TOP 10 PEACEFUL COUNTRIES IN EUROPE
By: Mohammad Jazib
Listed below are the foremost peaceful nations within Europe along with their safety scores. This compilation emanates from a judicious amalgamation of the Global Peace Index and real-time testimonials proffered by individuals who have embarked upon journeys to these countries.
Should you be contemplating the planning of your travels, your search culminates here. To facilitate your selection of the next destination on your bucket list, we have scrutinized an array of facts and figures, culminating in the enumeration of the most secure European nations.
- Global Peace Index ranking: 1/163
- Global Peace Index score: 1.124
As per the Global Peace Index, Iceland ascends as the undisputed sanctuary of safety in Europe, and remarkably, the entire world. This preeminence has persisted since the inception of the Global Peace Index in 2008. With a modest populace numbering around 350,000, visitors to Iceland frequently extol the warm reception and communal ambience it offers. Unlike most countries, Iceland exhibits an atypical scarcity of petty transgressions, with incidents of more severe and violent infractions being a rare exception. Thus, it stands as an alluring prospect for both settlers and travellers with a penchant for European destinations. Notably, Iceland has once again been distinguished as the world’s most gender-equal nation, further enhancing its appeal, particularly among women.
- Global Peace Index ranking: 2/163
- Global Peace Index score: 1.31
Denmark epitomizes safety, boasting low levels of organized conflict and violent crime. Much akin to its Scandinavian counterparts, Denmark assumes a pioneering role in matters of societal well-being and the contentment of its citizenry. The spectre of natural calamities is virtually non-existent within Denmark, and adherence to traffic regulations is the norm. Pedestrians, too, are expected to observe road rules diligently. Stringent penalties, including potential incarceration, await those found guilty of intoxicated driving or excessive speeding. The country’s tourist infrastructure enjoys a favourable reputation, affording ease of navigation. Despite English not being the official language, a significant portion of the local populace possesses conversational proficiency, rendering assistance readily accessible to the lost traveller.
- Global Peace Index ranking: 3/163
- Global Peace Index score: 1.312
Renowned for its extraordinarily cordial hospitality (top o’ the morning to you!), Ireland stands as the second-safest European haven. Annually, it magnetizes millions of tourists, predominantly drawn by its resplendent verdant landscapes, dramatic coastal vistas, and rich cultural legacy. A burgeoning trend in genealogy tourism has further augmented Ireland’s allure. While overall crime rates remain relatively subdued, prudent adherence to personal safety protocols, especially in bustling urban centres such as Dublin, is advisable. Incidents of transgressions often exhibit an association with alcohol consumption. Therefore, avoiding lingering on the streets post-nightfall and availing of taxi services to return to accommodations is sage counsel.
- Global Peace Index ranking: 5/163
- Global Peace Index score: 1.316
Austria, in its entirety, exudes a climate of exceptional safety, characterized by the pervasive scarcity of criminal activities. Occasional pickpocketing on public transportation represents a seldom-seen anomaly. As is customary when traversing unfamiliar locales, the wisest course of action entails the discreet safeguarding of valuables and unwavering vigilance while navigating the urban landscape. Predominantly recognized as a winter destination, courtesy of its superlative skiing opportunities, prospective travellers should remain mindful of the typical hazards inherent to alpine regions. Avalanches and mudslides do transpire, underlining the importance of verifying weather conditions before embarking on daily excursions. As a universal rule applicable to all adventure endeavours, communicating one’s itinerary to a reliable contact before departure remains an imperative precautionary measure.
- Global Peace Index ranking: 7/163
- Global Peace Index score: 1.333
Portugal occupies a lofty echelon among the preferred destinations for backpackers, expatriates, and digital nomads embarking on European sojourns. With its stunning coastal expanses, cosmopolitan urban centres, vibrant cultural panorama, and delectable cuisine, Portugal emerges as a comprehensive and attractive destination.
The country’s security credentials are impeccable, meriting the sixth position in the 2023 Global Peace Index, and thus, the fifth-safest standing in Europe. Robust diplomatic relations with neighbouring nations and a stable political climate further reinforce its standing. However, given its status as a coveted tourist haven, instances of scams targeting visitors may occur. Prudent discernment and the practice of withholding monetary transactions until goods or services are duly received should remain guiding principles for travellers.
- Global Peace Index ranking: 8/163
- Global Peace Index score: 1.334
Slovenia registers low instances of violent crimes and remains relatively immune to political turbulence. Exhibiting minimal militarization, it beckons an influx of solo adventurers and intrepid family travellers alike.
While the general risk of encountering scams is marginal, reports occasionally surface of taxi drivers imposing exorbitant fares, particularly in transit to and from airports. In such instances, opting for taxis equipped with meters represents a prudent course of action.
- Global Peace Index ranking: 10/163
- Global Peace Index score: 1.339
Switzerland clinches the tenth spot in global safety rankings, boasting exceedingly low incidences of criminal activities, with numerous municipalities reporting zero crime occurrences year after year. The nation upholds a policy of armed neutrality and has abstained from full-fledged involvement in conflict since the early 19th century. Switzerland’s primary risks emanate from its rugged, mountainous terrain, where landslides, avalanches, adverse meteorological conditions, and altitude-related ailments constitute the most prevalent hazards, particularly during winter skiing seasons.
- Czech Republic
Global Peace Index ranking: 12/163
Global Peace Index score: 1.379
The Czech Republic beckons with the enchantment of Prague’s architectural splendour and the idyllic serenity of Bohemian landscapes. Its rich historical tapestry and welcoming ambience extend an invitation for visitors to immerse themselves in its aesthetic allure. Stroll through historic townscapes and partake in the prevailing tranquillity that pervades the atmosphere.
- Global Peace Index ranking: 13/163
- Global Peace Index score: 1.399
Finland, renowned for its saunas, the ethereal Northern Lights, and an intimate connection with nature, embodies a Scandinavian gem renowned not only for its serenity but also its innovative spirit. Explore its picturesque landscapes and bask in the prevailing atmosphere of tranquillity.
- Global Peace Index ranking: 15/163
- Global Peace Index score: 1.45
Croatia secured the fourteenth position on the list of the world’s safest nations in 2023 and holds the tenth spot in Europe among the 163 countries surveyed. The country enjoys immunity from terrorist threats and exhibits minimal susceptibility to gun violence. Given its modest size and inconspicuous role in global politics, Croatia does not arouse significant interest as a target for terrorism.
What Is the Global Peace Index?
The Global Peace Index, or GPI, constitutes a comprehensive report compiled by The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP). The 17th iteration of the GPI assesses independent states and territories based on their prevailing levels of tranquillity. Encompassing 163 countries, which collectively represent 99.7 per cent of the global population, the GPI incorporates 23 qualitative and quantitative metrics sourced from reputable authorities.
It evaluates peace across three dimensions: Societal Safety and Security, Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and the extent of Militarization. In addition to presenting the findings of the 2023 GPI, the report offers an analysis of existing conflicts and potential future confrontations, including an assessment of the anticipated economic repercussions of a Chinese blockade of Taiwan on the global stage.