Switzerland-United States travel: The crucial document you might not know about

If you are planning to fly to the US from one of the Swiss airports, there are some entry regulations you need to know about.

Switzerland-United States travel: The crucial document you might not know about
Inform yourself of all the entry requirements to the United States. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP

Generally speaking, travel to the United States from Switzerland, Europe, and much of the world has been restricted since March 2020.

However, a number of people still fly to the United States, as they fall under the ‘exemptions’ category which includes American citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPR) of the United States, children or spouses of US citizens or LPRs, as well as foreign government officials and their immediate family members on official business.

At the moment, everyone travelling to the United States must present —aside from the US passport or another document proving eligibility to enter the country — a negative PCR or antigen Covid test. That’s pretty standard for a lot of countries.

But there is one other document you need that you may not know about.

Called ‘PASSENGER DISCLOSURE AND ATTESTATION TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, this document must be printed and signed, as without it you will not be allowed to board.

Basically, this form requires airlines to “confirm either a negative COVID-19 test result or recovery from COVID-19 and clearance to travel and collect a passenger attestation on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)”.

The problem is that this particular form, though essential, is easy to miss.

It is ‘buried’ among other travel-related information airlines send to passengers as part of an email that comprises booking details, baggage allowance, mask requirement, and time zone and weather at the destination.

Only the most attentive passenger will notice a link called “Stricter regulations on entering the USA”, which compiles various rules, including the form.

The Local asked SWISS airline why the necessity to fill out this form is not made clearer to US-bound passengers.

“In principle, it is the passenger’s responsibility to inform themselves about the entry requirements of their final destination”, said spokesperson Michael Stief.

He added that “SWISS provides its passengers with detailed information on its homepage and also informs them individually about the formalities before departure”.

The entry regulations are indeed included on the airline’s site, as well as on the site of its codeshare partner, Lufthansa, which operates some of the US-bound flights together with SWISS.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Can people from the United States and Great Britain come to Switzerland?

However, a passenger has to actively search for this information amid diverse links on the airlines’ websites.

Many miss it and only find out about it when checking in at the airport.

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How much does a Zurich city break cost in 2024?

As Swiss cities go, Zurich is the complete package: Not only is it the country’s economic and cultural capital, but its location on the lake of the same name, the River Limmat, and the nearby Uetliberg make it a great natural beauty. The question is, how much does it cost to visit?

How much does a Zurich city break cost in 2024?

Using a weekend city trip as a yardstick, The Local looked at the average costs of a visit to Zurich, factoring in accommodation, dining, public transport and sightseeing. 


Based on data from the online booking platform, the average price for a hotel room per night in Zurich in 2024 is 149 francs – roughly €157. 

Of course, this greatly depends on the level of comfort you’re looking for. 

A room in a popular budget hotel near the central train station, like Hotel Bristol, can run as low as 47 francs / €50 per night for a private room. 

On the other end of the scale, a room in a luxury hotel like the iconic Hotel Storchen starts at around 547 francs / €574. 

For a two-night stay in the city, budget around 350 francs / €370 – assuming you have two people sharing.


According to the crowdsourced travel information site, the average meal in Zurich costs around 24 francs / €26.

Again, this depends on what you’re looking for. Hitting up a popular street food spot like Sternen Grill will cost you around 16 francs / €15 for a Bratwurst in a roll with mustard and a drink.

Conversely, you could splurge on a Michelin-star restaurant like La Rotisserie, part of the Hotel Storchen, and spend 300 francs / €315 per person. 

For a two-night stay in Zurich, expect to pay 156 francs / €163 per person to eat. 

READ ALSO: Nine Zurich life hacks to make you feel like a local

Public Transport 

Thankfully, Zurich is serviced by an excellent public transport network, and getting around couldn’t be easier. 

It may also be the easiest part to budget for your Zürich city trip. 

The Zürich Card offers unlimited 2nd class travel on all buses, trains, boats, funicular railways and other forms of public transport in the Zürich region. 

A 24-hour pass costs 29 francs / €30.41, while a 72-hour pass costs 56 francs / €58.74.

For two nights in Zürich, it’ll cost you about 56 francs / €58.74 per person to get around the city. 


What you spend on sightseeing in Zurich can be the most variable part of your budget, depending on what you want to see. 

Strolling around the Old Town and Lake Zurich and visiting historic churches such as the Grossmünster and Fraumünster are free. 

A trip up the Uetliberg is also free, as you can take a tram covered by your public transport ticket.

You could also visit such museums as the Landesmuseum Zürich (13 francs / €13.63), the Swiss Finance Museum (10 francs / €10.49 ), the FIFA Museum (26 francs / €27.27 ) and the Lindt Home of Chocolate (15 francs / €15.73).

Gallery offerings include the Kunsthaus Zürich (24 francs / €25.17 ), the Kunsthalle Zürich (12 francs / €12.58) and the Pavilion Le Corbusier (12 francs / €12.58). 

It’s important to note that some museums and galleries offer free entry with the Zurich Card – it’s worth checking at the ticket counter. 

Enjoying a boat trip on Lake Zurich is really worth your while, and a cruise with a vessel operated by the ZVV  will cost 44.60 francs / €44.76 for first class and 27 francs / €28,32 for second class,

READ ALSO: Five beautiful Swiss villages located less than an hour from Zurich

Suppose you operate on the assumption that you might see two museums daily and take a boat cruise during your trip. 

Budgeting 120 francs / €125.85 per person, is not unreasonable in that case. 

From the Uetliberg there are stunning views across Lake Zurich and the city. Photo: Stux / Pixabay

And in the end…? 

With some quick back-of-the-napkin maths, if you’re a couple expecting to spend two to three nights in Zurich, you can expect to pay around 1,062 francs / €1114.

While not the cheapest European destination, it’s more than made up for by natural beauty in scoops, a treasure trove of art, culture and history, and some of central Europe’s best dining.