Switzerland - quick facts and figures by Mark Sukhija


The Franc

The currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc. The Swiss Franc which is divided into into 100 centimes (French), Rappen (German) or centesimi (Italian.)

CHF is the internationally used symbol.

Notes are available in denominations of 1,000CHF, 200CHF, 100CHF, 50CHF, 20CHF and 10CHF. Coins are issued to values of 5CHF, 2CHF, 1CHF and 50 rappen, 20 rappen, 10 rappen and 5 rappen.

The Euro

As Switzerland is not part of the European Union, the Euro (EUR) is not an official currency. It is widely accepted in the major urban areas. Where the Euro is accepted, you will usually only be able to pay with notes and your change will be in Swiss Francs. You should make sure you have Francs as not every establishment accepts Euros.

Currency exchange facilities are widely available at banks and many train stations.

Credit cards

Major credit cards are widely accepted but you should have cash with you just in case and to cover incidental expenses.

The Cantons

Switzerland has 23 full Cantons, of which three are sub-divided into half-cantons giving a total of 26 Cantons. The Coats of Arms of the 23 full Cantons are depicted in The Glass Dome in the Federal Palace in Berne.

Switzerland was founded in 1291 when the three forest cantons of Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden signed The Federal Charter - a defensive alliance. In later years, other localities would join the Confederation. The last expansion of Swiss territory was in 1815 although the last Canton was created in 1978, seperated Canton Jura from Canton Berne.

The 26 Cantons, their capitals and years of joing are:

Canton Year of Joining Capital
Aargau 1803 Aarau
Appenzell Innerhoden 1513 Herisau
Appenzell Ausserhoden 1513 Appenzell
Basel-Stadt 1501 Basel
Basel-Landschaft 1501 Liestal
Berne 1353 Berne
Fribourg 1481 Fribourg
Geneva 1815 Geneva
Glarus 1352 Glarus
Graubünden 1803 Chur
Jura 1978 Delemont
Lucerne 1332 Lucerne
Nidwalden 1291 Stans
Neuchâtel 1815 Neuchâtel
Obwalden 1291 Sarnen
Schwyz 1291 Schwyz
St Gallen 1803 St Gallen
Schaffhausen 1501 Schaffhausen
Solothurn 1481 Schaffhausen
Thurgau 1803 Frauenfeld
Ticino 1803 Bellinzona
Uri 1291 Altdorf
Vaud 1803 Lausanne
Valais 1815 Sion
Zug 1352 Zug
Zürich 1351 Zürich

Related Posts

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Further reading

Ballenberg Open Air Museum - a day trip - Travelogue from a day trip to the Ballenberg Open Air Museum near Brienz in Canton Berne, Switzerland

Switzerland - sacred destinations - Nine of the finest churchs, cathedrals and monastries in Switzerland

Lucerne - interior of the Jesuit Church - Baroque interior of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne

Switzerland - Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau - The Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau seen from Bergrestaurant Harder Kulm

Lucerne - 7 things not to miss - What not to miss in Lucerne

Lucerne - getting around - How to get around Lucerne in central Switzerland

Lucerne - getting there - How to Lucerne in central Switzerland

Switzerland - places not to miss - Sixteen places not to miss around Switzerland

The Jesuit Church of Lucerne - Historical notes on The Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche) of Lucerne

Zürich - day trips out of town - Suggested day trips and excursions from Zurich

Switzerland Tourism - Official website of the Switzerland Tourism Office

About Mark Sukhija

Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook