Switzerland: an introduction
This landlocked country sits right at the heart of Europe. The Alps are its biggest attraction and the vast mountain range takes up much of the country. The luxury ski resorts here are some of the best in the world, and you can head to the Matterhorn for one of Europe’s most famous slopes.
Though it’s famed for its mountains, most of Switzerland’s major cities are in the flatter Swiss Plateau. You can travel from Geneva – known for its eponymous lake and the world’s largest fountain – to Bern, the country’s capital. Then it’s a short train ride to Zurich, where one day’s sightseeing can take in the medieval old town and the Lindt chocolate factory.
Switzerland is an expensive country, so it can be hard to travel on a tight budget. You can keep costs relatively low by staying at hostels, preparing your own meals and missing out the more expensive trips.
Daily spend: £50-70
With a bigger budget, you can stay at a good hotel and afford more of the main attractions. You can also spend some time in the cities and travel around the country by train.
Daily spend: £75-100
From expensive ski resorts to 5-star hotels in the cities, you can certainly spend a lot in Switzerland. You can also get around in 1st class trains and eat at the best upmarket restaurants.
Daily spend: £150-200
Prices are approximate and subject to change.
Money saving tips for Switzerland
- Miss out on the cable cars. They’re a fun way of seeing the country but they can be very expensive.
- Rent your car online. Getting a car at the counter can sometimes cost double.
- Go to the museum for free. Most of them will have free nights a few days a month.
- Do your shopping in the evening. Grocery shops can knock up to 50% off the price of perishable goods.
The smart way to travel
Keep track of your holiday spending and instantly convert local prices into pounds with our free smartphone apps. There are three handy apps to download for iOS and Android, including Travel Essentials, Travel Money Card & Currency Converter. You can also download an instant currency converter for your Apple Watch.
Switzerland’s currency – the basics
- The currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc
- Switzerland is the last country in Europe to issue a version of the franc
- Banknotes come in 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1,000 franc denominations
- Swiss Francs are divided into 100 Centimes and coins are available in 5’s, 10’s and 20 Centimes. 1,2 and 5 Franc coins are also available.
- The Swiss franc is used as a reserve currency around the world
- German-speaking areas call it the franken, while Italian-speaking areas call it the franco
- Switzerland has 4 official languages, but instead it uses Latin for its coin inscriptions
Get your Swiss currency from us
We make it easy to get Swiss Francs before your trip:
- Order online for a better rate on foreign currency – minimum order value of £400 applies online
- 0% commission, competitive rates on up to 70 foreign currencies
- Delivered to your front door or pick up from one of 11,500 local Post Office branches. Search for your nearest branch here
- Free delivery for branch collection. For online orders of £500 or over for home delivery Monday-Friday, there is free delivery. For home delivery orders of under £500 there is a small delivery charge of £4.99
- Orders placed before 3pm, on a working day, can generally be delivered to your home the next working day. Where an order is placed on a Friday and delivery is required on a Saturday, there will be a charge of £1.50
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