Fact file: Switzerland

Did you know
The classic fondue is bread dunked in Emmental and Gruyere cheeses mixed with white wine and flour - consumed, of course, on shag-pile carpet.
Language
Mainly German, but also French, Italian and Romansch.
Visas
None required for EU citizens.
Getting there
British Airways and Swiss International Air Lines fly direct to Zurich from the UK.
Flying time from London
One and a half hours.
Getting around
Public transport is best as there's a comprehensive bus tram and S-Bahn service in the city, including boats on the river.
Currency
Swiss Franc
Costs
A night in a mid-range hotel will set you back about £75, a decent meal £15-20 per person and a beer about £1.50.
Weather
Winter starts in November and continues through to April with temperatures ranging between 5C and -5C. Summer is the most pleasant time to visit. It's warm and sunny and the temperatures rarely get into the uncomfortable 30Cs.
Time difference
One hour ahead
International dialling code from UK
00 41
Voltage
220v
Opening hours
Banks, Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm; shops, Monday to Friday 8am-12.15pm and 1.30-6.30pm (in larger cities also open during lunch hours, but often closed on Monday mornings), Saturday 8.30am-4pm.
Health – before you go
Swiss medical facilities are among the best in the world but you will have to pay, so make sure you have travel insurance.
Health – when you are there
Very little to worry about.
Warnings
As with any big city, be alert and watch out for pickpockets.
Emergency
Police national emergency dial 117. The British Embassy is in Bern. Tel: 31 359 7700.
Customs
Yodelling isn't the only unusual activity in Switzerland - watch out for Schwingen (Swiss wrestling), Hornussen (a bat and ball game played with strange curved bats) and Unspunnenstein (rock throwing).
Pets
Switzerland is part of the Pet Travel Scheme, so you can take animals with the correct documentation. This takes some time to set up - ask your vet for details.
Tipping
By law, hotels, restaurants and bars have to include a 15% service charge, so tipping is unnecessary. Even taxis normally include a service charge.
Tourist office
Switzerland Travel Centre Ltd, 10 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6QF. Tel. 00800 100 200 30.
Did you know?
Traditional musical instrument, the alphorn has been around for nearly 500 years: first as a means of communications in the high Alps, and later as a musical instrument that has even featured in works by composers like Brahms and Leopold Mozart.
Language
German, French, Italian and Romansch.
Visas
None required for EU citizens.
Getting there
Direct flights from the UK to Zurich, Geneva, Basle, Sion and Lugano.
Flying time from London
One and a half hours
Getting around
The main sailing season runs from June through late September, with a reduced schedule in April through late May and in October. Some boats run year-round. Save money by getting a Swiss Rail Pass. It gives you unlimited transportation by train, postal bus, lake steamer, etc. for the duration of the pass, along with discounts on mountain railways, funiculars, and cable cars. Or get a Tell-Pass, a regional transportation pass for Lucerne and Central Switzerland. There are two types: one for unlimited travel on Swiss Federal Railways trains and steamers for any two days during a seven-day period, and the other for any five days out of 15. You also get a 50% discount on private railways, funiculars, and cable cars. It's also easy to hire a car and drive around the Lake.
Currency
Swiss Franc
Costs
Litre of petrol 60p, moderately-priced restaurant meal with wine from £20, pint of beer £1.40, four-mile taxi ride £9, camera film around £2. These prices can only provide a rough guide.
Weather
The climate is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity. From July to August the daytime temperature is 18-27C and from January to February it's -1 to 5C. Depending on the altitude the temperature range may vary. It is highly recommended to pack a sweater, good walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, a compact umbrella and/or a light raincoat.
Time difference
One hour ahead of GMT
International dialling code from the UK
00 41
Voltage
220v
Opening hours
Banks, Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm; shops, Monday to Friday 8am-12.15pm and 1.30-6.30pm (in larger cities also open during lunch hours, but often closed on Monday mornings), Saturday 8.30am-4pm.
Health - Before you go
Swiss medical facilities are among the best in the world but you will have to pay, so make sure you have travel insurance.
Health - When you are there
Very little to worry about but take precautions when doing activities in the Alps.
Warnings
Altitude sickness, hypothermia and sunburn. There is always a risk of avalanches in the Alps - ski safely.
Emergency
Police national emergency dial 117. British Embassy, Thunstrasse 50, 3005 Bern, Tel. 31 359 7700.
Customs
Every year usually on the second Saturday in August the "Seenachtsfest" attracts ten thousand spectators. The so-called "City of Lights" is famous for its magical fireworks display over Lake Lucerne, which lights up the sky .
Pets
Switzerland is part of the Pet Travel Scheme, so you can take animals with the correct documentation. This takes some time to set up - ask your vet for details.
Tipping
By law, hotels, restaurants and bars have to include a 15% service charge, so tipping is unnecessary. Even taxis normally include a service charge.
Tourist office
Switzerland Travel Centre Ltd, 10 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6QF. Tel. 00800 100 200 30.
Did you know?
Switzerland has the most Nobel prize winners per capita.
Language
German, French, Italian and Romansch
Visas
None required for EU citizens
Getting there
Direct flights from the UK to Zurich, Geneva, Basle, Sion and Lugano.
Flying time from London
One and a half hours
Getting around
Trains are clean, reliable and offer brilliant views. The Glacier Express is one of Switzerland's most famous train journeys. Billed as "the world's slowest express train" it averages 22mph (36kph) on the eight-hour trip from Zermatt to St. Moritz. Buses are slower and less comfortable, though sometimes cheaper. Roads are good.
Currency
Swiss Franc
Costs
Litre of petrol 60p, moderately-priced restaurant meal with wine from £20, pint of beer £1.40, four-mile taxi ride £9, camera film around £2. These prices can only provide a rough guide.
Weather
The climate is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity. From July to August the daytime temperature is 18-27C and from January to February it's -1 to 5C. Depending on the altitude the temperature range may vary. It is highly recommended to pack a sweater, good walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, a compact umbrella and/or a light raincoat.
Time difference
One hour ahead of GMT
International dialling code from the UK
00 41
Voltage
220v
Opening hours
Banks, Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm; shops, Monday to Friday 8am-12.15pm and 1.30-6.30pm (in larger cities also open during lunch hours, but often closed on Monday mornings), Saturday 8.30am-4pm.
Health - Before you go
Swiss medical facilities are among the best in the world but you will have to pay, so make sure you have travel insurance.
Health - When you are there
Very little to worry about but take precautions when doing activities in the Alps.
Warnings
Altitude sickness, hypothermia and sunburn. There is always a risk of avalanches in the Alps - ski safely.
Emergency
Police national emergency dial 117. British Embassy, Thunstrasse 50, 3005 Bern, Tel. 31 359 7700.
Customs
Yodelling isn't the only unusual activity in Switzerland - watch out for Schwingen (Swiss wrestling), Hornussen (a bat and ball game played with strange curved bats) and Unspunnenstein (rock throwing).
Pets
Switzerland is part of the Pet Travel Scheme, so you can take animals with the correct documentation. This takes some time to set up - ask your vet for details.
Tipping
By law, hotels, restaurants and bars have to include a 15% service charge, so tipping is unnecessary. Even taxis normally include a service charge.
Tourist office
Switzerland Travel Centre Ltd, 10 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6QF. Tel. 00800 100 200 30.


Telephone

+44 (0) 203 696 2870

Mon – Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm

Villarenters.com requires cookies to be enabled. Please enable cookies on your browser!
Ok