Switzerland in Pictures with Information for Travellers

 

Switzerland is a European country but not a member of the European Union, with which it has negotiated bilateral agreements covering areas including trade, agriculture and the free movement of persons. The Swiss have voluntarily brought most of their regulations into conformity with the European Union and are engaged in further strengthening of economic ties with the EU.
Switzerland is a completely land-locked country, surrounded by five neighbouring states: Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein.

It has no fewer than four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The last of these you may not have heard of, as it is only spoken by around 35,000 people (0.48% of the population), according to the Swiss Census of the year 2000. Romansh is really a group of five regional dialects which are the descendants of the spoken Latin of the Roman Empire. Of the other languages, German has the greatest number of speakers, with French second but far behind in terms of numbers; Italian has relatively few speakers, which is surprising given Italy’s proximity to Switzerland.

Switzerland is a small country, only 220kms (140 miles) by 350kms (220 miles), yet it has some BIG mountains – the Alps and the Jura ranges. Most people live in the Central Plateau, but farming, along with forestry, is less important than it used to be (less than 1% of GDP). The biggest portion of GDP (74%) comes from ‘services’, and industry provides 24%. Finance and banking make important contributions to the economy, and Switzerland, a neutral country, is the home of a number of global organisations like the Red Cross and the World Health Organisation, as well as being the host for the second largest office of the United Nations in the world.

The industrial output of Switzerland includes most of the world’s expensive watches, pharmaceuticals, processed food and chemicals for industry.(Here it is worth noting that every one of the world famous Swiss Army knives is still made in Ibach in Switzerland; cuckoo clocks, on the other hand, are more likely to be made in southern Germany.) Another prevalent view of Switzerland, namely that its trains run exactly on time, is less of a myth: 90% of journeys in 2016 finished punctually, and 99% were fewer than five minutes late – the best result of any European country.

Tourism, which was estimated in 2010 to be worth 35.5 billion Swiss francs (CHF) a year, is mainly associated with the outdoors and activity. The country has invested heavily in infrastructure to take advantage of its topography and scenery – snow-capped Alps, blue lakes and picturesque villages in glorious valleys surrounded by glaciers attract many visitors.

As well as a vibrant hotel industry, Switzerland offers excellent skiing and tobogganing, first class climbing and hiking, as well as biking, horse riding and paragliding. Winter sports, and cable cars and funiculars which take visitors to mountain peaks in summer, make the country an all year round destination.
Geneva, Zürich and the Swiss capital, Bern, have historic old town centres and excellent museums and art galleries; they also host regular cultural festivals.
The free pictures below illustrate some of the charm and excitement of a visit to Switzerland. If historic buildings and castles interest you, there are fascinating places to explore such as Chillon Castle or the wooden covered bridges like Chapel Bridge in Lucerne and the Holzbrücke connecting the village of Stein to the German city of Bad Säckingen.
For mountain peaks, it is hard to beat the Jungfraujoch, or ‘Top of Europe’, at 3,466 metres high. The Jungfrau cogwheel railway takes you to the summit of this Bernese alp, the highest rail station in Europe. From there you will see the Aletsch Glacier, and can visit the Ice Palace. There are fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and of the valley below. Properly equipped walkers can follow a marked trail for about an hour across the glacier to the Mönchsjoch hut. Or visitors can ride another 117m to the Sphinx Observatory for an even better view. Plan to spend all day at the top – there are several restaurants to sustain you.

If high places are not your thing, you may prefer to view the mountains from below, in which case how about a lake cruise on Lake Lucerne, Lake Zürich or Lake Geneva? There are paddle steamers on all three lakes, and the Lake Lucerne Navigation Company operate paddle steamers with a Panorama Deck and Sun Deck and bar.
Whatever your tastes, you can find something to enjoy in Switzerland, and if you can’t get there now, you can enjoy it through our pictures.

Zermatt St. Moritz Geneva Lake Lucerne Ascona, Switzerland Mount Pilatus Chapel Bridge
Zermatt St. Moritz Geneva Lake Lucerne Ascona Mount Pilatus Chapel Bridge
                       
Rhaetian Railway, Switzerland   Lake Zurich, Switzerland   Jungfraujoch   Davos   Gotthard Pass    
Rhaetian Railway   Lake Zurich   Jungfraujoch   Davos   Gotthard Pass   Titlis   China Garden
photos botany photos switzerland Saas-Fee Richard Wagner Klosters
Joyce in Zurich Botanical Gardens  Chillon Castle Saas-Fee Fete Vendanges Richard Wagner Klosters
 
Fiesch, Eggishorn     Aare Gorge   Emmental, Switzerland      
Fiesch, Eggishorn   Bad Ragartz   Aare Gorge   Emmental   Seleger Moor   Teddy Bears   Mirage Auction
                       
Corbusier mounains pictures
Ballenberg Corbusier Sechselaeuten Goescheneralp Tour de Suisse Basel Fair Plastic Cows
 
Vineyard Airport Zurich pictures energy
Vineyards Motor Show Geneva Airport Zurich Knaben-Schiessen Roger Federer Nuclear Power Flower Pots
 
Salginatobel Bridge architecture photography
Salgina Bridge Jazz Night Sand Sculptures Train Station T. Mann in Kilchberg Patrouille Suisse Street Hockey
 
images nature Ski World Cup
Verzasca Soapbox Derby Birth Signs Air Race Cactus Ski World Cup People Figures
 
pictures festival pictures animals
Car Dump Zuri Fest Penguin Parade Tennis Gstaad Roundabouts MG Cars Bull Market
 
      Football Pictures   photos trucks    
Via Mala   Inline Cup   Sculpture Park   Football   Trucker Festival   Summer Ski Jumping   AlpTransit
                       
Carnival in Lucerne and Basel Beach Volleyball
Balloon Festival Old-New House Snow Festival Rock Blasting Carnival Football Fans Beach Volleyball
 
Rowing       photos sport     European Athletics Championship  
Rowing   Schwingen   Freestyle   Marathon   Show jumping   European Athletics   Weggis
                       
    Ford Mustang   Stanserhorn, Switzerland      
Hang Gliding   Simon Ammann   Ford Mustang   Stanserhorn   Airport Festival   Quartz   A380
                       
Ski Jumping Engelberg, Switzerland                        
Ski Jumping Engelberg