Know this Switzerland essential travel information
When to Go
The time of year that will be the best for you, will all depend on what you are planning to do in Switzerland. If you are amongst those who want to visit Switzerland for skiing purposes then November to March will be the best time for you, although you should note that prices are sky high then and you will have to make reservations months in advance. If you are not to worried about skiing then the summer time will probably be the most economical time for you to go, sights and accommodations are cheaper and the cities aren't so crowded.
Switzerland has a temperate climate with cold, cloudy, rainy and snowy winters and cool to warm, humid summers with occasional showers. The Alps cause many climatic variations throughout Switzerland. You will find that in the higher Alpine mountainous regions, the temperatures tend to be low, while the lower land of the northern areas has higher temperatures with warm summers. It is recommended to pack heavy clothes and rainwear for winter months and light cool clothes for the summer.
Health and Safety
Switzerland's hospitals and medical services are amongst the best in the world, but unfortunately they are a little expensive, so medical insurance is recommended. No vaccinations are necessary to visit Switzerland. Switzerland has a general low crime rate, lower than most European countries, but there has been a recent growth in petty thefts. Travelers should be alert of pickpockets and thieves, especially when walking in big crowds and on public transport.
Visas and Passports
Citizens of Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and the US do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days. UE citizens do not need a visa to visit Switzerland. All visitors to Switzerland need a passport to enter Switzerland and to re-enter their own countries.
Money and Currency
Switzerland's currency unit is the Swiss Franc. The train stations are generally the best places for exchanging currency, most of them ask no commission and they are open long hours. Banking hours are from Monday - Friday 8.30am to 4.30 pm and Saturdays 9am to 4pm. ATM's are everywhere and accept all major credit cards such as, MasterCard, Diners Club and Visa. Most shops and services especially in the tourist areas do accept Euros. Tips are automatically factored into the prices, however it is polite to tip an additional 10% as a nod of approval for good service.