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Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs in CANADA VISA FOR SWITZERLAND CITIZENS most public places and particularly in major cities such as:

  • Basel
  • Bern
  • Geneva
  • Zurich

Thieves are particularly active in airports, railway stations and trains. They often work in teams, one distracting the victim while the other steals the valuables.

Car break-ins occur at gas stations and highway service areas, as well as in parking lots.

  • Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Never leave bags containing money, airline tickets, credit cards or passports in the trunk of a parked car and do not leave anything on car seats
  • Don’t put any valuables or identification in the overhead storage compartments of trains
  • Exercise caution on trains, especially on overnight trips

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery, particularly in bars and nightclubs.


Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. When using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention if other people are handling your cards
  • use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account CANADA VISA FOR UK CITIZENS statements


Cybercrime occurs in Switzerland. Perpetrators may compromise public Wi-Fi networks to steal credit card or personal information.

  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks
  • Avoid making purchases on unsecured websites
  • Use judgment when posting information on social media
  • Be especially careful if you are meeting people you have met online
  • Never click a suspicious link in an email or text message asking for your credit card details

Romance scams

If you’re travelling to Switzerland to meet someone you’ve otherwise only met online, be aware that you may be the victim of a scam.

Be wary of attempts at fraud by persons who profess friendship or romantic interest over the internet.

Never send money.

Useful links

  • More about overseas fraud
  • Internet crime – Swiss Crime Prevention (in French)
  • Skimming – Swiss Crime Prevention (in French)


There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant if attending:

  • sporting events
  • religious holidays
  • public celebrations

Terrorists have used such occasions to mount attacks.


Demonstrations take place from time to time, particularly in Bern, Geneva and Zurich. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Mountain activities

Mountain activities, such as hiking, can be dangerous, especially if they are not well-organized.

Weather conditions can change rapidly, even in summer. In winter, heavy snowfall can make it difficult to reach some villages and ski centres. Roads may become impassable. There is also a risk of avalanches, some of which can be fatal, even with light snow accumulations.

If you intend to go hiking, mountaineering or skiing:

  • never do so alone and do not part with your hiking companions
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • do not venture off marked trails or slopes
  • ensure that you’re adequately equipped
  • carry an avalanche beacon
  • stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • obtain detailed information on your activity and on the environment in which you will be doing it before setting out


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