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SWITZERLAND            Europe Enquiry Form
   
     
 
                                                           

The history of Switzerland may be traced back to the 13th century with the first alliances of villages around Lucerne. Centuries of cooperation have resulted in today’s Switzerland, a modern, democratic nation in the heart of Europe where quality, efficiency and precision are the norm.

This chocolate-box picture country is a tourist’s delight with pristine snow covered slopes in the magnificent Alps beckoning the adventurous. Visit the world famous resorts of Zermatt, St. Moritz or Gstaad and sample the jet set life.

Switzerland holiday

Crystal clear waters of the deep lakes around the many picturesque Swiss villages attract water lovers. Museums, galleries, traditional festivals and pageants give an insight into multicultural Switzerland where four languages and their cultures combine.

The bustling city of Zurich, the banking capital of the world, is a mix of old and new and Geneva, situated on Lac Leman is closely associated with the United Nations and its international population. Berne, the capital of this beautiful country, is host to the Houses of Parliament and many other historic sights. In central Switzerland, Lucerne with its many historic houses decorated with frescoes, is renowned for its ancient covered wooden bridge adorned with gable paintings, the famed ‘dying’ Lion Monument and the 112 metre long Bourbaki panorama, a mammoth circular painting. 

                                                           
Switzerland holiday
 

No trip to Switzerland would be complete without shopping. Exquisite gold jewellery and outstanding gems, magnificent timepieces including the traditional cuckoo clock, fine chocolate and much more are available in the many typical Swiss shops throughout the country. 

Major Regions & Cities
Geneva                                        Zurich
Bernese Oberland                         Swiss Alps

                                                           

WEATHER    Back to top

The temperature is moderate with no extremes of hot and cold, so Switzerland can be visited at anytime of year. Summer is warm lasting from about June to September, and although good for outdoor activities it is also the most crowded time for a holiday. Ski resorts open in late November and remain so until the snow begins to melt in April.

Zurich

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rainfall (mm)

61

60

68

85

101

127

128

124

98

83

71

71

Rainfall (inches)

2.4

2.4

2.7

3.3

4.0

5.0

5.0

4.9

3.9

3.3

2.8

2.8

Min Temp (°C)

-3

-2

1

4

8

12

13

13

10

6

2

-1

Max Temp (°C)

2

5

10

15

19

23

25

24

20

14

7

3

Min Temp (°F)

26

28

34

39

46

54

55

55

50

43

36

30

Max Temp (°F)

36

41

50

59

66

73

77

75

68

57

44

37



Geneva

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rainfall (mm)

55

53

60

63

76

81

72

90

91

90

81

66

Rainfall (inches)

2.2

2.1

2.4

2.5

3.0

3.2

2.8

3.5

3.6

3.6

3.2

2.6

Min Temp (°C)

-1

-1

2

4

8

17

13

13

10

6

2

0

Max Temp (°C)

4

6

10

13

18

22

25

25

20

14

8

5

Min Temp (°F)

30

30

36

39

46

62

55

55

50

43

36

32

Max Temp (°F)

39

43

50

55

64

72

77

77

68

57

46

41



                                                           
GOOD TO KNOW    Back to top

Time: Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).

Electricity: Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Plugs are of the linear, rounded three-pin type, but rounded two-pin lugs will fit the outlet.


Money: The official currency is the Swiss franc (CHF) divided into 100 centimes. Although not part of the EU many prices are nonetheless indicated in Euros and some merchants may accept Euros. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted and ATMs are widespread; many are equipped with the Cirrus or Maestro system. Banks offer the best exchange rates for travellers cheques and foreign currency, but it is also possible to exchange money at major hotels, main train stations and airports. Banks are open Monday to Friday.

Approximate Currency Exchange Rates

CHF 1.00 =

USD 0.81

GBP 0.44

CAD 0.92

AUD 1.08

ZAR 5.80

EUR 0.64

NZD 1.33

Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only. Please go to our Currency Converter for the latest rates.

Switzerland holiday
Switzerland holiday


Language: The three official languages are Swiss German, French and Italian. A few people speak Romansch, but this is confined to the south-eastern corner of the country. Most people know at least three languages, including English.

Passport/Visa Note: Travellers must have all documents necessary for their next destination and passports or passport replacing documents must be valid at least 3 months beyond period of stay.

Health: Swiss medical facilities and health care are among the best in the world, but very expensive and health insurance is recommended. Immunisation certificates are only required if the traveller has been in an infected area within two weeks prior to arrival in the country. There is a reciprocal health agreement with the UK and most EU countries, whose citizens are entitled to free emergency medical treatment on presentation of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Medical insurance is advised for other nationalities. A duck on Lake Geneva was confirmed to have died from the deadly strain of bird flu and tests are being carried out in other parts of the country on dead birds, but no human infections have been reported. The risk to travellers from bird flu is very low, but close contact with live birds should be avoided, and all poultry and egg dishes well cooked as a precaution.

Tipping: A 15% service charge is normally included in all hotel, taxi, bar and restaurant bills, and further tipping is not necessary, but is appreciated for outstanding service.
 
Safety: Switzerland has a low crime rate compared to other European countries and is generally a safe country to travel in; however there has been a recent increase in petty theft and visitors should be alert to pickpockets and thieves, particularly in the city centres and on public transport. Be aware of robberies on overnight trains.

Business: For business meetings wear suits and be punctual. English is widely spoken. Shake hands at the start and end of the meeting. Always use titles when addressing people until invited to drop this formality. German-speakers use Herr (Mr) and Frau (Mrs) followed by the surname, French speakers tend to use monsieur and madame, and Italian speakers tend to use signore and signora. Business hours are 8am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm.

Communications: The international country dialling code for Switzerland is +41. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Switzerland also has area codes which must be dialled, even when calling from within the same area. Mobile phone GSM 1800 and 900 networks operate throughout the country. Visitors who wish to use a prepaid sim card from Swisscom Mobile (NATEL easy) will be required to register with the service provider and produce identification. Internet cafes are available in the main towns and resorts; some public phone booths also have internet and email access.

Duty Free: Travellers to Switzerland over 17 years do not have to pay duty on the following items: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 2 litres alcohol up to 15% and 1 litre alcohol over 15%. The maximum allowance of wine is 20 litres, but duty will be payable on this quantity. A reasonable amount of personal effects and gifts (including perfume) to the value of Sfr 200 for residents of Switzerland and Sfr 100 for other travellers. Restricted items include meat and meat products from selected countries. Prohibited items include firearms and ammunition without prior permission for regional police departments; also prohibited are absinth and anaesthetics.

 

                                                           
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