We’ve all had the desire to get out into the world. To take a trip that’s free from the itineraries, plans or desires of others. However, finding places to travel can be an intimidating feat. Usually what holds people back is safety. It can be scary to imagine yourself in a foreign land and even more so imagining yourself there alone.
Wouldn’t it be great to just enjoy the travel experience? To leave your worries behind in exchange for adventure and exploration? The key here lies in choosing a place where you don’t have to fear for your life (or your wallet).
With statistics drawn from the “Safe Cities Index 2015” from by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the 2016 Global Peace Index, we’ve compiled this list of the safest places for your next trip.
1. Auckland, New Zealand
In 2016 New Zealand was rated the #1 most peaceful country within the Asia-Pacific region and #4 most peaceful country in the world.
As one of the least corrupt countries in the world coupled with largely open-minded communities and a trustworthy police force, the danger here is minimal. You can take a short ferry ride to a nearby island and visit one of the region’s youngest volcano’s, but don’t worry, the most recent eruption was more than 550 years ago.
If you happen to be looking for a real thrill, you can head to Auckland and sky jump off it highest building–the Metropolis. This popular activity is completely safe but still allows for a relatively responsible adrenaline rush.
2. Sydney, Australia
It might seem funny that a city originally created as an exile for convicts landed at the No. 6 safest city in the world in 2015. Sydney’s image has transformed greatly as the city now presents itself in a loud, unapologetic and dazzling manner. Stroll the Sydney Harbour to admire the famous Sydney Opera House and impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge. Even your sun-kissed fantasies are safe on places like Bondi beach, where bronzed bodies stretch out by serene turquoise waves.
3. Osaka, Japan
Though Tokyo was ranked the #1 overall safest city in 2015, Osaka followed right behind at #3. Japan is incredibly safe to live in and equally safe to visit, as evidenced by women who often travel home on the subway alone at night. The real sense of security is visible everywhere, as locals frequently leave belongings unattended in cafes without a second worry that their items may be at risk. If you still need more convincing, visit Sumiyoshi-taisha, one of Japan’s oldest shrines. These three gods are known as the Deities of Borders, and are believed to protect – you guessed it – travelers!
4. Barcelona, Spain
Spain’s rich culture, gorgeous architecture and varied gastronomy combined with the luxury of a sunny seaside location, gives Barcelona a competitive edge on any other potential vacation destination. Barcelona places a bit lower in terms of safety at #15 in the ranking of safest cities, but it may just beat out the rest with its infinite tourist lures.
Allow yourself to be impressed by Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia cathedral and enchanting Parc Guell. Enjoy the long days sipping and sunning by the beach and the longer nights in luxurious clubs and flamenco bars. As pickpocketing is the most prominent threat in this city, the only thing to fight off may be the temptation to stay.
5. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
It may come as a surprise that the No. 5 safest city in the world is a place where drugs and prostitution are legal, or perhaps these things contribute to its safety. Beyond this, history is tucked along the canals in 350-year-old locales, such as the Cafe Pieper bar. Masterpieces are found within Van Gogh collections at the Rembrandt museum. Tourists and city-dwellers alike whiz by on bikes, sightseeing or going about their the modern urban lives.
With more than 80,000 bikes in the city, the top danger in Amsterdam is getting a bike stolen, which doesn’t leave travelers much to worry about.
These top 5 safest and greatest cities for solo travelers and the perfect places for travel. If you’re in the midst of planning a trip or merely daydreaming about setting out on your own, there aren’t many excuses left for not getting yourself out there.