Safe as houses: Northern Europe dominated in the safety index. Photo / Mike Kotsch, Unsplash
A new study claims to have ranked the safest countries in Europe, with one mountainous nation standing out from the rest.
Whether you’re planning a family holiday or are an inveterate thrillseeker picking a new destination, “safety” means something different to most travellers. Falling prey to pickpockets might be less likely in one location than another, but the risk of avalanche or natural disaster may be greatly heightened.
Online casino Gamblino has compiled a standardised safety index, comparing each country for nine different factors.
Accounting for crime, road safety and risk of natural disaster, each European state is rated out of 10, with 0 being the lowest possible risk.
Northern Europe dominated the results with Sweden (10), Norway (3), Denmark (4) and Finland (6) all rated in the top 10.
Islands also scored highly for safety, with the moated nations of Ireland (7) and and Iceland (2) scoring sub 47.4 and 51.5 on the safety index respectively.
The most southerly state on the list was Austria, at latitude 47.2 degrees and with a safety index of 52.1 – it shared a lot of trends with the northern countries. With a fairly static murder rate of 0.7 cases per 100,000 population, it came 9th in the list.
However it was another Alpine bastion of safety that was number 1 on the list. Switzerland was named the safest country in Europe. With a safety index of 45, violent crime and natural disasters were not completely unheard of. However since 2016 the murder rate has been static at around 0.5 people per 100,000 population.
But this safety is something tourists must be willing to pay for.
In a separate study the Swiss city of Zurich was named the most expensive holiday destination in Europe. Airport transfer website Hoppa listed the average costs of a trip to Lake Zurich as €193.82 ($334) per night.
Switzerland might be the safest country in the safest continent for travel. At the beginning of the year, travel insurer Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection released their list of safest countries to travel in 2023 by insurance claimants.
Eight of their top 10 safest countries were in Europe, with only Canada (6) and New Zealand (10) listed from outside the EU.
You might wonder why the continent needs a tourist safety ranking at all.
Gamblino said safety was a natural concern for tourists, no matter their destination.
“Europe offers incredible opportunities for travellers who wish to see the diverse landscapes, architecture, ecosystems and cultures that exist across the continent,” said a spokesperson.
“However, it’s important to remain vigilant while travelling anywhere, as tourists can often be targeted by criminals.”
The 10 safest countries in Europe
1 – Switzerland
Safety index: 45
2 – Iceland
Safety index: 47.4
3 – Norway
Safety index: 47.9
4 – Denmark
Safety index: 49.4
5 – Luxembourg
Safety index: 50
6 – Finland
Safety index: 51.2
7 – Ireland
Safety index: 51.5
8 – Netherlands
Safety index: 52
9 – Austria
Safety index: 52.1
10 – Sweden
Safety index: 52.2