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Switzerland Travel Guide: Country & Destination Information for Visiting


Switzerland travel guide and destination overview of the country. Key information, general overview, and more for travelers to Switzerland.

Updated: 2019-06-22.

Swiss Confederation | Confoederatio Helvetica (Latin)

Switzerland is a country located in Western Europe. It is a landlocked country, bordered by France to the west, Germany to the north, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. The capital is Bern, and the largest city is Zurich. Two-thirds of the country is fluent in German, with French, Italian, and Romansh being the other three official languages.

Switzerland is home to several large cities with unique history, culture and architecture, as well as some beautiful bucolic vistas. The Swiss Alps are world-renowned for excellent skiing and other winter sporting activities. Numerous churches and cathedrals dot the country, as well as many other architecturally-significant structures and buildings.

Switzerland is made up of 26 cantons, which are basically states that make up the overall federal state of Switzerland:

Zurich | Bern | Lucerne | Uri | Schwyz | Obwalden | Nidwalden | Glarus | Zug | Fribourg | Solothurn | Basel-Stadt | Basel-Landschaft | Schaffhausen | Appenzell Ausserrhoden | Appenzell Innerrhoden | St. Gallen | Graubünden | Aargau | Thurgau | Ticino | Vaud | Valais | Neuchâtel | Geneva | Jura

flag of Switzerland

Switzerland Travel Information & Key Points

General points to know about the country of Switzerland – demographics, important ages, phone numbers, key statistics, and more, whether you’re traveling there or not.

Capital: Bern (de facto)

Largest City:  Zürich

Population: 8.5 million (2019 estimate)

Language(s): German, French, Italian, & Romansh

Federal Chancellor: Walter Thurnherr

Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)

Area: 41,285 km2 (15,940 mi2)

Dialing Code: +41

Time Zone: Central European Time “CET” (UTC+1), DST/Summer Time: Central European Summer Time “CEST” (UTC+2)

Demonym: Swiss (what is a demonym?)

Endonym: Helvetica (Latin) (their name for their country)

Emergency Number: 112

Drinking Age: 16 is the drinking age for beers and wines; 18 is the age for spirits. This is universal across Switzerland except for the Canton of Ticino, where it is 18 for everything.

Smoking Age: 18 to purchase

Age of Consent: 16

Drives on the: Right

Electricity & Adapter: 230 V, 50 Hz, Plug Types C / J (define)

ISO Country Code: CH

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