Updated November 28, 2017 by Thiago Khoury
update: December 21, 2016
I can’t help but start by saying that Europe is one of the safest destinations in the world. Nothing you see on TV can make you put off your dream trip or miss out on the Roman fountains illuminated in summer, and everything that appears here could be replaced by a very simple piece of advice: always be aware and try not to walk alone.
Trevi Fountain on a summer day | By @gotainerleo
Safety tips in Europe
Where is it dangerous in Europe
Every dark and deserted place is potentially dangerous, no matter what destination you are in. Each country has its more or less dangerous cities and each city has its more or less trendy neighborhoods.
Meet them! Read about them and get informed. This is the safest way to proceed.
Anyone who spends a week in London will hardly know any of them: the places that appear in the guides are busy and policed, only those who stay in their immigrant cousin’s bedroom and living room in Brixton increase their chances of experiencing some perrengue.
Most common types of crime in Europe
Anyone can be robbed, anyone can be robbed, but anything that is too simple or too complex rarely happens without us easily realizing where the victim went wrong.
Petty theft and theft are the most common crimes. Robbery is when the guy walks by you and snatches your purse, but in much of Europe the victim is more likely to be robbed, so by the time he realizes the crime the thief is already far away.
15 safety tips in Europe
(1) In very crowded places where people bump into each other, the likelihood of bumps being purposeful is high: check your pockets whenever someone bumps into you.
(2) Beware whenever there’s a little ruckus caused by someone clumsy at a subway stop: it’s hard to stay aware of everything that happens when you know you have to get off at that station. This is the ideal time for bandits who work as a team.
(3) Beware of Gypsy children who roam in packs. Don’t be distracted by signs with English sayings or let them touch you.
(4) Redoubled attention with gypsy women carrying children on their laps, all covered, especially in the height of summer: nowhere in the world should unknown people lean over when asking or asking something.
(5) Beware of the ice cream trick: never allow someone to clean up what has likely been dropped on purpose.
(6) Remember: Back pockets should never be used, especially by men. Wallet and cell phone always in the two front pockets.
(7) There is nothing more flashy than a selfie stick. Carry it in your backpack.
(8) Passport place is locked in the suitcase. Carry color copies of the main pages with you or walk the streets with another official document, such as an identity card or driver’s license.
London Metropolitan Police | By @alan215067code3models
(9) Never look like a tourist: convey determination, not insecurity. If you noticed someone looking or walking towards you, return the look instead of lowering your head. Studies show that men tend to look back while women often look away, which is one of the reasons they are more likely to be victims.
(10) Notice the people around you, feel the atmosphere of the place and always ask yourself: is the atmosphere pleasant? Does this place make me feel safe?
(11) Blend in, dress up without pretending to be the center of attention.
(12) Leave the hotel with your wallet in one pocket and some change in another. If you are robbed, there is nothing safer than having cash on hand.
(13) Pay attention to ATMs: look around and know who is next to you at the time of withdrawal. If you recognize someone soon afterward, stay tuned and seek help.
(14) When passersby offer drugs, just don’t pay attention. Say “no” and go your way, without bringing up the subject or looking back. You don’t have to chat with anyone who approaches you on the streets.
(15) Last but not least: it is natural to put your hands in your pocket whenever you see a notice warning of the incidence of theft in that region. Caution: this is the simplest way to know where you keep your wallet. Be discreet if you need to check your pockets and never do so in front of a warning sign.
If unfortunately you are still robbed… Find a police officer and file a complaint. At the police station they are likely to find someone who speaks English or Spanish. Report the case and give as much detail as possible, especially regarding the place and time of the crime. If you saw the thief, give all the details that can help the police to recognize him, but never take the law into your own hands: remember that they live there, a place where you are just passing through.
Many people are insecure before choosing where to stay because they would like to have as much information as possible about a certain place. To help you, these are some of the experiences I had in Europe:
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