Most Dangerous Cities in Europe

By PropertyClub Team
Dec 19th 2023
With its rich history and diverse cultures, Europe attracts millions of tourists and visitors each year. While the continent is generally considered safe, certain cities have higher crime rates than others. Read on to discover the 20 most dangerous cities in Europe so that you stay safe during your travels.

hash-mark20 Most Dangerous European Cities 

1. Marseille, France

Marseille, France, the second largest city in the country with a population of 870,321, has gained a reputation for being the most dangerous city in Europe. The crime rate in Marseille is five times higher than in any other French city, with the most prevalent crime being murder. 

Despite its beautiful Mediterranean setting and rich history, the city faces challenges related to public safety, making it important for residents and visitors to exercise caution.

2. Naples, Italy

Naples, Italy, the third-largest city in the country after Rome and Milan, has a complex story. Despite experiencing considerable economic growth since World War II, the city grapples with persistent joblessness and confronts challenges associated with high levels of political corruption and organized crime. 

Unfortunately, Naples has gained the reputation of being the second most dangerous city in Europe. The city's gun death rate is 1.31 per 100,000 residents annually, with an average occurrence of a gun-related death once every 14 days. 

3. Birmingham, United Kingdom

Birmingham is a bustling city with a population of 1.145 million. In 2021, it ranked as the third most visited city in the UK by people from foreign nations. 

However, it's important to note that Birmingham has faced challenges, being considered one of the more dangerous cities in Europe. 

In the past, the city had a crime rate higher than the average for England and Wales, with 89.92 recorded offenses per 1000 population in 2022–23.

4. Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is an important city in Europe. It serves as the administrative center of the European Union, hosting key EU institutions in its European Quarter. Despite its significance, Brussels has gained a reputation as the 4th most dangerous city in Europe. 

Tourists, especially around the popular Grand Place in the city center, need to be cautious about pickpocketing. Reports of muggings have also been noted in this area. 

Additionally, the Brussels North Station and the nearby neighborhood of Saint Josse-ten-Noode are known for higher crime levels. Visitors should be aware of these safety concerns while exploring the city.

5. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the second-most populous municipality in the country, with a population of 1.6 million people. While it is a vibrant and culturally rich city, it has faced challenges and is considered one of the more dangerous cities in Europe. 

In 2022, there were 68,484 reported crimes, showing a decrease of 8.6% from the previous year. Unfortunately, pickpocketing, muggings, and scams are common occurrences in Barcelona, reminding residents and visitors to stay vigilant in the bustling streets and tourist spots.

6. Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece, is the biggest city and the capital of the country. It's a place rich in history and culture. While it's known for its ancient landmarks, like the Acropolis, it's also important to be aware of safety. Athens has been ranked as the sixth most dangerous city in Europe. 

Some areas, such as Monastiraki, Larissa, and Peloponissos, have higher crime rates. The most common issue is pickpocketing. The overall crime rate in Athens is 58.65, which falls into the Moderate category. 

Visitors should stay vigilant, especially in crowded places, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in this vibrant city.

7. Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester, located in the United Kingdom, is a vibrant city celebrated for its impressive architecture, rich culture, and significant contributions to music and media. Boasting a bustling atmosphere, the city offers a multitude of exciting activities. Known as a massive town, 

Manchester is home to two powerhouse football teams (Manchester City and Manchester United) that captivate sports enthusiasts. 

However, it's important to note that in the 2022/23 reporting year, the crime rate for Greater Manchester rose to 128.9 crimes per 1,000 population, marking an increase from the previous year, making it one of the cities with a higher crime rate in Europe.

8. London, United Kingdom

London, the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom is another UK city on our list of the most dangerous cities in Europe. While crime rates differ in various parts of London, most of the city is generally safe. London boasts 24-hour public transport and well-lit areas near bars and restaurants, ensuring a secure environment. 

However, it's important to note that recorded crime has been increasing in London, particularly in violent crimes and stabbings, contributing to a rise in overall murder rates. 

9. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a city with a rich history, being one of the oldest in the world and the second-oldest capital in Europe, right after Athens. However, despite its cultural charm, it's essential for visitors to stay vigilant. 

Sadly, Lisbon has gained a reputation as the 9th most dangerous city in Europe. Tourist areas like Sintra, Cascais, and Mafra are particularly prone to theft, making it important for visitors to be cautious and aware of pickpockets, as the risk of encountering them is high in this top tourist destination.

10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is a vibrant city with a population of 921,402. Known for its picturesque canals and friendly atmosphere, it's also recognized as a city with over 800,000 bikes. However, bike theft is a significant concern, making it important for residents and visitors to secure their bicycles. 

Despite its charm, Amsterdam faces some safety challenges, as it has a crime index of 28.75. The city's popularity among tourists contributes to the presence of pickpockets, particularly during the busy summer months. 

It's advisable for visitors to stay vigilant and take precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in this otherwise enchanting destination.

11. Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, stands as the heart of the nation, bustling with cultural, media, political, and economic activities. The Stockholm region plays a significant role in Sweden's economy, contributing more than a third of the country's GDP. 

Despite its initial appearance as a tranquil and low-crime city, it shares common urban challenges. Among its neighborhoods, Rinkeby faces periodic incidents of violence, often manifesting as street fights. 

It's important to recognize that even in a generally safe city like Stockholm, there are areas where caution should be exercised.

12. Rome, Italy

After Naples, Rome is another Italian city that stands tall in the list of top European dangerous cities. The Italian capital captured the hearts of 8.6 million visitors in 2019, making it the 14th most visited city globally. 

However, the city grapples with some challenges, as pickpocketing, car burglary, and purse snatching are significant concerns. 

13. Paris, France

Paris, the French capital, is known for its iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum. It ranks as the 13th most dangerous city in Europe, although crime is comparable to other big cities. 

Violent incidents are infrequent in the city center, but caution is advised for women walking alone at night. Certain areas, such as Les Halles, Châtelet-Les-Halles, and Gare du Nord, can be more risky. 

Recently, there has been a rise in reported cases of sexual harassment, and occasionally assault, involving taxi drivers. Visitors should stay aware of their surroundings and take necessary precautions while enjoying the city's beauty and culture.

14. Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw, the capital and biggest city of Poland is home to 1.86 million residents. While it's an essential European city, some caution is needed as it's known for occasional pickpocketing, especially in crowded places. Paying extra attention to your belongings is a good idea. The Praga district, particularly Brzeska Street, is considered the riskiest area. 

Additionally, caution is advised around large football events, as football hooliganism can be a concern before or after these gatherings. 

15. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, rests on the east coast near the River Liffey, traced back to its Viking origins in 841. Despite its historical charm, Dublin faces challenges with thefts and burglaries, ranking as another city in Europe grappling with safety concerns. The Central Statistics Office reports higher occurrences of these incidents in the city.

16. Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg, Germany, is the second-largest city in the country, following Berlin. It boasts the biggest port in Germany and is the second-busiest in Europe. However, it is ranked as the 16th most dangerous city in Europe, with property crimes being frequently reported. Notably, the Reeperbahn area in Hamburg is considered less safe compared to other parts of the city.

17. Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest is the biggest city and the capital of Romania. It's a lively place, but you should be careful about petty crimes like pickpocketing, especially on public transportation. The gun death rate is 0.14 for every 100,000 people each year. Crime levels are higher in the southern parts of the city, with Ferentari being a neighborhood where crime is more common due to social challenges.

18. Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is our next destination. With a population of 1,681,405 in the metropolitan area, it's a bustling city. However, like any other place, Belgrade has its challenges, and visitors should be cautious about pickpockets and muggings. 

The overall crime rate in Serbia declined by 7.56% in 2022, reaching 1.06. One particular safety concern revolves around the floating nightclubs operated by the Balkan mafia. 

19. Bradford, United Kingdom

Bradford, located in Yorkshire, UK, is the penultimate city on our list of the most dangerous cities in Europe. Despite being the third-largest economy in Yorkshire, Bradford faces a concerning issue with crime, surpassing the national average of England by approximately 65 times

The city grapples with various challenges, primarily revolving around violent incidents, but harassment and theft also contribute to the overall crime rate.

20. Catania, Italy

After Naples and Rome, Catania is the third Italian city on our list. Catania is the second-largest municipality in Sicily and is known for its historical charm and vibrant culture. However, it has gained notoriety for certain safety concerns. 

Catania is ranked as the second most dangerous city in Italy for muggings. Tourists should be cautious as pickpocketing, overpricing, and taxi scams are reported as the top crimes in this otherwise picturesque city.

hash-markMost Dangerous Cities in Europe Bottom Line 

While these cities face varying degrees of safety challenges, it's essential to note that many ongoing efforts are being made to address these issues and improve the overall safety and well-being of residents and visitors alike. Understanding the safety risks in Europe's most dangerous cities can help you stay safe while traveling.