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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
  • Swiss fountains: bubbling right under our noses
    After a decade living in Switzerland, Steve Crump has got to know the country almost as well as his native US. One thing he appreciates is the quality and quantity of historic water fountains scattered throughout the country’s cities. You don’t have to spend much time in Basel, my home, or for that matter any community in Switzerland, before you notice them. In every town and every city, from Zürich to the smallest Dorf, you’ll find them. Brunnen. Water fountains.  I mentioned them recently to a Swiss friend in the context of features that I like about Switzerland and her blank look betrayed how she took them for granted. I suppose this is easy to do when living in a country so overflowing in beauty and abundance.   Not wanting her to remain unappreciative, however, I felt moved to explain why I like them so much. I started with the basics, the water itself. Simply stated, it’s perfect. Not possible to improve. Cool, fresh and free.  Next is their ubiquity. Hiking, ...
  • No retirement for Swiss tennis legend
    It was all Roger Federer in the Swiss news media after his historic win at Wimbledon – and fans can look forward to seeing the tennis great keep playing. "Federer is immortal at Wimbledon,” his hometown newspaper, the Basler Zeitung, headlined. Federer shed “tears of emotion” after his victory, newspaper Tages-Anzeiger declared. And Federer hasn’t finished writing his own legendary story, newspaper Le Matin emphasised, adding: “Phenomenal!” On Sunday, after clinching his record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title and his 19th grand slam title by beating an injured Marin Cilic in straight sets, the Swiss champion expressed gratitude for his health – and said he would keep on competing. “I’ve got to take more time off, I don’t know,” he joked about his recovery from injuries last year. “I’m going to be gone again for the next six months. Better than winning this trophy is being healthy. I’m feeling great. The tournament I’ve played, not dropping a set, it’s magical. It’s too much.
  • The complete history of every No. 1 male tennis player
    How do the different tennis champions compare? We summed up the complete history of all the number one ranked ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) players in one graphic.  Grand slam titles, ATP points, ATP rankings... Experts like to use all kinds of different metrics to rate tennis players. Roger Federer is frequently called the greatest tennis player since the start of the Open era in 1968. But how does he compare with other legends? The graphic is best viewed on a large display, in landscape (wide) view on mobile Are we entering a new era of men's tennis? Will Federer, Djokovic or Nadal regain the top spot? Who do you think will be the next number one after Andy Murray? You can contact the author via Twitter @duc_qn
  • Stories making the Sunday papers
    The visit of the Swiss economics minister to Saudi Arabia, a Swiss billionaire whose fortunes have risen sharply and a possible Turkish probe are among the stories making the Swiss newspapers. Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann defended his visit to Saudi Arabia, the third stop on his four-nation diplomatic trip, saying it is helping to build bridges. “There are reciprocal interests," he said in an interview with Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick, citing the global fight against terrorism as an example. Schneider-Ammann also said he worries about escalating tensions involving Qatar, which has been subjected to an economic and political blockade by its Middle East neighbours for more than a month. "Switzerland is ready to offer its good offices if the parties to the conflict so wish,” he said. From Saudi Arabia, Schneider-Ammann plans to fly on to the United States on Sunday. The first two legs of his trip were to Russia and Indonesia. His overall aim for the visits is ...
  • The designers making life better at an asylum centre
    Find and execute a design concept that solves a concrete problem, with minimal resources, in one month, inside a transit centre for asylum seekers. That’s the challenge facing students at the Zurich University of the Arts. (Carlo Pisani, swissinfo.ch) The students are on an unusual four-week course as part of a longer study programme. In this time they work on small projects to try and make life a little better, or easier, for the asylum seekers living in a large exhibition-centre hall in Zurich, which has been turned into temporary accommodation. A trade-fair hall converted into living space The setting for the course is a transit centre in Zurich Oerlikon, north of the city centre, which opened at the beginning of 2016. To respond to a shortage in accommodation, authorities repurposed a trade-fair hall (called Halle 9), by building 62 small housing capsules out of light wood, each of which houses four people. The people who live there are asylum seekers, young men and ...
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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