German, French, Italian, Romansh – depending on where in Switzerland you are. Most people understand English.
Swiss Franc (CHF). Debit cards and cash are accepted everywhere. Credit cards are accepted at most large stores, though not usually American Express.
Largest City: Zurich
Population: 8.55 million
Best Known For:
Swiss Alps, including the famous Matterhorn, watches, cheese, and chocolate. Major cities of Zurich and Geneva, Swiss neutrality, and the world’s only direct democracy.
Warm in summer and cold in winter. Lots of rain and snow in the north, and dry in the south.
Raclette (melted cheese with potatoes), Fondue (melted cheese with bread), chocolate, and Rösti (special type of hashbrowns).
More About Switzerland
The land of chocolate and cheese. Switzerland is the heart of Europe, bordered by France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and the often forgotten Liechtenstien. The Swiss have taken the best of each of their neighbors, reflected in their diverse languages, cuisine, and culture. Not wanting to choose sides, Switzerland is also famously neutral on the world political stage.
The country is not overly large, but geographically is dominated by the over 450 mountains in the Swiss Alps which stretch right across the country. No visit to Switzerland is complete without a visit to the spectacular Alps, whether it be in summer for hiking and biking or winter for skiing and snowboarding. Switzerland has great alpine villages such as Zermatt, St. Moritz, and Davos, among others.
Switzerland also has a large number of well-known international cities for its size. Zurich, Geneva, and Basel are the major players, but almost just as famous are Bern, Lucerne, and Montreux. Take a precisely on-time Swiss train between these cities for the true taste of Switzerland, and be prepared for incredible mountain views wherever you go.
The central location and diversity of Switzerland make it a great location to start any travels in Europe as it is so well connected to the rest of Europe, however you could just as easily spend weeks exploring Switzerland itself. Just don’t forget your wallet, as one other thing Switzerland is known for is being famously expensive.