Unknown Switzerland

Switzerland Tourism has released twelve lesser or unknown fun facts about the country that may surprise many travellers.

18 June 2020

Switzerland: home the Alps, land of raclette cheese, purveyor of fine chocolate. The country has the world’s most picturesque train journeys, thermal spas, alpine skiing, hiking and unforgettable cities, but there are things about Switzerland you may not know …


    • The Swiss consume the most chocolate in the world, averaging about 12 kilograms per person per year. Switzerland is also the world’s largest exporter of chocolate, and chocolate indulging experiences abound throughout the country.
    • Albert Einstein developed his Theory of Relativity (E=mc²) while living in the capital city of Bern. Visitors can still visit his house located in the city centre today.
    • Switzerland is very small, stretching just 350 kilometres from east to west, and 200 kilometres from north to south. To put things into perspective, all of Switzerland fits between Sydney and Canberra. More general facts about Switzerland can be found here.
    • Switzerland is home to more than 1500 lakes, all located within no more than 15 minutes by train, car or bus from any given spot.
    • In 2007, about 100 armed Swiss soldiers accidentally “invaded” neighbouring country Liechtenstein. The soldiers unknowingly lost their way, which resulted in both countries enjoying a good laugh.
    • The World Wide Web has Swiss roots. A British scientist developed it at CERN (Europe organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva in 1989.
    •  Switzerland has the second-highest life expectancy in the world after Japan, with an average of 83.60 years of age.
    • Switzerland is one of only two countries in the world to have a square flag. The other country is Vatican City.
    • There are more banks than dentists in Switzerland, with an average of one bank per 1,400 people.
    • Even though Toblerone features the famous Matterhorn in its logo icon, the famous chocolate is actually made in Bern, whose icon is the bear and is also part of the Toblerone visual branding. There is even a hiking trail named after the chocolate.
    • The two-letter abbreviation for Switzerland is CH, which stands for Confoederatio Helvetica. This is the original Latin name of Switzerland.
    • The personal guards of the Pope are all Swiss citizens who have served in the Swiss military service. Recruited from the Catholic cantons, Swiss guards have been guarding the Pope since the 16th century.


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