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Is San Marino Safe to Visit in 2023? | Safety Concerns

Is San Marino Safe to Visit in 2023? | Safety Concerns

Did you know that there are six different locations across the globe named San Marino? The San Marino you’ll read about here is the breathtaking, tiny patch of land surrounded by Italy, which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every month.

San Marino is a landlocked country, measuring a meager 24 Square Miles on the edge of Mount Titano. This spectacular country is said to be the oldest republic globally, founded in 301 by Marinus, a Christian mason.

San Marino may be an independent country, but the language, laws, foreign policies, and social and political ideologies are similar to those of neighboring Italy. Is San Marino safe to visit? Read on to find out.

Is San Marino Safe to Visit?

For a piece titled Is San Marino Safe to Visit, a bunch of tourists shop in an open-air market

SAN – MARINO, ITALY – JUNE 22, 2014: Beautiful little streets of San – Marino waiting for tourists/Zhukov Oleg/Shutterstock

Yes. San Marino is extremely safe to visit. The country’s small size conveniently works for the policing authorities charged with maintaining law and order. The cops are always within reach and can get to the crime scenes fast.

While crime cases are very few in San Marino, a few pesky people are always present, skimming and looking for people to rob. They attack unsuspecting tourists because they make easy targets.

Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods in San Marino

Other than private residences, no part of San Marino has restricted access. Therefore, while your general security status is assured, it helps to remain vigilant to avoid ending up in situations that increase your risk of becoming a victim of crime.

Dangerous Neighborhoods in San Marino

San Marino is a big town divided into public and private spaces. This country shares open borders with Italy. Access to San Marino is, therefore, as easy as crossing a bridge, provided you have the right documentation.

Areas that could pose a security challenge include:

  • Tourist Hotspots. Tourist attractions are always crowded with people coming in and out. These areas have a few beggars and homeless people, some of whom are innocent, but pickpockets and muggers hide among them.
  • Parks. Most kidnapping incidents happen in and around parks where unattended children can easily get lost, and hiding among people is easy.
  • The outskirts of San Marino. Most spaces inside San Marino enjoy adequate security. The areas near the borders and outskirts of San Marino aren’t as heavily guarded, creating a loophole that unscrupulous people waste no time exploring.

Be extra careful in the areas mentioned above by watching your belongings and staying aware of your surroundings. Avoid putting on earphones, driving with loud music on, and other distractions.

Safe Places to Visit in San Marino

Open streets sloped steeply with people walking around each in San Marino

San Marino – Jul 2020: UNESCO World Heritage, located on the highest of Monte Titano’s summits, symbol of freedom and independence. Downtown and defensive wall/Arkanto/Shutterstock

All the neighborhoods in San Marino are safe. What you want to look out for as a visitor is suspicious-looking people near you, especially when visiting major attractions and tourist stops.

A few of these locations include:

Restaurants, shopping malls, churches, hotels, and major tourist attractions enjoy better security than other areas in the country. However, you should always stay alert.

Warnings & Dangers in San Marino

Life-threatening attacks on tourists in San Marino may be rare, but the same cannot be said about petty crimes. Pickpocketing, scams, and theft are a few issues plaguing San Marino.

Generally, San Marino is safe for tourists, but it takes basic vigilance and self-awareness to protect yourself from becoming a crime victim. Below is a closer look at some of the risks you should be aware of on your visit to San Marino.

Transport and Taxis Risk: Low

Many visitors who arrive in San Marino prefer to drive themselves around. The country is quite easy to navigate because of its simple structure and small size.

Thanks to a streamlined transportation system, there’s little to no chance that you may get into an altercation with a taxi driver. Also, available parking spaces in open areas pose a challenge to people who want to hide while breaking in or stealing a car.

You pose a risk to yourself if you fail to abide by the traffic rules. You could be arrested for breaking the law if you drive on the wrong side of the road.

You must have valid car insurance upon entering San Marino with a vehicle. Other traffic offenses that could land you in trouble include smoking and talking on the phone while driving.

Kidnapping Risk in San Marino: Low to Medium

If you are traveling with children, avoid leaving them alone even for a moment. The extremely low number of reported child kidnapping in San Marino may not be alarming. However, a few reports of kidnapping attempts are made every year, causing concern among tourists with kids.

Therefore, it’s recommended that parents and guardians keep a close eye on their little ones in parks, on the streets, and in other public areas where predators could be lurking. There are no reported incidents of kidnapping attempts on adults.

Terrorism Risk in San Marino: Low

San Marino has never faced terrorism issues. The country is strict about who gains entry, whether for business or holiday. The authorities maintain updated criminal records and keep close contact with people who pose a security risk to people in San Marino.

However, note that terrorist groups relentlessly search for new targets to infiltrate and promote their ideologies.

San Marino has no history of terrorism, but it’s always prudent to stay prepared when visiting. Stay super alert when visiting shopping malls, markets, restaurants, parks, and other crowded areas that terrorists may target.

Natural Disasters Risk: Low

Weather reports indicate that San Marino does experience mild earthquakes regularly. The country’s proximity to the ocean could leave you concerned about your well-being during your time here.

Feel confident that you are safe from extreme temperatures, storms, and other natural calamities in San Marino.

It’s always a good idea to watch the local news before leaving your hotel room or accommodation to get weather updates. This way, you can plan better and prepare well for weather changes.

Women Travelers Risk: Low

Harassment, sexual attacks, and violence against women in San Marino are almost nil. Feel free to roam and discover San Marino as a lone female traveler without fear of attack.

San Marino is an advanced country with strict rules that protect women from different forms of prejudice. Men in San Marino are incredibly welcoming, respectful, and considerate of women.

Expect them to give way, help you with your luggage, and open doors for you without worrying about your safety. That said, avoid walking alone at night, straying into dark-lit alleys, or dressing inappropriately in public.

It’s important to take charge of your well-being despite the low probability of crimes against women in the country.

Scam Risk in San Marino: Low to Medium

Considering how close this country is to Italy and the number of wealthy tourists that visit both countries, it’s easy to see why scammers pitch tents here. Therefore, there’s a need for you to stay alert and avoid falling prey to scammers.

San Marino is a modern location where some dream up different scams to cheat unsuspecting people out of their hard-earned money and possessions. The most common scams include online scams, phone call scams, and buying counterfeit souvenirs.

Taking basic safety measures and asking the right questions could save you from falling victim. Avoid sharing your personal information online, especially when shopping or transacting.

Avoid indulging unknown people on the phone and only shop for jewelry and other souvenirs from gift shops. Be thorough about purchasing anything from strangers on the streets or beachside.

Safety Tips for Traveling to San Marino

Panoramic view of San Marino with a gondola taking tourists to the top of the mountain for a piece on whether San Marino Italy is safe to visit

npp_studio/Shutterstock

It’s easy to assume you are safe and forget about looking after yourself because of how peaceful and enchanting San Marino is. However, it’s advisable never to assume absolute safety because you never know who’s standing next to you.

Below are useful safety tips you should consider:

  • The roads in San Marino are quite narrow. To avoid getting into an accident, rent a small car that can maneuver small parking spots and sharp corners.
  • Keep a note with important contacts in your pocket. Save the same numbers on your phone. In case you get lost or need assistance, you have a few people you can contact quickly and ask for assistance.
  • Check your change twice. Cases of being scammed with a fake or wrong currency are common. If you purchase something on the streets, check to see if you have the correct change and if the currency is right. Euro is the right currency used in this country.
  • The official language in San Marino is Italian. Learn basic Italian phrases to be able to communicate and possibly get yourself out of risky situations.
  • You will get arrested and charged for possession of prohibited items. They include explosives, narcotic drugs, protected animals and plant species, and arms and weapons.

Things to Consider When Visiting San Marino

Below are some things you should consider to improve your experience when touring San Marino:

  • San Marino has a strong tipping culture applicable in restaurants, hotels, and taxis.
  • The Italian three-pin and two-pin electric plugs are what you’ll find in most hotel rooms.
  • +378 is San Marino’s international access code.
  • Buy a new phone and/or sim card to maintain communication if your other phone stops working.
  • San Marino is not in Italy. It’s an independent country.
  • The best days to explore this country are during clear days when you can almost see the whole place in one glance when standing at the highest point.
  • Carry a copy of your valid passport and obtain a permit from the Gendarmerie of San Marino if you plan to stay longer than ten days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Empty stone street in the old historical part of town in San Marino

Spirins/Shutterstock

Here are the commonly asked questions about visiting San Marino:

Is San Marino worth visiting?

San Marino is worth visiting. The grand castles, picturesque views, medieval architecture, delicious cuisine, affordable accommodation, fantastic weather, and welcoming people are a few reasons why San Marino is worth visiting.

Should I stay in San Marino?

You can stay in San Marino if you find accommodation facilities that suit your demands. It’s also convenient that Italy isn’t too far and has a wide array of accommodation spaces, especially during the high season when there’s an influx of visitors.

Do they speak English in San Marino?

Italian is the official language people use to communicate in San Marino. Hotel, taxi, and restaurant staff speak a bit of English. Older people often speak Sammarinese, which is a distinct dialect of Romagnol.

What food is San Marino famous for?

San Marino has a thriving agricultural background. The people here are excellent cheese makers and livestock farmers. Therefore, this country is best known for meat and cheese products. They also serve the best wines.

Can you drink tap water in San Marino?

San Marino has clean tap water that’s safe to drink.

So, Is San Marino Safe to Visit?

San Marino is safe to visit. It’s one of the most popular tourist spots outside Italy, receiving over a million visitors annually. Given its alluring nature, the country attracts attention from a few people out to take advantage of others.

The crime levels here are low, but it’s advisable to take charge of your safety. San Marino is one of the safest areas on the northeastern side of Europe.

However, as you explore San Marino’s endless gifts, watch your surroundings and practice caution. With a relatively safe environment, ample natural beauty, and friendly locals, there’s no reason not to book your trip today!