What currency is used in Switzerland?

The Swiss franc is the official currency of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the tiny Italian exclave of Campione d'Italia

The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc. This is also the currency of neighbouring Liechtenstein, a German-speaking principality situated in central Europe within the Alps.

The 3-letter currency code for Swiss francs is CHF which stands for 'Confoederatio Helvetica Franc'. This is reference to the Helvetic Republic which formed in 1798 when attempts were made to form a Central Governing authority in the country.

The denominations of Swiss franc banknotes are: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1000 francs. Coins are available in denominations of 5, 10 and 20 centimes, and 1/2, 1, 2 and 5 francs.

One Swiss franc can be subdivided into 100 subunits. Depending on what part of the country you are in, subunits may be referred to as rappen (German), centime (French), centesimo (Italian) or rap (Romansh).

Similarly, the plural is also different in each of the 4 official languages of Switzerland. Fr.100 in German is 100 franken, in French it's 100 francs, Italian 100 franchi and Romansh is also 100 francs.

Can you spend euros in Switzerland?

In a word yes, but it could be an expensive way to purchase things. Like most cities in Europe including London small things such as drinks, papers, sandwiches, coffee, pastries etc can be paid for in Euros, but this will be an expensive way to pay.

When buying currency you will find that when you visit any country around the world it is often best to pay for goods and services using the local currency where possible. When vendors and traders offer payment in other major currencies such as euros or US dollars you will always find that they will need to hike up exchange rates. This is to cover the bank charges that they incur when they bank the takings and of course to earn a little extra for offering the service in the first place. This also goes for paying with a credit or debit card. If you are given the choice then always choose the local currency.

Sometimes if you pay for goods or services using these major currencies you may even get change in the local currency as they may not hold the correct denominations to supply you with the change in euros or US dollars for example.

Want to maximise your spending money? Use our free comparison tool to get the best Swiss franc exchange rate. You can order francs online for free home delivery, or reserve for in-store collection.

Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager at Compare Holiday Money.

Published on 6 June 2022
Switzerland, Chf, Swiss Francs

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