Canada issues travel advisories to popular European vacation spots


Published April 14, 2024 at 10:35 am

Canadian travel advisories to European countries, united kingdom, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Spain

If you plan to travel internationally or take a European vacation this spring, it might be a good idea to review the most recent travel advisories issued by the Canadian government.


Risks: Threat of terrorism.

Reasons: Several European countries have been under terrorist attacks and Germany could potentially be a target.

Pickpocketing is another common crime that occurs in major cities, transportation hubs, and tourist spots. Organized groups use distraction tactics in crowded areas and during events like Christmas markets.

Stolen passports are on the rise, notably on trains during peak holiday seasons. Individuals are advised to keep their belongings including passports secure at all times.

United Kingdom

Risks: Threat of terrorism.

Reasons: Random violent incidents in public areas such as knife, vehicle attacks and explosions have resulted in casualties.

Terrorist threats persist across the UK, especially in London, with potential targets including government buildings, places of worship, and transportation hubs.

Public spaces like tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels are also at risk.

Individuals should exercise caution, especially during events like sporting matches, religious holidays, and political gatherings.

The UK government issues terrorism alerts online and through local media.

Additionally, petty crimes like pickpocketing and cellphone theft are common in London’s tourist spots and transportation hubs. Thieves operate alone or in groups often targeting crowded areas.


Risks: Elevated threat of terrorism.

Reasons: In France there have been numerous opportunistic and planned attacks in recent years, causing significant casualties.

On March 24, 2024, following a terrorist attack in Moscow claimed by the Islamic State, the French Prime Minister elevated the country’s security threat level to “urgence attentat” or “attack emergency,” the highest level under France’s Vigipirate plan, which aims to protect the people and public places.

The “Operation Sentinelle” allows for the deployment of military brigades in public spaces to patrol and prevent terrorist acts. Heightened security measures are in place across various strategic locations, including:

  • Transport hubs
  • Public areas
  • Tourist locations, particularly in Paris

Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere. Potential targets include:

  • Government buildings and local authorities’ facilities
  • Schools and universities
  • Places of worship
  • Cultural venues like exhibition galleries, museums, concert halls, and theatres.
  • Airports, railway stations, and other transportation hubs
  • Public areas such as tourist attractions, monuments, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centers, markets, hotels, and other sites which foreigners frequently visit.


Risks: Threat of terrorism and potential water restrictions in Catalonia.

Reasons: Spain has experienced terrorist attacks with further threats possible. Potential targets include government buildings, schools, airports, public areas, and tourist sites. Vigilance is crucial, especially in crowded places frequented by foreigners.

On Feb. 1 (2024), the Catalonia government declared a state of emergency and placed water restrictions across 229 municipalities, including Barcelona, in response to drought conditions. The measures impose daily usage limits and prohibit certain high-use activities.

Additionally, petty crime such as passport thefts, pickpocketing and purse snatching, poses a prevalent threat in urban areas during holidays and weekends.

Travellers are advised to keep their belongings, including their passport and other travel documents, secure at all times. It might be a good idea to carry photocopies or digital copies of your passport’s identification page, driver’s license, train or airline tickets, and credit cards.

Thieves often use various tactics such as distraction techniques or impersonating law enforcement officers to target unsuspecting individuals.


Risks: Threat of terrorism.

Reasons: Individuals have carried out terrorist attacks in several European cities. Attacks in the Netherlands are possible.

Visitors should be careful when travelling as government buildings, airports, transportation hubs, and other public areas frequented by foreigners could fall victim to a terrorist attack.

The Dutch government issues terrorism alerts online and through local media with the current threat level at 4 out of 5.

Petty crime, like pickpocketing and bag snatching, is also common in major cities, especially among tourists. In Amsterdam, thieves target restaurants, coffee shops, and tourist attractions like the De Wallen District and Central Station.

Public transportation, particularly tram routes 1, 2, and 5 between Central Station and the museum district, is also vulnerable to these crimes.


Risks: Threat of terrorism.

Reasons: In Belgium, there have been deadly attacks with more possible. Further attacks are also likely across Europe.

In Feb. 2024, Brussels saw a rise in drug-related violence including multiple shootings and stabbings. Specific incidents were reported in the Marolles neighbourhood of the Brussels commune, as well as near key locations in Saint-Gilles including Port-de-Hal, Gare du Midi, and Place Jacques Franck.

Pickpocketing is also a prevalent issue. Criminals target passengers at transportation hubs like the Metro, train stations, and airports.

Petty crimes are common on trains between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Brussels-London routes, as well as at stations like Gare de Bruxelles-Nord, Gare de Bruxelles-Centrale, and Gare de Bruxelles-Midi.


Risks: Threat of terrorism.

Reasons: Since early 2023, there’s been a rise in Quran desecrations in Stockholm. On Aug. 17 the Swedish Security Service raised the national terrorist threat level from 3 to 4, indicating a high threat. This decision reflects an assessment of increased danger from violent extremists with ongoing heightened concerns.

Gang and organized crime-related violence occurs mainly in Sweden’s three largest cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö.

Stockholm County has seen an increase in gun violence and homicides linked to gang rivalries.  Some incidents suggest retaliatory killings.  In other circumstances, criminals have used bombs, hand grenades or improvised explosive devices.


Risks: The Danish Security and Intelligence Service rates the risk of a terrorist attack at level 4 (significant) on a 5-step scale. Gang-related crime is also problematic.

Reason: There have been instances of public desecration of the Qur’an since August (2023), leading to threats from violent extremists.

Those travelling to Denmark are asked to follow these tips to stay safe during their trip:

  1. Stay vigilant in public areas, especially during events and demonstrations.
  2. Anticipate heightened security and more police at borders and public spaces.
  3. Keep an eye on local media for updates.
  4. Follow the guidance of local authorities.

Copenhagen may experience instances of gang-related violence, especially in neighbourhoods such as Christiania, Norrebro, Husum, Bronshoj, Bispebjerg, and Amager Island. Visitors are urged to remain vigilant and exercise caution when in these areas.


Risks: Travellers are cautioned due to the impacts of the armed conflict in Ukraine.

Reason: Consular support is limited and travellers will experience delays and shortages of essential services.

Travel to Transnistria in northeast Moldova is strongly discouraged due to safety risks.

Individuals currently in Transnistria are advised to leave immediately, as consular support is very limited.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Moldova has experienced an influx of displaced persons and declared a state of emergency, leading to significant border delays and strains on transportation and essential services.

If in Moldova, prepare for heavy traffic and possible travel delays, verify travel plans with carriers for any disruptions, follow advice from local authorities, and stay updated through reliable news outlets.


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