Eurotrip 2020? If planning a European vacation is on your mind for this year, then be prepared to do your research. There are countless beautiful places to visit in Europe that will capture your interest. Whether you’re hoping to marvel at the historical context, relax by a stunning ocean coastline, or enjoy the hustle and bustle of a big city, there’s something for everyone in Europe. But that doesn’t mean every city is as good an option to visit as the next.
Along with considering what the city has to offer and how expensive it will be, potential tourists need to also question how safe it is. Due to rampant petty crime, poor policing, or political instability, there are some cities that don’t make for great travel destinations. Too often tourists are quick to assume that the places they need to worry about are in the Middle East or Latin America. But with the increase in terrorism, crime, and political chaos in Europe, there are plenty of European cities that need to be visited with extreme caution.
Below we discuss some of the most dangerous European cities in 2020. According to government travel advisories, these cities are ones that you should scratch off your bucket list, at least for this year. With so many other amazing places to see, it’s likely not worth taking the risk to visit these cities at the moment.
Crime Is Running Rampant In Crimea
Ukraine is the largest country in Eastern Europe. It’s become a well-known tourist destination for its gothic architecture, extravagant churches, and beautiful Black Sea coastline. But, unfortunately, this is one place you will likely want to avoid altogether in 2020. Many reports suggest that Eastern parts of the country are completely unsafe for tourists at the moment.
The Canadian Government, for example, has issued strict travel warnings for Eastern parts in Ukraine. The government’s website says that all travel to Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, as well as all non-governmental controlled areas, are to be completely avoided (even if only for layovers) due to risk of crime and violence. They warn that consular assistance is limited in these areas. They also say the country is at risk of coronavirus. In general, the Canadian government cautions travelers to “exercise a high degree of caution” when traveling anywhere in Ukraine.
Turkey is a gorgeous place to visit. This state straddles Eastern Europe and Western Asia, making it transcontinental and giving it a vibrant history with Greek, Persian, and Roman influences, to name a few. As lovely as Turkey is to travel to, 2020 is sadly not the year. Due to political and social unrest, this may not be the place to visit if you’re planning a European vacation. Both the Canadian and American governments have issued travel warnings against visiting Turkey
The U.S., for instance, strongly warns of the possibility of “terrorism and arbitrary detentions.” They strongly advise against traveling anywhere in Turkey that shares borders with Syria and Iraq due to ongoing violent conflict and terrorism. They similarly caution against traveling to cities such as Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hakkari, Hatay, Kilis, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sirnak, Tunceli, and Van. The government’s website cautions that terrorist activity has been targeting public areas (such as shopping centers, airports, and restaurants), and also alleges that thousands of tourists have been unfairly detained in recent years.
You Won’t Be Treated Like Royalty In Nur-Sultan
To be fair, Kazakhstan isn’t the most well-known European city when it comes to tourism. The small, landlocked country, which boasts close ties to Russia, has gotten a bad reputation for its ongoing domestic crime and terrorism. It’s capital city Nur Sultan – which was known as Astana from 1998 to 2019 – is definitely not the best place to visit in 2020, to say the least.
Need further proof? Kazakhstan is one European country that the Canadian government has issued a strongly worded travel restriction for. The government’s website suggests travelers “exercise a high degree of caution in Kazakhstan due to crime” if they plan on visiting the country. Tourists will also need exit and entry requirements, which doesn’t exactly make it an easy place to travel to.
Don’t Book A Ticket To These Russian Cities
Russia is a European country with immense history, so it’s no wonder that tons of people want to see it every year. But not every city is as safe as the other in this nation. The Eastern European country – which boasts a population of 144 million people – should be treated with caution if you’re planning to take a trip here this year.
The Canadian government says that all travel must be avoided to the cities of Budyonnosky, Kurski, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, and Stepnovsky. Similarly, tourists should avoid traveling through the republics of Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia. The government states that “crime” and “terrorism” are the main safety concerns, though they also list coronavirus as one of the risks on their website.