Spotlight City: Vienna, Austria
Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, with a population of 1.8 million. As one of Austria’s one states, Vienna is the country’s cultural, economic, and political centre. Vienna is host to numerous international organizations, including offices of the United Nations and OPEC. It is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been regarded as the City of Music due to its musical legacy. Vienna is internationally heralded for its rich historical culture and artistic accomplishments. Vienna is a very safe city, with low levels of crime.
Vienna is considered a very safe city by international standards. Petty crime is the only thing travelers need to be mindful of. Pickpocketing and thievery are common things that visitors fall victim to, especially in popular tourist destinations and public spaces. Pickpocketing rates have been increasing in recent years.
The streets of Vienna are typically safe to traverse, both at night and during the day. At night, public parks should be avoided as they tend to attract the wrong crowd. Karlsplatz (underneath the Opera) gathers many drug users during the day, but they don’t care about tourists. The Prater (fair grounds/amusement park area) can be less safe at night, though it mostly just attracts petty crime. Schwedenplatz, along the Ring, can become sketchy in the evenings, but doesn’t pose too much of a risk. The Stadtpark, along the Ring, to the East, is usually deserted at night and best avoided.
Best Practices for Personal Security in Vienna
Exercise normal precautions in Vienna. In general, be aware of your surroundings in the city and always be conscious of your belongings in public. Keep valuables and bags within view. Be aware of locations and situations that could make you vulnerable to crime, such as lane ways, isolated parks and buildings, back streets and poorly lit parking lots.
When shopping, never carry an excessive amount of cash and consider keeping your money and credit/debit cards separate from your travel bag to minimize risks of robbery. Do not leave handbags or personal belongings in shopping trolleys. Do not reach for money on your person once in public.
If you see people gambling on the streets or playing games of chance, stay away. Many scams revolve around these games, which are always rigged against your favor.
What to Do in an Emergency
In the event of an emergency, dial 112 to access emergency fire, medical and police services. Contact the embassy of your country in Italy as they may be able to provide further assistance. Most will have representation in Vienna itself.
Vienna’s rich cultural history lends much charm to the city. Besides the title of City of Music, Vienna is also said to be the City of Dreams, owing to it being the home of the world’s first psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud. Today, Vienna is an international hub within Europe and draws millions each year to its beautiful architecture and fascinating landmarks. No matter what your purpose is in Vienna, you will marvel at the city’s charm.