15 Things Switzerland Is Famous For

things switzerland is famous for

The very mention of Switzerland brings to mind picturesque landscapes and pristine snow-capped mountains. The beautiful country is nestled amid the Jura Mountains, the Swiss plateau and the Alps. With glittering blue lakes, emerald valleys and glaciers, its natural beauty draws thousands of tourists throughout the year. Travelers can take a train journey to Jungfrau, where they can visit the observation deck and the scientific observatory. Admire the Swiss countryside as you travel to Lucerne. With cobbled streets, 16th-century fountains, the medieval clock tower – Zytglogge, museums and galleries, Bern makes you time travel. Switzerland has plenty to offer and chocolate lovers will be spoilt for choice as they go crazy in Lindt’s home country. If you love cheese, you’ll be tempted to bring back home an Emmentaler wheel! When in Switzerland don’t forget to pick up that fancy Longines or Tag Heuer watch as Swiss ones are known for their craftsmanship. Make sure that, as you visit these places in Switzerland, you are also kept comfortable at the best ski resorts and Vrbo vacation rentals in the country. Check out the top things Switzerland is famous for!

1. Roger Federer

Roger Federer
Source: Photo by Flickr user Yann Caradec used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If we’re talking about famous Swiss people, Roger Federer, for sure, is one of the first ones to come up. Federer is a professional tennis player and is one of the best, ranked sixth by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He was born on August 8, 1981, in Basel and turned professional in said sports in 1998. To this day, he has won 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles. His effortlessness is one of the biggest reasons why he is well-loved in the tennis community. Federer belongs on the list of highest-paid athletes and was actually the highest-paid one in 2020.

2. Zermatt

Source: Photo by Flickr user Dimitris Karagiorgos used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

If there’s any outdoor activity that Switzerland is known for, it most definitely is skiing. One of the best ski resorts in the Swiss Alps is the municipality of Zermatt in Visp. The town used to be primarily an agricultural community, and after 1865, tourist attractions were built in the area after the first ascent of the Matterhorn mountains. As of December 2019, the population is about 5,800. Zermatt’s local economy is mostly made up of tourism, and approximately half of the jobs in town are related to hospitality management. In popular culture, Zermatt was the filming location for the 1959 Walt Disney film Third Man on the Mountain.

3. Swiss Guard

Swiss Guard (Close)
Source: Photo by Flickr user Justin Ennis used under CC BY 2.0

Swiss Guard is a small honor guards and armed forces unit that is assigned to the Pope and the Apostolic Palace. The unit is managed by the See of Rome. Being established in 1506, the Swiss Guard is one of the oldest military units that operate to this day. Recruits of this unit are 19- to 30-year-old males who must be an unmarried Swiss Catholic. They must also complete basic training facilitated by the Swiss Armed Forces. Officially called the Pontifical Swiss Guard, the unit’s uniform follows a Renaissance-style appearance with mostly orange, blue, and red colors.

4. Muesli

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user VirtualSteve used under CC BY-SA 2.5

You may already know of this one if you’re an adventurous breakfast-eater. Muesli is an oatmeal dish containing rolled oats mixed with other ingredients such as nuts, seeds, grains, and fruits. It is often served cold with milk. Its development dates back to 1900 when Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss physician, created the dish for his patients as a significant part of therapy. Over time, muesli has become a breakfast staple in the country. It is often paired with coffee, bread, butter, and jam.

5. Helvetica Font

Specimen-1963-Neuburg Rudin
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Filip.vyska used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This may be the quirkiest trivia we’ll tell you about Switzerland. It’s true, the popular font Helvetica is Swiss-made. This sans-serif typeface was created by designer Max Miedinger in 1957. Helvetica became one of the most popular fonts during the 20th century. With the help of Eduard Hoffmann, Miedinger developed a typeface that was neutral and clear, without much meaning in its form. The font was kept simple so it could be used on a wide variety of signages. Its original name was Neue Haas Grotesk, but when Linotype licensed the font in 1960, it was changed to Helvetica. Helvetica, in Latin, means Swiss.

6. Banking

Schweiz National Bank by Badwy - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tony Badwy used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A Swiss bank account is much sought after and if you’re wondering why, it’s because of the privacy it offers. Foreigners can keep their money, along with other valuable items, in vaults securely without any worries largely due to high-profile tax avoidance and other schemes. Your identity is secure, privacy is maintained and the account holder’s name is not disclosed under any circumstances. If you walk past the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, you can come across nameplates of many small and semi-secret banks.

7. Swiss chocolate

swiss chocolate
Source: Photo by Flickr user bigbirdz used under CC BY 2.0

What is Switzerland known for? Its chocolates, for sure, along with the Alpine range. Switzerland has a rich history of chocolate making since the 17th century. Prepared from purest milk and cream, nothing can beat the aroma and the taste of Swiss chocolates. From famous chocolatiers like Stettler and Läderach to local brands like Callier, Frey, and Lindt, Switzerland has it all. If you are planning a trip to Switzerland, do not forget to treat yourself to some chocolate and bring some back for friends and family too!

8. Swiss cheese

Swiss Cheese
Source: Photo by Flickr user Smabs Sputzer (19... used under CC BY 2.0

If you are looking for the finest quality of cheese, Switzerland would be the right place to find 450 different varieties of cheese. Made from 99% of cow’s milk, sheep milk, and goat’s milk, Swiss cheese is world-famous. You can buy cheese wheels and varieties with or without eyes i.e. holes. Pay a visit to the nearby supermarket to grab Raclette or Fondue cheese. Plan a trip to Gruyeres, which is famous for its cheese. Experience how cheese is made and take some back home too. This thing made in Switzerland sure is something that we all love!

9. Army knives

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife
Source: Photo by Flickr user James Case used under CC0

Originally called the Offiziersmesser, American soldiers coined the name Swiss army knife after World War II due to difficulty in pronouncing the original name. Manufactured by Victorinox, it is a multipurpose tool that features a main spearpoint blade, screwdrivers, can opener and more. Though soldiers do not use this version, this type is popular with tourists who are looking to take back home something quintessentially Swiss. This famous item in Switzerland make great presents and mementos for friends and family.

10. Watches

Source: Photo by Flickr user Johnson Watch used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Swiss watches are synonymous with quality, finesse, and luxury. Many popular luxury watch brands like Audemars Piguet, TAG Heuer and Longines are from Switzerland. The technology followed by Swiss watchmakers is unbeatable, and the highly accurate watches have made a mark for themselves worldwide. If you are looking for a quality watch that defines bespoke luxury and craftsmanship, make sure you pick up a Swiss-made one on your trip to the country!

11. The Alps

Swiss Alps on the way from Zurich to Interlaken
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Artur Staszewski used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The scenic and postcard perfect beauty of Switzerland is largely attributed to its pristine snow-capped Alpine ranges. The greatest mountain range in Europe, the Swiss Alps are popular with travelers courtesy its stunning landscapes, snowy resorts, and outdoor sports. Tourists can enjoy a glass of wine from the comfort of their luxurious rooms while admiring the world’s most beautiful mountain range, or go hiking and skiing amid the snowy peaks. Take a train ride to reach the top of the Eiger, the Matterhorn, the Titlis and the Jungfrau peaks of the Alps.

12. The Red Cross

Swiss Flag Confederates
Source: Pixabay

Established in 1863, this medical institution was found by Henry Dunant and Gustave Moynier. The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) is headquartered in Geneva. It offers medical help and assistance to war victims. The non-interference policy followed by Red Cross has helped it earn many accolades including Nobel Peace Prizes in 1917, 1944 and 1963.

13. Political neutrality

Ausblick von der Schesaplana Hütte - panoramio
Source: Photo by user qwesy qwesy used under CC BY 3.0

Switzerland’s foreign policy lays stress on political neutrality. According to this, Switzerland cannot be involved or interfere in other states’ armed conflicts. This policy is permanent and it is designed to ensure that Switzerland is aware of its external security and promotes peace. Since signing the Treaty of Paris, which established its neutrality in 1815, Switzerland has remained neutral and never partaken in any foreign warfare.

14. Trains

Swiss Train (42872780232)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user oatsy40 used under CC BY 2.0

What better way to soak in the Swiss countryside than by traveling on a train! With 46 railway companies, tourists and locals can enjoy quick traveling from one destination to another. This well-connected railway system can also take you 45 degrees straight up to the mountains. Don’t miss the opportunity to board the Glacier Express from St Moritz, which takes you up to Zermatt. Enjoy the scenic views and gaze at the snow-capped peaks as you journey to your destination.

15. Zurich

Blue Zurich (31895270053)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user kuhnmi used under CC BY 2.0

Founded by Romans, this city is in the north-central part of Switzerland and is a tourist hotspot. Zurich is home to many day and night activities, countless events, food festivals and amazing nightlife. Explore its winding lanes and marvel at tall church steeples as you soak in the vibe of Switzerland’s financial and economic hub. Walk down the cobbled paths of Old Town or Altstadt and marvel at the Gothic architecture of the cathedrals. Don’t forget to snap up some pictures at Bellevue Square!

Get mesmerized by amazing Switzerland

From picture-perfect houses to cuckoo clocks, scenic landscapes to snow-capped mountains, Switzerland is a travelers delight. There is so much to explore in this beautiful country, that you will not want to return home!

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Anupama Passary has written for several online publications and loves all things tech and travel related. She is a self-confessed chocoholic, stargazer and dreamer who loves to pen down poems.

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