Switzerland

The Heart of Europe

Situated in the heart of Europe, Switzerland is one of the world’s most highly developed countries – with a multicultural and multilingual heritage, a perfectly working transport network and high-level communications infrastructure. Skilled and qualified personnel operating the latest in film equipment and production techniques are at your disposal – at rates you can afford.

In the moderate Swiss climate, average temperatures range between 18°C and 28°C in July and August and between -2°C and 7°C in January and February, depending on the zone. Switzerland offers a vast diversity of landscapes, bodies of water and architecture, from historical to modern – and all this on an area of just 41,293 square kilometers. Switzerland measures 220 km from north to south and 348 km from east to west, so everything is just a short drive away.

Switzerland’s democratic system has been a role model for the rest of the world. The strong Swiss Franc and the historic political stability make it an economically powerful and wealthy country. The cultural clichés that are so typically Swiss can be found in Central Switzerland. Even though Swiss people may always seem busy and hardworking, they are very friendly and helpful with whatever you need.

Amazing location variety – on such a small area

Switzerland encompasses three basic topographical areas and thus many different climates. In the Swiss Alps on the south, mighty mountain massives and peaks rise high above meandering valleys. The Central Plateau features wide-open landscapes and the country’s largest cities. The Jura mountains on the north, with rolling wooded hills, lakes and valleys also host the capitals of the Swiss watchmaking industry.

The Alps divide the country geographically into north and south, the main languages culturally into east and west. Countless facets of European landscape and culture can also be found on Swiss ground: crystal-clear mountain streams, waterfalls, deep blue lakes, wild gorges and quiet moorland, unspoiled nature, bustling cities or sleepy medieval villages. Whatever you are looking for – Switzerland offers it all.

UNESCO world heritage sites

A good part of Swiss ground is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. From the vineyard terraces of the Lavaux between Lausanne and Geneva to the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch area and the Sardona Tectonic area: there is an ever-growing list of unique gems. And the best thing: You can actually shoot your films there!

Famous Swiss architects

Contemporary Swiss architects like Herzog & De Meuron, Mario Botta, Peter Zumthor and many more count among the world’s leading builders, creating some of the finest national and largest international projects, e.g. the Olympic Stadium «Bird’s Nest» in Beijing.

The works of legendary architects like Le Corbusier can be admired in many places in Switzerland next to works of foreign architects like Santiago Calatrava, Daniel Liebeskind, Norman Foster or Jean Nouvel, who have also left their footprint on Swiss soil.

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Facts about Switzerland

Weather and climate

The climate in Switzerland is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity. In July and August average daytime temperatures range from 18°C to 27°C, while in January and February the average range is -1°C to 5°C . In spring and autumn, average daytime temperatures range between 8°C and 15°C . These temperatures apply to the lowlands and get cooler as you move to higher altitudes. Longer daylight hours in summer and the reverse in winter are factors to be considered for outdoor film shooting. For more details, the free weather forecast service of meteoschweiz.ch.

Transportation

Traveling through Switzerland is easy thanks to a dense network of highways, roads and railway tracks. Cars can be rented at the international airports of Zurich, Geneva and Basel. Zurich and Geneva airports are incorporated into the Swiss railroad network with an integrated railway station. Trains to the city centers run every 10 to 20 minutes. For timetables, visit www.rail.ch. For information on distances between major cities, download our Map of Switzerland (PDF file).

Money

Swiss currency is denominated in Swiss francs, with 100 centimes per franc. ATMs are available throughout Switzerland and most places accept international credit cards. Since the introduction of the Euro currency in neighboring countries, many establishments accept Euros for payment at the current exchange rate. In July 2014, 1 Swiss franc was worth approximately 0.82 Euro or 1.10 US Dollar respectively 1.13 South-Korean Won. For actual exchange rates check Oanda’s free currency converter.

Business Hours

Shops are open usually on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (some close at noontime) but these times vary slightly from one area to another. On Saturdays, banks are closed and shops are generally open until 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. Most businesses are closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Languages

Switzerland has four official languages : German (which is spoken in the center, the north and the east), French (in the western parts), Italian (in the south) and Rhaeto-Romanic (in a few areas in the east). In most places, foreigners can communicate easily with locals by speaking English.

Visas

Please contact the Swiss Embassy or Swiss Consulate General located nearest you for any enquiry concerning visas and work permits. With the Schengen Convention many important points have changed. The officers of the embassy and consulat will be able to inform you correctly.

Finde more Facts about Switzerland: swissworld.org
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