They say that the French are snooty and snobby, but in reality, they don't hold a candle to the Swiss. Or do they? Unfair stereotypes aside, those from Switzerland do have a way of acting and behaving that may catch others off-guard. And when you go here in their country, you'll find that what you perceive to be unorthodox behavior elsewhere is actually common here. So when you travel to Switzerland, how should you act and behave here? What are the social customs of this country? Here are a few that you ought to know and follow.
Always Be On Time
Whether it's a hangout with friends or a business meeting with clients, the Swiss would prefer you arrive to any scheduled gathering on time. They deem it quite rude if you arrive later than ten minutes after the agreed-upon time. For the most part, be it socially or in their business etiquette
, the Swiss are mostly conservative and rigid. When they agree on something, they will push through and they expect you to do the same. That's most important when it comes to punctuality. If you expect that you will be late, it's good manners to call beforehand and let everyone know.
The Swiss Are Commonly Introverted
Unlike other Europeans like the French
or the Italians
, both of which, ironically, have huge communities in Switzerland, the Swiss are rather introverted in nature. Those preconceived notions that they're snooty and snobby? For the most part, untrue! They simply prefer to be left alone most of the time. This isn't to say, however, that they'll simply snob you right then and there. All you have to do is to approach them politely and, most of the time, they will answer back. Just be gentle and respect they're personal boundaries. More often than not, you just need patience when letting them open up to you.
Ease Up on The Political Talk
While the rest of the world gets caught up in the world of politics, the Swiss prefer to stay out of it. The country has had a long history of standing on neutral ground, from both World Wars to not joining the EU. And while this may leave a bad taste in others, you can't expect the Swiss to be as politically charged as the rest of the world. So when you're here, ease up on the political talk. For as much as possible, center your conversations on other topics other than politics. they'll highly appreciate you for that.
Be Polite When Crossing The Road
Most Swiss drivers are very respectful of pedestrians. As long as you cross the street on the right lane, you'll be fine. However, as much as drivers highly regard pedestrians who follow the street rules, they expect the latter to extend the same courtesy. Especially if you're crossing at a street without a traffic light. In such cases, it's good manners to express your gratitude for their patience by waving, nodding, and smiling at them. You never know how much it may brighten up their day, especially if they're in a rush to get to where they need to be.
Never Litter in Public
This probably goes without saying but littering in public is a huge no-no in Switzerland. It's probably a huge no-no in most places around the world already but here in this country, they consider it doubly offensive. In fact, not only will the Swiss prefer you throw your trash in the trash can, but they'll even insist that you separate your trash into different categories. Whether they're biodegradable or not, recyclable or not, and so on. Switzerland is a heavily green country, as proven by its stunning natural beauty and the clean air of its busy metropolises. They prefer you help leave it that way too!
The Day Ends at 10:00 PM
As much as you want to party all night long in Switzerland, you actually can't do it in most places in the country. Why? Because for most people, businesses, and the like, the day ends at 10:00 pm at night. Most neighborhoods, establishments, and the like all close and turn off the lights by this time. Only in certain areas, such as nightlife hubs, redlight districts, and the like remain open beyond 10:00 pm. But if you're not in these places, by the time the clock strikes 10:00 pm, you're expected to remain as quiet as you can within your own home.
Despite many unfair stereotypes, the Swiss are actually fun, kind, and open people. If you think otherwise, it's likely you got on the wrong foot with them and you might have been offensive too. To avoid this, you ought to know how to behave according to their social customs!
It's important you don't offend people in Switzerland, whether in your own luxury home
or out in the open!