There are few issues regarding safety in Switzerland. The chances are that many expats will be safer here than they were back in their home country. In fact, the historically neutral country is known for its low crime rates and cleanliness.
Crime in Switzerland
Switzerland has less violent and non-violent crime than most other countries, and there's never been a major incident of terrorism within its borders.
Locals might feel safe enough to send their children to the corner shop unattended, but petty crime does occur. Expats should still take basic precautions such as locking their doors and windows when going out and keeping valuables out of sight in public places – especially at bus and train stations, tourist centres and airports.
Weather in Switzerland
It may seem strange, but the weather in Switzerland does pose certain safety issues for the population. The weather is constantly changing and this is something that those planning on doing outdoor activities should keep an eye on. Flooding, landslides and avalanches can occur in parts of the country.
Expats venturing to remote locations should be sure to take adequate safety precautions. Accidents are often made worse by poor preparation. Adventurers should never venture out into the mountains alone. Instead, they should opt to travel in groups, have the right equipment and inform others about their travel plans.
Emergency numbers in Switzerland
There are several emergency numbers in Switzerland:
General emergencies – 112 (European line)
Police – 117
Fire service – 118
Ambulance – 144
►Read Culture Shock in Switzerland to learn about fitting in
"Geneva is generally safe. Of course, it is a city and crime does happen, but generally it’s a safe place to live." Read more about American expat Melissa's experiences in Switzerland in our interview.
"Zug is honestly a delight. It’s safe for walking and biking. Bike trails go all around the lake. By watching websites like Zug4you, you can keep abreast of all that is going on within the city." Learn more about life in Switzerland in our interview with American expat Jennifer.
Are you an expat living in Switzerland?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Switzerland. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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