Switzerland - At a glance


Location Central Europe

Neighbouring countries France, Italy, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria

Size 41,285km²

Climate Temperate, but varies with altitude 

Status Democracy

Population 8,121,000

Capital Bern

Other main cities Zürich, Geneva, Basel

Life expectancy 80.2 years (men), 84.9 years (women)

Economy Modern market economy

GDP US$685.4 billion

Languages German is spoken in north, central and eastern Switzerland, French in the west, Italian in the south and Romansch in the southeast.

Religion Christian

Currency Swiss franc. For up-to-date rates, go to www.xe.com

National airline Swiss

International telephone code +41

Time GMT+1

Electricity 220V, 50Hz

Weights and measures Metric, using a comma rather than a decimal point and denoting thousands by a full point rather than a comma (eg: 1,6kg = 1.6kg).

Flag White cross on red background

National anthem Swiss Psalm, officially confirmed in 1981 but first performed in 1843

National flower Edelweiss

Public holidays 1 August (National Day); many local holidays/festivals

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Switzerland articles

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Five of the prettiest villages in Switzerland

Switzerland is full of stunning villages in idyllic settings; here are five of the best. 

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The best walking routes in Switzerland

Explore some of the most dramatic Swiss landscapes on foot with five of its top walks. 

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A tour of Lake Luzern

Take a tour of Lake Luzern and the sights along its shores.

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Related guides and other books

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