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Switzerland Customs & Etiquettes
 
 
 

Learning the mother tongue of the area you will be staying in is a great sign of respect. English is widely spoken in Switzerland, but any attempt to speak the local language is always appreciated, even if you're replied to in English. It’s always polite to ask if they speak English before starting a conversation.

As a general rule, you shouldn't use the informal with someone you don't know well, someone who is your superior in rank, or an elder.

Use the informal with your close friends and younger people. Peers can be a gray area, and it is advisable to use the formal at first until they ask you to use the informal.

Friends kiss each other on the cheek three times (left - right - left).

Don't litter – it's definitely seen as bad behaviour in this country. Also make sure that you put it in the correct bin (e.g. recyclable).

Be punctual. Not surprisingly for a country that is known for making clocks, the Swiss have a near-obsession with being on time.

It is customary to give unwrapped flowers to the hostess when invited for a meal. Avoid red roses; never give chrysanthemums or white asters as they are considered funeral flowers. Informal wear is widely acceptable. First-class restaurants, hotel dining rooms and important social occasions may warrant jackets and ties. Black tie is usually specified when required.

 

 
 



 



 


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