Currency

Swiss franc (official abbreviation CHF, also Sfr)

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than Sfr200

  • Dorm bed: Sfr30–60
  • Double room in budget hotel: from Sfr100
  • Lunch out and self-catering after dark: from Sfr25

Midrange: Sfr200–300

  • Double room in two- or three-star hotel: from Sfr200 (Sfr150 at weekends)
  • Dish of the day (tagesteller, plat du jour, piatto del giorno) or fixed two-course menu: Sfr40–70

Top End: More than Sfr300

  • Double room in four- or five-star hotel: from Sfr350 (Sfr250 at weekends)
  • Three-course dinner in upmarket restaurant: from Sfr100

Bargaining

Haggling is not generally the done thing in Switzerland. With the exception of auctions and flea markets, you'll usually be expected to pay the requested price.

Money

ATMs are at every airport, most train stations and on every second street corner in towns and cities; Visa, MasterCard and Amex widely accepted.

ATMs

ATMs – called Bancomats in banks and Postomats in post offices – are widespread and accessible 24 hours. They accept most international bank or credit cards and have multilingual instructions. Your bank or credit-card company will often charge a 1% to 2.5% fee, and there may also be a small charge at the ATM end.

Cash

Swiss francs are divided into 100 centimes (Rappen in German-speaking Switzerland). There are notes for 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1000 francs, and coins for five, 10, 20 and 50 centimes, as well as for one, two and five francs.

Businesses throughout Switzerland, including most hotels and some restaurants and souvenir shops, will accept payment in euros. Change will be given in Swiss francs at the rate of exchange calculated on the day.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, shops and restaurants. EuroCard/MasterCard and Visa are the most popular.

Exchange Rates

AustraliaA$1Sfr0.71
CanadaC$1Sfr0.77
Europe€1Sfr1.13
Japan¥100Sfr0.86
NZNZ$1Sfr1.54
UKUK£1Sfr1.28
USUS$1Sfr0.98

For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.

Money Changers

Change money at banks, airports and nearly every train station until late into the evening. Banks tend to charge about 5% commission; some money-exchange bureaus don’t charge commission at all.

Tipping

Tipping is not necessary, given that hotels, restaurants, bars and even some taxis are legally required to include a 15% service charge in bills.

  • Restaurants You can round up the bill after a meal for good service, as locals do.
  • Hotels Hotel and railway porters expect a franc or two per bag.