Safety in European countries. It’s one of the most paramount elements for new and experienced travellers to think about whenever they decide to step foot in a territory unfamiliar to them.
Luckily, Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world. Living in a country which is considered ‘safe’ is without a doubt a privilege, but it can often be an afterthought as soon as holidays and trips abroad are concerned. Having the knowledge before you book, as to what countries are ranked as safe to visit for tourists, can make your holiday planning more seamless.
Let's walk you through the top 10 safest countries in Europe, to help make planning your 2023 / 2024 trip that much easier.
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Travelling to Europe is traditionally thought of as a safe continent for tourists to visit year after year. But what is the metric or organisation that confirms this is true? Annually the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) releases the Global Peace Index (GPI). Using three primary factors, which are further divided into supporting indicators, each country is assessed and provided a score. The lower the score awarded to a country, the safer it is for visitors.
The three primary indicators are:
Note: The following scores and countries listed are based on the Global Peace Index 2023 report conducted by the Institute for Economics and Peace. While we share our opinions and personal experiences for each location, we advise you to perform your own research before making the decision that the country is safe for you to visit. All information provided was correct at the time of writing.
Globetrotting through Europe is an extraordinary way to see the world, meet new people, and get first hand experience of different cultures and traditions. However, always keep your safety at the front of your thoughts. Having visited Europe numerous times on our small-group tours, we like to think we know some insider tips that may help you, which is why we put together our ‘things we wish we knew before travelling Europe guide’, allowing you to have the excitement of exploring, with as few hiccups as possible.
Safety score: 1.124
Ranking worldwide (GPI): 1
Capital city: Reykjavík
Gaining the top spot in not only Europe, but the whole world for the last ten years is Iceland. Nicknamed ‘the land of fire and ice’ for its rugged landscapes, it’s considered one of the safest places in Europe due to its continued low crime rates, high living standards, and the unessential need for unarmed police. Combine your travels with a tour of this safe European country and be in with a chance to spot the legendary Northern Lights. For a relaxed activity, book the Blue Lagoon and let your mind unwind and harmonise with the luxurious nature around you.
Safety score: 1.310
Ranking worldwide (GPI): 2
Capital city: Copenhagen
As the birthplace for the concept of feeling utter contentment (Hygge), Denmark is ranked second as both the safest country in Europe and the world. But safety is not the only thing this country is known for. Whether you’re solo travelling or in a large group of friends, this country offers plenty to its guests, including the Tivoli Gardens, LEGO, or maybe appreciating a cold Carlsberg beer. When travelling to one of the safest countries in Europe, you’ll be leaving with stories that even Hans Christian Anderson could be proud of. If you do decide to venture alone, consult our first time solo travelling guide to help prepare for the journey.
Safety score: 1.312
Ranking worldwide (GPI): 3
Capital city: Dublin
Literature, folklore, and a pint of Guinness. If your mind didn’t dream of an Irish tour then it’s time to introduce you to the Emerald Isle. Third on the GPI list for safest European countries is the Republic of Ireland. Not to be confused with Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. This small nation pride themselves on their green landscape, musical abilities, and pouring the perfect pint. With relatively low crime rates, we’ve even featured Ireland as a top destination for solo female travellers, due to the low threat levels. Depart from Dublin and soak in the mythical tales of time gone by, who knows what you’ll uncover.
Safety score: 1.316
Ranking worldwide (GPI): 5
Capital city: Vienna
Made famous by the royal and historic castles and palaces, Austria is next on the list for Europe's safest countries. However it’s not all architecture. Fans of classical music can swan along in Vienna and pay homage to famous composers such as Mozart and Beethoven. If you’re lucky enough to depart on your tour during winter, you could step into the enchanted Christmas markets, making you feel as if you’re part of a festive snow globe. Discover more top European winter destinations to visit during the cooler months.
Safety score: 1.333
Ranking worldwide (GPI): 7
Capital city: Lisbon
Closing the top 5 safest European countries to visit, Portugal has harmonious relationships with neighbouring countries, very low crime rates, as well as its own military force. Alongside this, on average the country sees nearly 300 days of sun, so guests could be fortunate of the good weather while exploring. Tour Portugal in the height of summer or spring and walk away glowing. Depart from Lisbon and experience the city before broadening your horizon of the surrounding towns. All that’s left is to do is say olá to a tour of this safe European country.
Safety score: 1.334
Ranking worldwide (GPI): 8
Capital city: Ljubljana
Slovenia, the home to picturesque and rugged landscapes, emerald green lakes, and intricate cave systems. But landscapes alone aren’t what secures a spot within the top ten safest European countries. This country is not known for any type of crime, making it a comfortable experience to walk around its beauty. While we don’t visit Slovenia on our current European trips, stay up to date with our new tour locations to see when and where we go next.
Safety score: 1.339
Ranking worldwide (GPI): 10
Capital city: Bern
Chocolate, cheese, and watches, a tour of Switzerland is set to leave you hungry for more. While often seen as a large exporter of firearms, crime rates are low in Switzerland, making it position seven on the safest European countries list for 2023. Combine your small-group trip with a tour of Italy and experience the breathtaking lakes and alpine vistas that skirt around these two countries.
Safety score: 1.379
Ranking worldwide (GPI): 12
Capital city: Prague
Culturally rich in history, the Czech Republic is a popular tourist destination, but also a very safe country within Europe. Communities often live in harmony, the risk of terrorist threats are sparse, and health care and other essential services are relatively cheaper. If you’re in the planning phase of your trip, consult our Europe solo travel guide for the best tips before you book.
Safety score: 1.399
Ranking worldwide (GPI): 13
Capital city: Helsinki
Proud to provide the stat that 11 out of 12 lost wallets are returned to their owners, Finland is a worthy destination to be featured on the safest European countries list. Home to untamed wilderness, the world’s biggest archipelago, and Lapland, this country is a treat for any season. If crowds aren’t your thing, tour during autumn, just as the weather drops colder before the festive peak arrives.
Safety score: 1.450
Ranking worldwide (GPI): 14
Capital city: Zagreb
Surrounded by ancient walls and terracotta rooftops, Croatia takes the last spot on the top ten safest European countries list. It even ranked second when looking at the safest destinations for walking at night, which is often a high priority when solo travelling as a female. Combined with the Mediterranean climate, Croatia is a high contender for any European travel plans you may have in the near future.
Mediterranean climates, nourishing cuisines that fuel your soul, and memories that last a lifetime. Embrace a European trip with open arms now you know the top 10 safest destinations. And what could make it safer than joining a small-group tour? Sharing experiences with like-minded travellers, having experienced driver-guides to help lead the way, while also having your own time to unwind. Europe is calling, are you ready to answer?