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Switzerland - General Informations

Area:
41.200 km²  
Population: 8,5 millions 
Capital: Bern
Largest City:  Zurich
Chancellor: Walter Thurnherr 

Largest Lake: Lake Geneva
Longest River:
  Rhine (375 km)

 

IN THE CITIES
Switzerland is a country full of history in which most of the cities keep its charm due to their historic centers. Nowadays they have been set up for walking tours, so that the citizen’s life is conducted in a clean and quiet environment. For this reason, we recommend you to wear appropriate and comfortable shoes, because our tours include visits to many cities that will be covered as a walking tour.

CLIMATE AND (RECOMMENDED) CLOTHING
Summers are usually from June through September when visitors enjoy the best weather for outdoor activities. The temperatures in summer range from 18ºC to 28ºC. If you visit in spring (April-May) or in the fall (September to October), the temperature will range between 8ºC to 15ºC degrees. In spring, the mountains and swamps are full of wild flowers. Temperatures range between 7ºC to 14ºC.  Winter sports resorts usually open by late November and close when the snow begins to melt in the spring. However, dedicated skiers will be able to ski almost year-round on one of the many glaciers around the country. Average temperatures range between 2ºC and 6ºC. We recommend always packing a raincoat and an umbrella, not matter what time of year you visit.

BAGGAGE
On trips will be transported a medium-sized piece of baggage with a maximum weight of 30 kg per person, free of charge. Transportation of excess baggage is subject to space availability. We recommend that travelers remain present at all times when their baggage is being handled, and make a timely claim to the transport companies or the hotels, when you notice any deficiency, damage or disappearance of their belongings. In case you forget personal stuff please keep in mind that it is not the responsibility of the operator to cover the cost of return.

HOTELS
The hotels of our tours are carefully chosen. In most cases are located in the city center and the breakfast is always included. The hotel rooms in Switzerland do not usually have air-conditioning as standard. The hotels usually offer only single rooms and double rooms, not triple, but in special cases it is possible to add an extra bed or sofa bed.

During trade fairs, conferences and special events, the accommodation can be located on the outskirts of the cities. Tours and excursions are usually not affected by these events.

TIPPING IN SWITZERLAND
A service charge is usually included in the bills at restaurants, bars, taxis etc. A tip is therefore not mandatory but certainly appreciated.

TRAFFIC REGULATIONS
The speed limit in urban areas is between 30-50km/h, on national main roads 80-100 km/h and on highways 120 km/h. There are no toll roads in Switzerland, but drivers must purchase a Swiss Highway Vignette. This sticker is available at gas stations, post offices or at border crossings and is valid for a year. The sticker costs €40 (2018 price) and should be placed on the windshield of the car. This allows drivers to drive anywhere in Switzerland without having to pay more than once a year. It is mandatory to wear seat belts in both front seats as well as back seats. It is also mandatory to have a warning triangle and a first aid kit.

VARIATIONS IN TOURS AND SERVICES
The tour operator reserves the right to change the order of routes if necessary to improve its service. If circumstances beyond our control and not allow us to meet the original schedule provided. (Also in case of big events/conferences/festivals etc.).

TELEPHONE
Calling Switzerland from abroad, you must dial 0041 + the area code without the 0 + the desired number. The same for Mobile phone: 0041 + the desired number, but without the first 0.

BANKS AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE
Switzerland is not a member of the European Union and the Swiss Franc (CHF) is the country’s official currency. The euro is widely accepted as a currency in Switzerland, but change will always be given in Swiss Francs. The Swiss Franc comes in the following denominations: coins of 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1, 2 and 5 francs, and bills of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1000 francs. There are numerous currency exchange offices throughout the country and these are usually found inside banks, travel agencies and post offices, as well as in airports and at major train stations.

SHOPPING
A shopping paradise, Switzerland offers a great variety of excellent products. You will find a large selection of the world’s best watches at much better prices than those that are sold outside of Switzerland. You will also find outstanding chocolate in all shapes, sizes and flavors, a delicious treat and the perfect souvenir. Other high-quality products include clothing, embroidery, fine scarves, pocketknives, wood carvings, ceramics and other crafts, as well as antiques and art books. Most stores will accept all major credit cards. Shops are usually open from Monday through Friday from 9.00am to 6.30pm and on Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Shops are closed on Sundays, except for at airports, some train stations or service stations along the highways.

ELECTRICITY
230 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin European plugs are standard.

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