Switzerland Fast Facts

Switzerland

Population: 8,061,516 (July 2014 est.)

Capital City: Bern

Climate: Temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers.

Time Zone: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Language: German (official) 64.9%, French (official) 22.6%, Italian (official) 8.3%

Country Code: +41

Switzerland

  Switzerland  

Switzerland is a highly desirable place to live. Who hasn’t dreamed of living in a cozy Alpine chalet or an elegant apartment overlooking a mirror-calm lake? The attractions of high living standards, low crime, and fantastic infrastructure aren’t to be sneezed at either.

Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons and is a great place for hiking and skiing.

In Western Switzerland you are never far from lakes, mountains, or both. This is the French-speaking part of the country: la Suisse.

You’ll quickly realize that German-speaking Switzerland doesn’t have the monopoly on cowbells…needle-spired churches…or Alpine chalets brimming with window boxes of geraniums.

A skier’s playground in winter, Villars-sur-Ollon in Vaud Canton is part of the Alpes Vaudoises and is linked to the glacier skiing at Les Diablerets. The surrounding area, which includes the villages of Gryon, Chesnieres, and Barboleuse, boasts a number of ski lifts serving over 70 miles of pistes. It’s a charming village—very low-key—with alluring views of the jagged teeth of the Dents du Midi range.

Lac Leman (often wrongly called Lake Geneva) is tagged “the Swiss Riviera.” Summers are Riviera-like with warm weather. Winters can be quite mild.

Deep blue-green, dotted with sailboats, Lac Leman suggests Swan Lake come to life. It’s spellbinding to watch these graceful birds, especially the swans that patrol the looking-glass waters under medieval Chillon Castle. In summer, numerous ferries ply between the lakeside villages and the elegant cities of Geneva and Lausanne.

Vladimir Nabokov, Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, and Freddie Mercury—all owned homes in Montreux and neighboring Vevey. Ambling the Quai des Fleurs, a lakeside promenade between these neighboring towns, it’s easy to understand why. You’d never tire of the panorama of lakes, Alpine pinnacles, and twinkling villages. And within a half-hour, you can be high in the mountains. It’s fabulous in spring when the upper meadows become a blooming mass of narcissi.

 

Get Your Free Switzerland Report Now

 

Learn more about Switzerland and other European countries in our daily postcard e-letter.

Simply enter your email address below and we'll send you a Free Report - Welcome to Switzerland: The Crossroads of Europe.

This special guide covers real estate, retirement and more in Switzerland and is yours free when you sign up for our IL postcards below.

Get Your Free Report Here


Resources

From the Archives of Switzerland Articles

Nothing Found

Sorry, but nothing matched your search terms.

[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 9]
[if gte mso 10]
[if gte mso 10]
Artboard 1Artboard 14Artboard 1Artboard 1down-arrowdown-arrowArtboard 1facebook-roundfacebook-squareArtboard 12Artboard 1googleplus-roundgoogle-squareheadphoneshealthcarehousehouseArtboard 2Artboard 1Artboard 1locksearch-mag3Artboard 1Artboard 15Artboard 1next-largenextArtboard 1plusprev-largeprevread-more-arrowread-more-arrowsearch-magSlider Arrowto-toptwitter-roundtwitter-squareyoutube-roundyoutube-square