Yes, Switzerland is part of the Schengen area. There may be customs controls at the border but no routine passport checks. Of course you need to have documentation with you at all times in case of random checks (unlikely) or if there isan accident or something & you need to show id.
It is essential that you have your passport in which the visa is stamped with you at all times when you are here. Otherwise, as Jon says, no passport controls at the borders and you come and go as you like!
Sorry to tell you that the above responses are incorrect, no offense to anybody.
At the time of getting the Schengen visa, unless you had mentioned that you are going to Switzerland, you cannot go!!! I know that for a fact since I had emailed the consulate while preparing for my upcoming vacation.
Please contact the consulate on these questions and not base your decisions on info from online forums.
Here are the responses I got from 3 consulates on the same question when I had emailed them last month:
If my schedule changes after I get my visa (either prior to my departure or during my trip) and I end up visiting a different Schengen country, is that acceptable? If not, are there any procedures I need to follow to make it acceptable?
Reply from Italian consulate:
You are supposed to follow exactly the travel schedule used to request the visa
Reply from French consulate:
Keep in mind that you apply for a visa and you sign an application in two places with your trip information, so you cannot change your situation after you get your visa.
Reply from Swiss consulate:
You may travel throughout the whole of the Schengen area on the same visa for the duration of its validity. Please note that the border authorities are obliged to examine whether, at the time of your entry, the prerequisites for entry continue to apply. This examination is international practice. If the prerequisites for entry or transit no longer apply, or if you are unable to provide the relevant evidence, you may be refused entry by the border authorities although you are in pos-session of a valid visa.Edited: 12 March 2011, 20:47
I do not see that these statements are contradictory.
The Italians say you need to file an itinerary and follow it.
The French say that you need to state your itinerary and folow it.
The Swiss say that you must have a valid Schengen visa when you cross the Schengen border.
So - when you apply for a Schengen visa you state where you will visit.
So, according to the Swiss who are precise as usual! when you arrive at the Schengen border - ie the FIRST member of the Schengen area that you come to - your passport and visa are checked and all must comply with Schengen rules.
After that, you follow your itinerary. However once you are in the Schengen space there is NO further passport control, except for spot checks which occasionally happen when the authorities are looking for someone. So if you want to travel to Germany and will also come here - just list where you are travelling when you apply for the visa.
@Hambaahle - the swiss consulate has conveyed more than you've mentioned: "...if you are unable to provide the relevant evidence, you may be refused entry by the border authorities ALTHOUGH you are in pos-session of a valid visa."
The bottom line is - unless you've declared your itinerary while obtaining the visa, they have the authority to deport you.
But they always have the authority to deport people, don't they?
And since there are no border controls within the Schengen space - only on arrival from what is termed "Extra Schengen" - how can they check?
Obviously it is best to provide a complete itinerary if that is what is requested, and to stick to it. But without checking passports please tell me how one visitor can be distinguished from another once they are inside the Schengen area!
Let me give you an example. I live in southern Switzerland, right on the border with France and Italy. When I drive to either the border is usually unmanned. ("unpersonned" if you like!). If there is someone there it is generally the Swiss, not the Italians or the French, and all they ask you is "What do you have to declare?". they do not request to see ID cards or passports. Around Geneva the smaller crossing points are always unmanned and they have a box for voluntary declarations of merchandise. And that is it!
Between France and Germany even the border post buildings have gone...and that some time ago.
I repeat - when filling out a form to request a visa it is clear that one must answer all the questions, and provide truthful answers. And if you know where you want to travel, and the question is asked, specify it. But the fact is, once you are inside Schengen there are no routine checks...
My name is Binogeorge i am from Indian and working last 10years in U.A.E. One of my friend he is an Italian ..my question is if he can invite me to italy for 2weeks vising ..how he can invitate me ...
You will have to call the Italian Embassy to ask them what sort of form the invitation should take. Or post on the Italian Forums as someone there might know. Best to call the Embassy (or visit their website) anyway.
To the OP : Yes you can travel to Switzerland with the Schengen Visa. You need not declare any itinerary since you may have provided sufficient documentation when you applied for the Visa. Once you are in the Schengen area which also includes Switzerland you can travel freely.