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
  • Swiss population is online more than ever
    People in Switzerland – especially senior citizens – are spending more time online than ever before.  Altogether, 90% of adults in Switzerland use the internet, reported the Federal Statistical Office on Monday. In 2014, it was 84%. People are also spending more time online, partly thanks to the popularity of smartphones and tablets. Indeed, the percentage of households with mobile internet access has jumped from 60% in 2014 to 78% in 2017.  The increase in internet usage has been most dramatic among people over 70; some 45% surf the web today, compared with about 25% in 2014. Among those aged 55-64, 91% use the web, compared to 80% three years ago.  Online shopping is another driver of increased internet usage, reported the statistics office. Whereas 56% of those surveyed in 2014 had bought something online within the past three months, two-thirds had done so when asked earlier this year.  However, people appear less security savvy since 2010. About a third of those surveyed ...
  • The new hallucinogenic trips of T.C. Boyle
    On the day he was awarded the Jonathan Swift prize in Zurich, T. C. Boyle talks satire and the plans for his next novel about Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann, who discovered the hallucinogenic drug LSD. (SRF, swissinfo.ch)
  • US author T.C. Boyle wins Swiss satire prize
    This year’s Jonathan Swift prize has been awarded to American novelist T.C. Boyle. The author is currently in Switzerland for a series of readings.  Boyle, 68, received the CHF20,000 ($20,200) prize at Zurich’s Literaturhaus on Sunday evening and is giving a talk in Bern on Monday night.  “T.C.Boyle is one of the biggest wordsmiths of our time. In his 15 novels and in his wonderful short stories, he takes us to places and times that could not be more different and unique. And as in reality, his works combine tragedy and comedy,” write the presenters of the Jonathan Swift prize – named after the Irish author and satirist of the 1660s.  The international literature prize for satire and humour is awarded by the Zurich-based Werner Dessauer Foundation, named after the late Swiss author of the same name.  Boyle’s novels include A Friend of the Earth, After the Plague, The Harder They Come and The Terranauts. His works have been translated into more than two dozen languages. His next ...
  • Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers
     Good news from the Swiss watchmaking industry, plans to ban under-18s from solariums because of health risks and a warning that the Swiss railway system could face chaos in December. Watchmakers on the mend The Swiss watchmaking industry has made a turnaround following a three-year dip. Nick Hayek, CEO of the Swatch Group, told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper that his company recorded a massive increase in turnover over the past two months, resulting even in production bottlenecks. Cancer risk  The health authorities want to ban people under the age of 18 from going to solariums. The SonntagsZeitung newspaper reports that serious concern about skin cancer because of radiation has prompted the Federal Health Office to present its plans for consultation in February. Operators of tanning shops would face hefty fines if they violate the proposed rules. Train trouble Turbulent times ahead for railway passengers when the new winter timetable in introduced on December 10. The ...
  • Séverine von Kaenel: From Switzerland to Portugal in a rusty old camper
    Living by the sea was a long-cherished dream for Séverine von Kaenel. Last year, the 38-year-old finally decided to take the plunge and move to Portugal. Thanks to a career change she is now able to live her dream in a small fishing village, but it’s not always easy. swissinfo.ch: When and why did you leave Switzerland? Séverine von Kaenel: I had been thinking about emigrating for more than ten years. I have done water sports since I was young, and a few years ago I discovered surfing. Living by the sea was not just a dream, I always knew that I would live there one day. Like most people who procrastinate making a decision, I could never find the right time. But let’s cut a long story short. After a few significant events in my life, I finally decided to make the move, and the rest is history. It all happened a lot more quickly than I had expected. In the summer of 2016, I packed all my belongings into my rusty old camper van and drove to Portugal. At the time, I didn’t know ...
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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