Europe, on average, can easily be considered one of the safest places on earth although average doesn’t state much. Safety is also a dodgy concept. It may range from different criminal rates like robberies, murders, and thieveries to extreme weather, and a multitude of other unforeseen eventualities that don’t come to our minds from the first thought. Understandably, we cannot physically go through every small part of the huge continent to prove which places one should avoid, however, generally wherever you are going, checking the state websites will give loads of information. Here we will list a couple of places, which are known for criminal trickeries. As a disclaimer, the order of the locations does not indicate more or less criminal spots.
Prague is known to have one of the highest rates of pickpocketing in the whole of Europe. This is written everywhere starting from the city hall website to almost every objective tourist guide. The city is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for tourists for its open society with relaxed laws on drugs, gambling, and prostitution as well as a huge dose of beautiful historic architecture, hence, it draws a lot of criminal elements to it as well. While the police in the city are doing a fine job, they cannot physically root out every bit of evil in the region.
This is why in general it is always recommended to avoid picking up a cab on the street as it will almost surely result in higher fees especially in the tourist areas (airport tends to be an exception). Avoid changing money anywhere except for banks as a lot of the outside currency exchange shops will have huge hidden fees and bad exchange rates. A lot of casinos are associated with scammers and therefore, as a rule of thumb, are to be avoided as there are numerous criminal elements always lurking around such institutions preying on oblivious winners who aren’t local. Due to this, people tend to play casino blackjack online because it automatically keeps you at a safe distance from any lurkers around the streets. Sure it takes away the main feature of casinos, such as physically being present and playing cards, but at least you get to stay safe and keep whatever you win or have remaining at the end of the day.
Make sure to steer clear of non uniformed “police officers” who may come to you and demand to see your passport. Another variation of this would be a casually dressed officer trying to check your ticket in the metro and then stating that it’s in fact invalid thus demanding a fee. Do not fall for this and always request to be transferred to a police station or nearby hotel if push comes to shove. Scammers obviously cannot take you anywhere near an actual police station.
Overall, don’t be paranoid, just keep your mind cool and assess the situation with as much clarity as possible. If something seems sketchy, it most probably is.
Albania is a tiny Balkan country. It has a beautiful stretch of coasts on both Adriatic and Ionian seas with the most popular spot being the Durress beach outside of the capital city, Tirana. However, it will quickly become apparent that you won’t be able to find even the tiniest piece of sand where one can sit. This is due to the popularity of the place. This draws in a lot of different people from all over the region including criminals. Instead, one can always go to Gjipe beach, which is much less traveled and offers the same kind of enjoyment as the Duress. Both are extremely beautiful and honestly who will tell the difference?
The principality of Andorra is a sovereign landlocked microstate between Spain and France. It is a small piece of mountainous paradise where one can go to enjoy winter sports. The problem is that during the peak season the place is overcrowded to hell and back. This drives the prices to insane heights. For people who just want to enjoy their vacations, the place offers the biggest thermal spa in the whole of Europe, the Caldea thermal spa. It is going to be much more worthy of your time and offer better entertainment value.
Belarus is a beautiful piece of land. It offers cheap prices for drinks and tobacco products, however, understandably doesn’t have much of a historic value. All of the 17th and 18th-century houses, which are present in the old town, have been rebuilt and recreated in the 1980s. While it’s a beautiful facade, it’s not much worth seeing. More so due to the fact that almost all of the other parts of the city are full of similar buildings. Instead, as weird as it may sound, Minsk can be very attractive to people interested in Soviet history as the city was designated to be the grand entrance of the USSR.
Belgium is a beautiful country and Brussels is home to two very unique tourist attractions. One of them being a mini-Europe, which is, in our humble opinion, overrated as heck. It houses mini versions of the monuments of the European Union. The scales are 1:25 and isn’t all that impressive.
Apart from this, the part sits on top of the Atomium, a bizarre metallic structure made of stainless steel metal balls, which was constructed for the Brussels World Exposition back in 1958. Today, it is a place where you are almost forced to buy stuff and nothing else. Going to the Grand Place in Brussels, especially in August, would be a much more worthwhile time investment.
In conclusion, there are many parts of Europe that may be very fun to visit on paper however do not offer anything of actual value. Some of these places brought disappointment due to the overhype that a lot of online tourist guides are giving them.