Switzerland Travel Do's & Dont's

Travel 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.
Travel Do’s
  • 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.