When travelling in Switzerland, you need to have some cash in the local currency, Swiss francs. The currency is available in notes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1000 francs (although the latter are used only little and tend to be refused in smaller shops). Switzerland is in the process of gradually changing its bank notes. They will be more colourful and represent the natural elements.
There are many places where you can change some of your money into Swiss francs: banks but also airports, railway stations, post offices and some exchange offices convert most of the world’s currencies. The towns and villages are well equipped and provided with cash machines (depending on the bank, there may be withdrawal fees). Tourist sites often accept payments in euros. But shopkeepers and retailers sometimes give change in Swiss francs. This is why it is recommended to check the exchange rate applied before you pay.
In the country of banks, businesses accept most debit cards (EC, Postcard, Maestro, Cirrus, Electron, Plus, Eufiserv) and credit cards (Visa, Eurocard/Mastercard). Although your signature is sometimes required on the cash receipt, this practice is gradually being replaced by the PIN code. At some checkouts, you can choose between paying in Swiss francs and in your national currency.
Service is included in Swiss restaurant bills. But it is customary to add a tip of approximately 5%. Taxi drivers gladly accept tips, too. The main consumption tax in Switzerland is the value added tax (VAT). It amounts to 7.7% of the sale price, which always includes it. Foreign visitors may have the VAT reimbursed. Shops displaying the sign “Tax Free” have reimbursement request forms available.