WHAT IS NECESSARY TO KNOW WHEN GOING TO SWITZERLAND

What is necessary to know when going to Switzerland Time

The time in Switzerland is behind two hour from Moscow time. Import

You can take with you to Switzerland without the duty:
  • The thing of personal need: clothes, underwear, washing tackles.
  • Photo and video cameras, musical instruments. Sport items, laptops.
  • Alcohol: one liter of hard drinks plus two liters of less than 15% alcohol or one liter of more than 15% alcohol beverages.
  • Tobacco goods: 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco;
  • Gifts: on the amount of no more than 200 Swiss franks
  • Food goods: for one day

If you are leaving Switzerland for some European country, the quantity of the tobacco goods allowed should be lessened twice. Tobacco and alcohol goods can be imported by the people above 17. Same limitations are applied also to the goods bought in duty-free shops. If the quantity of the imported goods mentioned above exceeds the set regulations, the goods are being tariffed. The fresh meat more than 1,5 kilos, sausages, smoked goods more than 1 kilo, poultry meat more than 2 kilos are also being tariffed. Meat goods must be declared. When coming back home from Switzerland the limitations on the imported goods are not existed. The limitations on currency import\export are also not existed.

It is prohibited to import to Switzerland the following:

The weapon, drugs, fake goods more than for the personal needs. It is prohibited to import more than 0,5 kilo dairy butter. It is prohibited to import works of Art, antiquity, icons without correspondent allowance paper. In accordance with the customs’ rules antiquity is the goods which age is more than 100 years that’s why when importing the antiquity it is necessary to have the document indicating the age of the antiquity. It is prohibited to import skins and goods of cheetah, crocodile, lion, jaguar, leopard, tiger, and lizard. You can import duty-free the goods for the personal usage only. This item stipulates that the goods would be exported back i.e. they must not be used for the exchange, sale or other commercial purposes.

How to get the VAT back?

The Swiss VAT refund system is created for those people whose permanent place of living is not Switzerland. VAT counts for 7,6% and its rate is already included in the cost of goods and service. How to get the VAT back?
  • To buy the goods for the amount not less than 400 Swiss franks (including VAT)
  • To ask for the Global Refund Cheque in the shop
  • To export the goods from the country not later than in 30 days after its purchasing
  • When leaving Switzerland it is necessary to show this cheque and the goods to the custom officers so that they put the stamp on it.
  • It is up to you to choose: to get the cash in «Global Refund» office in the airport at once, to transfer the money to the credit card you indicate or to the bank account, cheque or for some countries to get the cash when coming back home.
  • If you are planning to give the bought goods (the Vat from which you want to return) to the luggage, show the Global Refund cheque by flight registration and follow the instructions of the airport staff.
Necessary phone numbers

  • Police: 117
  • Fire fighting service: 118
  • First aid: 144
  • First aid on the roads: 140
  • Helicopter rescue service Rega: 1414
  • Time service: 161
  • Weather forecast service: 162
  • Information of the situation on roads : 163
  • Newsletter of the avalanching: 187
  • National info service: 111
  • International operator service : 1141
  • Automatic alarm click: 150
  • Speaking clock: 161
  • Local information: 1600
You can call for free from the pay phone on the numbers 117,118 and 144. You don’t need the coins when dialing these numbers. The calls to 140, 1414 numbers cost 20 cents for each call despite the duration of the conversation. The calls to 161 and 187 cost 50 cents for the call, and to 162 and 163 – 50 cents for the minute of the conversation. Offices, banks, post offices and shops working hours. Offices: open from Monday till Friday from 8:00 till 12:00, and from 14:00 till 17:00, closed on Saturday, Sunday and on holidays. Banks: open from Monday till Friday from 8:30 till 16:30, closed on Saturday, Sunday and on holidays. Once a week the bank can work longer (till 18:00). The post offices: open from Monday till Friday from 8:30 till 18:30, from 7:30 till 11:00 on Saturday, closed on Sunday and on holidays. Shops: open from Monday till Friday from 9:00 till 19:00 (once a week the shops are open till 20:00, clarify this info in the particular place), on Saturday from 9:00 till 17:00, closed on Sunday and on holidays (except for the airport’s, railway station’s shops, and highway shops). Some shops (usually in small towns and villages) are closed on Monday. Working hours can be different in different places. Car trips. The state of Swiss roads are perfect both in summer and in winter. All the green road signs mean highways (the speed limit is 120 km per hour if the other info is not indicated); blue signs mean main roads (the speed limit in the country is 80 km per hour, in the town 50 km per hour, if the other info is not indicated); white signs mean country roads. You can cross Switzerland from one order to the other within 3-5 hours. The safety belts must be on the front and back seats. It is impossible to reach mountain resort towns like Braunwald, Murren, Wengen and Zermatt on your own car. You have to park the car near the railway or celestial tram station and finish your trip on the public transport.

National currency

The national currency of Switzerland is Swiss franc (CHF), consisting of 100 centimes. There are coins in the denomination of 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes and 1, 2 ,5 francs, banknotes in the denomination of 10,20,50, 100, 5000, and 1000 francs. You can exchange the currency in the currency exchange offices situated in the banks, in the airports, on the railway stations, in the majority of hotels, in the shops. When exchanging the money or cashing the cheques the commission will be usually zero. The credit cards of the main pay systems are accepted almost everywhere.

Tips

In Switzerland the tips and the service payment are regulated by the law and automatically included in all the bills of the hotels and restaurants, and also in the taxi bills. For the special services (like carrying the luggage) it is necessary to give some tips (2 CHF). The tips are not accepted in the theaters and petrol stations.

The additional information:

Cafés and restaurants. Recheck the bill carefully. The payment for the service in the amount of 10% is usually included in the bill. If not, then it is accepted to give the tips in the amount of this sum, not more. And only after you will get the change.

Hospitals.
When leaving the hospitals you can give 10 francs ($5,8) to thank the staff for the hospitality.

Useful links

Receiving visa to Switzerland

Information about the visa support on the official site of Swiss embassy.

Flight tickets

Official site if Swiss airlines.

Airline tickets and flight schedule of the Swiss airlines.

Official site of Aeroflot airlines."

Flight schedule of Swiss airline on the site“Domodedovo”

Flight schedule of “Aeroflot” airlines on Sheremetievo airlines site.

Booking the hotel

The booking system of hotels in Zurich

Online booking system of hotel all over Switzerland

Ordering the taxi

Ordering the taxi in Zurich

Ordering the taxi in Geneva

Ordering the taxi and renting the elite cars in Switzerland

Search for the addresses and driveway schedules Interactive Switzerland map

Weather forecast in Switzerland

Weather forecast in Switzerland for 5 days

Currency exchange

Currency exchange of the central bank