Official Language
French, and other common languages are English and German.

Visa
Switzerland has been in the Schengen Zone since December 12th 2008. As a result, “Schengen” visas also cover entry into Switzerland and France provided they are part of a valid travel document.

Participants requiring a visa for Switzerland are strongly advised to make their application in their home country at least three months before the intended date of travel. For more information:
Visa for Switzerland
Visa requirement according to nationality
Visa application form

Letters of invitations will be issued by the Conference Secretariat to bona fide participants only. Requests should be sent on the official letterhead of the applicant’s company/organization.

For any further question relating to visas, please contact the Conference Secretariat: linac14.info@cern.ch

Climate / Altitude
Due to the tempering effects of the lake and surrounding mountains, Geneva is pleasant almost year round.

Average temperature in September: 17°C 62°F
Low temperature 11°C 52°F
High temperature 22°C / 72°F
Sunshine hours 5 hrs  / Rainfall 110mm
Altitude: 373 m above sea level

Also, do not forget that if you are planning on hiking up a mountain, the temperature drops, and rain gear and   adequate walking shoes are a must.

Time Zone
Geneva is in the Central European zone (G.M.T +1). Summer time (G.M.T +2) runs from end of March to the last week of October.

Electricity
The voltage in Switzerland, as in most of Europe, is 230V/50 Hz.
Switzerland uses type C (2-pin) and Type J (3-pin) plugs. (Type C 2-pin plugs also fit J sockets.)

Most power sockets are designed for three pin round plugs. The standard continental type plug with two round pins, applied for many electrical travel products, may be used without problem. Adaptors are available in most hotels.

Phone Area Code and Important Phone Numbers
For Switzerland : 0041 / +41 and For Geneva : 022
Police – 117
Ambulance / Medical Emergency – 144
Fire Department – 118

Money and Shopping
The currency used in Switzerland is the Swiss franc. 1 CHF is divided into 100 cents.
Exchange offices, banks and ATMs are well distributed across the city.
Exchange rates: http://www.xe.com/

Tips:Hotel and restaurant bills, taxi fares etc. include tax and service. Tips are therefore not required but may be given for excellent service.

Tax free shopping: The VAT you pay on purchased goods in Switzerland is 8%. You may ask at the shops for your Global Refund Cheque and reclaim the VAT. Your total purchases in a shop must amount to more than CHF 300 (including VAT). You must be a resident outside Switzerland and the goods must be exported within 30 days.