Europe’s Safest Countries Are Perfect Destinations
Safety is a major consideration for most travelers. And while many stellar destinations require extra precautions, sometimes, it's nice not to have to worry about anything other than making your flight on time.
To bring you the 10 safest countries in Europe, we've used the Global Peace Index, which ranks nations based on safety, conflict and militarization. You can probably guess some of the top destinations, though you may be surprised by other countries that made it onto this list.
If safety is a priority, consider traveling to these wonderfully secure European nations.
Population: 5.54 million
Finland's biggest issue is its relentless cold. However, this is also what gives it the astonishing snow-covered landscapes of Lapland, where people herd deer and the northern lights dance in the sky.
Crime is rare in this country, probably because a strong safety net helps most people meet basic needs. Spending time outdoors is very culturally important, even when temperatures are below zero.
*Rankings and scores are based on the 2022 Global Peace Index. Population numbers were sourced from World Bank 2021 data.
Population: 9.71 million
Most people look over Hungary as a safe destination. Formerly a part of the Soviet Union, the latter half of the 20th century was rough for this country, but circumstances have greatly improved.
You'll find friendly locals who soak their worries away in relaxing mineral water spas — which is perhaps the secret to the general sense of security. Budapest, the capital, is a breathtaking city divided into two by the tranquil Danube River.
Population: 8.7 million
The Swiss have it made. Education is free, healthcare is universal, paid time off is abundant, and the landscape is unmatched. A relatively small nation, Switzerland is an example of tolerance, with four distinct regions that have their own official language and a governing body made up of seven counselors who rotate the role of the presidency.
Idyllic mountain towns sit at the foot of the Alps, often graced with glacial lakes with crystal-clear water. Oh, and the country has lots of cheese and chocolate. With all of this, is it any wonder that people are happy and crime rates are low?
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Population: 10.51 million
Like Hungary, Czechia (formerly known as the Czech Republic) suffered its share of conflict during the World Wars and the Soviet takeover. You'll still find vestiges of this time in the grey block buildings in many of its cities, including its capital, Prague.
But the country is also known for historic bridges, castles perched on hills and spa towns that have drawn in the sick, weary or wealthy for centuries. Visit Karlovy Vary to benefit from the healing powers of its thermal springs — or simply to visit a gorgeous town where nothing ever happens (in a good way).
Population: 2.11 million
Why people still sleep on Slovenia is a complete mystery. Bordered by Italy, Austria and Croatia, the country doesn't receive as many visitors as its popular neighbors — despite its extensive coastline along the Adriatic Sea.
But this is great news for anyone who has it on their radar, especially since the nation has not had a major conflict in decades and has low crime rates. Go ahead and enjoy the sea, mountains and Venetian architecture without a single worry.
Population: 10.33 million
For decades, Portugal struggled financially and was one of the poorest countries in Western Europe. And while it may not have the wealth of nearby countries, it does enjoy peace and safety.
Violent crime is rare, even in big cities like Lisbon and Porto — though pickpocketing is common in touristy areas. Portugal has also not been involved in international conflicts since the 1970s when it shamelessly sought to keep its power over colonies in Africa.
Tourists enjoy the country's extensive vineyards, medieval castles, amazing food and — best of all — very affordable prices.
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Population: 9 million
The hills truly are alive with the sound of music in beautiful Austria. Excellent museums, perfectly manicured gardens and a world-famous chocolate cake make it a wonderful destination for anyone.
Government programs provide a safety net to residents that covers everything from maternal support to affordable healthcare and unemployment insurance. It's no wonder Vienna, the capital, is considered the most livable city in the world.
Population: 5.9 million
Like other Scandinavian countries, Denmark is known for supporting its citizens to ensure a high quality of life. Education and healthcare are accounted for, unemployment is low and violent crime is low compared to other countries.
Despite the cold, residents are encouraged to move around on bikes, which has reduced pollution and encouraged people to be consistently active. This all contributes to making Denmark one of the happiest countries in the world.
Population: 5.03 million
Ireland has come a long way since its bloody conflict with Northern Ireland from the 1960s to the late 1990s. In the decades since, the country has rebranded itself as a safe destination, known more for its beer, cliffs and legends than for anything negative.
The capital, Dublin, is also growing as a tech hub, with companies like Google, Twitter and Meta setting up headquarters here. For tourists, this relatively small country is a gem, filled with greenery, mild weather year-round and locals that welcome you with open arms.
Crime rate: 1.107
Iceland's tiny population enjoys a great amount of peace. Violent and petty crimes are rare — even pickpocketing isn't a big concern for tourists! Rather than safety, most people worry about is affording the remote island's exorbitant prices and having enough time to see its volcanoes, hot springs and waterfalls.
If you visit during summer, you'll find yourself walking in the street in the middle of the night while the sun is still out. Living through a day where the sun never sets is an incredible experience, as is heading out and not having to fear for your safety in the slightest bit.