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25 Interesting Facts about Switzerland

25 Interesting Facts about Switzerland

Photo: Aleksandar Mijatovic/Shutterstock

Want to know more about Switzerland? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Switzerland that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Swiss facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

There are 208 mountains which are taller than 3,000 meter

The Swiss Alps have certainly made Switzerland famous worldwide, and not only are they beautiful and majestic to look at, but they also rise thousands of meters high above the ground. 

A total of 208 mountains measures more than 3000 meters at their highest peak, and 28 of them are taller than 4000 meters. 

Swiss mountain

Photo: Stefano Polit/Shutterstock

Swiss people consume the most chocolate per capita

Swiss Chocolate is famous worldwide, and you’ll find Toblerone in basically every country selling chocolate around the world.

And not only do they produce some of the largest quantities of chocolate, but the Swiss people also consume the highest amount of chocolate per capita in the world. 

The Swiss railway system is highly accessible

If you want to visit several places in Switzerland, you’ll notice that the train is the way to go, especially if you want to travel around the Alps and the charming villages.

Going by car is oftentimes a longer journey to these villages, and the Swiss railway system is highly developed and accessible. 

Swiss facts

Photo: Gordon Bell / Shutterstock.com

It’s one of the most expensive countries in the world

While Swiss people can enjoy a high quality of life, it comes with a price. For example, one liter of fresh milk can cost as much as 4-6 Euro, which is about 4 times higher than the European average.

With that said, Swiss workers typically have a much higher wage than others. There is no minimum wage, but unskilled workers typically get 2200-4000 CHF as minimum salary. 

There are more than 450 varieties of Swiss cheese

Swiss cheese is famous worldwide, and if you’re a cheese lover, you’ll be happy to learn that there are more than 450 varieties in Switzerland. Some of the most famous Swiss cheeses are Gruyere, Alter Schweizer, Téte de Moine, Appenzeller, and Emmentaler. 

swiss cheese

Photo: Sergey_Bogomyako/Shutterstock

People from around the world often mix up Switzerland and Sweden

This is one of the weird Switzerland facts that I don’t really understand as a Swede.

Wherever I travel in the world when someone asks me where I’m from, and I reply that I’m from Sweden, there is always someone who will say that we make nice watches or that the Alps are beautiful. 

What makes this so interesting is that every time I have met a Swiss person, they have told me the same thing happen to them, but vice versa. People will mention Swedish things like the northern light, etc to them.

It’s a mystery to me as how you mix up these two, but perhaps our countries seem similar to people around the world. 

Foreigners make up some 25% of the population

It’s estimated that around 1/4 of the total population living in Switzerland are foreign-born. There are more than 2 million foreigners living in the country, and the majority of them are from other European countries. 

Some 100,000 Africans, 150,000 Americans, and Latin Americans, and 135,000 Asians are included in the foreign population as well.

The Swiss Guard is protecting the Pope in the Vatican

If you’ve been to the Vatican or seen photos/videos from there, you might have seen the Swiss Guard, who are recognized by their unique dress code. And yes, the Swiss Guard is actually made up of Swiss men, and they are protecting the Pope as well as the Vatican. 

They come from the Catholic cantons of Switzerland and have worn the same uniform since the treaty was signed in the 16th century.

The Vatican is the smallest country in the world

Citizens can challenge any law passed by Parliament

If 50,000 signatures are collected within 100 days after the law has been passed, it can be challenged and the parliament will then make it a national vote where citizens can vote whether the law should be passed or not. 

The majority of the voting will give the final decision when newly passed laws have been challenged.

Swiss watches are renowned worldwide

Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, and Piaget are some of the many Swiss watch brands that are famous worldwide. They do come with a hefty price though, but there is a good reason for it too, they last for a lifetime and are handmade to ensure maximum quality. 

Rolex Watch

Photo: pio3 / Shutterstock.com

Swiss law prohibits owning ‘social’ pets unless you get two or more

This is one of the many interesting facts about Switzerland which is unheard of in other countries. Swiss citizens can’t simply get just one social pet because there’s a law that states that social pets need to have at least one companion or more. 

If you want to get a dog here, you will have to get two of them. 

Switzerland has the second-highest life span in the world

Only Japan has a higher life span than the Swiss people, and in general, the standard and quality of life in Switzerland is consistently ranked in the top worldwide.

The life expectancy is currently at 83.4 years for both genders. 

Switzerland has the second highest lifespan in the world

Photo: Fedor Selivanov / Shutterstock.com

Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland under some conditions

This is perhaps one of the most controversial facts about Switzerland, and it’s a practice that is illegal in most countries around the world. While assisted suicide is legal, it does come with some conditions and terms that have to be met in order to proceed. 

The process takes a couple of months and the regulations are strict. 

Sundays are especially regulated by a long list of social laws

Sunday is a day for rest and quietness in Switzerland, and this is ensured by various social laws that prohibit people from doing certain activities on Sundays. 

You can’t do laundry, noises such as hammering, mowing your lawn and other loud sounds are not allowed. Every type of work outside is typically frowned upon and in general, everyone is expected to keep their noise down and don’t disturb others on Sundays.

These rules also apply to night time on weekdays from around 10 pm to 6 am.

There are at least 7000 lakes

If you’re traveling to Switzerland, you can visit more than 7000 lakes despite the country’s relatively small size. Lake Geneva is one of the largest lakes in Europe, and while some of the lakes are quite small, many of them offer stunning reflections and backdrops. 

Lakes in Switzerland

Photo: zbindere/Shutterstock

5 x Fun Facts about Switzerland

  • There are enough bunkers to save the entire population from a nuclear war
  • It’s one of the happiest countries in the world
  • LSD was first made by a Swiss chemist
  • Switzerland was originally called Helvetia
  • The average marriage age for Swiss men is 31.8 and 29.5 for women
Fun facts about Switzerland

Photo: eugeniek / Shutterstock.com

5 x Switzerland Facts for Kids

  • Skiing is the national sport of Switzerland
  • It’s the most innovative country in the world
  • The Hadron Collider is located in CERN
  • Leontopodium alpinum is the national flower 
  • The Capital is Bern, but the largest city is Zurich
Switzerland facts for kids

Photo: Hanjo Hellmann/Shutterstock

General Facts about Switzerland

Below is some general information such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Switzerland that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 8,570,146
  • Capital: Bern
  • Life expectancy: 83.4 years
  • Highest Mountain: Monte Rosa at 4,634 meters (15,203 ft)
  • Land area: 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi)
  • Largest Lake: Lake Geneva
  • National Day: 1 August
  • Government: Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party parliamentary directorial republic
  • Currency: Swiss franc (CHF)
  • Official language: German, French, Italian, Romansh
  • Religion: No official state religion
  • Member of Nato: No
  • Member of the EU: No
  • Schengen Zone: Yes
  • National song: “Swiss Psalm”
  • Time zone: UTC+1 (CET) and UTC+2 (CEST)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +41
  • Country Code: CH
information about Switzerland

Photo: S-F/Shutterstock

The Biggest Cities in Switzerland

If you’re looking for facts about Switzerland, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities.

Zurich Geneva
Basel Lausanne
Bern Winterthur
St. Gallen Lucerne
Biel/Bienne Lugano

Flag of Switzerland

The Swiss flag is one of the only two flags in the world which are square formatted. It’s characterized by the white cross and red background.

swiss flag

Map of Switzerland

Below, you can see the Swiss territory marked in yellow and the bordering countries: Germany, Austria, Italy, and France. 

Map of Switzerland

Photo: pavalena/Shutterstock


How many of these Switzerland Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

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