The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends travel that is not strictly necessary to the city of Samnaun (Canton of Graub¨¹nden) and the city of Zermatt, as well as the areas bordering Ischgl and Italian Cervinia. For information about coronavirus see the section Health.
Switzerland is a safe destination for tourists and is in many ways comparable to Norway. The level of crime is low, and most trips to the country go safely and without special problems. However, as in all major cities, precautions should be taken to avoid pocket theft and other crime, as well as to exercise normal vigilance at night and night during visits to Zurich and Geneva, and during the train journey to said cities.
The risk of terrorist incidents is considered low in Switzerland, but several terrorist incidents in neighboring Germany and France in recent years have
led to increased focus on risk and preparedness also in Switzerland.
When it comes to natural disasters, the State Civil Protection Office has considered earthquakes to be the biggest danger to Switzerland. There have been cases of flooding in Switzerland (most recently in the summer of 2005) that have caused major damage to buildings, roads and rail networks, and have led to breakdowns of the telephone and electricity networks. Some villages have been isolated. The danger of landslides is also present in heavy rain.
- Countryaah: Bern is the capital of Switzerland. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.
People traveling in the mountains should be aware of the danger of avalanches and should equip themselves with avalanches. Off-piste driving is very risky, so all traffic should be in accordance with safety instructions. In connection with off-piste driving in blocked slopes, a rescue operation can result in compensation claims. To stay up to date on the current avalanche danger, visit the website of the Swiss authorities’ department for snow and avalanche research.
Traveling by public means of communication (train, metro, airplane, bus, etc.) is considered safe in Switzerland. Caution should be exercised on the highway as there are relatively frequent queues due to accidents.
In the event of a crisis or emergency, the Norwegian Embassy in Switzerland is encouraged to contact them. The embassy can be contacted by phone: +41 31 310 55 55 and e-mail: [email protected] The embassy is open from Monday – Friday from 09.00-16.00.
Emergency number: Police 117, fire 118, European emergency number 112 (phone answered by police), medical assistance 144, air ambulance 1414, roadside assistance 140, roadside information 163, landslide bulletin 187 (landslide, snow line).
Norwegian citizens staying for a shorter or longer period in Switzerland are encouraged to register on reiseregistrering.no. Everyone who travels is encouraged to have travel insurance in order.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country.
In December 2008, Switzerland became part of the Schengen area. The border control between Switzerland and the Schengen countries has thus ceased. Liechtenstein became part of the Schengen area in 2011. Norwegian citizens must also bring a valid passport on trips within the Schengen area, because the passport is the only document that satisfies international requirements for identification documents.
According to the Schengen Table of Travel Document, Norwegian emergency passports, foreigners passports and refugee certificates are valid for entry into Switzerland and Liechtenstein. For longer stays see Swiss Federal Office for Migration.
Tighter border control: Many countries in Europe have introduced temporary border control where previously you could travel without a passport. The requirement for a valid travel document is also tightened with the airlines, so that you can no longer travel by bank card or driver’s license as proof of their identity.
Entry to Switzerland with underage children: Swiss authorities recommend that persons traveling alone with underage children to Switzerland bring with them the authorization of parents/parents who do not accompany the child on the journey.
The embassy finds that this can also apply if an accompanying parent and child have different surnames and/or different passports. The proxy should include the name, address and telephone number of the proxy, as well as a copy of the proxy’s passport, itinerary for the child and the purpose of the trip. See Swiss migration pages.
Coronavirus (covid-19): Norwegian travelers are advised to stay abreast of the development of the coronavirus. Travelers should follow local authorities’ advice, guidance and requests on how to deal with the situation.
Swiss authorities continuously inform about the situation on the health authorities’ website New coronavirus. Information is available in English, German, French and Italian.
Switzerland has a very well-developed health care system and high standards in hospitals and medical services. The country has no special vaccination regulations.
European health cards are initially in line with EU/EEA countries, but since the health care system is heavily privatized, a number of health institutions require you to pay for on-site services, despite the presentation of European health insurance cards. One must then contact the Norwegian or Swiss authorities themselves to get the expenses reimbursed. Not all health services are reimbursed, as deductibles are imposed.
Further on European Health Insurance Card: The card gives you the right to receive health care in emergency situations (accidents and the like) and to cover expenses for necessary health care in EU/EEA countries. What is meant by the necessary health care depends on the kind of health care involved and how long the stay is intended to last. You have the right to the health services that are necessary in order to continue your stay or journey in a medically sound manner. You have the right to cover health care expenses according to the rules of your country of residence. If it is common for those living in the country to have to pay deductibles, one must also do so as a tourist. Read more about European health insurance card on Helfo’s website.
Travel insurance is recommended as supplementary insurance. The health insurance card does not replace ordinary travel insurance on travel in Europe. The card only covers disease treatment in EU/EEA countries. The card does not cover extra travel expenses because you have become ill or have suffered an accident. It also does not cover expenses related to loss of valuables, lost luggage or other arrangements that you can get through a regular travel insurance policy.
You are responsible for taking out travel insurance when you travel abroad. It is important that you check that your travel insurance applies to the area you are traveling to.
For health professional travel advice and health professional guidance to Norwegians when traveling abroad, you can contact the Institute of Public Health.
63.7 percent of the Swiss population speak German, 20.4 percent French, 6.5 percent Italian and 0.5 percent rhetoric (all languages are national languages, but only the first three are official). In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the inhabitants speak German, but most also speak German. In this part of Switzerland, and especially in the cities, people have good English skills. This applies to a somewhat lesser degree to the French, Italian and rhetorical speaking parts of Switzerland. Most Swiss who work in service industries speak English.
According to allcitycodes, Switzerland’s national phone code is +41. There is no time difference between Norway and Switzerland, and the country has summer time like Norway.
Switzerland has a very well-developed road and public network, major international airports in Zurich, Geneva and Basel and some international connections to Bern and Lugano. The train network is very well developed with hour or half hour routes on most lines. Travel time between Zurich – Geneva is about 2 hours and 50 minutes and Zurich – Bern approx. one hour. Bus connections are good for most villages and they correspond frequently with trains. Comprehensive and very well developed road network, but danger of queuing around the big cities during rush hour.
For more information see overview of timetables and ticket prices.
Tourists traveling in Switzerland by car must pay a highway fee of CHF 40. This can be paid at the border and has a maximum duration of 14 months. Each cachet has an annual number written, but the cachet is on sale and valid from 1.12 the previous year to 31.1 the year after the cachet year. For example, if If you purchase a bond on December 5, 2015, it will be valid until January 31, 2017.
For private traffic on Swiss roads, one must follow the Swiss traffic rules and customs, such as speed limits and rules for alcohol intake and safety for children. Radar alerts are illegal in Switzerland, both in use and not. The speed limit on Swiss motorways is 120 km/h (80 – 100 km/h tunnels). As mentioned above, tourists traveling in Switzerland by car have to pay a highway fee of CHF 40. Swiss traffic rules are enforced relatively strictly. Violation of the traffic regulations can be punishable by expensive fines and/or imprisonment. When driving in alpine transit routes, travelers are asked to follow instructions given by local police and officials.
Each of the 26 cantons has their own laws and regulations, but they coincide largely so that there is great equality all over Switzerland. If you are uncertain about specific laws, you can contact the local police or a tourist office in the canton.
Swiss Francs is the currency unit in Switzerland. One franc is divided into 100 rapes (German), centimes (French), centesimi (Italian), rapese (rhetorical). Swiss francs are also used in Liechtenstein. The currency code is CHF.
The mains is 220 volts (also partially 230/240 volts). There is at least 95 percent coverage for GSM. You use partially own contacts with three contact points (one for grounding) and it is therefore advisable to bring adapters.
Please note that in some grocery stores you cannot use Norwegian/ international credit cards, so you may want to have cash available.
Banks and public offices are open from 8am (some from 8.30am) to 5pm, shops are open Monday-Friday 8am (9am) – 7pm, Saturday 8am (9am) – 5pm. Most shops are open until 9pm on Thursdays.
Holidays: January 1st, Good Friday, 1st and 2nd Easter Sunday, May 1st, 1st and 2nd Pentecost, August 1st (Switzerland’s National Day), December 25th and 26th. In addition, there are regional holidays such as January 2, Ascension Day etc.
The climate in Switzerland is generally milder than in Norway, although it can be cold in winter (usually in higher altitudes). Summer can be hot with up to 30-35 degrees in certain periods (July – August). Dry winds from the southwest often cause large fluctuations in air pressure and temperature.