Geneva FAQs

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Area geography

Located in the westernmost corner of Switzerland, Geneva is situated along the banks of Europe’s largest lake, Lake Geneva, and at the mouth of the Rhone River. It is bordered by the Jura Mountains to the west and the French Alps in the east.

Notes currencies cards

The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF, SFR.). The Euro is also accepted at most businesses but expect to pay a premium rate. Most transactions in the city are conducted in cash and a surprising number of shops and restaurants do not accept credit cards, so be prepared. ATMs are widely available throughout the city, dispensing notes up to 1,000 CHF.

Cellular service for tourists

Irrespective of where you go in Geneva, the city has excellent cellular coverage. You can buy a Swiss SIM card upon arrival, which is easily available in the city.

Wifi internet

There are several spots in the city where Wi-Fi is available.

Drinking laws

The official drinking age is 16 years. Driving while intoxicated, particularly if it results in damage to property or persons, brings swift and severe punishment involving sizable fines and possible imprisonment.

Tipping

A 15% service charge is included in all hotel and restaurant bills. Since a service charge is already included in bills, you are not required to pay additionally. But if you’re happy with the service, small tips will be appreciated. For taxis, the tip is usually included in the charges.

Custom visa

Since 2008, Switzerland has been part of the Schengen area. You can visit any part of Switzerland with a valid Schengen visa. There is no restriction on the quantity of exported items when leaving for a non-E.U. country. That said, there are certain regulations on alcohol and tobacco products one can import from outside E.U.

Alcohol: 1 litre of alcohol, 4 litres of still wine and 16 litres of beer

Tobacco: When travelling by air or sea, the following quantities of tobacco products are allowed: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 grams of smoking tobacco

When travelling by land, the following quantities of tobacco products are allowed: 40 cigarettes or 20 cigarillos or 10 cigars or 50 grams of smoking tobacco

Safety

Geneva has a low crime rate and is considered a safe destination. However, tourists should observe basic precautions and keep their passport, tickets and valuables in the safe post check-in. Always be cautious of the surroundings and avoid dark, deserted areas.

General information

Languages spoken

German, French, Italian and English

Time zones

UTC/GMT +1 hours

Major religions

Christianity is the prevalent religion here and 46% of the population is part of the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants, Muslim and Jews make up rest of the population statistics.

Domestic international calling codes

Telephone area code: 041

Electricity standards

Electricity in Switzerland is 220 volts, 50 cycle AC.

Common greetings

The cultural variety in Switzerland is reflected in the different official languages spoken in the country. The common greetings below are given in German (DE), French (FR) and Italian (IT):

Hello: Grüetzi (DE), Salut (FR), Ciao (IT)

Good Morning: Guten Morgen (DE), Bonjour (FR), Buon giorno (IT)

Good Evening: Guten Abend (DE), Bonsoir (FR), Buona sera (IT)

Goodbye: Auf Wiedersehen / Tschüss (DE), Au revoir (FR), Arrivederci (IT)

Thank you: Danke (DE), Merci (FR), Grazie (IT)

Sorry: Es tut uns leid! (DE), Désolé (FR), scusate(IT)

No: Keine (DE), Non (FR), No (IT)

Yes: Ja (DE), Oui (FR), Sì (IT)

What is your name? : Wie ist Ihr Name? / Wie heissen Sie? (DE), Quel est votre nom? / Comment vous appelez-vous? (FR), Come si chiama? (IT)

My name is___: Meine Name ist __ / Ich heisse __ (DE), Mon nom est __/ Je m'appelle __ (FR), Mi chiamo __(IT)

Where is this? : Wo ist das? (DE), Où est-ce?(FR), Dove è questo? (IT)

How much does this cost? : Wieviel kostet es ? (DE), Combien ça coûte ? (FR), Quanto costa ? (IT)

Help! : Hilfe! (DE), Au secours! (FR), Aiuto! (IT)

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