Practical aspects

Visas and other documents

Every traveler must have a valid passport.
No VISA is required for citizens of all European countries, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, as well as American countries except Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Colombia and Peru.
For information on visa, please contact the Swiss Consulate General located nearest you.

Useful link: Swiss government web site.

If you need an invitation letter in order to get a visa, please contact castro[at]lausanne-tourisme.ch. Note that invitation letters can only be sent after your congress registration is finalized.

Language

There are four official languages in Switzerland. In the Lausanne region, French and English are widely spoken.

Currency

Please note that the currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc, usually indicated as CHF.
Breakdown
• notes CHF 200, CHF 100, CHF 50, CHF 20, CHF 10
• coins CHF 5, CHF 2, CHF 1, 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c
• there are 100 cents in CHF 1

Credit Cards

The cards most used are American Express, MasterCard and Visa.

Many banks in Switzerland have equipped their ATM machines with the CIRRUS or MAESTRO system. Many other Swiss banks offer ATM machines for cash advances with your credit card.

Business Hours

As a general rule, business hours are between 08:00 and 17:00. Shops usually close at 19:00 and are closed on Sunday.

Banks

Banking hours are from Monday to Friday 08:30-16:30. Many banks have automated teller machines (ATMs) that accept overseas bank cards. They operate 24 hours a day and can be found at all banks and most shopping centres. Please take the standard precautions when drawing money from an ATM, such as not allowing others to distract you in an attempt to ascertain your PIN code.
Please check with your local bank before leaving if your bank card is valid in Switzerland.

Drinking water

Drinking and eating-out is hygienic and the tap water is safe.

Electricity

The voltage in Switzerland, as in most of Europe, is 230V/50 Hz. Switzerland uses type C (2-pin) and Type J (3-pin) plugs. Note that classic European plugs do not work in Switzerland and you will need adapters. Type C 2-pin plugs also fit J sockets.

Internet access

The University of Lausanne will offer free WiFi internet access on campus. You can access either the guest-unil network or the eduroam one if your University has it.

Smoking

Smoking is forbidden in enclosed areas when they are open to the public or serve as a workplace for more than one person. Hence it is forbidden to smoke in restaurants, public buildings and offices. Smoking is also forbidden on public transport. Smoking is permitted in separate smoking rooms, outdoors and in private homes.

Security, Criminality and Insurance

Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialized countries. But it is always wise to keep an eye on wallets and luggage in busy areas.

Personal travel insurance is strongly recommended, including coverage of personal accident, sickness, loss or damage to luggage and personal effects and cancellation charges.

Tipping

You never have to worry about tipping in Switzerland, as tips are included in the price. You can, however, put a smile on someone’s face who has provided good service by rounding up to the nearest franc or round figure.

Accommodation

A list of hotels with pre-booked rooms is available on the LT Registration platform.

If you need advice on alternative solutions for accommodation during the ESEB2015 conference or simply have some questions, please visit the following forum.