Visiting

Business hours

Businesses are usually open from 8.00am to 12 noon and 2.00pm to 5.00pm on weekdays and closed on weekends.

Shops in smaller towns and villages are generally open from 8.30am to 12 noon and from 2.00pm to 6.30pm. In larger cities they do not close for lunch and usually extend their hours to 8.00pm on Thursdays.

Public holidays

January 1 – New Year’s Day
January 2 – Berchtolds Day (not all Cantons)
Good Friday
Easter Monday
May 1 – Labour Day
Ascension Day
Whit Monday
June – Corpus Christi (not all Cantons)
August 1 – National Day
August 15 – Assumption Day (not all Cantons)
Third Sunday in September – Swiss Federal Fast (All regions except Geneva)
December 25-26 – Christmas (26 except Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, Valais and Vaud)
*Cantons are states

Climate

The climate is variable so it is best to be prepared for all types of weather throughout the year. The most reliable weather is from May to October.

Winter temperatures from December to February are generally around 0ºC and colder in the east and south where snow is common.

For weather details in Switzerland, please visit the World Meteorological Organization.

Currency

Oanda currency converter

The official currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF)

Banks

ATM machines, called “Geldautomat” are widely avaialable. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are usually accepted everywhere, except some shops and cafes, especially in smaller Swiss cities.

Banks are usually open from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and once a week they have extended hours. Please check locally. They are closed Saturdays, Sundays and on public holidays. Money can also be changed at major train stations, look for the "Change/Cambio" signs.

Time zones and time differences

Switzerland is eight hours from March to September and 10 hours from October to February behind Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

To find out the current time in Berne, view the World Clock.

Dialling codes

Switzerland's country code is +41.

For calls to Switzerland from Australia dial: 0011 + 41 + area code + telephone number.

For calls from Switzerland to Australia dial: 00 + 61 + area code + telephone number.

For further information (eg. area codes) please visit the White Pages - international dialling codes.

Electricity and water

Switzerland’s power supply is 220 volts, 50Hz 1, 3 phases, 2, 4 wires. The round two-prong plugs are the most common. Tap water is safe to drink in Switzerland.

Links and resources

Travel and tourism

Swiss Tourism Board

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.