With over 40 unique countries, Europe encompasses wonderful historic cities, beautiful scenery and numerous sports and activities options. From the world’s cultural capitals like Paris, Madrid or Rome to the Mediterranean shores of the French Riviera or the Italian Alps, Europe has something to offer to each and every traveler.
As world’s most visited region and with cities like Paris or London that welcome over 20m visitors every year, tourists visiting European countries are often easy targets for crooks, pickpockets and scammers. SafeAround has compiled information from numerous sources to offer some advice to people travelling in the region.
Travelling in Europe is usually very safe : the average safety index for its countries is the highest in the world, reaching 75%. Violent crime is rare; the main threats facing travelers are pickpockets, petty thieves and scam artists.
Recent terrorist attacks and threats have occurred in countries such as France, Denmark or Belgium; and while tourists should raise their level of caution, the police presence has been greatly increased in large cities to deter further attacks.
The couple of dangerous areas that should be avoided are the run-down suburbs of certain urban areas (especially in Europe’s biggest cities– see more details on the cities pages) and some places in Eastern and Southern Europe which do have much higher violent crime rates, and can be very dangerous for tourist-looking visitors. Central and Western Europe are generally the safest regions.
Protect your personal belongings at all times, especially your ID and passport. Petty crime, like bag snatching and pick pocketing, is a serious problem around touristic areas and on public transport.
For more details, see country specific advice or take a look at our travel articles.
Below is a safety map for Europe (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs) :
www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
In Europe, a number of countries have joined the Schengen Area, which allows visa-free travel for people and goods in that zone. Tourists requiring a Visa for one of the Schengen area countries will need to apply for a visa for the whole Schengen area, and will be able to travel in all its countries for 90 days.
People travelling directly to or from a country outside the European Union (EU) carrying 10,000 euros or more (or the equivalent amount in another currency) are required to declare the cash at the place of their arrival or departure from the EU. Under the legislation, the term “cash” includes cheques, travellers’ cheques and money orders. Tourists failing to declare the cash or providing incomplete or incorrect information will incur a fine. There is no requirement to declare cash for people travelling to or from another EU country.
Local immigration authorities may require a letter of consent (in addition to the child’s passport) from the non-travelling parent(s) of children (under 18 years of age) travelling alone or with one parent.
Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to the country you’re visiting.