United Swiss Societies
of Northern California, Inc.
United Swiss Societeis of Northern California
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The diversity of the landlocked, mountainous country is the essence of Switzerland and gives the country its unique identity.
Still, it is best known for its financial institutions, fine cheeses and chocolate, watch making industry, for its scenery and an excellent network of public traffic.

Zurich Region

Zurich is top for leisure and pleasure. Gentle hills, peaceful woods, the unpolluted lakes and rivers, picturesque villages - and all just a stone's throw from the Alps. Zürich is the ideal starting point for all kinds of varied excursions.

Basel Region

The fascinating city. Encounter the best of modern art and architecture at every step. Savour cherries fresh from nearby orchards and asparagus from the Alsace. West of Switzerland


Finding, enjoying, understanding. Balmly summer warmth bathes the valley. Water gurgles from pond to pond in pine forests and vineyards.

Fribourg / Neuchâtel / Jura / Jura Bernois

From the Jura range to the pre-Alpine hills. Vast elevated plains punctuated with fir trees in lush pastures, farm buildings of light-coloured Jura limestone. - the Jura region is a giant park created by Nature herself, bordering France to the north and crossed by deep canyons to the south.

Lake Geneva Region

One region, four worlds. They came, saw... and stayed. Courbet, Kokoschka, Charlie Chaplin and David Bowie are among those who settled at Lake Geneva, attracted, no doubt, by the Alpine panorama and almost Mediterranean vegetation.

Geneva Region

The world's smallest metropolis. Cosmopolitan Geneva - a world of its own, a world for everyone, quite apart from the rest of Switzerland.

Eastern Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

Eastern Switzerland stretches from the shimmering waters of Lake Constance across the hilly Appenzellerland to the Alpine landscapes of Toggenburg, the Heidiland holiday region and the Glarnerland. Far off in the Rhine Valley is Vaduz with its princes' castle.


Alpine valleys descending from high mountains. Rivers in every conceivable direction. German, Romansh and Italian in a single canton.

Central Switzerland

Unlimited freedom. Switzerland was born when the good people of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden formed an alliance at the Rütli. Here, in Central Switzerland, is the Schöllenen Bridge which made north-south travel across the Gotthard range possible, and here, in 1871, Europe?s first cog railroad up to Rigi marked the beginning of tourism as we know it.

Schweizer Mittelland

Simply grand. A slight haze tints quiet rivers with subtle pastel hues. Impressively vast roofs shelter prosperous Emmental farmhouses..

Bernese Oberland

Where nature and holidays come together. Waterfalls crash down sheer cliff sides. Glacier-fed creeks force their way through th narrow Rosenlaui and Aare canyons.


The Italian flair of Switzerland. The Mediterranean region seems to begin on the southern side of the Alps. There is a feel of Italy, with palm trees at clean beaches and lanes and alleyways leading to piazzas and churches.

More about Switzerland's regions and destinations

At A Glance

The diversity of the landlocked, mountainous country is the essence of Switzerland and gives the country its unique identity. Still, it is best known for its financial institutions, fine cheeses and chocolate, watch making industry, for its scenery and an excellent network of public transportation.
Capital City: Berne  
Major Cities: Baden, Basel, Bellinzona, Bern, Biel, Brig, Chur, Fribourg, Genève, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Lausanne, Locarno, Lugano, Luzern, Martigny, Montreux-Vevey, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen, Sierre, Sion, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thun, Winterthur, Zug, Zürich
Bordering Countries: Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein
Inhabitants: about 7.7 Millions
Flag: flag
Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansch
Climate: Because of its central position, the weather is influenced by the four main European air currents - from the Atlantic, the eastern continent, the northern subpolar region and the Mediterranen south. The climate is temperate on the Central Plateau, otherwise it differs considerably from region to region.
Landforms: Alps and Pre-Alps cover 60%, Central Plateau 30% and Jura 10% of the country.
Land Area: 41,284 km2

Switzerland Stats

41,293 sq km / 15,936 sq mi

Distance: North to South 220 km / 137 mi.
East to West 348 km / 216 mi.

Length of frontier:
1,881 km 1,168 mi.
Switzerland borders France in the West, Germany in the north, Austria and the principality of Liechtenstein in the east and Italy in the south.

3 main types of landscape - the Swiss Alps, the hilly Swiss Mittelland, which extends from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva, and the Swiss Jura, a long line of rugged fold mountains.

Highest Peaks:
Dufourspitze (Valais): 4,634 m / 15,203 ft
Dom (Valais): 4,545 m / 14,911 ft
Weisshorn (Valais): 4,506 m / 14,793 ft
Matterhorn (Valais): 4,478 m / 14,691 ft

Largest Glacier (Surface):
Aletsch (Valais): 117 sq km / 73 sq ml.
Length 24 km / 15 mi.
Glaciers in total 140

Largest Lakes:
Lake Geneva: 582 sq km / 223 sq mi.
Lake Constance: 539 sq km / 208 sq mi.
Lake Neuchâtel: 218 sq km / 83 sq mi.
Lake Maggiore: 212 sq km / 82 sq mi.
Lake Lucerne: 114 sq km / 44 sq mi.
Lake Zurich: 88 sq km / 35 sq mi.
Lakes in total 1,484

Highest Village:
Juf (Graubunden): 2,126 m / 7,000 ft

Lowest Village:
Ascona (Ticino): 196 m / 690 ft

Largest Cities:
Zurich  366,445
Geneva  177,500
Basel  165,000
Bern  131,600
Lausanne  129,273

8 million

Population density:
188 per sq. km

Parliamentary Federal State since 1848, Direct democracy

20 full cantons, 6 half cantons

Kanton Aargau Aargau Kanton Appenzell Ausserrhoden Appenzell Ausserrhoden Kanton Appenzell Innerrhoden Appenzell Innerrhoden
Kanton Basel-Landschaft Basel-Landschaft Kanton Basel-Stadt Basel-Stadt Kanton Bern Bern
Canton De Fribourg Fribourg Canton De Geneva Geneva Kanton Glarus Glarus
Kanton Graubünden Graubünden Canton De Jura Jura Kanton Lucerne Lucerne
Canton De Neuchâtel Neuchâtel Kanton Nidwalden Nidwalden Kanton Obwalden Obwalden
Kanton Schaffhausen Schaffhausen Kanton Schwyz Schwyz Kanton Solothurn Solothurn
Kanton St.Gallen St.Gallen Kanton Thurgau Thurgau Cantone Ticino Ticino
Kanton Uri Uri Canton Valais Valais Canton Vaud Vaud
Kanton Zug Zug Kanton Zürich Zürich

(Swiss) German (64%), French (20%), Italian (7%), Romansch (1%), others (8%)

Religions: Catholic (42%), Protestant (35%), others (23%)
Travel Resources / myswitzerland.com Interests
Travel Digest / swissinfo.ch
SWI swissinfo.ch - swiss news and information platform about Switzerland, business, culture, sport, weather. swissinfo covers Switzerland from every angle in English with news and up-to-date information for a worldwide audience.
Culture - SWI swissinfo.ch
  • Jacqueline Tschumi: "Not much flexibility in daily work life"
    Five years ago, she left for Japan on a diplomatic internship and fell in love with her new home. Now, Jacqueline Tschumi has no desire to return to Switzerland. But the 32-year-old does miss Swiss efficiency and quick access to the great outdoors. swissinfo.ch: Why did you leave Switzerland? Jacqueline Tschumi: I applied for an internship at the Swiss embassy in Japan to get some work experience and find out more about life as a diplomat. The initial four months turned into a year, and after a short visit to Switzerland they turned into another three-and-a-half years during which I was working as permanent employee at the embassy. swissinfo.ch: Do you intend to ever return to Switzerland? J.T.: I don’t really know when, however, I assume that I will go back to Switzerland in the long run. swissinfo.ch: What were the first few months in Japan like? J.T.: Everything was new, exciting and adventurous. There was something new to explore every day. Japan, and as a matter of fact ...
  • Zermatt’s priceless peak
    The Matterhorn is beloved by mountaineers and marketers alike, appearing on international products ranging from gunpowder to shower gel. A new exhibition in Zermatt, the town at its feet, brings together some of these consumer articles and gives insights into the fascination with the Matterhorn ‘brand’. The mythical 4,478-metre mountain has become a global marketing asset, helping to sell products from all over the world. Whether it be cigarettes from Malaysia or beer from Canada, the iconic pyramid-shaped peak is an image that sells.  The ‘Matterhorn Mania’ pop-up exhibition on Zermatt’s Gornergrat mountain presents a selection of the weird-and-wonderful consumer goods that use the Matterhorn image. It looks at the history of the products and marketing executives’ fascination with the brand. The exhibition was put together by the Swiss Alpine Museum in Bern, in collaboration with the Matterhorn Group and the Gornergratbahn mountain railway company. The Matterhorn Museum – ...
  • Colourful language: how English is invading German
    You’re never far from an English word in Switzerland. What do the Swiss think of this “language creep”? Is there anything that can be done? Will there be “ein Backlash”? ​​​​​​​
  • Anything goes at Zurich's Street Parade
    There is no special dress code at Zurich's Street Parade. This year some 900,000 ravers, party goers and curious spectators turned out for the annual techno music festival. Since the end of Berlin's Love Parade, Zurich's Street Parade has become known as the largest outdoor techno party in the world. On Saturday, 25 'Love Mobiles - trucks covered with dancers blasting music - covered the 2.4 kilometre-long route around the lake and through the city. Some 200 national and international DJs were in attendance for the 25th edition under the slogan, 'Love never ends'. Eight special music stages had also been set up. According to police reports, there were 130 arrests on Saturday - more than twice as many as in 2016. But police said the event was no more rowdy than in previous year.  The extra arrests were attributed to increased vigilance against theft and robbery. The arrests included 35 for drugs related offences.  The number of people who required medical attention fell by a ...
  • Jazz singer gives Swiss reason to smile
    She has been making the Swiss smile for nearly 40 years, whether promoting oral hygiene or putting on a show. Bernita Bush tells her Swiss story, in the fourth of our series on US expats. I had just celebrated my 30th birthday when I came to Switzerland in November 1980 to take a job for one year as a dental hygienist. The first two weeks I lived with one of my bosses and his wife and their two sons in Grenchen, canton Solothurn. My boss – a dentist in private practice – took me around and introduced me to all the important people and really took me in and made me feel right at home. I couldn’t speak the local dialect in the beginning, other than “Gruezi” and “Danke schön” and “Auf wiedersehen” and “Gesundheit”. After about half a year - three quarters of a year, I could speak the language pretty well, and I wanted to be able to continue that. It was a challenge. I liked Switzerland: the job, the country, the peace and quiet. Leaving the United States and moving to Switzerland ...
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Consulate General of Switzerland
Pier 17, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States of America

Tel.: +1 415 788 2272
Fax: +1 415 788 1402


Swiss Benevolent Society
of San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States of America

Tax ID

The United Swiss Societies of Northern California (USSNC), founded in 1912, merged with the Swiss House Association of California, which had incorporated on July 21, 1930, the merger created the new name, United Swiss House of Northern California, Inc., which on February 11, 1983 incorporated to its current name. United Swiss Societies of Northern California, Inc., organized as a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation, 501(c)(4), tax ID 23-7126939