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Switzerland: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to Switzerland. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Do I need to get a visa?

To enter Switzerland, visas are not currently required by citizens of US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia for stays of up to 90 says.

Citizens of other countries, such as China and India, have to obtain visas prior to arrival in Switzerland. If your itinerary crosses into other countries, please bear in mind that you may need visas for these.

Please ensure that you have sufficient blank visa pages (not endorsement pages) in your passport, with at least 2 consecutive/side by side blank pages. It is also important that your passport if valid for at least six months after your intended departure.

What currency should I bring?

The Swiss franc (CHF) is the only official currency in Switzerland (and in Liechtenstein). The Franc is the only currency accepted everywhere. The Euro is the currency in the neighbouring countries Germany, France, Italy and Austria, and in many other European countries.

Nevertheless, you can pay with Euros in many shops, hotels, rail stations and gas stations in Switzerland. This is convenient if you’re only in transit or only stay for one night. Many smaller shops, market stalls, kiosks, etc. only allow payment in Swiss Francs. Note that the Euro is a foreign currency in Switzerland, so accepting it results in extra costs and risks for shop owners. Therefore, if you pay with Euros, change will be in Swiss francs and the exchange rate is mostly not in your favor. For longer stays, it is cheaper and more convenient to have Swiss francs at hand.

Will I need travel insurance?

It is vital that you take out valid comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical repatriation, cancellation and curtailment for you trip to Europe. This gives you peace of mind that you will not lose money should you be forced to cancel your trip due to illness before you travel or during your vacation.

Please ensure that your insurance covers you for medical evacuation and repatriation both internationally and locally, and we advise that your policy covers loss and theft of your possessions. It is your responsibility to ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all aspects of your vacation. You must ensure that you will be covered for activities such as walking, rafting, canoeing and horse riding.

Remember to carry your insurance details with you at all times.

Tipping

You never have to worry about tipping in Switzerland, as tips are included in the price. You can, however, add a smile to the face of someone who has provided good service by rounding up to the nearest franc or round figure.

What is the weather like in Switzerland?

The climate is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity.

From July to August the daytime temperature range is 18 to 28 °C (65° – 82° F) and from January to February the range is -2 to 7 °C (28° – 45° F). In spring and autumn, the daytime temperature range is 8 to 15 °C (46° – 59° F).

Depending on the altitude the temperature range may vary. It is highly recommended to visitors to pack a sweater, good walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, a compact umbrella and/or a light rain coat.

Seasons:

The seasons are clearly distinguishable. In autumn (September to November), the fruit ripens and the leaves of deciduous trees change colour.

The winters were formerly generally cold and snowy, but now freezing temperatures and snow are no longer the rule, especially in the lowlands. Nowadays, many ski resorts could hardly survive without artificial snow.

In spring (March to May) the trees blossom and the meadows turn green. Sometimes in April the winter returns for a short period and sometimes there are summer conditions as early as May.

Summer temperatures rise to 25 to 30°C (77° – 86° F) , with temperatures exceeding the 30°C mark during hot summers.

What electrical plugs are used?

The voltage in Switzerland, as in most of Europe, is 230V/50 Hz.

Switzerland uses type C (2-pin) and Type J (3-pin) plugs. (Type C 2-pin plugs also fit J sockets.)

Most power sockets are designed for three pin round plugs. The standard continental type plug with two round pins, applied for many electrical travel products, may be used without problems. Adaptors are available in most hotels.

What is transport like in Switzerland?

With a reliable, efficient, clean and safe public transport network, it is easy to get around without a car in Switzerland. Train, tram and bus networks cover the entire country, and there are also extensive cycling routes, with bicycles easy to organise.

Buses, boats, trams, trains, and cable cars are all part of a coordinated and well organised infrastructure, with information and timetables available online and from tourism information centres.

Switzerland is one of the most environmentally conscious nations in the world, so being green is an integral part of life.

Taxi travel in Switzerland is expensive; a reflection on the high cost of living that affects Switzerland’s taxi drivers along with other residents.

Taxi tariffs are generally based on a flat fee plus a rate per kilometre, with waiting charges where applicable. Surcharges apply for any luggage handling and for fitting of the mandatory car seat for small children.

Occasionally there are reports of visitors being scammed by drivers taking a longer than necessary route.

You will find taxi ranks at public transport hubs or can book by phone. Some companies have websites where you can request a call back to book your taxi free of charge.

Uber taxis are operating in Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich.