Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens exercise normal precautions in Switzerland. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.


Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 2 blank pages in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not required as long as you do not stay in the country more than 89 days.

US Embassy/Consulate

[41] (031) 357-70-11; US Embassy Bern, Sulgeneckstrasse 19, CH-3007 Bern, Switzerland; https://ch.usembassy.gov/

Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

Ambulance: 144; Fire: 118; Police: 117


See WHO recommendations



Temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers

Currency (Code)

Swiss francs (CHF)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

230 V / 50 Hz / plug types(s): C, J

Plug Type CPlug Type J

Major Languages

German (or Swiss German), French, Italian, English, Portuguese, Albanian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish

Major Religions

Roman Catholic 34.4%, Protestant 22.5%, other Christian 5.7%, Muslim 5.5%

Time Difference

UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October

Potable Water


International Driving Permit


Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Matterhorn; Jungfraujoch; Interlaken; Lucerne; Lake Geneva; Chateau de Chillon; Zurich; Lake Lugano; Bern

Major Sports

Soccer, ice hockey, tennis, skiing, schwingen (wrestling)

Cultural Practices

Speaking too loudly in public, especially on cell phones, is frowned upon.

Tipping Guidelines

A service charge is typically added at restaurants so no tipping is needed, but you can round up the bill for the wait staff. Round up a taxi fare or add 5%. Tipping is usually expected for hotel staff. A bellhop should receive 1-2 francs for each bag carried.


Chocolate; cuckoo clocks, music boxes, and other wood carved items; cheese; Swiss army knives; watches/clocks; paper cut pictures; embroidered fabric; schnapps spirits

Traditional Cuisine

Rösti — grated potato patties sometimes including herbs and spices, onions, ham, or cheese and pan-fried in butter or oil; the dish is cut into wedges for serving

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Wednesday, October 05, 2022