Switzerland has been one of the most developed tourist countries in Europe for many years. Quiet and beautiful cities, wonderful ski resorts with first-class hotels, snow-capped mountains, lakes with crystal clear waters and preserved culture make this country popular not only among European tourists. Although the area of the country is not too large, but the most diverse creations of nature and human hands could fit on it. Switzerland is characterized by small towns, and each of them is beautiful in its own way, and in terms of outdoor activities, the country can compete with many European countries.
Geography of Switzerland
According to extrareference.com, Switzerland is located in the central part of Europe, so it has no access to the sea. In the west, the country borders on France, in the east of the country it borders on Austria and Liechtenstein, in the north on Germany, and in the south Switzerland borders on Italy. The capital of the country is the city of Bern.
The area of Switzerland is 41.285 km. sq., occupies the 133rd place in the world in terms of area.
The national currency is the Swiss franc (CHF).
The official language is German, French, Italian.
Visa to Switzerland
Since Switzerland is one of the countries participating in the Schengen Agreement, residents of the CIS must have a Schengen visa to visit it. A tourist visa can be obtained by people who have booked a bus tour of the country in advance or a hotel room. If your friends or relatives with citizenship or a residence permit live in Switzerland, you can get a visitor visa. Children over 6 years of age need to paste a photo of the child and a separate visa into their parents’ passport. Children who have their own passport must submit the same set of documents as an adult. The term for consideration of an application for a Schengen visa at the embassy or consulate of Switzerland is at least 3 working days from the date of payment of the consular fee. The period of stay in the Schengen countries is 90 days.
Weather in Switzerland
The country has a temperate continental climate, but at the same time very diverse, which is rare for such a small country. The climate here is more dependent on the relief and altitude, so there are many local climatic zones in Switzerland. The Mediterranean climate is more typical for the south of the country, and temperate in the center. In Mitteland, maritime air masses have a greater influence on the weather. The climate contrast in Switzerland is unique, for example, in Geneva in January the average temperature is +6 C, and in July +10 C, while at the same time, 70 km from here, the January temperature is 0 C, and in July – +16 C. At any season in Switzerland you can find a place with suitable weather. The season in the Alpine ski resorts begins in December and lasts until April. The center of the country is best visited in July-September,
In most Swiss cities, the urban transport system consists of buses, trolleybuses and trams. A ticket for any type of transport is the same, you can also use this ticket on trains, but only within the city. A day pass costs 7.6 francs. In many cities, special tourist cards are sold for tourists, their price includes travel by public transport, entrance to museums and excursions. The cost of such a card is approximately 13.5 francs. At Geneva Airport, special free travel passes are issued, which are valid for 80 minutes. You can order a taxi by phone or find it at hotels and restaurants.
Currency exchange in Switzerland
As of September 2011, the national currency rate is 1 USD = 0.79 CHF. The national currency is the Swiss franc. Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 08.00 to 16.30, and some until 17.00-18.00. Lunch break from 12.00 to 14.00. At airports and train stations, many exchange offices operate around the clock. The easiest way to change currency and traveler’s checks is at special exchange bureaus “bureaux de change” located at stations. In exchange bureaus there is no commission, and the rate is the same as that of banks. In many places you can pay in euros. It is advisable to exchange currency before entering the country, since in Switzerland the exchange rate is overpriced, although minimal. Local ATMs accept almost all types of cards. You can pay with credit cards in almost any part of the country, however, in some places, in order to pay with a credit card, you need to make a purchase for a certain amount.
230V/50Hz (European sockets).
Switzerland is a Christian country and most of the believing population is represented by Catholics – 41% and 35% Protestants. Also, 6% of representatives of other religious denominations live in the country.
Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world, even by Western European standards. But recently, crime has increased slightly and the main reason for this is migrants, who commit 70% of all crimes. Most attention should be paid to crowded places (museums, transport, train stations), where pickpockets are most often operating. It is advisable not to carry a bag or camera on one shoulder. It is best to close the car doors to lock, and do not leave things in the front seat.
Residents of Russia visiting Switzerland must have international health insurance with them. During a visit to the doctor, you must present insurance or pay a deposit. If you do not have insurance, you may be asked to pay in cash on the spot. The cost of medical services is very expensive and almost all doctors work on a schedule, and in order to get an appointment with them, you must make an appointment in advance. If you need medical assistance, you can find out the address of the nearest hospital at the pharmacy or from local residents. Even in small towns there are small clinics. If the disease poses a threat to life, then you should immediately contact an ambulance by calling 144.