Switzerland is known for its Alpine climate and landscapes including mountains and glaciers, where travellers can visit to ski in winter and hike in summer. Visitors can explore scenic Alpine villages like Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, and Stechelberg as well as Switzerland’s major cities such as Zurich, Geneva, and Lucerne.
The standards for patient care and medical services in Switzerland may differ from your home country. Switzerland has a public health system that ranks amongst the highest in the world for quality of care. Wait times are generally much lower on average than other European countries. It is common for doctors and nurses to speak some English.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in Switzerland typically require upfront payment in cash or credit card, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in Switzerland.
Pharmacies and online pharmacies are widely available in Switzerland. Prescriptions for medications must be obtained from a doctor and prescription drugs cannot be purchased without one. Online pharmacies require a prescription for all medicines, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Pharmacists are trained and licensed.
If you are travelling with medication, check with Switzerland’s embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a psychotropic or narcotic, you can review Switzerland’s regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Roads in Switzerland are very well maintained. Seat belts must be worn by all passengers at all times. Helmets are mandatory for cyclists under the age of 10, but cyclists of all ages should wear a helmet for safety.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for Switzerland. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:
IAMAT-affiliated doctors are available in Switzerland.
Population: 8.42 million
Official language: French, Italian, German, Romansh
Time zone: Central European Time (CET), Central European Summer Time (CEST)
Emergency #: 144
Vaccinations required: No
Risk of malaria: No