Most Dangerous Cities in Europe: Risks & Safety Tips

Travelling to Europe is an exciting adventure, but it’s important to be aware of potentially dangerous areas and take necessary precautions to stay safe. Crime rates and safety indicators can vary greatly between cities, making it crucial to research the risks before embarking on your journey. In this article, we will discuss the most dangerous cities in Europe and provide safety tips to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding crime rates and safety risks is important when traveling to European cities
  • Some European cities have higher crime rates than others, and it’s important to research these before your trip
  • Taking necessary safety precautions, such as being aware of surroundings and securing belongings, can help prevent becoming a victim of crime
  • Cultural sensitivity and awareness of local customs can also contribute to a safe and respectful travel experience
  • Having access to emergency contacts and resources can provide peace of mind when traveling in Europe

Understanding Crime Rates in European Cities

When planning a trip to Europe, it is important to be aware of the crime rates in different cities and countries. While Europe is generally considered a safe destination, there are certain areas that experience higher levels of crime than others. By understanding the factors that contribute to crime rates, travelers can take appropriate precautions to ensure their safety.

According to The Local, a European news source, some of the cities with the highest crime rates in Europe include Marseille, Naples, and Bratislava. Other cities, such as Paris and Barcelona, have also experienced an increase in crime in recent years.

One contributing factor to crime rates in European cities is poverty and unemployment. According to a report by the European Commission, areas with high levels of poverty and unemployment tend to have higher levels of crime. Another factor is cultural influences, such as the prevalence of organized crime in certain regions.

It is important to note that crime rates can vary greatly within a single city. For example, while some areas of Paris may have a high crime rate, other neighborhoods may be relatively safe. It is important to research specific areas and neighborhoods before visiting a city.

european cities crime rates

Travelers can also take steps to minimize their risk of becoming a victim of crime while in Europe. This may include avoiding isolated areas and carrying valuable items, such as passports and cash, in a secure location. In addition, travelers should be aware of common scams, such as pickpocketing and ATM skimming, which are prevalent in some European cities.

Understanding Crime Statistics in Europe

When looking at crime statistics in Europe, it is important to consider the types of crimes that are most common. According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, theft and burglary are the most common types of crime in Europe. Violent crime, such as assault and homicide, is less common.

Another important statistic to consider is the clearance rate, which refers to the percentage of crimes that are solved by the police. The clearance rate varies greatly across Europe, with some countries having a higher rate than others. For example, in Sweden, the clearance rate for burglary is around 14%, while in the UK it is closer to 30%.

In conclusion, understanding crime rates and statistics in European cities is crucial for travelers looking to stay safe while exploring the continent. By researching specific areas and taking appropriate precautions, travelers can enjoy all that Europe has to offer without putting themselves at unnecessary risk.

Top Unsafe Cities in Europe

Europe is generally considered a safe continent for tourists, but there are some cities where visitors may encounter higher risks of crime or other safety concerns. Here are the top unsafe cities in Europe that travelers should be aware of:

CityType of Crime
Paris, FrancePickpocketing, scams, and theft
Barcelona, SpainPickpocketing, theft, and violent crime
Rome, ItalyPickpocketing, theft, and scams
Prague, Czech RepublicPickpocketing, theft, and taxi scams
Budapest, HungaryPickpocketing, theft, and scams

These cities have a higher rate of crime or safety concerns compared to other European destinations. It’s important for travelers to take extra precautions and be vigilant when visiting these places.

dangerous european cities

However, it’s important to note that these cities are still popular tourist destinations, and many travelers have had positive experiences exploring them. By taking appropriate safety measures and being aware of potential risks, visitors can still enjoy the unique charms and attractions of these cities.

Safety Precautions in European Cities

Travelling to European cities can be exciting and fulfilling, but it is essential to take measures to ensure your safety and security. Here are some practical tips to help you stay safe:

Personal SafetyBe aware of your surroundings at all times and avoid walking alone in isolated areas, especially at night.
TransportationUse licensed taxis or reputable ride-sharing services, especially when travelling at night. Always keep your belongings with you and avoid using public transportation during peak hours.
AccommodationResearch and book accommodation in reputable hotels or hostels that have good reviews and are situated in safe areas. Avoid hotels that are situated in areas with high crime rates.
ValuablesKeep your valuables such as cash, passports and important documents in a secure place, such as a money belt or a hotel safe. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and keep important documents in a separate location.
Crowded AreasBe cautious of crowded areas such as tourist hotspots and busy train stations, as they are common areas for pickpocketing and theft. Keep your belongings close to you and avoid carrying large bags or purses.

By following these simple safety tips, you can help ensure a secure and enjoyable experience during your travels in European cities.

safety in european cities

Safety Measures at Night

Exploring European cities at night can be a fun and exciting experience, but it’s important to take safety measures to avoid potential risks.

Stay in well-lit areas: Stick to well-lit streets with plenty of people around, and avoid poorly lit areas or alleys where you could become a target for thieves.

Use reputable transportation: When travelling at night, make sure to use licensed taxis or public transport services such as buses or trains. Avoid using unmarked or unofficial taxis and never accept rides from strangers.

staying safe at night in European cities

Stay aware of your surroundings: Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Avoid using your phone or other electronics in public areas as it can distract you from your surroundings.

Avoid drinking too much alcohol: Drinking too much can impair your judgement and make you more vulnerable to accidents or becoming a victim of crime. Drink responsibly and keep track of how much you consume.

Safety in Public Transportation

Using public transportation in European cities is generally a safe way to get around, but it still requires precautions to ensure a secure travel experience. Here are some safety measures to keep in mind:

Secure PlanningResearch the transportation options in advance, including the routes, schedules and fares. Avoid taking public transport at night alone or in high-risk areas.
Ticket ValidationValidate your ticket immediately after boarding, as failure to do so might lead to fines or encounters with authorities. Keep your ticket in a safe place and avoid flashing it around other people.
Stay VigilantBe aware of your surroundings at all times and avoid falling asleep or getting too absorbed in other activities. Stay on guard against pickpockets and other potential dangers.

When using subways or other underground transportation, it’s advisable to stay close to other commuters instead of standing alone in empty areas. The chances of encountering muggers or other types of criminals can be decreased by sticking with a crowd. If the train is not crowded, stay near the conductor’s booth.

Safety in Public Transportation

By staying alert, following the rules of the transit system, and making smart choices about when and where to travel, you can enjoy a safe and hassle-free ride on public transportation in European cities.

Risks of Pickpocketing and Theft

One of the most common safety risks in European cities is pickpocketing and theft. Tourists are often targeted due to their belongings and unfamiliarity with the area. Being a victim of pickpocketing or theft can ruin a trip and cause lasting consequences.

To avoid becoming a victim, it’s essential to take precautions such as securing your belongings and being aware of your surroundings. Keep your valuables close to your body and avoid carrying large sums of money. Consider using anti-theft accessories such as theft-proof bags or wallets.

Tourists should also be cautious in crowded areas such as tourist attractions, public transportation, and markets. Be particularly wary of distractions such as individuals asking for directions, as these are often tactics used by pickpockets.

Additionally, it’s advisable to research the safest areas to visit in the city and avoid any areas with a high risk of crime. If you do become a victim of pickpocketing or theft, report it to the local authorities immediately.

pickpocketing in european cities

“Pickpocketing is a real problem in many European cities. Tourists need to take extra precautions when exploring the city to avoid becoming a victim.”

Safe Accommodation Choices

Choosing the right accommodation is crucial for a safe and comfortable stay in European cities. When searching for a hotel, consider factors such as location, price, and security measures.

Research reputable hotels and read reviews from previous guests to get an idea of the level of safety and security provided. Look for hotels with 24-hour reception and secure locks on all doors and windows. Ensure that the surrounding area is well-lit and safe to walk around at night.

If opting for a hostel or Airbnb, be cautious of the location and safety of the area. Avoid staying in isolated or high-crime areas and only book accommodation with verified hosts.

safe accommodation in european cities

“When searching for a hotel, consider factors such as location, price, and security measures.”

It’s also important to keep your valuables secure when staying in accommodation. Use the safe provided by the hotel or hostel to store your passport, money and other important documents. If no safe is available, keep your valuables in a hidden and secure place within the room, such as a locked suitcase or underneath clothing in a drawer.

When arriving at your accommodation, familiarise yourself with the emergency exits and escape routes. Keep a copy of emergency contacts on hand and ensure your phone is fully charged in case of an emergency.

Safe Accommodation Choices

Choosing a safe and secure accommodation option is essential for a stress-free and safe trip to Europe. Before selecting your hotel or Airbnb, research the area to ensure it is in a safe and secure neighbourhood. Consider the accessibility to public transportation and the distance from major tourist attractions.

Factors to consider when selecting safe accommodation:
Location: Choose a well-lit and safe neighbourhood, preferably close to public transportation and major attractions. Avoid staying in isolated areas or neighbourhoods that have high crime rates.
Accommodation Type: When possible, opt for reputable hotels with a 24-hour front desk and on-site security. Airbnb options should have positive reviews and a superhost rating to ensure a positive and safe experience.
Security Measures: Check if your accommodation provides secure storage for valuables and luggage. Ensure that rooms have secure locks and peepholes.
Emergency Procedures: Ask your accommodation about their emergency procedures and ensure that they have contact information for local authorities and hospitals.

It’s best to book your accommodation in advance to avoid any last-minute stress. However, it’s advisable to ensure that the reservation is refundable in case of any unexpected changes in your itinerary.

safe accommodation in europe

Safe Solo Travel and Group Activities

Travelling alone can be an enriching experience, but it’s essential to be aware of the risks and take necessary safety precautions. Always let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return. Stay connected by keeping your phone charged and carrying a portable charger. If possible, avoid travelling alone at night.

When exploring the city with a group, ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding travel plans and stick together. It’s advisable to research and book group activities with reputable and licensed companies to avoid scams or unreliable services.

safe solo travel in europe

In case of an emergency, keep important contacts saved in your phone, including local authorities and embassy contacts. Additionally, there are useful apps and websites available that provide safety information and recommendations for travellers, such as the official website of the European Union – Your Europe.

Safety in Public Transportation

Public transportation is a cost-effective and efficient way to explore European cities. However, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety while using public transport. Here are some tips:

  • Plan your route and familiarize yourself with the schedule before you leave your accommodation.
  • Stick to well-lit and populated areas when travelling to and from stations or stops.
  • Be wary of pickpockets and keep your belongings close to you at all times, especially in crowded situations.
  • Validate your ticket before boarding and make sure you have the correct change to avoid unnecessary attention.
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings. If you notice any suspicious behaviour, notify the driver and move to a more populated area.

Remember, when travelling by public transport, it is always better to be prepared and aware of your surroundings. By following these tips, you can enjoy a safe and hassle-free transport experience in European cities.

safety in public transportation


Travelling to European cities can offer an incredible experience, but it’s essential to be aware of potential risks to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. By understanding the crime rates and safety indicators of each city, you can make informed decisions when it comes to planning your activities and choosing accommodation.

In addition to being mindful of the risks, taking practical safety precautions will help you to stay safe during your travels. Utilizing public transportation safely, securing your belongings, and staying aware of your surroundings are just some of the measures you can take to minimize risks.

It’s also vital to consider the cultural norms and customs of each city you visit. Showing respect to the local community and understanding appropriate behavior can help you to avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts.

Lastly, knowing the emergency contacts and safety resources available to you in each city can provide invaluable peace of mind and assistance in case of an emergency.

By following these safety tips and being diligent in your preparations, you can have a memorable and safe trip to any European city.


Q: What are the most dangerous cities in Europe?

A: Some of the most dangerous cities in Europe based on crime rates and safety indicators include [List of cities].

Q: What factors contribute to crime rates in European cities?

A: Crime rates in European cities can be influenced by various factors such as social and economic conditions, cultural influences, and other societal factors.

Q: Are there safety precautions I should take while traveling in European cities?

A: Yes, it is important to take safety precautions while traveling in European cities. These can include being aware of your surroundings, securing your belongings, and using reputable transportation.

Q: What safety measures should I take when exploring European cities at night?

A: When exploring European cities at night, it is advisable to avoid isolated areas, use reputable transportation, and stay aware of your surroundings.

Q: How can I ensure my safety when using public transportation in European cities?

A: To ensure safety while using public transportation in European cities, it is recommended to plan your journey in advance, validate your tickets, and stay vigilant against common risks and scams.

Q: How can I protect myself from pickpocketing and theft in European cities?

A: To protect yourself from pickpocketing and theft in European cities, it is essential to secure your belongings, use anti-theft accessories, and be cautious in crowded areas.

Q: What should I keep in mind regarding cultural sensitivity when visiting European cities?

A: When visiting European cities, it is important to be culturally sensitive and respectful of local customs. Familiarize yourself with cultural norms, appropriate behavior, and show respect to the local community.

Q: How can I choose safe accommodation options in European cities?

A: To choose safe accommodation options in European cities, research reputable hotels, assess security measures, and consider location factors when making bookings.

Q: What safety considerations should I keep in mind for solo travel and group activities in European cities?

A: For solo travel and group activities in European cities, it is advisable to maintain communication, stay connected, and minimize risks by being vigilant and following safety guidelines.

Q: What emergency contacts and resources should I be aware of when in European cities?

A: It is important to be aware of essential emergency contacts and safety resources available in European cities, including local authorities, embassy contacts, and helpful apps or websites providing safety information.

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