Officially known as the Republic of San Marino, this country is one of the smallest countries in Europe – right after the Holy See City and Monaco. People here also claim that San Marino is the oldest republic in the world.
By tradition, it is said that San Marino was founded in 301, by a Christian stonemason going by the name Marinus. Given the fact that the country is surrounded entirely by Italy, its social and political trends, as well as foreign policy are closely aligned with those of its neighbor.
While in San Marino, you’ll find yourself 657m above sea level and able to see the Adriatic coast and spectacular countryside made up of towns literally dotted around the mountainsides.
The capital, named San Marino, can be found on a mountain top, surrounded by a wall and three different towers that overlook the surroundings. Clearly, a view every traveler should want to see at least once in their lifetime.
As always, you must know exactly what to expect from a country before visiting it. In short, we refer to the risks you expose to while in San Marino – or, how safe is San Marino for tourists?
Thus, in the following paragraphs of our San Marino safety guide, we’ll make sure to cover every risk this country comes with. So, without any further ado, let’s see what you’ll possibly encounter in San Marino.
Highest Risks You Expose Yourself to When Visiting San Marino
Overall Risks in San Marino: LOW
San Marino is one of the safest countries you could ever visit. The crime rate is so low here that you could even walk alone during the night without fearing that something would happen to you.
Let’s look at a couple of statistics so that you get an overall idea of the risks that may threaten your safety – if any.
Usually, over the course of a year, San Marino comes with zero reports of murder and rape. Since 2000, the only year that has seen a reported homicide was 2003. When it comes to assault and violent crime, there are usually around 8, respectively 14 reports in a year.
Naturally, burglary and theft come with a higher number of reports. As in every other country, petty theft does exist here as well and is the only thing you should be worried about. There are usually around 126 cases of theft and 127 cases of burglary in a year in San Marino.
If we are to look at the big picture and see how safe is San Marino for tourists, we inform you that there are around 269 crime-related cases in a single year, with around 2007 cases per 100,000 population.
Pickpocketing and Theft Risks in San Marino: LOW to MEDIUM
As mentioned before, petty theft and street crime do exist in San Marino. Even though it is deemed to be extremely rare, such scenarios can happen and, thus, it is better for you to be prepared and take the necessary precaution measures.
Still, keep in mind that the country is quite safe and that you don’t usually have to go the extra mile to protect yourself from pickpockets and thieves. Only some basic safety measures are required.
- How to avoid pickpocketing and theft in San Marino?
The two things you should keep your eyes on while in San Marino are your money and your passport. Petty thieves usually target your wallet, so it is recommended that you keep your ID, passport, and other personal documentation in another place.
If you travel with a bag or backpack, you should keep them either in front or sideways of you so that the thieves have a much harder time snatching them. Other than that, be careful when using public transportation or when you are in crowded areas.
Scam Risk in San Marino: LOW to MEDIUM
Even though there are little to no reports of scams taking place in San Marino, keep in mind that the country has open borders with Italy. Therefore, you might expect some scams that are common in Italy to be practiced here as well.
Still, the risks of you being scammed in a serious manner, so to say, are low. Reportedly, the most common scams in San Marino are online and phone call scams. So, basic safety measures in terms of preventing scams are required.
- How to avoid getting scammed in San Marino?
First of all, in order to avoid getting scammed while in San Marino, our San Marino safety guide recommends you avoid answering calls from unknown numbers or traveling to this country just to meet someone you’ve talked with over the internet.
Other than that, keep an eye on merchants and such, as they might try to scam you through the local currency – you should get familiar with the latter and double-check any change you receive.
You should also stay away from beggars or random people that try to offer/ sell you something.
Kidnapping Risk in San Marino: LOW to MEDIUM
As expected, San Marino comes with little to no reports of kidnappings. However, there was an incident, back in 2016, where an elementary student was kidnapped from a bench, in Buena Park. The boy later broke free and was unharmed.
Looking into more reports, it seems that children are most likely to get kidnapped, especially if they are unattended. Naturally, adults have not been the target of such incidents.
- How to avoid getting kidnapped in San Marino?
In order to avoid getting kidnapped while in San Marino, our San Marino safety travel tips recommend you stay away from remote areas, shady or poorly lit alleys, and the outskirts of major cities.
Even though traveling during the night is generally safe, you should not be alone, especially if you are not in any major city. Still, you can rest assured – it is very unlikely that someone will try to kidnap you while in San Marino.
Terrorism Risk in San Marino: LOW
There have been no terrorist attacks/incidents in San Marino recently. As a matter of fact, there have not been any attempts or cases of such attacks for a very long time in San Marino.
Therefore, terrorism should not be on your things to worry about a list while you visit San Marino. Obviously, this does not mean that you should not know how to protect yourself.
- How to avoid terrorism in San Marino?
If you want to be sure that you are avoiding terrorism entirely while in San Marino, we recommend you keep an eye out on your surroundings while in crowded areas, such as shopping malls, markets, and such.
Other than that, be careful when visiting places of prayer and official buildings, as they are usually targeted by terrorists. Still, don’t let this safety aspect worry you too much, as there are little to no chances that San Marino would be targeted by a terrorist group.
Risks for Women Traveling Alone in San Marino: LOW
There are no reports of harassment, violence, or sexual violence towards women. If you want a country that you can freely explore and discover, then San Marino might be the best choice.
Given the country’s size, you can expect people here to be welcoming and respectful, especially towards women traveling alone. So, if you’re asking yourself if is San Marino safe for solo women travelers, then you shouldn’t think too much for an answer – the country is overall safe, as long as you know which places to avoid and how to properly protect yourself.
- How to avoid crime as a solo woman traveler in San Marino?
As mentioned, even there are little to no risks of something happening to you as a solo woman traveler, you should still approach a couple of basic safety measures to keep you out of trouble.
In this respect, you should avoid walking alone during the night. Also, approach a decent dress code and try not to display any valuables or large sums of money. While in a bar or nightclub, stick to your own drinks and avoid accepting any from strangers.
Rape Risk in San Marino: LOW
As seen from the statistics mentioned earlier, there are usually zero reported cases of rape per year in San Marino. The society here is highly educated and, even though the country is not a part of the European Union, crimes against humanity or the breaking of human rights are things that do not happen here.
Whether you are traveling solo or plan to have more than just a couple of drinks in a bar, the only things that could ever happen to you would be to get pickpocketed or robbed.
- How to avoid getting raped in San Marino?
As usual, even the risks are low, we still have some San Marino safety travel tips to help you avoid/ prevent such scenarios. So, a decent dress code is welcomed – avoid anything provocative or such, as you don’t want to draw any unwanted attention.
Obviously, you should also stay away from remote areas, as well as from shady alleys or the city outskirts. Stay within the areas that are meant for tourists and away from those that scream, so to say, danger.
Risks for People Traveling with Children in San Marino: LOW to MEDIUM
So, is San Marino safe to visit for people traveling with children? Well, as you have seen so far, the country is very safe for tourists. However, keep in mind that there have been some children kidnapping cases, especially around elementary schools and parks.
Here’s exactly what you should do to keep your children safe while in San Marino.
- How to avoid unwanted scenarios?
First of all, you should not leave your children unattended. Have someone keep an eye on them at all times. Don’t let them play alone in parks or such, even if the environment seems safe and friendly enough.
In short, make sure that they can be seen at all times by you or by someone traveling with you. Also, instruct them properly before the trip, by telling them that they should not get away from you no matter what.
Natural Disaster Risks in San Marino: LOW
When it comes to natural hazards, San Marino sees only occasional earthquakes. Other than that, there are no serious risks that you should be worried about – no heavy rains, extreme temperatures, and so on.
However, we still recommend you check the local news and weather reports before leaving your accommodation and prepare properly for any type of natural event.
Transportation Risks in San Marino: LOW
If you plan on driving while in San Marino, remember that driving here is made on the right side of the road. Traveling on a motorcycle requires you to carry a red warning triangle with you – in case of an accident, you have to place the triangle behind your vehicle.
Entering with a vehicle in San Marino requires you to have car insurance that’s valid for more than three months. Talking on the phone or smoking while driving is illegal in this country.
In terms of drunk driving, the limit is 0.05% - 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood.
In built-up areas, you have to respect the speed limit of 50km per hour, on dual carriageways that of 110km per hour, and on motorways that of 130km per hour.
Night-Clubs, Pubs, and Bar Risks in San Marino: MEDIUM
Given what we have mentioned so far, it is safe to say that you can enjoy a couple of drinks and throw some parties while in San Marino. Obviously, you should do your best to refuse any drinks from strangers.
Alcohol here – and usually abroad overall – can be much stronger than in the US or the UK. In this respect, we advise you to drink responsibly.
Also, if you plan a wild night, make sure you have all the means of getting back to your accommodation without disrupting the public peace and order, so to say – there are strict rules when it comes to public drunkenness. Moreover, there is a zero-tolerance policy towards the people that possess – or use – illegal drugs.
Therefore, in order to keep yourself safe while in a nightclub, pub, or bad, our San Marino safety guide recommends you only buy your own drinks and drink responsibly.
Health Risks in San Marino
There are no diseases, epidemics, or viruses that you should be worried about when entering San Marino. The medical care and facilities here are comparable to those in the US or the UK – both in quality and price.
If you have to bring prescription medicine with you, we recommend you check beforehand whether you can bring them into San Marino without any issues or not, or if you need to have the prescription that they are based on with you as well.
Naturally, make sure to travel with proper travel health insurance and with enough funds to cover the costs of any medicine or treatment that you might have to take. The emergency number of San Marino is 118.
List of Vaccines You Need in San Marino
Here is a list of the vaccines that you need to take before entering San Marino. It is also recommended that you visit your doctor or check the San Marino-specific health advice at least 8 weeks before your trip – for this, you can visit the TravelHealthPro website.
- Routine Vaccines
- Hepatitis A and B
Most Dangerous Areas in San Marino
As you may have figured, there are no dangerous places in San Marino. You might want to stay away from certain remote areas or from those that look dangerous but, overall, there are no places that you should avoid on purpose.
Just visit the country, follow the San Marino safety travel tips we have mentioned so far, and enjoy your trip!
Concluding Remarks: Is San Marino Safe to Visit?
So, is San Marino safe to visit? Clearly – yes! Even though it is such a safe country, it is still not that popular among tourists – for example, roughly 6000 British nationals visit it in a year.
And, to be honest, it’s quite a shame, given the fact that the crime levels are so low, and that San Marino is one of the beautiful countries that Europe has to offer to the rest of the world.
If you want to have a great time, explore new cities and see new, spectacular things, then you should give San Marino a visit – after all, it is one of Europe’s safest countries!