Business and shopping hours

Banks

Weekdays: 08:30-16:30
Saturday: closed
Sunday: closed

Post office

Weekdays: 07:30-18:00
Saturday: 08:00-12:00
Sunday: closed

Public administration

Weekdays: 08:30-16:30
Saturday: closed
Sunday: closed

Shops and shopping centres
(in host city)

Weekdays: 09:00-19:00
Thursday late night shopping:
Most shops stay open until 21:00
Saturday: 08:30-18:00
Sunday: closed except for those at the
airport and at the railway stations

Geneva in autumn

Climate and clothing

The weather in November in Geneva can be cold and rainy as the winter season begins to set in. The average daily temperature is around 5°C.
We recommend that you bring a warm coat, an extra sweater or jacket,
as well as waterproof shoes and an umbrella.

Credit/debit cards

Most stores, restaurants and hotels accept all major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express). Most taxis accept both cash in local currency and credit cards. However, please double-check before taking one.

Many banks have automated teller machines (ATMs) that accept overseas bank cards. Please check with your local bank before leaving if your bank card is valid in Switzerland.

It is recommended to have a small amount of cash on hand upon arrival in Switzerland for immediate expenses, i.e. taxis, city transportation, caddie at the airport etc.


Currency/exchange

The Swiss franc is the official currency, usually indicated as CHF. While Switzerland is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, many prices are nonetheless indicated in Euros so that visitors may compare prices.

Merchants may accept Euros but are not obliged to do so.
Change given back to the client will most likely be in Swiss francs.

The Swiss franc comes in the following denominations:

  • Coins:
    5, 10, 20, 50 Cents and 1, 2, 5 Francs
  • Bank notes:
    10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 1000 Francs

All prices quoted are in CHF (Swiss Franc). Exchange rate is 1 USD = 0.97 CHF as of 8 May 2020

Most foreign currency in notes can be exchanged in banks or authorized exchange service centre.
We recommend that you check exchange rates before your departure to take advantage of best rates.

Emergency numbers

Police: 117
Fire: 118
Ambulance: 144

Electricity supply

The voltage in Switzerland is 230V/50 Hz.

Switzerland uses type C (2-pin) and Type J (3-pin) plugs.
(Type C 2-pin plugs also fit J sockets.)

Most power sockets are designed for three pin round plugs. The standard continental type plug with two round pins, applied for many electrical travel products, may be used without problem. Adaptors are available in most hotels.

Electrical sockets in Switzerland match the Type C and Type J plugs and sockets described in IEC TR 60083 and illustrated here.

If necessary, you should bring along appropriate suitable adaptor.

Internet connections

Free high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access is guaranteed to all delegates within the General Meeting business centre and all General Meeting locations (meeting rooms). Internet access at hotels is usually free-of-charge however we recommend that you check connection rates at your hotel.

Language

Switzerland has four official languages: French, German, Italian and Romansch. French is the predominant language spoken in Geneva, but most citizens speak at least one other language. English is spoken by about a quarter of the local population and is commonly used in Geneva.

Meal facilities

A self-service restaurant is situated at the first floor of the CICG. There are also some places to eat near the conference center. Please ask the concierge in your hotel for recommendations or enquire at the information desk in CICG.

Smoking

Since 1 May 2010, smoking has been forbidden in Switzerland in enclosed areas when they are open to the public or serve as a workplace for more than one person. Hence it is forbidden to smoke in restaurants, public buildings and offices. Smoking is also forbidden on public transport. Smoking is permitted in separate smoking rooms, outdoors and in private homes.

Tax

Value added tax (VAT):
VAT is generally included in the price of goods and services except in hotels where it will be added separately to the bill.

Standard rate

Cars, watches, jewellery, clothing, alcohol, services

7.7%

Special rate

Overnight stays in hotels
incl. breakfast

3.7%

Reduced rate

Foodstuffs, books, newspapers, medicines, other everyday consumer goods

2.5%

You can reclaim VAT on goods purchased in Switzerland if your purchases in a single shop exceed CHF 300 (including VAT).
Please see below website for more information:

Telephones

Country code: + 41
City code for Geneva: 022

Public phone booths do not exist anymore in Geneva. The last phone booth was removed on October 3rd, 2019.

In Switzerland, the mobile and data coverage (2G/3G/4G LTE) is generally excellent.
However, the Swiss mobile industry is considerably more expensive than its European neighbours.

There are three main operators in Switzerland: Swisscom, Salt and Sunrise

They all offer prepaid SIM cards in regular, micro, and nano formats.

For international calls from the hotel, please consult the hotel operator.

Time zone

Geneva time zone: GMT + 01:00

Tipping

You do not have to worry about tipping in Switzerland, as service fee is already included in the price. However, if you feel like giving a tip for a good service by rounding up to the nearest franc or round figure it will always be very much appreciated.


Vaccinations

There is no compulsory vaccination for entering Switzerland.

Visa information

Information will follow closer to the meeting.

For early information regarding visas please contact the Consulate/Embassy in your home country or you can check the Swiss visa portal:

Should you require a letter of invitation, please fill in the Visa tab through the online meeting registration system at meeting.iec.ch

Additional information

List of restricted items when entering Switzerland:

  • Tobacco:
    no more than 250 units/g cigarettes/cigars/other tobacco products
  • Spirits:
    no more than 5 litres of alcohol (up to 18% vol.) and 1 litre of alcohol (over 18% vol.)
  • Meat and meat products:
    1 kg meat and meat products (with the exception of game)
  • Cash:
    There is no limit to how much cash you can bring into or take out of Switzerland. However, beware: you may be questioned if you carry more than CHF 10 000
  • Fuel:
    Fuel which is in the tank of a private vehicle is tax and duty-free. Additional fuel (e.g. in a spare fuel can) up to a maximum of 25 litres is also tax and duty-free. The allowances are granted only once per vehicle per day
  • Other goods:
    For other private goods there is a total value limit of CHF 300.- per person

For further information, please consult the website: