Is Vienna safe to visit? A comprehensive safety guide
Vienna is a modern metropolis consistently voted as one of the world’s most livable cities. It is known for many things, from being the birthplace of classical music to featuring some of the world’s top museums, fascinating palaces, and stunning Baroque architecture. It boasts a well-developed public transport system and affordable housing, providing a high quality of life for its nearly two million inhabitants.
No visit to the city will be complete without seeing the Vienna State Opera House or the Museum Quarter. For an extraordinary experience, head to Prater, a famous green space that is home to one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. With seemingly endless adventures and sightseeing opportunities, it’s no surprise that Vienna receives over 17 million visitors each year.
You’ll have a fantastic time here no matter when you decide to visit Vienna, though its peak tourist season falls over two periods—from late May to early September and December through the beginning of the year.
To ensure the safety of your belongings, entrust your belongings with Bounce luggage storage in Vienna. It’s also an excellent way to enhance your travel experience by discovering the city’s beautiful places hands-free.
Is Vienna safe to visit right now?
As the capital of the fifth most peaceful country in the world and the fourth in Europe, you can rest assured that Vienna is a very safe city to visit. That’s based on the 2022 Global Peace Index, with Austria having a very high overall score of 1.3.
Not only does Vienna sees flocks of tourists each year, but it’s also the most heavily populated city in Austria. Despite these points, Vienna remains one of the world’s safest cities with extremely rare violent crimes, thanks to its high number of police officers and regular police patrols.
However, you should still take safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Keep your guard up, especially when wandering at night or visiting crowded tourist areas around the city center and beyond.
No safety guide is perfect, and your overall welfare and personal safety are up to you. Although Vienna is one of the top European cities with a high safety level, it’s important that you do your homework and learn more about your destination, especially if you’re an inexperienced traveler. Ready to learn Vienna safety tips?
A seasoned traveler or not, be informed of your government’s safety guidelines and advisories for the city or country you plan to visit. You might also want to monitor local media to know what's going on in the area and consider purchasing travel insurance to protect you from unforeseeable events.
Top petty crimes and scams in Vienna affecting tourists
Crime rates are low in Vienna, which is already impressive for a city with a large population size. Still, it isn’t free from petty crimes and scams, and the usual targets are tourists who don’t know much about the area. You must be aware of the common offenses in Vienna so you know what to avoid or do if you fall victim to one.
Scams via online transactions are prevalent in Vienna, so before making a purchase, always check the website’s authenticity. It would be best if you were especially cautious of sites for accommodation. Before booking a room, make sure the hotel is legitimate.
What you can do to avoid this scam is first to contact the email or telephone number provided on their website to verify their authenticity. If your attempt goes through, ask questions and look for dodgy signs. Look for reviews of the accommodation online. If most reviews are negative, look for another hotel. Finally, a good rule of thumb is to assess if the prices are too low, and if it’s too good to be true, it’s most likely a scam.
If you enjoy the nightlife scene, beware of bar scams in Vienna. There are many cases of locals offering you to enjoy a drink with them at a club they recommend. Upon getting the bill, you’ll be overcharged, and if you refuse to pay, you’ll be escorted by bouncers to the nearest ATM to withdraw payment. To avoid this, check the prices on the menu before ordering. Don’t buy anything without knowing its price.
Bag snatching is common in crowded places in the city, such as near landmarks, tourist attractions, stations, and pedestrian streets. Keep your personal belongings close and beware of suspicious individuals when you’re in such places. Pickpocketing scams are rampant, where someone distracts you or offers unwanted help, especially while using the ATM. Therefore, be cautious at all times and reject strangers’ assistance. To be free of worry about pickpocketing or theft, leave valuables with Bounce in Vienna—it's an easy solution.
Overcharging taxis are everywhere, and it’s also a thing in Vienna. Scammer drivers either don’t turn the meter on, take an unnecessarily longer route, or make unwanted stops. It’s simple enough to avoid this scam by getting on a registered cab and tracking your destination via online maps. You can also go for rideshares like Uber or Lyft, which can be trusted more than hailing a taxi on the streets.
Is Vienna safe to travel alone?
As the second best female travel safety destination in the world with an overall safety score of 7.70 on the Bounce Women Travel Safety Index, the whole of Austria, including Vienna, is safe for anyone who wants to travel on their own. Even solo female travelers can enjoy and satisfy their wanderlust in Vienna without encountering safety threats, even at night.
However, although harmless for visitors, no city is entirely danger-free, and women are often the most vulnerable to harassment and petty crimes. Therefore, take normal precautions when traveling and avoid any reckless behavior that might jeopardize your safety, like overindulging in alcohol, walking in dark areas at night, or sharing your private information with strangers.
Safest neighborhoods in Vienna
Often, the larger the population, the higher the crime rates. But that’s not the case in Vienna. According to Numbeo, it only has a crime index of 26.70 and a safety index of 73.30, which is impressive for a major city. It means most Vienna neighborhoods are relatively safe. But if you don’t know where to start, here’s a list of the best places to stay in the city and a few areas you can remove from your itinerary.
Währing is the 18th district, known for its elegant charm, highlighted by the majestic mansions and buildings lining the streets. The neighborhood also has many attractions, perfect for people of all ages. You won’t even run out of shopping and dining options to check out. Plus, it’s unanimously agreed to be very peaceful and safe.
Another neighborhood in Vienna with minimal safety risks is Landstraße, or District 3. It’s mainly residential, so it isn’t as crowded as other areas, contributing to the neighborhood's low crime rates. However, the downside is that there aren’t many shops and restaurants to choose from.
One of the most famous Vienna neighborhoods is Innere Stadt, or District 1. It’s renowned for its historic architecture, from Gothic and Baroque to century modernist styles. Besides being a tourist destination, it’s also an ideal spot for short- and long-term stays due to its family-friendly facilities and low crime rates. It gets quiet at night, but it’s still generally safe to be in the streets at such hours.
Most neighborhoods in Vienna are safe, so there are not many you should look out for. However, some areas can be a little risky to wander alone at night, such as Prater and Josefstadt. You may also want to be extra careful if you’re at Simmering or District 11, although it’s recommended not to visit or even pass by this location if possible.
Is Vienna public transportation safe?
Vienna’s good point isn’t only its low crime rates but also its efficient public transport system. It’s safe and rarely overcrowded. It’s also cheap, fast, efficient, and well-maintained. The four ways to get around the city by public transportation are the subway, local train, tram, and bus. By 4:00 PM, all the lights are already on, so most areas are well-lit, even at night. Rest assured; you’re safe in the early mornings and late evenings.
If you’re traveling to a destination from your accommodation and there’s no station nearby, go by taxi. Transportation risk in Vienna is low, but taxi scams are inevitable. Asking your hotel for a cab instead of hailing one on the street is recommended to avoid getting on unlicensed ones.
You can also rent a car for maximum freedom and flexibility. You must be at least 18 years old and have held your license for a year. Austria recognizes an international driving permit, though they aren’t required.
Important emergency numbers in Vienna
You never know when you’ll be in an emergency situation, but it’s something you should prepare for before heading off on your next adventure. When visiting Vienna, always carry the phone numbers for emergency services, such as police, ambulance, or other local authorities. Also, identify the nearest embassy and store their contact information on your phone.
- Austria country code: +43
- Vienna area code: 01
- European emergency number: 112
- Police: 133
- Mountain rescue: 140
- Emergency doctor: 141
- Crisis hotline: 142
- Ambulance service: 144
- Emergency services for children and young people: 147
Staying safe in Austria’s capital
Vienna, the largest city and capital of Austria, is filled with character, beauty, and charm. It has plenty of opportunities for entertainment, culture, and adventure, so it’s easy to see why it continues to lure millions of international travelers. It’s also easy to stay safe in the city, with its already reliable security systems and low crime rates.
To get more comfortable navigating this huge city, get helpful tips on How to Get Around Vienna. You might also find our guide on Where to Stay in Vienna: The Ultimate Guide useful if you’re still unsure where to go.