Has Switzerland been on your bucket list for a long time? Would you like to find out exciting and entertaining facts about Switzerland so that you can look forward to visiting this unique country even more?
Well we got you covered. Read on for 16 facts about Switzerland with which you can book your ticket to the high alpine uplands right away.
1. Switzerland was neutral in both world wars
This is a known fact about Switzerland. It is a neutral country in more ways than one. Not only because it did not take part in either the First or Second World War, but also today, when it comes to political affiliations and conflicts, Switzerland likes to stand aside and does not orientate itself towards a specific faction.
You may find this laudable because it means peace is drawn over conflict, or you may find it ridiculous because a country as powerful as Switzerland could have much influence on world affairs. Either way, the Swiss like to do it.
Check out more fun facts from. at Europe
2. More banks than dentists?
Another world-famous fact about Switzerland is that rich people with money that they want to hide from tax authorities, spouses or others go to banks in Switzerland. Because as soon as your money is safely stored with a Swiss bank, you can be sure that this information will never be passed on to someone who inquires.
In Switzerland there are even more banks than dentists, which is strange. Bank employees in Switzerland are also protected by the armored glass!
3. The largest nuclear bunker in the world Lucerne
Switzerland is well prepared for any type of nuclear disaster, as it can accommodate the entire population in nuclear bunkers if necessary. Switzerland has the largest nuclear shelter in the world, the Sonnenberg tunnel, which can accommodate 20,000 people over a longer period of time.
It seems that Switzerland would be by far the best place in the world to settle in during the next major conflict.
4. Highest minimum wage in the world
Geneva (not the capital of Switzerland despite popular belief) is home to many wealthy people. Still, it is also home to many minimum wage workers such as hotel workers, waiters, cleaners, hairdressers, and more.
That is why a new hourly rate of CHF 23 was introduced in Geneva at the end of 2020. If you’re wondering, that equates to £ 19, $ 25, or € 22.
This would give one monthly minimum salary from 4000 francs. This is to ensure that people in working positions can still afford to live in Switzerland without working themselves to the bone. The United States and other nations could learn from this mandate.
5. Would you like to become Swiss?
If you already think Switzerland is a great place to live, then it is true. Switzerland was named the “best place to be born” by a recently published quality of life index. No wonder why.
However, if you want to become a Swiss citizen, you must have lived in the country for at least 12 years before you can even apply. So keep that in mind the next time you want to move to another country.
6. Luxury watches from Swiss watchmakers
Are you a lover of luxury watches? Maybe you already have one or two or maybe you just admire them from afar? Either way, half of the luxury watch brands like Tissot, TAG Heuer, Rolex, Patek Philippe and Longines are all Swiss!
Kudos to the Swiss watchmakers for making watchmaking such an art form that people are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for it. Interesting facts about Swiss watchmaking: The first waterproof watch was invented by Rolex in Switzerland in 1927. Cool right?
7. One of two countries in the world with a square flag
Okay, so that’s really out-of-the-box thinking. Who would have thought that having a square flag was acceptable? The Swiss made it. The only other country that has a square flag is Vatican City.
The Swiss flag looks like this: a square red box with a white cross inside. It seems very similar to the Red Cross symbol, doesn’t it?
8. Switzerland is completely landlocked
One might think that the Swiss landscape with numerous untouched lakes, hilly landscapes and villages and the high peaks of the Swiss Alps sounds like the perfect landscape. And you’d be right!
Only one thing would be missing in this beautiful country: the sea view. Switzerland is inland, so it has no access to the coast. It shares borders with five countries: France, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Italy.
9. High gun possession, low murder rate
Another thing the world could learn from Switzerland is the peaceful nature of its citizens. Although nearly half of the population owns weapons for security and defense, the murder rate is ridiculously low. Compared to the 5 per 100,000 in the United States, there are only 0.5 murders per 100,000 in Switzerland.
10. Military service is compulsory
Interestingly, Switzerland is one of the last European countries where military service is still mandatory. Every male Swiss citizen over the age of 18 must serve in the Swiss Army. There are regular refresher courses up to the age of 44, and Swiss women can volunteer for military service if they wish.
11. Switzerland has strict laws on keeping pets
In order to avoid cruelty to animals, Switzerland has strict laws on keeping pets, including the Mating Act. This law says that you can’t just have one of the social animals like guinea pigs, mice or fish, because that’s too lonely and sad.
In addition, animals can be represented in court by lawyers in the event of mistreatment or other cruelty.
12. The Hadron Collider is located near Geneva
Have you heard about it? Hadron Collider? It is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator (collider) and was built between 1998 and 2008 by the European Organization for Nuclear Research. More than 10,000 scientists from more than 100 countries and hundreds of universities worked together to set up this particle physics laboratory.
It is located in a 27 km long tunnel near the city of Geneva. How great is that!
13. Four official languages in Switzerland
If you thought learning a language was hard enough, think of poor Swiss who have to stick to four official languages: French, Romansh, German and Italian. But at least if you feel like you want to communicate with the locals, you have plenty of options to choose from.
14. Don’t forget the Swiss Army Knife
Another great invention by the Swiss Karl Elsener is certainly the Swiss Army Knife, which is known as the “smallest tool box in the world”. You don’t want to go without camping or the wilderness. There are four different models that can have a barometer, an altimeter, and even a USB memory card.
15. Many activities are prohibited on Sundays
Oddly enough, Sunday is quite sacred in Switzerland and many activities are prohibited by law on Sundays. This includes things like mowing the lawn, hanging up laundry, and more. Any kind of loud DIY is not allowed on Sundays.
This also applies to weekdays from 2200 to 0600. This is good news for any light sleeper out there. If you get annoyed when your neighbors have loud parties at night or on the weekend, move or travel to Switzerland and get a good night’s sleep.
16. The Swiss are all about cheese and chocolate
We saved the best for last … Swiss chocolate and Swiss cheese. What would the world be without them?
Switzerland not only produces massive amounts of Swiss chocolate, it also exports a lot of it abroad. 122,000 tons of which in 2018.
The Swiss also love their cheese and cheese fondue is one of their favorite pastimes. While Switzerland is a great country to live in for many reasons, its cheese and chocolate obsession has to be high on the list of why everyone should move to Switzerland as soon as possible.
Facts about Switzerland: just the beginning
There are many more facts to learn and read about Switzerland. But like any other place in the world, the only way to get to know a country honestly is to live in it – or at least visit it for a longer period of time.
Are you looking for your next adventure spot and confused about all the options? Look at Switzerland!
Read our blog post about the 23 exciting activities in Zermatt, Switzerland and let yourself be inspired by this jewel of this country. There is a lot to discover in this country and you will be surprised what you discover in the Swiss Alps.