SWITZERLAND

SWITZERLAND

SWITZERLAND

SELECT YOUR NATIONALITY

– No current scheduled consular closures.
CONSULAR CLOSURES
TBC.
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Chillon Castle
Location: Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Chillon Castle is an island castle located on Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), south of Veytaux in the canton of Vaud. It is situated at the eastern end of the lake, on the narrow shore between Montreux and Villeneuve, which gives access to the Alpine valley of the Rhône. Chillon is amongst the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe. Inside the castle itself there are four great halls, three courtyards, and a series of bedrooms open to the public. One of the oldest is the Camera domini, which was a room occupied by the Duke of Savoy - it is decorated with 14th century medieval murals.

Chillon began as a Roman outpost, guarding the strategic road through the Alpine passes. The later history of Chillon was influenced by three major periods: the Savoy Period, the Bernese Period, and the Vaudois Period. The oldest parts of the castle have not been definitively dated, but the first written record of the castle was in 1005. It was built to control the road from Burgundy to the Great Saint Bernard Pass From the mid 12th century, the castle was summer home to the Counts of Savoy, who kept a fleet of ships on Lake Geneva. The castle was greatly expanded in 1248 by Peter II.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chillon_Castle
Name: Kapellbrücke
Location: Lucerne, Switzerland
The Kapellbrücke (literally, Chapel Bridge) is a covered wooden footbridge spanning the River Reuss diagonally in the city of Lucerne in central Switzerland. Named after the nearby St. Peter's Chapel, the bridge is unique in containing a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century, although many of them were destroyed along with a larger part of the centuries-old bridge in a 1993 fire. Subsequently restored, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world's oldest surviving truss bridge. It serves as the city's symbol and as one of Switzerland's main tourist attractions.

Part of the bridge complex is the octagonal 34.5 m (113 ft) tall (from ground) Wasserturm, which translates to "water tower," in the sense of 'tower standing in the water.' The tower pre-dated the bridge by about 30 years. Over the centuries, the tower has been used as a prison, torture chamber, and later a municipal archive as well as a local treasury. Today, the tower is closed to the public, although it houses a local artillery association and a tourist gift shop.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapellbrücke
Name: Jungfraujoch
Location: Switzerland
Jungfraujoch is a notable saddle in the Bernese Alps, connecting the two four-thousander peaks Jungfrau and Mönch, at an elevation of 3,466 metres (11,371 ft) above sea level. It is a glacier saddle, on the upper snows of the Aletsch Glacier, and part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch area, situated on the boundary between the cantons of Bern and Valais, halfway between Interlaken and Fiesch.

Since 1912, the Jungfraujoch has been accessible to tourists by the Jungfrau line, a railway from Interlaken and Kleine Scheidegg, running partly underground through a tunnel through the Eiger and Mönch. The Jungfraujoch railway station, at an elevation of 3,454 metres (11,332 ft) is the highest in Europe. It lies east of the saddle, below the Sphinx station, and is connected to the Top of Europe building, which includes several panoramic restaurants and a post office. Several tunnels lead outside, where secured hiking trails on the crevassed glacier can be followed, in particular to the Mönchsjoch Hut.

The Sphinx Observatory, one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world, provides an additional viewing platform at a height of 3,572 metres (11,719 ft).


 SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungfraujoch
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN SWITZERLAND / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO SWITZERLAND.
FACTS:
Official Languages: German / French / Italian / Romansh
Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)
Time zone: CET (UTC+1) / CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +41
Local / up-to-date weather in Zurich (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Switzerland travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Switzerland, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO SWITZERLAND.

Switzerland’s currency is the Swiss franc (or Franken, or franc, or franco, depending in which language area you are), denoted by the symbol “Fr.” or sometimes “SFr.” (ISO code: CHF) It is divided into 100 Rappen, centimes, or centesimi. However, some places – such as supermarkets, restaurants, tourist attraction ticket counters, hotels and the railways or ticket machines – accept euro bills (but no coins) and will give you change in Swiss francs or in euro if they have it in cash.

Many price lists contain prices both in francs and in euros. Usually in such cases the exchange-rate is the same as official exchange-rates, but if it differs you will be notified in advance. Changing some money to Swiss francs is essential. Money can be exchanged at all train stations and most banks throughout the country. After an experiment with a “fixed floor” for the exchange rate (meaning in practice that one Euro would always be at least 1.20 francs) the Swiss Central Bank decided in early 2015 to let the franc float freely once more. This, along with speculation regarding the future of the euro and the Swiss franc being seen as a “safe” currency, has led to skyrocketing exchange rates for the franc and, consequently, prices for the visitor.

Switzerland is more cash-oriented than most other European countries. It is not unusual to see bills being paid using Fr. 200 and Fr. 1000 banknotes. There are a few establishments which do not accept credit cards, so check first. When doing credit card payments, carefully review the information printed on the receipt (details on this can be found in the “Stay Safe” section below). All ATMs accept foreign cards, getting cash should not be a problem.

Coins are issued in 5-centime (brass coloured), 10-centime, 20-centime, ½-franc, 1-franc, 2-franc, and 5-franc (all silver coloured) denominations. One-centime coins are no longer legal tender, but may be exchanged until 2027 for face value. Two-centime coins have not been legal tender since the 1970s and are, consequently, worthless. Most exchange offices don’t accept coins and the biggest coin (5 francs) is worth roughly about US$5 or €5, so spend them or give them to charity before leaving.

Banknotes are found in denominations of 10 (yellow), 20 (red), 50 (green), 100 (blue), 200 (brown), and 1000 francs (purple). They are all the same width.

BY PLANE:

As Switzerland has probably the most well-developed public transportation system in the world, and the country’s airports are not that far apart anyway, there is very limited domestic air traffic. The connections offered by Swiss International Airlines and Etihad Regional include Zurich-Geneva, Zurich-Lugano and Geneva-Lugano. In most cases taking the train, sometimes combined with bus or other means, will be a cheaper option, and often it may prove just as fast and convenient as flying. If you arrive on an international flight to Flughafen Zürich (in Kloten) or Genève Aéroport (in Cointrin), you may take a direct train or bus from stations integrated into the airport terminals. From there, easy connection with several means of transportation including only one or two swift transfers will bring you to many destinations.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:

The Swiss will spoil you with fantastic transport – swift, disturbingly punctual trains, clean buses, and a half dozen different kinds of mountain transport systems, integrated into a coherent system. The discount options and variety of tickets can be bewildering, from half-fare cards to multi-day, multi-use tickets good for buses, boats, trains, and even bike rentals. In general there’s at least one train or bus per hour on every route; on many routes trains and buses run every 30 or even 15 minutes. Inner-city transit often runs every 5-7 minutes during rush hour, but less frequently during weekends, particularly on Sundays and public holidays in more sparsely populated areas.

Authoritative information, routes, fares and schedules for almost all public transport can be found online on Swiss Federal Railway’s (SBB CFF FFS) nation-wide coherently integrated timetable, or from posters and screens at any stop, or from a ticket window in any railway station. This timetable is also available as a free smart phone app. At any railway station of any provider you can get information and tickets (at manned ticket counters) for any of the many members of the railway network of Switzerland and most bus systems, in particular PostBus Switzerland which provides online timetable as well with the same data.

Bus and train are legally not allowed to compete each other in Switzerland, rather quite the opposite, they are complementary to each other – besides being coordinated timetable-wise. That way, almost all inhabited village and town in Switzerland can be reached by public transport. This is actually constitutionally demanded by the Public Service regulations of the Swiss Confederation; Public Service is a particular Swiss term loosely referring to all kinds of laws, acts, and ordinances, which define the basic supply of public services and infrastructure in particular concerning postal services, telecommunication, electronic media, public transport and road infrastructure.

There are about twenty regional fare networks throughout the country, which incorporate many kinds of public transport (city bus, tram, metro, any kind of train, PostBus, boats, funiculars and others) by many different providers around urban centers into one single fare system, such as ZVV in the canton of Zurich, or unireso (see also: Geneva’s tpg) in the canton of Geneva and its French adjacent area, or mobilis around Lausanne in the canton of Vaud at the northern shore of Lake Geneva, passepartout in the cantons of Lucerne, Nid- and Obwalden (keyword: Titlis). Usually these networks sell zone-based tickets valid for a particular time frame (instead of point-to-point tickets) for journeys within their fare network borders. Many of these networks and transit operators provide their own free smartphone apps; sometimes to be found at the major city’s transit company website.

Even if there is no train or city transit available, the comprehensive PostAuto/CarPostale/AutoPostale network gets you there. Where applicable, PostBus Switzerland is part of regional fare networks. You find all timetable information on SBB’s online timetable, but PostBus Switzerland also provides their own free app with the same information as by SBB as well as many additional features.

Further information about the railway network in Switzerland and the Switzerland-wide countryside bus network is also available.

HIKING AND CYCLING:

Hiking:

As good as the Swiss train system is, if you have a little time, and you only want to travel 1-200 miles, you could try purchasing the world’s best footpath maps and walk 10-20 miles a day over some of the most wonderful and clearly-marked paths, whether it is in a valley, through a forest, or over mountain passes. There are more than 60,000 km of well maintained and documented hiking trails and cycling routes.

The trails are well-planned (after a number of centuries, why not?), easy to follow, and the yellow trail signs are actually accurate in their estimate as to how far away the next hamlet, village, town or city is – usually given in terms of time, not distance. Once you’ve figured out how many kilometers per hour you walk (easy to determine after a day of hiking), you can adjust these estimates up and down for your speed.

There are plenty of places to sleep in a tent (but don’t pitch one on a seemingly pleasant, flat piece of ground covered by straw–that’s where the cows end up sleeping after a lazy day of eating, and they’ll gnaw at your tent string supports and lean against your tent sides. And definitely don’t do this during a rainstorm!), lots of huts on mountain tops, B&Bs on valley floors, or hotels in towns and cities. You could even send your luggage ahead to the next abode and travel very lightly, with the necessary water and Swiss chocolate!

BY BICYCLE:

Since there is a network of straightforward cycling routes around Switzerland, it is a good place for cycling whether you’re going cross-country or traveling around one of the cities. You can get information about cycling routes from Swiss Singletrail Maps and Veloland Schweiz.

Cycling in cities is safe and very common, and includes plenty of options like electric vehicles and free “rentals”. If you decide to cycle in a city, understand that you will share the road with public transport. Beware of tram tracks which can get your wheel stuck and send you flying into traffic, and of course keep an eye out for the trams themselves and the buses, which make frequent stops in the rightmost lane and always have right of way.

According to Swiss traffic law, a bicycle is considered as a road vehicle, therefore it is prohibited to cycle on sidewalks and foot paths, except for when explicitely indicated otherwise! As a bicycler you have to follow the same rules (and rights) as any other traffic member, such as cars and lorries. Therefore make sure you know the extensive Swiss traffic rules and traffic signs.

Inline skating:

Besides the main types of transportation, the adventurous person can see Switzerland by in-line skating. There are three routes, measuring over a combined 600 km (350 mi) designed specifically for in-line skating throughout the country. They are the Rhine route, the Rhone route, and the Mittelland route. These are also scenic tours. Most of the routes are flat, with slight ascents and descents. The Mittelland route runs from Zurich airport to Neuenburg in the northwest; the Rhine route runs from Bad Ragaz to Schaffhausen in the northeastern section of the country. Finally, the Rhone route extends from Brig to Geneva. This is a great way to see both the countryside and cityscapes of this beautiful nation.

BY CAR:

If you like cars, Switzerland can seem like a bit of a tease. It offers some of the greatest driving roads in the world, but you can literally be thrown in jail for speeding, even on highways. Traffic rules are strictly enforced. If you stick to the road rules and especially the speed limits, the back roads/mountain roads will still be a blast to drive on, while making sure you are not fined or arrested. Driving can be a good way of seeing the country and the vista from some mountain roads makes it worth the cost and hassle.

Driving on mountain roads requires special skill – be sure to read the in the “mountain road tips” in the Driving in Switzerland article.

The usual speed limits in Switzerland are 120 km/h (75 mph) on motorways, 100 km/h on expressways, 80 km/h (50 mph) on main roads outside towns and in tunnels, and 50 km/h (31 mph) limit in villages and towns. You may see different speed limits signposted, including 30 km/h (19 mph) and 20 km/h (12 mph) in built-up areas.

Most drivers will need to buy a vignette, a sticker which costs 40 Fr. that allows you to use motorways and expressways as much as you like for the entire year.

Motorists in Switzerland are required to switch on their headlights or daytime running lights at all times while driving or risk a Fr. 40 fine.

EAT:

While Switzerland has had long culinary exchange with the cuisine of its neighbours, it has several iconic dishes of its own.

Switzerland is famous for many kinds of cheese like Gruyère, Emmentaler (known simply as “Swiss cheese” in the U.S.), and Appenzeller, just to name a very few of the about 450 kinds of cheese of Swiss origin. Two of the best known Swiss dishes, fondue and raclette, are cheese based. Fondue is a pot of melted cheese that you dip pieces of bread into using long forks. Usually fondue is not made of one single type of cheese, but instead two or three different cheeses are blended together with white wine, garlic and kirsch liqueur with regional variations. The most popular blend of cheese varieties is called moitié-moitié and consists of equal parts Gruyère AOP and Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP. Traditionally fondue is eaten during cold periods at altitude with one pot for the whole table, served with hot black tea and hardly any additional side dishes – not surprising, since it used to be a cheap and often the only dish for a herdsman high up in the mountains far away from civilization with only basic equipment. However you can now get fondue for one person during the summer time in tourist-oriented restaurants. Another cheese dish, raclette, is made by heating a large piece of cheese and scraping off the melted cheese, which is then eaten together with boiled potatoes and pickled vegetables. Cheese-lovers should also try Älplermakkaronen, Alpine herdsmen’s macaroni with melted cheese and potato served with apple compote which is another very simple but very tasty dish originally from central Switzerland.

Another typically Swiss dish is Rösti, a potato dish quite similar to hash browns. Originally, it is a dish from German-speaking Switzerland, and it gives its name to the colloquial political term Röstigraben (lit.: Rösti ditch) which refers to the quite different political preferences and voting habits of the German-speaking and the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

Probably the best known meat dishes are the incredibly common sausage known as Cervelat, usually grilled on a stick over an open camp fire, and the speciality of region around Zürich, Zürcher Geschnetzeltes (or in the local dialect: Züri Gschnätzlets), sliced veal in a mushroom sauce usually accompanied by Rösti. Very typical for Lucerne is the Luzerner Kugelpasteten (or in the local dialect: Lozärner Chügelipastete), is Brät (less expensive meat, minced, mixed with water and egg) formed as small balls, served in puff-pastry baskets, and poured with a ragout made of meat, agaricus mushrooms and raisins. In French-speaking Switzerland you will find the saucisse aux choux and saucisson vaudois and around Basel the liver dish Basler Leber(li) (or in the local dialect: Baasler Lääberli). Bern is known for the Berner Platte (lit.: Bernese Plate), a dish comprising various pork products, boiled potatoes, Sauerkraut (cabbage), and dried beans, besides others. This was traditionally an autumn dish, since the slaughter historically used to happen when weather was cold enough again to prevent any spoiling of the meat. The slaughter season and their dishes are called Metzgete in the German part of Switzerland and is still prominent on the menus of rural restaurants during this season.

If you instead prefer fish to meat, Swiss restaurants often serve the freshwater fish found in the many rivers and lakes. The most common fish dishes among the 55 kinds of Swiss fish include trout, European perch, or the whitefish known as (Blau-)Felchen, corégone/féra, or coregone blaufelchen respectively, cooked in a variety of ways. However, you will also find many imported fish on Swiss menus, since the domestic business (fished or bred) can never fulfill the strong demand for fish. Also, because the fish haul has become about a third smaller than 30 years ago, exclusively due to the much better quality of water nowadays; from this point of view, Swiss water is too clean!

In autumn, after hunting season, you will find many fabulous game and mushroom dishes. Many traditional game dishes come with Chnöpfli (lit.: diminutive of knobs; a soft egg noodle), red cabbage or Brussel sprouts, cooked pears and are topped with mountain cranberry jam. However, nowadays the game (venison, roe, chamois, boar, rabbit) mainly originates from farms in order to fulfill the high demand.

The mountain region of Graubünden has a distinctive culinary repertoire, including capuns (rolls of Swiss chard filled with dough and other ingredients), pizokel dumplings, the rich and creamy barley soup Gerstensuppe, and a sweet dense nut pie called Bündner Nusstorte. Also from this region is a thinly-sliced cured meat known as Bündnerfleisch. Most mountain areas in Switzerland produce their own cured and air-dried meats and salamis which are highly recommended.

The canton of Appenzell in eastern Switzerland is known for various sausage dishes, including Appenzeller Siedwurst and Appenzeller Bauernschüblig. Another favorite meat delicacy are Appenzeller Mostbröckli, a type of spiced, cured and smoked beef. The local cheese is branded as Appenzeller Käse and is supposedly made from a secret recipe. On the sweet end of the spectrum, Appenzeller Bärli-Biber is a soft gingerbread with an almond filling, and Landsgmendchrempfli is a sugar and egg based pastry filled with hazelnut paste.

It is very easy to come by high-quality Italian cuisine in Switzerland, but when in Italian-speaking Ticino be sure to try the local specialities based around polenta (a corn dish), risotto (the rice of the same name is exclusively cultivated in Ticino and northern Italy), and many kind of marroni (chestnuts) dishes in Autumn, either as part of a cooked meal, or simply roasted during very cold winter days in the streets, or as a special sweet dessert called vermicelles.

Swiss chocolate is world famous and there is a large range of different chocolate brands.

The well-known breakfast dish Müesli comes from Switzerland, actually originally called Birchermüesli, is well-worth trying – oats soaked in water, milk, or fruit juice and then mixed with yoghurt, fruits, nuts and apple shavings.

Of course, there are many more local and traditional dishes and meals to be found, which can not all be listed. There is a whole site dedicated solely to the Culinary Heritage of Switzerland by canton, though only available in one of the official Swiss languages.

Like most other things, eating out is expensive in Switzerland. One way to reduce food costs is to eat in the cafeterias of department stores such as Coop, Migros, and Manor. These cafeterias are usually considerably less expensive than stand-alone restaurants. Coop and Manor also offer beer and wine with meals while Migros does not. Smaller department store outlets might not have a cafeteria. Kebab shops and pizza restaurants abound in urban Switzerland, and these are often cheap options. In the major cities, more exotic fare is usually available – at a price.

Supermarket chains:

Swiss employment law bans working on Sundays, so shops stay closed. An exception is any business in a railway station, which is deemed to be serving travellers and so is exempt. If you want to find an open shop on a Sunday, go to the nearest big railway station. If a business is a purely family driven business, hence small shops, such as bakeries namely, can also open on Sundays in most cantons.

Swiss supermarkets can be hard to spot in big cities. They often have small entrances, but open out inside, or are in a basement, leaving the expensive street frontages for other shops. Look for the supermarket logos above entrances between other shops. Geneva is an exception and you usually don’t have to go very far to find a Migros or Coop.

The most important supermarket brands are:

  • Migros – This chain of supermarkets (in fact a cooperative) provides average to good quality food and no-food products and homeware. However, they do not sell alcoholic beverages nor cigarettes. Brand name products are rare as the chain does their own brands (quality is good, which chain that you go to does not matter). Migros stores can be spotted by a big, orange Helvetica letter “M” sign. The number of “M” letters indicates the size of the store and the different services available – a single “M” is usually a smaller grocery store, a double M (“MM”) may be larger and sells other goods like clothing, and a MMM is a full department store with household goods and possibly electronics and sporting goods. Offers change weekly on Tuesdays.
  • Coop – Also a cooperative. Emphasis on quality as well as multi-buy offers, points collection scheme(s) and money off coupons. Sells many major brands. Come at the end of the day to get half-priced salads and sandwiches. Coop City is usually a department store with a Coop grocery store inside, a multi-floor layout provides space for clothing, electrical items, stationary, paperware as well as beauty products and perfume. Offers change weekly (some exceptions – fortnightly), on Tuesdays.
  • Denner – A discount grocery store, noticeable for their red signs and store interiors. Relatively low priced. Offers change weekly, usually from Wednesday. Denner was bought by Migros in late 2006, but will not be rebranded at present.
  • Coop Pronto – a convenience store branch of Coop, usually open late (at least 20:00) seven days a week. Usually has a petrol, filling-station forecourt.
  • Aperto – also a convenience store, located in the railway stations. Bought by Coop in 2016, now sells more or less the same products as Coop Pronto.
  • Manor – the Manor department stores often have a grocery store on the underground level.
  • Globus – in the largest cities the Globus department stores have an upscale grocery store on the underground level.

Coop offers a low-price-line (Coop Prix-Garantie) of various products and in Migros you can find the corresponding “M-Budget” products. Sometimes it’s exactly the same product, just for cheaper price. They also offer cheap prepaid mobiles some of the cheapest call rates.

The German discounters Aldi and Lidl are also present in Switzerland. The prices are a little lower than at the other supermarket chains, but still significantly higher than in Germany.

DRINK:

Virtually all tap water – including that in households or hotel rooms – is perfectly drinkable, thoroughly and frequently monitored, and of excellent quality. About 85% of Swiss residents drink tap water daily; there is no need to buy drinking water. There are many drinking water fountains to be found, especially in towns and villages, e.g. in Zurich more than 1200, or in Basel about 170. The few exceptions, such as in train toilets, are clearly signed with “Kein Trinkwasser” (German), “Non potable” (French), or “Non potabile” (Italian). Temporarily installed troughs on mountain meadows used to water the cattle are also not suitable for drinking.

Soft drinks in supermarkets are one of the few things that aren’t notably more expensive than elsewhere in Central Europe. Local specialties are the lactose-based soft drink Rivella and the lemon-flavoured Elmer Citro.

Switzerland produces a surprisingly large amount of wine, with the climate and soil well-suited to many grape types. Very little of this wine is exported and is very reasonably priced in the supermarkets, so it is well worth trying! The Lake Geneva region is particularly famous for its wines, and the picturesque vineyards are worth visiting for their own right. However, wines are made throughout the country in Valais, Vaud, Ticino, Neuchâtel, the Lake Biel region, Graubünden, Aargau, Thurgau, Schaffhausen and even on the hills around Zurich and Basel – why not try a glass from your next destination?

Unfortunately, all the major Swiss beer breweries have lost their Swiss origins because they have been acquired by major international corporations (e.g. Feldschlösschen belongs to Carlsberg, Eichhof and Calanda Bräu belong to Heineken). As a consequence, many other still Swiss breweries (e.g. Löwenbräu was taken over by Hürlimann, Hürlimann was taken over by Feldschlösschen, Warteck Bier and Gurten Bier was integrated into Feldschlösschen, Cardinal was taken over by Feldschlösschen-Hürlimann, now Carlsberg; Ziegelhof was aquired by Eichhof, Haldengut was integrated into Calanda Bräu, now Heineken) were consolidated and further closed due to too weak economics strength. But as a kind of constructive protest, many small, local breweries with new beers emerged around and after the turn of the millennium. Contrary to the vehement recommendations of economists at the time, this was a great success because many Swiss turned their backs on the big breweries, but also many of these local, small breweries simply brew the better beer. If you find the beer at Coop, you can assume that it no longer belongs to the young wild enterpreneurs. Ask a local which beer is good, but not an expat!

Most accommodation in Switzerland can now be found and booked through the major internet booking sites, even hotels and huts in remote areas. Even so, most tourist areas in Switzerland have a tourist office where you can call and have them book a hotel for you for a small fee. Each town usually has a comprehensive list of hotels on their web site, and it is often easier and cheaper to simply book directly with the hotel. Some hotels will request that you fax or email them your credit card information in order to secure a reservation. In general, hotel staff are helpful and competent, and speak English quite well.

As in most European countries, Switzerland offers a wide range of accommodation possibilities. These go from 5-star hotels to campgrounds, youth hostels or sleeping in the hay. Types of hotels in Switzerland include historic hotels, traditional hotels, inns located in the country, spas and bed and breakfasts.

Compared to other European countries, accommodation in Switzerland is in general amongst the more expensive. Hotel rates in Switzerland can get quite expensive, especially in popular ski resort areas and major cities.

The following prices can be used as a rule of thumb:

  • 5-star-hotel: from Fr. 350 per person/night
  • 4-star-hotel: from Fr. 180 per person/night
  • 3-star-hotel: from Fr. 120 per person/night
  • 2-star-hotel: from Fr. 80 per person/night
  • Hostel: from Fr. 30 per person/night

The Swiss hotel stars are issued by the hotelleriesuisse Swiss Hotel Association. All members of hotelleriesuisse must undergo regular quality tests to obtain their hotel stars. On swisshotels.com you can find information on hotel stars, infrastructure and specialisations.

Tips are included with all services. For special efforts, a small tip, usually by rounding up the sum, is always welcome.

There is also a hostel network in Switzerland for students, the prices of Swiss Youth Hostels are on the usual European level.

Switzerland is famous for a few key goods: watches, chocolate, cheese, and Swiss Army knives.

  • Watches – Switzerland is the watch-making capital of the world, and “Swiss Made” on a watch face has long been a mark of quality. While the French-speaking regions of Switzerland are usually associated with Swiss watchmakers (like Rolex, Omega, and Patek Philippe), some fine watches are made in the Swiss-German-speaking region, such as IWC in Schaffhausen. Every large town will have quite a few horologists and jewellers with a vast selection of fancy watches displayed in their windows, ranging from the fashionable Swatch for Fr. 60 to the handmade chronometer with the huge price tag. For fun, try to spot the most expensive of these mechanical creations and the ones with the most “bedazzle!”
  • Chocolate – Switzerland may always have a rivalry with Belgium for the world’s best chocolate, but there’s no doubting that the Swiss variety is amazingly good. Switzerland is also home to the huge Nestlé food company. If you have a fine palate (and a fat wallet) – you can find two of the finest Swiss chocolatiers in Zurich: Teuscher (try the champagne truffles) and Sprüngli. For the rest of us, even the generic grocery store brand chocolates in Switzerland still blow away the Hershey bars found elsewhere. For good value, try the Frey brand chocolates sold at Migros. If you want to try some real good and exclusive Swiss chocolate, go for the Pamaco chocolates, derived from the noble Criollo beans and accomplished through the original, complex process of refinement that requires 72 hours. These are quite expensive though; a bar of 125g (4 oz) costs about Fr. 8. For Lindt fans, it is possible to get them as cheaply as half the supermarket price by going to the Lindt factory store in Kilchberg (near Zurich). Factory visits are also possible at Frey near Aarau, Läderach in Bilten and Cailler in Broc.
  • Cheese – many regions of Switzerland have their own regional cheese speciality. Of these, the most well-known are Gruyère and Emmentaler (what Americans know as “Swiss cheese”). Be sure to sample the wide variety of cheeses sold in markets, and of course try the cheese fondue! Fondue is basically melted cheese and is used as a dip with other food such as bread. The original mixture consists of half Vacherin cheese and half Gruyère but many different combinations have been developed since. If you’re hiking, you will often come across farms and village shops selling the local mountain cheese (German: Bergkäse) from the pastures you are walking across. These cheeses are often not sold elsewhere, so don’t miss the chance to sample part of Switzerland’s culinary heritage.
  • Swiss Army knives – Switzerland is the official home of the Swiss Army knife. There are two brands: Victorinox and Wenger, but both brands are now manufactured by Victorinox since the Wenger business went bankrupt and Victorinox purchased it in 2005. Collectors agree Victorinox knives are superior in terms of design, quality, and functionality. The most popular Victorinox knife is the Swiss Champ which has 33 functions and costs about Fr. 78. Most tourists will purchase this knife. The “biggest” Victorinox knife is the Swiss Champ 1.6795.XAVT- This has 80 functions and is supplied in a case. This knife costs Fr. 364 and may be a collector’s model in years to come. Most shops throughout Switzerland stock Victorinox knives, including some newsagents and they make excellent gifts and souvenirs. Unlike the tourists’ knife, the actual “Swiss Army Knife” is not red with a white cross, but gray with a small Swiss flag. The Swiss Army issue knife is also produced by Victorinox. It is distinguished by having the production year engraved on the base of the biggest blade, and no cork-screw because the Swiss soldier must not drink wine on duty. Swiss Army Knives can not be carried on board commercial flights and must be packed in your hold baggage.

Ski and tourist areas will sell many other kinds of touristy items – cowbells, clothing embroidered with white Edelweiss flowers, and Heidi-related stuff. Swiss people love cows in all shapes and sizes, and you can find cow-related goods everywhere, from stuffed toy cows to fake cow-hide jackets. If you have a generous souvenir budget, look for fine traditional handcrafted items such as hand-carved wooden figures in Brienz, and lace and fine linens in St. Gallen. If you have really deep pockets, or just wish you did, be sure to shop on Zurich’s famed Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most exclusive shopping streets in the world. If you’re looking for hip shops and thrift stores, head for the Niederdorf or the Stauffacher areas of Zurich.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Switzerland
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Chillon Castle
Location: Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Chillon Castle is an island castle located on Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), south of Veytaux in the canton of Vaud. It is situated at the eastern end of the lake, on the narrow shore between Montreux and Villeneuve, which gives access to the Alpine valley of the Rhône. Chillon is amongst the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe. Inside the castle itself there are four great halls, three courtyards, and a series of bedrooms open to the public. One of the oldest is the Camera domini, which was a room occupied by the Duke of Savoy - it is decorated with 14th century medieval murals.

Chillon began as a Roman outpost, guarding the strategic road through the Alpine passes. The later history of Chillon was influenced by three major periods: the Savoy Period, the Bernese Period, and the Vaudois Period. The oldest parts of the castle have not been definitively dated, but the first written record of the castle was in 1005. It was built to control the road from Burgundy to the Great Saint Bernard Pass From the mid 12th century, the castle was summer home to the Counts of Savoy, who kept a fleet of ships on Lake Geneva. The castle was greatly expanded in 1248 by Peter II.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chillon_Castle
Name: Kapellbrücke
Location: Lucerne, Switzerland
The Kapellbrücke (literally, Chapel Bridge) is a covered wooden footbridge spanning the River Reuss diagonally in the city of Lucerne in central Switzerland. Named after the nearby St. Peter's Chapel, the bridge is unique in containing a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century, although many of them were destroyed along with a larger part of the centuries-old bridge in a 1993 fire. Subsequently restored, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world's oldest surviving truss bridge. It serves as the city's symbol and as one of Switzerland's main tourist attractions.

Part of the bridge complex is the octagonal 34.5 m (113 ft) tall (from ground) Wasserturm, which translates to "water tower," in the sense of 'tower standing in the water.' The tower pre-dated the bridge by about 30 years. Over the centuries, the tower has been used as a prison, torture chamber, and later a municipal archive as well as a local treasury. Today, the tower is closed to the public, although it houses a local artillery association and a tourist gift shop.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapellbrücke
Name: Jungfraujoch
Location: Switzerland
Jungfraujoch is a notable saddle in the Bernese Alps, connecting the two four-thousander peaks Jungfrau and Mönch, at an elevation of 3,466 metres (11,371 ft) above sea level. It is a glacier saddle, on the upper snows of the Aletsch Glacier, and part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch area, situated on the boundary between the cantons of Bern and Valais, halfway between Interlaken and Fiesch.

Since 1912, the Jungfraujoch has been accessible to tourists by the Jungfrau line, a railway from Interlaken and Kleine Scheidegg, running partly underground through a tunnel through the Eiger and Mönch. The Jungfraujoch railway station, at an elevation of 3,454 metres (11,332 ft) is the highest in Europe. It lies east of the saddle, below the Sphinx station, and is connected to the Top of Europe building, which includes several panoramic restaurants and a post office. Several tunnels lead outside, where secured hiking trails on the crevassed glacier can be followed, in particular to the Mönchsjoch Hut.

The Sphinx Observatory, one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world, provides an additional viewing platform at a height of 3,572 metres (11,719 ft).


 SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungfraujoch
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN SWITZERLAND / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

Please do also view our introductory video at the following web link:

https://usglobalvisas.com/personal/more/about-us

We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

Global Immigration Leader, Big 4

“Manny. You have really gone the extra mile in supporting the US Business Visitor Service. You have demonstrated real commitment and energy, working a late shift night while we try and find others to fill the position. I know that the other night you stayed until 4am. You are always so positive and your cheerful disposition and attention to detail has resulted in excellent client feedback. On Monday the key client came to London and she was effusive about the service. This is largely due the cover you provide.”

Internal stakeholder, Big 4

“Manny is a big reason why the move from (external provider) to the UK firm’s passport and visa provision has been so smooth. He’s an extremely likeable honest hard working guy who takes his role very seriously. We’re very fortunate to have him leading our dedicated team”

External client, Private practice

“Most of my contact was with Manpreet Singh Johal. He did the best job someone could imagine. Extraordinary service from his side.”

Team member, Big 4

“Working on two priority accounts is naturally pressurised especially where he has also been responsible for billing on both accounts; yet Manny delivers every time and this I believe is an exceptional quality.”

Please think before printing – click here for more info

WEB LINKS

LOCATIONS