Living in Switzerland For Members

Lost and found: where to look for your ‘missing’ items in Switzerland

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Lost and found: where to look for your ‘missing’ items in Switzerland
A samurai sword (bur not the samurai) was among the strange items found on Swiss trains. Photo by Krys Amon on Unsplash

In Switzerland, like in other countries, people sometimes lose their belongings in various places. Many ultimately find their way to their rightful owner.


Unlike socks that disappear in the wash, never to see the light of day again (which is a global, rather than just Swiss phenomenon), many lost items often do reappear. 

The bigger the item is, the more chance there is of it being found.

But even smaller objects like keys are often returned to their owners — it all depends on who finds them and to what lengths these people are willing to go to ensure that lost items are returned to their owners.

(Human nature being what is it is, you have more chances of being reunited your keys than with your jewellery or a wallet that still has all its contents inside).

But you may be surprised to learn that cases of exemplary honesty still exist.

One such example, in 2022, involved an envelope containing 20,000 francs found lying on a sidewalk by passersby and returned to the man who dropped it while getting into his car. 

What are some of the more unusual things people leave behind?

Each year, Uber Switzerland publishes a list of things that passengers forget in cars. 

This year, among purses, cell phones, laptop computers, umbrellas, and pieces of jewellery, drivers found in the back seats items including a purple wig, carnival mask, coffee machine, and a spatula for crêpes.

The items found on trains are even stranger. 

They include, according to the national railway company SBB, taxidermy animals, an authentic samurai sword, and a prosthetic leg (it's not clear whether this was a spare or whether the passenger had to hop off the train).


Where should you look for the items you lose in Switzerland?

It depends on where you think, or know, you left your belongings.

Public transport

If it’s on the train, file a lost property report here

For the PostBus, it's here

Additionally, public transport companies in your community have their own ‘lost and found’ offices, as do local police stations.



Additionally, to maximise your chances of being reunited with your lost property, report it here.

Through this site, you can also check whether your lost item has been found and handed in at one of the offices.


If your lost item is found, must you pay a ‘finder’s fee’?

Yes, Swiss legislation says so.

No exact amounts are specified, but “the reward should be appropriate in relation to the find,” according to Moneyland consumer platform.

In principle, “a finder’s fee equal to 10 percent of the amount returned to the owner is considered an appropriate reward.” 

Also, if the process of finding out who the lost object belongs to and returning it to you generates extra expenses for the finder (such as train fare or other travel costs, for example), you have to reimburse these expenses in addition to the reward.

(By the same token, if you find and return someone else’s belongings, you can expect the same compensation).


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