Looking to travel to Switzerland? Get all the information you need to have a safe, enjoyable and unforgettable trip while there, courtesy of GoBear Malaysia. We’ll present you with things you need to keep it mind before and during your time there, especially the need to get travel insurance for Switzerland.
Switzerland is a small European country that once exported the fearsome Swiss mercenaries (and stilldo, in the form of the Pope’s Swiss Guards) and is now more well-known for its financial services. Switzerland is mostly a mountainous/highland region and has a temperate climate. The country was made famous by the novel Heidi from Johanna Spyri.
Due to its location in the Northern Hemisphere, Switzerland has summer happen around the middle of the year and winter towards the end. It observes Central European Time (UTC+1) with daylight savings.
The country is a very safe place, but because of its relatively high cost of services, most Malaysian travel insurance policies include Switzerland in Area 2 (usually the second price band). Check your specific plan to make sure you’re covered if you decide to go. Its currency is the Swiss franc (CHF).
Switzerland has four official languages; namely, German, French, Italian and Romansh (a language descended from spoken Latin). English is also widely spoken. Language-wise, you should not have difficulties in contacting the emergency services concierge provided by your travel insurance in Switzerland.
Switzerland features food that has been influenced by German, French and Italian cuisines (no big surprises there). Cheese fondue is a must-try while in Switzerland, and there’s no need to elaborate on Swiss chocolates. Cheese really does feature strongly in Swiss cuisines throughout the various cantons, so you’ll be missing out a lot if you’re unable to take it for one reason or another. Muslim travellers are recommended to stick to halal establishments or eat the vegetarian dishes elsewhere, as the three influences on Swiss food feature pork quite significantly.
Switzerland is also a wine-producing country, and some Swiss wines are available only here, so be adventurous and try them out.
Food safety standards are generally quite high here, but just in case, GoBear Malaysia recommends travel insurance for Switzerland.
What to buy in Switzerland
Switzerland may be known for its banking sector, but Swiss engineering is also a byword globally. Think of the Swiss army knife (Victorinox is probably the brand that comes to mind immediately), or Swiss watches like Swatch, Rolex, Omega, TAG Heuer and many more. Nestle is a Swiss company, as is Logitech. But Switzerland also has its share of handicrafts and textiles. Inquire about VAT refunds in-store; you might be eligible depending on how much you spent and when you’re leaving. GoBear Malaysia recommends checking whether your credit card covers lost or stolen purchases while overseas, or you can buy travel insurance for your Switzerland shopping spree.
Things to do when in Switzerland
Switzerland has some very stunning landscapes, and winter sports are a big draw for tourists. The Swiss Alps are practically made for mountaineering. The Swiss government takes sustainability and environmental protection very seriously, so outdoor excursions are what your travels should be all about. Just make sure that your travel insurance for Switzerland covers all the activities you intend to indulge in.
Switzerland travel advisory & checklist
Have a hassle-free trip! International travel, even to Switzerland, has its own set of issues that you should prepare for, so that you can properly enjoy your holiday overseas. Aside from travel insurance for Switzerland, GoBear Malaysia recommends you consider the following:
Passport & visa requirements for Switzerland
Make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity after the dates you intend to go; you may not be allowed to travel if your passport is too close to expiry. As a member of the Schengen Area, Switzerland has visa-free entry for Malaysian passport holders entering as tourists. In the event that your passport or other travel documents are lost or stolen, make sure you know the emergency contact details for your travel insurance concierge in Switzerland, so that you can be assisted as quickly as possible.
Electricity & water in Switzerland
Switzerland typically uses the Type C power socket. This means that you will need a universal travel adapter. However, its 230V/50Hz electrical systems are close enough to Malaysia’s that you can otherwise simply plug in your electrical items. If you have many items to plug in, just bring a Malaysian extension board and plug that into the travel adapter.
The tap water here is generally safe to drink.
Switzerland’s telecommunications & Internet coverage
The telecommunications network in Switzerland covers most of the country. Mobile phones bought in Malaysia should work seamlessly with Swiss pre-paid SIMs, but do check the specific frequencies your phone uses against the ones your preferred Swiss telco supports. Wi-Fi is widely available everywhere you go, as is 4G LTE. The emergency number is 112 from fixed lines and mobile phones alike.
Healthcare & medical facilities in Switzerland
Swiss medical facilities are world-class (but also very expensive, so GoBear Malaysia recommends travel insurance for all Swiss travel), with medical facilities available throughout most of the country. If you plan on doing anything extreme (such as mountain hiking), consider buying travel insurance for Switzerland that includes coverage for emergency medical repatriation and/or evacuation.
Switzerland’s credit card facilities
International credit card networks that are present in Switzerland include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express (to a smaller degree). UnionPay is also widely available. Credit cards are accepted almost universally by retailer and food outlets.
Ready to start planning your Swiss travels? Stay safe and protected while overseas!
Try out GoBear Malaysia’s travel insurance comparison services for a quick, comprehensive and easy-to- use look at all the insurers and the travel insurance policies they offer for Switzerland.
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