Combining expansive greenery, slick cities and bucketfuls of fresh air, Switzerland is a stylish tourist destination offering countless outdoor adventures and contemporary urban breaks. Wedged between Germany, Austria, France and Italy, Switzerland blends the cultural traits of all those nations into a neutral, independent, highly technical, picture-perfect country of large lakes, mountains, rivers, rolling hills and squeaky-clean villages with neat woodpiles stationed outside chocolate box houses.
At a glance
Full Name: Swiss Confederation
Capital : Bern
Time Zone : GMT +1
Area: 41,285 km
Population: 8.081 million
Language : German, French, Italian
Currency : Swiss Franc
Dialling code +41
ISO code: CHE
Must See’s and Must Do’s
Admire Switzerland’s traditional Appenzell villages, Basler Fasnacht carnival, Book a date with the medieval library at St Gallen, Brave the bear pits of Bern, Capture history at Chillon Castle, Climb Little Matterhorn in a cablecar, Explore the beautiful Berner Oberland landscape, Fall for rail travel on the Glacier Express, Feel rejuvenated and rested at Graubünden, Make a beeline for Basel, Make the most of the many Mountain sports, See both sides of Lausanne, Take a scenic road trip to Ticino, Take to the water on the splendid Swiss Lakes, Take your pick of Valais’s peaks, Discover Geneva’s ancient city centre on foot, Unearth the old and the zany in Zurich, Visit Switzerland’s tastiest village, Gruyères
Did You Know
The Swiss eat more chocolate than any other nation in the world, 11.3 kg per year.
One Swiss jeweller made a ring entirely out of diamond that sold for US $68 million.
In Switzerland, it is illegal to keep just one guinea pig; they must be kept in pairs.
There is a lawyer, Antoine Goetschel, in Switzerland who represents animals in court. He even once prosecuted a fisherman for taking too long to catch a Pike.
In Switzerland, there are more banks than dentists, one per 1,400 residents.
In Switzerland, naked hiking is alarmingly popular, even in winter.
Best time to go
Low Season (Oct–Mar)
Mountain resorts go into snooze mode from mid-October to early December. Prices are up to 50% less than in high season. Sights and restaurants are open fewer days and shorter hours.
Shoulder (Apr–Jun & Sep)
Look for accommodation deals in ski resorts and traveller hotspots. Spring is idyllic with warm temperatures, flowers and local produce. Watch the grape harvest in autumn.
High Season (Jul & Aug, Dec–Apr)
In July and August walkers and cyclists hit high-altitude trails. Christmas and New Year see serious snow-sports action on the slopes. Late December to early April is high season in ski resorts.
Bern International Jazz Festival (March – May)
International Zurich Marathon (April)
Zurich Pride Festival ( June)
Caliente Latin Festival (July)
Montreux Jazz Festival (July)
Paleo Music Festival (July)
Lichterschwimmen light festival in Zurich (December)
St Nicholas’ Day (December)
Money and Costs
Swiss Franc (CHF; symbol SFr) = 100 cents (calledcentimes in French, rappen in German and centesimi in Italian). Notes are in denominations of SFr1,000, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10.
1 AED =0.27 SFr
Consulate of Switzerland in Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Rd – Dubai, Tel : +971 4 329 0999
Embassy of Switzerland in Abu Dhabi
Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street
Centro Capital Center Building, 17th floor, Tel : +971 2 627 46 36
Website : www.eda.admin.ch/uae
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