Business opening hours vary from town to town and canton to canton. In general, supermarkets usually open between 8 and 9 a.m. and close between 6 and 7 p.m. On Saturdays, most stores close at 5 pm. The stores are closed on Sunday. Many smaller stores also take a lunch break and reopen in the afternoon.
At many tourist destinations as well as at railroad stations and airports, stores are often open longer, sometimes even on Sundays.
The two largest supermarket chains are Migros and Coop.
The Swiss currency is the Swiss franc. There are coins in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes as well as 1, 2 and 5 francs. The banknotes have denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1000 francs. However, you will hardly ever come across the 1000-franc note in everyday use.
Credit cards are widely accepted in Switzerland. The most common credit cards are Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Cash can be withdrawn from ATMs using credit cards or debit cards (Mastercard Debit, Visa Debit). Even if small amounts can usually be paid by card, it is advisable to have a small amount of cash with you on arrival.
Drinking Age for wine, beer and some other alcoholic beverages up to 15 percent by volume is 16 years. For spirits and everything else above 15 percent by volume, the drinking age is 18. It is permitted to consume alcohol in public.
Type C and type J plugs are used in Switzerland. Most sockets are designed for three pins, but can always be used with two-pin Type C plugs. Please bring a travel adapter, even if you are traveling from our neighboring countries.
The standard voltage is 230 V. The frequency is 50 Hz.
Switzerland has four official national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. German is spoken in Interlaken. However, it is usually no problem to communicate in English.
Switzerland has a very well-developed public transportation system. It is possible to reach practically any place in Switzerland by train and bus. Timetables and further information can be found on the website www.sbb.ch.
Smoking is usually permitted in outdoor areas in Switzerland. However, please observe any prohibitions. Smoking is generally not permitted indoors, although there are some smoking rooms ("Fumoir"). The minimum age for buying cigarettes is 18 years in most cantons.
Even though the use of marijuana is not uncommon, it is prohibited.
The tip is included in the price. However, if the service is good, it is customary to round up the amount to be paid. When visiting a restaurant, a tip of 5 to 10 percent is customary.
In Switzerland, traffic is on the right. The speed limit on motorways is 120 km, in other places 80 km and in urban areas 50 km. In urban areas, however, speed 30 is becoming more and more common, especially in residential areas. Stick to the speed limits. The fines are high, and there are regular speed controlls.
The maximum permissible alcohol level for drivers ist 0,5 ‰ blood alcohol.