6 Most Dangerous Cities in Switzerland

Updated On October 10, 2023

In countries like Switzerland, you may be hard-pressed to find a truly dangerous city.

The statistics of this country speak for themselves.

Crime is low here and the overall sense of satisfaction for Swiss citizens is high.

Still, like anywhere in the world, you will find pockets of Switzerland that feel less safe than others.

To find out which areas in Switzerland are dangerous when compared to the safest parts of Switzerland, keep reading the article below.

6 Most Dangerous Cities in Switzerland



In the Swiss city of Basel, most residents and travelers feel a sense of safety and comfort in the region.

As with most cities, though, it has its fair share of crime and criminal activity.

In this city, you won’t usually find violent crimes making the headlines.

Even so, residents have reported that they perceive an uptick in crime in the past 3 years in Basel. 

The main crimes that seem to occur in this region are related to buying, selling, or using drugs, vandalism, and theft.

Some folks also fear becoming a target of physical threats because of their skin color, ethnic origin, gender, or religious beliefs.

These experiences may indicate that travelers who fall outside of the majority spiritual, ethnic origin, or racial identities in Switzerland might have a different perspective on Swiss safety in the city of Basel. 



By most standards, Bern is not a dangerous city.

However, since Switzerland is considered a safe country, it’s less safe than some other parts of the country.

According to a study on numbeo.com, Bern residents report issues with folks doing drugs or dealing them at a rate of

33.15. The other highest crime in the area is property crimes, which include stealing and vandalism.

The crime rate for property-related offenses is 27.99.

This makes it so that both of these types of crimes have a low occurrence.

Still, most crimes have very low crime rates in this region. 

In the same survey, some residents noted that they felt very safe walking around during the day.

The level of safety these residents reported feeling while walking at night was lower.

Although Basel is a pretty safe area, tourists and visitors may feel more like they need to keep their guard up while walking through this area than they would in places with lower crime rates.

Because Bern is known as a lower-income area, it may also look less developed than higher-income areas.

If you are visiting for the first time, don’t let appearances fool you–it’s still a remarkably safe place where groups of travelers and even female solo travelers tend to feel comfortable. 

If you are concerned about theft, it would be best to leave expensive jewelry at home or at your hotel.

Additionally, you should consider keeping your belongings close to you and watching them at all times.

Taking these precautions will lower the already low chance of crime in Bern.



In Lausanne, you may find that some areas feel less safe than others.

In this city as a whole, residents and travelers report feeling fairly safe.

The crime rate is relatively low.

Still, this city does have its problems.

For example, in a survey by numbeo.com, researchers found that almost half of their population believes instances of crime have been going up over the past three years.

On top of that, they reported a moderate risk of crimes that relate to drug use or selling substances. 

As a whole, Lausanne can be a wonderful, safe city to visit. Still, there are some parts that are not as developed as others.

These parts tend to house foreigners and individuals with low incomes.

In these areas, the buildings may be shabbier and give the appearance of it being a dodgy area.

Thanks to strong public safety efforts, even these areas are not particularly dangerous.



As one of the most populated cities in Switzerland, Zurich has a lot to love and a little to fear from a safety perspective.

While this city holds just over fifteen percent of the population, it accounts for 30.9% of aggravated assaults and 31.7% of sexual crimes in the country.

Since Zurich is so populated, it can feel safer for some travelers because there are always potential bystanders for a crime.

The flip side of this is that it is close to major travel hubs.

This means that the city has a lot of non-residents passing through it every day.

That puts the population at a higher risk of crime.

To stay safe in Zurich, always maintain a sense of awareness about your surroundings.

Keep track of your belongings and keep personal items close to you.

If you have an inner pocket in your coat or purse, try stowing your wallet and other important objects in it.

This way, you won’t have to worry about a pickpocket stealing your valuables.

As a traveler, you should also only bring what you absolutely need for the day and avoid carrying large sums of cash currency.

Just because the majority of Zurich and other Swiss cities feel safe doesn’t mean that you need to let down your guard.

With a crime rate of 10.17%, it’s clear that there is still a level of crime in Zurich.

With that level of crime, you should operate with some sort of strategy for avoiding becoming a low crime statistic in the region.



Over a fourth of all vehicular burglaries and pickpocketing occur in this region.

That is significant since Geneva is home to 5% of the Swiss population.

In addition to these crime rates, you’ll want to note the kinds of crimes that are more common here than in other Swiss cities.

The most notable crime rates for Geneva include the vandalism and public property destruction crime rate, which sits at 40.08, and drug dealing and street gangs, which was rated at 45.2.

Of course, if you are set on living in this part of Switzerland, you should know that this area is safe.

Compared to many other regions in the world, you will deal with less violent crime in Geneva than you might encounter in many other places.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Switzerland

  1. Leave your most expensive jewelry at home. If you plan on traveling to Switzerland, you should consider taking less valuable jewelry and accessories. Otherwise, you may make yourself a target for pickpockets and thieves.
  2. Go places in groups, especially at night. While traveling through Switzerland, you may feel so safe that you let your guard down. It’s still important to make it harder for bad actors to get to you by traveling with at least one friend at night.
  3. Be alert for diversions for pickpocketing. If someone offers to give you a flower for free or clean a mess that they made off of your shirt, take pause. They may be trying to distract you while stealing your wallet or other valuable item.
  4. Keep cash and credit cards close to you at all times. To make it less likely that you’ll lose everything, stow them in different pockets.
  5. Communicate with neighbors to prevent theft. If you notice suspicious activity, ask if they have seen someone there before and call the police when in doubt.

Switzerland Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Switzerland Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Switzerland a safe place to visit?

While it’s hard to say for sure, one of the reasons why most researchers speculate Switzerland is safe is its stringent laws.

With strict laws, Switzerland maintains tight order in the country and squashes crime before it starts.

Naturally, safety is relative.

People who come from different backgrounds and travel to different areas may have different impressions.

Outside of crime, are there any safety risks in Switzerland?

Since Switzerland has a low crime rate, you may think there aren’t any dangers.

Unfortunately, this isn’t quite the case.

In Switzerland, bikers and hikers may experience safety risks such as avalanches, inclement weather, and steep slopes.

Before venturing out, travelers should always check for warnings about potential avalanches and bad weather.

If you are unfamiliar with an area and decide to go “off the beaten path,” you should travel with at least one friend.

When hiking, you should always ensure that you have packed enough water and food to sustain you for at least a day.

Let others know where you are going and when you expect to be back.

Additionally, pack a cell phone and other necessities in a waterproof bag.

If you are traveling through Switzerland in the wintertime, make sure that you dress appropriately for the weather.

It may be gorgeous up in the mountains but is not a tropical paradise.

Plan not only for safety against criminal threats but also for risks associated with the elements and terrain.

What is the crime index in Switzerland?

As of 2023, the crime index in Switzerland is 21.62.

This makes it one of the safest countries in the world next to Norway, Japan, and Denmark.

2 Comments on 6 Most Dangerous Cities in Switzerland

  1. M
    Mitchell says:

    Switzerland is a safe and satisfying country to visit.

  2. Switzerland is generally a safe country, but cities like Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Zurich, and Geneva have reported higher rates of crimes such as drug-related offenses and property crimes.

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