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Telephony in Switzerland

Emergency and other important phone numbers

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Emergencies - Inquiries / Operator - Services - General information

Emergency Phone Numbers:

Number Deutsch English Français Italiano Number
 117  Polizei Police Police Polizia  117 
 118  Feuerwehr Fire department Pompiers Vigili del fuoco  118 
 144  Sanität Emergency rescue service (Ambulance) Ambulances Emergenza sanitaria  144 
Rega / Air-Glaciers
Rescue by helicopter
Rega / Air-Glaciers
Hélicoptère de sauvetage
Rega / Air-Glaciers
Elicottero di salataggio
Rega / Air-Glaciers
145 Vergiftungs-Notfälle Poisoning emergencies Intoxication, appel d'urgence Casi urgenti d'intossicazione 145
140 Strassenhilfe Emergency road service Secours routiers Soccorso stradale 140
143 Die dargebotene Hand The helping hand La main tendue Telefono amico 143
147 Telefonhilfe für Kinder und Jugendliche Telephone support for children and kids Ligne d'aide aux enfants et aux jeunes Linea per bambini e giovani 147
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Inquiries / Operator:

Number Deutsch English Français Italiano Number
1811 Auskunft Inland Inquiries for Switzerland Renseignements pour la Suisse Informazioni per la Svizzera 1811
1151 Internationale Auskunft für Oesterreich International inquiries for Austria Renseignements internationaux par Austriche Informazioni internazionali per Austria 1151
1152 Internationale Auskunft für Deutschland International inquiries for Germany Renseignements internationaux par Allemagne Informazioni internazionali per Germania 1152
1153 Internationale Auskunft für Frankreich International inquiries for France Renseignements internationaux par France Informazioni internazionali per Francia 1153
1154 Internationale Auskunft für Italien International inquiries for Italy Renseignements internationaux par Italie Informazioni internazionali per Italia 1154
1159 Internationale Auskunft für die übrigen Länder International inquiries for other countries Renseignements internationaux concernant les autres pays Informazioni internazionali concernenti altri Paesi 1159
1141 Internationale Vermittlung International operator Commutation internationale Commutazione internazionale 1141
1144 Nationale Vermittlung für Mobiltelefone National operator for cellular phones Commutation nationale (Mobile) Commutazione nazionale (Mobile) 1144
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Number Deutsch English Français Italiano Number
161 Sprechende Uhr Talking clock Horloge parlante Ora esatta 161
162 Wetterprognosen Weather forecast Prévisions météorologiques Previsioni del tempo 162
163 Strassenzustand, Verkehrsinformationen Road conditions and traffic news Etat des routes, informations sur la circulation routière Stato della strada, informazioni sul traffico 163
164 Sportresultate, Gewinnzahlen und -quoten Sport results, lottery results Résultats sportifs, Chiffres gagnants / répartition des gains Risultati sportivi, numeri vincenti / quote vincenti 164
175 Störungsannahme Telephone fault assistance Enregistrements des dérangements Accettazione guasti 175
187 Lawinenbulletin, aktuelle Wettermeldungen Avalanche report, weather conditions Bulletin des avalaches, Informations météorologiques Bollettino delle valanghe, Informazioni sul tempo attuale 187
1600 Regionale Informationen Local information Informations regionale Informzioni regionale 1600
0900 77 hh mm Automatischer Weckdienst:
Ersetzen Sie hh mit der Stunde und mm mit der Minute der gewünschten Weckzeit
Beispiel: Wenn Sie um 07:45 Uhr geweckt werden möchten, wählen Sie 0900 77 0745
Automated wake up call:
Replace hh with the hour, mm with the minute of the time you wish to be called.
Example: If you wish to be called at 7 45 AM, dial 0900 77 0745
Service automatique de réveil:
Composer le 0900 77 suivi des quatre chiffres de l'heure du réveil.
Par example 0900 77 0745 pour être réveillé à 07 h 45
Servizio automatico di sveglia 0900 77 hh mm
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General information:

Telephony in Switzerland was de-monopolized during the last decade of the 20th century. Before that, telephony and telecommunication services in Switzerland were provided by the government through the PTT ("Post, Telefon, Telegramm" - Postal services, Telephony, Telegraphy). The PTT has been divided into the postal service (Post) and the telecommunication services (swisscom). Both companies are now organized as a "Aktiengesellschaft" (public limited company), but the government still holds the majority of the shares.

In the area of telecommunication, there are now a number of private companies which also offer their services within Switzerland, including Orange and Sunrise.

Calling within Switzerland:

Switzerland is divided into about 20 areas, called "Vorkennzahlenbereiche" (originally geographical areas with the same area code). A phone number consists of the area code and a local phone number. The area code has three digits and starts with a zero, such as 022 for Geneva. The local phone number has usually 7 digits, but there are numbers with only 5 or 6 digits.
Since May 1 2002, the area code is now part of the phone number. The area code has lost its true meaning and must now be dialed even if calling a phone number within the same area. However, when calling one of the emergency, operator or service phone numbers listed above, no area code applies.

In addition, there are some area codes not assigned to a particular geographical area, but which have special meanings:

Area codes in Switzerland (click on the image to enlarge):

Area codes in Switzerland
Source: swisscom phone book 1999

Note 1: The area code 01 for Zürich was replaced by 043 and 044.

Note 2: The area code is now part of the local phone number. The geographic assignment will fade over the years because people will keep their phone number when they move even if they leave the area where the area code belonged to.

International calls from Switzerland:

International calls from Switzerland to any country do not require operator assistance. For international calls dial 00 (zero zero), the country code, the area code plus the local phone number. Please note that in some countries, the leading zero of the area code must not be dialed.

International calls to Switzerland:

International calls to Switzerland are fully automated and do not require operator assistance in Switzerland. However, an operator may be required in the origin country. To call a number in Switzerland, dial what ever is required for an international call, such as 00 (zero zero), then 41 (country code for Switzerland), then the phone number without the leading zero of the area code.

Example: Lets assume you wish to call TRAMsoft GmbH, located in Hittnau (area code 044) with 995 1570 as their local phone number. In addition, lets assume you have to dial 00 (zero zero) for an international call.
Then you have to dial 0041 44 995 1570


Cellular phones registered in Switzerland have their own area code. In the early days of mobile telephony, it used to be 086, now it is 076, 078 or 079 depending on the provider. Coverage depends on the provider. swisscom covers most of the country, the privately owned companies are building up their network, but cover at least the large cities, such as Zürich, Bern, Basel, Geneva and so on.

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