Switzerland, renowned for its high
quailty of life, is a small, mountainous and rich nation with a population
of just seven million people. The country produces products of world stature
from exotic cheese to delicious chocolates to lovely watches to swiss knives
which are exported the world over.
The country is known for the political neutrality and isolated location
where it is enclosed by scenic mountains. One must mention the Swiss bank
account, whose anonymity, along with tax relief makes it the safest bank in
the world and Zürich one of Europes major financial centers
acting as a major center for conventions, meetings.
Besides, being the base for many industrial, economic and political
activities world wide, Switzerland is also the place visited for the
treasure of its natural beauty, eye-catching locations, unforgettable ski
resorts, famous Swiss alps, amazing shopping places and great night life
which make it the hottest place for spending a memorable vacations.
Official name :
Confederation with Direct Democracy
Ethnic groups :
65% German, 18% French, 10% Italian, 1% Romansch, 6%
Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Euro; 1 Euro = 52.443 Indian Rupee = 1.2047 US $ =
0.678141 GBP(subject to change).
German, French, Italian, Raeto-Romance
46.1% Roman Catholic, 40% Protestant, 5% other, 8.9%
41290 sq km
Famous for :
Chocolates, amazing natural scenery, ski resorts,
Switzerland is the most preferred tourist destination in the world.
Major cities :
Bern, Zurich, Interlaken, Geneva, Lausanne
Clothing : Summer :
cotton; Winter :
Major events :
Carnival time, or Fasnacht(February), Combat de
Reines (cow fighting) (March to October), Montreux Jazz Festival (July),
National Day (August 1and Swiss wrestling in the Emmenthal area east of
Bern. On the fourth Monday in November, Onion Market (Zibelmarit) is hosted
Things to Buy :
Watches, crystal, embroidered items, clocks,
pottery, Swiss army knives, lace, cowbells, antiques, cutlery, ski clothing
and equipment, shoes, chocolate, cheese, and liquorsThings to do: winter
sports, shopping, siteseeing
Switzerland cuisine known for the culinary dishes cooked
with a raw and traditional touch. There is an effect of the French cuisine
in the west, Italian cuisine in the south and German cuisine in the north
and east of Switzerland. People genarally eat meat-potatoes-and-cheese,
various sauces supplementing the vegetables and delicious desserts.
Specialities of Switzerland : Various types of fondue (potato fondue is
great) and the air-dried meat, served in wafer-thin slices, known as
Bundnerfleisch. Different types of cheeses, desserts and meringues are
popular. Swiss chocolates are famous world wide. Rosti (crispy, fried,
shredded potatoes) is German Switzerland's national dish
Residents of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK
and the USA do not require a tourist visa. A maximum stay of three months
applies and passports are rarely stamped.
Swiss culture has contributed remarkably to literature, art, and music. It
is a fine blend of the German, French, and Italian cultures embodied in the
Swiss linguistic regions; it is separated from these parent cultures, for
example, by Swiss dialects and cultural inter-change. From early times
Switzerland has been revealed to many foreign determines, and as early as
the Middle Ages the nation had gained a high cultural level. Carolingian
culture, particularly painting and Romanesque architecture, developed, and
the Saint Gall monastery was a brilliant center of Western culture. Since
then most European cultural trends, such as humanism and the Reformation,
have been intermixed.
of modern cultural life has been determined by television. The three
networks, French, German, and Italian, while portraying their respective
cultures, include many programs from France, Germany, and Italy.
French-language television also includes shows from Canada and Belgium,
whereas the German network presents programs from Austria. All of the nation
is determined by American movies and television programs. Cable television,
reflecting the Europeanization of Switzerland, has brought a wide mixture of
additional programs to the large urban centres.
When to Go
Switzerland can be visited any time throughout the year but summers (June
to September) offer the most pleasant climate for outdoor activities and
excellent vacations. Since both the traffic and prices are high during
summers periods like April-May and late-September-October are more desirable
when crowds are lesser and prices are far more reasonable during this
period. For the lovers of winter sports time from November to March is
The climate in Switzerland is moderate throughout the year but winters are
severe for the tourists coming from warmer climates. During summers (July to
August) temperature ranges from 18 C to 28 °C (65° - 82° F) .
The Autumn and Spring day temperature is between 8 C to 15 °C (46°
- 59° F) and the winters(December February) are cold with
temperatures ranging from -2 C to 7 °C (28° - 45° F).
By Air :
The main entry points for international flights are Zürich
and Geneva. Basel, Bern and Lugarno airports also receive international
By Trains :
Intercontinental trains provide a convenient way to
travel to Switzerland, and European rail passes make train travel
By Bus :
Buses are slower, less comfortable and cheaper. Reaching
Switzerland by road is easy since there are fast, well-maintained highways
through all surrounding countries.
By Water :
If time and money allows one can get to Switzerland by
boat along the Rhine all the way from Amsterdam. Switzerland can also be
approached by lake steamer ferries from Germany via Lake Constance, from
Italy via Lake Maggiore and from France via Lake Geneva.
has a completely integrated and comprehensive public transport system
containing trains, buses, boats, funiculars and cable cars.
Though Internal flights are available but due to a great ground transport
they are not very popular. There are plenty of domestic flights shuttling
daily between Zürich, Geneva, Basel, Bern and Lugano, most of them
operated solely by Crossair.
The Swiss rail network covers 5000km (3106mi) and trains are clean,
reliable and frequent. There are yellow postbuses which supports the rail
network and their stops are next to railway stations.
The other way to move around the country are by hiring cars which are
comfortable and reliable due to the excellent road transport.
Bern, the Capital City :
Bern is the capital of Switzerland and of
Bern canton and lies in the west of the country on the River Aare. It is the
second most populous and second largest canton of the country. It comprises
of three sections firstly, the Bernese Alps or Oberland with many resorts
and peaks, secondly the Finsteraarhorn and Jungfrau with meadows and
pastures in the valleys and finally the Mittelland [midlands] which lies in
the fertile northern foothills of the Alps.
Château de Chillon :
Chillon Castle is the most popular
historical site in Switzerland. The monument stands right on Lake Geneva and
the enchanting fortress came into light when Lord Byron wrote about the fate
of Bonivard, a follower of the Reformation who was chained to the fifth
pillar in the dungeons for four years in the 16th century. The castle
belongs to 11th century which has been much modified and expanded since
Great St Bernard Pass Hospice Museum :
The museum throws light on
the importance of the monks' rescue work and religious vocation, which go
back to the 11th century
Jungfrau Region :
Some of Switzerland's most eye-catching vistas and
sites are found around the peaks of the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger, the
surroundings of which are made magnificent due to the greens, and
golds of nearby hills and valleys. The highest railway in Europe,
known to be the best rail trip finds its way through both the Eiger and the
Mönch before concluding at the tip of the awesome Jungfraujoch.