Switzerland

Translated by: John Agrafiotis

Last updated: Dec 20, 2020 @ 12:04 am

Currency: Swiss franc (CHF) but Euro (€) is widely accepted. 1€=1.04 CHF.
Driving license: EU citizens just need the European driving license. Non EU citizens must have an International Driving Permit (IDP).
Visa – Passport: Citizens of the EU don’t need a visa. Non EU citizens please visit this website.
Border Crossing: Easy but controlled.
Insurance: EU citizens just need a Green Card. For non EU citizens, make sure that your International Motor Insurance Card is valid for Switzerland.
Fuel: Unleaded is called bleifrei, essence sans plomb or benzina sensa piomba, depending on which part of Swiss you are at (French, Italian or German speaking). Unleaded 95 costs about 1.24€ (valid on 12/2020). Credit cards are widely accepted. There are a lot of fuel pumps that work only with credit cards. There are some fuel stations on highways that stay open overnight but most of them work from 6:00 to 22:00. On secondary roads, fuel stations are open from 6:00 or 8:00 till 18:00 or 20:00.
Equipment: Drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets.
Time Zone: GMT +1
Maximum Allowed Blood Alcohol Level: 0,05%
Speed limits: The general speed limit in Switzerland is 80 km/h (50 mph) outside and 50 km/h (31 mph) inside build-up areas. On the motorways of Switzerland the limit is 120 km/h (75 mph). The limit on the autostrassen (similar to a motorway) is 100 km/h (62 mph).
Specificities: The tram has always priority. Buses have priority when they leave a bus stop. Lights must be on all day and all over night.
Fines: Police is authorized to issue fines on the spot.
Parking: Parking on sidewalks/pavements (pedestrian path) is not allowed.
Tolls: In Switzerland, the use of first and second-class motorways with motor vehicles has been subject to tax since 1985. Vignette costs 40 CHF (about 37€) and is valid for 1 calendar year. Click here for more info.
In Switzerland, the motorway tax sticker can be purchased at post offices, petrol stations, garages as well as from the cantonal road traffic authorities. At the borders, it can be purchased in all customs offices. If the motorway tax sticker is bought from a customs office, it can be paid also in a foreign currency (EUR, GBP, USD; only notes).However, change will be given in Swiss francs.
The use of motorway networks without a valid vignette is an offense against the Public Highways Act and is punishable with cash fines of 200 CHF or more, in addition to the obligatory purchase of an annual vignette.
Additional tolls are levied for the tunnels “Grand St. Bernhard“ (One way: 16.50€, return within 30 days: 22.10€, 10 crossing validity 2 years: 112€, 20 crossing validity 2 years: 150€) and “Munt la Schera“ one way: 13€/day, roundtrip: 20€.
Signs:
Signs are in German or in French, depending in which side of Swiss you are.
In German…
Abstand halten: Keep distance
Alle Richtungen: All directions
Altstadt: Old town
Anfang: Start or Starting point
An geraden Tagen: On even days
An ungeraden Tagen: On odd days
Anschlub: Crossroad
Ausfahrt: Exit
Autobahndreieck: Highway junction (Τ)
Autobahnkreuz: Highway junction
Bauarbeiten or Baustelle: Roadworks
Bei Nässe: In rain condition
Belegt or Besetzt: Full
Centrum: Town center
Durchfahrt verboten: No entry for vehicles
Einbahnstrabe: One-way
Einfahrt: Entrance
Ende: End
Frei: Free entrance
Gasse: Kane
Gefahr/gefährlich: Danger
Grenze: Borders
Halt: Stop
Haltestelle: Tram or bus station
Keine, Kein: No
Keine einfahrt: No entry
Kraftfahrzeugwerkstatt: Workshop
Kreuzung: Intersection
Landschafts Schutzgebiet: Protected area, do not stop
Langsam fahren: Reduse speed
Licht einschalten: Switch on your lights
Parkhaus: Garage parking
Polizei: Police
Radweg kreutz: Bicycle road
Sackgasse: Dead end
Schlechte Wegstrecke: bad road surface
Stadtzentrum or Stadtmitte: Town center
Stau: Traffic jam
Straße: Road
Tankstelle: Gas Station
Überholen verboten: Overtaking prohibited
Umleitung: Detour
Unfall: Caution accident
Verboten: Prohibited
Verkehr: Traffic
Vorfahrt: Priority right
Vorfahrtstraße: Priority road
Vorsicht: Caution
Zentrum: Center
Zufahrt frei: Free entrance
In French…
Aire de repos: Resting area
Allumez vos lanternes (or feux): Switch on your lights
Attention au feu: Attention traffic lights
Attention travaux: Attention roadworks
Autres directions: Other directions
Chaussee deformee: Attention bumpy road
Cedez le passage: Give priority
Centre ville: Town center
Chambres d’Hotes: B&B
Col or Pas: Mountain pass
Fermi: Closed
Gendarmerie: Police station
Gratuit: Free
Interdit aux piétons: Crossing is prohibited (for pedestrians)
Nids de poules: Attention potholes
Ouvert: Open
Prochain echangeur: No tolls at next exit
Route barrée: Road closed
Sens unique: Oneway
Serrez ΰ droite: Drive at the right side of the road
Sortie: Exit
Suivre: Follow
Sur: Open
Toutes directions: All directions
Vitesse adapter securite: Reduce speed for your safety
Voie unique: One line road
Voitures: Cars
Useful Phone Numbers:
European emergency number: 112
Police: 117
Ambulance: 144
Fire Department: 118

Useful links:
Wikitravel Switzerland
My Switzerland official tourism page
Lonely Planet Switzerland

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* If you are from Switzerland or have been recently in Switzerland and you would like to add some information or correct some of the above listed, do not hesitate to contact us.

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