Facts about Switzerland

Weather and climate

The climate in Switzerland is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity. In July and August average daytime temperatures range from 18°C to 27°C, while in January and February the average range is -1°C to 5°C . In spring and autumn, average daytime temperatures range between 8°C and 15°C . These temperatures apply to the lowlands and get cooler as you move to higher altitudes. Longer daylight hours in summer and the reverse in winter are factors to be considered for outdoor film shooting. For more details, download our Weather Factsheet (PDF file).

Transportation

Traveling through Switzerland is easy thanks to a dense network of highways, roads and railway tracks. Cars can be rented at the international airports of Zurich, Geneva and Basel. Zurich and Geneva airports are incorporated into the Swiss railroad network with an integrated railway station. Trains to the city centers run every 10 to 20 minutes. For timetables, visit www.rail.ch. For information on distances between major cities, download our Map of Switzerland (PDF file).

Money

Swiss currency is denominated in Swiss francs, with 100 centimes per franc. ATMs are available throughout Switzerland and most places accept international credit cards. Since the introduction of the Euro currency in neighboring countries, many establishments accept Euros for payment at the current exchange rate. In October 2005, 1 Swiss franc was worth approximately 0.65 Euro or 0.78 US dollar.

Business Hours

Shops are open usually on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (some close at noontime) but these times vary slightly from one area to another. On Saturdays, banks are closed and shops are generally open until 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. Most businesses are closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Languages

Switzerland has four official languages : German (which is spoken in the center, the north and the east), French (in the western parts), Italian (in the south) and Rhaeto-Romanic (in a few areas in the east). In most places, foreigners can communicate easily with locals by speaking English.

Visas

Please contact the Swiss Embassy or Swiss Consulate General located nearest you for any enquiry concerning visas and work permits. With the Schengen Convention many important points have changed. The officers of the embassy and consulat will be able to inform you correctly. Thank you for your kind cooperation.


For more information:


Switzerland in its diversity on the official portal www.swissworld.org