Famous for chocolate, watches, cuckoo clocks and yodelling, and – of course – its spectacular Alpine landscape, Switzerland offers rural beauty, glamourous ski resorts, medieval treasures such as Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Cathedral or Bellinzona’s three castles, and the contemporary, hip city of Zurich. It is the country of the great outdoors, with some of the most scenic railroutes in Europe, superior mountaineering, hiking and wintersports opportunities, and charming historical gems for history buffs and culture vultures.
KEY FACTS BEFORE YOU GO:
- Capital: Switzerland does not officially have a capital city, although Bern is its de facto capital. Zurich is the largest city.
- Currency: Swiss Franc
- Time Difference: Switzerland follows Central European Time, which is 1 hour AHEAD of the UK throughout the year. It observes Daylight Saving Time from the last Sunday of March to the last Sunday of October, corresponding to when the UK observes DST.
- Flight time: Direct flights to Switzerland take around 1 hour and 40 minutes (whether flying to Zurich, Bern, Geneve, or Basel)
- Official language: French, Italian, German (all of which have equal status at the national level), and Romansh
- Entry requirements: Visas are not required. As part of Europe and the Schengen area, in the event of Brexit, please read here for information on changes to travel. Currently, no additional validity is required on your passport, but please also read our further information for changes following Brexit.
- Vaccinations and Health: You should always ensure that you travel with adequate travel health insurance. For up-to-date information, please check this website (as recommended by the Foreign Office): https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/216/switzerland#Vaccine_recommendations. If vaccinations are required, it is generally advisable to arrange an appointment with a health professional four to six weeks before departure.
General information on travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/
To find out more, and for the most up-to-date advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/switzerland
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