Is Zurich safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide
Zurich is the capital of Switzerland, situated at the north end of Lake Zurich in north Switzerland. With a population of approximately 400,100 and 1.83 million comprising the Zurich metropolitan area, Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland.
Each year over 10 million tourists travel from around the globe to visit the beautiful, picturesque, and peaceful Zurich, despite being one of the most expensive cities in Europe. There are, however, ways to save money as a tourist in Zurich, such as traveling in shoulder season or using public transport instead of taxis. If you want to travel in peak season, large crowds can be seen in the warmer months from June to August when the average temperatures are 70 F, and festive celebrations are in full swing.
Zurich has a lot to offer to visitors, from the waterfront promenades by the Limmat River and the medieval history of the Altstadt (Old Town) to adventure sports on the Swiss Alps, but also fun and vibrant nightlife with plenty of clubs, cafes and lively streets.
But being Switzerland's largest city, is Zurich a safe city? Yes, Zurich is one of the safest cities in Europe, with very low crime rates. However, tourists should always use common sense when visiting big cities, and this fabulous destination is no exception. Our first recommendation is to stow your stuff with Bounce in Zurich. Second, have a marvelous time.
Is Zurich safe to visit right now?
The answer to this question is yes. Zurich, like most Swiss cities, is a very safe city to visit, now even more than ever. Travel Safe Abroad gave Zurich a ranking of 87 out of 100 on the list of the safest cities to visit, and Numbeo ranked this Swiss city as the fifth safest city in the world.
The only potential danger to worry about when visiting Zurich is when taking a trip to the Swiss Alps. This will require you to be more cautious than being in the city, as mother nature can be unpredictable, even more so under bad weather conditions. To stay on the safe side, you should be well prepared for a trip to the alpine areas and make sure your vehicle has the proper equipment, such as snow chains and winter tires. Before setting out on the journey, know the weather forecast and check for avalanche warnings.
Despite not being dangerous for tourists or women traveling alone, with the rise of tourists and population, petty crimes have also increased. This includes thefts, pickpocketing and scams, and while they mainly happen around busy areas, it won't hurt to stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings and belongings. Also, English is widely spoken in Switzerland, along with German, French and Italian, so it's easy to communicate with the locals or other travelers.
We all know there is no such thing as a perfect guide, but if you follow this safety advice, use common sense, and do your own research before your trip to this major city, you can have a fantastic time. And while researching, don't forget to check your government's official travel guidelines before you visit Zurich, whether you're an experienced traveler or not.
Top petty crimes and scams in Zurich affecting tourists
If you're aware of the most common crimes in Zurich, you're less likely to become a target. Here are some of the petty crimes and scams that happen daily in Zurich and tips on how not to fall for them.
Swiss people are known for their honesty, but you should never let your guard down, especially if you're alone, lost, in a crowded place, or on public transport. One of the popular scams around Switzerland is fake donations.
You may encounter people asking for donations on the streets, and unless they show official identification and don't ask for cash donations on the spot, you should thank them politely and walk away.
While Zurich is not as notorious for pickpocketing as Barcelona, Rome, or Paris, it is smart to remain alert and keep an eye on your belongings wherever you are. Pickpockets can operate individually or in groups, so it helps to use common practice not to leave your phone unattended or leave your bag open and your wallet exposed.
It's easy to fall for scams or have your items stolen if you're not paying enough attention to what is going on around you. To avoid such incidents from occurring, store your valuables with Bounce and never carry your passport with you. A copy of important documents will do just fine.
Is Zurich safe to travel alone
Zurich is very safe to travel alone, no matter the season or the time of the day. Solo female travelers, too, have no problem walking on the streets in Zurich, whether it's during the day or after hours.
In fact, Zurich is very safe for solo female travelers, with Switzerland earning a rating of 5 on the Bounce Women Travel Safety Index, just after Slovenia and before Spain. Take normal precautions as a solo traveler and remain vigilant, especially at night, and you should have an enjoyable stay in Zurich.
Safest neighborhoods in Zurich
When it comes to finding safe accommodation in Zurich, the list is endless. As one of the safest European cities, where the crime rate is very low, tourists have a variety of areas to choose from for their stay. The only issue may be money, so unless you're a first time traveler or don't want to use public transport, there are other areas in Zurich that cost much less than those close to the city centre. Some of the safest neighborhoods to stay in Zurich are listed here.
Typically, the city centre is the main locale for all happenings, tourist attractions, events, and some of the best eateries. Zurich's city centre is also home to the medieval Old Town characterized by cobblestone pathways. This area is considered one of the best and safest to stay in Zurich.
Enge sits along Lake Zurich and is one of the best areas to stay in the city with children. Accommodation in Enge is slightly less expensive than one in the city centre, but tourists can enjoy the same quality of life and entertainment along with vast green parks, natural sights and romantic waterside promenades by the river Limmat.
Overall, Zurich is a safe city, but there are certain areas with a bad reputation, such as Langstrasse, known as Zurich's red-light district and Seebach district. Still, if you happen to be in those areas, the risk of getting mugged is low. You'll just have to be more alert than usual.
Is Zurich public transportation safe?
Zurich public transport is efficient, safe and reliable consisting of buses, trams, trains and boats. It is also affordable. For instance, a train ticket from Zurich airport to the city costs about 6 Swiss Francs. One Swiss Franc equals $1.09. Speaking of which, it's best to stock up on Swiss currency before arrival since, unlike other European countries, Switzerland doesn't use the euro.
The connection to other European cities is also amazing, with frequent flights, buses, and train links. Zurich Airport is the largest airport in Switzerland, and it's also home to Swiss International Air Lines.
Busy buses, trains and train stations pose as much threat as typical tourist-crowded places in Zurich and that is mainly pickpocketing. Zurich is a pretty safe place to visit, and so is riding on its public transportation.
Important emergency numbers in Zurich
Some of the safety tips in this guide include the emergency numbers tourists should be aware of when visiting Zurich.
- Switzerland country code: +41
- International emergency number: 112
- Police: 117
- Fire services: 118
- Helpline for children and youths: 147
- Ambulance/Rescue services: 144
Keep this list of numbers close to you, as you never know when you're going to need it. While in a foreign country, it's also important to be aware of your embassy's number or the number of the consulate if there is one. This way, you can receive immediate help if your passport gets stolen or lost.
Zurich is the perfect place to unwind
Zurich, Switzerland, is a popular tourist destination and, like most Swiss cities, is very safe to visit. Solo travelers and women traveling alone should have no problems moving around the city, even late at night. Despite the low crime rates, anything can happen, so you should stay alert and pay attention to what is happening around you.
Speaking of safety, don't forget to invest in travel insurance before you enter Switzerland. Now you have Zurich safety tips in hand and you'll have a marvelous time.