Vienna is relatively – even remarkably – safe for a city approaching 2 million inhabitants.
This reputation reflects the country at large:
- The 2018 Global Peace Index ranks Austria as the third most peaceful country in the world
- Vienna was ranked sixth in the world for “personal safety” in a 2019 report by Mercer (see below)
- And in 2017, crime in Vienna dropped 7.4% to a ten-year low.
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).
More evidence for Vienna’s safety comes indirectly from its regular high rankings in global quality of life surveys. For example, it topped the 2019 Quality of Living rankings produced by Mercer (for the tenth time in a row).
This report included a separate ranking for personal safety, which placed Vienna sixth in the world, one place below Zurich.
For the 10th year in a row, #Vienna takes the top spot for Europe and globally in @Mercer‘s Quality of Living ranking. See what makes this city a desirable place to live and work. https://t.co/cyLCkzfQ7d #FutureOfWork #SmartCities #health pic.twitter.com/9Y3X7YBCts— Mercer (@mercer) March 13, 2019
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 (particularly during the Christmas markets) and on packed trams and trains. 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.