Switzerland is a mountainous, landlocked country in Central Europe, known for the Alps mountains.
It is a culturally diverse country, with four national languages prevailing in different regions (cantons). German, French and Italian are spoken in the regions bordering the respective country and Romansch is spoken in the mountainous region of Graubünden. Switzerland has one of the largest immigrant populations, one in four of its population of 8.5 million is of foreign national. Switzerland is famous for its diplomatic neutrality, prosperity and one of the highest standards of living in the world, which is also reflected in the cost of living.
Switzerland has a history that goes back to the times of the Roman Empire, when the tribes that inhabited it were called “Swiss”, which is why there are references to the country being called “Helvetia”.
Switzerland’s independence and neutrality is exemplary as it has not been involved in any international war since the Napoleonic era and has been at peace internally since the 1850s. The political and economic integration of Europe over the last half century, as well as the role of Switzerland in many international organizations have strengthened Switzerland’s ties with its neighbors and the international community. Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, but is integrated with it as a member of the Schengen Area.
The Swiss climate is temperate, but varies significantly with altitude and between the four climate regions: the north-east and west of the Central Plateau, southern Switzerland and the Alps.
Switzerland generally has cold, rainy or snowy winters and moderate to hot summers with very changeable weather that can change quite quickly, especially on hot summer days. Long-term weather forecasts are scientifically unreliable.
Depending on the season the visitor can enjoy wonderful landscapes on a hike, lake cruises, alpine train. In winter, one can enjoy winter sports, and an enchanting snowy atmosphere.
Switzerland has a particularly prosperous economy, with low unemployment, a highly skilled workforce and one of the highest GDP per capita in the world. The Swiss have great financial experience and their financial institutions are world-class. Switzerland is a safe haven for investors, as it maintains banking secrecy and a strong local currency, but now cases of tax evasion through Swiss banks end up in the tentacles of the law. Switzerland is also known for its low income tax rates, which makes it a popular tax haven for the world’s wealthiest people.
These characteristics, together with the exchange rate, make Switzerland one of the most expensive destinations in the world.