Safety questions in Europe arise, but in the meantime Mercer, HR consultancy firm, has released its Quality of Living Index. The company took data from 2015 (thus recent terrorist attacks have no relevance) and created a comprehensive ranking of unsafe cities in Europe. The list is based on the cities’ relationship with other countries, internal stability, crime, and law enforcement. Tourism-Review.com brings you the Top 10 Most Unsafe Cities in Europe.
10. Bucharest, Romania
Violent and organized crime is not a big issue in the Romanian capital, but corruption and petty crimes are a big problem. Pick-pocketing is the most common type of crime in Bucharest, thus visitors are advised to avoid crowded places. Another problem troubling the city and making it somewhat more dangerous are stray dogs. Harassment and violence are not common in touristic parts of the city. However, ghetto neighborhoods such as Ferentari are widely regarded as dangerous.
9. Zagreb, Croatia
8. Riga, Latvia
Riga is ranked within the top 10 of the unsafe cities in Europe mainly due to thriving organized crime as well as prostitution syndicates. Visitors are often lured into bars by beautiful women and charged outrageous prices for drinks. Sometimes even credit cards get skimmed. Another widespread threat in Riga are pick-pockets, who act mainly around the most visited places in the city. Prejudice and racism are also problems, with many anti-immigration policies being organized recently in the streets.
7. Rome, Italy
Rome has been fighting petty theft and pickpockets for a long time. It is not uncommon to see child gangs waiting for confused tourists in front of train stations ready to strike. Another minor issue is the traffic. On average, 7 pedestrians a day are hit while crossing streets in Rome. The problem is exacerbated by crosswalks and corners being used as parking spaces making it difficult for cars to see the pedestrians. Some taxi drivers and restaurants in Rome also enjoy charging insufficiently excessive bills, taking advantage of visitors not speaking Italian.
6. Madrid, Spain
While immensely popular travel destination, the Spanish capital is also one of the most unsafe cities in Europe – mainly due to social unrest within the country. This has resulted into countrywide austerity measures which have led to massive unemployment levels. This is visible especially among Spain’s youth population. Generally, the floods of tourists attract a lot of pickpockets and crooks, who take advantage of the crowds in the streets.
5. Budapest, Hungary
Hungary’s capital is viewed unsafe mainly due to recent social unrest in the city during the refugee crisis. Big chaos has been registered at train stations and many protests erupted in the streets. Meanwhile, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been trying to stop the flow of migrants into the country. Regarding crime, violence is rare, though pickpocketing and bicycle theft is a regular thing within the streets of Budapest.
4. Sofia, Bulgaria
Bulgaria is the poorest country of the European Union, which is why it is no surprise that the level of social unrest is somewhat high in the country. The city has witnessed regular protests against the government over benefit and pension cuts and corruption. It is also widely recommended not to visit the suburbs, where crime rates are significantly higher.
3. Athens, Greece
After the Greek government-debt crisis and extensive austerity measures, poverty and crime has increased within the country. The political and economic turmoil in Greece, which resulted in violent demonstrations in Athens and other cities in the country, has undermined its safety, as cited by Mercer. The refugee crisis has also escalated the situation and made the safety situation even worse.
2. Belgrade, Serbia
1. Kiev, Ukraine
The most unsafe city in Europe is Kiev. Ukrainian security is questionable mainly due to its civil unrest and its relationship with Russia. Theft, vandalism and violent protests such as the Maidan protests are a regular event in the post-Soviet country. Generally said, crime against visitors is not too common, however, organized crime and corruption are a big issue in the country and the capital itself.
Brought to you by Tourism Review Media, the leading multilingual provider of news for the travel trade professionals worldwide. Visit www.tourism-review.com.
Copyright © Tourism Review Media 2006-2015 All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without Tourism Review Media's express consent.