Switzerland is a stunning country, full of majestic mountains and stunning lakes. It offers tranquility, stunning views, and a plethora of activities within its borders.
It’s also renowned for its rich history, as well as its focus on privacy and financial security.
Switzerland has long been one of the world’s most highly sought-after luxury tourist destinations, offering something for everyone from outdoor adventurers to urban dwellers to culture-seekers.
Whether you’re looking for spectacular beauty or sophisticated culture, Switzerland has something for everyone to enjoy.
A unique mix of culture, design, history, and beauty combine in Switzerland to create an unforgettable travel experience for all individuals.
Switzerland Facts for Kids
- Switzerland is a small country in Europe.
- It has four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh.
- The Swiss flag is a red square with a white cross.
- Switzerland is known for its beautiful mountains, including the Swiss Alps.
- The country is home to many famous companies, such as Nestle and Swatch.
- The Swiss currency is the Swiss franc.
Population: 7,446,000 people
Capital City: Bern, 320,000 people
Language: German, French, Italian, Romanish
Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant
Currency: Swiss Franc
Area: 15,940 sq mi. (41,284 sq km.)
Literacy Percentage: 99
Life Expectancy: 80 years
Geographical Facts about Switzerland
Swiss geography is unique, with a landlocked area in the core of Europe. Switzerland’s borders connect to Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and France, while Italy lies just across its Alpine arc.
Bern is its capital, but Zürich is its largest city, with 1.3 million residents. The country is comparable in size to Austria or roughly double the size of New Jersey in the USA.
From London, flying to Zurich’s principal airport can take as little as two hours; from New York, less than eight.
The Top Geographical Superlatives
The Highest Peaks in Europe
Switzerland is home to some serious mountains! 48 of its peaks are over 4,000 meters/13,120 feet – it’s the highest in Europe.
From the Jungfrau to Matterhorn, these grand peaks draw climbers and skiers alike.
The air gets thinner with altitude too, so those determined enough to reach the summit have the added challenge of acclimatizing for their adventure.
Looking down from one of these summits, you’ll enjoy a spectacular view over alpine valleys full of sparkling lakes and quaint villages dotting the landscape.
Pristine Nature and dizzying heights – Switzerland has plenty of epic adventures waiting for courageous (or crazy!) visitors ready to take on one of its highest peaks!
The Largest Glacier in Europe
The Swiss Aletsch Glacier is an incredible sight – the longest glacier in Europe, stretching a full 23 km/14 miles. Sadly, this magnificent specimen has been shrinking every year due to ongoing climate change.
It’s vital that we take action. If nothing is done, this majestic glacier will reduce even more in size and eventually disappear. Taking measures to prevent further damage is essential for protecting this natural wonder and preserving it for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.
Environmental awareness must be our priority if we are to ensure that the Aletsch Glacier continues to exist into eternity.
Highest Mountain Summit
The DufourSpitze of Monte Rosa is the tallest mountain in Switzerland, standing at 4,634 m/ 15,203 ft. It offers incredible views of the surrounding area and is a popular destination for serious climbers.
Mountaineering between above and below? The summit presents challenges as well as rewards. The mix of snowfields and limestone challenges even experienced climbers making it a true test of skill.
The beauty at the top is worth the effort to arrive there – stunning sunsets, spectacular glaciers, and breathtaking mountain views bring a sense of fulfillment after such an intense experience.
Monte Rosa’s Dufour-Spitze provides climbers with a unique opportunity to challenge themselves amongst some of Europe’s most idyllic scenery.
The Most Inclined Cog Railway in the World
Pilatus mountain in Lucerne is the proud host of the world’s steepest cog railway. Its gradient reaches an astonishing 48%.
This one-of-a-kind railway climbs up to over 2100 meters, offering breathtaking views and incredible engineering feats.
Getting to the top is no small feat. The steepest section can only be reached by taking a dizzying and unforgettable ride like no other.
The construction of this marvel was a big accomplishment – the grade of the track is so high that even experienced engineers said it couldn’t be done!
The Pilatus cog railway takes us high above Lucerne, giving us a unique and unforgettable Swiss experience!
The Longest River in Switzerland
The Rhine River is Switzerland’s longest, stretching out for 375km or 233 miles. It starts from the Swiss Alps and flows through multiple cities.
Its journey continues across international borders into Germany, France, and the Netherlands, eventually ending its course in the North Sea.
The river provides a vital irrigation network to different countries, making it an important resource for many downstream populations.
The Rhine has also been an important part of people’s lives along its journey- providing transport throughout Europe’s cities and supporting the cultures of many nationalities.
Switzerland’s iconic river, the Rhine, is a source of life and culture throughout Europe, connecting multiple countries with its long winding course.
The Rhine Waterfall
The Rhein Falls is a mighty sight. At 23 m high and 150 m wide, they are the most powerful waterfalls in Europe.
The sight of cascading water thundering over limestone cliffs is one of the continent’s grandest spectacles. From the depths of Lake Zurich, it makes its way down a narrow channel to thunder over a dramatic brink.
Sparkling foam clouds are kicked up into the nearby air by its clear, rushing waters.
The Rhein Falls offers visitors a breathtaking experience – an unmatched opportunity to immerse themselves in Nature’s majesty and take in this stunning natural wonder. A visit to these spectacular falls reveals an awe-inspiring experience that will never be forgotten.
The Deepest Natural Lake in Switzerland
The Lago Maggiore is Switzerland’s deepest lake. It lies in the southern part of Switzerland and is absolutely unique. Its deep clarity and azure hue will make any visitor to the area pause for a moment, enjoying the beauty that lies beneath it.
It’s one of many picturesque lakes in the country, but it stands out from them due to its sheer depth that cannot be found anywhere else in Switzerland. Just looking at it brings a feeling of awe and admiration.
It’s perfect for leisurely holidays or even more active activities like swimming, fishing, and sailing adventures.
The Lago Maggiore is an incredibly special place one must experience in their lifetime – it can offer breathtaking views and moments that leave you speechless with its undeniable beauty.
The Biggest Lake in the Country
Lake Neuchâtel is Switzerland’s largest lake, but it’s only half the size of neighboring Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), shared by both Switzerland and France.
Boasting breathtaking views, fascinating history, and unique wildlife, Lake Neuchâtel is still an incredibly important part of the Swiss landscape.
This alpine lake has a much richer purpose than just being visually stunning; providing irrigation for its surrounding vineyards and supplying fish for local communities.
Neuchâtel is also valuable in terms of hydroelectric power, with numerous dams installed throughout the lake to generate electricity.
In short, Lake Neuchâtel is essential to Swiss life despite being smaller than the neighboring Lake Geneva.
The Grande Dixence Hydroelectric Dam
Switzerland’s Grande Dixence Dam is stunning. It’s incredible, 285 m/ 935 ft high, making it the tallest dam in Europe and the tallest gravity dam in the world.
It’s a sight to behold, a rare piece of engineering that towers proudly above its surroundings and reminds us of what humans can achieve when they strive for greatness.
The amazing dam stands testament to Man’s endeavor to use technology to improve our lives and conquer some of Nature’s greatest challenges.
Its scale demonstrates humanity’s abilities, showing that with hard work, courage, and ambition, anything is possible.
Grande Dixence Dam symbolizes our technological prowess and showcases Switzerland as an innovation leader – a beacon of progress and formidable engineering!
The World’s Deepest and Longest Tunnel for Trains
The Gotthard tunnel is an impressive sight. It’s the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel, winding across a track of 57 km/ 35 miles.
It stands as a constant reminder of the accomplishments that can be achieved through human ingenuity.
The tunnel was an engineering feat accomplished on a truly massive scale, enabling efficient transport between two countries that were once separated by mountain ranges.
Engineers had to make sure the tunnel could withstand pressure, maintain air quality, and ensure safety despite its great length.
The Gotthard Tunnel epitomizes what humans are capable of when we work together with commitment and passion – challenging traditional boundaries to create something truly remarkable.
Five iconic Swiss Landmarks
Did you know that there’s a famous Swiss mountain near Zermatt? It’s the Matterhorn, standing at 4,478 m (14,692 ft) tall. Since 1970, it has been proudly displayed on the logo of Toblerone chocolate bars.
Visitors from around the world come to experience the stunning views of its unmistakable peak while locals continue to be filled with awe and admiration for this iconic piece of natural beauty.
Its rugged slopes make it a popular destination among thrill seekers looking for adventure, and its magical landscape offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of Switzerland.
Those who travel up its majestic mountainside enjoy unforgettable experiences filled with breathtaking panoramas of alpine valleys and lush meadows as far as the eye can see.
For those lucky enough to ascend to the top, they are rewarded with an unobstructed view of glorious beauty straight out of fairytales. The Matterhorn is truly like nowhere else on earth!
The Jungfraujoch stands tall as one of Switzerland’s highest mountains at a staggering 3,454 m/11,332 ft. It’s truly a sight to behold.
Reachable only by the world’s highest railway station, the top of this majestic alp is home to some fascinating attractions. An ice palace and museum have been carved into the mountain walls, marking it as an iconic destination for anyone who ventures there.
But that’s not all – you can also explore the icy glaciers that hug its sides and relish in breathtaking views of crystal clear lakes and lush forests in every direction.
It truly is a remarkable mountain, one that combines extraordinary engineering with awe-inspiring beauty like no other. Its spectacular displays of Nature tucked away amongst its ice-coated cliffs make it an unforgettable getaway spot – especially if you’re daring enough to make it up to the top!
Kapellbrücke, the famous footbridge in Lucerne, is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. It’s connected to the colorful Water Tower and stands as a Swiss landmark.
But in 1993, it suffered a fire that destroyed two-thirds of its painted panels. Luckily 30 of them were totally restored.
This tragedy demonstrated how quickly something of such great value and beauty could be lost if not sufficiently cared for and preserved.
And yet the remaining artwork stands as a reminder of both the destruction and restoration effort needed to keep these historical monuments alive.
From this story, we learn that preservation efforts matter – they are not just acts of vanity but are often lifesavers, helping us protect our culture and heritage.
We must never neglect these traditions so that future generations can also witness their magnificence first-hand.
Geneva Water Fountain
The Jet d’eau is one of Geneva’s most remarkable landmarks. From the shore, it shoots water high up into the sky, at least 140 meters, and can be seen from miles away.
Even when flying 10,000 meters high over the lake, this fountain will still stand out for its sheer size and beauty. It’s a sight that has always been impressive since it was first erected in 1886.
The fountain is more than just a geyser: its show of power serves to remind us that marvels of Nature remain even in modern societies. The fact it is powered not by electricity but solely by the pressure from nearby Lake Geneva only adds to its grandeur.
It has become an architectural gem, linking together Geneva’s traditional buildings along the lake with futuristic sculptural works of art around the city. To see this great work shoot water up into the atmosphere is truly awe-inspiring and humbling at the same time.
Since 1895, Jet d’eau has been providing a spectacular display each day and features on many postcards sent around Switzerland and beyond.
CERN Globe of Science
The CERN Globe of Science is a place of immense scientific potential, housing the largest particle physics laboratory in the world and 6 accelerators. At 27 meters high, 89 feet in diameter, and 144 feet wide, it’s impossible to miss.
This globe serves as more than just a gigantic monument – it is a hub for further innovation and exploration to take place.
Through programs and workshops hosted at this site, people from different backgrounds can learn about accelerators and particle physics, as well as gain valuable insight into how research into new technologies is conducted.
Its presence also encourages more collaboration between scientists with diverse expertise so that bigger breakthroughs can be made through intensive collective effort.
With its size comes unprecedented opportunities for educational development and scientific progress alike.
Things to do as a Family
Switzerland is great for families looking to get out and enjoy Nature. With barefoot trails, extensive bike paths, and plenty of playgrounds, it’s the perfect destination for an outdoorsy family.
History buffs will love a trip to Basel in the North, located near the August Raurica Roman archaeological site—the oldest Roman settlement on the Rhine!
Head South to Ticino (also known as Tessin) to find palm trees and lakes. Take a boat ride on Lake Maggiore or explore Brissago Island’s botanical garden.
For more adventurous activities, head to Central Switzerland for zip lining at aerial adventure parks or take in some scenic mountain views on board the Glacier Express Train.
Don’t forget East of Switzerland—Heidiland is the star attraction here. Originally featured in book and movie form, this region was the setting of Heidi. It’s worth a visit just to see where it all began!
Famous People From Switzerland
Roger Federer – a professional tennis player and one of the most successful athletes in history, with 20 Grand Slam singles titles to his name
Le Corbusier – a Swiss-French architect and urban planner known for his modernist designs and theories on urban planning
Henri Dunant – a Swiss businessman and humanitarian who founded the International Red Cross and was the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
Carl Jung – a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology and is known for his theories on the collective unconscious and archetypes
Ernest Ansermet – a conductor and composer who founded the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Bertrand Piccard – a psychiatrist, explorer, and pilot who co-piloted the first non-stop solar-powered flight around the world
The people of Switzerland
Switzerland is sparsely populated, and the northern part is more so than the south. Graubünden, located in the Alps, is the least inhabited canton in the country.
Five of Switzerland’s largest cities are Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Bern, and Lausanne, all of which have rich cultural heritage combined with rich cultural traditions.
Sports are popular in Switzerland; skiing, soccer, ice hockey, tennis, and basketball are some of their favorite hobbies. As one of the first countries to develop winter sports, this was a logical continuation for them. Four out of every ten Swiss people belong to a sports club keeping active.
Traditional sports like flag swinging, Summer bobsledding, and Schwingen (a type of Swiss wrestling) are still played whilst Alphorn is blowing, and yodeling choirs take place only occasionally – typically at traditional events with music echoing through Alpine valleys.
Traditional Swiss Cuisine
Switzerland offers an array of amazing food options, boasting unique flavors and regional specialties.
From fondue and Raclette to Swiss chocolate, muesli, and macaroni, food in Switzerland is incredibly rich in taste. Not to mention that there are reportedly over 450 different kinds of cheese!
In many Swiss households, you’ll find an assortment of yogurts tucked away in the refrigerator.
Bread is often eaten for both breakfast and dinner, too, with artisanal varieties containing seeds and nuts being especially popular.
Local specialties can be found throughout Switzerland, such as Basel’s Flour Soup (Basler Mehlsuppe), Zug Cherry Cake (Zuger Kirschtorte), Neuchâtel-spiced Sausage (Neuenburger Saucisson), and Bern Honey Cake (Berner Honiglebkuchen).
All these regional dishes offer a flavor like no other – so make sure to try them out while down in Switzerland!
Eating a fondue brings people together. Everyone sits around the pot to enjoy the melted cheese.
The special long-handled fork allows you to dip a small piece of white bread into the creamy liquid and savor its warmth.
It’s an experience that is both visual and delicious, with the lovely smell wafting through the air.
The combination of flavors from dipping bread into cheese will tantalize your taste buds, creating a unique shared experience for all involved.
Fondue is perfect for bringing friends and family closer together as they marvel at its solace moment by moment.
Raclette is a unique way to enjoy cheese!
A wheel of cheese is expertly heated until the top layer melts. Then, with a skillful scrape, it’s transferred onto the plate.
It’s a great way to serve food – everyone can join in and add their own ingredients and make their own portion. Plus, it’s an interactive and fun experience!
Raclette is the ultimate cheesy dish, sure to bring a smile to whoever tries it. With Raclette, you can enjoy cheese in an unexpected yet delicious way.
Rösti is an iconic Swiss dish. It’s made from finely grated potatoes, then pan-fried till golden and crisp. It’s been a beloved breakfast food for generations of farmers.
Today, it’s one of Switzerland’s national dishes – representing the culinary tastes and culture of this beautiful country.
But whether you eat it for breakfast or any other time of day, you’ll be sure to enjoy its delicious flavor and crispy texture!
Rösti is the perfect way to experience traditional Swiss cooking in your own home – turning simple ingredients into something special and unique.
Geschnätzlets are a delicious classic dish made of tender strips of veal immersed in creamy mushroom sauce. It requires delicate skill to perfectly balance the flavors, creating an exquisite combination of tender meat and the extraordinary richness of the creamy mushroom sauce.
The contrast between these two unique textures creates a delightful gastronomic experience. This meal is both comforting and indulgent, perfect for nights when you want something special.
The aroma invites you to take your first bite and never look back! Geschnätzlets presents a truly one-of-a-kind culinary experience unlike any other, a classic dish that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Spätzli is a traditional Swiss dish of soft, chewy, and delicious handmade noodles. Made with simple ingredients like flour, eggs, and salt, it’s surprisingly easy to make at home.
Spätzli can be served as a side dish or even added to soups for an extra special touch. It’s a great way to add a bit of variety and flavor to meals.
The textures and flavors change depending on the tools used, such as graters or rolling pins. Assembling Spätzli takes some practice but is worth it for the heavenly outcome.
Spätzli is perfect for adding a little something extra special when creating comfort food recipes. It’s also an excellent way to get creative in the kitchen and bring some Swiss flair into meals!
Bircher Müesli is a morning delight. It brings together soft rolled oats with crunchy nuts, grated apples, and pre-soaked flakes for the perfect start to any day.
The combination of these different ingredients creates an interesting mix of textures and flavors, making each spoonful a pleasant eating experience.
Furthermore, Bircher Müesli is high in fiber and protein, so it’s a healthy choice for breakfast as well as being tasty.
This classic Swiss food also allows for plenty of variations. You can add dried fruit or yogurt to get the perfect balance of creamy sweetness to compliment its nutty texture.
Bircher Müesli offers a unique, wholesome flavor that elevates any morning routine. Enjoy this soft, comforting cereal however you like to start your day with satisfaction!
Ricola is more than your average sweet. They are made from a carefully crafted blend of 13 different herbs, each with its own unique taste and aroma.
It’s this that gives Ricola its signature flavor and why they have become so beloved by generations of customers.
It’s a secret recipe that has been delighting people for decades, giving Ricola their intensely fresh and fragrant taste unsatisfied by any other sweet.
Ricola combines the traditional with the modern, giving a timeless classic the perfect balance of sweetness and depth to ensure it stands out from all others.
No other sweets can boast the same flavor profile; Ricola is truly in a league of its own.
Chocolate is the ultimate treat. From white to brown and even black chocolate, there’s something for everyone. Plus, its variations are seemingly endless – just look at all the options available in any given grocery store!
No matter what type you try, chocolate always brings sweet satisfaction to the taste buds. There’s a special kind of magic about sinking your teeth into a heavenly piece of chocolate.
Plus, it can really enhance desserts and other recipes like cakes, cookies, and more.
And let’s not forget hot cocoa on a cold winter day – absolute bliss! Chocolate is a unique indulgence that never fails to bring joy.
The Rich and Diverse Animal Life of Switzerland
Switzerland is home to a variety of animals, from cows and sheep to St. Bernard dogs in the Alpine regions.
Marmots are commonly seen when hiking in the Alps, whistling before quickly retreating when humans get too close.
In forests across the country, one can find things like deer, foxes, rabbits, and squirrels. Zermatt’s Valais Blacknose sheep are particularly popular with locals due to their domestication.
There are also larger creatures to be seen here — golden eagles soar over the area and can measure up to two meters tall.
Some other animals native to Switzerland include badgers, hedgehogs, Eurasian lynxes, and chamois goats which inhabit the mountainous terrain.
Wild boars have also been reintroduced into parts of Switzerland’s woodlands since their extinction years ago.
Due to its varied landscape and climate zones, there is an abundance of fauna across Switzerland, that makes it an ideal spot for nature lovers and animal enthusiasts alike.