Switzerland is a small and cozy country in the heart of Europe. Thanks to its multi-nationality and linguistic diversity, it seems to be huge. Here you will meet a rare combination of natural and human-made attractions. The majestic mountains covered with sparkling snow, picturesque valleys, crystal clear lakes, and fast mountain rivers are the trademarks of this marvelous country. Switzerland is all about order and serenity, elegant cities, and romantic villages nestled in picturesque valleys between gorges. All these things arouse the sincere delight of tourists.
|Bern||8 558 758||German, French, Italian, Romansh||Swiss franc||41 284 km²|
The Swiss Confederation is located in Central Europe. It borders on Italy in the south, Germany in the north, France in the west, Austria and Liechtenstein in the east. Geographically, the country consists of four parts: North, South, Central, and West. The Alps Mountains cover almost the entire southern part of Switzerland.
Modern Switzerland is a federal republic, which consists of 26 cantons (twenty cantons and six half cantons). They are divided into districts, and those are divided into cities and communities (communes). It is worth noting that many towns in Switzerland may have different names, depending on the language.
Geneva is beautiful, elegant, well-kept, and fashionable. The city beckons with its glitz, glamor, prosperity, its architecture, picturesque parks, luxurious hotels and boutiques on the Rue du Rhone, its art galleries, museums, restaurants, and bars, which creative people usually attend. Many people think of this city as the capital of Switzerland, but it is not. Geneva is the second-largest city in the country. It is cosmopolitan and rich. It is the location of many global organizations, various conventions, and conferences of the world scale are held here. The city lies in a hollow between two mountain ranges, the Alps and the Jura mountains, on Lake Geneva banks (the largest in Switzerland), and the Rhone river. You can admire the beautiful Mont Blanc from any part of the city. Geneva is a center of human thought, visited by many great men, including Julius Caesar, Albert Einstein, Gustav Jung. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born here. The city encourages contemplation, reflection, and dreaming — everything in it is made thoroughly and soundly. It stands firmly on its feet, unaware of crises, enjoying Swiss chocolate and fondue.
Lausanne is the fourth largest city in Switzerland. Due to its hilly terrain, it is often compared to American California. The city has the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee and several world sports federations. At first sight, it seems that Lausanne is an unremarkable and modest destination, although it is a place where every tourist can find interesting entertainment options. Many museums, cathedrals, and unique architectural structures are well-suited for leisurely walking and exploring the city's culture. In order to connect with nature, it is recommended to find incredible panoramic views on the shores of Lake Geneva.
Bern is an amazing and unique city located on the Aare River banks in the southern part of the Swiss Plateau. Its special status makes it unique. We have known it from school that the capital of Switzerland is Bern, but de jure, this country has no capital at all. Yes, Parliament and the Federal Council are indeed situated, but officially, all the major cities in the cantons are equal. If you forget about the bureaucratic issues and look at the city through the eyes of a tourist, you will be absolutely delighted: old cobbled streets, neat "gingerbread" houses with tiled roofs, majestic churches, and, of course, the Alps, which fascinate with their beauty. Bern welcomes its guests with a measured rhythm of life and serenity, distinguishing it from other European capitals.
Zurich is Switzerland's largest city, its financial and scientific center, ranked second in the world for quality of life in 2019. It is very diverse and atmospheric. Narrow streets with an air of deep antiquity and wide boulevards; spires of ancient churches propping up the sky; painted medieval houses, so neat and tidy, as if they were all built a month ago; the scent of blooming lime trees and festive evening illumination; dazzling luxury stores and a democratic "flea market"; mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and deliciously delicate cakes with a variety of fillings; a huge picturesque lake, shared by dozens of swans and hundreds of seagulls; stained glass windows by Marc Chagall, paintings by Claude Monet and Salvador Dali — all this combines in Zurich! And this magic rests in the setting of majestic mountains.
Many people associate Switzerland with stability and prosperity. It is a country with the most reliable banks, the most accurate watches in the world, and, of course, the most delicious chocolate and cheese. However, some features are useful to know about:
The Swiss are friendly and hospitable. They take great care of old traditions and customs. Local festivities include the Knabenschiessen — the annual target shooting competition, the gourmet festival in St. Moritz, the carnival in Lucerne, the Bern Carnival, the carnival in Basel, the jazz festival in Montreux, and the Geneva's L'Escalade.
The German-Swiss compile the majority of the population (more than 4.5 million people), followed by French-Swiss (about 1.5 million people). The Italians occupy the third position (more than 0.4 million people), while the Romanians conclude the rest (about 1%). Residents of different cantons often laugh at each other's dialects and local customs, especially those of Germanic and French-Swiss. But in general, aggression is not characteristic of the inhabitants of this country, and such features of confederative existence do not affect the quiet way of life.
The inhabitants of the country are rather modest and polite. They tend to underestimate their achievements and not inclined to brag about their accomplishments and wealth. The pride of their country is the only exception. They like to talk about Switzerland, and they do it with particular enthusiasm.
The lack of spontaneity is another characteristic of Swiss people. They are not used to organize an unplanned holiday, come to visit without an invitation, call just to chat. In Switzerland, they value their own time, so any violation is considered an invasion of privacy.