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31 Most Dangerous Cities in Europe (2023) & Safety Tips

Europe is an incredibly diverse continent and has many beautiful cities. Many of those cities are perfectly set up for tourists, but there are some that 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. 

Let’s take a look at 31 popular cities that are considered dangerous to a degree in Europe

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

31 Most Dangerous Cities in Europe

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Crime index: 33.68

Amsterdam
Amsterdam

Image by Red Morley Hewitt on Unsplash

For the most part, Amsterdam is a safe city for tourists. But it is a busy destination, with throngs of visitors arriving each year. So there will always be opportunistic crimes happening in and around the city, but especially in the Red Light District. 

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. 

Safety tip: Be aware of your surroundings, and don’t leave any belongings unattended. Also, never take a taxi from the streets as they are often not legally registered.

2. London, UK 

Crime index: 52.81

Natural History Museum London with red phone booths

The UK’s capital is an incredible city, but it also has its fair share of crime. 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

Safety tip: Don’t go out alone at night, and always be aware of your surroundings. Make sure your belongings are with you at all times, especially on public transport. 

3. Paris, France 

Crime index: 53.19

<img src="https://theboutiqueadventurer.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/paris.jpeg” alt=”paris” class=”wp-image-59322″ />
paris

Image by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

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. 

Safety tip: Keep your belongings close to you, and don’t carry large amounts of cash in public. Also, always stay in well-lit areas, especially at night. 

4. Madrid, Spain 

Crime index: 29.42

madrid
madrid

Image by Quique Olivar on Unsplash

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. 

Safety tip: Don’t become a statistic, avoid anyone who seems to offer you something you didn’t ask for. Scams are common here, and they target tourists who are unaware. 

5. Brussels, Belgium 

Crime index: 50.80

brussels
brussels

Image by François Genon on Unsplash

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. Avoid traveling alone late at night in deserted areas, and always take licensed taxis from reputable companies that you have pre-booked.​​​ 

Safety tip: This city has also been the victim of terrorist attacks, and there is a chance of another occurring. So it’s best to stay up-to-date with travel warnings and always be aware of your surroundings. 

6. Porto, Portugal 

Crime index: 36.42

Igreja do Carmo, Porto
Igreja do Carmo, Porto

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. 

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

Safety tip: Avoid walking around these areas late at night, and never carry large amounts of cash in public. Also, make sure your hotel or accommodation is well-recommended and secure.​​​

7. Bucharest, Romania 

Crime index: 27.98

bucharest
bucharest

Image by Dan V on Unsplash

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 on a steady decline, and it’s a brilliant city to visit.

Safety tip: If you’re out drinking at nightclubs, keep an eye on your drinks. as there have been reports of spiking in the city. 

8. Stockholm, Sweden 

Crime index: 45.10

stockholm
stockholm

Image by Anna Hunko on Unsplash

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

Scams are also common in Stockholm, so be sure to know who you’re dealing with before handing over any money or information. In general, take the same precautions when traveling to Stockholm as you would in any other city, such as being aware of your surroundings and not leaving personal items unattended. Follow these tips, and you should have a safe and enjoyable time in Stockholm. ​

Safety tip: Rinkeby is one area in Stockholm that frequently experiences violence, most in the form of street fights. So it’s best to avoid these areas after dark. 

9. Riga, Latvia 

Crime index: 37.93

art nouveau buildings
View of Riga from St Peter’s Church

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.

You will mostly encounter bag snatching 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 keep an eye out for suspicious activity. 

Safety tip: Be extra careful when using public transport, as pickpockets often target travelers on buses and trams. It’s best to carry your bag close to you at all times and hesitate to give money or personal possessions if asked by strangers.​​​

10. Kiev, Ukraine 

Crime index: 46.63

kiev
kiev

Image by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

Kiev is a vibrant city with plenty to offer visitors, but its political instability has led to high levels of corruption and crime. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and phone snatching, is common in public areas; tourists are frequent targets for thieves.

Scammers are also known to operate in the city, so be wary of strangers offering you help or deals that sound too good to be true. Be especially careful when withdrawing money from ATMs, as there have been reports of card skimming in Kiev. 

Safety tip: It’s a good idea to keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place, such as a hotel safe or money belt. Make sure that you’re always aware of your surroundings, and never enter unfamiliar areas after dark. ​​​​​ ​

Note: With the Russian invasion ongoing in Ukraine, it is not advised to travel to the country until things are stable again. 

11. Sofia, Bulgaria 

Crime index: 41.76

sofia
sofia

Image by Natalya Letunova on Unsplash

Sofia is an up-and-coming destination for tourists, but there are still some dangerous neighborhoods. 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. 

Safety tip: Be on the lookout for suspicious activity when exploring the city, especially near tourist sites. Be extra cautious during evening hours, as crime tends to increase after dark. It’s best to travel in groups when possible and avoid any unfamiliar or secluded areas. ​​​​

12. Belgrade, Serbia 

Crime index: 38.54

belgrade
belgrade

Image by Ljubomir Žarković on Unsplash

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.

Safety tip: Another potentially dangerous space for tourists in Belgrade is sports games, where there have been reports of violence. It’s best to avoid these events if possible, or at least stay away from the rowdiest fans. 

13. Warsaw, Poland 

Crime index: 26.44

warsaw most dangerous cities in europe
warsaw

Image by Kamil Gliwiński on Unsplash

Warsaw is generally a safe city, but its high levels of poverty have led to an increase in petty crime. Pickpocketing and phone snatching are the most common crimes reported by tourists, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Scammers are also prevalent and target tourists where they can. But Poland’s government is working hard to combat the crime in Warsaw, and you’ll likely see heavy police presence in the city. 

Safety tip: The Praga district is one of the more dangerous spots in Warsaw, so avoid this area if you’re alone. 

14. Thessaloniki, Greece 

Crime index: 47.58

Thessaloniki Panagea Chalkein
Panagea Chalkein

An interesting fact about Greece is that Thessaloniki is the ideal Greek beach vacation destination. The city is gorgeous and well-located for day trips to nearby Halkidiki, but it’s also crowded and busy. This creates the perfect breeding ground for petty crime. 

As a tourist, it’s not advised that you wander alone around Lahanokipoi, Egnatia Street, and suburbs like Dendropotamos. But if you keep your valuables close and your wits about you, there is a medium to low risk of bag snatching and other theft. I felt very safe when I visited Thessaloniki.

Safety tip: This is one of the most walkable cities in Greece. So to enjoy this but avoid being a victim of crime, plan your routes before you leave your accommodation. 

15. Hamburg, Germany 

Crime index: 43.26

germany_hamburg_view-from-st-michaels

Hamburg is an artistic city, but like Amsterdam, it has its own Red Light District. This can cause crime to increase at night. There isn’t much violent crime that occurs in the city, but petty theft and vandalism can be high at times. 

The more dangerous areas like Reeperbahn are often patrolled by police, though. So if you stay in well-lit areas at night and stay vigilant, you’re unlikely to attract any criminal attention while spending time in Hamburg

Safety tip: Prostitution and drugs cause many of the city’s issues, and if you’re out at night, you may come across very persistent sex workers. It’s best to avoid them and not make any contact. 

16. Nantes, France 

Crime index: 55.90

nantes
nantes

Image by quentin on Unsplash

One of the most beautiful cities in France, Nantes, is relatively safe. Pickpocketing and car theft are both issues, and there has been a sharp increase in criminal activity over the past few years due to drug dealing. 

Nantes also has some dangerous neighborhoods that you should avoid. These include the Dervallières and Bottière areas. At times there are also demonstrations that can turn violent;  staying away from these is advised. 

Safety tip: For a safe and pleasant time in Nantes, stick to areas in the North of Nantes as the crime is lower in this region. 

17. Dnipro, Ukraine 

Crime index: 53.37

dnipro
dnipro

Image by Kyrylo Kholopkin on Unsplash

Located in Eastern Europe, Dnipro is a popular tourist destination for backpackers and adventurers. But like most cities in Ukraine, it’s not without its risks. There have been reports of pickpocketing, scams, and even violent crime. 

It’s best to stay away from secluded locations at night. There is also a lot of organized crime and corruption in the city.

Safety tip: As a tourist, it’s important to stay away from any kind of political demonstrations that could lead to violence or arrests. 

Note: With the Russian invasion ongoing in Ukraine, it is not advised to travel to the country until things are stable again. 

18. Malmo, Sweden 

Crime index: 53.56

malmo
malmo

Image by Pontus Ohlsson on Unsplash

Of all the Swedish cities, Malmo is the worst affected by crime. There are gang shootings, bombings, and other violent acts that occur throughout the city. While tourists are unlikely to be victims of crime, it’s important to stay aware and not wander around alone at night. 

Malmo also has a large population of gypsies; while they may try and scam you out of money or goods, they are generally harmless. The biggest risk is petty theft and pickpocketing, which have been known to occur in crowded areas. 

Safety tip: Keep yourself out of trouble by avoiding the surrounding suburbs at night, and stay away from potential bar brawls. But if you do have any problems, know that the police are fast to act and will help. 

19. Kristiansand, Norway 

Crime index: 43.45

kristiansand
kristiansand

Image by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash

Norway is known to be a safe country, and Kristiansand is not as dangerous as it might sound. There are drug issues and petty theft, but violent crime is rare. However, it’s still important to be aware of your surroundings at all times and keep valuables close. 

The city’s main pain points are drunks and beggars loitering in the streets and looking for targets. It’s best to avoid areas that are known for drug dealing and loitering. Try and stay in well-lit areas at night if possible. 

Safety tip: If you see a suspicious person, it’s best to walk away and find alternative routes back. Always trust your gut feeling and be aware of your surroundings. If something doesn’t feel right, take an alternate route or go somewhere public where there are 

20. Minsk, Belarus 

Crime index: 61.75

minsk
minsk

Image by Darya Tryfanava on Unsplash

Even though Minsk has a high crime index, the Belarus government has a zero-tolerance policy for all crime. This has made it one of the safest cities in Europe. Tourists should still be aware of their surroundings, however, as there have been reports of pickpocketing and mugging.

One major danger in the city, though, is the reckless driving of the local drivers. They often speed and ignore traffic laws, so it’s important to be cautious when crossing the streets. 

Safety tip: It’s against the law to photograph state buildings in Minsk, so while staying safe, avoid getting into trouble with police as well. 

21. Bradford, United Kingdom 

Crime index: 64.33

bradford
bradford

Image by Ollie Jordan on Unsplash

Bradford has the highest crime index of all European cities. The crime here is mainly centered around violent outbursts, but there is also a lot of harassment and theft that goes on. 

It’s important to note that the Bradford police don’t agree with the city’s reputation for being the most dangerous city in Europe. Regardless, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and not leave any valuables visible in cars or other public places.

Safety tip: It’s best to avoid the seedy areas around the city at night as this is when the majority of crime takes place. 

22. Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Crime index: 47.06

sarajevo-mostar
Night view of Sarajevo

Petty crime is high in Sarajevo, and travelers are more likely to be victims of pickpocketing, purse snatching, and other forms of theft. If you’re visiting Sarajevo, stay away from dodgy areas of the city and always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t leave any valuables visible in your car or on display in public areas. 

Safety tip: Another danger in Sarajevo is the landmines and bombs left behind from the Yugoslav wars. Avoid the hilly areas that are marked off with tape, and don’t enter abandoned buildings. 

23. Lodz, Poland

Crime index: 42.24

lodz
lodz

Image by Florian Rebmann on Unsplash

This city hosts many film festivals and has plenty of attractions for visitors. Lodz is relatively safe for tourists, but there are crimes reported in some neighborhoods. You will also notice plenty of beggars in the streets, and this can cause vandalism and other nuisances. 

Safety tip: Streets like Włókiennicza Street, Abramowskiego Street, Solna Street, and Limanowskiego Street are best avoided.

24. Montpellier, France 

Crime index: 58.83

Montpellier
Montpellier

Image by Nathan Cima on Unsplash

There is quite a bit of crime in Montpellier. Pickpocketing and theft are the most common crimes tourists experience, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your belongings while out and about. Car theft and burglary are also quite common in the city.

These are not uncommon things for such a big city, though. Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times, as criminals often target tourists who look vulnerable or distracted.

Safety tip: It’s not wise to walk anywhere after dark in this city, especially if you are a woman. Rather take a secure car service and be aware of street lurkers when you are out. 

25. Podgorica, Montenegro 

Crime index: 48.18

Podgorica
Podgorica

Image by Denis Ismailaj on Unsplash

Podgorica is a tiny city, but it does have some problem areas. A lot of the crime here happens between rival criminal groups, and this includes daytime shootouts and car bombings. That sounds very scary, but as a tourist, you’re not targeted in these attacks. 

However, it is still important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid any suspicious activity. Avoid the slums and secluded areas when traveling in Podgorica, as these are the places where crime takes place.

Safety tip: Be extra vigilant after dark and travel in groups if possible. Also, watch out for pickpockets who may target tourists.

26. Glasgow, Scotland 

Crime index: ​​43.86

Glasgow street art
Glasgow street art

Scotland’s Glasgow has a bit of a notorious reputation. The city has its share of crime and violence, ranging from thefts to violent attacks. But most of these are caused by drunk rowdiness. 

The streets are policed quite heavily during the day to ensure everyone behaves and in case of (rare) terrorist attacks. If you go out to a pub in Glasgow, it is best to stick to areas with plenty of people around and avoid going alone.

Safety tip: Don’t wear football colors out in public (local or international). This is a touchy subject and will only cause trouble — pubs don’t allow football colors at all, either. 

27. Catania, Italy

Crime index: 60.88

Catania
Catania

Image by Samir Kharrat on Unsplash

You’ll find Catania just off the coast of Sicily, and it’s a popular tourist destination. However, like most places in Italy, Catania has issues with petty theft and pickpocketing. The city’s crime index climbs each year, sadly, and it’s made up of petty theft, carjacking, and the occasional violent crime. 

Catania also sees a lot of corruption. On top of all that, natural disasters strike the city regularly, so be prepared for earthquakes and volcanic activity. It is a beautiful city, though, and if you’re careful, you can have a lovely vacation here. 

Safety tip: Never walk in the streets alone at night, keep an eye on your belongings, and make friends with locals so you have some on-the-ground knowledge. 

28. Milan, Italy

Crime index: 43.56

milan duomo square
milan

A trip to Milan offers many opportunities for fun and exploration, but there are some safety concerns that travelers should be aware of. Pickpocketing is a major problem in Milan, especially on public transport such as buses and trains. 

Tourists are prime targets for scams, so it’s important to stay alert and know who you’re dealing with before handing over any money or information. There are areas to avoid, such as Loreto, Central station, and Porto di Mare, which are not known to be safe for tourists at night.

Safety tip: People may approach you and offer you help, but be wary as the majority of these offers will then turn into demands for money. 

​​29. Barcelona, Spain

Crime index: 45.51

Las Rambla barcelona
Las Rambla barcelona

Barcelona came under terrorist fire fairly recently, making it all the more important to stay aware of your surroundings. Pickpocketing, muggings, and scams are all common in Barcelona, so it’s best to avoid unfamiliar areas after dark. 

Be sure to keep a close eye on your belongings at all times, especially near Barcelona landmarks and tourist sites such as La Rambla and the beaches. Barcelona’s nightlife is famous, but always keep an eye on your drinks, as reports of drugging have been made.

Safety tip: It’s best to avoid unfamiliar areas after dark and never wander alone at night. Be on the lookout for suspicious activity at all times, and keep a close eye on your belongings. 

30. Rome, Italy

Crime index: 52.13

rome at sunset
rome at sunset

Rome is a busy city, so it’s inevitable that there will be some crime. Pickpocketing and bag snatching are the most common crimes, so it’s important to stay vigilant and keep a close eye on your belongings at all times.

Scam artists also operate in fascinating Rome, targeting tourists with fraudulent schemes designed to separate them from their money. Be especially cautious in crowded tourist sites such as the Colosseum and Spanish Steps, where pickpockets thrive. 

Also, avoid visiting any secluded areas alone at night. If you do need to travel somewhere late at night, use public transportation or a licensed taxi service.​​​​

Safety tip: Even hotel rooms can be targeted, so don’t leave your belongings at the hotel unless you have a safe in the room. 

31. Athens, Greece

Crime index: 52.30

athens
athens

Athens is a relatively safe city for tourists, but there have been reports of pickpocketing and other petty crimes. It’s important to stay alert and keep an eye on your belongings when walking around the city.

Be wary of scams targeting tourists, especially in tourist-heavy areas like the Acropolis or Plaka. Fake taxis are also common in the city, so it’s best to book with a reputable taxi service or use ride-sharing apps like Uber. Be aware of your surroundings when walking around at night, and keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior.​​​

Safety tip: There are often demonstrations in the city, which can become violent. It’s best to avoid these areas as much as possible. 

Round Up of Europe’s Most Dangerous Cities

These European cities may have gotten bad reputations for crime, but it’s often not any worse than what you’d find in your own city. The general rule is that the busier a city gets, the more crime you will, unfortunately, see. 

Being vigilant and aware of your valuables and yourself is always advised, wherever you are. Don’t let the fear of something being stolen scare you away from visiting one of these cities, but do make sure your safety is your first priority.

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