Europe is a continent located entirely in the northern hemisphere, and it is unarguably the home of modern-day civilization. Europe houses 50 countries, and most of these countries have rich histories and traditions. The continent covers about two percent of the earth’s surface, covering a land area of about ten million kilometer-square. Europe has a population of 740 million people, and most of these citizens are reasonably contented with what they have. If you plan on traveling to Europe, then you have made a good decision. However, some countries are less safe than others, and this article has been put together to show you some of these countries. Enjoy!
Designated Risk Countries in Europe
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina are one of the less popular European countries. However, Tourists still add this country to their destination schedule because of its beautiful landscape. If you plan on traveling to this country, it would be best to bring a guide with you and exercise increased caution throughout your time in the country. You don’t have to be on the lookout for people or terrorist attacks. However, you have to b mindful of the consequences of war that continue to plague the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina fought a war in the early ’90s, resulting in landmines being planted all over the country. Although the government and its international partners have done a pretty good job of clearing these mines, thousands of mines remain buried, and they continue to kill and injure people every year. If you plan to go to Bosnia and Herzegovina, you should be careful where you step.
Ukraine is a great country and a former part of the defunct Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The government has a charged political atmosphere, and it is quite hard to determine if the country is truly stable. The country has a long history of crime, civil unrest, and riots. During elections, these unrests turn violent and foreign nationals are often targeted. The government also has a long list of politically targeted assassinations, terrorist bombings, and the presence of violent extremist groups. To add to all of these, Russia annexed Crimea, and since then, the eastern parts of Ukraine have witnessed increased policing, arbitrary detention, and several other abuse cases. It would be best if you avoid going to Ukraine.
Although Russia lost the cold war and most of its power, it remains one of the wealthiest countries globally; the only second to the United States is nuclear weapons possession. While chasing military power and abandoning its economy, Russia slid into economic rot and has been trying to get back on its feet ever since. The political climate is always charged in the country, and anyone who dares to criticize Vladimir Putin’s power automatically finds himself in some trouble. Even though the Russian President has done his best to keep the country stable and united, violent crimes are still common in Russia. Extrajudicial killings, mob violence, and LGBT cleansing continue to plague the country.
Germany is an organized first world country; however, terrorist groups have planned and carried out attacks. Germany is a generally safe country, and the crime rate is low. However, because of the success of past episodes in parts of Germany, the United States lists it as a level 2 risk country. The December 2016 Christmas attack is still fresh in the mind of many Germans. A bomb also detonated outside a bar in Ansbach at the same period. ISIS claimed responsibility for these attacks, and they have seen been quieted by German authorities. If you want to travel to Germany, you should follow the State department’s advice and exercise increased caution.
Tensions have always raved high in Italy because the Catholic Church’s capital happens to be located in this country. You cannot rule out the possibility of a religious attack on the Vatican and its surroundings. Italian authorities have arrested suspects with plans to attack the Israeli embassy and the Vatican in the past. The country has some right-wing extremists, and black people might be in danger from this category. You should also consider the recent number of Coronavirus cases and deaths in Italy before you embark on your trip.
Spain is also not exempted from terrorist activities. Although the country’s government has dealt with terrorists and their affiliates decisively in the past, you must continue to maintain caution when you travel to Spain. You should know that the August 2017 jihadist attack is still fresh in the mind of many Spaniards. Furthermore, the recent global coronavirus pandemic has hit more than other countries, and you might have to reschedule your travel.
Belgium is the headquarters of NATO, and it is generally considered a haven for travelers of all kinds. However, Belgium has its fair share of security concerns, and that is why the State Department lists the country as a level two travel risk. The U.S advises that you exercise increased caution when you travel to Belgium because of potential terrorist attacks. In 2016, ISIS was responsible for the Brussels bombings. These attacks happened at transportation hubs and killed 32 people while injuring over 300. Although these attacks were a singular occurrence, you should still exercise caution when you travel to Belgium.
France is one of the oldest civilizations and also one of the most advanced countries in the world. They also happen to have a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, making them one of the world’s most powerful nations. The country draws thousands of tourists to its shores every year because of its beautiful cities, exquisite food, and wonderful historical landmarks. Even though France is a safe and advanced country, it still has its fair share of security concerns. France borders the Mediterranean Sea, and refugees have been known to flock into the country in their numbers. France also has a long history of protests, riots, and civil unrest. If you plan to travel to the country anytime soon, make sure the political climate is calm.
Europe is a travel destination for most people in the world and rightly so. However, your safety should always come first. If you are thinking of traveling to Europe, you should do adequate research about your destination and the present security and political situations in that country. Cheers!