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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Switzerland

Money and duty free for Switzerland

Currency and Money

Currency information

Swiss Franc (CHF; symbol SFr) = 100 centimes (called centimes in French, rappen in German and centesimi in Italian). Notes are in denominations of SFr1,000, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of SFr5, 2, 1, 1/2 and  20, 10 and 5 centimes.

Credit cards

Credit and debit cards are accepted at most places throughout Switzerland, including American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa.

ATM

ATMs are widely available throughout Switzerland, especially in the major cities.

Travellers cheques

Pound Sterling, US Dollar or Euro cheques are accepted at airports, railway stations and banks. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, visitors are advised to take traveller's cheques in Pounds Sterling, Euros or US Dollars.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0830-1630 in bigger cities. Mon-Fri 0830-1200 and 1400-1700 in rural areas.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. Amounts equivalent to 10,000 CHF and higher need to be declared.

Currency exchange

There are bureaux de change at train stations, airports, major hotels and banks.

Switzerland duty free

The following items may be imported into Switzerland by travellers with a minimum age of 17 years without incurring customs duty:

• 250 pieces /gr/ cigarettes / other tobacco products.
• 5L of alcoholic drinks up to 18% volume and 1L of alcoholic drinks over 18% volume.
• Goods to a value of SFr300.

Banned Imports

Prohibited or restricted goods include endangered species, narcotics, counterfeit goods, cultural property, medicines, plants, radar warning devices, animals and animal products, and weapons.

Banned Exports

Unlicensed firearms, counterfeit goods and narcotics. You must declare any cultural property.

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Built in 1976, the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, Switzerland, is one of the world’s largest civilian nuclear shelters, once intended to protect 20,000 people against nuclear threat at the height of the Cold War. Forty years on, Caroline Bishop imagines what it might have been like to be holed up there for two weeks with 19,999 others.