With so much unrest happening across the globe, it’s understandable why potential travelers are scared to take the plunge and purchase that ticket to their dream destination.
Staying safe while traveling can mean many different things, so it’s always important to take into account where you want to go and if that place is regarded as being a safe place for foreigners to travel and explore freely without the stress of putting themselves into a potentially dangerous situation.
Table of Contents
1. Tokyo, Japan – Total safety score: 92%
Tokyo has made incredible strides to protect not only its 13 million residents as well as the additional 51% of 28 million tourists that visit Japan each year. With only 40,000 recorded criminal incidents in Japan each year, it is considered to be incredibly safe when one factors in the fact that there are over 28 million tourists visiting the country each year.
Most of these crimes are not violent crimes, consisting of shoplifting and petty theft. Online forums have described Tokyo as having “too many police officials and not enough criminals.” Natural disasters are another thing.
Japan is well known for its earthquakes and typhoons, however, they have made great efforts to their infrastructure to best counter and predict when such events should occur. They even include information about when their “Typhoons seasons” are as well as send out alerts when earthquakes are detected and predicted to strike.
2. Singapore, Singapore – Total safety score: 91.5%
Singapore is ranked as the No 1 safest city in regards to personal safety, which makes it understandable that a large majority of tourists have dubbed this it to be very safe – even for women who are traveling alone.
Like most cities that live off of their tourism industry it is not without its faults, considering danger such as pickpocketing in large crowded tourist attraction areas as well as it having a red-light district where prostitution and sex-work is offered.
However, violent crime – even in these more questionable areas – is regarded as being under control by local law enforcement leaving them to focus and target a bigger issue such as cybercrime where many projects have been set in motion to secure the security of the potential “smart-city” it hopes to become.
3. Osaka, Japan – Total safety score: 90.0%
This is the third largest city in Japan – as well as briefly being it’s capital city – and hosts around 2.5 million tourists every year. Not only is it rich in history and culture but it also offers an impressive nightlife experience for tourists.
However, according to locals Osaka can be a dangerous city due to its low-level crime activity of petty theft, pickpocketing and drink spiking it its major tourism based areas. Yet, violent crime is very low especially in regards to tourist as they bring it a lot of money that goes to the financial infrastructure of the city.
Again due to Japan having a high rate of natural disasters that must also be taken into account by potential travellers
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands – Total safety score: 88.0%
One of the more surprising cities on this list, Amsterdam is actually considered to be a very safe city when personal safety is taken into account. Due to its laid-back persona and everything goes attitude the city is very safe for tourists and locals a like as violent crimes are relatively unheard of only leaving the occasional drunken brawl, pickpocketing and illegal “hard” drug dealers lurking around the infamous red-light district.
One of the biggest safety hazards for uneducated tourists are accidentally walking into a bicycle lane and being hit by a cycler. Allegedly there is an unspoken agreement that if you don’t look at least four times where you’re walking, the cycler has no obligation not to hit you.
5. Sydney, Australia – Total safety score: 87.9%
Due to Sydney being so large it does have a record of local crime issues as well as gang violence, however tourists are at very low risk of this according to large studies done over the years. The risks pertaining to the safety of tourist in Sydney are regarded as very low, with violent crime being at a minimal and the overall risks being extremely low with a score of 88% out of a 100 for overall safety.
There are of course, some areas, that should be avoided or extra precaution taken but law enforcement has made such positive strides in safety that even women are free to travel alone and be safe and at low risk for high level crime.
6. Toronto, Canada – Total safety score: 87.8%
This city is regarded as the safest city in North America as well as taking the 8th place on the list of the safest cities in the whole world, which is pretty impressive for any potential tourist thinking about traveling there.
Like any large city, there are areas that could potentially not be safe for tourists and it poses some criminal activity however it is incredibly low. Areas that are suggested to avoid includes the following: Jane & Finch area, St. Jamestown, Regent Park & Moss Park, Cabbagetown (after dark) and a few more that are easy to look up.
7. Washington DC, USA – Total safety score: 87.6%
Not only is Washington DC the capital city of the USA it is also the federal district of the US hosting the seat to America’s three branches of government. On top of being the hub for anything and anyone working it American politics it is also rich in American history and its culture that offer many educational experiences for tourists such as many free museums, monument visits of previous presidents and the world famous White House where the President of the United States lives and works.
In the past 30 years the homicide and violent crime rate has dropped substantially leaving behind the nickname “the Murder Capital” in the past. As with any large city the low level crime rate is something to consider and be mindful as there are mentions of petty theft and muggings, however these are centred around the nightlife activities and there are definitely some areas that should be avoided such as “Shaw, Adams Morgan, and Near Northeast and the area around the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station” according to Travelsafe Abroad.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark – Total safety score: 87.4%
When compared to other European cities, Copenhagen is very safe. They regard gender equality with the highest of standards according to TripAdvisor meaning that solo female travellers are at no risk for experiencing crimes of violent sexual nature stating that: “women should encounter virtually no discrimination or sexual harassment.”
The city is very well known for its beer and nightlife culture so there will be instances of drunken brawls or people being intoxicated on the streets, however the chances of experiencing actual high level crime is very low. Tourist who indulge in this common experience may subject themselves to petty crime though, as they might not be as alert about their surroundings or their belongings while enjoying a night out.
9. Seoul, South Korea – Total safety score: 87.4%
There is a lot of speculation about whether South Korea is actually safe due to its sharing and close border proximity to North Korea – a known active militarized country. However, Seoul itself is very safe regarding the factors mentioned above.
They receive over 14 million tourists each year and is known for being a beautiful oriental country rich in history, ancient architecture and deep diverse culture. There are plenty of safe tourist friendly places to visit and get a great experience/holiday. However, due to bringing it such large tourist visitors they are sometimes subject to being the victims of theft based crime activity.
Tourists are advised to be cautious to where they are travelling to, keeping a close eye on their belongings as well as understanding that this city has a reputation for “ripping off” tourists to get more money from them. According to SafeAround, there are two types of menus at certain restaurants and cafes, one is for locals with their normal prices and the other is for tourists with significantly higher prices.
They also caution tourists to be aware of street con artists and scammers when it comes to transportation and are advised to only use trusted known methods of transportation as some taxi drivers might increase their rates or start the ride at an already high rate.
10. Melbourne, Australia – Total safety score: 87.3%
This is the second largest city in Australia as well as the capital city to the state of Victoria and is the home of world famous attractions such as the Eureka Tower and Melbourne Cricket Ground as well as many others that bring in over 2 million tourists every year. The locals are helpful, kind and very friendly to tourists which adds to its level of safety.
As any large city it does deal with some criminal activity and have made detailed lists of areas as well as certain city districts that tourists should avoid at all cost in an effort to keep them safe. Melbourne takes 10th place on the world’s most safest cities list due to their conditioned efforts to keep their tourists as well as their citizens safe from crime.
11. Chicago, U.S. – Total safety score: 86.7%
This is the third largest city in the US and is considered to be the economic center of the Midwest, according to SafeAround. Famously nicknamed The Windy City, Chicago is known for its skyscrapers that create a unique and interesting skyline and is wildly popular for its culture, museums and art & science background.
However, even though the city is now considered to be quite safe, there are detailed maps with “red zones” that could potentially be very dangerous as this city also has a largely infamous history in the 70s and 80s with gang violence for example Al Capone and the Chicago Mafia as well as other rival gangs.
These maps contain detailed descriptions of neighbourhoods that are run down and still have the potential of gang activity and must be avoided by tourists at all costs. It is also mentioned that the subway is a common place for thieves but these areas are listed as well for ease of mind.
12. Stockholm, Sweden – Total safety score: 86.5%
Sweden as a whole has long since been regarded as a safe, calm, and drama-free environment with Stockholm being no different being rated as the 3rd safest city in the world. The police presence in Stockholm is well designed, there are many officials at the ready at all times but they don’t overshadow the streets everywhere you look.
The city has also invested a lot of money in making sure that the streets are well lit making blatant crime quite difficult as everyone is easily seen with all the bright lights as well as public transport as well as its various stations are very well maintained to ensure that no shady activity can happen during that period.
13. San Francisco, U.S. – Total safety score: 85.9%
San Francisco – nicknamed the City by the Bay – proudly claims its reputation for not only being one of the most naturally beautiful and culturally rich cities in America, and even though it scored lower on the list it fairs even better than Chicago when it comes to violent crimes.
It does however, deal with petty crimes such as property crime, car break-ins and petty theft but when it comes to personal safety it’s no wonder why tourists love to visit San Francisco. Another factor to take in mind is that even though the city offer so much for tourists, it still struggles with homelessness in a very large public way.
Which is why tourists are encouraged to do their homework and be diligent when visiting the city to avoid areas that could potentially be dangerous and to be prepared to be confronted with a lot of unfortunate homeless sightings.
Tourists are encouraged to not interact with these groups of people by the SFPD (San Francisco Police Department) in an effort to avoid potential harassments or confrontations and to keep a safe distance when you do encounter them.
A special unit was created for just this problem so if tourist encounter a crime happening or any other emergency, so it’s best not to get involved and they should call 911 immediately and let the police handle the situation.
14. London, England, UK. – Total safety score: 85.7%
Putting all rumours and clichés about London aside, it’s actually a very safe city. Not only is London one of the most diverse cities in the world it also offers world class experiences for any traveller being dubbed the “international capital for music, culture, universities, fashion, business and finance,” as stated by TraveSafe Abroad. Due to its high number of tourists that visit every year it has unfortunately fall victim for petty crimes such as pickpockets and scam artists trying to con naïve tourists out of their money.
However, when it comes to violent crimes potential visitors can relax, the city is rated as being very safe for tourists. According to an article posted on TraveSafe Abroad tourists are advised to be cautious at night-time as well as not wearing football shirts as the culture of “football rivalry” is quite intense and could potentially result in an accidental encounter with rival supporters that could end up being violent. However, they also claim that there is no need to be concerned as long as tourist are cautious and use common sense.
15. New York City, USA – Travel Safety score: 85.5%
New York City famously nicknamed “The Big Apple” receives and plays host to a whopping 50 million tourists every year. It has the reputation of being the largest metropolitan city as well as being the most populated city in the USA with over 19 million calling it home. It is famous for its massively diverse collection of arts, culture, fashion, entertainment as well as business and finance industries. This however, breeds a large platform where criminals thrive preying on the locals and tourists alike.
Even though New York is, as stated by SafeAround, to be the “safest large metropolis of the US,” tourists are still encouraged to do their due diligence in keeping themselves safe when exploring the streets as well as when making use of their subway systems. Low level crimes such as petty theft, pickpockets and muggings are common due to the sheer influx of tourists the cities receives daily. However, being cautious of your surroundings, avoiding rough neighbourhoods and travelling in groups when possible will help tourists have an enjoyable experience.
16. Frankfurt, Germany – Travel safety score: 85.4%
Frankfurt is known to host some of the biggest fairs in Germany as well as being its center for financial and business industries. Due to its well known red-light district known as Bahnhofsviertel, the city lists lower on the list of safest cities as that particular area is quite active with low-level crime activities such as petty crimes involving theft, scammers, the selling of hard drugs as well as prostitution.
However, compared to other European cities, Frankfurt is actually very safe when tourists avoid potentially dangerous neighborhoods as well as not engaging in sketchy or illegal activities. The Old City is known as the center of Frankfurt, a medieval square, and is always busy entertaining tourists which is a problem as it draws many clever pickpockets – particularly on the Romer area.
17. Los Angeles, California, USA – Travel safety score: 85.2%
LA has a coin toss reputation for either being incredibly safe or very dangerous. It all depends on where you go. What most tourists don’t understand is exactly how big LA is, in fact, it is the largest city in the entire state of California with a population of over 17 million people. There are so many areas that are considered to be very safe however areas such as Skid Row in downtown LA and South Central are very dangerous areas that are well known for gang violence, drugs, murder as well as it also has one of the biggest homelessness problems in the US.
Tourists are advised to be very cautious as to where they go as well as their method of transportation to ensure their safety. However, most of the famous and well known tourist destinations are very safe and offer amazing activities, day trips, and experiences that gave LA the nickname of The City of Angels.
18. Wellington, New Zealand – Travel safety score: 84.5%
New Zealand as a whole has the wonderful reputation being the one of the safest countries in the world, with Wellington being one of it’s safest cities. According to TripAdvisor, tourists can travel and enjoy everything Wellington has to offer without fear of any crime as even low level crime activity is relatively unheard of. Naturally, tourists should always travel with caution, make safe choices and be diligent but are free to relax when travelling through Wellington.
Something, however, that does bring cause for concern when planning a trip to Wellington is knowing that it is notorious for its earthquake activity. After a major earthquake a few years ago, the entire city has to be reconstructed and built over as the destruction was devastating. That being said, when the city was reconstructed it was built with that in mind, creating structures that could better handle if and when an earthquake should strike.
19. Zurich, Switzerland – Travel safety score: 84.5%
Switzerland enjoys the reputation of being one of the safest places to visit in Europe, as does Zurich. Which is why tourist love traveling to this stunning destination and enjoying everything it has to offer. However due to a incline in terror attacks across the Western Part of Europe it is common to encounter demonstrations, some of which have turned violent.
Tourists are encouraged to avoid these gatherings as much as possible. However when it comes to crime against tourists, the biggest issue travellers might face are the occasional pickpockets in large public areas.
20. Hong Kong, Hong Kong- Travel safety score: 83.7%
Rich with history Hong Kong has always had a great reputation for taking care of their tourists very well as millions of people travel to the city to explore and experience the culture and history of how this city became independent. Tourist-based crimes are very low level and consist of petty theft, pickpockets and scammers harassing potential buyers with higher than normal rates.
However, as current as of September 2019, the city has been plagued with large intense protests with thousands of protestors gathering causing a political crisis that could potentially be very dangerous for tourists traveling there. No clear answer is available as of yet as to when these protests will stop so travelers hoping to visit soon should take extra precautions to make sure that they remain safe while the unrest continues.
So, we discussed the 20 most Safest Cities in the world based on the following factors:
- Digital security (DS)
- Health security (HS)
- Infrastructure (IF)
- Personal safety. (PS)
These factors all contribute to how a city is ranked through a database that grades them with a numeric system from 0-100 with 100 being the best score.