Pratical life

Travelling in the vaud region

By bus and metro

Mobilis correspond au titre de transport unique valable sur l’ensemble du canton et ses 309 communes. Il permet d’emprunter tous les moyens de transports publics en les combinant à volonté.

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For one-off journeys, bus tickets can be purchased directly at the stops or on smartphones. In some municipalities, tickets can be purchased from the bus driver.

By train

The Swiss public transport network is extensive and highly developed. The Swiss Federal Railways (CFF) offer season tickets such as the general season ticket (AG) which allows travel throughout Switzerland by public transport (trains, buses, boats, metros, etc.) or the half-fare season ticket that allows you to travel at half price. For more information, contact the counter at the nearest station or consult the CFF website.

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Mobilis – Vaud
The equivalent of the AG for the canton of Vaud exists. it is the Mobilis subscription which allows you to travel throughout the Vaud territory or on a specific route (for example Lausanne – Yverdon-les-Bains) by public transport.

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It is important to get good information from the counter staff in the stations, in order to choose the most profitable subscription and which best corresponds to the journeys made on a daily basis.
Day passes
Some municipalities offer their residents day passes at preferential prices: these can be reserved by telephone, at the counter or online on your municipality’s website.
Supersaver tickets
CFF also offers, depending on the timetable, supersaver tickets (= reduced price). To access this information, go to the CFF website or download the CFF smartphone application.
Travelling with children
Children under 6 years old travel free if accompanied by a person holding a valid ticket and aged 12 or over. With the Junior card, for CHF 30 per year, children from 6
years old to their 16th birthday accompanied by one of their parents holding a valid transport ticket can use public transport free of charge for a full year. The Junior card is free from the 3rd child.

By car

People holding a driving licence abroad have 12 months from their arrival to exchange the foreign licence for a Swiss document. Depending on the country of origin, a practical and/or written exam may be requested.

Service des automobiles et de la navigation
Avenue du Grey 110
1014 Lausanne
021 316 82 10

By bike

Bike is a practical and ecological means of transport for making short trips. Wearing a helmet is not compulsory, but it is strongly recommended.

For several years, the Canton of Vaud has encouraged the development of cycle paths and lanes (signposted in yellow) on the sides of roads and hiking trails, as well as bike parks.
Some towns also offer the possibility of renting bikes.
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Some municipalities facilitate the purchase of an electric bike by subsidising part of the purchase costs of the latter.


For driving on Swiss motorways, it is compulsory to buy the annual vignette (CHF 40) which you will affix on your windscreen. It can be found at service stations, kiosks or at the post office. The annual vignette is valid until 31 January. On that date, you will need to have obtained and affixed the new sticker to your windscreen.


Cost of living in the canton

Life in Switzerland is relatively expensive compared to other countries in the world and in Europe. So, if the median salary often seems very high to people coming from abroad, people who settle in the country quickly observe that the cost of living is also high.

Opening a bank or postal account

By opening a bank or postal account, you can collect your salary or any other source of income, pay your bills and apply for credit. In principle, any adult is free to open a bank account in Switzerland by presenting an official identity document. A residence permit or proof of residence may also be requested.

Making your payments

You can make your payments either on paper, at the bank or post office counter, or on the internet or on a smartphone (E-banking).

Sending money abroad
To send money abroad, you can go through a bank, by post or through a transfer company.
By bank transfer
This method of payment is the safest but it assumes that both people have a bank account. You can then send the order from a counter, by telephone or online. Transfer costs are reduced by using the internet.
By post
La Poste offers the same offers as a bank, with an additional option: the recipient is not required to have an account and can withdraw the money at a counter.
By a transfer company
The transfer company has the advantage of being very fast (although it is more expensive). Money can be deposited in cash at one counter and withdrawn at another counter anywhere in the world.

Questions about managing your budget?

Parlons Cash!
A hotline is at your disposal for further information about the management of your current budget and debts.

Plus d’informations
0840 43 21 00
Information concerning debts and over-indebtedness

Group lessons
Group lessons and individual follow-up offers have also been set up in collaboration with CARITAS Vaud, CORREF and the Fédération romande des consommateurs (FRC).


Si vous avez du retard dans vos paiements, cela peut amener des frais supplémentaires et occasionner des poursuites financières. La procédure de poursuite permet à un·e créancier·ère (celui ou celle à qui est due une somme d’argent) de demander à l’État de forcer un débiteur ou une débitrice (celui ou celle qui doit l’argent) à payer sa dette pour autant qu’il ou elle en ait les moyens. Une poursuite financière peut rendre compliqué la recherche d’un logement pour lequel il est demandé un extrait récent de l’Office des poursuites.

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Telecommunications and purchasing

Internet and television

SERAFE : Radio and television licence fees
In Switzerland, regardless of whether they own a device for listening to the radio, watching television or connecting to the internet, all private and collective households are required to register and pay SERAFE fees of an amount of CHF 335 per year. This fee is not individual, it is due per household. Indeed, it is the contribution of each household to the public service in the field of electronic media.

If your household has an internet connection, you are required to pay a licence fee for radio and television. If this is not the case and you do not want to pay the television licence fee, you can ask to have the television network socket in your home sealed.
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Caritas grocery stores

The Caritas grocery stores offer more than 150 basic products that are 30 to 50% cheaper than market prices in Lausanne, Vevey and Yverdon-les-Bains. Only disadvantaged people, holders of the Culture Card are authorised to make their purchases in these grocery stores. The Culture Card allows you to make purchases in Caritas grocery stores and grants a discount in Caritas Vaud clothing shops. To obtain the Culture Card, you can fill out the form on the following link:

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Épicerie Caritas Lausanne
Avenue du Rond-Point 8
1006 Lausanne
021 317 59 80
Épicerie Caritas Vevey
Avenue Reller 4
1800 Vevey
021 319 59 81
Épicerie Caritas Yverdon
Rue des Philosophes 13
1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
021 317 59 80