That doesn't mean crime is non existent. Like many European countries, it is rife with petty misdemeanours like pickpocketing and purse snatching. A smart traveler will never drop their guard, even in places that seem pleasantly secure.
Here's how to avoid any trouble in Slovakia.
Pickpockets operate in crowded tourist areas, and they do go after the most obvious foreigners. Be especially wary in Bratislava's Old Town, the popular Christmas markets, and on public buses, trams, or trains.
Like in other places in Europe, thieves often work in teams. One will distract the victim while the other snatches the goods and hands it off to a swift accomplice. Likewise, a group of children might divert your attention by begging or with cute antics, while another fishes your pockets. This happens in a matter of seconds.
Campsites can also be places of theft. The Zlaty Piesky area has been known to house a robber or two. Err on caution when leaving valuables in your tent.
As you would with any flight, always put your valuables in your carry on luggage.
Going out for a night on the town carries its own safety issues. There have been a few reports of visitors getting spiked drinks from locals. They woke up several hours later with their pockets emptied. Don't be paranoid, but exercise sober judgment when accepting drinks from people you don't know. Better yet, go with your new friend to the bar and watch the drinks being made.
Slovakian bouncers are notorious for being big and rough. They don't waste time with courtesies and will settle boisterous behaviour with a heavy hand. Some of them carry firearms. The bar is not a place to assert yourself. Bouncers don't care about your dignity. If you get into a bind with one, calm down, lower your head, and walk away. By no means argue or show any kind of defiance.
There are some dodgy taxi drivers that might try to rip you off by adding an imaginary surcharge to the metered value, what might be described as a dumb tourist tax. Others might not run the meter at all and dream up an exorbitant fare at the end of the journey. Don't fall for either. Insist on them using the meter and only pay the fare shown on it. Ask the driver what the expected fare would be – of course depending on traffic.
Car break-ins can also be a nuisance, and thieves might smash your windows whether or not valuables are in plan view. Better to take everything you don't want to lose with you, or hide any belongings so they aren't in plain sight.
If you're driving a car with foreign licence plate, you might be a target of theft. There have been a few cases where someone was fixing a flat tyre and robbers helped themselves while the driver was busy. Lock the car before sorting out any such problem.
Unfortunately, racial harmony does not prevail in this part of Europe, and there is an ongoing issue with discrimination against Roma people. Roma children are segregated in school, and do not receive the same level of education as other Slovakian children. While this may not affect most travelers, it's important to be aware of social issues in the country.
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