Switzerland is one of the smallest, yet most special countries in the world. Everybody knows about the famous Swiss chocolate, cheese and watches. There’s a lot more unique things about this country, though. Don’t be surprised if you want to pack your bags and move out to Switzerland after reading these
11 Interesting Facts About Switzerland:
- Ever wanted to lease a cow? Of course, you did. Welcome to Switzerland, where that’s actually possible and you get to keep all the cheese that’s made from your cow’s milk.
- In Switzerland, you’re never more than 16km (10 miles) away from a lake. In total, there are about 1,500 of them in the country. Your summer vacation is safe!
- The clean air, abundance of nature and high-quality health care in Switzerland lead to the second highest life expectancy worldwide – right after Japan.
- Being an animal-loving country, it’s against the law to keep only one guinea pig. You need to have a pair. Isn’t that adorable?
- There is free water everywhere. Whenever you see water running through a tap anywhere, just fill up your bottle, it’s safe to drink. The city of Zurich alone has around 1,200 fountains providing drinking water 24/7.
- In case the 1,500 lakes aren’t enough for you, you’ll be happy to hear that the Swiss built actual pools into their rivers! The water of rivers like the Rhine or Aare is so clean, it’s a delight to swim in them. Some people even use the currents to commute home after work in summer, storing their belongings in waterproof bags and literally floating home.
- The Swiss are big-time gourmets. Besides their world-famous chocolate and cheese they actually produce some of the finest wine in the world – but keep it for themselves. Only about 2% leaves the country, so if you’re looking for a unique wine experience, Switzerland is your destination!
- What else comes to your mind when you think about Switzerland? Yodeling, obviously! There’s a festival held every three years with 10,000 yodellers, flag-throwers and alphorn players showing off their special skills.
- Who doesn’t love some naked hiking? It’s pretty popular in Switzerland, even in winter, and many bathing areas have dedicated FKK (“Freiköperkultur” = “free body culture”) areas as well. Feel free!
- The Swiss have way more say in politics than most other citizens worldwide. They have the right to challenge a law passed by Parliament if they are able to gather 50,000 signatures within 100 days. After that, a national vote is scheduled and all citizens decide by a simple majority if they want to accept or reject that law. This isn’t just a theoretical possibility, it is really done regularly.
- Switzerland is one of the environmentally friendliest countries worldwide: The annual CO2 emissions per capita is around 5-6 metric tonnes (compared to 18-19 for the US). The individual recycling rate of all recyclable materials in Switzerland is between 80 – 95% for glass, aluminium, paper, cardboard, and PET plastic. Switzerland’s power grid is about 56% hydroelectric and 39% nuclear. That’s less than 5% thermal power.
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