Surprisingly enough, out of 51 countries that Europe has to offer, Switzerland isn’t that popular among us travelers. In fact, it isn’t even in the Top 10. The reason for that, though, isn’t the lack of beautiful sights, boring history, and bad food (let’s leave this last one to the British). But it’s a mere fact that being the 3rd richest county in Europe may also have its drawbacks of scaring tourists away.
But let’s face it – it’s quite unlikely that in the nearest future you’ll get any richer or Switzerland gets any poorer. So pack your bags and travel now! Specifically because of these 10 cool things that make Switzerland just so hard to resist – despite what any travel list says!
10. Dancing until the world ends
Whoever said that Switzerland is boring was super wrong – the country, as the matter of fact, happens to host the world’s craziest music festivals! The Street Parade in Zurich, for instance, is the most attended techno fest in Europe. It’s aaaabsolutely crazy – in summer 2015 there were over a million of visitors coming from every corner of the globe, dancing to the beats of world-renowned DJs, like Robin Schulz, drinking lots of alcohol and tanning at Lake Zurich. This is life.
9. Saying ‘Cheese!’ (like, literally)
Did you know that Switzerland is home to about 450 varieties of cheese? They have cheese made from cow’s or goat’s or sheep’s milk; cheese that is extra-hard, hard, semi-hard, semi-soft, soft and ‘other’; cheese that is yellow; cheese that is blue; cheese that is stinky; cheese that is fruity – the list can go on and on. The most well-known Swiss cheese brand is definitely the Raclette, which history of making dates back to the middle ages. That’s when people finally realized that everything just tastes so much better with melted cheese. And they were absolutely right.
8. Living the chocolate dream
For centuries and centuries, the Swiss have been working hard to be able to call themselves Number One in the chocolate making world. In the 17th century Switzerland had its first chocolatiers and some two hundred years later the country witnessed the birth of Lindt and Sprüngli, which later on were to become the world’s most famous chocolate brands. So when in Switzerland, eat a bar or three, buy more for your friends and family and don’t feel guilty when you forget to give it to them – I mean, who would resist?
Image source: here
7. That time when ‘boring’ is good
Switzerland ranks #5 in Top 10 most peaceful countries in the world having the Global Peace Index of 1.275. There are hardly any murders, hardly any crimes, no terrorism and no massacres, and the politicians are honest and transparent 86% of the time, making Switzerland the world’s 5th non-corrupt country. Which just makes it such a nice place to live, doesn’t it?
6. Better have my money!
In Switzerland, it is actually illegal for a bank to reveal private information about its clients – that’s why there are so many dictators, mobsters, tax cheats and corrupt officials who have a Swiss bank account, where nobody can check anything. So if you have a Swiss bank account, shame on you and good for you at the same time.
5. Something that everyone wants to have…
Luxury. Class. Quality. That’s the three words we all associate with Swiss watches – and for a good reason. The country has been involved in watchmaking for ages, setting a high standard for quality already in the 16th century. So shopping for a Swiss watch is like getting married – a huge decision.
4. …is a Landi Stuhl
Yep, those are famous.
Image source: here
3. Parlez-vous Deutsch?
When I say that Switzerland is a nation without a language, I’m not entirely right – it’s not that there’s no language (there are four, in fact), but Switzerland can’t really be considered a ‘nation’ per se. It’s more of a union – some kind of a civil marriage between Germans, Italians, the French and the Romansch, an ethnic group that makes up about 1% of Switzerland’s population. Somehow they all co-exist together, but, funnily enough, the people of different parts of Switzerland don’t really relate to each other – just like Parisians, the people of Geneva don’t like to speak anything but French and yet in Zurich, for example, you only get to hear German unless you speak with a tourist.
Switzerland is called a Willensnation, or nation of the will, in that it is thought to have emerged from an act of political will rather than from a sense of “natural”, such as cultural, unity. It was a project mostly of the political elites in each canton, at least prior to the slow emergence of a broadly-shared sense of national identity in the 19th century. – Thomas Fischer, Swiss lawyer
Yes, that’s all a bit weird but it’s still better than Nigeria with its 500 languages.
2. Inspiration lies in nature
Since we started talking about landscapes, you should know that the Alps are just one of the many other things Switzerland is famous for when it comes to nature. There are also valleys, rivers, waterfalls and, of course, lakes that are more breathtaking than you could ever imagine. Switzerland, in fact, has over 1,500 lakes within its borders and each of them is prettier than the other. But perhaps it is Lake Lucerne that is the most popular one – open to tourists since the 19th century, Lake Lucerne is so damn gorgeous that it inspired Beethoven to compose his famous Moonlight Sonata. I leave it to you to judge how beautiful it must be.
Image source: here
1. The world’s fanciest skiing resorts
The world has many beautiful skiing resorts out there – Park City in Utah, Aspen in Colorado, Chamonix in France, Wanaka in New Zealand… But for some reason it’s always ‘skiing in Switzerland’ that you read in people’s bucket lists.
Over to you! Do you know any more things Switzerland is famous for?
P.S. You might want to read about…
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