9 Quirks Of Switzerland You Won’t Believe

Switzerland isn’t just about snow-capped mountains and fancy watches!

It’s a country where cows have better views than the most expensive real estate, and finding cheese is easier than Wi-Fi in most cities.

But Switzerland, you know from the movies and the internet, is far CRAZIER than you could imagine.

Here are 11 things you won’t find back home that are very normal in Switzerland.

1. Nuclear Bunkers

In Switzerland, every home is basically a mini Fort Knox. Why? Because the Cold War back in the 60s put the fear of radioactivity into the Swiss.

And why not? After all, you never know when you’ll need to take cover from… even in this day and age.

But fear not, many have turned these spaces into wine cellars. Because if the world is ending, the Swiss are going out with a fine Merlot.

2. FREE Drinking Water Fountains

Strolling through Swiss cities and feeling parched? Just lean over to one of the many (and I mean many) fountains for a quick sip. Or, fill up your YETI flask for a day out in Zurich!

It’s like Mother Nature’s own water cooler, minus the awkward office small talk.

3. DRINKING In Public

Switzerland takes the happy out of Happy Hour and spreads it all day, every day. Here, walking down the street with a beer is as normal as walking down the street without one. Period.

It’s the kind of freedom that makes you want to toast to… well, freedom. You will also see people happily having a beer by the lake, or on the train on the way home. Cheers!

4. Apartment Laundry Schedules

Swiss Basement Laundry – Image via La Roche

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Forget about syncing calendars for meetings; in Switzerland, the real challenge is the communal laundry schedule. The laundry room is usually in the basement, and the machines are shared between all the residents. As a result, it’s a delicate dance of diplomacy and timing, proving that the pen (or the laundry marker) might just be mightier than the sword.

5. NOISE Restrictions

Planning a late-night DIY project? Think again. In Switzerland, quiet time isn’t just a suggestion—it’s the law.

Because nothing says ‘good neighbor’ like not vacuuming at midnight. It’s how the Swiss ensure everyone gets their beauty sleep, and honestly, it shows.

6. FOUR Official Languages

language map of switzerland
Language map of Switzerland

Why settle for one language when you can have four? In Switzerland, it’s like a language buffet every day of the week.

From German to French, Italian, and Romansh, it’s the perfect place to practice saying “Where’s the chocolate?” in four different ways.

7. PET Passports

Even Swiss pets are world travelers, equipped with their own passports. It’s all about ensuring Fido and Whiskers can join in on the worldly adventures. Because what’s a weekend getaway without your four-legged BFF?

8. COMPULSORY Private Health Insurance

In Switzerland, health insurance is a must-have accessory. And with such a world-class health system, you’ll want to get sick just to use it.

From sprained ankles to chocolate-induced cavities, they’ve got you covered. I had to use it to reassemble my shattered leg, and I can vouch for the quality!

9. UNMANNED Farm Stalls

Self Service Farm Stalls Switzerland
Self-Service Farm Shops in Switzerland – Image via LID

Imagine a place where you can take whatever you want from the store, and just leave your money in a box—no cashier, no surveillance cameras. That’s the Swiss unmanned farm stall for you.

It’s like the ultimate test of honesty, and surprisingly, 99.999% of people pass.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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