Time in Switzerland

Switzerland uses a single time zone, denoted as Central European Time (CET: UTC+01:00). Switzerland also observes summer time, shifting to Central European Summer Time (CEST: UTC+02:00).[1]

Formerly, UTC+00:30 (called Bernese Time) was used until the adoption of CET in 1894.[2]

Daylight saving timeEdit

Whilst DST was introduced in much of Western Europe in the spring of 1980, Switzerland did not implement DST until the following year. This resulted in there being a one hour time difference between Switzerland and most of Western Europe, including all of the bordering countries (with the exception of Liechtenstein) for around six months in 1980.

The German village of Büsingen am Hochrhein, a small exclave, entirely surrounded by Swiss territory, did not implement DST in 1980 either and observed the same time as Switzerland, meaning there was a one hour time difference between this village and the rest of Germany. The zone Europe/Busingen was created in the 2013a release of the tz database,[3] because since the Unix time epoch in 1970, Büsingen has shared clocks with Zurich.[4]

Since 1981 the shifts to DST occur on the date as specified for European Summer Time. Historically DST was observed in 1941 and in 1942.

Solar timeEdit

The difference of longitude between the western and easternmost points of Switzerland is equivalent to 4°32′09″, resulting in a difference of approximately 18 minutes of solar time.

IANA time zone databaseEdit

The IANA time zone database contains one zone for Switzerland in the file zone.tab, named Europe/Zurich. Columns marked with * are the columns from zone.tab itself.

c.c.* Coordinates* TZ* Comments* UTC offset UTC DST offset
CH +4723+00832 Europe/Zurich Swiss time +01:00 +02:00

Computers not supporting "Europe/Zurich" may use the older POSIX syntax: TZ='CET-1CEST,M3.5.0/2,M10.5.0/3'


  1. ^ Europe. WorldTimeZone.com.
  2. ^ Bewes, Diccon (2013). Slow Train to Switzerland. Nicholas Brealey Publishing. ISBN 9781857889765.
  3. ^ Eggert, Paul (2013-03-02). "tzcode2013a and tzdata2013a available". ICANN.
  4. ^ Olson, Arthur David (2012-03-03). "New zone for DE, split from Europe/Berlin". gmane.comp.time.tz.

External linksEdit