Switzerland international medical insurance and visa guide
January 04, 2019
Switzerland is a beautiful vacation destination with its breath-taking mountainous landscape, serene lakes, and quaint villages hidden in the dreamy Alpine peaks. The Swiss cities also house grand medieval quarters and landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge. The country also has some of the best and most popular ski resorts and hiking trails in Europe. With such a diverse landscape and an array of activities, it’s no wonder thousands of tourists are drawn to Switzerland every month. There’s a lot to get excited about when organising your visit. To fully enjoy your Swiss adventure, make sure you give yourself peace of mind and organize your travel insurance policy, so you can kick back, relax and enjoy your vacation knowing that you have got all your bases covered.
Aside from finding the right cover for you, here are some other important travel tips to be aware of before you set off on your adventure:
Visa Information for Switzerland
Do I Need to Get a Visa to Visit Switzerland?
If you are an American Citizen with a valid US passport visiting Switzerland for up to 90 days, then you don’t need a visa.
Travel Documents You Will Need:
A valid U.S. passport.
All passports must have a minimum of 6 months before expiration. That is 6 months from that date of your travel departure, and your passport should also have at least two blank pages for stamping.
Health and Medical Advice
Before jetting off on your travels, you should check for any health risks, required vaccinations and any epidemic breakouts occurring in Switzerland. It’s also wise to find out where the nearest hospital is in case of an emergency.
Do I Need to be Vaccinated When Travelling to Switzerland?
There are no obligatory vaccination shots for travelling to Switzerland, but we would recommend that you check that your routine vaccinations are up to date. The standard vaccines are:
- MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
- Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis
Book an appointment at your local practitioner or find your local Passport health clinic. You should book an appointment, at the latest, four to six weeks before your trip, giving enough time for the vaccinations to take effect.
Travel Health Updates in Switzerland
Currently, there are no reported epidemics occurring in Switzerland.
To keep up to date on any breakouts, visit the CDC website.
Emergency Contact Information in Switzerland
No one ever wants to have to call the emergency services whilst they’re on vacation, but unfortunately accidents happen and it’s important to be prepared for when they do.
Emergency services throughout Switzerland can be contacted through dialling the European emergency number 112
- Police emergency number in Switzerland: 117
- Fire emergency number in Switzerland: 118
- Medical emergency number in Switzerland: 144
Switzerland Local Laws and Customs
- Smoking in enclosed public spaces is illegal. There are some exceptions of this at a local level, where some small bars, restaurants and cafés have been given smoking licenses, but these are far and few between.
- It's prohibited to jaywalk or cross the street on a red light. If you are caught by the police you will be given an immediate fine.
- Drug possession is also taken very seriously and there are heavy penalties, jail sentences and fines depending on the type of drug found.
- Sundays are very sacred to the Swiss and it is forbidden to use a washing machine or a lawnmower to avoid disturbing the peace in a neighbourhood.
Safety and Security
Switzerland is quite a peaceful country and street crime is relatively uncommon. However, like in any other country, popular tourist attractions and cities are subject to being hot pickpocketing zones where thieves will use a variety of methods to try and divert your attention. Be alert and keep your belongings with you at all times, especially in crowded areas, on public transport and popular tourist areas. It’s always a good idea to keep valuable belongings or extra spending money in a hotel safe, if you have one.
U.S. Embassy in Switzerland
U.S. Embassy Bern
CH-3007 Bern, Switzerland
Telephone: 031 357 70 11
Email: [email protected]
Useful Tips for Switzerland
Official Languages: French, German, Italian and Romansh
Switzerland boasts four official languages with their own dialects of French, German and Italian as well as the very rare and ancient Romansch language. The most popular and widely spoke of the four is Swiss German but a large percentage of the population can also converse well in English, especially in the big towns and cities.
Currency: Swiss franc
Before your trip Switzerland make sure to exchange enough Swiss francs for your spending requirements and to get the best exchange rates.
Swiss Plug Sockets: Type J
Switzerland uses the type J plug socket. The standard voltage and frequency is 230 V and 50 Hz. You will need a plug adapter for your appliances and devices.
You will also need to buy a voltage converter or transformer as the standard Swiss voltage is higher than in the U.S (120 V). Its best to go for a converter which can also alter the frequency as the U.S. frequency rate is 10 Hz higher than in Switzerland and so may be dangerous to use without a converter.
© 2018 UnitedHealth Group Incorporated. For informational purposes, UHG does not guarantee the correctness or completeness of the information.