Switzerland

Switzerland is a country in Central Europe. A nature lover’s paradise consisting of a number of lakes, the high peaks of the Alps and traditional villages dotted around the country.

Capital City:

Bern

Currency:

Swiss Franc

Total population:

8.7 million (2021)

Language(s) spoken:

French, German, Romansh, Italian

Cultural dos:

Do not ask personal questions such as salary, age or religion. Privacy is highly respected

Cultural don’ts

Be punctual for appointments and meetings with locals

Continent:

Europe

Three foods you need to try in this country

  • Cheese Fondue 
  • Tartiflette (thinly sliced potatoes, smoky bits of bacon, caramelised onions and creamy Reblocohon cheese)
  • Rosti, Valaisanne-style

Bonus

  • Wine varieties
  • Swiss Chocolate and hot chocolate

What the country is known for :

  • A cultural melting pot with influence from Germany, Italy and France
  • Awe-inspiring natural scenery and lakes
  • Branded watches
  • Swiss Army Knives
  • Skiing in the Swiss Alps
  • Jungfraujoch, Matterhorn
  • A neutral country
  • Albert Einstein’s alma mater
  • Stable economy
  • Expensive country to live

More About Switzerland

I visited this country in 2022. As a nature lover I was drawn to Switzerland as I was in the UK and really feeling home sick. Home being New Zealand (for the purposes of this point). I missed waking up to green fields, being close to beaches I could enjoy and being able to go on regular hikes without having to layer up or travel long distances. I also wanted to get some language immersion as I had picked up on my french lessons again. Like many, I had previously been deterred from visiting Switzerland because of the high price tag of visiting. I will share how I reduced some of the costs of my trip to Switzerland, while not feeling like I was missing out on enjoying the country. I visited Lausanne, which is French speaking and Interlaken, which is German speaking. The two regions were different but each packed so much for a keen visitor, that wanted to see and learn about the country. 

Switzerland is known for staying neutral in conflicts around the world. The country is also a financial hub for Europe and is a tax haven due to its low tax levels and privacy laws. This has resulted in a number of international companies setting up their European headquarters in this country. Switzerland is a diverse country in terms of the demography of citizens and residents living within its borders. This creates a unique Swiss identify in the different regions across the country.

Architecture around Switzerland is also based on the region. The country seems to have been able to maintain a lot of historical buildings, quaint idyllic village buildings, castles and now has modern buildings surrounded by some really good infrastructure to support people living, working and visiting these buildings. It is also interesting to see how the city planners have encouraged the blending of the architecture and the natural environment. 

Switzerland’s landscapes are totally breathtaking. It is packed with grande mountains, lots of lakes, rivers and beautiful traditional villages that create beautiful scenery, almost everywhere you go. The alps and mountains make up 62% of the country and this attracts people in the summer and the winter alike. The country is also packed with a number of museums, castles, cathedrals and other buildings of architectural significance. Some of the notable places to visit in Switzerland include Rhine Falls, Lucerne, Zurich, Chillon Castle and the Matterhorn. 

Although English is spoken in most touristy places, if one veers off the beaten track, it may be difficult to find people who speak or understand English. Therefore, it is always important to know what the language is for the region you are visiting to ensure you have the correct version of google translate – if you need it.  

One does not really go to Switzerland predominantly for the food. However, they understand the finer things in life and if you are able to visit some of the high end restaurants, serving some of the best of its regional food that is a bonus.  Swiss cheese and Swiss chocolate are some of the biggest culinary exports the Swiss have given to the world. 

English French
Hello Salut
Goodbye Au revoir
Please S’il vous plait
Thank you Merci
How much? Ca coute combien?
Do you speak English? Parlez vous l’anglais?
Where is the toilet? Ou est la toilette?
May I please have some water? Je voudrais de l’eau s’il vous plait?
May I please have some food? e voudrais de la nourriture s’il vous plait?
Where can I get a taxi? Où puis-je prendre un taxi?

Places visited

Destination Gallery

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