The 10 Most Dangerous Countries in Europe

Europe is often perceived as one of the safest continents for travel, boasting a rich tapestry of cultures, histories, and landscapes. However, like any region, some countries and areas within them are considered more dangerous due to various factors such as crime rates, political instability, or other safety concerns.

Here’s an in-depth look at the top 10 most dangerous countries in Europe, highlighting the factors that contribute to their higher risk profiles and offering practical advice for travelers.

1. Ukraine


Ukraine has faced significant challenges in recent years, primarily due to ongoing conflicts and political instability. The country has been embroiled in a conflict with Russia since 2014, which has severely affected the eastern regions.

Danger Factors:

  • Conflict Zones: The ongoing conflict with Russia in the eastern regions, particularly in Donetsk and Luhansk, poses severe risks. These areas are characterized by military operations, artillery shelling, and unexploded ordnance.
  • Crime: Higher rates of street crime and corruption can affect safety in urban areas. Pickpocketing, mugging, and scams are common in major cities like Kyiv and Odessa.

Travel Advice:

  • Avoid conflict zones and regions under military control.
  • Stay informed about the current political situation and follow local advice.
  • Exercise caution in urban areas, especially at night.

2. Russia


While vast and culturally rich, Russia has areas with significant safety concerns. The country faces political tensions, crime issues, and occasional acts of terrorism, particularly in the North Caucasus region.

Danger Factors:

  • Political Tensions: High-profile political protests and government crackdowns can lead to volatile situations, especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
  • Crime: Certain areas, particularly in larger cities, experience higher crime rates, including theft, assault, and fraud. Corruption can also impact safety.
  • Terrorism: The North Caucasus region, including Chechnya and Dagestan, is prone to terrorist activities and insurgent attacks.

Travel Advice:

  • Exercise increased caution in urban areas and avoid political demonstrations.
  • Avoid travel to the North Caucasus region.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings and keep personal belongings secure.

3. Turkey

antalya turkey

Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey faces unique safety challenges due to its geopolitical position. While major tourist areas are generally safe, certain regions and political issues pose risks.

Danger Factors:

  • Terrorism: Terrorist attacks have occurred in major cities like Istanbul and Ankara, targeting both locals and tourists.
  • Political Unrest: Political instability and protests can sometimes turn violent, particularly in the wake of governmental changes or economic issues.
  • Conflict Zones: The southeastern regions near the Syrian border are particularly volatile due to ongoing conflicts.

Travel Advice:

  • Be vigilant in public places and avoid large gatherings.
  • Monitor travel advisories from your home country.
  • Avoid travel to the southeastern border regions.

4. Belarus


Belarus has experienced political unrest and government crackdowns on protests, especially following the disputed 2020 presidential election. This has led to an unstable environment in certain areas.

Danger Factors:

  • Political Instability: The political climate has been tense, with frequent protests and demonstrations against the government.
  • Government Surveillance: Travelers may be subject to increased government scrutiny and surveillance, particularly if engaging in political discussions or activities.

Travel Advice:

  • Avoid political demonstrations and gatherings.
  • Follow local news and stay updated on the political situation.
  • Exercise caution in interactions and avoid discussing sensitive topics publicly.

5. Bosnia and Herzegovina


While Bosnia and Herzegovina is generally peaceful, some areas pose risks due to the remnants of past conflicts and varying levels of crime.

Danger Factors:

  • Unexploded Landmines: Remnants from the 1990s conflict pose dangers in rural and remote areas, particularly in the mountains and forests.
  • Crime: Petty crime such as pickpocketing and occasional violent crime can affect travelers in urban areas.

Travel Advice:

  • Stick to well-trodden paths and avoid areas known for landmine risks.
  • Be cautious with personal belongings in cities like Sarajevo and Mostar.
  • Use official taxis and avoid accepting rides from strangers.

6. Kosovo


Kosovo is a relatively new country that has faced ethnic tensions and political instability. While generally safe for tourists, certain areas require caution.

Danger Factors:

  • Ethnic Tensions: Periodic ethnic clashes and political disputes can lead to unrest, particularly in the northern regions.
  • Crime: Higher levels of petty crime and some violent incidents, especially in the capital, Pristina.

Travel Advice:

  • Avoid areas with known ethnic tensions, such as North Mitrovica.
  • Stay in well-populated and monitored areas.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and take standard precautions against theft.

7. North Macedonia

North Macedonia open to tourists

North Macedonia is generally safe but has areas with higher risks, particularly related to political instability and crime.

Danger Factors:

  • Political Protests: Political demonstrations can occasionally turn violent, especially in the capital, Skopje.
  • Crime: Petty crime, particularly in tourist areas, can be an issue.

Travel Advice:

  • Avoid large gatherings and political protests.
  • Be cautious of pickpockets and scammers, especially in busy markets and tourist spots.

8. Albania

gjirokaster albania

Albania is an emerging travel destination but has safety concerns in certain regions. While major cities and tourist areas are generally safe, some rural areas pose risks.

Danger Factors:

  • Organized Crime: Some areas are affected by organized crime, including drug trafficking and smuggling.
  • Road Safety: Poor road conditions and driving standards can pose risks, particularly in rural areas.

Travel Advice:

  • Avoid areas known for organized crime, such as certain parts of northern Albania.
  • Exercise caution when driving and consider using reputable transport services.
  • Stick to main roads and avoid driving at night.

9. Moldova


Moldova is one of Europe’s lesser-visited countries and has various safety issues, including political instability and crime.

Danger Factors:

  • Transnistria: This breakaway region is not under Moldovan government control and can be unstable, with limited consular assistance available.
  • Crime: Higher rates of petty crime and corruption can affect travelers, especially in the capital, Chisinau.

Travel Advice:

  • Avoid the Transnistria region.
  • Be vigilant in urban areas and avoid displaying wealth.
  • Use official taxis and avoid walking alone at night.

10. Serbia


While generally safe, Serbia has areas that travelers should be cautious about due to political instability and crime. The country is rich in history and culture but has faced challenges that impact safety.

Danger Factors:

  • Political Protests: Political demonstrations, particularly in Belgrade, can sometimes turn violent and disrupt public order.
  • Crime: Petty theft and scams are common in tourist areas, with occasional violent incidents.

Travel Advice:

  • Avoid political demonstrations and follow local news.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.
  • Keep valuables secure and be cautious with strangers.

While Europe is largely a safe and welcoming continent, it’s important to be aware of the varying levels of risk in different countries. Staying informed about the current political climate, local safety concerns, and specific travel advisories can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Always exercise caution, respect local laws and customs, and stay updated with reliable sources of information. By doing so, you can navigate these destinations safely and appreciate the rich experiences they offer.

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