What You Need To Know

Chur is the oldest town in Switzerland and has a settlement history of over 5,000 years. The historic Old Town is very much worth a visit and is completely car-free. It offers a surprisingly large range of cultural activities, shopping, cafes, restaurants and bars.
Enjoy the cultural and culinary amenities of this Alpine town! Especially worthy of note are the Bishop’s Palace and the triple-naved cathedral of Sankt Maria Himmelfahrt. Whether you’re after cathedral treasure, Giacometti, biodiversity or souvenirs, Graubünden’s capital, with its three regional museums and over 500 shops, offers something to do in any weather.

Area: 28.01 km²
Population: 34 500 (year 2014)

Currency

  • The Swiss franc (CHF) is the only official currency in Switzerland. The franc is the only currency accepted everywhere. The Euro is the currency in the neighboring countries Germany, France, Italy and Austria, and in many other European countries.

    Nevertheless, you can pay with Euros in many shops, hotels, rail stations and gas stations in Switzerland. This is convenient if you’re only in transit or only stay for one night. Many smaller shops, market stalls, kiosks, etc. only allow payment in Swiss francs. Note that the Euro is a foreign currency in Switzerland, so accepting it results in extra costs and risks for shop owners. Therefore, if you pay with Euros, change will be in Swiss francs and the exchange rate is mostly not in your favor. For longer stays, it is cheaper and more convenient to have Swiss francs at hand.

  • Credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted, so there is no need to have large amounts of cash at hand. You can pay larger amounts by cards and take along some cash for smaller payments and places that do not accept cards.

    Swiss francs can be obtained from ATM’s. They are available in all towns, and you usually find them at the post office, rail station and shopping center. In general this is the cheapest way to obtain cash. Your bank can provide exact fees. To save time upon arrival, it can be handy to purchase some Swiss francs before you depart.

    Your bank may charge fees for both cash withdrawal through ATM’s and credit/debit card payments.

Weather

In Chur, the summers are comfortable and wet, the winters are freezing, and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 22°F to 72°F and is rarely below 12°F or above 81°F.
the best time of year to visit Chur for warm-weather activities is from late June to late August.
The warm season lasts for 3.3 months, from June 2 to September 11, with an average daily high temperature above 65°F. The hottest day of the year is August 1, with an average high of 72°F and low of 54°F.

The cold season lasts for 3.7 months, from November 19 to March 9, with an average daily high temperature below 42°F. The coldest day of the year is February 9, with an average low of 22°F and high of 36°F.

Language

Switzerland has four official languages: German (spoken by 64%), French (20%), Italian (6.5%) and Romansh (0.5%). The official language of Chur is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the High Alemannic Swiss German dialect.

Health and security

  • The Swiss healthcare system is globally known as an outstanding model, with among the highest amount of healthcare expenditure in the world after the US. Swiss healthcare combines public, subsidised private and totally private healthcare systems to create an extensive network of highly qualified doctors (many of them from elsewhere in the EU) and Swiss hospitals, the best equipped medical facilities and no waiting lists – but it all comes at a price.

    Switzerland’s healthcare system derives a significant portion of funding from mandatory Swiss health insurance premiums (averaging around EUR 450 per month) and out-of-pocket payments, meaning there is no free healthcare in Switzerland. In line with the high cost of living in Switzerland, Swiss health insurance equals around 10 percent of the average Swiss salary.

  • Switzerland on the whole is a very safe place to live and bring up children. There are good and bad places to live, but everything is relative.

DON’T

  • Switzerland is not a member of the European customs union. On the one hand that gives you the opportunity to buy real tax-free goods at airports when you are travelling from and to Switzerland. On the other hand there are tight restrictions on the goods you can take free of customs duty from Switzerland to your country. For EU-countries the following customs and tax allowances apply (for other countries check with the according customs authorities):

    Tobacco: 200 (50 to some countries) cigarettes or 100 (20) cigarillos or 50 (10) cigars or 250 gr (50) of smoking tobacco.
    Alcohol: 1 litre of spirits over 22% vol or 2 litres of spirits with less than 22% vol, 4 litres of still wine, 16 litres of beer.
    Other goods: Max. value of all goods: 430 euros for air travellers and 300 euros for other travellers.

    Goods over these limits must be declared when entering a EU-country, additional taxes and VAT may apply.

  • Switzerland is known as one of the more expensive countries to visit in Europe, and visitors are advised to choose their dinners wisely. However, responsible planning can help you avoid paying too much. While a three-course meal with wine will cost you more than 40 Swiss francs per person, you can have sandwiches that will cost you no more than eight francs. Also, remember that in Switzerland, most restaurant bills include service. Unless service is exceptional, there is no need to add any further server tip. However, visitors should be aware that the credit card bills leave open the ability to tip. If you’re not paying attention, you may end up paying far more for the meal than you realized.

DO

  • Summer is a really nice season, and to celebrate summer, Chur holds its annual summer event called the Churer Fest. The festival, which is usually held in the middle of August, is the largest and most festive festival in the southeastern part of Switzerland. Visitors who attend this legendary festival can expect to enjoy numerous attractions, treats from all over the world and the best of music. The Churer Fest takes place in the most beautiful spot in the city, the Old Town. Attending the festival and exploring the vibrant Old Town are the activities you must not miss.
  • Situated on the western outskirts of Chur, the Animal and Amusement Park Chur is for anyone who loves animals. Be ready to be amused by more than 60 species of animals, mostly native, in the park. Some of the animals you can look forward to meeting are the woolly pigs, llamas, ponies and donkeys. There is a big pond in the middle of the park where ducks and geese swim beautifully. If you are bringing kids with you, the park has its own playground that is quite generous in size.

    The children can play the rubberized go-karts, electric cars and tractors. Or, if your kids prefer something like the slides and swings, they are available too. You can spend the whole day in the park and there is no need to worry about getting something to eat as there is a restaurant inside the park. The best time to visit is between April and December. The park opens during winter (January to March) only when the weather is good.

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