Switzerland is a landlocked alpine country of roughly 7.6 million people in Western Europe, consisting of 26 states called cantons. Berne is the seat of the federal authorities, while the country's economic centres are its three global cities, Zurich, Geneva, and Basel. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product. Z&uu ...ml;rich and Geneva have respectively been ranked as having the first and second highest quality of life in the world. It is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland has a long history of neutrality—it has not been at war since 1815—and hosts many international organizations, including the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization and one of the U.N.'s two European offices. However, it is not a member of the European Union. Switzerland is multilingual and has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The establishment of Switzerland is traditionally dated to 1 August 1291.Show More
American and Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 90 days beyond the intended return date in order to enter and depart the country. Tourists must also provide proof of return or onward travel. Each traveler is responsible for ensuring that his/her passport is up to date. Citizens of other nationalities should check with respective authorities before departure.
Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from your original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed up the replacement process should you lose your passport.
U.S. and Canadian citizens may enter for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Citizens from other countries may require a valid visa. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Switzerland for the most up-to-date visa information.
Cancelation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended as it can safeguard against the expenses associated with in-country medical emergencies, lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty medical bill. Insurance can be purchased through us.
We always recommend that you see a doctor or health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. They will best determine your vaccination and medication needs based on your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, planned activities and up-to-the-minute requirement changes. For all vaccinations and health requirements, we also recommend that you consult the World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov.
If there are any medical items that are essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items.
Allergies & Dietary Needs
If you have any health or dietary needs that we should be aware about, please contact us and give us details so that we might help in case of an emergency. For those guests with specific dietary requirements, please ensure that we are notified prior to your arrival so we can pass on the information to airlines or any suppliers providing meals. We can accommodate most reasonable requests.
The Alps cause many climatic variations throughout Switzerland. In the higher Alpine regions temperatures tend to be low, while the lower land of the northern area has higher temperatures and warm summers. Overall the hottest months are July and August, though these are also the busiest. Those looking to ski should visit Switzerland between December and April, when snow is good in the Alps. The months of May and September are great times to visit for those looking for sunny and mild days, but without the throngs of tourists.
Electricity in Switzerland is supplied at 220 to 240 volts. Swiss sockets are designed to accept two round prongs. Some sockets will take the plugs with large prongs only; others will take the ones with small prongs. A multi-adaptor with different plug configurations can be very useful. We advise not to bring a hair dryer as it could blow a fuse.
Phone: Roaming charges vary between carriers, but tend to be quite costly. Consult your phone provider prior to departure to discuss overseas rates and international package options. It is also possible to purchase a SIM card locally to avoid international charges when calling numbers within Switzerland. (You should check to see that your cell phone is SIM card compatible.)
Internet: Wireless access is available in most urban areas, airports and hotels. You’ll find Internet cafés throughout Switzerland.
Remember to pack sufficient memory cards, zoom lens, a spare camera battery and charger, and dust-resistant case.
Generally speaking, we advise bringing 70-100CHF per day, per person, for spending money. Be sure to bring lots of small bills for porters, wait staff and housekeeping (not obligatory and based on your satisfaction). Swiss Franc (CHF) banknotes come in denominations of (10, 20, 50, 100, 200 & 1000). There are also Swiss Franc coins: 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1, 2 and 5 franc.
We recommend that you get local currency from your bank before you leave home or from a bank machine in-country which is much cheaper than an exchange service at the airport or in tourist areas. Your bank card may work, but Visa or MasterCard are more widely accepted. You will need a 4-digit PIN to be able to use your cards in Europe.
Language: French, German, Italian, Romansh
Currency: Swiss Franc
Religion: Roman Catholic is the prominent religion
Time Zone: UTC +1 hour
Electricity: 220 - 240 volts
Telephone: Country code for calling outside Switzerland is 41
Calling North America: Dial 001 and your 10 digit number 011 + 41 + ###-####
Emergency numbers in Belgium: Ambulance: 144; Police: 117; Fire: 118