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Where can I use Swiss Franc?

The Swiss franc is a currency used in Switzerland and Lichtenstein. Capture a photo moment at the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, or relax at Lake Geneva. If you’re crossing the border into Lichtenstein, explore hiking trails and stop off at the 13th Century Gutenberg Castle.

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How much spending money will I need for Switzerland?

Switzerland is one of the world’s wealthiest countries - and one of its most expensive. But it is also one of its most serene and beautiful, whether you’re exploring the glaciers of the Jungfrau or relaxing around the shores of Lake Geneva. Because accommodation is one of the highest costs in a trip to Switzerland, alongside dining out, it’s often useful to have an overview of where your money will be going - so you can decide whether to focus your budget on dining, exploring or hotel comforts.

Switzerland regularly tops the polls as one of the most expensive countries to live in and visit. You can generally expect to pay:

  • A mid-range, three-course meal for two: 100 fr (ÂŁ82)
  • Imported beer: 6 fr (ÂŁ5)
  • Local coffee: 5 fr (ÂŁ3.75)
  • Big Mac: 6.50 fr (ÂŁ5.30)
  • A bottle of water: 3.50 fr (ÂŁ2.80)

Budget your Switzerland trip

Switzerland is a small and beautiful country with a generous culture. Sitting partially on the Alps, it is home to the highest number of peaks in Europe - stunning mountains like the Matterhorn or Jungfrau. Many of the Swiss Alps can be climbed or skied, or you can travel through dizzying ravines, mountain passes and viaducts on scenic train rides like the Glacier Express.

Low budget

Medium budget

High budget

Overall budget for 1 day pp: 82 fr (ÂŁ67)

Overall budget for 1 day pp: 200 fr (ÂŁ172)

Overall budget for 1 day pp: More than 550 fr (ÂŁ475)

Food, drink & accommodation in budget

  • Hostel dorm bed: 52 fr (ÂŁ45)
  • Water, breakfast, lunch and dinner at supermarkets / local restaurants: 24 fr (ÂŁ20)
  • Two local beers: 14 fr (ÂŁ12)

 

Food, drink & accommodation in budget

  • Hotel room: 92 fr (ÂŁ80)
  • Coffee, two large bottles of water, breakfast, lunch and dinner at mid-price local restaurants: 70 fr (ÂŁ60)
  • Two local beers: 14 fr (ÂŁ12)

Food, drink & accommodation in budget

      • Upscale hotel room: 230 fr (ÂŁ200)
      • Two coffees, two large bottles of water, breakfast, lunch and dinner at upscale local restaurants: 112 fr (ÂŁ97)
      • Bottle of wine and two cocktails: 50 fr (ÂŁ45)

Activities in budget

      • Stroll around Zurich's Old Town (free)
      • Hike Uetliberg Mountain (free)
      • Visit Zurichsee (free)
      • Visit GrossmĂĽnster (free)

Activities in budget

  • River Limmat boat cruise: 4.40 fr (ÂŁ3.80)
  • Entry to the Money Museum: 10 fr (ÂŁ8.60)
  • Take the cable car to the Felsenegg lookout: 9 fr (ÂŁ7.80)

Activities in budget 

  • Day trip to Mount Titlis: 104 fr (ÂŁ90)
  • Entry to Kunsthaus Zurich: 23 fr (ÂŁ20)
  • Visit Thermalbad Spa: 34 fr (ÂŁ30)

 

Switzerland offers much more than just mountains - its microclimates mean that life in its valleys can be warm and balmy. The sunny streets and lakeside walks of Montreux or Ticino are a far cry away from snow and ice and are a more relaxing way to indulge in some of Switzerland’s world-famous chocolate. One thing is true wherever you go: you’ll feel calm and at home, even in busier metropolitan areas like Zurich.

Switzerland is one of the most politically stable countries in the world and is famous for its system of direct democracy. This system, with its roots in Renaissance humanism, allows all citizens to take part in the country’s decision-making by casting votes on motions. These are held up to four times a year and organised by regions known as cantons.

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What denominations does the Swiss Franc come in?

The Swiss Franc comes in the following denominations:

Notes

10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1,000 Fr

Coins

5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1, 2 and 5 Fr

Did you know? The currency code CHF stands for Confoederatio Helvetica Franc – a nod to Switzerland’s Latin name.

Swiss Franc FAQs

What currency is CHF / Fr?

Fr stands for Swiss Francs, the official currency of Switzerland. The currency code is CHF. 

Can I use US dollars in Switzerland?

Businesses in Switzerland will not accept payment in US dollars, but some will accept euros, even though they aren’t the country’s currency. You can exchange US dollars for francs at any bureau de change and many banks. If you’re exchanging in person it is generally cheaper to do this in Switzerland, but buying your currency in advance of your trip can often save even more money.

Do I need cash or card in Switzerland?

Most businesses in Switzerland accept both cash and card. Using a credit card is only advisable if it does not charge foreign transaction fees, and debit cards are advisable for cash withdrawals at ATMs, which don’t charge withdrawal fees. Carrying some cash on you will be helpful for tipping or buying smaller products.

Should you use an ATM in Switzerland?

ATMs in Switzerland are completely safe and reliable. They are extremely common in urban areas, while small towns will have at least one ATM.

What language is spoken in Switzerland?

The official language of Switzerland is in fact four: French, German, Italian and Romansh. German is spoken by most of the population, but in two forms: high German and Swiss German. French is spoken by about a quarter of the population, and Italian and Romansh are spoken by relatively small groups. English is often used as a lingua franca, especially in the business world.

Is Switzerland safe?

With a very low crime rate, Switzerland is considered one of the safest countries in the world.

Is Switzerland part of the EU?

Switzerland is not a member of the EU (European Union) or EEA (European Economic Area), meaning it has its own currency.

Do you need a visa for Switzerland?

British passport holders do not need a visa to enter Switzerland.

Should you tip in Switzerland?

Tipping isn’t expected across Switzerland’s service industries, but in bars and restaurants, it is common to leave a tip for exceptionally good service or food. There is no rule for the proportion of a tip, but it is generally 5-15%.

Buy Back

Leftover Swiss Francs?

No problem. We'll buy back leftover Swiss Francs at excellent exchange rates, leaving you with more cash in your pocket (and a tidier desk drawer).

 

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