Personal safety cannot be overemphasized in the world of today, no matter where you live. European countries are known to be major travel destinations, but not everywhere can be regarded as safe. Some areas should be avoided as they can be very dangerous. Travelers planning to go on a trip to any city must know important facts about the cultural practices, environment, and people of their desired holiday, so as not to become crime victims.
One major way to measure a city’s safety level is through its homicide rate, other crimes, and even terrorism. Based on these, here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Europe.
10 Istanbul, Turkey
This location is known to make headlines because of terrorist attacks. Turkey can be said to be the most dangerous country in all of Europe. Istanbul residents receive threats and attacks from terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, Kurdish separatists and many others. These groups are known to set off bombs in one or multiple locations in the city.
These threats and attacks have been going on for decades and seem never-ending. Other than terrorism, there are also risks of mugging and thefts within the streets.
9 Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia is one of the most dangerous cities in Europe. One part of Georgia continues to experience repeated public unrest after the 2008 conflict with Russia. The public protests result in violence and riots which lead to the loss of lives and property. The police use brute force on the protesters.
This consistent protesting has led to an increase in the crime rate in Tibilisi. There have been cases of attempted bombing and explosions in the city suburbs. Even with the security improvements made by the government, the risk of crime is still on a high scale.
8 Grozny, Russia
In the last decade, this city experienced intense war that resulted in bombings, missile attacks and destruction of most of the city's structures. Even with the current state of improvement in this city, there are still reports of a high level of criminal activity there. A notable source of these crimes is the presence of the Russian mafia in this city.
There are many displaced and homeless persons who live on the streets. With reconstruction still ongoing in this city, many of the people here reside in uncompleted buildings with lack of electricity and this has led to an increase in the crime rate.
7 Mitrovica , Kosovo
Mitrovica is a major city located in Kosovo. It is divided between two ethnic groups which are the Serbs and the Albanians. This division has led to countless ethnic riots and other acts of violence resulting in loss of lives and property. There is notable constant tension between these two ethnic groups and constant fights occurring without warning.
Other than this, there is also high rate of criminal activity and corruption occurring in the city. With all these, the city runs inefficiently with the police being of little help to victims of the criminal acts occurring within the city walls.
6 Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia being the capital city of Bulgaria is known to have a high number of thefts and robberies. Travelers are always scared to visit there due to this reason. In a survey, about 30% of the city’s residents aren’t assured of the city’s safety even with the decreased crime rate. Organized crimes are high in the city and this was confirmed when a gangster murdered a radio host in broad daylight.
Even upon his arrest, he was released because no eyewitness was confident enough to testify against him. Contract murders are on a high scale in Sofia with crime bosses controlling the judicial authorities.
5 Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn is an Estonian city located on the northern coast of the country. Its small population size and a relatively large number of murders per capita, which is 5.5 murders per 100,000 people place it at the top of the list. The total population of this city is about 450,000 and based on statistics, the city experienced between 22 to 40 homicides in the last decade.
The cases of homicide that take place in this part of Europe is quiet uncommon and where the crime rate is high, there were up to 9.4 murders per 100,000 till it came down to 5.5.
4 Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, located in the United Kingdom. Glasgow has long been known to have issues with turf wars between gangs. Because of this and other acts of violence, there have been reports of many deaths over the years. In 2010, a total of 30 murders occurred and this averaged the number of violent deaths that occur in Glasgow every year.
The gang and turf wars make Glasgow one of the least safe cities in all of Europe and most especially within the United Kingdom. The homicide rate is 5.1 murders per 100,000 people, making it unsafe for people during any time of the year.
3 Vilnius, Lithuania
Located in the Baltic states, Vilnius is the largest and capital city of Lithuania. The homicide rate within the last decade has decreased exponentially with 58 homicides recorded in 2008 resulting in a rate of 10.4 murders per 100,000 inhabitants and in 2016, 26 homicides were reported resulting in a rate of 4.7 murders per 100,000 residents.
The current homicide rate is still the same as at last report. Even with these high number of homicides, tourist may still likely be victims of petty crimes like credit card theft and pickpocketing.
2 Moscow, Russia
Moscow is the capital city of the largest country in the world by land mass, Russia. It has a total population of 12.2 million people and is the cultural center of Europe. This city is located near the Moskva River, and recorded 483 murders in 2010 compared to 767 recorded in 2006.
Within the last decade, however, there has been a decrease in the rate of homicides. The number of violent crimes happening within this city is decreasing but other crimes such as car theft and robbery still remain a major problem there and keeps the crime rate at a high level.
1 Marseille, France
Marseille is a port city located in the southern part of France. This city has been a major trading point for centuries. The majority of the crimes that happen here are petty including theft, mugging, and pickpocketing.
The crime index is at a high rate due to the low presence of police officers. There’s a poor investment in law enforcement in the city along with high cases of corruption and inequality. Travelers often recommend other cities to visit in France.