GENERAL INFO Switzerland
Capitol:
Min. Traveling Cost/day US$40

Country Code , $1=1.6SF, Jan 20, 2001

Switzerland Top

Weather/Season
Best season: May - September.
Summer is usually very comfortable but you may get very cold days in the middle of summer. Long sleeve cloth/warm cloth are advisable
High season: During July/August, Feb/Mar(Ski resorts)

Tourist Info
The Swiss travel information offices are located at train stations most of the time. So it is very easy to get info.
They have a lot of information and staff are usually very good and knowledgeable. Usually free maps and accommodation lists are available

Bank/Exchange
Currency: SF swiss fran

Cash Advance:
Available at certain banks,usually no charge.
Credit Cards: Accepted in many hotels, high class restaurants, debt. stores, travel agencies, train stations, YHs.
ATM's: Best option in Switzerland. Widely available throughout the country. Usually accept Visa, MC,Cirrus, Plus.
Bank opening hour: M-F8:30-12:30, 14:00-16:30

Immigration/Visa
No visa required: Most of the nationals.

International Transport
No info at this moment

National Transport
There is an extensive, efficient bus and train network. Trains are generally the better option between the main cities with buses supplementing to smaller, nearby towns.

TRAIN:
Train is the major transport in Switzerland. The fares are very expensive. But there are numbers of ways to reduce the cost.
You should buy a ticket at a ticket counter, it may be possible to buy on the train but the ticket will cost more. International tickets are sold at the same counter.
Student Discounts Reductions usually between 10-25% on international tickets if you have an ISIC card.

The way to reduce the fare
1.
The round trip fares are discounted.
2. Touring fare exists, so if your return route is different from the going route, ask the fare.
3. Eurail pass, Interrail pass are valid for the most of the routes. If not, they allow you 25-50% discount. Eurail passes are supposed to be purchased out side of the country. Interrail is the one for the residences. However there are many reports saying you can buy those in Europe even though you are not eligible to buy. So if you need, just ask around even at the train station.
4. Swiss pass: It is very expensive pass, but if you are using train a lot, you may consider to buy one.
Period/2nd class Fare for 1/fare for 2 traveling together
4/230/392 8/320/544 15/380/646 21/440/748 1 month/500/950
5. Swiss Flex Pass: Valid for 1month
Period/2nd class Fare for 1/fare for 2 traveling together. 3/220/374 4/260/442 5/300/510 6/340/578 7/370/630 8/400/680 9/430/732
6. Swiss Card: 2 nd class 150SF Valid for one month. Allow you to travel the day of your entering Switzerland and leaving from Switzerland and 50% discount for the rest of the day. So you have to buy this outside of the country.
7. Swiss Half Fare Card: 90SF. Valid for a month. It allow you 50% discount for most of the transport. If you are already in Switzerland. It is the card for you.

Buses: No info at this moment.

Local Transport
Most cities have very efficient public transport system. But the fare is expensive.
Bus, Tram Tickets valid to all public transport and are transferable. Short ride tickets, normal one way tickets and 24 hour tickets. They all valid within the city boundary lines. If the transport go beyond it, you pay small extra fee.
Rental Bicycle Available at train station. Half day 16SF, 1 day 20SF, 7 day 80SF.
Taxis Metered. Make sure it is on.

Mail/Telephone
The Post & Telephone system is undergoing modernization, services are improving.
POST OFFICE: M-F 7:00-17:00, Sa7:00-12:00 - Major train stations have post office and they are open everyday 6-23:00. check local info. Poste Restante: Service available at GPO's in main towns.
American Express: holds mail for clients.

Mail Prices

Europe

others
Letter 20gr. land

1.10SF

1.30SF
Letter 20gr. air

1.2SF

1.80SF
Telephone
National Information 111, International operator 1141
International Enquiries 1159

Accommodation

Youth Hostels: For the budget travelers, affordable ones are only hostels. Many official YHs are throughout Switzerland, which require membership. Without member, you pay extra, for each night unto 6 to become a member. However there are many other private YHs which do not required the membership such as Swiss Backpackers. The both hostels have dormitories, single rooms and double rooms. The price are from dr 20SF. The standards are very high. Most have meeting rooms, gardens,kitchens, TV, food services, washing machines, etc. They can be booked in advance over the phone, but not always. If the case, phone in early morning of your arrival. They often keep your place. Major credit cards are accepted.

Pensions and private rooms: They can be arranges through tourist information offices.


Swiss Backpackers Group
www.Backpackers.ch

Nidau bei Biel-Bienne
Lago Lodge,
: Uferweg 5, T032-331-3732, lagolodge@access.ch www.Backpackers.ch/lagolodge dr20, d70+, bf, K, la, lockers, @, rb28SF

Vevey
Riviera Lodge:
Piace du marche 5, T021-923-8040, rivieralodge@bluewin.ch www.rivieralodge.ch dr22, d70, bf7, K, La, TV, fireplace @

Luzern(Lucerne)
Backpackers Lucerne:
Alpenquai 42, 041-360-0420, dr22, d56, K, La, Lockers, @,

Neuchatel
Oasis Neuchatel:
rue de Suchiez, T032-731-3190, auberge.oasis@bluewin.ch dr24, d60, bf, lockers, K

Happy Inn lodge: Rosenstrasse 17, T033-822-3225, info@happy-inn.com www.happy-inn.com dr19+, dr30+ @
Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof: Alpenstrasse 16, T033-826-7171, Backpackers@villa.ch www.villa.ch dr29+, dr74+, t99+, f, K, La, @

Grund, Grindelwald
Mountain Hostel:
T033-853-3900, mhostel@grindelwald.ch, www.mountainhostel.ch dr32, d84, bf, K. La, Lockers, @

Flims Waldhause
Backpacker Hotel Gutveina:
Via Gutveina, T081-911-2903, gutveina@spin.ch dr29, d66+, K La, @

Wengen
The Hot Chill Peppers:
Dorfstrasse Opp from Mannlichen cable car. T033-855-5020, chills@wengen.com www.wengen.com/chills dr24-26, d70+, bf, lockers, @, cafe

Zermatt
Matterhorn Hostel:
Schlhmattstrasse, T027-968-1919, info@matterhornhostel.com www.matterhornhostel.com
dr29, d78, locker, @ bar


Food
No Info at this moment

Shopping & Other
Opening hours: M-F9-18:00, Sa9-13:00.
Shops in tourist areas often open later. But most shops are closed on Sunday.
Souvenirs ?
Voltage/Plug type 220 V 50 cycles, Hz AC. 2-pinned plugs. Multi-adapters are hard to find, bring with you.
Photo Developing Cost 36x= ? , Films
processing from 1hr to 1 day.
English Papers: ?

Customs
Tipping: Not customary. but it is common to round up the bill Dress: Casual dress is generally acceptable.
Bargaining Fixed prices are standard in most shops.

Health & Safety
No one on our staff has any medical background, we have limited info in this section.
Water The water in most of the cities is very good.
Pharmacies:
open M-F8-12, 14-18:00, Sa8-12:00. For late night/Sunday pharmacies change every week. Usually the info will be shown on newspapers. Ask a hotel manager or a information office
Emergency numbers:
police: T117, Ambulance: T114
Credit card:
American Express, Visa, Master Card: , Diners

Entertainment

Public Holidays 2001
Month/Day Public Holidays Shops will be closed.
01/01-02 New Year's Day
01/06 Three Wise Men
04/02-05 Easter Holidays
05/01 National Day
05/13 Ascention Day
05/24 Whit Monday
06/03 Corpus Christi
08/15 Assumption
8/1 Swiss National Day
11/01 All Saint Day
12/08 The Conception
12/25-26 Christmas Holiday

@ Internet @
Internet is gradually increasing in . Charges are very expensive But there are a few free internet access points. See the local info.

Panorama routes in Switzerland

All passes are valid for all routes. Dates are 2000 info. You may have to change trains for certain cases. Beside the list below. More scenic trains are running, such as between Berne and Interlaken, Interlaken and Luzern, Luzern and Zurich. To take a advantage for the expensive panorama routes, get a train guide which contains map of Switzerland to know which side has more views. Most of the panorama trains has indication printed on the table at the windows. Also for taking photos, it is very to select a clean window seat because you cannot open windows anymore due to the modern air conditioned system.

Guillanue Tell-Express: 18SF Boat & Train, Luzern 11:20 - Fluelen 11:57 by boat, Fluelen 15:15 - Luzern 17:30 by train. May 14 - Oct 11

Palm Express: 67.20SF, Bus, St-Mortz8:15 - Lugano Stazione 12:23, and Lugano S. 8:25 - St-Moritz 12:09 Jun13-Oct19. Some more buses run on F-Su for the rest of the year.

Bernina Express: 77SF, Train & Bus, Coire 8:48 - Tirano 12:24 by train, Tirano 14:15 - Lugano 17:15 by bus. Lugano 10:30 - Tirano 13:15 by bus, Tirano 14:05 - Coire 18:53 by train. May 28 - Oct 15

Heidi Express: ?SF, Train, Coire 8:55 - Tirano 13:28, Tirano 14:30 - Coire 19:05 May 27 - Oct 16

Golden Pass: 84SF, Train, Luzern 7:34 - Geneve 13:42, Geneve 9:18 - Luzern 15:24

Lotschberg - Centovalli Express: 81 or 102SF, Train, Berne7:34 - Lucarno 11:35, Lucarno 13:55 - Berne 17:56. There are two more trains are running.

Glacier Express: 138SF, Zermatt 8:52*(2nd train 9:32) - St-Moritz 16:55*(18:10), St-Moritz 9:30(2nd train 10:00*) - Zermatt 17:02(17:43*) May28 - Oct 15 *:Only 1 st class. If your ticket is 2 nd class, you need supplement.

Voralpen Express: 54SF, Train, Romanshom 7:34(2nd train 18:34) - Luzern 10:13(21:13), Luzern 7:45(19:45) - Romanshom 10:27(22:27)

Allanlin Express: 67.20SF, Train & Bus, Berne 7:22(2 nd train 13:22) - Brig 9:00(15:00) by train, Brig 9:15(15:15) - Saas-Fee 10:12(16:23) by bus. , Saas-Fee 10:35(16:35) - Brig 11:35(17:35) by bus, Brig 12:00(18:00) - Berne 13:38(19:38)

You can rent a bicycle at train stations. Half day 16SF, 1 day 20SF, 7 day 80SF. You sometime can get for free. So ask at the station.

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