Swiss

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Introduction

The Swiss Confederation (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, or Confédération suisse) is a small country in Central Europe, constituted by 26 cantons. A good reason to visit it? There are many: from the enchanted countryside and the majestic mountains to the alpine landscapes, from the strong national culture to the delicious food.

 

Capital

Bern (125.471 in 2009)

Surface

41.285 km²

Population

7.771.600 in 2009

Density

188/km²

Currency

Swiss Franc
1 Euro = 1.47 Swiss Franc
1 Swiss Franc = 0.69 Euro

Time zone

+1 GMT

Language

German, French, Italian and romancio (neo Latin language)

Religion

Catholic and protestant

Entry requirements

Neither passport nor visa is required for European citizens of the Member States. A valid identity card is sufficient. Most of European driving licenses are accepted.

Travelling with pets

Small sized pets like cats, dogs and ferrets must travel with animal passport (in force since 2004) and have an identification microchip or tattoo. Also, they must be vaccinated against rabies.

Health and safety

Both private and public health structures are excellent. No vaccination is required, although it is advisable to bring the magnetic card for health assistance. General safety is good, there are no danger zones.

Climate

Switzerland is characterised by an alpine climate, with windy cool summers and cold snowy winters.

Form of Government

Federal Republic

Economy

Swiss economy is based on quality production, high skilled labourers and a particularly advanced tertiary sector. The key sectors are banks, insurances, tourism, machine and electric industry, energy.

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V, frequency 50 Hz. Universal sockets of C type are in use. The J plug with three poles is used for appliances. It is advisable to bring an adapter.

Posts, banks and telephone

Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 7.30 am to 12 am, and from 13.30 pm to 17 pm. Saturday from 8.30 am to 11 am. Banks are open from 8.30 am to 16.30 pm Monday to Friday. Saturday they stay closed. In the biggest centres they are open non-stop. Mobile phone coverage is excellent.
Country code: 0041
Useful numbers:
Emergency: 112
Police: 117
Firemen: 118
Ambulance: 144