Swiss culture = the “Japanese of Europe”

Author: John Lee (CultureMee Co-founder)

I’ve spent a lot of time working in Switzerland over the last 10 years, both in the German and French speaking parts, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the Swiss.

The first piece of advice I would give to anyone travelling to Switzerland is to be aware that Switzerland is not really one country, but more of a collection of regions.

The main language regions are French speaking Switzerland (Swiss Romande) and the Swiss German region, where there are pretty large cultural differences from local cuisine to how they behave day to day. You also have the Italian and Romansh regions.

Comparing the French and German speaking regions, the French speaking region would have people who are more relaxed, while the German speaking region are a bit more structured.

Some people have described the Swiss as the “Japanese of Europe”, which reflects both cultures’ similarities, for example being on time for meetings, a hard work ethic, or in general being quite reserved in conversation.

This example goes to the heart of why we started CultureMee, our free app which helps you embrace culture when travelling abroad.

So what is CultureMee?

High level, we help you unlock the local culture, including basic do’s and don’ts, dining etiquette and business culture (useful when negotiating in the local markets!).

We also provide lots of handy travel advice for typical traveller frustrations such as visas, vaccinations and plugs.

We recently launched a video platform, which will put you in the driving seat to give your own perspective on culture.

For anyone still hungry for more, we’ve got plenty of fun facts you keep you entertained. Did you know the unibrow is considered a highly attractive feature in women in Tajikistan?

Join us on our journey to help bring culture to the world, one traveller at a time.

To see Dee’s tips on navigating Swiss culture (filmed in Zurich), see:

To see Dee and I explain our CultureMee app, visit

P.S. Here’s one more of our CultureMee fun facts, did you know that Europe’s largest clock face, the church clock of St. Peter, is in Zürich?

Offline Zurich tips? Get our iPhone / Android app!
Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)