Switzerland may be neutral but it is certainly not flavourless. The fusion of German, French and Italian ingredients has formed a robust national culture, and the country's Alpine landscapes have enough zing to reinvigorate the most jaded traveller. Goethe summed up Switzerland succinctly as a combination of 'the colossal and the well-ordered'. The untamed majesty of the Alps and the tidy, just-so precision of Swiss towns prevent Switzerland from ever being as one-dimensional as some pundits like to try and make it.
The diversity of the landlocked, mountainous country is the essence of Switzerland and gives the country its unique identity. Still, it is best known for its financial institutions, fine cheeses and chocolate, watch making industry, for its scenery and an excellent network of public transportation.
Capital City: Berne
Major Cities: Baden, Basel, Bellinzona, Bern, Biel, Brig, Chur, Fribourg, GenÃ¨ve, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Lausanne, Locarno, Lugano, Luzern, Martigny, Montreux-Vevey, NeuchÃ¢tel, Schaffhausen, Sierre, Sion, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thun, Winterthur, Zug, ZÃ¼rich
Bordering Countries: Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein
Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansch
Climate: Because of its central position, the weather is influenced by the four main European air currents - from the Atlantic, the eastern continent, the northern subpolar region and the Mediterranen south. The climate is temperate on the Central Plateau, otherwise it differs considerably from region to region.
Landforms: Alps and Pre-Alps cover 60%, Central Plateau 30% and Jura 10% of the country.
Land Area: 41,284 km2