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Safety and Security in Switzerland

■ Crime

Switzerland is a safe country and has one of the lowest rates of murder cases in the world. Despite the feeling of security, always be aware of your belongings.

■ Emergency services

You can call 112 for Emergency. The operator will speak English, so don’t worry.

For health insurance, there are some rules:
1) There’s a compulsory health insurance that are available for any person living in Switzerland for more than 3 months. It guarantees access to many medical treatments..
2) If you are from a country that provide international health insurance, you may not need the compulsory health insurance

■ Political situation

Switzerland has a collective head of state: a seven-member Federal Council. This is one of the most stable governments’ in the world and it is also the oldest permanent neutral country in the world. It is also the country that is closest to a direct democracy. Any change in the constitution must be made through a referendum, and the government can request a referendum for any change in laws.

■ Short trip

Traveling within Switzerland can be very expensive if you don’t take some precautions. Hotels start at US$100 per night, so if you need a budget option, go for the youth hostels, which are about US$35 per night. Eating out can be very expensive, so if you don’t care about getting local food, buy some groceries at a supermarket. If you don’t want to cook, or really want to try local food, cafes offer light meals for about US$15.
Avoid traveling by air and get train passes in advance. This will save you some money. As for going around the city, use public transportation instead of taxis.
Some nice places to visit are skiing resorts, Geneva, Bern, Lucerne, Montreux and hiking in one of the many marked trails.

■ Mobile phone networks

There are three major Swiss mobile providers. They are Swisscom, Sunrise and Orange.
It is possible to get a pre-paid SIM card and use it on your cellphone, but consider getting a contract plan if you are staying for a long time (more than a year).

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