Even though Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, entry requirements are..Travel Health
Switzerland is considered to be one of the worlds safest places to visit, with no endemic..Local Currency
The currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc (CHF), or Franken or franco, depending on..Weather
Switzerland’s climate is temperate, with regional variations due to altitude. The..Local Customs
Being surrounded by other European cultures, Switzerland has always had a diverse and..Languages
Switzerland does not have its own language. Instead, there are four officially recognised..Transport Options
There are three major international airports in Switzerland located in the major centres..Travel Tips
Be aware that most shops in Switzerland will not open on Sunday due to employment..Local Food
A wide range of products characterise Swiss food, with distinct regional variations..Local Timezones
Switzerland is in the Central European Timezone, being one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean..Dutyfree Limits
Visitors over the age of 17 from European countries may import the following items..
Being surrounded by other European cultures, Switzerland has always had a diverse and interesting mix of culture, customs and language. Swiss people make up 78% of the population, with the remainder coming mainly from other European countries, especially Italy. The culture, although distinctly Swiss, has been strongly influenced by neighbouring countries, especially in regions close to the borders.
The more classical Swiss culture can mainly be found in the centre of the country where there has been less influence from other countries. Here is where you are more likely to hear flugelhorns and yodeling, set against spectacular mountain scenes. Traditional farming culture also thrives throughout much of rural Switzerland, especially the centre. The south-east region is known for its outdoor cafes and Italian-style plazas. A distinctly French feel permeates the culture in the south-west, while the north-east is known for its sausages and beer, consumed in great quantities by the German-speaking Swiss of this area. Tourism adds other dynamics to the Swiss culture. A high energy skiing culture is experienced in many of the mountain areas during winter, evolving into a more laid-back recreational culture of hiking and camping in the summer months.
Tourists tend to find the Swiss friendly and welcoming, despite the fact that they are often considered a reserved and quiet people. The Swiss pride themselves on their long history of peace and human rights policies, and they have a deep respect for tradition and a strong national pride. Tourists are encouraged to try and speak the language of the area they are visiting, although most Swiss people speak English. In the French and Italian-speaking regions, two or three kisses on alternate cheeks are customary when meeting a Swiss person.
However, in the German-speaking areas, a handshake is the usual greeting gesture. Punctuality is a highly regarded attribute in Switzerland, as are cleanliness and orderliness, with an emphasis on recycling and sustainability.
Tipping is not customary in Switzerland as most bills already include a 15% service charge. However, porters at hotels and railway stations will expect a franc or two for their trouble. Haggling and bartering do not occur in Switzerland, although persuasive tourists have been known to receive a discount on their room in the low season.
Zürich is top for leisure and pleasure. Gentle hills, peaceful woods, the unpolluted lakes and rivers, picturesque..Interlaken Information
Interlaken lies in the Bernese Oberland on an alluvial plain, between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. The vacation..Lucerne Information
Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland, sited on Lake Lucerne, is embedded within an impressive mountainous..INDEX OF ALL LOCATIONS