People say that different countries have different customs. The Swiss, too, have some typical quirks and behaviours that make them immediately identifiable to others.

How do you recognize a typical Swiss?


So what distinguishes a typical Swiss?
So what distinguishes a typical Swiss?

1. The Swiss people are multilingual

In Switzerland, as we know, people speak several languages. Four national languages are official in this tranquil Alpine country: in addition to German and French, Romansh and Italian are spoken as well. High German, however, is the language officially taught in schools in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

And of course speaking Schwiitzerdütsch is a give away of one’s origin.

2. As punctual as a Swiss watch

The most famous watchmakers are still based in Switzerland today. Tag Heuer and Omega are just two of the world’s leading watch manufacturers from the Alpine country. Above all, Swiss movements are renowned for their precise and exact time indication. And the typical Swiss is as punctual as the world-famous Swiss timepieces. He hates unpunctuality and is always there before the agreed time. He also expects this punctuality from his fellows.

 Swiss watches are synonymous worldwide with quality and punctuality
Swiss watches are synonymous worldwide with quality and punctuality

3. Swiss people only love chocolate from Switzerland

 Nothing beats Swiss chocolate
Nothing beats Swiss chocolate

The famous chocolate mountains, modelled after a real Swiss mountain, are world-famous and popular everywhere. The Swiss, of course, also appreciate their Toblerone and other native chocolates. However, the Swiss are so passionate about their own chocolate that they won’t eat chocolate from other countries. (This, even though the Belgians are also known for their chocolate.)





The Federal Palace in Bern
The Federal Palace in Bern

4. How to enrage the usually level-headed Swiss

We have already explained the Swiss love of punctuality. However, when a train arrives a few minutes too late, as in quite common in other countries, otherwise relaxed Swiss are quite liable to lose their cool.



5. Voting is important

Swiss people want to have a say in the future of their country, which is why they are used to being part of the decision-making process of Swiss politics. Swiss vote on important decisions in private matters as well; democracy is well established.


6. The neutral Swiss

Neutrality is a particular strength of Switzerland and its citizens. Swiss are proud of this characteristic and do not want to get involved in disagreements with others. They prefer to remain uninvolved and to observe what is happening.

7. Talking about money is taboo

Asking a Swiss person about their income is tantamount to a mortal sin in this tranquil Alpine country. Although Swiss generally earn quite well, they would like to keep the exact amount to themselves. That is why they are unlikely to get involved in a conversation about personal financial matters.

8. Workaholics

In a referendum about reducing their work week, the majority of Swiss voted against it. The average Swiss is an ambitious person who continues to work overtime without complaint  even after putting in a 42-hour week.

To work long and a lot - that is also part of the Swiss work ethic
To work long and a lot – that is also part of the Swiss work ethic

9. Waste separation is important

The Swiss are very precise when it comes to the separation of waste. They recycle wherever they can and sort everything neatly and accurately. Anyone who does not follow the rules will be tracked down by so-called garbage detectives and will face severe penalties. This is how the Swiss want to protect their beautiful country from environmental pollution.



10. Swiss wanderlust

Travelling is in the blood of the Swiss
Travelling is in the blood of the Swiss

Although the Swiss do not like to talk about their finances, they can afford to travel the world. And that’s exactly what they like to do. On the one hand, Swiss people are very attached to their homeland and love Switzerland above all else, but they are also interested in foreign cultures and other countries. There is no such thing as a typical Swiss destination, because they can be found all over the world. However, most Swiss prefer to return home to their familiar surroundings after a holiday.

11. Meals are on time and at the same time

Here, too, you will find the typical Swiss movement. Even when it comes to eating, the Swiss like to stay on time. For example, Swiss families often already have lunch on the table when other countries are still enjoying breakfast. Dinner is also always served at the same time, usually early in the evening. And usually early in the evening. Most families serve the evening meal at 6 pm. And on time of course.

Dinner in Switzerland at 6 p.m. on the dot
Dinner in Switzerland at 6 p.m. on the dot

12. Cheese fondue

The Swiss speciality par excellence: cheese fondue
The Swiss speciality par excellence: cheese fondue

While we are on the subject of food… When one thinks of Switzerland, one inevitably thinks of the national dish: cheese fondue.

Even if the French still deny it, the Swiss claim to have invented cheese fondue. And as versatile as the Swiss are, so are the ways to prepare this popular dish. Whether with cream, Kirsch schnapps, Emmentaler or Appenzeller, with or without meat, the Swiss are quite individual. But they are diplomatic and accept other’s preferences as well. The main thing is to gather at the table on time to enjoy the beloved cheese fondue together.

Become seamlessly integrated into Switzerland

You do not have to fulfil all these stereotypes if you want to become a Swiss. Some, e.g. enjoying a cheese fondue, are of course recommended. However, speaking the language is where you might want to begin your integration. Swiss people speak Swiss German and so it is essential for you to at least understand the language.

We have made it our business to teach Swiss German and have already been able to help many customers achieve excellent results. With our Swiss German Online Course you are only a few clicks away:



Typical Swiss – chocolate, banking and watches …?
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