Full Name: Swiss Confederation
Capital City: Bern
Language Spoken: German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch 0.5%, other 2.8% (2000 census) note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national languages, but only the first three are official languages
Get travel insurance to Switzerland from Direct Travel Insurance. We offer low cost and high quality travel insurance to Switzerland and most of the world.
47 00 N, 8 00 E
lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 m highest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 m
total: 1,852 km border countries: Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km
avalanches, landslides, flash floods
hydropower potential, timber, salt
arable land: 9.91% permanent crops: 0.58% other: 89.51% (2005)
air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity
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. Required clothing Warm clothes and rainwear; lightweights for summer.
time difference: UTC+1 daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
7,523,934 (July 2006 est.)
0-14 years: 16.3% (male 637,585/female 591,297) 15-64 years: 68.1% (male 2,585,062/female 2,539,345) 65 years and over: 15.6% (male 480,198/female 690,447) (2006 est.)
total: 40.1 years male: 39 years female: 41.1 years (2006 est.)
0.43% (2006 est.)
9.71 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
8.49 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
3.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
total population: 80.51 years male: 77.69 years female: 83.48 years (2006 est.)
1.43 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Business people are expected to wear suits. Swiss businesspeople tend to be somewhat conservative in such things as dress and the formal use of family (rather than first) names. Although English is widely spoken, it is always appreciated if a visitor attempts to say a few words in French or German (depending on the host). When visiting a firm a visiting card is essential. Office hours are 0800-1200 and 1400-1700 Monday to Friday.
Switzerland has a low rate of violent crime. However, pick-pocketing and purse snatching do occur in the vicinity of train and bus stations, airports, and some public parks, especially during peak tourist periods (such as summer and Christmas) and when conferences, shows, or exhibits are scheduled in mayor cities. Travelers should exercise caution on trains, especially on overnight trains to neighboring countries. Thieves, who steal from passengers while they sleep, can enter even locked sleeping compartments. Parked cars may be vandalized for the purpose of stealing valuables left on the seats or locked in the trunk.
Hotels are of high quality and in high demand. Advance booking is advised.
Full telephone IDD service is available. The country code is 41 and the outgoing international code is 00. Fax facilities are available in all telegraph offices, most major hotels and post offices. Telecommunications is modern and, with the advent of deregulation, prices have dropped dramatically. . Post office hours: 0730-1200 and 1345-1830 Monday to Friday. Saturday closing is at 1100 except in major cities.
is a 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz.
Swiss cuisine is varied. The great specialty is fondue, a delicious concoction of Gruy?re and Vacherin cheese, melted and mixed with white wine, flour, Kirsch and a little garlic. Other cheese specialties are Emmental and T?te de Moine. Pork sausages or salami come in a variety of local recipes including Beinwurst, Engadinerwurst, Kalbsleberwurst (calf's liver p?t?), Knackerli, Landj?ger and Leberwurst (p?t?). A great variety of Swiss wines are available throughout the country. Swiss beer of a lager type is also available. Bottled mineral water is an accepted beverage, with local brands including Henniez. Things to know: Bars/cocktail lounges have table and/or counter service. Although there are many self-service snack bars, table service is normal. National specialties
? Viande s?ch?e (dried beef or pork) from Valais and the Grisons where it is called B?ndnerfleisch, served with spring or pickled onions.
? Papet vaudoir (leeks and potatoes).
? Pieds de porc (pigs' feet).
? R?sti (shredded fried potatoes).
? Fondue Bourguignonne (cubed meat with various sauces).
? Leckerli (spiced honey cakes topped with icing sugar, decorated in Bern with a white sugar bear).
? Fasnachtk?chli (sugar-dusted pastries eaten during Carnival).
? Gugelhopf (a type of sponge cake with a hollow center).
? Schaffhausen (cream-filled cakes). National drinks
? Beer, Kirsch, Marc, Pfl?mli and Williams (spirits).
A service charge is included in all hotel, restaurant, cafe, bar, taxi and hairdressing services by law; further gratuities are not usually required.
Most major towns and resorts have nightclubs or discos with music and dancing, sometimes serving food. There are also cinemas and theaters, and some bars and restaurants have local folk entertainment.
Note :The regulations below also apply to Liechtenstein (no border control between the two countries); Passengers arriving at Basle or Geneva airports can enter either France or Switzerland, provided their documents for the country of entry are in order; both airports have two different exits, one to France and one to Switzerland. Therefore passengers can exit to the French part of the airport with a valid French or Schengen visa, if required; The airport of B asle/Mulhouse is located on French territory; Part of Geneva airport is located by convention in France and some flights between France and Geneva are considered as domestic flights while others are considered international flights. In this case, passengers must hold proper entry documents for either of the destination countries. Passport/Visa * Please see passport section
Passport valid for three months after intended period of stay required by all except:
(a) 1. nationals of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and the UK holding a valid national identity card, providing not taking up employment and for stay up to three months;
(b) 2. foreigners holding national Identity Cards issued by the Governments of Belgium, France or Luxembourg, provided they are resident in one of these countries.
(c) 3. nationals of Austria, Belgium, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino and Spain with normal passports, expired for up to five years, providing not taking up employment and for stay up to three months;
(d) 4. nationals of Germany with passports expired for up to one year;
(e) nationals of Liechtenstein who may enter Switzerland without valid identity papers.
Required by all except the following for stays of up to three months:
(a) nationals of countries referred to in the chart above;
(b) nationals of countries in South and North/Central America, including nationals of Caribbean island/West Indies states (except nationals of Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti and Peru who do need a visa);
(c) nationals of Andorra, Brunei, Bulgaria, Croatia, Fiji, Hong Kong (SAR), Iceland, Israel, Kiribati, Korea (Rep), Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Tuvalu and Vatican City;
(d) nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan (China, PR), Thailand and United Arab Emirates, if in possession of passport valid for three months after leaving Switzerland, endorsed with a valid multiple-entry Schengen visa (valid for all Schengen states);
(e) nationals in direct transit traveling within 48 hours providing they hold all valid documents, except nationals of certain countries (see note).
Note: Stateless persons require a transit visa at all times. Nationals of Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Congo (Dem Rep), Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Turkey require a transit visa unless they hold a visa or residence permit for an EU country, Canada, Iceland, Norway or the USA.
Tourists and business visitors who travel repeatedly to Switzerland but stay less than three months each time must apply for a residence permit if their total stay exceeds six months within a period of twelve months.
Tourist; Visitor; Business; Transit; Airport Transit. All visas cost US$43 (to be paid in cash only).
Three months. Transit visas: 48 hours.
Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy responsible for place of residence; see Passport/Visa Information) not more than three months before planned entry. Visa applications must be made in person; postal applications are not accepted.
Tourist: (a) Valid passport or travel document valid for three months after the intended visit to Switzerland. (b) One completed application form. (c) One recent passport-size photo (three for student visas). (d) Fee, payable in cash only. (e) Travel ticket to/from or via Switzerland to final destination. (f) Proof of sufficient funds in the form of a recent bank statement/travelers' cheques (?50 per day, ?25 for students). (g) Hotel reservation. Transit: (a)-(e) and, (f) Proof of flight with an airline licensed in Switzerland. (i) Visa(s) for ongoing destination(s). (j) Valid ticket for the whole journey to the destination. Visitor: (a)-(e) and, (f) Invitation letter from Swiss resident sent directly to the Embassy, with a copy of their Swiss Passport/ID card or Resident Permit. In special cases, a 'declaration of guarantee' might be required which has to be approved by the Swiss authorities. Business: (a)-(e) and, (f) Invitation from Swiss company sent directly to the Embassy. Student: (a)-(f) and, (g) Student identity card or letter from university/college.
Visas may be issued within 24 hours, but travelers are advised to apply at least one week prior to departure and no earlier than three months before proposed travel. Some applications may need to be referred to the Swiss authorities, which can take six to eight weeks for approval.
Nationals of most European and some other countries do not require a visa if they intend to take up employment or residence in Switzerland; however, before entry they must obtain an Assurance of a Residence Permit from their employer in Switzerland.
No Test Required
16-18 Montagu Place, London W1H 2BQ, UK
Tel: (020) 7616 6000 or (09065) 508 909 (recorded visa information).
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1200 (for personal visa applications).
2900 Cathedral Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 745 7900.
Most visits to Switzerland are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:
Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Swiss Franc (CHF) = 100 rappen or centimes. Notes are in denominations of CHF1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of CHF5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centimes. Eurocheques Eurocheques are no longer guaranteed and and can not be accepted for encashments but may be useable for payments without the guarantee.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currencies.
Personal cheques within the Eurocheque system are accepted. ATMs provide a convenient means of obtaining Swiss Francs. There are Bureaux de Change at train stations and banks.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other facilities which may be available.
Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Euro or Swiss Franc cheques are accepted at airports, railway stations and banks. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in Pounds Sterling, Euros or US Dollars.
|City/Region||City/Area code||Followed by|
|Baden||(0)56||+ 7 digits|
|Basel||(0)61||+ 7 digits|
|Bellinzona||(0)91||+ 7 digits|
|Bern||(0)31||+ 7 digits|
|Biel, Neuchatel, Solothurn, Jura||(0)32||+ 7 digits|
|Burgdorf, Langnau i.E.||(0)34||+ 7 digits|
|Chur||(0)81||+ 7 digits|
|Fribourg||(0)26||+ 7 digits|
|Gen?ve||(0)22||+ 7 digits|
|Lausanne||(0)21||+ 7 digits|
|Luzern||(0)41||+ 7 digits|
|Olten||(0)62||+ 7 digits|
|Rapperswil||(0)55||+ 7 digits|
|Sion||(0)27||+ 7 digits|
|St. Gallen||(0)71||+ 7 digits|
|Switserland||(0)51||+ 7 digits|
|Thun||(0)33||+ 7 digits|
|Winterthur||(0)52||+ 7 digits|
|Yverdon, Aigle||(0)24||+ 7 digits|
|Z?rich||(0)44||+ 7 digits|
High quality dental care is available in Switzerland
Supplies of international medications are generally available from both the hospitals and private pharmacies in Switzerland. Pharmacists have to have a current licence
Blood supplies are considered as safe, collected from volunteer donors and screened to international standards
Good medical care is widely available.
Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary.
The Fohn, a dry south wind that passes over the Alps changing the air pressure, has an enervating and otherwise unpleasant effect on some people. Hikers should take protective measures against ticks.
All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.
The incidence of communicable diseases in most areas is such that they are unlikely to prove a hazard to the international traveler greater than that found in his own country. There are, of course, health risks, but in most areas the precautions required are minimal. Lyme disease occurs. High levels of immunization coverage have reduced the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Influenza risk extends from November to April.
No recent disease outbreaks
|Andreasklinik||Rigistrasse 1 CH-6630 Cham|
|Bethesda Spital Basel (SLH Group)||Gellertstrasse 144 Basel 4020|
|Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV)||Rue du Bugnon 46 Lausanne 1011|
|Clinic Permanence||Bumplizstrasse 83 CH3018 Bern|
|Clinic Sonnenhof||Buchserstrasse 30 Bern 3006|
|Clinique Bois-Cerf||Avenue D'Ouchy 31 CH-1006 Lausanne|
|Clinique Cecil||Avenue Ruchonnet 53 CH-1003 Lausanne|
|Clinique de la Source Lausanne (SLH group)||Avenue Vinet 30 Lausanne 1004|
|Clinique Generale Beaulieu (SLH Group)||Chemin Beau-Soleil 20 Geneva 1206|
|Clinique la Metairie||Av. du Bois-Bougy Nyon CH-1260|
|Clinique Vert-Pre||15, Chemin de la Colombe CH 1231 Conches Switzerland|
|Columbia Hopital de la Tour||3 Avenue J.D. Maillard Geneva 1217|
|Hirslanden Clinic||Witellikerstrasse 40 Zurich CH-8029|
|Hirslanden Klinik Aarau||Schanisweg CH-5001 Aarau|
|Hopital de la Providence||Av. de la Prairie 3 Vevey 1800|
|Hopital de la Tour||3 Avenue J.D Maillard Meyrin 1217|
|H?pital de la Tour||La Tour SA Avenue J.-D. Maillard 3 CH - 1217 Meyrin Geneva|
|Hopital Universitaire de Gen?ve (HUG)||Rue Micheli-du-Crest 24 Geneva 1205|
|Im Park Clinic||Seestrasse 220 Zurich CH-8027|
|Inselspital Academic Health Center||ISL International Service Line CH-3010 Bern|
|Inselspital Universit?tskliniken Bern||Inselspital Bern Freiburg Strasse Bern 3010|
|Kantonsspital Basel Universit?tskliniken (Canton & University Hospital)||Kantonsspital Basel Universit?tskliniken Basel Basel 4031|
|Kantonsspital Nidwalden||Ennetmooserstr. 19 Stans 6370|
|Kantonsspital Sankt Galle||Rorschacherstr.95 St.Gallen 9007|
|Klinik Am Rosenberg||Hasenbuhlstrasse 11 CH-9410 Heiden|
|Klinik Beau-Site||Schanzlihalde 11 CH-3013 Bern|
|Klinik Belair||Randenstrasse 59 Schaffhausen 8021|
|Klinik Birshof||Reinacherstrasse 28 Munchenstein 4142|
|Klinik Gut St. Moritz (SLH Group)||Via Arona, 34 St Moritz 7500|
|Klinik Hirslanden||Witellikerstrasse 40 CH-8029 Zurich|
|Klinik Im Park||Seestrasse 220 CH-8027 Zurich|
|Klinik Im Schachen Aarau||Schanisweg Aarau 5001|
|Klinik Lindberg Wintherthur (SLH Group)||Schickstrasse 11 Winterthur 8400|
|Klinik Linde AG Biel/ Clinique des Tilleuls (SLH Group||Blumenrain 105 / Cr?t des Fleurs 105 Biel / Bienne 2503|
|Klinik Permanence||Bumpizstrasse 83 Bern|
|Klinik Pyramide am See Zurich (SLH Group)||Bellerivestrasse 34 Z?rich 8034|
|Klinik Schloss Mammern (SLH Group)||Mammern 8265 Zurich|
|Klinik Sonnehof Bern (SLH Group)||Buchserstrasse 30 Bern 3006|
|Klinik St. Anna Luzern (SHL Group)||St Anna strasse 32 Luzern 6006|
|Klinik Villa im Park Rothrist (SLH Group)||Bernstrasse 84 Rothrist 4852|
|Merian Iselin Spital Basel (SLH Group)||F?hrenstrasse 2 Basel 4009|
|Ospedale Civico||Via Tesserete 46 Lugano 6900|
|Privatklinik Bethanien Z?rich (SLH Group)||Toblerstrasse 51 Z?rich 8044|
|Salem-Spital||Schanzlistrasse 39 CH-3000 Bern 25|
|Schulthess Clinic||Lengghalde 2 Zurich CH-8008|
|Sonnenhof Clinic Sonnenland||Saanen-Gstaad 3792|
|Universit?tsspital Zurich (University Hospital)||R?mistrasse 100 Zurich 8091|
|Zuger Kantonsspital||Artherstrasse 27 Zug CH-6300|
The main broadcaster in Switzerland is the public Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. It operates seven TV networks and 18 radio stations. Most of its funding comes from license fee revenues, while a smaller proportion comes from TV advertising. Private TV and radio stations operate in the regions. Television stations from France, Germany and Italy are widely available, thanks in part to the very high take-up of multi-channel cable and satellite TV. Some German commercial broadcasters provide tailored versions of their channels for the Swiss market. Switzerland's press operates to a large extent along regional lines which reflect the country's linguistic divisions.
Press: The high level of interest in local politics throughout Switzerland has led to a large number of regional newspapers. However, the most popular dailies are Corriere del Ticino (Lugano-based), Le Temps (Geneva-based), La Tribune de Geneve (Geneva-based), Neue Z?rcher Zeitung (Zurich-based), and Tages-Anzeiger Z?rich (Zurich-based). European and international newspapers in English, including The Herald Tribune and USA Today, are also widely available.
Radio: SR-DRS, the German-language public broadcaster, operates five stations; RSR, the French-language public broadcaster, has four stations; RSI, Italian-language public broadcaster broadcasts from three stations; RR, finally, is a Rumansch-language public radio station.
TV: In addition to the Swiss public broadcaster, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, there is SF-DRS, a German-language public broadcaster that operates three channels; RTSI, an Italian-language public broadcaster with two channels; and TSR, a French-language public broadcaster that similarly operates two channels.
UK Customer Services0330 880 3600
Open Mon - Fri 8:30am - 6pm.
Sat 8:30am - 4pm.
(Calls may be monitored or recorded)
Contact details can be found in your policy documentation
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