Switzerland

Switzerland may be neutral but it is certainly not bland. The fusion of German, French and Italian ingredients has formed a robust national culture, and the country’s alpine landscapes have enough zing to reinvigorate the most jaded traveller. The mountains are mainly responsible for the variety of local and regional microclimates. Ticino in the South has a hot, Mediterranean climate, but most of the rest of the country has a central European climate, with summer temperatures typically in the low-to-mid 20’s (high 60’s-70’s) and between 1° C (36° F) and 6° C (42° F) in winter. Goethe summed up Switzerland as a combination of “the colossal and the well-ordered”.

General information -SWITZERLAND

AREA 41,300 km²

POPULATION 7,500,000

CAPITAL CITY Berne

CURRENCY Swiss Francs (CHF)

LANGUAGES German, French, Italian, Romansh

TIME ZONES +01:00 (GMT/UTC)

COUNTRY PHONE CODE +41

ELECTRICITY 220 V (EU)

TIPPING Optional, but appreciated (5–10 % depending on the total amount).

BANKS OPENING HOURS Monday to Friday: 9:30 am to noon/1:30 to 5:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday, closed.

HEALTH Switzerland is "well-stocked" with doctors and pharmacies. Pharmacies operate a rota system for night and Sunday duty.

GENERAL INFORMATION NATIONAL PUBLIC HOLIDAYS New Year's Day: 01.01.2012, Berchtolds Day: 02.01.2012, Good Friday: 06.4.2012, Easter Monday: 09.04.2012, Labour Day: 01.05.2012, Ascension Day: 17.05.2012, Whit Monday: 28.05.2012, National Day: 01.08.2012, Christmas: 24.12.-25.12.2012

CONTACT Kuoni Destination Management Switzerland, Ueberlandstrasse 360, CH-8051 Zurich