The Most Dangerous Countries in Europe and How to Prepare for a Trip There

Safety Travel Tips Europe

Some people enjoy going on a holiday in the most risk-free countries in the world; however, if you are a curious spirit that has already seen the beauties of a “safe” country, then you may also want to see the other ones as well. Safe or not, they still have their own beauties, and they’re worth the danger if it means further increasing your knowledge.

This article will tell you which are the most dangerous countries in Europe at the current time and what you need to keep in mind when preparing for a visit there. You know how the saying goes: “You should better be safe than sorry,” and this is how to prepare for a trip to Europe:

  1. Russia

Mass-media already made sure to make the strained relationship between Russia and America well-known in the world. People are afraid that every moment now, the Russian government will just hit the button to the rocket that may start another world war.

However, the dangers don’t necessarily lie in that. It’s the people that live there – or more specifically, the gangs. People, in general, are fairly nice in Russia – some say that they are even nicer than in Paris. But regardless of where you choose to go in Russia, you risk coming across gangs that won’t only rob you of your possessions but may rob you of your life as well. You always have to keep the third eye open when going to Russia.

Safety precautions: When going on a trip to Russia, it is ideal that you do not go alone. The gangs may leave you alone if they see you in a group of people, but if they see you surrounded, you’re more than likely going to be safe.

Also, when making your itinerary, make sure to avoid trips to the border zone, since those are most dangerous. Best case scenario, you’ll end up with a fine and deportation. Worst case scenario, it’s a one-way ticket to heaven if you come across a gang.

  1. Ukraine

Ukraine is famous for its beautiful buildings – as well as its beautiful women. But as lovely as Ukraine may be, it’s also tagged as one of the top most dangerous countries in Europe that you may want to keep an eye out for. Every city has dangers you may want to watch out for, but most of the time, it all boils down to theft and murder. Kiev, for instance, has a murder rate of 3.2 per 100,000 people – meaning that on average, 100 people are murdered every year.

These murders usually occur within the transit system. Suburban trains, for instance, have been singled out as murder hot points because they are overcrowded and are in a constant need of repairs.

Safety precautions: As usual, there is always safety in numbers. If you plan a trip there, make sure that you go with at least a person (although the more, the merrier). If you do end up going alone, avoid walking in remote areas at odd hours.

You may also want to take care of preparing your baggage. If you have anything of value, don’t put it in your checked baggage – regardless if it has a lock or not. Place it in your carry-on and keep it by your side at all times.

You may also want to avoid placing your valuables in the hotel’s safe deposit box. The hotel staff sometimes empties those.

  1. France

The country of love and romance – was it? Well, people seem to be taking that way too literally. The rape and murder rate in France is very high – especially in Paris – so if you are a woman going on a trip there, you may want to make sure you aren’t going alone there.

Theft is also common, usually happening around cash machines. Pickpocketers are also everywhere, and they usually don’t work alone. The focal theft points are usually the subways, but also around the main tourist attractions.

The terrorism threat is also a problem there, especially in the recent years. These attacks usually happen in the focal points – such as tourist spots – where people tend to gather in large numbers.

Safety precautions: Don’t take bags with you that make your belongings easily accessible. It doesn’t matter if you go for zippers, locks or anything else – make sure that everything stays close to you. Also, if you are a woman, don’t wear overly revealing clothes, since they may attract unwanted attention.

The best advice is always to be wary of people around you – even children. Pickpocketers always use the lost child ruse, so always look both ways whenever someone wants to get your attention.

  1. Belgium

Belgium is yet another country with a high terrorist threat, with attacks that grew rather frequent over the past few years. These attacks usually happen in popular areas such as Brussels, where people gather in tourist spots.

The reason why Belgium is also considered one of the top countries in Europe that aren’t safe to visit is because it has the 4th spot when it comes to crime – from burglary to assault and homicides.

Safety precautions: Belgium is generally a safe place during the day; however, you may want to keep an eye out for suspicious people lurking around you. Avoid the dodgy sites and spend your time in authority areas – preferably with quick access to a police station.

When packing, take bags that can be securely locked and that have at least anti-theft zippers. When traveling, put your belongings in your carry-on rather than in your checked-in baggage. To avoid having your car broken, make sure to get window covers to prevent thieves from seeing the belongings in your car – or simply avoid leaving them there altogether.

  1. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has been deemed one of the most dangerous countries in Europe due to its high level of terrorism. Even residents today are careful when walking in highly populated areas since you never know when you might find yourself in the vicinity of the bomb.

The crime rate is also very high, especially in the suburbs. If you walk around at night on the streets, there’s a high chance that you’ll end up being stabbed or murdered. Drug use is less strict in there as compared to other countries, so you may want to keep an eye out for anything that seems out of the ordinary.

Safety precautions: Realistically speaking, we cannot accurately predict safety, no matter how many top tips for visiting England we read. For some, England may be the safest place on earth while for others it’s hell on earth. It all depends on where you are lodging and where you are visiting. As a safety precaution, you may want to book a room in the central areas and avoid overly-populated places. If anything, go for a so-so area.

  1. Scotland

Didn’t see that coming, did you? In a land where beautiful buildings rise high, and the grass is always green, you wouldn’t think that you would have reason to worry. However, the homicidal rate in Glasgow, for instance, is 5.1 per 100,000 people – which means that every year, around 30 people are killed.

Turf wars and organized turf wars are mainly the reason why Scotland isn’t exactly safe to visit. While terrorism isn’t as high as in the UK, Scotland’s most problematic side is drug abuse which leads to assaults.

Safety precautions: When making your travel plan, avoid putting shady and remote areas as your destination. Go for the more populated areas, and if you do have to go large distances, choose to do so by train or any public transportation. This will prevent any chances of running into a gang.

You may want to procure some travel passes beforehand and book a hotel room in the central area rather than on the outskirts. While the latter may be cheaper, it will be far more dangerous if you tend to return once the sun has already set.

  1. Serbia

While crime rate in Serbia is not as high, Serbia has a great problem when it comes to bribery issues and wide-scale corruption. Theft and vandalism are in their prime, and the government doesn’t seem like it’s doing much to stop it. If you are getting mugged on the street, it’s very unlikely that someone would come to your aid.

Safety precautions: Be careful of the areas you are planning to visit. Always have a clear itinerary in front of you, and keep the pepper spray at close distance – just in case. Don’t carry all of your belongings with you – just take as much cash as you need, and leave the rest in your room. If pickpocketers see you flashing your belongings, you automatically become an easy target.

Final Thoughts

Safety cannot be guaranteed, no matter where you go and what you do. You may end up in a country with high crime rate and terrorism alert, and still have the time of your life. All you’ll have to do is learn of the “safe zones” of a certain country and avoid areas that allow for assaults.

So is Europe safe to visit? Generally, yes. But you need to pay attention where you go and who you talk with.

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