Districts of Switzerland

intermediate level of local government in some cantons of Switzerland, between municipality and canton. Depending on the canton, there may be one or several such layers with varying functions and names.

In Switzerland each Canton is free to decide its own internal organisation. Because of this there many types and names for smaller administrative divisions in each canton. The term District is used for these smaller divisions.

Amt, Amtsbezirk, District and Distretto


Most Cantons are divided into Bezirke (German for districts). Some are called Ämter (Lucerne), Amtsbezirke (Bern), district (in French) or distretto (Tessin and part of Graubünden).

The Bezirke generally only deals with administration and court organization. The cantons Graubünden and Schwyz are their own legal entities. They have the power to control taxes as well.

No district level in ten cantons


Ten of the 26 Cantons do not have a district level of government:

Uri, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Glarus, Zug, Basel-City and Geneva. Schaffhausen stopped using Bezirke in the middle of 1999. Since the start of 2003 Canton of St. Gallen does not use the Bezirk level any more.

List of Swiss districts by canton

Canton Districts
  AG Aargau 11 Bezirke
  AR Appenzell Ausserrhoden    
  AI Appenzell Innerrhoden    
  BS Basel-City    
  BL Basel-Country 5 Bezirke
  BE Berne 26 Amtsbezirke, Districts
  FR Fribourg 7 Districts, Bezirke
  GE Geneva    
  GL Glarus    
  GR Graubünden 11 Bezirke, districts, distretti
  JU Jura 3 districts
  LU Lucerne 5 Ämter
  NE Neuchâtel 6 districts
  NW Nidwalden    
  OW Obwalden    
  SH Schaffhausen    
  SZ Schwyz 6 Bezirke
  SO Solothurn 10 Bezirke
  SG St. Gallen 8 Wahlkreise
  TG Thurgau 8 Bezirke
  TI Ticino 8 distretti
  UR Uri    
  VS Valais 14 districts, Bezirke
  VD Vaud 19 districts
  ZG Zug    
  ZH Zürich 12 Bezirke
Total 159

Canton of Zürich

Districts of Zürich

The Canton of Zürich is divided into 12 districts (German: Bezirke). The city of Zürich is its own district.

District Capital
Affoltern Affoltern am Albis
Andelfingen Andelfingen
Bülach Bülach
Dielsdorf Dielsdorf
Dietikon Dietikon
Hinwil Hinwil
Horgen Horgen
Meilen Meilen
Pfäffikon Pfäffikon
Uster Uster
Winterthur Winterthur

Canton of Bern


There are 26 administrative districts in Berne

Districts of Canton Berne
District Capital
Aarberg Aarberg
Aarwangen Aarwangen
Bern Bern
Biel Biel
Büren Büren an der Aare
Burgdorf Burgdorf
Courtelary Courtelary
Erlach Erlach
Fraubrunnen Fraubrunnen
Frutigen Frutigen
Interlaken Interlaken
Konolfingen Konolfingen
Laupen Laupen
Moutier Moutier
La Neuveville La Neuveville
Nidau Nidau
Niedersimmental Wimmis
Oberhasli Meiringen
Obersimmental Blankenburg
Saanen Saanen
Schwarzenburg Schwarzenburg
Seftigen Belp
Signau Langnau im Emmental
Thun Thun
Trachselwald Trachselwald
Wangen Wangen an der Aare

Canton of Lucerne

Districts of Canton Lucerne

The Canton of Lucerne is divided into 5 districts termed Ämter:

District Capital
Amt Lucerne Lucerne
Amt Hochdorf Hochdorf
Amt Sursee Sursee
Amt Willisau Willisau
Amt Entlebuch Schüpfheim

Canton of Uri


Canton of Uri is not divided into districts: the municipality is the next lowest unit of government.

Canton of Schwyz


The Canton of Schwyz is divided into six districts and 30 municipalities, although the districts Einsiedeln, Küssnacht and Gersau simply comprise the municipality of the same name.

Districts of the Cantons of Schwyz
District Municipalities
Schwyz Schwyz, Arth, Ingenbohl, Muotathal, Steinen, Sattel, Rothenthurm, Oberiberg, Unteriberg, Lauerz, Steinerberg, Morschach, Alpthal, Illgau, Riemenstalden
Einsiedeln Einsiedeln
Gersau Gersau
Höfe Wollerau, Freienbach, Feusisberg
Küssnacht Küssnacht am Rigi
March Lachen, Altendorf, Galgenen, Vorderthal, Innerthal, Schübelbach, Tuggen, Wangen, Reichenburg

Canton of Obwalden


Obwalden is not divided into districts: the municipality is the next lowest unit of government. See: Obwalden.

Canton of Nidwalden


Nidwalden is not divided into districts.

Canton of Glarus


Canton of Glarus is not divided into districts: the municipality is the next lower unit of government.

Canton of Zug


Canton of Zug is not divided into districts.

Canton of Fribourg

Districts of canton Fribourg

The Canton of Fribourg is divided into 7 districts:

District Capital
Broye Estavayer-le-Lac
Glâne Romont
Gruyère Bulle
Saane Fribourg
See Murten
Sense Tafers
Veveyse Châtel-Saint-Denis

Canton of Solothurn

Districts of Canton Solothurn

From 2005, Solothurn's ten districts are combined in pairs into five electoral districts, called Amtei. From 2005, districts are only used for statistics.

District Electoral district
Bucheggberg Amtei Wasseramt-Bucheggberg
Dorneck Amtei Dorneck-Thierstein (unofficially Schwarzbubenland)
Gäu Amtei Thal-Gäu
Gösgen Amtei Olten-Gösgen (unofficially Niederamt)
Lebern Amtei Solothurn-Lebern
Olten Amtei Olten-Gösgen
Solothurn Amtei Solothurn-Lebern
Thal Amtei Thal-Gäu
Thierstein Amtei Dorneck-Thierstein
Wasseramt Amtei Wasseramt-Bucheggberg

Canton of Basel-City


Basel-City is not divided into districts. It is formed only of the city of Basel and two municipalities.

Canton of Basel-Country

districts of Canton Basel-Landschaft

There are 5 Bezirke in Basel-Landschaft:

District pop Capital Pop
Arlesheim 145 039 Arlesheim 8 944
Laufen 17 845 Laufen 5 039
Liestal 55 396 Liestal 12 817
Sissach 31 770 Sissach 5 569
Waldenburg 15 045 Waldenburg 1 280

Canton of Schaffhausen


The Canton of Schaffhausen used to be divided into 6 districts (Bezirke) until July 1999. The municipality is now the next lower unit of government.

Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden


Canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden is not divided into districts. The municipality is the next lower unit of government.

Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden

Districts of Appenzell Innerrhoden

The 6 Bezirke (districts) are the local government level. They are part of the municipalities:

District pop
Appenzell 5 587
Gonten 1 398
Oberegg 1 831
Rüte 3 036
Schlatt-Haslen 1 160
Schwende 2 094

Feuerschaugemeinde is a special-purpose municipality for firefighting, energy and water for the town Appenzell.

Canton of St. Gallen


The canton used to be subdivided into 14 districts (Bezirke) until 2003 January 1, when it was reorganised into 8 constituencies (Wahlkreise).

Canton of Graubünden

Districts of Canton Graubünden

Canton Graubünden is divided into 11 Districts. They tend to follow the natural boundaries of the landscape. The districts are further subdivided into 39 sub-districts (German: Kreise):

District Sub-districts
Albula Alvaschein, Belfort, Bergün and Surses
Bernina Brusio and Poschiavo
Hinterrhein Avers, Domleschg, Rheinwald, Schams and Thusis
Imboden Trins and Rhäzüns
Inn Ramosch, Sur Tasna, Suot Tasna and Val Müstair
Landquart Maienfeld and Fünf Dörfer
Maloja Bergell and Oberengadin
Moesa Calanca, Misox and Roveredo
Plessur Chur, Churwalden and Schanfigg
Prättigau/Davos Davos, Jenaz, Klosters, Küblis, Luzein, Schiers and Seewis
Surselva Disentis, Ilanz, Lumnezia/Lugnez, Ruis and Safien

Canton of Aargau

Districts in Aargau

Aargau is divided into 11 districts.

District Capital
Aarau Aarau
Baden Baden
Bremgarten Bremgarten
Brugg Brugg
Kulm Unterkulm
Laufenburg Laufenburg
Lenzburg Lenzburg
Muri Muri
Rheinfelden Rheinfelden
Zofingen Zofingen
Zurzach Zurzach

Canton of Thurgau

Districts of Canton Thurgau

The Canton of Thurgau is divided into eight districts. Each district is named after its capital.

District Capital
Steckborn Steckborn
Frauenfeld Frauenfeld
Kreuzlingen Kreuzlingen
Weinfelden Weinfelden
Bischofszell Bischofszell
Diessenhofen Diessenhofen
Münchwilen Münchwilen
Arbon Arbon

Canton of Ticino

Districts of Canton Ticino

The Canton of Ticino is divided into 8 districts (called distretti):

Canton of Vaud

Districts of Canton Vaud

Since 1803 the Canton of Vaud has been divided into 19 districts:

District Capital
Aigle Aigle
Aubonne Aubonne
Avenches Avenches
Cossonay Cossonay
Echallens Echallens
Grandson Grandson
Lausanne Lausanne
Lavaux Cully
Morges Morges
Moudon Moudon
Nyon Nyon
Orbe Orbe
Oron Oron
Payerne Payerne
Pays-d'Enhaut Château-d'Œx
Rolle Rolle
La Vallée Le Sentier (in Le Chenit)
Vevey Vevey
Yverdon Yverdon-les-Bains
Future districts of Canton Vaud

As of January 1, 2008, Vaud will be reorganized into the following districts:

Canton of Valais

Districts in Valais

The Canton of Valais is divided into 14 districts and half-districts:

See also: Valais Municipalities

Canton of Neuchâtel

Districts of Canton Neuchâtel

The Canton of Neuchâtel is divided into 6 districts which belong to 4 geographic regions:

District Capital
District of Neuchâtel Neuchâtel
District of Boudry Boudry
District of Val-de-Ruz Cernier
District of Val-de-Travers Môtiers
District of La Chaux-de-Fonds La Chaux-de-Fonds
District of Le Locle Le Locle

Canton of Geneva


The Canton of Geneva is not divided into districts. The municipality is the next level of government.

Canton of Jura

Districts in Canton of Jura

Canton Jura is divided into 3 districts:

District Capital
Delémont Delémont
Porrentruy Porrentruy
Franches-Montagnes Saignelégier