Bear watching around Europe

The brown bear is the biggest predator in Europe. Find out in which countries there you have the highest chance of spotting it on a bear-watching experience.
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Blog Published May 27, 2020
Edited May 3, 2024

From brown bears to grizzlies and polar bears, almost all continents are populated with this majestic large wild animal. They live in forests, mountains or arctic white deserts. If you admire these omnivorous mammals and would like to observe them in their natural habitat, don’t go to the wild by yourself and put yourself in danger. In many bear populated countries, you can enjoy organized bear watching in a safe environment under the guidance of a bear expert. 

You can see bears from a certain distance in lots of European countries such as Romania, Spain, Slovenia, Greece, Finland and Norway. In the United States, you can admire brown bears in Alaska and grizzlies in Yellowstone national park and in Canada. In the Arctic Circle, you can as well observe white polar bears. Wherever you wander, wherever you roam, the bear watching world will exhilarate and delight. In this blog, we would like to show you some bear populated European countries where you can join the guided bear watching. 

In Europe, the best bear habitats are wide forests on steep-sloped, rocky territory where humans hardly ever step in. The densest populations of bears in Europe are found in the Dinaric Mountains and the Carpathians. Some bear heards can be found and seen also in the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Apennines. If observing polar bears in their natural habitat is at the top of your bucket list, you can now take a voyage to numerous locations around the world. Below you can find some of the most bear populated locations in Europe. 

Brown bear in woods with her cub and some trees


Finland is home to approximately 2,000 bears and most of them can be found in the Taiga forests close to the Russian border. If you decide to take bear watching in the Santa Claus homeland, you will be guided by a local expert who will explain all about their wild bear species. These trips usually involve an overnight stay in a safe, warm and hidden bear watching hut. 


According to current data, we can find approximately 1,000 brown bears living in Slovenia. To learn about the biodiversity of southern Slovenia and experience a real meeting with this wild animal, the bear watching is one of the must-do things. In the wild, bears will very rarely approach humans. As soon as they smell you, they quickly go in the other direction, so this is why the observance hut is smell-isolated, allowing bears to come into close viewing range in total safety for both parties. 


Did you know that 50% of western and southern Europe’s brown bears live in northern Greece? The bear population is concentrated mostly in the wild Pindos mountains where you can discover these wild beasts with a guide.  


Traditionally Romania is a well-known hunting country. Due to this fact, 5,500 Romanian bears were in danger of wild hunting tourism until conservation. Now bear watching is conquering over the cruelty of trophy hunters and you can enjoy them in their natural habitat during your holiday. You can also see bears in a special sanctuary for rescued bears in the Carpathian Mountains.


The Spanish Pyrenees and the Mountains of Cantabria in northwest Spain are rich with a bear population in that part of Europe. There lives the Cantabrian brown bear which, due to hunting and habitat destruction is close to extinction. You can catch a glimpse of those beautiful furry creatures with an expert wildlife guide and enjoy the live spectacle of the last members of this species. Since they are not the only inhabitants there, you will certainly also enjoy other wild animals such as   Iberian wolves, golden eagles, wild boar and red squirrels.


The Svalbard is an archipelago under the Norwegian flag and the starting point to the Arctic world, especially for cruises. In the Svalbard, a home to 3,000 polar bears, you can join the organized frozen safari on the ship. The best part about a polar bear cruise is that the trip takes place during the time of the year with 24-hour daylight, meaning that wildlife can be seen at any time of the day or night.

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