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The 10 most bizarre laws in Switzerland

Updated on May 21, 2024

Switzerland is very famous for its many laws and obligations - a true playground for bureaucrats. Here are 10 of the country's most bizarre rules that will especially surprise newcomers:

  1. After 10 pm it is illegal to slam car doors, wear high heels in your apartment or flush the toilet because it could disturb the neighbors. This statutory "Nachtruhe" (night rest) applies from 10 pm to 6 am. 
  2. It is prohibited to drive while wearing flip-flops, for safety concerns (although you're still allowed to smoke, as long as you've got your hands on the steering wheel).
  3. You are allowed to eat cat or dog meat, if you do it by yourself. But if you invite somebody over for such a meal, it is seen as a criminal act. 
  4. You are not allowed to hang up laundry outside on Sundays. According to the Homeowners Association (HEV), the law is based on the fact that it "does not look very nice if every balcony is filled with laundry on the same day". To protect the general Sunday-rest, you're also discouraged of mowing your lawn or doing outside handywork on that day.
  5. In Switzerland, you are not allowed to possess only one guinea pig. They are highly social animals, and isolating them would be considered an act of abuse, so you need to keep at least two of them in one appropriate enclosure. The same applies to parakeets, lamas, horses, and goldfish. 
  6. If you leave your car and forget to take the ignition key with you, the police might punish you with a fine of CHF 60.
  7. In the cantons of Appenzell Innerrhoden and Ausserrhoden, it is illegal to hike naked. The public officials call the matter of fact “obscene behavior.” 
  8. In some cantons of Switzerland, it is not permitted to dance on holidays like Good Friday.
  9. When fishing, it is forbidden to take a selfie with a fish you caught if you intend to throw it back into the water later.
  10. And last but not least: Until 2015, the Swiss air force was allowed to fly only between 8 am and 5 pm. In 2019, they expanded their readiness from 6 am to 10 pm.

As you can see, there is a law for almost everything in Switzerland, and it’s almost impossible to keep track of all of them. That's why it's essential to have legal insurance. Under this coverage, you are optimally protected even in the event of legal disputes and can always rely on competent advice. 

We are happy to find the right legal insurance for you, matching your personal needs. E-Mail us via [email protected] or call us on 044 552 72 32.

Evgeniy Timoshenko

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