What are some remarkable facts about Switzerland?
Cars are not always welcome
One of the most important facts to know about Switzerland if you plan to drive across Europe is that not all places allow cars. You can instead take a train or bus to reach the village, as well as a boat, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
The environment is a serious matter
Switzerland is the most environmentally friendly country in the world. The country’s annual CO2 emissions are approximately 5-6 metric tonnes per capita (compared to 18-19 in the US). Individual recycling rates for all recyclable materials in Switzerland range from 80 to 95% for paper, glass, aluminium, and cardboard. PET plastic is the lowest. The power grid in Switzerland is approximately 56% hydroelectric, and 39% nuclear. This is less than 5% of the country’s thermal power. Swiss people take high care of their streets, cities, and natural parks. Littering is punishable by law and you will face a substantial fine for it. You’ve been warned!
Even the sockets are different in Switzerland!
You’ll notice three round holes in the socket, instead of two as in Europe. Hence, if you want to charge your phone in Switzerland, you better bring a universal adapter! Make sure the prongs fit properly as sometimes European plugs can be too large for Swiss sockets. It is also the same voltage as the rest of Europe, which is 230 V/50Hz.
There may be Nazi gold behind its vaults
The most surprising fact about Switzerland is the popularity of Swiss banking. You’ll be able to see that the bad guys love hiding their money in Swiss banks if you have ever seen spy movies. Rumours abound of vaults containing Nazi gold and other valuables belonging to wealthy people who wanted protection for their wealth. Many of these accounts have not been claimed because the owners died. Because Swiss bankers cannot reveal the identity of account holders, no one knows their identities.
Swiss citizens can literally change the law
The Swiss have more influence in politics than any other country worldwide. Switzerland is a direct democracy. This means that citizens over 18 years old can vote on the way the country is run. If they can gather at least 50,000 signatures in less than 100 days, they have the right of challenging a law passed through Parliament. The next step is to schedule a national vote, where all citizens can decide by a simple majority whether they wish to accept or reject the law. This is not a hypothetical possibility. It is actually done frequently.
Most villages have their way of speaking
There are four official languages in Switzerland. These languages are German, French, and Italian. There are many dialects depending on where you live to make it even more enjoyable. Many Swiss speak English today, making it easier to travel there if your brain is overwhelmed by the multitude of languages. Nonetheless, there are many villages with their own dialect which can be quite different from standard Italian, French, or German. You wouldn’t want to get lost in translation!
Tap water is much better than bottled water
Switzerland has some of the best drinking water in the world, thanks to its natural springs and underground water reserves. Their tap water is actually more ecologically balanced than bottled mineral water. You just need to bring your water bottle, refill it from one of the drinking fountains, and you are good to go.
You can rent a cow
Yes, you read that right. It’s not rent a car – but rent a cow! Welcome to Switzerland, where you can actually rent a cow and keep all the cheese made from the cow’s milk during your lease. If that’s not good business, what is?
These are just some of the amazing characteristics and quirks which make Switzerland so unique. Have more? Let us know and happy travelling to Switzerland!