It’s understandable that travelling abroad can occasionally come with nerves, but safety concerns needn’t stop you from exploring our wonderful planet.
Whilst we believe every continent should be discovered, some countries rank higher than others in 2019’s Global Peace Index. Using factors such as militarisation, conflict levels and societal safety and security, the Global Peace Index gives each country a ‘peacefulness’ score and ranks the world’s countries according to their safety.
After plenty of research, these are what we found to be the top 10 safest places to visit in the world. Of course, there’s tons of fascinating destinations beyond this list, so keep that in mind when it comes to planning your next trip!
With Japan coming in as the 9th safest country in the world in the 2019 Global Peace Index and Tokyo being named the safest city in the world in 2017, Japan is a great choice for your next vacation. With futuristic cityscapes, verdant tea plantations, soaring mountain peaks and placid lakes, Japan is filled with wonderful landscapes to explore.
Tokyo and Osaka have been voted the country’s safest cities, and despite being home to more than 13 million inhabitants, Tokyo is surprisingly unthreatening. With so many people around, it’s a city that never sleeps and four different national parks offer great spots to relax in after a busy day of exploring the town. Japan’s third largest city Osaka is celebrated as Japan’s best place to eat, drink and party and truly lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s safest cities.
Similarly to Japan, two of Australia’s major cities have placed highly in world safety rankings. In the Economic Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index 2019, both Melbourne and Sydney scored highly for digital security, health security, infrastructure and personal safety. In Melbourne, travellers can sink their teeth into classic Victorian-era architecture, museums, galleries, theatres, green spaces and a buzzing nightlife scene. With so much to discover across so many welcoming neighbourhoods, it’s no surprise that this cosmopolitan city is considered one of the safest in the world.
In the capital Sydney, an intriguing history, world famous beaches and iconic landmarks come together to make for one of the world’s most fascinating cities. There’s something for everyone here; pubs, markets, modern restaurants and galleries cater to a sophisticated crowd, whilst outdoorsy types will love the surrounding natural wonders of New South Wales. It’s a great base for exploring nearby beaches, mountains and national parks, and the best view in the city can be found atop the Sydney Tower or Harbour Bridge.
Denmark has always had a reputation for being an extremely safe country, so it would be surprising if it didn’t find itself on this list. A visit to Denmark is all about hygge – the cosy feeling of contentedness synonymous with Danish people you’ll find everywhere in this welcoming country. From the wonderful people to the breathtaking scenery, it’s no wonder that Denmark is continually voted the happiest country on earth. In Copenhagen, hygge is personified through the city’s characterful cobbled streets and traditional palaces. Whatever it is you’re visiting Denmark for, it’s sure to put a smile on the faces of all those who visit.
4) Seoul, South Korea
South Korea’s capital city is home to over half the entire country’s population, but the sheer number of people doesn’t compromise the city’s safety. Ranking at number 9 in the Economic Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index 2019, Seoul is a dynamic mix of cutting edge technology, serene Buddhist temples, and distinctive gu (districts) that are like small cities in and of themselves. With a pleasant metro system, delightful street food, incredible palaces and swathes of peaceful surrounding mountains, Seoul is one of the best cities to visit for a gentle introduction to the wonders of East Asia.
5) Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Laid-back is a way of life in The Netherlands, and nowhere more so than in the capital city of Amsterdam. Filled with rows of colourful houses, a network of calming waterways and elegant Golden Age architecture, Amsterdam really does seem to have it all. The best way to enjoy this city is to simply wander among its cobbled streets and wonderful museums. One of our favourites is the Rijksmuseum, which houses more than 8,000 incredible pieces of art. With magnificent monuments, scores of bridges criss crossing canals and thousands of tulips in bloom from January to May, Amsterdam is a wonderfully safe and pretty city to cycle around.
The second Nordic country to make it to our list, Iceland ranks as the most peaceful country in the world in the 2019 Global Peace Index. Iceland is the place to be for outdoor enthusiasts, with stretches of dramatic landscapes, glacial wonders and red-hot lava fields. It’s a country for all seasons, with frozen waterfalls and the Northern Lights in winter and three days of constant sun in summer.
The capital city is so safe that the locals find it odd if anyone is anything but friendly, and everyone from welcoming receptionists to jovial taxi drivers are happy to help one another out. With a population of just over 300,000 people, it seems Iceland’s harmonious relationship with nature is what has helped the country earn its recognition as the safest country on the planet.
7) New Zealand
When it comes to co-existing with nature, the locals in New Zealand also do a pretty good job. Rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, snow-capped mountains and bubbling geysers make New Zealand an incredible place to visit, and with a population of just 4.6 million, it’s easy to get a slice of the wonderful nature all to yourself. The locals are easy-going and welcoming, the country’s food is a delectable blend of new world cuisine and the islands are there to explore. With around 5 sheep for every person in New Zealand, it’s certainly not groundbreaking news that this wonderful part of Australasia ranks as one of the safest places in the world.
8) Costa Rica
Costa Rica has been named Latin America’s safest country, and with lush forests, peaceful beaches and wonderful wildlife, it’s easy to see why. From jungle waterfalls to coffee plantations, Costa Rica offers an amazing diversity of landscapes to get lost within. Get acquainted with monkeys on the Osa Peninsula, marvel at magnificent volcanoes in Arenal or indulge in a laid-back few days in Puerto Viejo. Whatever type of holidaymaker you are, a visit to Costa Rica is a wonderful exercise in leaving fear at home and becoming one with nature.
Famously remaining neutral in all major world conflicts, the Switzerland of today is as peaceful as ever. It is an exhilarating destination whatever time of year you visit, with rolling hills carpeted with spring flowers, white slopes dotted with charming villages and lively cities steeped in history. Escaping to the Alps feels truly tranquil , while picturesque cities such as Zurich and Lucerne make you feel as though you’ve stepped straight into a fairytale. Exploring Switzerland is truly idyllic, and you’re sure to feel at ease throughout your journey.
Last but not least is a tiny island that is almost 300 times smaller than London: Singapore. Don’t be fooled by its size though, as there’s still plenty to explore. Authentic, modern and serene, Singapore is home to a wonderful food scene, picturesque gardens and impressive skyscrapers. As a destination that pairs tradition with modernity, Singapore has attracted expats from the world over, and is a wonderful place for a quick stopover before you explore the rest of Asia.