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 2020

Date NameTypeDetails
Jan 1WednesdayNew Year’s DayCommon local holidayAll
Jan 2ThursdayBerchtold DayCommon local holiday15 cantons
Jan 6MondayEpiphanyCommon local holidayGR*, SZ, TI, UR
Feb 14FridayValentine’s DayObservance 
Mar 1SundayRepublic DayCommon local holidayNeuchâtel
Mar 19ThursdaySaint Joseph’s DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
Mar 20FridayMarch EquinoxSeason 
Mar 29SundayDaylight Saving Time startsClock change/Daylight Saving Time 
Apr 2ThursdayNäfelser FahrtCommon local holidayGlarus
Apr 10FridayGood FridayCommon local holidayAll except TI, VS
Apr 12SundayEaster SundayObservance 
Apr 13MondayEaster MondayCommon local holidayAll except NE
Apr 20MondaySechseläutenObservanceZurich
May 1FridayMay DayCommon local holidayAG, BL, BS, FR*, JU, SH, SO*, TG, TI, ZH
May 21ThursdayAscension DayCommon local holidayAll
May 31SundayPentecostObservanceAll
Jun 1MondayPentecost MondayCommon local holidayAll except NE
Jun 11ThursdayCorpus ChristiCommon local holiday14 cantons
Jun 20SaturdayJune SolsticeSeason 
Jun 23TuesdayJura Independence DayCommon local holidayJura
Jun 29MondaySt. Peter and St. PaulCommon local holidayGR*, SO*, TI
Aug 1SaturdaySwiss National DayNational holiday 
Aug 15SaturdayAssumption of MaryCommon local holiday14 cantons
Sep 10ThursdayJeune GenevoisCommon local holidayGeneva
Sep 12SaturdayKnabenschiessenObservanceZurich
Sep 13SundayKnabenschiessenObservanceZurich
Sep 14MondayKnabenschiessenObservanceZurich
Sep 20SundaySwiss Federal FastCommon local holidayAll except GE
Sep 21MondayFederal Fast MondayCommon local holidayVaud
Sep 22TuesdaySeptember EquinoxSeason 
Sep 22TuesdayMauritius DayCommon local holidayAI*, Solothurn*
Sep 25FridaySt. Nicholas of FlüeCommon local holidayObwalden
Oct 25SundayDaylight Saving Time endsClock change/Daylight Saving Time 
Nov 1SundayAll Saints’ DayCommon local holiday15 cantons
Dec 8TuesdayImmaculate ConceptionCommon local holiday12 cantons
Dec 21MondayDecember SolsticeSeason 
Dec 24ThursdayChristmas EveObservance 
Dec 25FridayChristmas DayCommon local holidayAll
Dec 26SaturdaySt. Stephen’s DayCommon local holidayAll except GE, JU, VD
Dec 31ThursdayNew Year’s EveObservance 
Dec 31ThursdayRestoration DayCommon local holidayGeneva