Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland, a gorgeous, peaceful country in Central Europe. It is located on Lake Zurich, where it flows into the River Limmat , in the north of Switzerland.
Zurich is an extremely important city for Switzerland because it serves as the financial center of the country.
Many world-wide known companies are located precisely here: it is the home of FIFA’s headquarters, German Swiss national and international media agencies as well as the German Swiss national TV channel company.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the Its two major universities, Google’s world-wide second largest development center, also located in Zurich.
It is also the education center of Switzerland, with its two major universities, ETH Zürich and University of Zurich listed among world’s 15 best universities.
Due to its vicinity to tourist resorts in the Swiss Alps and its mountainous scenery, it is often called “the portal to the Alps”.
Warnings & Dangers in Zurich
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Zurich is very safe to travel to. It is a city where every law is respected and the police are doing their job very meticulously. Still, don't let your guard down and be vigilant at all times.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transportation in Zurich is very safe, and there are no problems with taxis except that they are very expensive. Be prepared when traveling to the alpine areas and equipped with snow chains and winter tires.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Pickpocketing is not an issue in this city, though it does happen from time to time. Never leave your valuables in plain sight or carry your belongings in your back pocket, easily accessible for someone to steal.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
As for natural disasters, there are some you may encounter, but mostly in the alpine areas of the country, such as avalanches, snow drifts, landslides, flooding, thunder storms, snow storms, etc.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Do not worry about mugging or kidnapping: it doesn't happen in Zurich. Recently, there has been only one area in the entire country that has had several reports of mugging - Seebach district.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There haven't been any terrorist attacks in Zurich's recent history, but they shouldn't be ruled out so be vigilant at all times.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Scamming is not common in Zurich either, but you should still check everything twice (especially your change), negotiate everything beforehand, and be careful when shopping with your credit card because some establishments give out checks with the entire number of your credit card printed out.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Zurich is very safe for female solo travelers. Still, do not let your guard down, and follow the rules of common sense, such as not walking around alone at night or along deserted areas.
So... How Safe Is Zurich Really?
It’s no surprise that Zurich is a very safe city to travel to. The country is actually considered to be one of the safest in Europe.
However, since it attracts a certain type of tourists (namely, mostly rich people visit Switzerland) and it is crowded with well-off population, it is expected that an occasional pickpocket might be roaming around the streets or popular landmarks at all times.
Be very careful with your valuables and never leave them in plain sight.
Another issue that you have to take into account when traveling to Zurich is that there is a number of Swiss establishments that will print your entire credit card number onto the receipt, that way enabling identity theft when shopping with a credit card.
Therefore, if you are using credit cards, you should carefully review the information printed on all receipts before discarding them.
This happens, for instance, in some book and clothing stores.
Fortunately, the list of such establishments isn’t too long, so just be a bit more careful when paying with credit cards.
Women travelling alone should have no problems.
The only uncomfortable circumstance is that sometimes the youth of Zurich tends to be fairly open with public displays of affection, sometimes too much open, and women may find such unwanted attention tiresome, especially in the wee hours in front of clubs and bars.
However, they are very easy to get rid of, by simply walking away
- Visas - Many countries need a visa to enter Switzerland. US residents intending to stay less than 90 days do not need a visa. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 3 months from your planned date of return. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - The official currency of Zurich is Swiss Franc. ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted and used throughout the country. Your best shot when exchanging money in Zurich is to withdraw it from the ATM. This way, you are getting the best exchange rate possible and you avoid any chance of getting scammed.
- Weather - Switzerland has cold, cloudy winters with plenty of precipitation and cool to warm and humid summers with occasional showers.
- Airports - The busiest airport in Switzerland is the Zurich Airport, and it is also the main hub of Swiss International Air Lines. It serves Zürich, Switzerland's largest city, and it is located 13 km north of central Zürich
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Zurich, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.