Newly Swissed Online Magazine

Here are 17 common quirks that make the Swiss so unique

If you've been around Switzerland for a bit, you may have noticed that it's a pretty special place to live.

But like any other country, Switzerland has its perks and quirks. They are not all about chocolate and watches, either. I am talking about the little things that make the Swiss so unique, that make us who we are. The little quirks that make Switzerland the unique, safe and happy place that it is to live.

Have a read about some of the quirks that make the Swiss unique:

They get anxious when the train is running two minutes late.


They reserve a table as soon as they enter a cafeteria or self-service restaurant. You can't be too safe!


They drive a Tesla to be "green" but fly to London to see a musical over the weekend. No judgment, though, the Swiss do more for the environment than most!


They made it illegal to recycle bottles and cans over weekends (it is too loud), but don't mind the church bells ringing every 15 minutes.


And they made it an offense not to fold cardboard boxes properly before putting them out for recycling. It's literally punishable with a fine!


They complain publicly when SBB decides to stop selling Rivella on trains. Like, seriously, SBB?!


And they always ask whether a seat on the train/tram/bus is free when it clearly is. (You'll look super impolite if you don't ask whether a seat is still free.)


Some of them wait at the window to keep track of parked cars. Once time's up, they sneak out and write a ticket...


The Swiss are openly proud of the few celebrities the country produced, such as DJ Bobo or Roger Federer. We get it, though, Roger is a cool guy!


They teach children skiing at birth. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but some Swiss kids start skiing as early as three years old! You can never be too early, right?


They vote for e-v-e-r-y-thing. All decisions are created equal, so they must vote on all of them...


The unclear greetings - between hugs, handshakes and three kisses, many of us get mixed up!


There's always room for cheese. Not that we are complaining, but wow, lots of cheese!


Soldiers keep their guns at home in case war breaks out. Yeah, that’s quite something!


The Swiss sort of have two capital cities. At least it would seem like Zürich and Bern are both capitals, but in reality it's just Bern.


Strangers will greet one another in the mountains. In fact, it is rude by the Swiss to pass a fellow hiker without saying Grüezi. Greeting everyone in the city would be strange, on the other hand.


Many of them speak Swiss German, a dialect without official spelling rules. What? Something Swiss without rules?


Did we miss any Swiss quirks? Please do tell in the comments!


Fungai is a blogger based in Zürich Switzerland and originally from Zimbabwe. She loves to write and to celebrate the differences that make people who they are. Fungai is also passionate about Gaelic Football, Swiss Cheese, English Breakfasts and African sunsets.

1 comment

  • Sorry, Bern is not the Capital. We have no Official Capital city at all. It is just where the federal buildings ständerat and nationalrat are located and most federal agencies are located. Like senat and congress. Quite similar 2 chamber parliament as the US have. The founding fathers of the US and Modern Switerzland with the constitution from 1848 exchanged ideas of checks and balances.

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