Interconnected World for Safety

In an increasingly interconnected world, the allure of new horizons is more compelling than ever. Whether for leisure, work, or a fresh start, travelling or relocating to a foreign country is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. One of the paramount factors influencing this choice is the aspect of safety and security.

Safety is not just about the absence of crime or conflict, it’s about the assurance of a stable environment where one can thrive and explore without constant worry.

people, man, adult

Safety and security are not just about personal well-being, but they also contribute to the overall experience of the journey. They allow us to immerse ourselves in a new place’s culture, traditions, and lifestyle without the nagging concern of potential threats. Safety provides the peace of mind that makes the unfamiliar feel at home in a great destination.

In the following article, we will delve into the top 10 safest countries in Europe, offering insights into what makes each a haven for travellers and residents alike. We have used the Global Peace Index as referencing the data below.

Europe’s Long-Standing Safety Record

With its rich history, diverse cultures, and stunning landscapes, Europe hosts many safe countries and has long been a magnet for travellers and expatriates alike. But in recent years, there’s been a growing interest in this continent for another reason, its reputation for safety and stability based on the Global Peace Index. European countries consistently rank high in global safety indexes thanks to their robust legal systems, low rates of crime, and high living standards.

europe, countries, map

This reputation has only enhanced the appeal of the most peaceful region, whether for a short vacation, a study program, or a permanent move. The Global Peace Index is a highly regarded index for determining a country’s level of safety.

Criteria for Evaluation

When assessing a country’s safety, many factors come into play. It’s not just about the absence of crime or conflict but a holistic view of the conditions contributing to a secure and stable environment. The Global Peace Index, developed by the Institute for Economics & Peace, provides a comprehensive framework for such an evaluation.

The Global Peace Index considers a wide range of indicators to measure the relative position of the safest countries in Europe. There are three indicators or levels of domains: Societal Safety and Security, the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and the degree of Militarisation.

Societal safety and security factors, like petty theft to violent crime. Social welfare is a critical element, as it reflects the government’s ability to manage the state and provide essential services effectively.

police, bogota, riot

Countries with high political stability tend to have lower violence and social unrest levels in larger cities.

Quality of healthcare is another vital criterion for the safest countries in Europe.

A robust healthcare system ensures the population’s well-being and contributes to the country’s resilience in the face of health crises.

Natural disaster resilience is an important criterion to take into account. Determining risk based on natural disasters involves assessing a country’s preparedness and capacity to recover from natural disasters.

Finally, countries with low levels of terrorism threats are safer destinations. Determining the risk level involves the absence of attacks and the country’s efforts in counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation.

What are the safest countries in Europe?

Although most countries in Europe are safe, the top 10 safest countries in Europe are:

  • Iceland
  • Denmark
  • Austria
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Ireland
  • Czech Republic
  • Switzerland
  • Finland
  • Sweden
#10 Sweden

stockholm, sweden, old town

Sweden is safe, has a high standard of living, and excellent public services. Sweden’s strong economy comes from technology, automotive, and renewable energy sectors. Its emphasis on innovation and high standard of living make it an great destination for skilled labour and investors. Although there have been a few publicised incidents, Sweden is very safe country. Sweden still ranks in the top 10 of the safest countries in Europe and is not close to being the most dangerous country in Europe.

#9 Finland

helsinki, finland, jätkäsaari

Finland, a stable country, is considered safe due to its very low crime rate, excellent education and healthcare systems, and high standard of living. Another of the safest destination in the Scandinavian countries, Finland’s strong emphasis on technology and innovation and highly educated workforce make it a magnet for skilled labour and investors. Its thriving tech scene, particularly in gaming and mobile apps, is a significant draw. Finland is far from scoring high on any lists for the most unsafe countries in Europe.

#8 Switzerland

geneva, switzerland, europe

Switzerland’s safety is enhanced by its excellent healthcare, and high levels of political standing. Switzerland’s strong economy, low corporate tax rates and individual-lump-sum tax residence make it one of the best countries in Europe for high-net-worth individuals and businesses. Its vital sectors include finance, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing. The strong public transport network make travelling the rugged terrain an easy task for residents and tourists.

#7 Czech Republic 

city, buildings, prague

The Czech Republic in Central Europe, is known for its safety, high standard of living, and well-developed infrastructure. It is extremely safe within Central Europe. The Czech Republic’s strong manufacturing sector and central location in Europe make it an attractive destination for skilled labour and investors. Its growing tech scene is also a drawcard as one of the safest European countries.

#6 Ireland

ireland, cliffs of moher munster, cliff

Ireland’s safety is bolstered by its low levels of violent crime, effective law enforcement, and strong community ties. Ireland’s low corporate tax rate and strong talent pool make it a popular destination for multinational corporations and skilled workers. Its thriving tech and pharmaceutical sectors are particularly attractive. The country recently closed their Ireland Investor Program, which brought in over one billion Euros of investment. Other routes to residence exist in this beautiful country and one of the safest countries in Europe.

#5 Slovenia

bled, lake, island

The next destination is Slovenia is safe due to its political systems, and well-developed public infrastructure. Slovenia’s strategic location in Europe and its robust infrastructure and educated workforce make it an attractive destination for skilled labour and investors. With its excellent reputation in growing sectors include automotive, pharmaceuticals, and information technology, Slovenia is one of the safest places in Europe.

#4 Portugal 

belém tower, belem tower, lisbon

Its sound healthcare system and strong community bonds enhance Portugal’s safety. Portugal’s Golden Visa program, which offers residency in exchange for investment, has been particularly attractive to investors. The government’s recent announcements will see the continuation of the Golden Visa with a few amendments regarding real estate investments. The country’s growing tech scene and quality of life also draw in skilled labour.

Top 10 safest European countries in 2023
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#3 Austria 

castle, belvedere, vienna

Austria boasts a high standard of living, and stable politics, contributing to its safety. Crime rates are low in Austria, and it offers a stable and diverse economy, with strengths in sectors like manufacturing, information technology, and renewable energy. The country also provides an unofficial citizenship-by-investment program, attracting high-net-worth individuals looking for a second passport by investing between €3 and €10 million into the country.

#2 Denmark

lighthouse, landmark, coast

The second safest country, Denmark’s high safety ranking comes from its excellent healthcare system, low crime rates, and strong rule of law. Denmark’s strong emphasis on innovation and technology and a highly educated workforce make it a magnet for skilled labour and investors. Its flexible labour market and supportive government policies further enhance its appeal.

The Safest Country in Europe to Live

#1 Iceland 

iceland, aurora borealis, northern lights

The number one of the countries listed above is Iceland. The latest data shows that Iceland comes out on top of the world’s safest countries.

Firstly, Iceland has an incredibly low crime rate. Violent crime is particularly rare, and the murder rate is among the lowest globally. The low violent crime rate is partly due to a strong sense of community and high trust among the population, just over 360,000.

The island has no military forces, and its police do not carry guns, reflecting the country’s peaceful nature. The country’s police force is known for its community-oriented approach, which helps maintain public trust and cooperation.

The country has a robust democratic tradition, and political power transitions are generally smooth. This stability extends to the economic realm, with the country having a solid economy and a low unemployment rate.

iceland, reykjavík, reykjavik

Iceland’s geographic isolation and comprehensive disaster response plans make it resilient to threats like natural disasters. While the country does experience volcanic activity, it has effective systems to manage and mitigate these risks.

The robust economy, driven by sectors like renewable energy, fisheries, and tourism, attracts skilled labour and investors. Its high standard of living and emphasis on sustainability makes it an attractive destination for those seeking a balanced lifestyle.

Is it Safe to Live in Eastern Europe?

Living in Eastern Europe, specifically in countries like Moldova, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, offers a unique blend of rich history, diverse cultures, and evolving economies. These countries, once part of the Soviet Union, have undergone significant transformations since gaining independence and is a largely peaceful region.

There are not any major safety concerns for living in the Eastern areas of the European Union. The Nato protected area has not seen any political acts of violence or war-related issues with the conflict in Ukraine and Russia.

police, helicopter, military

Economically, they are emerging markets with growing technology, manufacturing, and services sectors. However, they also face political instability, economic disparities, and ongoing reforms in some parts of Eastern Europe.

The quality of life varies across these countries, with Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia being part of the European Union and having higher living standards than Moldova and Belarus. Domestically in Moldova, the primary safety concern is the unresolved conflict over the Transnistria region, which has led to political instability and occasional flare-ups of violence.

The situation is further complicated by Russian troops in the region, which Moldova considers an occupation force. At present Moldova is still a safe country but carry normal precautions and be aware of the warning signs.

The biggest risk and safety issue in the European country of Belarus is the political unrest following the disputed 2020 presidential election. The government’s crackdown on protests and suppression of opposition voices have led to a tense and volatile environment, with concerns about human rights abuses and potential escalation of violence.

Safest Country in Europe to Visit

The safest country to visit as a tourist is Iceland. Iceland, often called the “Land of Fire and Ice”, offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich culture, exciting activities, and many tourist areas making it a must-visit destination for many tourists.

Iceland is home to some of the world’s most stunning natural landscapes. From the geothermal Blue Lagoon, the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, and the Geysir geothermal area to the breathtaking Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, there’s no shortage of natural wonders to explore.

earth hour, iceland, glacier

For the adventurous, Iceland offers activities like glacier hiking, ice caving, snorkelling between tectonic plates in Silfra, and exploring volcanic landscapes.

The culture is vibrant, with strong storytelling, music, and cuisine tradition. Visitors can learn about the country’s Viking history, explore its charming towns, and try traditional foods like Skyr and fermented shark.

Which Eastern European Countries Are Safe to Visit?

Eastern Europe’s safety varies by country. While some Eastern European countries have higher peace index scores, others are impacted by geopolitical tensions, such as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

It’s important to note that the situation can change rapidly, and checking the latest travel advisories and news updates is always recommended before planning a trip. Eastern European Union countries such as Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania are all safe to visit. Slightly further south, Turkey can be measured for both Europe and Asia. It has a high number of registered criminal offenses but is not an unsafe country overall.

buildings, houses, ukraine

Further east, there is an increased caution in Belarus and can be a dangerous country. As for the Russia-Ukraine situation, it has indeed caused concerns in the region and beyond. Ukraine is the most dangerous country in Europe. The conflict has led to heightened tensions and occasional flare-ups of violence, particularly in the disputed areas of Eastern Ukraine.

As always, safety can be subjective and depends on various factors, including the specific locations within a country, the current political climate, and individual comfort levels. Therefore, tourists and visitors must stay informed about the current situation and take necessary precautions when planning travel. This is all to ensure to make Europe safer.


    Frequently Asked Questions
    What is the safest country in Europe?

    Traditionally, Iceland has been considered number 1 of the safest countries in Europe and the world, according to the Global Peace Index.

    What is the safest country in Eastern Europe?

    Slovenia has been considered one of the safest European countries and is part of Eastern Europe. The country is a full European Union member state according to the Global Peace Index.

    What European country has the lowest crime rate?

    The safest destinations to visit in Europe and, indeed, the entire world is Iceland. Denmark and Ireland are the second and third safest European countries.

    Which European city is the safest?

    Cities like Reykjavik in Iceland is the world’s safest city have been known for safety. The vast majority of European cities do not experience violent crimes.