Traveling Luck for Switzerland
Switzerland is located in Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy.
Land in Switzerland is mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes.
Swiss land covers an area of 41290 square kilometers which is slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
As for the Swiss climate; temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers.
Swiss (singular and plural) speak German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch 0.5%, other 2.8% (2000 census)
note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national languages, but only the first three are official languages.
Places of note in Switzerland
- Sankt Gallen
- Zürich (Kreis 11)
- Zürich (Kreis 3)
- Zürich (Kreis 9)
- La Chaux-de-Fonds
- Zürich (Kreis 10)
- Zürich (Kreis 7)
- Zürich (Kreis 6)
- Zürich (Kreis 2)
- Zürich (Kreis 9) / Altstetten
- Zürich (Kreis 12)
- Zürich (Kreis 4)
Swiss Clickable Map
Regions of Switzerland
- Appenzell Ausserrhoden
- Appenzell Innerrhoden
- Sankt Gallen
- Sankt Gallen
- Switzerland (general)
The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two World Wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations, but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.
Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP larger than that of the big Western European economies. The Swiss in recent years have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness. Switzerland remains a safehaven for investors, because it has maintained a degree of bank secrecy and has kept up the franc's long-term external value. Reflecting the anemic economic conditions of Europe, GDP growth dropped in 2001 to about 0.8%, to 0.2% in 2002, and to -0.3% in 2003, with a small rise to 1.8% in 2004-05. Even so, unemployment has remained at less than half the EU average.
Swiss natural resources include hydropower potential, timber, salt
landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps
Swiss religion is Roman Catholic 41.8%, Protestant 35.3%, Orthodox 1.8%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim 4.3%, other 1%, unspecified 4.3%, none 11.1% (2000 census).
Natural hazards in Switzerland include avalanches, landslides, flash floods.
- Switzerland and Liechtenstein share with the rest of Europe a threat from international terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets.
- There is an acute danger of avalanches at present in Switzerland’s Alpine regions. Please exercise due care and attention and observe ALL written notices and warning instructions.
- Around 712,000 British nationals visit Switzerland / Liechtenstein every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Switzerland / Liechtenstein is for lost / stolen passports, cash and personal effects, death, illness and accidents.
- We strongly recommend that comprehensive travel and medical insurance is obtained before travelling. Alpine conditions can be hazardous and you should ensure that your insurance covers winter/mountain activities. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see Travel Insurance.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Most visits to Switzerland and Liechtenstein are trouble-free. There is a generally low rate of serious crime in Switzerland compared with other European countries. However, crime does occur and you should be aware that petty theft is on the increase. Be particularly alert to pickpockets, confidence tricksters and thieves in city centres, airports, railway stations and other public places. If travelling overnight by train, you should take precautions against being burgled while you sleep by opportunist thieves. You should not become involved with drugs of any kind.
Switzerland Country Profile.
All road users should follow instructions given by local police and officials on the main alpine transit routes, at bottlenecks and areas of heavy traffic congestion. Swiss traffic regulations are strenuously enforced. Any serious breach of the regulations can result in heavy fines and/or imprisonment.
Alpine winters often make driving more difficult. You should equip your car with winter tyres and snow-chains, and check road conditions prior to departure. The Swiss motoring organisation, TCS, has up-to-date information on its website: http://www.tcs.ch.
A valid UK, or other EU/EEA, driving licence is sufficient for driving in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. There is no need for an International Driving Permit. Drivers can find up-to-date information about road closures at: http://mct.sbb.ch/. Information about rails services is available at: http://mct.sbb.ch.
Conditions in Liechtenstein are similar to those in Switzerland and this advice is equally applicable there. However, the crime rate is generally lower than in Switzerland.