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Do's & Dont's
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Switzerland Travel Do's & Dont's
Do not speak loudly in public especially on a cell phone nor make big noise or joking loudly. As a rule Swiss do not like noise and dislike others make jokes about them.
Do not address someone by their first name until invited to do so. Use surnames and titles instead.
Do not give expensive or extravagant gifts which can be viewed as tacky or bribery nor give anything sharp such as knives or scissors which signifies severing off the friendship.
Do not drink until after the first toast given by the host. Do not ask for the salt and pepper if it not already on the table.
Do not feel obligated to tip. A service charge is included in restaurants and hotels.
Do not put your hands in pockets while talking to people nor chew gum, litter or clean your nails in public.
Do not ask personal question such as salary, ag or religion. Swiss respects privacy highly.
Do not eat out which can be very expensive making lunch your main meal of the day.
Do not hike unless you think you are fit or hike often. Carry your joggers or any pair of light shoes.
Do respect traditional Swiss greeting with three kisses on the cheek. Though a handshake is the norm on a first meeting.
Do dress conservatively and neatly.
Do appreciate tolerance and be patient in Switzerland. Swiss are rather discrete, let them follow them own rhythm.
Do keep both hands on the table during a meal but keep elbows off the table. Eat everything off your plate and put your knife and fork side by side when you are done eating.
Do use fork to cut food such as salad and potatoes instead of a knife. Break bread with your hand but most other food should be eaten with utensils.
Do recognise that German French and Italian are widely spoken in Switzerland.
Do ask for your tax free shopping cheque and reclaim the VAT if your purchase costs atleast CHF 500 Switzerland is a shopper’s paradise with so much irresistible stuff around.