Some Swiss geographical facts
First, let’s start with the basics. Here are some geographical facts about Switzerland to give you an idea of the country’s layout, size and features.
Where is Switzerland?
Switzerland is a landlocked
European country, sharing borders with France, Germany, Italy, Austria and
Highest point in Switzerland
The highest point in Switzerland
and the tallest mountain are the same: the Dufourspitze (Dufour Peak) on the
Monte Rosa mountain at 4,634m above sea level.
Lowest point in Switzerland
lowest point is Lake Maggiore at 193m above sea level
has a population of around 8.6 million people.
What is the capital of
There is no official capital of Switzerland, but the de facto
capital city is Bern. It’s only the fourth most populous city after Zurich, Geneva
What are the Swiss cantons?
The country of Switzerland is organised
into 26 cantons. Each canton acts as a sovereign territory with its own
constitution, deciding on health care, tax, welfare and education individually.
They each have their own culture, set of traditions, cuisine and even public
holidays. The names of each canton have a two-letter abbreviation (e.g. Zurich
= ZH) as well as a coat of arms, both of which feature on car licence plates.
The canton of Bern (BE) and the Bernese Oberland is home to the de facto capital city of
the same name. It’s the second-largest canton in terms of both area and
population, with German and French being the main languages. Known for its
striking mountain ranges, popular locations in the canton include the
traditional resort town of Interlaken and the Bernese Oberland.
another popular Swiss canton. The capital city with the same name offers plenty
of exciting things to do. Explore the vibrant and historic old town, Altstadt,
or spend some time on the jaw-dropping shores of Lake Lucerne. There’s plenty
to do in this German-speaking canton.
Appenzell Ausserrhoden (AR) and Appenzell
Innerrhoden (AI), once a single canton, are now two separate regions. The main
language for both is German, with Innerrhoden being the smallest canton by population
and second smallest by area. Appenzell town is found at the foot of the
Alpstein mountains. With a car-free city centre and strikingly beautiful wooden
houses, it feels like a fairytale village.
The eastern canton of Graubünden (GR) is famed for amazing Alpine mountain ranges, perfect for lovers of skiing.
Graubünden is home to St. Moritz, one of the most well-known resorts in the
country. Its main languages are German, Italian and Rumantsch, making it the only
canton in the country which speaks Rumantsch.
Ticino (TI) is an
Italian-speaking canton in southern Switzerland, bordering with Italy to the
south. Known for its Mediterranean climate and Italian-influenced culture, it’s
an ever-popular location. Lugano is the place to visit, sitting on the shores
of Lake Lugano. Visit in the summer to make the most of the sunshine.
Geneva (GE) and Vaud (VD) in the western region of the country surround the beautiful
Lake Geneva. French is the main language down in this lovely corner of the
country, and the landscapes are varied from scenes of green to mountain ranges.
The canton of Valais (VS) speaks both French and German
and is home to the iconic town of Zermatt. This picturesque resort resides in
the shadow of the world-famous Matterhorn mountain!