Business and shopping hours
Shops and shopping centres
(in host city)
Thursday late night shopping:
Most shops stay open until 21:00
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cars, watches, jewellery, clothing, alcohol, services
Overnight stays in hotels
Foodstuffs, books, newspapers, medicines, other everyday consumer goods
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:
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.
Geneva time zone: GMT + 01:00
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.
There is no compulsory vaccination for entering Switzerland.
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
List of restricted items when entering Switzerland:
For further information, please consult the website: