According to the UN’s World Happiness Report, Switzerland is ranked the 3rd happiest country on earth. Here are a few things we might be smiling about.
With a longer than average life expectancy, a renowned healthcare system, a good standard of living, a strong sense of community, and cities like Zurich and Geneva that rank (according to the 2022 Economist Global Liveability Index) among the top ten most liveable cities worldwide, the Swiss have good reason to be happy. Whether you’re into skiing, wild swimming, architecture, or art and culture, there really is something for everyone in this country. Of course, everything is subjective, but allow us to share the top 5 things we love most about living in Switzerland:
- The Food
We can start with the food. Of course, we all know about the world-famous chocolate, the mouth watering cheeses (there are more than 450 varieties!), and the deliciously comforting fondue, but there are many more examples of Swiss cuisine worth trying. For example, Rösti is an old family favourite; a fried potato pancake often served for breakfast or as a side. Then there is Papet Vaudois, a leek and potato stew from the canton of Vaud. Or – our personal favourite – a salée au sucre cream tart! You’ll see many influences from French, Italian, and German cuisine here, which makes for an incredibly diverse (and tasty!) selection of options.
- The Scenery
It goes without saying that the scenery around here is nothing short of spectacular. There’s a reason why 12 million tourists arrive each year to ascend the Alps, breathe in our fresh air, or visit one of our cosmopolitan cities. From the dramatic beauty of the mountains to the turquoise glacial lakes; there truly is beauty all around. The world is full of stunning destinations, but with 61,000km of rivers, 1,500 lakes, and mountains that cover 62% of the land, very few countries pack the natural beauty into such a small space, quite like Switzerland!
- The Culture
In terms of culture, Switzerland really goes above and beyond, with one of the highest rates of museums per capita on the planet. There are over 900 museums dotted around the country, so you won’t need to go far before you stumble upon a world class cultural institution. One of the best is the Beyeler Foundation just outside of Basel, where you can see artworks by Rothko, Monet or Picasso in a beautifully designed building set in an idyllic park. There really is no better place to spend a quiet, contemplative afternoon.
- The Trust
If you haven’t visited Switzerland before, you may not be aware of this one, but we place a lot of trust in one another here. Simply put, our default is to assume that the other person is going to do the right thing. That’s why the countryside is full of farms where you can drop in, pick up some produce, and simply leave the money in a jar without encountering a soul. No security cameras, no checkout tills, just good old-fashioned honesty. It may sound crazy, but it works. This principle even extends to many of our transit systems too, where tickets are rarely required.
- The People
No list of things to love about Switzerland would be complete without a reference to the Swiss people. While it’s true to say that we can be a little closed off at first, but that’s just because we’re polite and respectful of your privacy. Once you get to know us, you’ll see that we’re actually a nation of very warm and welcoming people. Like a lot of things in life, we take friendships a little slower in Switzerland, but once you make friends with a Swiss person, there’s a good chance they’ll stick around for life.