Recently I was asked by a reader if pepper spray was something to consider taking along when traveling through Europe. In my opinion, I would say no. Though, pepper spray can hinder a person that is attempting to attack you and can be an effective tool in getting away, it is not 100% and many people can get over its effects rather quickly. I see pepper spray as more of a false security. It makes us feel safe, but in reality, if a crazy person is trying to harm you, pepper spay is not going to help you. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from harm is to simply stay out of situations that leave you vulnerable to crazy people who might want to harm you! You should not be totally scarred of every single person that approaches you, or think that every dark street is filled with murderers and rapists, but you should be AWARE. To stay safe you should follow the tips we have outlined for you in our Safety section. By doing this, you are using your best line of defence, your brain!
After reading this, if you still feel that you would feel safer by carrying pepper spray know that it is illegal to have in The United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Malta. You should be fine carrying it anywhere else in Europe.
If you choose to carry it or not, always remember that the MOST important safety tip is to be aware of your surrounding.
Best Wishes and Safe Travels,