How to Travel to Europe Safety

August 11, 2021

Travelling to Europe is on many people’s bucket lists. And for good reason! After all, this vacation destination is home to over 40 countries, each with its own distinct culture and charm.  

But is it dangerous to travel to Europe? Below we examine travel to Europe, safety precautions, and how to stay protected on a trip here. 


How Safe is Europe?

Europe has always been a popular travel destination because it’s a continent that offers a little bit of everything. Likewise, safety in Europe largely depends on the country in question.

With regards to COVID-19, infection rates vary heavily from country to country. As of spring 2021, countries like France, Germany, and Italy have experienced spiraling COVID-19 cases, with the prevalence of the Delta variant being responsible for much of these spikes.

Despite that, the European Union’s (EU) stuttering vaccination program has gathered steam and the nations of Europe now enjoy some of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

Many countries across the continent are quickly reopening in time for the summer season, with vaccines remaining highly effective against hospitalization and death across all existing variants.

While COVID-19 is the biggest issue for safety traveling in Europe, the other issues facing travellers are local lockdowns, travel bans for certain nationalities, and outright border closures.


Is it Dangerous traveling to Europe?

In general, Europe is the safest continent in the world to visit. Across all metrics, such as petty theft, violent crime, and terrorism, Europe performs well. So, is Europe safe?

Absolutely. For those unused to world travel, Europe is one of the easiest destinations to start in.

With so much to offer, it is no surprise that travelers are desperate to flock to the old continent.

Although recent years have seen some high-profile terrorist attacks, which have made some travelers think twice, vacationers need to remember the old saying, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

Mass media coverage has vastly exaggerated the danger posed by terrorist attacks. In terms of crime rates alone, Europe is infinitely safer than any major U.S. city.


What are the Safest European Countries? 

If safety is a major consideration, it is important to note that there are considerable differences in crime rates between countries. Generally, lower crime rates are to be found in the regions of Northern and Western Europe.

However, despite this, it does not make travel to Eastern Europe unsafe. The vast majority of visits are trouble-free.

Here are the safest European countries to visit in 2021.


1. Georgia

On the fringes of Europe, Georgia is a country with one of the lowest COVID-19 rates in the whole of Europe. Through immediate action, Georgia was able to keep infection rates at an extremely low level.

When compared to countries like the UK and Italy, Georgia has reported 260 times fewer cases. With Georgia reopening to tourists and the chance for most nationalities to claim a 365-day tourist visa when they land, this is one of the best places for remote workers.

With a low cost of living, solid Internet speeds, and an intriguing culture, Georgia is by far one of the best options for travel to Europe safely.


2. Greece 

Greece is another country that has performed spectacularly well during the pandemic. They enjoy a COVID-19 rate 50 times less than the worst-affected countries in Europe. The Greek healthcare system has never come close to being overwhelmed by patients.

For maximum safety in Europe, consider visiting the Greek islands of Kos and Corfu. The country has opened just in time for summer, with no testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers.

While there are plenty of incidences of scams and petty theft in the capital Athens, the country enjoys great weather, low crime rates, and one of the world’s oldest cultures.

If one is looking for a safe destination, the Cradle of Democracy could be the perfect place to spend the summer.


3. Portugal

Although Portugal has suffered throughout the pandemic, the country remains a magnet for tourists from all over the world.

With a high level of English proficiency and a low cost of living, intrepid remote workers can enjoy a summer of sea, sun, and relaxation.

While COVID-19 rates in Portugal are a concern, with the Delta variant ripping through the country, there are safe destinations to visit. In particular, the Azores island chain and Madeira are largely COVID-19 free.

For the more budget-conscious traveler, consider avoiding the capital Lisbon and the Algarve region during the summer months.


4. Romania

Romania has grown quickly in popularity as a destination for remote workers in recent years. From the bustling capital of Bucharest to the green valleys of Maramures in the north, there’s something on offer for everybody.

COVID-19 rates have steadily ebbed away across the country, with high levels of overall vaccination.

When it comes to safety while traveling in Europe, Romania is known for its commitment to sustainable tourism and environmentally friendly practices. While there are crime hotspots in the country, foreign visitors are unlikely to encounter any issues.

Along with its low cost of living, Romania offers visitors an exciting culture, delicious cuisine, and a young, Bohemian population.


5. Montenegro 

If the idea of spectacular mountains, the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea, and Venetian architecture are appealing, Montenegro is an incredible country to visit.

Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, Montenegro has established itself as a tourism powerhouse within the Balkans. Although it can be more expensive in the summer, this is still an incredible year-round destination.

Kotor and Budva on the Adriatic coastline are some of the most popular destinations. The coastal destinations are incredibly safe, with a large police presence and an infrastructure dedicated to serving tourists.

Like its neighbor Serbia, Montenegro has kept rates of COVID-19 low and quickly rolled out its vaccination program.

Finally, since Montenegro is not part of the EU or Schengen Zone, stays in Montenegro do not count towards the 90-day tourist visa limit.


Safety Tips for Traveling to Europe

Although travel to Europe safety levels are high, it is still important to be aware of some of the threats posed to travelers. Nothing can ruin a trip like a stolen phone or lost luggage.

Here is what you need to know about safety in Europe.


Take Out Comprehensive Travel Insurance 

Comprehensive travel insurance is a “must” when it comes to ensuring safety while traveling in Europe. Any good travel insurance policy should cover medical care in the event hospital treatment is required.


Be Aware of Common Scams

The biggest threat to visitors is getting ripped off. Popular tourist destinations are rife with scams. Thankfully, the majority of these scams are easy to spot.

Some of the most common scams aimed at visitors include:

  • Fake Petitions – Popular in locations like France and Italy, the scammer presents a fake petition. When the unsuspecting traveler signs the petition, someone else is pickpocketing them from behind.
  • Bracelet Scam – A friendly local offers a friendship bracelet for free. After the bracelet is around the person’s arm, they will then demand a “donation.”
  • Street Games – These games often involve trying to find a stone or shell beneath three cups. Crowds gather around and wager money on the outcome. Of course, the crowd are just accomplices, and so the tourist usually ends up losing out.
  • The Helpful Local – In this scam, a helpful local attempts to take the visitor to a certain shop or bar. This could involve paying an overpriced bill or being hassled into buying something unwanted.
  • The “Found” Ring – The visitor sees a gold ring on the ground and picks it up. A local claims it is theirs and offers to sell it at a cheap price. The tourist takes the deal, only to realize later that the ring is worthless.

There are plenty of scams. Most of them involve distracting the unsuspecting traveler long enough to pickpocket them.

Always remain vigilant to avoid being ripped off.


Know Where to Go

Tourists who unwittingly wander into bad neighborhoods are ripe for getting ripped off. Professional con artists target tourists who look like they have no idea where they are going.

Always plan routes in advance. Even travelers who are lost should keep their shoulders back and their chins high to project confidence.

Never appear vulnerable when walking the streets, especially in larger cities.

Additional Safety in Europe Travel Tips 

  • Refrain from walking around with electronic devices.
  • Avoid walking in unfamiliar areas at night.
  • Be wary of accepting unsolicited help.
  • Know the location and number of the nearest embassy.
  • Look around when withdrawing money from ATMs.
  • Wear a money belt to prevent pickpocketing.
  • Stay vigilant when handing over large bills.



Is Europe safe?

Yes. In fact, Europe is one of the safest travel destinations in the world. Anyone that plans a vacation to this continent will not be disappointed. 

Hosting an event in Europe is also attractive for many people. For those who’d like to help planning their next event, contact SmartWorks. As a premier destination management company, we can plan and manage every element of an event to ensure it’s an absolute success.