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11 Most Dangerous Cities in Europe

Europe is an incredibly diverse continent and has many beautiful cities. Many of those cities are perfectly set up for tourists, but some are considered more dangerous than others. 

What makes a city dangerous? Is it the number of criminal reports? Natural disasters? Scams? Terrorist attacks? Generally, it’s a combination of all of those. Europe is quite lucky to be a continent full of safe and bucket list-worthy destinations. But there will always be some level of risk wherever you go. 

There aren’t many places in the world that are completely crime-free, sadly. But the cities below have seen higher rates of crime than others — sometimes, these are petty crimes like pickpocketing, and others are as serious as homicide. 

Note: These cities are ranked according to their crime index but are not listed in any specific order.

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands 

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Crime index: 33.68

Crime in Amsterdam is largely concentrated in the nightlife districts and mainly involves pickpocketing at train stations and on public transport. Often, the victims find themselves inebriated or alone and unsure of where they are. Staying in a group and keeping yourself safe while out enjoying the night is important here. 

2. London, UK 

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Crime index: 52.81

The UK’s capital is an incredible city but has its fair share of crime and it is one of the most dangerous cities in Europe. Most of the city is safe, with 24-hour public transport and well-lit areas around bars and restaurants. As someone who lives in London, I generally feel safe, but I know where to go and not go.

The most dangerous areas are around the East End, where there is often gang violence and drug dealing. Here, you’ll want to stick to the main roads and avoid unlit areas. In the city center and tourist districts, it’s mostly safe during daytime hours. But at night, pickpocketing and muggings can become more common in London. 

3. Paris, France 

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Crime index: 53.19

How dangerous could the city of love really be? Well, a trip to Paris is generally very safe for tourists. But there have been reports of pickpocketing and bag snatching in the city’s main tourist spots like Montmartre and the Louvre. 

In addition, subway stations are known to be dangerous at night. The areas around Les Halles, Châtelet-Les-Halles, and Gare du Nord can be particularly dangerous after dark. Be sure to take extra precautions when traveling around these areas. 

4. Madrid, Spain 

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Crime index: 29.42

While Madrid Spain is another city known to be generally safe for tourists, there have been reports of pickpocketing and muggings. These incidents tend to happen in areas with large crowds, like on public transport and at tourist attractions. 

In addition, the La Latina district has seen a rise in crime over the past few years. This area is home to some of the city’s most popular bars and restaurants, so be sure to take extra precautions when traveling in this area. 

5. Brussels, Belgium 

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Crime index: 50.80

If you’ve ever been to Belgium, you’ll know it’s a country full of friendly faces and bustling cities. Brussels is no exception, but there have been reports of pickpocketing and muggings in the city center. These are mostly confined to the main tourist spots and public transport hubs. 

Be vigilant when walking around the city center, especially at night. Belgium doesn’t have the highest crime rate in Europe but do avoid traveling alone late at night in deserted areas, and always take licensed taxis from reputable companies that you have pre-booked.​​​ 

6. Porto, Portugal 

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Crime index: 36.42

Portugal’s second-largest city is a beautiful place to visit. But it also has its fair share of crime. Pickpocketing, burglaries, and muggings occur in the downtown area and on public transport. 

Parts of the city, such as the Rua Vila Nova de Foz Côa and Rua Peso da Régua, have drug problems. Be particularly careful when traveling in these areas and avoid dark streets.

7. Bucharest, Romania 

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Crime index: 27.98

Bucharest is a city full of culture and history, but it also has its share of crime. Pickpocketing and mugging are common in crowded areas such as public transport stations, parks, tourist attractions, and markets. In addition, there have been reports of theft from parked cars. 

Scammers are also known to operate in the city, especially targeting tourists as they board trains and buses. But it is good to note that crime in Bucharest has been steadily declining, and it’s a brilliant city to visit.

8. Stockholm, Sweden 

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Crime index: 45.10

At first glance, Stockholm seems like a peaceful, calm place with very low crime rates. But like all cities, it still has its dangers. Pickpocketing is the most common crime in the city, and public transport stations and tourist attractions are particularly prone to this type of theft.

9. Riga, Latvia 

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Crime index: 37.93

Riga is known as a beautiful, peaceful city and I really like it. But it still has its dark corners, with pickpocketing and muggings being the most common crimes in the city. These tend to occur around popular tourist spots, such as Old Town and Freedom Monument.

Bag snatching is most common in crowded streets, so it’s best to keep your bags close and always be aware of your surroundings. The risk of terrorism is also present in Riga, so be sure to check the latest travel warnings and always look for suspicious activity. 

10. Sofia, Bulgaria 

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Crime index: 41.76

Sofia is an up-and-coming destination for tourists, but some dangerous neighborhoods remain. The areas with high tourist traffic also have the highest risk of petty crimes. Pickpocketing is common in tourist-heavy areas, and muggings have been reported in the city.

Scams are also prevalent in Sofia, so be sure to know who you’re dealing with before handing over any money or information. The city has an unusual number of stray dogs running around, which can be dangerous if they attack. If you do come across a stray dog, keep your distance. 

11. Belgrade, Serbia 

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Crime index: 38.54

The biggest threats in Belgrade are pickpockets and muggings, but otherwise, it’s relatively safe. Tourists are frequent targets for theft, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times and keep a close eye on your belongings.

Another safety concern is the floating nightclubs run by the Balkan mafia. These clubs can be quite dangerous if and when fights break out, as they often get violent. But most of the time, these clubs are just a place for people to enjoy themselves.

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