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  Switzerland's Electricity
220-240 volts, 50 Hertz, as in the rest of Europe. Read the specifications on your electrical device carefully—you may be able to plug it in without damage.
 
 

Switzerland operates on 220-240 volts AC, 50 Hz, with round-prong European-style plugs (see the photo to the right).

(Prongs on the plugs today are thinner than they were a few decades ago, so if you have an old plug or adapter, it may not fit into today's Swiss outlets.)

Four- and five-star hotels often provide North American-style 120 volts, 60 Hz sockets (points) as well.

Check your appliances before leaving home to see what you'll need to plug in when you travel in Switzerland.

Many appliances with their own power adapters (such as laptop computers and digital cameras) can be plugged into either 110-120-volt or 220-240-volt sockets/points and will adapt to the voltage automatically.

Read the technical stuff on your power adapter to see (the power adapter is the little gizmo, usually black and rectangular, that's in the power line between your laptop or camera and the socket/point.) Look for "INPUT: A.C. 100-240V":

INPUT: A.C. 100-240V

If it reads that way, it can operate on either voltage. If it says something like "INPUT: 100-125V", then it can't run on Switzerland's 220-240 volts and you'll need to bring a transformer. (If you connect a 100-125V device to a 220-240V outlet/point, the higher voltage will damage your device or its transformer).

Power Adapter
A device which can safely be connected to either
100-125V 60Hz or 220-240V 50Hz electrical systems.

Unless your plug has two slender cylindrical prongs on it (NOT flat prongs), you'll also need a plug adaptor like the one in the photo at the top-right corner of this page. These are available in electronics and electricians' shops in North America and Europe. You needn't buy a whole kit, just get the one required for Switzerland.

—by Tom Brosnahan



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North American-to-Swiss electrical plug adapter

Above, North American-to-Swiss plug adapter.