Swiss Franc , CHF 1. - = 100 cents . Coin selection is 5, 10, 20, 50, cents (rapens) followed by 1, 2, 5 Franc pieces Notes 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 Swiss francs
In the German part of Switzerland, cinemas nearly always show films in their original language (e.g. a film marked E/f/d means spoken in English with subtitles in French and German). Oftern offering cheaper admission on Mondays! There are many open-air cinemas during July and August.
The Swiss vote, a few times each year, on local, cantonal and federal issues like public building, raising taxes, and environmental and international participation.
Switzerland is not a member of the European Union (EU).
Switzerland operates a private health care, medical treatment must be paid for, it is advisable to take out insurance against personal accident and illness.
Many Towns, Camping sites, hotels and hostels offer internet access, and in most towns and cities you'll find at least one Internet Café.
Almost every railway station has lockers where you can leave your baggage.
Most public phones accept cards only (no coins). Taxcards are sold at post offices, at all "kiosks" (small shops where you find newspapers, cigarettes and sweets), at train and petrol stations, and at most hostels. Also ask for the new GOMIO.COM Phonecard, available at many Camp sites and hostels. This card works all over Europe and also have good phone rates. For national and international directory information call 1811, 1818 or see www.directories.ch.
Postcards and letters (if under 20 gr weight) within Europe CHF 1.20 (priority 1.30), overseas CHF 1.40 (priority 1.80). (2009)
Tips are included on all hotel/hostel and restaurant bills. It is neither necessary nor expected to give an extra tip. Tip when the service was nice and friendly.
Tap water is drinkable nearly everywhere. Some fountains/ troughs carry the sign "Kein Trinkwasser" or "eau non potable." This means no drinking water!
Weather, Clothes and Climate:
The climate is usually moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity. March to May, October & November the daytime temperatures range from 5 to 15 degrees (Celsius), from June to September from 18 - 30 degrees. Depending on the altitude, the temperature range may vary!
Cities and towns offer excellent transportation networks. you can buy a ticket from a ticket machine, which you'll find at almost every stop.
You will appreciate Switzerland's extensive railway system. It is relaxing and comfortable and will allow you to fully enjoy the scenery. Normal point-to-point tickets and reservations can be purchased at every railway station. Seat reservations are only required on special scenic trains like the Glacier Express, the Bernina Express, etc. For all train information, call 0900 300 300 (CHF 1.19 per min.) or see www.rail.ch
Single train tickets are expensive, so if you're frequently using the train in Switzerland, "Swiss Travel System" offers a wide range of tickets to cut costs. Check out our List.
The Swiss post buses are ideal for getting off the beaten path. With some of the post buses you can cross alpine passes. The Swiss Passes (see above) are all valid on post buses (surcharge on some mountain routes)www.postbus.ch
Cycling is popular in Switzerland. You'll find well-marked cycling routes throughout, particularly in the urban areas. Bicycles can be rented at most railway stations. In the cities of Bern, Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, and Vevey you can even borrow bikes free of charge! For more information about this great deal see the pages about each particular city.
Switzerland, with its well-kept paths and trails, is an ideal country for hiking! Maps of trails are available from local tourist offices. You'll find some hiking tips inside this newspaper!
The range of restaurants is wide, from traditional to international cuisine. Of course, you'll find McDonald's, Subway and Wendy, too. Coop and Migros supermarkets have a restaurant. In most Towns and cities check out the wide range of take-out stands.
Supermarkets: There are plenty of supermarkets like Coop and Migros where you can stock up on your provisions.
Traditional Swiss Dishes: Traditional and regional dishes play an important role in the Swiss diet. The ones most widely known are: Fondue (a blend of melted cheese served up in a big stoneware pot into which bread or hot potatoes are dipped); Raclette (melted slices of cheese with boiled potatoes and mixed pickles); Rösti (German-Swiss dish: grated, fried potatoes, sometimes with sausage, onions and bacon).