Traditional timbered frame house at crystal clear lakes, set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains with thick, green forests along their slopes. Switzerland still nurtures the image of being that laid-back, slow-paced place with cows on green pastures. That image reflects reality, but only a part of it. The other part shows a dynamic country with picturesque cities that is a quiet economic powerhouse – and that has plenty of great spots worth a visit.

Switzerland is a country that has a lot to offer for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and sportspeople. Large parts of the country offer the characteristic alpine sceneries that Switzerland is famous for. they provide the backdrop for hiking and climbing, skiing and many other athletic activities.

Visitors travelling to Switzerland for the mountains of the Alps are often surprised to find how many bodies of water are there in the country. The large Lake Constance for example, marking the border to Germany and Austria, offers a lot of leisure options. So does Lake Geneva at the border to France.

In addition to the scenic beauties, Switzerland has many interesting cities with each one coming with its own set of characteristics. The small capital Bern thrives on Swiss heritage has an authentically traditional atmosphere. Basel is the country’s cultural capital and Geneva is a town of diplomacy, politics and international relations.

Zürich, located in the northern half, is the country’s largest city and arguably the most cosmopolitan. It frequently ranks on top of the list of the world’s cities with the highest quality of life. It is also a very versatile and attractive town that makes it a good base to start exploring Switzerland from.

PopulationAreaCurrencyEU memberSchengen area
8,570,10041,285 km²Swiss Francnoyes

List of articles on Switzerland:

Cities and townsSights and attractionsBackground
Lake Lucerne