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Countries

Switzerland

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…

My Switzerland

Swiss Vistas

My Swiss Alps

Swiss Vacations

🇨🇭The Best of Switzerland…
 
 

🇨🇭Swiss Country Information…

Capital:

Bern

Largest City:

Zürich

Government:

Federal Republic

Currency:

Swiss franc (CHF)

Area:

41,285 km² – ranked 133rd water:4.2%

Climate:

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

Population:

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

Language:

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%

Religion:

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

Electricity:

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

Telephone Code:

+41

Local Emergency Phone Number:

Ambulance: 144; Fire: 118; Police: 117

Internet TLD:

.ch

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:

Right

Anthem:

Swiss Psalm

Motto:

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

President:

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
Travel Facts

US State Dept. Travel Advisory:

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens DO NOT TRAVEL to the United Kingdom due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to terrorism. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements:

US citizens should make sure their passport is valid at the date of their entering the country and during the length of their entire visit. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not required as long as you do not stay in the country more than 6 months.

US Embassy/ Consulate:

[44] 20 7499-9000; Embassy of the United States of America, 33 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW11 7US (mailing postcode), SW8 5DB (driving/GPS postcode), United Kingdom; SCSLondon@state.gov; https://uk.usembassy.gov/

Telephone Code:

44

Local Emergency Phone:

112, 999

Internet TLD:

.uk

Vaccinations:

See WHO recommendations at http://www.who.int

Climate

Temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one half of the days are overcast

Currency (Code)

British pounds (GBP)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s):

230 V / 50 Hz / plug type(s): G

Major Languages:

English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, Cornish

Religions:

Christian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, none 25.7%

Time Zone

UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October; note: applies to the United Kingdom proper, not to its crown dependencies or overseas territories

Potable Water

Yes

International Driving Permit

Suggested

Road Driving Side

Left

Tourist Destinations

London (includes the Tower of London, British Museum, Parliament, Trafalgar Square); Windsor Castle; Stonehenge; Roman Baths & Georgian City of Bath; York Minster & historic Yorkshire; Chester Zoo; Cotswolds & Lake District; Hadrian’s Wall; Edinburgh; Cardiff

Major Sports

Soccer, cricket, rugby, badminton, tennis, netball, field hockey

Cultural Practices

It is considered rude to wave one’s hand or to call when summoning a waiter at a restaurant.

Tipping Guidelines

It is customary to leave 10-15% of the total bill as a tip when eating out, although some restaurants add on a service charge instead. Tip bartenders 1 pound. It is polite to tip 10-15% of the taxi fare, or round up to the nearest pound as a convenience. Tip porters 2 pounds to bring luggage to your room.

Government

Chief of State:

Queen ELIZABETH II

Government:

Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy

Capital:

London

Largest City:

London

Legislature:

London

Judiciary:

London

Ambassador to US:

Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Michael Tatham

US Ambassador:

Ambassador Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV

Geography

Area:

Total: 243,61km world rank 80th, land: 241,930km, water: 1,680km

Natural Resources:

Coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land

People & Society

Population:

64,430,428 (July 2016 est.) world rank 23rd England 84%, Scotland 8%, Wales 5%, Northern Ireland 3%

Population Growth:

0.51% (2018 est.)

Ethnic Groups:

White 87.2%, black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

Urban population: 83.7% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 0.89% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Economy

Economic Overview:

Leading trading power and financial center; third-largest economy in Europe after Germany and France; large coal, natural gas, and oil resources; banking, insurance, and business services, drive GDP growth

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

$2.92 trillion (2017 est.)

GDP per capita

$44,300 (2017 est.)

Exports:

$441.2 billion (2017 est.)
partners: US 13.2%, Germany 10.5%, France 7.4%, Netherlands 6.2%, Ireland 5.6%, China 4.8%, Switzerland 4.5% (2017)

Travel Facts

US State Dept. Travel Advisory:

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens DO NOT TRAVEL to the United Kingdom due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to terrorism. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements:

US citizens should make sure their passport is valid at the date of their entering the country and during the length of their entire visit. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not required as long as you do not stay in the country more than 6 months.

US Embassy/ Consulate:

[44] 20 7499-9000; Embassy of the United States of America, 33 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW11 7US (mailing postcode), SW8 5DB (driving/GPS postcode), United Kingdom; SCSLondon@state.gov; https://uk.usembassy.gov/

Telephone Code:

44

Local Emergency Phone:

112, 999

Internet TLD:

.uk

Vaccinations:

See WHO recommendations at http://www.who.int

Climate

Temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one half of the days are overcast

Currency (Code)

British pounds (GBP)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s):

230 V / 50 Hz / plug type(s): G

Major Languages:

English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, Cornish

Religions:

Christian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, none 25.7%

Time Zone

UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October; note: applies to the United Kingdom proper, not to its crown dependencies or overseas territories

Potable Water

Yes

International Driving Permit

Suggested

Road Driving Side

Left

Tourist Destinations

London (includes the Tower of London, British Museum, Parliament, Trafalgar Square); Windsor Castle; Stonehenge; Roman Baths & Georgian City of Bath; York Minster & historic Yorkshire; Chester Zoo; Cotswolds & Lake District; Hadrian’s Wall; Edinburgh; Cardiff

Major Sports

Soccer, cricket, rugby, badminton, tennis, netball, field hockey

Cultural Practices

It is considered rude to wave one’s hand or to call when summoning a waiter at a restaurant.

Tipping Guidelines

It is customary to leave 10-15% of the total bill as a tip when eating out, although some restaurants add on a service charge instead. Tip bartenders 1 pound. It is polite to tip 10-15% of the taxi fare, or round up to the nearest pound as a convenience. Tip porters 2 pounds to bring luggage to your room.

Government

Chief of State:

Queen ELIZABETH II

Government:

Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy

Capital:

London

Largest City:

London

Legislature:

London

Judiciary:

London

Ambassador to US:

Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Michael Tatham

US Ambassador:

Ambassador Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV

Geography

Area:

Total: 243,61km world rank 80th, land: 241,930km, water: 1,680km

Natural Resources:

Coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land

People & Society

Population:

64,430,428 (July 2016 est.) world rank 23rd England 84%, Scotland 8%, Wales 5%, Northern Ireland 3%

Population Growth:

0.51% (2018 est.)

Ethnic Groups:

White 87.2%, black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

Urban population: 83.7% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 0.89% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Economy

Economic Overview:

Leading trading power and financial center; third-largest economy in Europe after Germany and France; large coal, natural gas, and oil resources; banking, insurance, and business services, drive GDP growth

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

$2.92 trillion (2017 est.)

GDP per capita

$44,300 (2017 est.)

Exports:

$441.2 billion (2017 est.)
partners: US 13.2%, Germany 10.5%, France 7.4%, Netherlands 6.2%, Ireland 5.6%, China 4.8%, Switzerland 4.5% (2017)

Imports:

$615.9 billion (2017 est.)
partners: Germany 13.7%, US 9.5%, China 9.3%, Netherlands 8%, France 5.4%, Belgium 5% (2017)