Swiss International Air Lines is the national carrier of Switzerland serving 70 worldwide destinations in 42 countries from its home hub in Zurich, and from Basel and Geneva international airports.
Zurich and Geneva airports are fully integrated into the Swiss railroad network and have their own railway stations. Trains to the two city centers run every 10 to 20 minutes, with a traveling time of approximately 10 minutes. Hourly intercity and direct trains leave right from either airport station and will connect you to many cities and towns. In Basel, a bus service links the airport with the downtown area. The bus stops right outside the main railway station. The buses leave every 30 minutes and the ride takes 15 to 20 minutes.
The country has its own currency, the Swiss franc (CHF). Although the euro is accepted, change is usually given in Swiss francs. Price information for hotels and other services is often quoted in Swiss francs alongside the euro rate. Merchants may accept euros but are not obliged to do so.
German (spoken by 63.7% of the population), French (20.4%), Italian (6.5%) and Romansh (0.5%); English is widely spoken, especially in the tourist cities.
Drinking and eating-out is hygienic and the tap water is safe. Immunization for contagious diseases is only required if the traveler has been in an infected area within 14 days preceding arrival in Switzerland. Personal travel insurance is strongly recommended, including coverage of personal accident, sickness, loss or damage to luggage and personal effects and cancellation charges.
A service charge is normally included in hotel and restaurant bills as well as taxi fares. An extra tip is not expected but is appreciated.
Thanks to its convenient central location, Switzerland is also served by fast reliable inter-European rail services from at least a dozen countries.
Daily services operate from major cities in Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Scandinavia, and the Benelux countries. Most trains include dining cars, bars and a wide range of other amenities and - for night travel - comfortable sleeping compartments.
From Germany: Deutsche Bahn
From France: TGV Lyria
From Italy: Cisalpino
From Austria: ÖBB
From Spain: Elipsos
From the Netherlands: NS Hispeed
In the Night: CityNightLine
Travel in Europe
If you plan to travel in several countries in Europe, the Eurail Select Pass (3, 4 or 5 countries with common borders) or the EurailPass (up to 17 countries) is an economical choice.
These passes entitle non-European residents to unlimited travel on the railroad networks of maximum 18 European countries including Switzerland. If you visit only two countries, you can purchase the Switzerland-Austria Pass or the Switzerland-France Pass. Children from age 4 to under 12 years pay half. These passes are not available in Europe, so please purchase them before you leave your non-European country of residence from selected travel agents. In Switzerland, the validity of these passes is restricted to the main railway lines and some lake steamers.
For travellers arriving by road, Switzerland is linked to Europe's extensive motorway network. Cross-border travel is trouble free, with the minimum of delay and formalities.
Frequent regional bus services depart from the airport bus terminal, which is located close to the main airport complex.
Every traveler must have a valid passport. Visas are required for a continuous stay of more than three months.
If your stay is shorter than three months you only need to bring your valid passport with you. This applies to citizens of the following countries: countries of the American Continent (except Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Peru), Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
The climate is temperate. From July to August the daytime temperature ranges from 65°F-82°F (18°C to 28°C), while the range in January and February is 28°F-45°F (-2° to +7°C). Depending on the altitude the temperature range will vary, but you can assure that there won’t be excessive heat or humidity.
For hiking in summer, visitors will need a short-sleeved T-shirt at the base of the mountain, but upon reaching higher altitude they’ll need warmer clothing.