Switzerland is surrounded by five countries: Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Lichtenstein. It is a landlocked country located in the center of Western Europe. Switzerland has an area of almost 16,000 square miles, and its border extends 1,100 miles.
Switzerland shares its northern border, which extends 216 miles, with Germany. To the south, it shares 433 miles of border with Italy. To the east, Switzerland shares its border for 98 miles with Austria and for 25 miles with Lichtenstein. Its western border is shared with France for 326 miles. As a landlocked country, it is at a strategic disadvantage. Since 1515, Switzerland has avoided most alliances, including membership in the European Union, and chooses to remain neutral with regard to foreign relations.