Customs in Switzerland

Switzerland has four official languages: Romansh, Italian, French and German. The most widely spoken of the three is German.

The currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF) - CHF

The Swiss people are quiet and friendly. They pride themselves on their peaceful nature and hold a deep respect for tradition.

Customs and Etiquette in Everyday Life and Socialization

When introduced to someone, or greeting them, shake hands with a smile. Make sure to greet everyone present, including children, in the same manner.

If you are invited to a Swiss home for dinner, dress as though you are attending a business meeting (unless told otherwise). Bring your hosts a small gift such as a book, box of chocolates or flowers. If you are giving flowers, avoid roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and lilies and make sure to give an odd number of flowers.

Remain standing until you are shown to your seat. Wait to begin eating until the hostess takes her first bite. Use your utensils for all food; it is acceptable to break bread with your hands.

When it comes to gratuity, tipping is acceptable and appreciated in Switzerland.

• Restaurants: Not necessary as service charge is included in most bills, but if service was outstanding, rounding the bill up or leaving a few francs is appreciated
• Taxis: Round up the cab fare
• Porters and Bellhops: 1 CHF per bag

Customs and Etiquette in Business

If attending a business meeting in Switzerland, make an appointment and schedule it at least 2 weeks in advance. Arrive on time, and if you might be late, phone ahead to let your associates know.

Stylish suits with dress shirts and ties are appropriate attire for men to wear to a business meeting. Ladies should dress in conservative pantsuits, dresses or skirt and blouse combinations with subtle accessories.

Meetings tend to follow strict agendas, with little small talk at beginning. Avoid exaggerated statements; hyperbole is not appreciated. It is possible that your Swiss associates may have a small gift for you, have a small one for them with you just in case. An item from your home country, such as a unique food or a craft is an appropriate gift.

Switzerland Flights
Children (under 11):