UNESCO Chair in Technologies for Development: From Innovation to Social Impact
2-4 May 2016 | SwissTech Convention Centre | EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
Rolex Learning Centre, EPFL (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
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. Note that classic European plugs do not work in Switzerland and you will need adapters. Type C 2-pin plugs also fit J sockets.
Please note that Thursday 5 May 2016 (Ascension Day is a Public Holiday in Switzerland.
WiFi internet access will be available at the conference venue and on the EPFL campus.
The cost of local calls varies and is invoiced by the minute. For local as well as long distance calls, prepaid cards may be bought at post offices, kiosks, stations or Swisscom shops.
The international country dialing code for Switzerland is +41. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0091 for India). City/area codes are in use e.g. (0)21 for Lausanne, (0)22 for Geneva, etc.
There are many post offices in Lausanne (Malley, Place Saint-François, CFF main railway station, Ouchy) as well as on the EPFL campus. They are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 18:00, on Saturday until 16:00 and closed on Sunday. The cost of stamps for sending post cards and letters (up to 20 grams):
In Europe: CHF 1.30 (normal) and 1.40 (priority)
Outside Europe: CHF 1.60 (normal) and 1.90 (priority)
During the winter, Central European Time (CET) applies in Switzerland. From the end of March to the end of October, Summer Time applies (CET +1 hour).
Facts about Switzerland
Make sure that you have adequate health insurance.
Personal travel insurance is strongly recommended, including coverage of personal accident, sickness, loss or damage to luggage and personal effects and cancellation charges.
Situated between the Jura and the Alps, Lausanne enjoys a temperate climate. In May and June, average temperatures in the Lausanne area lie between 11°C and 22°C.
However, we do recommend that you bring a light waterproof coat in case of rain and a warm sweater if you are susceptible to chilly evenings …!
Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialized countries. However there has been an increase in petty theft and visitors should be alert to pickpockets and thieves, particularly at the airport, in the city centers and on public transport.
The conference organizers shall not be held liable for personal accidents, losses, or damages to private property of registered participants of the conference. Participants should make their own arrangements with respect to personal insurance.
Money and Shopping
Please note that Switzerland remains with the Swiss Franc, usually indicated at CHF. While Switzerland is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, many prices are nonetheless indicated in euros so that visitors may compare prices.
The Euro (EUR) might be accepted by larger shops and service suppliers. Nevertheless, any change will be given in Swiss Francs (CHF).
The Swiss Franc (CHF) comes in the following denominations:
Banknotes: CHF 1000, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10
Coins: CHF 5, 2, 1 and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centimes
Cash can be exchanged in any Swiss bank, at airports and main railway stations (Western Union) and in major hotels.
The most popular credit cards in Switzerland are VISA, MasterCard and Eurocard.
The banks are generally open from Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 12:15, and from 13:30 to 16:30, and closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Automats (ATMs) issuing Swiss banknotes, available 7/7 and 24/24 accept the main cards and world networks (VISA, Eurocard/Mastercard, EC, Postcard, Maestro, Cirrus, Electron, Plus, Eufiserv, Cash).
On the EPFL campus “Credit Suisse” ATMs can be found at the shopping arcade next to the conference venue, the Esplanade and the Rolex Learning Center.
Please be sure to check with your local bank before leaving if your bank card is valid in Switzerland.
In the city centre of Lausanne there are many shops, all kinds are represented (fashion, watches, food, etc.). There is also an open market each Wednesday and Saturday morning. Most of the shops are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 19:00, on Saturday until 18:00 and closed on Sundays.
Some general food shops offering a limited variety remain open in the evenings as well as on Sundays: Coop Pronto (Place Chauderon, CFF main railway station), Aperto (CFF main railway station). In the Ouchy area on the lakeside, Migros as well as a pharmacy close at 21:45, during the week and on Sundays.