What you must know about Switzerland
A passport is required for travels to Switzerland. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for stays of up to 90 days. For more information on entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of Switzerland at 2900 Cathedral Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 745-7900, or the nearest Swiss Consulate General in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco. Additional information is available at www.swissemb.org.
Switzerland has a low rate of violent crime. However, pickpocketing and purse snatching do occur, especially during peak tourist periods (such as summer and Christmas) and when major conferences, shows, or exhibits are scheduled in major cities. Most crime is restricted to specific localities in major cities that are avoided by the prudent traveler and residents, such as areas frequented by drug dealers and users, the vicinity of train and bus stations, airports, and some public parks. Of course for peace of mind, travellers should ensure that they are well covered by a suitable insurance policy. There are many vendors online.
Travelers may wish to exercise caution on trains, especially on overnight trains to neighboring countries. Even locked sleeping compartments can be entered by thieves, who steal from passengers while they sleep.
The loss or theft abroad of a passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest Embassy or Consulate.
Good medical care is widely available. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Your own medical insurance is not always valid outside your country. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties. Supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage, including provision for medical evacuation, has proven to be useful. Check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for the disposition of remains in the event of death.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Switzerland and Liechtenstein is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of public transportation: excellent
Urban road conditions/maintenance: excellent
Rural road conditions/maintenance: excellent
Availability of roadside assistance: good
Although many roads are mountainous and winding, road safety standards are high. In some mountain areas, vehicle snow chains are required in winter. Road travel can be more dangerous during summer, winter holidays, and Whitsunday weekend (late spring) because of increased traffic. All forms of public transportation in Switzerland are generally excellent. For travels by car on the national highways (Autobahn) there is a tax slip needed, which costs 40 swiss Francs and can be bought at every fuel station.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Switzerland's civil aviation authority as category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Switzerland's air carrier operations. Which means - very safe!
Switzerland's customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporair/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes.
Travelers are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Sometimes these laws can differ significantly from those in the state of origin and may not afford the protections available to individuals under the state of origin law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in your state of origin for similar offenses. In Switzerland, penalties for possession, use, and dealing in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
For information on the international adoption of children, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues, please refer to the Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html.
For more information about Switzerland, see about or history
EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATIONS:
Please see your country on the following page: embassies