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Wherever the destination is, the most important criterion is always the safety of the public. When we sit down with a world map and plan a holiday, the only deciding factor isn’t where we want to go or how big our budget is.
According to a study, public safety is one of the most important aspects for 46% of people, and to 63% of people with children, it is the most important aspect.
It doesn’t matter how amazing a country is with its many beauties if public safety is not guaranteed
Budapest is very popular among foreigners. As far as tourism is concerned, it is one of the most visited cities in the world.
More than 100 tourist sights in Budapest.
Its attractiveness to tourists can be attributed to the good prices, fantastic airline connection, as well as its attractive architectural, gastronomical, and cultural offers.
No matter where you travel in Hungary, be it Budapest, Szeged, Pécs or the Balaton, public safety is guaranteed.
Hungary is among the top 17 safest countries in the world
Public safety in Hungary is solid! According to the newest record from the Global Peace Index, Hungary is the 17th safest country in the world.
At the top of the list is Iceland, then New Zealand. At the bottom of the list, just like the year before, is war-torn Syria, and before it are Afghanistan, Iraq, South-Sudan, and Yemen.
Hungary’s public safety has only improved in the past 10 years. The country’s public safety index has also improved because, during the fall of 2015 when the refugee crisis broke out, the authorities protected its borders.
According to the Eurostat study made public in August, Hungary got to the top of the EU list with regard to spending a portion of its GDP on public security.
The Hungarian Government spends 2,1% of Hungary’s GDP for this purpose, and only the Bulgarian, Slovakian, Romanian, Croatian and Polish Governments spend more than this. Among the western countries, the Portugalian, Spanish and the British index reaches 2%. Luxemburg, Denmark and Ireland spend 1% of their GDP on public security.
Public safety is also judged by how much trust people have for the police. According to the Eurobarometer-study among the Hungarian citizens, 36% of them trusted officers in 2011, but since then, it has almost reached 45%. Among these, Spanish people had the highest percentage in the EU, where more than 50% of the citizens trusted the authorities at the time of the study.
Public safety in Budapest
The latest 2019 Crime Prevention Statistics stated the following about public safety in Budapest:
“The number of crimes in Hungary, including the number of serious crimes, has further declined in 2018. PRE-STAT contains data for the past ten years: back then, over 430 thousand crimes were recorded by the authorities. In 2018, this number was 185 thousand, after the number dropped by 30 thousand since 2017. There was considerable improvement in public safety as serious, so-called “High-profile” crimes reduced drastically: in 2010, it was over 240 thousand, in 2018 it had fallen below 100 thousand all over the country.”
The crimes that are considered serious are murder, theft, underage endangerment, human trafficking, stealing, crimes related to drugs, blackmailing and car theft.
185,000 crimes may seem a lot in a year, but compared to Germany, this number is above 5 million, in the Netherlands 1,6 million and in France 3,8 million.
Which district is the safest in Budapest?
According to the latest statistics, it can be said that the outskirts or the bordering districts are the safest in Budapest. Among these, 16 and 17 are the safest, followed by district 4.
Number of crimes among 1000 people in 2018
|District||Buda / Pest||Crimes within 1000 people|
* Just for comparison. This number in Berlin (Germany) is 67,64!
The most crimes happen downtown, in district 5-6-7-8, where tourists frequent most.
The number of crimes distorts the actual situation, as the higher than the average number of tourists in these areas may potentially bring more crimes in these districts.
Here we mostly talk about incidents in the party district. These include too loud music, vandalism, theft, and fighting, which often happen between pretty drunk tourists.
Budapest is completely safe
Being from Budapest, my humble opinion is that Budapest is completely safe!
District 8 has been known as the worst one for decades. There have been many drug and theft problems. Since then, the old, worn apartments have been bulldozed. New condiments have been produced. The old “ghetto” feeling has changed.
This is due to the fact that the city administration got enough of the crimes happening in district 8, and completely changed the whole neighborhood. After a few years, it is now in order. The Palotanegyed and Corvin negyed in district 8 are especially cozy and are visited by many tourists.
However, the smaller streets in district 8, inwards from the Blaha Lujza tér, the Népszínház street and surrounding streets (Bérkocsis street, Víg street, Auróra, and Fecske street) are still pretty dodgy.
Part of the Magdolna negyed in district 8 has remained as a ghetto, so to say. This area has improved a lot over the past few years. Unfortunately, the Dankó and Lujza street still has a lot left to be desired. The Orczy Square can also be avoided.
The streets listed above are only a small portion of Budapest, and there aren’t many things to be seen there anyway, so you won’t lose anything by avoiding them.
Is district 5 dangerous in Budapest?
I disagree with the statistics stating that district 5 is dangerous. The fact that it’s on top of the list is possibly due to the party quarter in it, but other than that, it is one of the most maintained district downtowns.
No matter which part of it you end up in, it’s always safe.
According to the statistics, districts 4, 16, and 17 are the safest in Budapest. But because these are far away from all the sightseeing things, so I don’t recommend them, and as I mentioned before, Budapest is absolutely safe.
For those who would like to be as close to the main attractions as possible, on Pest side districts 5, 6, and 13, and on Buda district 1 is a good choice.
Buda or Pest?
As opposed to the areas downtown, the Buda side, with a bit of exaggeration, is like being in a different country. It’s the complete opposite of Pest.
Buda or Pest? Who do I recommend each side to?
Pest is busy, Buda not so much, everyone is more relaxed and laid back. Buda is quieter, Pest’s downtown areas get loud at night. Pest lies on flat land, has more buildings, therefore, there are less greens, while Buda lies on the Budai mountains.
Due to the larger number of people, there are more crimes in Pest than in Buda.
Homeless people in Budapest
In 2018, the Hungarian Parliament passed a law which prohibits living in public spaces. They try to improve the homeless situation with social help and by building more homeless shelters.
Since then, Budapest’s image has improved greatly, there are less homeless in the underground tunnels, parks, and other places.
Pocket thieves in Budapest
According to police data, approximately 80-90 pocket thieves are “working” on public transportations and other busy places in Budapest.
In the past 5 years, the Budapest police has been all over pocket thieves and arrested many of them. Half of them were of foreign nationality. The constant attention produced the desired results, the number of thieving incidents has dropped to a third of it in the past 5 years. Foreign thieves moved to more profitable European cities.
Tips to avoid thieves:
- Avoid bigger crowds and darkness, as crowds attract thieves like magnets.
- Be careful when someone bumps into you “accidentally”, or locks arms with you charmingly.
- Don’t keep your wallet or phone in your jean’s pocket.
- Don’t leave your valuables without supervision, even for a second.
- Only carry as much cash, that you plan to spend on the day.
- Always close your bags and keep them next to you or in front of you.
- Never write your PIN code on your bank card holder.
If the trouble is done:
If you catch the thief, loudly ask for help immediately. Don’t let the thief run away, if possible, keep him there and call the police (call 112). The louder you are, the more attention you will gain. The thief doesn’t want to be recognized, so people can describe how he looks, so he will try to run.
If you realize what happened too late, immediately reconstruct the events leading up to it and report it to the authorities.
What’s the story with other cities in Hungary?
Other Hungarian cities also have good public safety. From the table below, you will see that only Győr beats Budapest in the number of crimes. Debrecen, Szeged, Sopron, and Veszprém all have good public safety.
Number of crimes in cities with over 50,000 people in 2018
|City||Crimes within 1000 people|
If you like to travel, but don’t want to spend too much and want to feel safe, then travel to Hungary.
Get to know a thousand sides of Hungary, where the history goes back a thousand years, and let the attractions, unique views and exciting tastes take you over.