About Switzerland

About Switzerland

Welcome to Switzerland! The alpine nation has a lot to offer both expats and tourists. Switzerland is a nation in central Europe, bordered by France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, and Italy. The country has many beautiful sites and attractions, from cities to chocolate-box landscapes. 

Visiting Switzerland is a must for those who want to travel through Europe and experience beautiful vistas and historical landmarks. Below, you will find different topics that make Switzerland what it is today.

Swiss national day 

August 1 is Swiss national day. This event is to commemorate the signing of the First Federal Charter in 1291. This was when the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden signed a mutual alliance, forming the Old Swiss Confederation. The date is celebrated as an independence day and is a national holiday. To find out more about how the Swiss celebrate the event, you can check out our guide to Swiss national day.

Swiss flag 

Want to know why the Swiss national flag is a big plus? Switzerland has a tradition of making imposing flags and coats of arms. Today, every council (Gemeinde) and county (canton) has its own flag / coat of arms. It is not uncommon to find these symbols throughout Switzerland, with each of the cantons choosing their flags based on landscape, history, and culture. For more information, you can check out our guide to Swiss flags.

Swiss francs

Swiss francs have been the currency of Switzerland since 1850, and outside of the alpine nation are also used in Liechtenstein and in some Italian enclaves around Lake Maggiore. Learn more about the history of the currency of Switzerland, as well as the look, value and symbols of Swiss francs, in our dedicated guide. 

Swiss mountains

One of the most prominent features of the landscape, mountains in Switzerland are intrinsically linked to Swiss identity. They are what most people imagine when they think of Switzerland. From mountain cheese (Bergkäse), to yodelling and skiing, it is hard to think of Switzerland without the snow-capped peaks of the Alps and Jura. 

Ski resorts in Switzerland

As well as stunning views and excellent walking paths, the mountains are also home to Swiss ski resorts. These resorts are one of the most popular destinations for tourists, expats and locals in Switzerland. They can range from a simple T-bar on a large hill, to imposing alpine resorts with hotels, restaurants, bars and casinos.

Swiss lakes

Almost as famous as the mountains that surround them, Swiss lakes are a major part of the landscape in all cantons. Teal blue and almost always clean, the lakes in Switzerland are a favourite of painters and swimmers alike. As well as providing a clean source of water, the lakes also serve as excellent places to take in the scenery, either on the banks or on boats as part of public transport.

Swiss rivers

Feeding the lakes of Switzerland, Swiss rivers are highly important arteries for Swiss cities and the wider landscape. Some of the largest rivers in Europe have their source in the Swiss Alps. Providing the majority of drinking water and hydroelectric power, Switzerland has truly earned the title of the "water tower of Europe."

Swiss historical sites

Switzerland has over 800 years of history as an independent nation, and this is reflected in the number of Swiss historical sites. These locations are pivotal in Swiss history, ranging from the place where the first cantonal alliance was signed, to monuments to Swiss achievements through the years.

Swiss castles

As well as historical sites, Switzerland has been fortified by the Romans, Germans, Franks, Austrians, Savoyard and finally Swiss. This has led to many beautiful Swiss castles for expats and tourists to visit, with many still open to the public. These castles dominate the landscape and can provide excellent views of the surrounding area. Swiss castles have protected Switzerland for many hundreds of years and have inspired poets such as Lord Byron into verse. If you feel like getting inspired, you can check out our guide to Swiss castles.

Swiss weather

What is it like in Switzerland over the spring, summer, autumn and winter? When does the snow begin to fall and who gets the best temperatures during the summer months? To find out how conditions can range from peak to Swiss Plateau, Swiss city to ski resort, you can check out the guide to Swiss weather.

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