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. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. 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.


Swiss Tourism Information…


The Best of Switzerland…



Swiss Country Information…



Largest City:



Federal Republic


Swiss franc (CHF)


41,285 km² – ranked 133rd water:4.2%


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


8,179,294 (July 2016 est.) ranked 98th


German (official) 63.5%, French (official) 22.5%, Italian (official) 8.1%, English 4.4%, Portuguese 3.4%, Albanian 3.1%, Serbo-Croatian 2.5%, Spanish 2.2%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 6.6% note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languages; totals more than 100% because some respondents indicated more than one main language (2013 est.)

Ethnic Groups:

German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%


Roman Catholic 38.2%, Protestant 26.9%, other Christian 5.6%, Muslim 5%, other 1.6%, none 21.4%, unspecified 1.3% (2013 est.)


230V, 50Hz (European plug C, J)

Telephone Code:


Local Emergency Phone Number:

Ambulance: 144; Fire: 118; Police: 117

Internet TLD:


Time Zone:

CET (UTC+1) Summer (UTC+2) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October

Road Driving Side:



Swiss Psalm


Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno (Latin) “One for all, all for one”


Simonetta Sommaruga

Federal Chancellor:

Walter Thurnherr


Holidays and Observances in Switzerland in 2021

Date NameTypeDetails
Jan 1FridayNew Year’s DayCommon local holidayAll
Jan 2SaturdayBerchtold DayCommon local holiday15 cantons
Jan 6WednesdayEpiphanyCommon local holidaySZ, TI, UR
Feb 14SundayValentine’s DayObservance 
Mar 1MondayRepublic DayCommon local holidayNeuchâtel
Mar 19FridaySaint Joseph’s DayCommon local holidayLU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
Mar 20SaturdayMarch EquinoxSeason 
Mar 28SundayDaylight Saving Time startsClock change/Daylight Saving Time 
Apr 2FridayGood FridayCommon local holidayAll except TI, VS
Apr 4SundayEaster SundayObservance 
Apr 5MondayEaster MondayCommon local holidayAll except LU, NE
Apr 8ThursdayNäfelser FahrtCommon local holidayGlarus
Apr 19MondaySechseläutenObservanceZurich
May 1SaturdayMay DayCommon local holidayBL, BS, JU, SH, ZH
May 1SaturdayMay Day (Half-Day)Half Day HolidaySolothurn
May 1SaturdayMay Day (Half-Day)ObservanceThurgau, Ticino
May 13ThursdayAscension DayCommon local holidayAll
May 23SundayPentecostObservanceAll
May 24MondayPentecost MondayCommon local holidayAll except NE
Jun 3ThursdayCorpus ChristiCommon local holiday14 cantons
Jun 21MondayJune SolsticeSeason 
Jun 23WednesdayJura Independence DayCommon local holidayJura
Jun 29TuesdaySt. Peter and St. PaulObservanceTicino
Aug 1SundaySwiss National DayNational holiday 
Aug 15SundayAssumption of MaryCommon local holiday12 cantons
Sep 9ThursdayJeune GenevoisCommon local holidayGeneva
Sep 11SaturdayKnabenschiessenObservanceZurich
Sep 12SundayKnabenschiessenObservanceZurich
Sep 13MondayKnabenschiessenObservanceZurich
Sep 19SundaySwiss Federal FastObservanceAll except GE
Sep 20MondayFederal Fast MondayCommon local holidayVaud
Sep 22WednesdayMauritius DayCommon local holidayAI*
Sep 22WednesdaySeptember EquinoxSeason 
Sep 25SaturdaySt. Nicholas of FlüeCommon local holidayObwalden
Oct 31SundayDaylight Saving Time endsClock change/Daylight Saving Time 
Nov 1MondayAll Saints’ DayCommon local holiday15 cantons
Dec 8WednesdayImmaculate ConceptionCommon local holidayAG, AI, FR*, LU, NW, OW, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG
Dec 21TuesdayDecember SolsticeSeason 
Dec 24FridayChristmas EveObservance 
Dec 25SaturdayChristmas DayCommon local holidayAll
Dec 26SundaySt. Stephen’s DayCommon local holidayAll except GE, JU, VD
Dec 31FridayNew Year’s EveObservance 
Dec 31FridayRestoration DayCommon local holidayGeneva