It was, however, ranked fifth in the world for “personal safety” in a 2016 report by Mercer.
Back in 2009, the European editor of Profil magazine was quoted as saying:
There are few cities in the world in which you can walk safely in
the street after midnight. In Vienna, you can
I’ve lived here over 20 years and the only time I’ve felt personally threatened was when a rather dishevelled-looking man approached me on an empty tram and pulled what I thought was a knife from his jacket.
It wasn’t a knife, it was his ID and he was an undercover ticket inspector (for the record, I had a ticket).
Vienna’s reputation reflects the country at large: according to the 2016 Global Peace Index, Austria was ranked the third most peaceful country in the world. Police reported a 24% drop in crime rates for the city from 2004 to 2014. There was another drop of 3.6% between 2014 and 2015, though crime grew 5.2% between 2015 and 2016.
More evidence for Vienna’s safety comes indirectly from its regular high rankings in global quality of life surveys. For example, it topped the 2017 Quality of Living rankings produced by Mercer (for the eighth time in a row), and was ranked second behind Melbourne in the Global Liveability Ranking 2016 from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Vienna’s own inhabitants tend to share this positive opinion. A huge 2015 survey found 87% agreeing that Vienna was a very safe city.
Having said all that you should, of course, take the same care you would when travelling to any large city, particularly as regards parks and subway stations at night, and pickpockets in busy areas (and particularly during the Christmas markets). Crime in Vienna is low, but there is still crime.
Consult your embassy or consulate for specific advice, especially concerning any current security issues. For example, see the security and safety advice for Austria provided by the US State Department, Australian Government and the UK Government.
(Photo credit: © Hues / Fotolia)