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The Rhine in Basel   Some important European rivers flow in Switzerland, first of all the Rhine, which originates right in the Swiss mountains, despite the total territory occupied by this state on the continent is only about 0.4%.

   Other rivers of good length, but which have only the initial part of their course in Switzerland are the Rhone, which flows into the Mediterranean and the Inn, a tributary of the Danube; particular case the Doubs, which instead only crosses the Swiss territory, while the first and last stretch are in France.

   The longest river to flow entirely on Swiss territory is the Aare, the largest tributary of the Rhine in its initial part and into which it flows near the border with Germany, in the Canton of Aargau; most of the other watercourses are part of the catchment area of this watercourse or directly of the Rhine itself.


River Length (km) Length (mi) Mouth Cantons
Rhine (1) 1,320 Km 820 mi North Sea Grisons, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Schaffhausen, Zürich, Aargau, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt
Rhone (2) 812 km 505 mi Mediterranean Sea Valais, Vaud, Geneva
Inn (3) 510 km 317 mi Danube Grisons
Doubs (4) 453 km 281 mi Saône Neuchatel, Jura
Aare 288 km 179 mi Rhine Bern, Solothurn, Aargau
Ticino (5) 248 km 154 mi Po Ticino
Reuss 164 km 102 mi Aare Ticino, Uri, Lucerne, Aargau, Zug, Zürich
Linth-Limmat 140 km 87 mi Aare Glarus, St. Gallen, Schwyz, Zürich, Aargau
Thur 135 km 84 mi Rhine St. Gallen, Thurgau, Zürich
Sarine 126 km 78 mi Aare Valais, Bern, Vaud, Fribourg
Arve (6) 108 km 67 mi Rhone Geneva
Broye 89 km 55 mi Lake Neuchâtel Fribourg, Vaud, Bern, Neuchatel
Emme 82 km 51 mi Aare Bern, Lucerne, Solothurn
Birs 75 km 47 mi Rhine Bern, Jura, Basel-Landschaft, Solothurn, Basel-Stadt


(1) The Swiss stretch is 375 km long and along its course it serves for many kilometers as a border with 3 countries, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany; it has two spring branches, the Anterior Rhine and the Posterior Rhine, which join together at Reichenau, with the first considered as the main stream.
(2) Swiss portion of 264 kilometers; its source is the homonymous glacier, in the Bernese Alps.
(3) Swiss stretch of 104 km, corresponding to the initial part of its course.
(4) Originates in France, it first form the border and then enters Switzerland entirely for a total of 75 km, before returning again to transalpine territory.
(5) In Switzerland it flows for 91 kilometers, in the initial part of its course, up to Lake Maggiore.
(6) The Swiss stretch is just 8.5 km, just before the confluence in the Rhone.