Switzerland still uses the Swiss franc (CHF). You can pay with euros in many shops, but change will be given in Swiss francs. You can exchange money at the airport, in banks and at bureaux de change in stations.
Banks, post offices and other administrative services are generally open from Monday to Friday, from 08:30 to 12:15 and from 13:30 to 16:30.
Most service providers accept the usual credit cards. Cash machines in Swiss banks operate on the CYRRUS system or with MAESTRO. Other banks will have at least one automated cash machine for credit card transactions. It is still important to have a small amount of cash available, for example to pay for taxis or public transport.
VAT at 7.7 % is included in all prices displayed. This tax will rise to 8.1% from January 1, 2024.
The service charge is included in all prices displayed. It is common to leave an additional tip when you are very pleased with the service you have received, but this is optional.
Contracts are usually for a minimum period of 12 months. The necessary modem is provided free of charge. Operators often provide an internet connection as part of a package with their telephone services.
The eduroam network is also available at UNIL. All the information is available on the UNIL IT centre website.
If you are not a member of UNIL then, when on UNIL campus:
Please follow the process under external person: public-unil.
Fixed line telephone
You will need to contact a telephone operator to get a line. The providers in French-speaking Switzerland are listed here. Note that https://citycable.ch/telephone/apercu/ also offers a service in the Lausanne region. There may be advantages in opting for the ADSL (internet) connection offered by the same supplier, but this is not obligatory (see the "internet” section).
For short stays, it may be simplest to buy a pay-as-you-go mobile phone. Specialist mobile phone shops and large electrical equipment stores sell these (on presentation of your passport). Pay-as-you-go phones may be topped up in kiosks, of which there are many, or at ticket machines in stations.
There is comprehensive information on telecommunications services providers in Switzerland on the Swiss Confederation website.
Official issue bin bags must be used for all non-recyclable waste. These are white bags marked “Trier c’est valoriser” [recycling means sorting]. Use of any other bag (grey, black, transparent etc.) is prohibited and may be subject to a fine. The bags are on sale at supermarket cashpoints and in post offices. They may be disposed of in the "Ordures ménagères” [household waste] containers provided in your building.
Recyclable waste collected door to door (waste containers provided in your building specifically for your use)
Recyclable waste collected from collection points
- PET bottles
- Cans and coffee capsules
- Light bulbs
- Electronic devices
- Used oil
- Textiles and shoes
More information on waste management in Switzerland.