Switzerland is a mountainous country in Central Europe. Germany borders it to the north, Liechtenstein and Austria to the east, France to the west, and Italy to the south. The federal republic has 26 cantons, with federal authorities in Bern. For centuries, the country is a neutral state and cannot take part in any armed conflict unless attacked. This has allowed political stability, allowing the country to become of the wealthiest in the world.
The country is famous for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Key industries also include banking and finance.
Switzerland Country Information
Total Area: 15,940 square miles
Capital City: Bern
Government: Federal Semi-Direct Democracy under a Multi-Party Parliamentary Directorial Republic
Language: French, German, Italian, Romansh
Currency: Swiss Franc
Living in Switzerland
One of the most interesting Switzerland country information is that it remains among the most developed in the world. It ranks high in economic competitiveness and human development, for instance. It also has the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross product. Zurich ranked second in global rankings in terms of liveability, whilst Geneva and Basel ranked 6th and 7th, respectively.
Switzerland has 26 cantons or federated states that have a permanent constitutional status and a high level of independence. All of these cantons, except for the 6 half-cantons, are equal in status.
Canton of Valais is situated in the southwestern part of the country, surrounding the valley of Rhone to Lake Geneva. The canton is unique for being driest in its central Rhone valley and wettest on the highest peaks. It is famous for Matterhorn and Zermatt and is home to the Aletsch glacier, the Alps largest glacier, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. This mountainous canton is the biggest wine producer and specializes in producing apricots, saffron, Raclette, and air-dried meat.
Many European travellers are familiar with the alpine Canton Graubünden but it is relatively unknown to most international tourists. Graubünden is more than just a train excursion and ski resorts. This diverse region is the only Swiss Canton home to three of the four official languages of the country.
The canton is an outdoor venue for winter and summer sports. Tourists can climb mountains, visit streams, and bike around ancient routes. Albula Valley and Surses is a worthy visit in the canton. The UNESCO Albula Line of the Rhaetian Railway connects the alpine Chur with the Engadin and the Valley of Poschiavo and is an engineering feat. Other fascinating places in the canton include the winding alpine pass routes, Parc Ela, Alp Flix, Bergün, Savognin.
Owning a Home in Switzerland
Whilst Switzerland cities have the highest liveability rankings, only a few residents own their homes. More than half of the locals are renting their property with many of them living in more rural areas. This is attributed to rising prices, bureaucracy, and limited housing inventory. House inflation pushed the Swiss National Bank to lower household mortgage debt causing house prices to decrease in 2017.
Foreign buying is difficult in Switzerland as the country has strict restrictions depending on a buyer’s background. Foreigners can only buy a property in Switzerland if they are an EU or EFTA nationals with a Swiss residence permit or if they have a Swiss C Permit. Holding a Swiss B Permit may allow foreign buyers to purchase a property but they can only live in. They cannot rent it out.