Good to know

Some useful information for planning your visit in Ticino are shown here below. If the response is insufficient, we are happy to provide you any further detail: simply e-mail us at [email protected].
Do not hesitate to contact us: we will be happy to help you and to make your stay in Ticino just unforgettable.

The Swiss franc is the monetary unit ,usually indicated as CHF, and divisible in cents (1 CHF amount to 100 cent). The Swiss franc comes in the following denominations:

  • Coins from 5, 10, 20, 50 Cents and 1, 2, 5 francs
  • Bank notes from 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 1000 francs

Often in the boundary area, in the tourist region, in the airport, in many restaurant and in the biggest shopping centers is possible to pay in Euro, but normally the change will be returned in Swiss franc.

The most used cards in Switzerland are Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express.
The most part of the Swiss ATM machines are equipped with the Cirrus and Maestro system. Others banks have at least ATM machines that allow to pick up money through the credit cards without any problems.
It is recommended to have a small amount of cash on hand upon arrival in Switzerland for immediate expenses, i.e. taxies, city transportation etc.

The currency converter is available at the following link: www.xe.com
The exchange can be made at the exchange office of banks, Swiss Post, airports, main hotels and at the railways station (Western Union).

In Switzerland the VAT applied on the purchase of goods and services is of 8%.
You can recover the VAT on purchases made in Switzerland, for private use and from the same supplier, only if the amount spent is at least 300. - Francs.
More information related to the refund of the tax are available at the following link of the: Swiss Federal Tax Administration.

Passports, visas and rule customs
The foreign citizen need a valid travel document to enter in Switzerland, only in some cases people need also a visa.
More information about the entry and residence are available on the website of the Federal Office for Migration.
At all customers offices and travel agencies are available brochures with the essential information about the customers formalities for the returning from vacation and for the purchases made abroad. The information contained in this brochures are available at the following link: Information for private individuals
For more information please visit the website of the Swiss Federal Customs Administration

Road tax
In Switzerland the use of first and second-class motorways with motor vehicles and trailers is subject to tax.
A map of the road that need the payment, the price, the point of sale and the expiry date are available at the following link of the Swiss Federal Customs Administration

Opening times
Shops are usually open from 8.30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays in the main cities some shops extend their hours to 9 p.m. The shops are closed on Sundays except for those at airports, at some railway stations and at the highway rest stops.
Bank are generally open: Monday-Friday from 08.30 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. A few bank counters s are also open during lunch time.

At the following link you can find the holiday feast day list of Ticino: www.ti.ch

Free Wi-Fi
In Ticino a growing number of public authorities and private companies offer free Wi-Fi.
In addition in the Mobile App page is available a list of touristic app to download for yours smartphone or tablet.

Area code
The international area code from Switzerland is +41.

Voltage, frequency, and wall socket type
The Swiss voltage is 230 Volt and the frequency 50 Hertz (for the domestic electrical appliance up to 2200 Watt). Kitchens, washing machines and etc use 400 or 3x400 Volt. The wall socket is of J type.

Facts and figures about Ticino
Capital: Bellinzona, seat of the Government and Parliament
Official language: Italian
Population: 332’736 inhabitants (4,3% of Switzerland’s population)
Main cities:

  • Lugano 59’076 inhabitants
  • Bellinzona 17’286 inhabitants
  • Locarno 15’552 inhabitants
  • Mendrisio 11’989 inhabitants

Highest point: Adula mountain 3’402.2 m
Lowest point: Lake Maggiore 193.8 m

Territory: Total area: 2’812 km2

  • Forest area: 1’373 km2
  • Agricultural area: 402 km2
  • Area of lakes and rivers: 122 km2