Cash and cheques
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If you’re carrying foreign cash or travellers’ cheques, the best places to change them are invariably the desks to be found next to the ticket counters at virtually all train stations around the country – rates are identical with the banks, no commission is charged (except at some airport locations), and they’re usually open seven days a week for long hours. Otherwise, bank opening times vary, but are generally Monday to Friday 8.30am–4.30pm, sometimes with a break for lunch. Some city and tourist-resort banks also open on Saturday, often 9am–4pm. If you choose to take travellers’ cheques, you’d do best sticking to major brands such as American Express, Visa or Thomas Cook. The exchange rate is about one percent better than for cash.

If you have a bank account in the EU, you can ask your bank for a Eurocheque book and card before you depart – these work the same as ordinary cheques, drawn on your current account, but you write them out in Swiss francs (up to a Fr.300 maximum). However, with an annual fee, plus a handling charge per cheque, plus a bank commission on the franc-to-pound exchange, they’re no bargain.

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