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12 Safest Countries in Europe to Visit in 2024

Susan Laurent
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by Susan Laurent

The safest European gems of 2024 are:

  • Iceland
  • Denmark
  • Ireland
  • Austria
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland
  • Czechia
  • Finland
  • Croatia
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands

And we’ve got the receipts to prove it! So make sure you stick around because we’re not just talking about safety—we’ll be sharing some fun facts about each of the countries on our list!

How Did We Determine the Safest European Countries?

For this piece, we’ve handpicked five trusted sources.

First on the list is the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and its Global Peace Index (GPI). This scale ranges from 1 to 5, where a lower score translates to a safer place for visitors.

Then, we considered the Global Organized Crime Index (GOCI)—the worldwide watchdog for crime levels, backed by INTERPOL, the European Union, and the United States government. Here, the scale spans from 1 to 10, with lower scores indicating safer territories.

Feeling safe as a female traveler was a very important consideration to us, which is why we looked at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security Index. Countries are scored on a 0-1 scale, where a score of 1 represents the highest safety.

Next up is Numbeo, the global ranking website based on the collective wisdom of the crowd. It’s like we asked the locals about safety. And speaking of locals, we also factored in the Global Happiness Index because, let’s face it, happy locals go hand in hand with feeling safe!

Now let’s meet our European safe havens.

1.   Iceland


Iceland, known as “the land of fire and ice,” is a place where mighty glaciers meet some of the world’s most active volcanoes.

Iceland is THE safest country on the Global Peace Index, boasting an outstanding score of 1.1. On the Global Organized Crime Index, it has a rate of 3.3.

Community bonds in Iceland run deep, keeping petty crimes at a minimum. More than 360 contributors on Numbeo vouch for this, giving Iceland a minimal crime rating of 25.5.

Digging a bit more, Iceland is a great choice for female solo travelers, as it’s the fourth safest country in the world for women according to the Women’s Peace and Security Index.

On top of that, Iceland is the third happiest nation in the world, according to the World Happiness Report of 2023.

Fun fact: More than half of Icelanders believe in elves. Icelandic folklore tells stories about the Huldufólk, or “hidden people,” who are thought to live in the lava fields. The Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s most famous geothermal spa, is located on such a lava field—so you may spot them! Or not; in either case, it would be an interesting topic to discuss with the locals.

2.   Denmark


Moving on, we land in Denmark—the land where “hygge” is more than just a word; it’s a way of life. “Hygge” embodies the essence of everyday togetherness and coziness. It officially made its way into the Oxford Dictionary.

Denmark is the second safest country in both Europe and the world. The Global Peace Index gives Denmark a peacefulness index of 1.3, while the Organized Crime Index rates it with a super minimal 4.02 score.

Just like its Nordic neighbor Finland, Denmark consistently lands among the world’s happiest countries. To top it all off, Denmark proudly holds the crown as the safest country for women.

With 743 contributors on Numbeo sharing their thoughts, Denmark stands out for its very low concerns about crime, whether it’s car theft or vandalism. Moreover, there’s a significantly low perception of corruption or bribery within Denmark’s borders.

Fun fact: Denmark is home to the oldest amusement park in the world. Tivoli Gardens, located in the heart of Copenhagen, first opened its doors in 1843 and has been entertaining visitors ever since. This historic gem features a mix of rides, games, theaters, and beautiful gardens, so make sure not to skip it!

3.   Ireland


Is there anything more Irish than the grand celebrations on St. Patrick’s Day? Of course! There’s the authentic Irish coffee, and the renowned Irish dry stout, Guinness—or as the Irish fondly call it, “the black stuff”. Though if you ask the Irish, they’ll recommend the local craft beer, instead.

Ireland secures the third spot in the Global Peace Index, solidifying its reputation as one of the most peaceful countries globally.

Organized crime is minimal, as reflected in the low scores on the Organized Crime Index. However, Numbeo scores suggest a bit more caution for tourists regarding petty crime, especially in larger cities like the capital, Dublin.

However, don’t get overly concerned—the rates are still very low. Plus, Dublin isn’t the only jewel in Ireland worth exploring. Take the time to visit Galway, Clare, Kerry, and Cork—the smaller gems of Ireland, with friendly people and a warm atmosphere.

Solo female travelers can visit with peace of mind, as Ireland proudly secures the 13th spot as the safest country in the world for females.

Fun fact: Halloween is an Irish invention. The whole spooky celebration can be traced back 2,000 years to the Celtic Samhain festival. So if you happen to be in Ireland during Halloween, get ready for a real treat (or maybe a trick!). This island knows how to do Halloween right, from haunted castles to ghost tours and chilling festivals.

4.   Austria


Austria secures a prominent spot among Europe’s safest countries—all thanks to its commitment to neutrality.

The 1955 Austrian State Treaty was an agreement that marked the end of the Allied occupation of Austria. This cemented its status as a neutral country in military alliances and conflicts.

This commitment had profound implications for Austria’s safety. According to the Global Peace Index, it’s the fourth safest country globally, complemented by one of the lowest Organized Crime Indexs of 4.1.

A reassuring 1,109 contributors on Numbeo echo this sentiment, highlighting very low rates of concern for petty crimes or even insults. And female travelers, take note—Austria is the eighth safest destination for women worldwide.

Fun fact: Austria is home to the world’s oldest zoo—the Schönbrunn Zoo, founded in 1752. You can locate it on the grounds of the stunning Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, right in Vienna. It houses more than 700 animal species! In 2022, it earned a place on the list of most beautiful zoos by TripAdvisor.

5.   Portugal


Say olá to the coastal charm of Portugal! This haven enjoys 300 days of sunshine, and the best part is that you’ll feel safe soaking up those rays.

Portugal proudly holds a Global Peace Index of 1.3, securing its spot as the 7th safest country on the planet. It has a super low criminality score of 4.8 and almost 2,000 people on Numbeo giving it a thumbs up for feeling almost zero threat of petty crimes.

Ladies, Portugal has made it in the top 20 safest countries for women worldwide!

Sure, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, and Iceland might be a bit safer, but they’re not exactly famous for beach days and sunny climates. Portugal, on the other hand, brings you the best of both worlds – dreamy temperatures and top-notch security.

Fun fact: Portugal’s Silver Coast is a surfer’s paradise. The coastal town of Nazaré boasts the record for the biggest surfed waves ever recorded and each year, it hosts the World Surf League Big Wave Tour. Just about an hour’s drive south, there’s another surfer’s must-see, Peniche, which hosts the Rip Curl Pro Portugal surfing competition. If you’re a seasoned surfer or just a fan of big waves, Portugal’s Silver Coast is the place to be.

To learn more about crime and security in portugal, head over to our portugal travel safety article guide.

6.   Slovenia


In the midst of European heavyweights like Austria, Germany, Spain, and France, it’s time to shine a spotlight on the lesser-explored gem—Slovenia—the 8th safest country globally.

Slovenia feels like a slice of heaven on earth. The locals here aren’t losing any sleep over car theft, assaults, insults, or harassmentfear levels are impressively low. Organized crime is practically non-existent, boasting an admirable 4.3 on the Organized Crime Index.

Back in 2016, Ljubljana, the capital city, won the title of Green Capital of Europe, thanks to its car-free center and an abundance of lush green spaces. While it might not have Portugal’s coastal charm, Slovenia paints a different picture with its emerald green lakes that’ll surely put you in a sunbathing, summer mood.

Fun fact: Slovenia has over 500 castles and castle ruins, plus more than 10,000 caves. Bled Castle, for example, is one of Slovenia’s most magnificent castles—it sits atop a cliff overlooking Lake Bled. The Postojna Cave, on the other hand, is one of the most famous and visited caves in Europe. What makes it even more remarkable is the presence of the olm, a rare aquatic salamander that can live for over a century.

7.   Switzerland


Are you ready to try out the finest chocolate and cheese in one of the safest countries in the world? Then say hello to the mountainous wonder of Switzerland.

The Swiss have been living peacefully for ages. Thanks to its long-standing neutrality policy, Switzerland sits pretty at the 10th spot on the Global Peace Index. The criminality score is not just good, it’s impressive, clocking in at a low 4.8.

Numbeo also agrees that Switzerland is the definition of peace and tranquility. There’s a moderate concern about drug-related issues, but apart from that, it’s smooth sailing—minimal violent crimes, car thefts, or feeling discriminated against or harassed.

And the cherry on top—Switzerland grabs the second spot as the safest country for women worldwide and secures the eighth position as the happiest country globally.

Fun fact: Switzerland has one of the highest commercial bungee jumps in the world. Verzasca Dam, which gained popularity for its appearance in the opening scene of the James Bond film “GoldenEye” stands at 720 feet (220 meters) tall. Even if you’re not into bungee jumping, just being there is a thrill. And to add a bit of extra backstory, there’s a small museum at the site that dives into the history and function of this site.

8.   Czechia


Nestled between Austria, Poland, and Slovakia is Czechia—a land adorned with ancient castles, churches, lush forests, and cities straight out of postcards.

When it comes to any kind of violence in Czechia, it’s almost like finding a needle in a haystack. Just glance at that 1.3 on the Global Peace Index and the reassuring 4.5 on the criminality score! This makes the country not only one of the safest in Europe but the 12th safest globally.

Czechia claims the 18th position for safety for women. Ladies, pack your bags, it’s time for a Czech adventure!

Within their borders, the Czechs live a safe life. Locals are pretty chill about most things, according to Numbeo, except for corruption—but that’s something tourists will hardly feel on their own skin.

Fun fact: Czechia has one of the oldest and most well-preserved theaters globally—the theater in Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site was built back in the 17th century and a lot of its original stage machinery and equipment are still up and running. You can actually wander through this historic theater, getting a firsthand look at the past.

9.   Finland


The happiest place on Earth is also one of the safest—welcome to Finland! Here, the Finns have little fear of getting harmed, and as a traveler, you shouldn’t worry, either.

On the Global Peace Index, Finland has a solid 1.3, putting it comfortably within the top fifteen safest countries globally. On top of that, Finland is the fourth safest country for women, so your solo female trip is absolutely welcome here.

Finland has one of the lowest criminality scores in the world, a mere 2.9, beating all the other countries we’ve talked about so far.

So why are Finns the happiest, you ask? Well, it’s a mix of their exceptional social welfare system, tight-knit communities, and high living standards. Plus, the nature there is out of this world. The Lahti region was the Green Capital of Europe in 2021—something definitely worth checking out!

Fun fact: Finland boasts the world’s largest archipelago—The Archipelago Sea—home to tens of thousands of islands. One island, in particular, stands out—Kotisaari. What makes Kotisaari interesting is that it’s home to the world’s smallest inhabited island with a lighthouse. You can even visit it; it’s available in June, July, August, September, and October.

10.  Croatia


Stepping into Slovenia’s sun-kissed neighbor, we find picturesque Croatia—the same place that stole the show in Game of Thrones.

Croatia proudly holds the tenth spot as one of the safest countries worldwide in the Global Peace Index. And that’s not all—the Organized Crime Index here is a low of 5.1.

Numbeo reveals that Croatia received a very high safety ranking for perceived safety when walking alone both during the day and night. This country isn’t known for the presence of crime, not even the pickpocketing of tourists.

But what really steals the spotlight is Croatia’s claim to fame—having the most breathtaking coastline in the entire Balkan Peninsula. Your only worry here is making sure you don’t get a sunburn!

Fun fact: Croatia is home to the smallest town in the world according to Guinness World Records. Hum, located in the Istria region, has a population of about 20 people and an area of only 0.3 square miles (1.5 square kilometers). It’s like a pocket-sized medieval wonderland! Hum is also known as the town of Biska, a traditional Istrian brandy. Crafted from a 2000-year-old recipe, this homemade brandy could be the perfect souvenir to bring back from the smallest city in the world.

11. Germany


A country full of fairy tale towns, endless castles, beautiful cuisine, and many clubs and festivities—Germany has much to offer, including safety.

Take a look at the Global Peace Index, and you’ll find Germany proudly claiming the 15th spot as one of the safest countries worldwide. The criminality score? It’s a low 5.3.

Here’s a little insider info from the Federal Government of Germany8 out of 10 people said they feel pretty safe or very safe in their neighborhoods at night. Specific crimes like robbery or harassment aren’t a worry for the locals.

And don’t just take our word for it—almost 5,000 contributors on Numbeo also give a thumbs-up to Germany’s safety. Sure, there might be a few spots where a bit more vigilance is a good idea, such as Berlin’s subway system, but overall, your experience here is bound to be safe and enjoyable!

Fun fact: Germany hosts the world’s largest open-air gallery, and it’s a masterpiece—the East Side Gallery in Berlin. Stretching over 0.8 miles (1,300 meters) along a part of the Berlin Wall, this gallery showcases over 100 paintings. The story begins right after the wall came down on November 9, 1989, when artists from 21 countries flocked to Berlin to add their hope for the future to the wall. It officially opened as an open-air gallery on September 28, 1990, and, just a little over a year later, it earned protected memorial status.

12.  Netherlands


The Netherlands is a land that thrives on its liberal spirit—it’s the very essence that makes tourists fall in love, especially with Amsterdam, the capital of free-spirited living.

Netherlanders, some of the happiest people on the planet, ensure that women feel incredibly secure in this beautiful land—proudly claiming the 9th spot as one of the safest countries for women.

A leisurely walk through the Van Gogh Museum or a serene cruise along the canals of Amsterdam is enough to envelop you in a sense of security and contentment. It’s no wonder this country proudly claims its 16th spot on the Global Peace Index.

When it comes to organized crime, the numbers stay low, barely touching 5. And the verdict from almost 2,000 contributors on Numbeo? The least of their worries revolves around crimes like corruption, car theft, and physical attacks based on skin color, ethnic group, gender, or religion—a true testament to the flourishing liberal atmosphere.

The only thing you might want to keep an eye on is your bike. Bicycles rule the road here, so don’t forget to lock it up well!

Fun fact: The Netherlands has the world’s first museum of fluorescent art—the Electric Ladyland in Amsterdam! This one-of-a-kind museum is a vibrant world filled with fluorescent minerals and hand-painted artworks. Here, visitors aren’t just viewers—they become artists! Grab a special ultraviolet lamp and actively dive into the magic, bringing the artwork to life with your own touch.

Safety Tips: Even the Safest Countries Require a Pinch of Caution!

★    Travel Advisory Check

The US Government releases an annual official advisory for tourists going to different parts of the world. The advisory provides crucial information on the current safety situation of a given country. For instance, if you decide to travel to Portugal, you can learn about specific crimes happening there or whether there are certain neighborhoods the authorities recommend that you avoid. Armed with this knowledge, you will steer clear of potential risks and make informed decisions throughout your stay.

★    Examine the Neighborhood of Your Destination City

Each city has areas with higher crime rates, so don’t book your seemingly irresistible hotel deal without investigating the neighborhood first! Our golden rule is to opt for tourist areas and the city’s downtown. This is where you’ll be surrounded by more people, police, and well-lit streets, which significantly enhances your overall safety. Additionally, staying downtown means you’re always in close proximity to your accommodation, sparing you from long walks or the hassle of public transport.

★    Check the Reviews

Hotels and rental units tend to showcase their best aspects, but the full truth comes from those who’ve been there—previous guests. Scroll through the reviews section to see what others have generously shared. The more positive reviews, the better the likelihood of a quality stay. Pay attention to comments on cleanliness, amenities, and overall guest satisfaction. You might stumble upon a few reviews mentioning issues with nighttime noise disturbances—valuable info for light sleepers!

Check what visitors are saying about the safety of the hotel. If you’re really safety-conscious, you’d ideally want a place with gated premises, restricted guest access, and vigilant guards on standby 24/7.

★    Download Offline Maps

Losing your way in unfamiliar territory isn’t that pleasant, so avoid it by downloading an offline map from Google Maps. Simply type in your destination, and voila—the app unveils routes for you, whether by foot, local transport, or car. The best part about an offline map is that you won’t have to rely on public Wi-Fi. The goal here is to ensure you smoothly move from point A to point B without finding yourself lost in some sketchy area with no clue where to go.

★    Be Up-To-Date on the Weather

Knowing what Mother Nature has in store is key. For instance, as you eagerly plan your winter vacation to Europe, know that winters can get bone-chillingly cold. If you’re hiking or skiing the Alps—don’t forget to pack warm clothes and plan a bunch of layers.

On the other hand, if you travel somewhere coastal, like Portugal, and the summers get so hot that the forecast predicts a heatwave, pack lightweight and breathable clothing, load up on sunscreen, and carry water when you go out to stay hydrated. To help you plan your wardrobe and travel essentials, the EU’s official Severe Weather Database is a fantastic resource to gauge what Mother Nature has in store for your European adventure.

★    Prepare for the Potential of Natural Disasters

While Europe is one of Earth’s safest continents, be aware that different regions might face natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, landslides, floods, earthquakes, and more. For instance, Iceland is prone to volcanic eruptions, whereas Portugal commonly experiences minor earthquakes. For that extra peace of mind, visit the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System and be informed about any potential natural disasters that might be brewing in the region you’re visiting.

★    Don’t Forget the Basic Precautions

These are some obvious precautions that often come naturally but are worth emphasizing, especially when you’re in a new place.

First and foremost, avoid solo ventures after dark. If you are out at night, stick to well-lit and busy areas and keep your explorations within a reasonable distance from your hotel, so you can easily find your way back. And always be mindful of your surroundings!

Stay connected during your journey. Keep someone you trust in the know about your travel plans and daily outs and abouts. Also, a good relationship with the locals and hotel/hostel/apartment staff can enhance your overall safety—this is an especially relevant tip for solo travelers.

If you decide to enjoy some alcohol, do so responsibly and in moderation. This way, you can maintain control of your surroundings and personal safety. And, of course, never accept illegal substances.

Ready for a Safe and Fun Journey Through Europe?

Closing our European safety discussion, it’s a sure bet that no matter which country you pick from our list, your safety is a given. These are among the safest countries in Europe (and honestly, the whole world), so the only thing left to do is prepare your travel itinerary.

Can’t decide which of these places to visit? If you’re yearning for summery magic, with beachside bliss, sun-soaked days, and all those delightful vibes, Portugal and Croatia won’t disappoint. Perhaps you’re drawn to majestic mountains—in that case, adventure awaits in Switzerland or Slovenia. And for those wild souls seeking lively festivities, Berlin’s nightlife and Amsterdam’s opportunities are an absolute must.

We wish you wonderful travels in Europe!

About Susan Laurent
Susan Laurent
I'm passionate about world cultures, travel, and discovering amazing new places. I've spent years traveling the globe, very often alone, so I focus on providing important information about travel safety to travelers that I've gathered from first-hand experience.
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