Spotlight City: Geneva, Switzerland

Spotlight City: Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva is the second most populous city of Switzerland, with a population of about 198,000. It is notable for being the city that hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world, including the United Nations and Red Cross. Geneva is a global city and an important worldwide center for diplomacy. The city has been called the “Peace Capital” of the world. Geneva is generally a very safe city, with low levels of crime.

Threats and Risks to Travelers in Geneva

Geneva is a very safe city by international standards, and violent crime is rare. However, petty crime remains a concern, so you should take care to secure your belongings when travelling. Take extra caution with your belongings in crowded areas such as popular tourism spots and on public transit as pickpockets frequent these locations. If you ever feel threatened or witness crime, contact local police, as they are often more interested and helpful than police in Western cities.

Best Practices for Personal Security in Geneva

Remain attentive of your person when out in Geneva. Be aware of personal space and exercise caution if you find people bumping into you haphazardly, as this is a common way pickpockets steal. Thieves can also work in pairs: some types of beggars can be insistent and distract you while another thief quietly pickpockets your person.

Whenever possible, avoid the area around Geneva’s main train station after nightfall, as gangs of vagrants often gather there and can pose a threat to pedestrians. Avoid travelling alone through the waterfront area near Jonction after dark, especially on weekends. The area plays host to a high concentration of drug dealers serving nearby clubs, and the total absence of police presence creates an unsavory atmosphere. Lone travelers in this area have been known to be followed and mugged or assaulted.

Scams targeting travelers are not uncommon in Geneva. Often, they take the form of wager games, such as guessing the location of a ball under cups after a shuffle. These games nearly always involve some sort of sleight of hand, so you should definitely steer clear.

What to Do in an Emergency

In the event of an emergency, dial 112 to access emergency fire, medical and police services. Contact the embassy of your country in Switzerland as they may be able to provide further assistance. A number of representations are present in Geneva itself. You should also be able to obtain assistance in English at local police stations and hospitals.

Enjoy Your Trip!

Geneva’s beautiful landscape and charming metropolitan make it an excellent destination to explore within Switzerland. Most visitors to Geneva do not encounter any issues as long as they exercise basic precautions and common sense. There is much to see in the “Peace Capital” of the world.

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