Swiss Franc (CHF)
When to go:
Spectacular scenery: mountains, lakes and picturesque villages
German and French, but English is widely spoken
Strangely enough, there's some truth to the picture-perfect image of Switzerland that most of us have had from childhood. This land of mountains, lakes, picturesque villages, incredible chocolate, and on-the-dot punctuality isn't an exaggeration...it's a reality! You'll find that everything from the Jungfraujoch to the giant flower clock in Geneva really exists.
Most signs and other public information is bi-lingual, the two primary languages being German and French. Although English is very common, knowing some French will get you on the best graces. German is handy, but remember the Swiss speak a slightly different version of German. Italian is useful too, in the south and around some lakeside resorts. Romansch, the fourth official language of the country, is widely spoken, but it's tough to find a phrase book.
The Swiss take hospitality very seriously, and even the least expensive hostels and pensions will be clean, and the service superb. You would have to go out of your way to stay in a dive or a shack. In the larger hotels, especially in the resorts of Zurich and Geneva, expect to pay a little bit more for just about everything. Accommodations can really vary in style and decor as well. You'll find everything from homely, comfortable chalets in the mountainous regions, to the ultra modern or minimalist hotels of Geneva or Zurich.