The national currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc. The commonly used abbreviation for Switzerland’s unit of currency is CHF, although SF is sometimes used. Each unit of Swiss currency is divided into 100 units and is known differently according to the language of the Canton in Switzerland.
In French speaking Switzerland these units of currency are known as centimes, while in Italian speaking areas of Switzerland they are called centisimi. In German speaking Switzerland these units of currency are known as rappon.
Currency Stability in Switzerland
Switzerland has one of the most stable currency rates in the world and is often used as an international benchmark in the world of finance. Zurich in Switzerland is also one of Europe’s main centres of activity for banking and currency trading.
Foreign Exchange in Switzerland
The best place to exchange foreign currency and traveller’s cheques in Switzerland is at one of the main railway stations. Exchange of foreign currency here entails no commission and the exchange rates are the same as the major banks.
Currency Exchange at Banks in Switzerland
All major cities and towns in Switzerland have many banks with ATMs that accept foreign cards and dispense Swiss currency. Similarly, most hotels, shops and restaurants in the big towns and cities of Switzerland accept major international credit cards.
Currency in Rural Areas of Switzerland
Travellers in the rural areas of Switzerland should not rely solely on plastic but should ensure that they have with them some Swiss currency. This is because some of the shops and other facilities in these areas of Switzerland might not accept foreign credit cards.
Generally it is a good idea to purchase some Swiss currency before you travel to Switzerland so you can use this currency on the first couple of nights you spend in Switzerland when you are still getting your bearings.
Exchange Rates in Switzerland
because Switzerland’s currency is so stable, exchange rates do not fluctuate greatly. The approximate exchange rates between the Swiss Franc and the British pound is 1CHF=£0.6, and between the Swiss Franc and the US dollar the exchange rate is 1CHF = $1.05 (as of september 2012)