Citizens of EU/EFTA countries need a valid identity document (passport or identity card) to visit Switzerland. Citizen of other countries, in possession of a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen member state and holding their valid national passport, can visit Switzerland. The stay cannot exceed 90 days within a 180 days period.
The receipt of a residence permit (first issue or renewal) is not a valid title to enter Switzerland.
Visa – Entry to and residence in Switzerland
Various regulations apply for entering Switzerland. A basic distinction is made between citizens of the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and those of other countries. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) is the responsible authority in Switzerland.
Since Switzerland’s adherence to the Schengen and Dublin agreements came into force (12 December 2008), Swiss representations abroad are able to issue certain types of visa, depending on the purpose of the intended stay in Switzerland.
A Schengen visa for a stay of up to 90 days is requested for persons wishing to enter Switzerland for a short stay of up to 90 days within a 180-day period: for example, in a context of tourism, a visit to relatives or friends, short-term language studies, participating in a conference or in sporting/cultural events, etc.
Do I need a Schengen visa?
Click here to check if you need a Schengen visa to enter Switzerland.
A name badge will be required for access to the congress area. Participants will receive a name badge when they check in at the registration desk. It must be worn at all times.
The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss franc (CHF). Merchants may accept Euros but are not obliged to do so. Change given back to the client will most likely be in Swiss francs. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted.
Electricity and plugs
Current throughout Switzerland is supplied at 230 volts. Type C (euro plug, two-pin) plugs and type J (three-pin) plugs are used. The type F (“Schuko”) plugs widely used in Europe cannot be used without an adapter.
The national dialing code for Switzerland is +41. The following 0 is omitted. Dialing codes from Switzerland are as follows:
Stores in Bern usually have the following opening times:
Times may vary slightly from store to store. Some stores in the lower Old Town, from the Clock Tower (Zytglogge) upwards, don’t open until 10:00 a.m. If you would like to visit a particular store, we recommend finding out its opening times in advance.
Monday – Wednesday 09:00 – 06:30
Thursday 09:00 – 08:00
Friday 09:00 – 06:30
Saturday 09:00 – 05:00
Bern’s main station is home to more than 80 stores that are open 365 days a year, from early till late. The large shopping centers in the city also have longer opening times.
Tips are generally included in the price for all services. However, in restaurants it is usual to round up the bill by a reasonable amount.
The City of Bern has an extensive public transport network with different tram and bus lines.
Tickets for Bern public transport can be bought at machines and in the LIBERO shop at Bern main station. No tickets are sold on buses and trams. In addition to the normal tickets, and the multiple journey tickets, Bernmobil also sells short journey tickets at a more affordable price. The ticket machines at the tram and bus stops show which routes the short journey ticket is valid for.
Overnight visitors don’t need to worry about tickets in Bern. From your first overnight stay in tourist accommodation in the city, you will receive a Bern Ticket for your whole stay. This lets you travel for free in zones 100/101 operated by LIBERO. The Bern Ticket also includes the Gurten funicular, the Marzilibahn funicular and the lift to Bern’s cathedral platform, as well as your journey to and from Bern Airport.
On the day you arrive in Bern, your reservation confirmation counts as a transfer ticket from the train station or Bern Airport to where you are staying. You will receive the Bern Ticket when you check in. It is only valid if fully filled in. If asked, please show your ticket to the ticket.
You can find information and brochures about your stay in the city and region of Bern at Tourist Information at the Main Station: