Money: Swiss Franc (CHF)
The exchange rate for the Swiss Franc and Euro is not officially fixed and is subject to daily market fluctuations. Conversion rate is available at exchange offices, banks and in newspapers. Many prices are indicated in Euros so that visitors may compare prices easily. Shops may accept Euros but are not obliged to do so. Change given back to you will usually be in Swiss Francs.
The Swiss Franc comes in the following denominations:
Coins: 5, 10, 20, 50 Cents and 1, 2, 5 Francs (see picture here)
Bank notes: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 1000 Francs (see picture here)
However, Euros are freely exchanged everywhere, and you should be familiar with what they look like!
The Euro (€) Check out our Euro Guide (with pictures)
As of January 1, 2002, the Euro (€) replaced the national currency of 12 countries within the European Union, but the Swiss are still holding out, largely because of difficulties with their banking laws. You can exchange currency at any bank branch (hours are listed below). Automatic cash machines can be found in most commercial centres.
Bank Opening Hours
Banking hours in Switzerland are usually from 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. Once a week they extend their hours, but you’ll have to check locally.
Currency exchange can be carried out at all bank branches and Post Offices. Bureaux de Change can also be found in large department stores, railway stations, airports and near to tourist sites. Please note: although the exchange rate is fixed, commission rates are not. By law these must be clearly displayed.
Many banks in Switzerland have equipped their ATM machines with the CIRRUS or MAESTRO system, so cash is readily available.
Check out the current Swiss Franc or Euro exchange rate with your currency here (close the new window to return): Travel Signposts Currency Converter
They are accepted in a large number of shops, hotels and restaurants. Shopkeepers often state a minimum amount required to be spent.
If you lose your credit card, immediately contact your credit card emergency hot-line to cancel the card (your best bet), or call your credit card company’s local office – see numbers below (note: these are not all in Switzerland).
Visa: Tel: 08 00 89 60 46
Diner’s Club: Tel: +41 (1) 833 3738
American Express: Tel: +44 1273 69 69 33