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How Safe Do People Feel to Walk Alone at Night in Europe (Updated 2023)

Discover surprising insights into the perceived safety of individuals walking alone at night in different countries.
Safety walking alone at night by country

This study explores the subjective perception of safety among individuals when walking alone on the streets at night in various countries. It aims to understand how safe people feel in their respective countries, recognizing that this perception may not always align with the actual crime rates. Factors beyond crime, such as the presence of dangerous animals or urban planning, can influence one’s sense of safety.

Additionally, underreporting of crimes or a loss of faith in law enforcement can further distort the connection between crime rates and perceived safety. Despite these complexities, analyzing how safe individuals feel while walking alone at night provides valuable insights into the general sentiment of security within each country.

The top five in terms of perceived safety when walking alone at night are Croatia, Slovenia, Iceland, Georgia, and Switzerland. Croatia claims the highest position with an impressive safety rate of 74.63, followed closely by Slovenia at 74.40. Iceland secures the third spot with a safety rate of 72.26, while Georgia and Switzerland round out the top five with rates of 69.72 and 69.35, respectively. These countries exemplify a strong sense of security within their borders.

On the other hand, France ranks at the bottom of the list with a safety rate of 35.59, followed closely by Belarus at 36.44. Belgium takes the third-to-last position with a safety rate of 41.25, while the United Kingdom and Sweden complete the bottom five with rates of 43.00 and 43.69, respectively.

What's surprising?

The lower perceived safety in countries like France, the UK, and Sweden is surprising, given their economic status and stable social and political environments. It suggests a potential discrepancy between the actual and perceived safety or could reflect broader social issues that impact the public’s sense of security.

While there seems to be a geographic trend, with the Balkans and Baltic regions feeling safer than Western and Eastern Europe, the data indicates that GDP doesn’t strongly correlate with perceived safety. This reinforces the idea that a sense of safety is complex and influenced by various elements beyond economic well-being. It’s important to note that these results provide a general picture and may vary within each country depending on different cities, neighborhoods, and demographics.

CountrySafety walking alone during night
Croatia74.63
Slovenia74.40
Iceland72.26
Georgia69.72
Switzerland69.35
Czech Republic69.03
Denmark68.13
Estonia68.05
Finland67.32
Netherlands66.60
Montenegro66.01
Austria65.96
Cyprus65.13
Slovakia64.66
Serbia63.57
Portugal61.99
North Macedonia61.78
Poland61.05
Romania60.88
Hungary60.81
Spain59.38
Norway59.07
Bulgaria57.98
Malta57.05
Lithuania57.02
Bosnia and Herzegovina56.65
Latvia55.05
Luxembourg54.58
Germany53.02
Albania52.34
Russia50.09
Turkey49.94
Greece49.26
Italy44.28
Republic of Ireland44.23
Moldova44.18
Sweden43.69
United Kingdom43.00
Belgium41.25
Belarus36.44
France35.59

These numbers come from Numbeo as they were on the 23rd of May 2023.

Is Croatia Safe to Visit?

Yes, in general, Croatia is a very safe place to visit. Croatia has a Level 1 travel advisory, the safest level from the U.S. Department of State.

Croatia is ranked number 15 on the Global Peace Index out of 163 evaluated countries. It’s ranked 48 out of 195 countries for its Global Health score, both of which are promising numbers for potential travelers.

The crime rate in Croatia is low. You can feel safe walking around during the day or night. However, as with any destination, crime can occur here. Some areas of Croatia can be more dangerous than others.

With sensible precautions like avoiding bad neighborhoods and keeping your valuables secure, you can ensure a safe trip to Croatia.

Crime in Croatia

The most common types of crime that occur in Croatia are pickpocketing and theft. To ensure your safety, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and keep any valuables you have close to you.

Note that Croatia has a strict drug policy. Possession and consumption of illegal drugs is a serious offense here and can result in sizable fines or even jail time. Don’t bring or purchase drugs to avoid breaking the law during your stay!

Some further tips to avoid crime in Croatia include:

  • Avoid walking alone late at night
  • Use secure ATMs in well-lit areas
  • Carry a copy of your passport when traveling
  • Keep valuables out of sight
  • Avoid displaying signs of wealth, such as expensive jewelry or watches
  • Check your change after purchasing something

Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods

There are some areas of Croatia that are known to be dangerous and should be avoided. One such area is Varazdin, a former industrial city northeast of Croatia.

This area is known to have a higher crime rate than the rest of the country and it’s best to avoid it if possible. On the other hand, the safest areas in Croatia include the cities of Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb and the island of Hvar.

Best places to stay in Croatia

If you’re mapping out your Croatian journey and wondering where to stay in Zagreb, you’ve got fantastic choices at your fingertips. Fancy being in the thick of urban energy? Lower Town, or Donji Grad, will be your playground, brimming with art galleries, parks, and mouth-watering bistros. If you prefer a dose of history with your urban retreat, Upper Town, or Gornji Grad, will greet you with its old-world charm and stunning city views.

Fast-forwarding to the coastal splendors of the country, you might question where to stay in Split. History lovers will find themselves at home in the Old Town, living amidst the age-old grandeur of Diocletian’s Palace. Alternatively, if sun, sand, and sea are your vacation mantras, the lively Bacvice neighborhood will make your heart skip a beat with its gorgeous beaches and thriving nightlife.

The beautiful island of Hvar also offers its own appeal when deciding where to stay. Hvar Town, with its elegant waterfront and dynamic nightlife, is a haven for those seeking a lively atmosphere. If a peaceful vacation is more your style, the charming village of Jelsa provides a tranquil island escape, surrounded by the serene beauty of nature.

Lastly, when you’re plotting where to stay in Dubrovnik, two locations spring to mind. The Old Town offers an immersive historical experience, encased within the majestic city walls. For those seeking a serene seaside escape with the buzz of city life, the Lapad district fits the bill perfectly with its stunning beaches and vibrant local scene.

Croatia, with its blend of dynamic city life, breathtaking coastlines, historic charm, and peaceful retreats, offers an array of stay options that cater to every type of traveler. Enjoy your adventure!

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