Best Time to go: Year round
Best For: Skiing (winter only), Museums
Switzerland is a stylish tourist destination offering countless outdoor adventures and contemporary urban stays.
Small, mountainous and wealthy, Switzerland is renowned for its enviable quality of life in a country that ticks along like clockwork. Its products are sought after the world over, from delicious cheese and chocolate to luxurious watches.
The mountains are the perfect place to get active, with ice climbing, ski touring, snowboarding, deep-snow skiing, heli-skiing and glacier walking on offer.
Enjoy a lake cruise or ferry trip on Lake Zürich, Lake Geneva, or Lake Constance.
Go to Basel for the Basler Fasnacht (a pre-Lenten carnival), with three days of grand masked parties and street parades with fancy costumes.
For up to date Health & Visa information click here
Capital: Bern (BRN)
Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)
Language: German, French, Italian and Romansch. English is widely spoken.
Dialling code from SA: +41
Time Zone: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa).
Daylight Savings Time: from last Sunday in March – last Sunday in October: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Side of the Road: Right
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Standard European round two-pin plugs and Swiss three-pin plugs are used.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Customs: Normal social conventions.
Local Offences / Laws: Littering is a serious social crime in Switzerland, and you should also make an effort to throw your recyclables in the proper receptacle.
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into Switzerland by travellers over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 2L of alcohol up to 15% volume and 1L of alcohol over 15% volume.
• Gifts up to a value of SFr300.
Prohibited Imports: Prohibited or restricted goods include endangered species, cash and foreign currency, narcotics, counterfeit goods, cultural property, medicines, plants, radar warning devices, animals and animal products, and weapons.
Prohibited Exports: Unlicensed firearms, counterfeit goods and narcotics. You must declare any cultural property.