaks than in any other country in Europe.
Home to the longest staircase in the world
Switzerland has the longest staircase in the world, with 11,674 steps and a height of 1,669m (5,476 ft). You can find them along the Niesen mountain railway. Although it is not publicly accessible usually, there is an annual public run that uses the stairs and runners can enjoy the view from atop.
The highest gravity dam is sited in the Swiss Alps
Another interesting fact about Switzerland is that it is home to the tallest gravity dam in the World, with a height of 285m and a total weight of 15 million tons.
The Grande Dixence collects melting water from surrounding glaciers and can hold almost 400 billion liters of water. It took over ten years to construct this dam, which is heavier than Egypt’s great pyramid.
Creux de Van
Creux de Van is a gigantic rock arena formed over millions of years by water and ice erosion. Its steep rock walls, with their horseshoe shape, provide one of the most majestic scenes in Switzerland, including chamois and ibex sightings.
This stunning site offers you a full panoramic view of the surrounding lakes, Jura Valleys, the Alps, even to France on a clear day!
Interesting Facts About Switzerland For Kids
Switzerland has a square flag
A fun fact about the Swiss flag is that aside from Vatican City, Switzerland is the other country with a square flag. Switzerland’s flags resemble a square red box with a white cross.
The longest tunnel in the world is in Switzerland
One of the interesting facts about Switzerland is that it is home to the Gotthard tunnel, which is the longest in the World. The tunnel measures 57km and is 7 km longer than the Channel Tunnel between England and France.
The main aim of the tunnel is to enhance local transportation capacity through the Alpine barrier.
Sundays are sacred in Switzerland
Sundays in Switzerland are a big deal, and there are so many things you can’t do on that day. You can not mow the yard, hang laundry outside, hammer, or do anything that may disturb the neighborhood’s peace. Working on Sunday is prohibited, so just stay in and relax.
Animals rights are important in Switzerland
One of the most interesting facts about Switzerland is that it is an animal-loving country with several laws protecting the rights of animals.
You can enter restaurants with your dogs, and they can eat in the restaurants too. To own some pets in Switzerland, you must complete a course on how to take care of them.
There are also laws that you must keep some pets in pairs; it is believed that keeping them alone is abuse. There are rental businesses for pets, so if one of your animals passes away, you can get another to keep it company.
Cultural Facts About Switzerland
Switzerland people are lovers of chocolate
Switzerland is one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of chocolate. Swiss chocolates are the best chocolate in the world, and It is not a surprise that Switzerland is well-known throughout the world for its premium chocolate.
With about 190,000 tons of chocolate exported annually (or 40% of the world’s total production), the nation leads the globe in chocolate exports.
One of the most exciting facts of Switzerland and chocolate is the amount of chocolate each person in the country eats. Each person in the country eats almost 10.5kg annually.
High gun ownership, low crime rate
Though Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership in the world, the country has the lowest crime rates of all industrialized countries.
It is worth noting that the high gun ownership rate is because of the mandatory military service in the country.
Swiss people love to drink
Another fun fact about Switzerland is that the people of Switzerland love drinking a lot. According to recent data, they consume more than 35 liters of wine, 56 liters of beer, and 8.5 liters of pure alcohol in a year. This data shows that the total consumption has reduced compared to previous years.
As a result, approximately 1,550 deaths are alcohol-related—some from accidents and others from long-term effects of alcohol in the body.
The Swiss love cheese
Any list of fun facts on Switzerland will likely including the world renowned Swiss cheese. It is no secret that the people of Switzerland love their cheese and indulge in cheese fondue. It is definitely a indulgent Swiss food you want to try when visiting.
Switzerland has a Grand Canyon
Another fun fact about Switzerland is that the Rhine Gorge is the Swiss Grand Canyon. It is one of the most spectacular places in Switzerland to see. It is located in Graubunden and is unique to the alpine region.
You can relax and cool down here by dipping your toes in the water and feeling nature or have an adventure hiking the Rocky Mountains or experiencing the biking trails.
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Other Fascinating Switzerland Facts
Military service is mandatory
Interestingly, Switzerland is one of the last few countries in Europe where mandatory military service is still in the regimen. Every male Swiss citizen above 18 is mandated to serve in the Swiss army. They also have to participate in refresher courses until age 44, and female Swiss above 18 can volunteer to serve in the military.
You cannot name your child any name you want
This is a Switzerland fact that surprises many people. According to Swiss law, giving a child a name that may harm his future is illegal. Parents are not allowed to give their child a name that refers to a place, names of objects, brands, and names of distasteful characters from the bible.
Swiss Meat is expensive in the world
Meat in Switzerland is 124% more expensive than the average European price. This is due to the high Swiss tariffs on imported food products, as well as beverages.
These tariffs are put in place to help protect local farmers and keep them competitive. This is because farms in Switzerland generally are smaller in scale than international rivals. This will also help them cope with the steep costs of ‘high price Island’ Switzerland.
Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland
Another interesting fact of Switzerland is that anyone who is in the right state of mind and has a consistent desire to end their life over a period of time can request a so-called assisted voluntary death. However, anyone interested in assisted voluntary death must commit suicide by their own hand.
Switzerland is prepared for Nuclear War
A fact about Switzerland that may seem shocking is that it is prepared for a nuclear war, given that it is a peace-loving nation. Switzerland has enough bomb shelters to accommodate its entire population.
The government also requires that everyone has a shelter in their building or nearby.
The Swiss military keeps fully equipped artillery bunkers disguised as beautiful homes in the middle of villages.
Cars are not allowed in some villages
If you plan to drive around the country, one of the most critical Switzerland facts you must know is that numerous places do not allow cars. However, you can take a train, bus, and boat to reach these beautiful villages in Switzerland and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
Discovering More Interesting And Fun Facts About Switzerland
These are just some interesting and fun facts on Switzerland to know. There are so many more Switzerland facts to learn, but the best way to know more is to experience it. Switzerland has everything you need to enjoy a relaxing and adventurous time, from the clean and astonishing lakes to the swiss waterfalls and the charming villages.