Top 15 Safest Cities in Europe Where You Can Walk Without Fear

Steve Cummings

zurich switzerland

When trying to book holidays, safety will be one of the factors you will likely consider, along with cost and availability. If you pay too much attention to news and social media, you might believe that many European cities are not safe for tourists.

However, the truth is that many cheap, safe European cities are perfect for exploration. To help you decide where you want to go if you want to have a safe and affordable vacation, we have put together a list of 15 of the safest cities on the continent, where you can walk around virtually without any fear.

1. Zagreb, Croatia

zagreb, croatia
credit: depositphotos

Zagreb in Croatia is first on our list of the safest cities in Europe. This historic city bursts with centuries of cultural heritage and ancient architecture dating back to Roman times. This beautiful city has lots to see and do, with 18th and 19th-century examples of Austro-Hungarian structures and buildings throughout. For example, the Cathedral of Zagreb is worth visiting, as it is beautiful not only on the exterior but also on the interior. If you want something different to do, there is a celebration of people and their relationship with drink, and the funny stories accompanying it can be found within the Museum of Hangovers. 

Regarding safety, Zagreb has a 14.50 crime level and a 78.63 overall safety index. Home invasions, drug-related crimes, violent crimes, and theft are rare in the city. One of the best things is the lack of organized crime groups, terrorism, and gangs.

2. Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland
credit: depositphotos

If you are looking for safe European cities for solo female travelers then Helsinki, the capital of Finland in the south of the country, could be the place for you. This city is known for its unique culture, stunning architecture, and fantastic art. You can spend time walking through Helsinki, eating interesting delicacies in cafes, restaurants, and stalls, exploring museums, and drinking in 16th-century architecture.

The Market Square, Uspenski Cathedral, and Helsinki Cathedral are places worth visiting. Regarding safety, this city has a low crime level of around 20.81 and scores 79.19 on the safety index. There are very low ratings for property crime, theft, and violent crime. It also has one of Europe's best-rated public services for safety.

3. Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany
credit: depositphotos

Frankfurt is a city in the center of Germany. It sits on the River Main and is a crucial financial hub. International trade fairs are particularly popular here and have been in the city since 1240. Various UNESCO World Heritage Sites are found throughout the city, too, in the Rhine-Main area.

At number 13 in the Global Safety Index, with a score of 77.7, it is one of the biggest safe cities in Europe. 

4. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain
credit: depositphotos

Barcelona, one of Spain's most popular and busiest tourist destinations, is a surprisingly safe and beautiful city in Europe featured in the Global Peace Index. It had an amazing score of 77.8 out of 100 for overall safety, which sets it apart from many other similarly large cities. 

You will want to see Gaudi’s architectural wonders, explore the Gothic Quarter, Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar, and, of course, the Cathedral. Make sure you spend time enjoying tapas and many of the other great Spanish delicacies you will be able to sample around the city. 

5. Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria
credit: depositphotos

Another capital city is next in our guide to the safe cities to visit in Europe. According to the Global Peace Index, Vienna in Austria is considered the fourth most peaceful in Europe and the fifth most peaceful globally. It has a crime rate of around 30.13, which makes it stand out from other capitals around the continent, and has an overall safety rating of around 69.87/100.

Vienna's safety comes down to the various security protocols in place. A very modern city, it provides state-of-the-art surveillance systems, more frequent patrols by police, and even special emergency buttons in metro stations to help alert the authorities to crimes. Therefore, antisocial behavior and violent crimes are rare here. This means you can visit Hofburg, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Schonbrunn Palace, and other essential city landmarks without worry.

6. Galway, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland. Night view of famous illuminated Ha Penny Bridge in Dublin, Ireland
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

According to the Global Peace Index, if you want a safe European city to visit, you should consider Ireland and the stunning and culturally significant Galway. Ireland is ranked third in the most peaceful countries list with an impressive score of 1.312/5.  In Galway, you can explore the country's west coast and spend time in the iconic Eyre Square. The 18th-century square is a great meeting place and home to various traditional pubs, art galleries, Irish folk music, and shops.  

7. Oradea, Romania

credit: calinstan/depositphotos

When traveling the continent and looking for safe cities in Eastern Europe, Oradea in Romania should be near the top of your list. It is one of the prettiest cities, known for its unique architectural style and laid-back atmosphere. This is an excellent city if you are looking for a stress-free and leisurely time in a beautiful place with plenty of art, architecture and cultural activities.

8. Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland
credit: depositphotos

Switzerland has been listed among the safest countries in the world for decades. The biggest city in the country, Zurich, is also the safest and has an incredibly low crime index score of 16.71%, making it a great choice of safe European cities to travel alone. It is an attractive place, especially when you consider the high livability scores the city has enjoyed, which show that citizens have a high quality of life.

According to the European Commission and a report they conducted on the quality of life for different European cities, Zurich ranked very high. More than 50% of all local respondents said they had strongly agreed that they feel safe when they walk alone at night.

9. Stockholm, Sweden

Credit: Depositphotos

At number 10 in the Global Safety Index for 2021, Stockholm is one of the safest big cities in Europe. According to recorded figures on 31 December 2020, the population was 975,551, but it never feels for most tourists particularly dangerous. That is because of the country's proactive attitude to protecting its citizens and visitors. Knowing you only need to take the same precautions you would anywhere else means you can explore some of the key locations around the city, such as the more than 50 bridges that cross and connect the different parts of this archipelago that sits in the Baltic Sea. 

Within the old town, known as Gamla Stan, you will find brightly colored buildings and traditional cobblestone streets that will make you feel like you are stepping back in time, and the beautiful Storkyrkan Cathedral. Check out Museum Island, which is traffic-free and home to the fantastic Vasa museum, which is all about a boat that sank off the coast hundreds of years ago.

10. Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland
credit: depositphotos

Although the biggest city in the county and its capital, it is home to just 120,000 people, so it is smaller than most other capital cities in Europe. With fewer people comes less trouble, making it one of the safest cities in Europe for tourists. Everyone seems to know everyone else or knows someone else, so crime rates are very low.

It’s not just in Reykjavik; the country has a very low crime rate. Forget about crime. The main concern for residents and tourists in the city is the weather conditions.

11. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia
credit: depositphotos

When you want something a little daring and exciting, with unspoiled pleasures and intriguing mysteries, Ljubljana is a gloriously lush green city in Slovenia that attracts visitors looking for leisure, arts, and culture options. 

One of the main reasons it is one of the safest cities to live in Europe is because the authorities decided to make the historic center pedestrian-only at a much quicker rate than other European cities. As Slovenia’s capital, it is perfect if you want to take in the delights of a city steeped in a fascinating history full of natural resources.

12. Madrid, Spain

The famous Cibeles fountain in Madrid, Spain
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The capital of Spain, Madrid, is one of the most safe cities in Europe, especially when compared to other prominent capitals like Paris or London. The safety and crime indexes score 73.54 and 26.46. Petty crimes do happen here, but tourists mention that they do tend to feel very safe, even late at night.

The city is best known for its delicious cuisine, lively nightlife, stunning architecture, and rich heritage. The most popular landmarks are Plaza Mayor, Royal Palace of Madrid, Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, and Museo Nacional del Prado.

13. Bern, Switzerland

Credit: Depositphotos

Bern, the capital of Switzerland, is an exciting and safe European city to visit. Located on the beautiful Aare River in the west of the country, it is known for its intriguing bear pit, scenic countryside, and lots of 12th-century medieval architecture. The Bear Park is home to a lovely group of beautiful bears. The city’s old part, Old Bern, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. When it comes to the city's safety, the crime index is 21.35/100 and has a safety index of 78.66/100.

14. San Sebastian, Spain

credit: depositphotos

We have already covered Madrid and Barcelona, but there are other options on the mainland, with San Sebastian being one of the safest cities in Europe for tourists who want to enjoy a nice time by the sea with its sandy beaches. Crimes like violent incidents, home invasions, corruption, and theft are rare.

While there, you can visit many great places and things to see and do, like Playa de Ondarreta or Playa de la Concha, or sit and look out at the Bay of Biscay, where the city is based.

15. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Credit: Depositphotos

Considering its status as the capital of the Netherlands and its attitude toward recreational drug use, red-light districts, and sex workers, you may think the city of Amsterdam is not very safe to travel to. However, it is ranked the fourth safest city in the world and one of the safest big cities in Europe. It has a score of around 88/100 and beats out other cities across the continent regarding its stable infrastructure, personal safety, health, and digital security.

Some areas of Amsterdam are dangerous, but that is true of all cities. The city is generally safe overall, and the most dangerous sectors are far from popular tourist parts. This means you can enjoy attractions like the incredible Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and the Anne Frank House.

Europe Has Some Great Safe Cities to Visit

Credit: Depositphotos

Organizing a trip to Europe is a stressful and intimidating process for many. Ensuring it is a safe trip may make it even more challenging. We hope this guide has helped you realize that there are safe cities to visit in Europe. 

Rather than just Spain, Italy, and France, we have provided a guide covering western, central, and eastern European cities so that you will have safe options to explore no matter where you plan to go. We have included places like Zagreb, Ljubljana, Vienna, and even some less-known areas such as Oradea.

Wherever you choose to travel, we hope you enjoy a safe and fun trip and come back home with lots of great memories and experiences.

Paradise & Paychecks: 14 Top Destinations for Remote Work in Southeast Asia

Phi Phi Island Thailand
Credit: kasto/Depositphotos

In recent years, the trend of digital nomadism has surged, with professionals embracing the flexibility of working remotely while exploring new destinations. With its blend of vibrant cultures, affordable living, and robust internet infrastructure, Southeast Asia has emerged as a top region for digital nomads. This area offers a unique combination of modern amenities and rich cultural experiences, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a balanced lifestyle of work and exploration in diverse settings.

Paradise & Paychecks: 14 Top Destinations for Remote Work in Southeast Asia

Foodie Paradise Found: 15 European Destinations That Won’t Disappoint Your Tastebuds

Art Blu Cafe Venice
Credit: Depositphotos

Europe, a continent steeped in history, has always been a melting pot of culinary traditions. From the sophisticated flavors of French cuisine to the hearty staples of German fare, its diverse palate has been a gastronome's paradise. But recently, a new wave of culinary destinations has emerged, catching the attention of food enthusiasts worldwide.

Foodie Paradise Found: 15 European Destinations That Won’t Disappoint Your Tastebuds

Leave a Comment