Skip to main content

5 Signs that Switzerland is Indeed a Small Country

Switzerland is a very small country. Not as small as tiny Luxembourg or Liechtenstein but still very small. Especially, if you compare it's size to countries outside of Europe. In fact, Switzerland would fit over 200 times into Canada or the US.

Even in every day life, the small size of Switzerland is sometimes noticeable. I've found 5 signs that Switzerland is indeed a very small country:
  1. Postal codes are made of four ciphers only and go from 1000 in Geneva to the 9000s in St. Gallen. There is one system of postal codes for the whole country (and not one for each state or province!).
  2. Driving from Germany to Italy (north to south) through Switzerland takes about 3 hours, driving from France to Austra (west to east) through Switzerland takes approx. 4 hours. If you want to drive more than that in one piece, you'll have to start driving in circles.
  3. Pretty much everyone living in Switzerland has been to the five largest cities of the country: Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Berne. None of which have more than 400'000 inhabitants. 
  4. When a Swiss person has to drive 2 hours to go visit friends or family it is considered a LONG journey and often avoided. 
  5. Most people who drive in Switzerland have driven on all highways in Switzerland. No surprise as there are only 16 federally maintained highways and about a dozen cantonal ones.

Switzerland (blue) compared to Canada (red)



  1. Points 2, 4 and 5 sounds a lot like Singapore. :D


Post a Comment

You have something to add or would like to ask a question? I would love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

How to Spot a Swiss Person

As an expat one usually spots fellow expats right away. It's not only the language or the looks of people but rather the little peculiarities of life that seem so normal at home that give us away while abroad. Obviously, it's a cliche that all people from the same place (country, city, continent) behave in the same way and I am far from making that claim. However, growing up in a certain surrounding does rub off on people's behavior and some similarities can certainly be observed.

This is also true for Swiss people. According to the Swiss stereotype, we are a clean, punctual and strictly organized people. However, there are many exceptions like my Swiss friend who is always late or my brother whose room was a total mess while growing up. Yet, although they do not fit the description of a typical Swiss person, they still have some traits that give them away as Swiss. The same is probably true for myself - if I like it or not.
10 Signs you are dealing with a Swiss Person So,…

10 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Switzerland

The weather has been so so these last few days and will remain rainy and rather cold. No swimming in one of the many lakes of Switzerland, going on a nice bike trip or playing soccer outside unless you are willing to endure some heavy rain.
10 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Switzerland However, there are plenty of fun things to do in Switzerland even on rainy days. Here's the list of my current favorite rainy day activities:
Alpamare: Biggest water park of Switzerland with dozens of water slides and pools. It's open all year round since most of the baths and slides are indoors. It is perfect for a rainy day since there are usually less people than on a sunny day.Zoo Zurich: The famous zoo in Zurich features bears, elephants, monkeys, tigers and the mazoala hall (a tropical glass house). Many animals can be visited in their houses.Swiss National Museum: The Swiss National Museum in Zurich gives an overview over the cultural history of Switzerland. Swiss Museum of Transport:…

Schätzli, Schnüggel and Müüsli - Terms of Endearment in Swiss German

If you've ever been invited to the home of a Swiss couple, you are probably familiar with the most popular Swiss German term of endearment "Schätzli" (little treasure) or one of it's many varieties like e.g. "Schatz" or "Schätzeli". Obviously, this is not the only pet name used by Swiss couples (or parents for that matter). Like many other languages, Swiss German offers a wide variety of words and phrases that you can use to address your loved one.

What most of these pet names have in common is the ending "-li" which basically turns the thing or person a word refers to into something small. For example "Haus" means house and "Hüüsli" means small house. This ending "-li" can also be added to first names as a means of endearment, e.g. Benjaminli, Estherli or Fabienneli.

I tried to come up with a collection of Swiss German pet names but realized I only know a handful. However, after combing through the interne…