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General Information

Banking and Currency Exchange: Switzerland's official monetary unit is the Swiss Franc ("Schweizer Franken" – CHF). Swiss francs are divided into 100 cents (Rappen in German). There are notes for CHF 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1000, and coins for CHF 1, 2 and 5, as well as for 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. 10 Swiss Francs are equivalent to approximately $10.54 US dollars or €8.24 Euro. To exchange your foreign currency into Swiss Francs, please visit a bank or a exchange service center. Many bank branches are also located in the airports of Zürich and Geneva and in most larger train stations (SBB Change office, open daily from  7am-8pm Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday). Currency exchange at a hotel may incur extra service charges. ATMs are widespread in all Swiss cities. The use of credit cards is less widespread than in the UK or USA and not all shops, hotels or restaurants will accept them. When they do, EuroCard, MasterCard and Visa are the most popular.

Many businesses throughout Switzerland, including most hotels, some restaurants and souvenir shops, will accept payment in Euros. However, any change will be given in Swiss francs, at the rate of exchange calculated on the day.

Business Hours: Banks are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm except on Saturdays and Sundays. Shops are open from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 5 pm on Saturdays. There is generally no shopping on Sundays. In larger cities the main train stations like Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva and Lucerne have contiguous shopping centers where shops (including food stores) remain open on Sundays.

Medical Service: The medical emergency phone number in Switzerland is 144.

Electrical System: Switzerland (220VAC/50Hz) has its own standard which is described in SEC 1011. This connector system is rated for appliances using up to 10 amps.

Postal and Mobile Service: If there is a post office in your hotel, it is possible to use it every day. Local calls cost approximately CHF 0.08/Min. International call costs may vary but they are in any case much cheaper from a public phone if you use a credit card or a phone card, which can be purchased at a convenient store (kiosk).

Meal arrangments: Delegates should make their own arrangements for lunch and dinner (except for reception) There are varieties of facilities available inside the Kursaal (gourmet-, Italian- and Asian-restaurants, bar and lounge, outdoor café and terrace).