Location: Western Europe
Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 1 hour
Daylight savings time: during northern hemisphere summer
Current time: 03:42
Currency: Swiss franc
Dialling code: +41
Internet suffix: .ch
Switzerland is a small European Alpine country known for its stability, high standards of living and natural beauty.
Overall security situation: one of the most secure parts of the world
Social tensions and grievances: the population is amongst the most content in the world
State resilience capabilities: institutions are amongst the most resilient in the world with extensive resources, capabilities and an established track record
Conflict situation: no conflict in recent decades
Civil unrest: very low level of risk; the public is largely content while demonstrations are usually infrequent, peaceful, orderly and professionally managed
Terrorism: low level of risk but terrorist threats or activity have been detected in recent years
Crime: extremely low crime rate with infrequent incidents, good police coverage and a well-resourced professional judicial system
Murder rate: extremely low; incidents are very rare
Gun ownership levels: Switzerland has the 4th highest gun ownership ratio in the world – although note that many gun owners are official militia members and do not keep ammunition at home with their firearms
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: no
Aviation safety levels: standard
Annual road fatality rates: low
Vehicles drive on the: right
Infrastructure quality: excellent
Urban ATM availability: very good
Electricity supply: 230V 50Hz
Electricity supply reliability: consistent
Plug types: C and J
Plug type C (2 round pins, not grounded/earthed)
Plug type J (3 round pins, grounded/earthed, socket compatible with plug type C)
Is tap water drinkable: yes
Healthcare quality: among the best healthcare provision in the world
Infectious disease prevalence: extremely low
Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):
- Tick-borne encephalitis (usually only for those spending time in at-risk forested areas)
- Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus)
Malaria risk: none
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: rare/non-existent
Rabies prevalence: rare/non-existent
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: low
Hepatitis B prevalence: low
Hepatitis E prevalence: not highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: not present
Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: no
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: none
Tick-borne encephalitis status: high risk in many areas
Chagas disease presence: none
Typhoid fever presence: sporadic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: not thought to be present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no
Climate: temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
Terrain: mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
Natural disaster risk: very low
Natural hazards: storms; avalanches, landslides; flash floods
Tropical storms: few/none
Volcanic activity: low/none
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: no
Government type: formally a confederation but similar in structure to a federal republic
Socio-economic development score: 10/10 (among the highest levels of socio-economic development in the world)
Adult literacy rate: 99%
Unemployment rate: very low
Civil liberties: well respected
Investment rating: investment grade
Corruption levels: low
Same-sex sexual activity: legal
Death penalty: abolished
Languages: German (official) 64.9%, French (official) 22.6%, Italian (official) 8.3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.5%, Albanian 2.6%, Portuguese 3.4%, Spanish 2.2%, English 4.6%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other
Ethnic groups: German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%
Beliefs: Roman Catholic 38.2%, Protestant 26.9%, Muslim 4.9%, other Christian 5.7%, other 1.6%, none 21.4%, unspecified 1.3%
- The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
- However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
- Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
- Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
- Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.
Safe country guidelines
- Even in relatively safe parts of the world, accidents, illnesses and other incidents can still affect traveller safety.
- Make sure you know how to find help if you need it (such as the local emergency service numbers).
- There may still be a risk of opportunistic crime so be mindful of your belongings and take responsibility for your own actions.
- If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
- Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
- Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
- Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
- Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
- Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
- Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
- As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.
- Terrorism can pose a risk, even in otherwise mostly safe countries.
- Assess the trends and tactics of any relevant terrorist organisations with the potential for targeting your location and identify potential targets.
- Be vigilant in and around these areas, which could include crowded places, symbolic or sensitive political sites, or busy restaurant, nightlife or tourist spots.
- Use your judgement on the frequency of incidents taking place. Just because an incident has taken place in a certain city does not mean that the city will regularly be hit again – use rational judgement to decide whether or not there is a likelihood that you will be caught up in any future incidents.
- Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to react at short notice in the event of an incident.
- In the event of an incident, get out of the area quickly if it is safe to do so.
- Alternatively hide and try to keep out of harm’s way.
- In most cases you should only try to help other people if it is safe for you to do so.
- Keep quiet and notify the relevant authorities, colleagues or loved ones only when you are out of danger.