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Switzerland

Capital
Bern
Time Zone
GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 during the summer)
Telephone Services
Country Code: 41 Outgoing Code: 00
Emergency Telephone Numbers
Ambulance – 144, Police – 117, Fire – 118
Tourist Information
Switzerland Tourism, Swiss Centre, Swiss Court, London W1V 8EE Tel: (020) 7734 1921 Fax: (020) 7437 4577.
Passport Information
Passport valid for 6 months after intended period of stay required by all except: Nationals of Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain holding a national ID card. Nationals of Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, and San Marino holding a national ID card. Return Ticket Required. Requirements may be subject to change at short notice. Contact the relevant authority before travelling.
Visa Information
Required by all except: Nationals of Australia, Canada, USA, EU, Japan. Nationals of countries in South and Central America (except nationals of Belize and Peru who need a visa). Nationals of Caribbean Island States (except nationals of the Dominican Republic and Haiti who do need a visa). Nationals of Andorra, Brunei, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Fiji, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Kiribati, South Korea, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Tuvalu and Vatican City. Nationals of Bosnia – Herzegovina, Croatia, Turkey and Yugoslavia, providing they are resident in Canada, EU, USA, or EFTA countries.
Health Information
No information is available at present. Please seek medical advice prior to travel.
Food & Drink
Water is considered drinkable, normal precautions should be observed with food.
Currency
Swiss Franc (Sfr) = 100 rappen or centimes Exchange: Eurocheques are accepted
Major credit cards are accepted. Travellers cheques are accepted at airports, railway stations and banks. Cheques in Swiss francs are preferred
ATM availability: Over 4000 locations
Cost of Living
Relatively expensive. Prices vary according to popularity of the resort
Languages
Mostly German in Central and Eastern parts. French in the West, some Italian in the South. Raeto-Romansch is spoken in the Southeast by 1%. English is spoken by many
Weather
Climate varies throughout Switzerland. In the Alpine regions the temperatures tend to be low. The lower land of the Northern areas has higher temperatures and warmer summers
Electricity
220 volts AC 50 Hz
Post
3 days. Poste Restante facilities available at post offices
Transport
ROAD: Many mountain roads are closed during the winter because of poor driving conditions. Road quality is generally good but mountain roads can be narrow and winding. RAIL: Often more efficient than driving. Excellent services are provided. Cheap fares are available through the ‘Swiss Pass’ and leaflets and timetables are available from the railway company. BUS: Postal motor coaches provide services to even the remotest villages but few long distance coaches are permitted to operate. TAXI: All taxis are metered although it is advisable to agree the fare in advance. CAR HIRE: All the major companies are present. DOCUMENTATION: A national driving licence is sufficient. ‘Green card’ is recommended.
Special Information
This is a very law abiding nation. Dropping litter can cause offence. Don’t give Chrysanthemums or white Asters to a host as they are considered to be funeral flowers. Many cultures overlap in Switzerland.