One of the biggest concerns for potential vacationers is whether or not the place they’ve chosen to visit will be safe. This concern has only grown in recent years, and it’s a good one to have. Travel safety is important.
Depending on where you travel, you might have to consider any number of security concerns as a traveler. Even something as minor as having your pocket picked could ruin an entire vacation, and some attractive destinations carry with them much more serious risks.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of cities where you can focus on the culture, history, fun, and of course, food. Using data from Numbeo, we ranked them based on how they scored from a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being the safest. So if you’re looking for a nice, stress-free vacation, here are the safest 50 cities in the world for you to be.
Bahrain is a small Gulf nation, and its capital of Manama has only approximately 157,000 people. Still, it’s a very popular tourist destination for visitors from other Arab countries, and part of the reason why is likely because of how safe it is with a safety index of 73.06.
Home of the 2002 Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City scores a 73.24 on the safety index. It’s perfect for skiing and enjoying the surrounding mountains.
Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan, right along the Caspian Sea. Its safety index is 73.31, and it has a lot of amazing heritage as well as an impressive urban nightlife.
Yet another capital city, Poland’s Warsaw has a safety index of 73.70. Warsaw was founded in the 13th century and was once considered the Paris of the East. It’s long and eventful past makes it’s a great place for history lovers.
Iasi has a 73.72 on the safety index, and it’s full of Romanian culture, art, and history. It’s also basically a college town, which might contribute to the safety factor.
You’ll find Luxembourg squeezed right in between Belgium, Germany, and France. Luxembourg is its capital, and it has consistently been ranked as one of the safest cities in the world.
Haifa earned a safety index of 73.90. It’s very often a pilgrimage destination for Bahá’í people due it being the home of the Bahá’í World Centre.
Helsinki is known for its design heritage, and shoppers will find many beautiful prints and gorgeous dresses there. Another capital city, it’s also got a safety index of 75.36.
Geneva is a chocolate lover’s paradise, as well as one of the most gorgeous cities, not only Switzerland, but all of Europe. It’s also one of Europe’s safest with a safety index of 75.39.
Brasov may not be that well known, but it’s a city worth a visit with a skyline full of watchtowers, baroque buildings and churches, and Gothic spires. As intimidating as some of its buildings may look, the city is quite safe with a safety index of 75.45.
Ghent is both a university city and a major Belgian port, and it’s got a safety index of 76.20. Birthplace to Holy roman Emperor Charles V, it’s also full of history going back to the Stone and Ice Ages. It’s also, of course, a great place to enjoy some Belgian beer.
Andre Recnik/Wikimedia Commons
Not to be confused with the famous Belgian battlefield of the same name —although it is named after the battle itself — Waterloo is one of three Canadian cities to make the list, with a safety index of 76.24. Go in the summer or fall, as that’s when the city tends to hold all sorts of events and festivals.
With a safety index of 76.37, Minsk is another city with a strong World War II history. Interestingly, it also used to be the location of the KGB headquarters back in the days of the Soviet Union… as well as home to Lee Harvey Oswald, who lived there for a few years before returning back to the U.S. with a son and Belarussian wife. However, all of these things are a mere memory today, and the city is quite a safe place to explore architecture, museums, and theater.
It isn’t Amsterdam, but Eindhoven is a very safe spot in the Netherlands with an index of 76.42, and there’s plenty to do in the city. In addition to the usual museums, churches, and city landmarks, it has a lively nightlife as well.
Officially known as Mangaluru, Mangalore is the only city in India to make this list. The safety index of 76.64 should put your mind at ease as you explore the city’s heritage, which includes rule by the Portuguese and Mysore.
Visit the world’s northernmost capital city, where you can experience the friendly and creative culture of Iceland. Reykjavik should definitely be on your bucket list. It has a safety index of 76.85, and it’s a great spot for nature lovers, as well as those looking for a good arts scene.
Ottawa is a bilingual city, so it’s a great place to brush up on your French. Canada’s capital is right along the Ottawa River, and has a safety index of 76.93. Make sure you check out the beautiful Gothic architecture of Parliament Hill before you leave.
Timișoara, known as the city of roses and parks, is a very green city with architecture similar to Vienna’s. Another university city, it’s also considered by many to be the most cosmopolitan in the country, perhaps due to its industrialization. Timișoara also has beautiful palaces, churches, and even an opera house, so with a safety index of 77.09 there’s plenty of reason to go.
Located in northern Finland, Oulu is known for being very high-tech and has offices of many Finnish IT companies within the city or nearby, particularly Nokia. It even has free Wi-Fi in its city center. Its safety index is 77.15, so you can be totally relaxed when at the city’s sea resort —aptly named Eden — or when visiting Oulu Castle.
Car geeks will love Stuttgart, where both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have their headquarters and respective car museums. A bit city with a small town feel, Stuttgart has a safety index of 77.15, and also has plenty of art and history museums for those who are less enthused by the auto industry, as well as a zoo and planetarium. Stuttgart also lies very near the Black Forest region, known for being a culinary center in Germany.
Australia’s capital doesn’t get as much attention as Sydney or even Melbourne, but it’s the only Australian city to make this list. It’s a great place for outdoor adventurers, particularly with a safety index of 77.24 and plenty of opportunity to bike, jog, or walk through its parks, gardens, and natural reserves. Canberra has a huge lake — man-made — surrounded by picturesque museums, galleries, and national monuments.
Cluj-Napoca is the third Romanian city to make the list, and it’s also the most popular for tourists. It’s the unofficial capital of Transylvania, a historical region that is often associated with Dracula, on account of it being the setting of Bram Stoker’s novel. He doesn’t seem to be a threat though, as the city has a safety index of 77.49 and is a great place to explore beautiful Gothic architecture among museums, galleries, parks, and delicious Transylvanian food.
There is a Mérida in Spain, Venezuela, and the Philippines, but the one in Mexico is the largest. The culture here is an interesting mix of Spanish, Mayan, British, French, Lebanese, and a bit of Dutch. It has a safety index of 77.85, as well as cheap and fresh tamales sold on the street for you to enjoy before heading over to one of its many museums or markets.
With two big universities, Eskişehir is a college town with a safety index of 77.95 and holds a great mix of modern, traditional, and ancient Turkish life. It’s largely known for its hamams, or Turkish baths, some of which date back to the time of the Ottomans.
Tallinn is a very popular destination in the summer, and for good reason. It’s quite safe with an index of 78.63 and a history that goes back to medieval times, as seen with the medieval houses and cobbled streets in the absolutely gorgeous Old City.
Multiple Saxon kings and princes called Dresden home, and that history has resulted in rich art collections and architecture here. About 75 percent of its historical center was wiped out in World War II when the Allies bombed Germany, and had to be restored (some parts are still under construction). It has a safety index of 78.65.
Copenhagen is quite safe with an index of 78.73, and it’s a great place to experience Danish culture and history, as the country’s capital. Visit the statue of the Little Mermaid from the story written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen or Tivoli Gardens, the city’s amusement park that’s more than 100 years old.
The seaport of Rijeka has it all: beaches, theaters, diving, churches, outdoor trails, castles, towers, and a plethora of museums. This city in Croatia also has a safety index of 78.84, and just last year, it was named as the European Capital of Culture for 2020, along with the Irish city of Galway.
Bursa is a Turkish city in the northwestern part of Asia Minor, and it was the first major city taken over by the Ottomans; it served as the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1326 until 1365 when it was captured by the Byzantines. Known for its beautiful mosques and historical sites dating from those times, this city of over two million people has a safety index of 78.88 and plenty of delicious döner kebabs.
Vienna is a city with so much history and culture that its historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was home to the Hapsburg court, and it serves as Austria’s political, cultural, and economic capital. It has a safety index of 78.91, and is also one of the world’s best cities for coffee.
Finns largely consider Tampere to be the most beautiful city in Finland. Its strong industrial history is chronicled by its many museums and two historic factory complexes. It’s also a great base for many outdoor activities including, but not limited to, fishing, cruising, skiing, hiking, ice hockey, ice swimming, and even ice walking. Tampere got a 79.57 safety index.
In recent years, Tbilisi has grown as a tourist destination due to Georgia’s growing hospitality industry. It’s the nation’s capital, and it has a safety index of 79.63. Try a sulfur bath in the city’s bath district or check out the local tea plantation before heading to one of its parks or lakes for a nice breath of fresh air.
Osaka is the best city in Japan for food, drinks, and nightlife, and it’s got a safety index of 79.87. Make sure you visit Osaka Castle while you’re here, which has a park attached, or the nearby Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, where you can even customize your own Cup Noodles to take home.
Hong Kong is possibly the most cosmopolitan city in all of Asia, and while it is technically a Special Administrative Region of China, it’s very much autonomous and a world of its own. It has a 79.93 safety index, and a fantastic food scene. Get to Victoria Peak for an amazing view of the entire island.
Dubai is in a class of its own. Constantly pushing the boundaries of technology and architecture, it’s home to the tallest structure in the world: the Burj Khalifa. The Dubai Mall (also the largest in the world) contributes greatly to Dubai’s reputation as a shopper’s paradise, with over 1,200 stores (not including pop-ups), 120 restaurants, a theme park, an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, and even a 250-room luxury hotel. Consider going in July, when Dubai is among the cheapest places to travel.
Japan’s capital, Tokyo, is over 500 years old, and it has multiple districts, each with its own character. Known for its nightlife and amazing technology, Tokyo is striving to become even more advanced in preparation for hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics; multiple venues and transit stations will undergo construction or renovations.
Zurich has been ranked among the cities with the highest living standard for years now, and part of that is definitely due to its 81.33 safety index. It’s right near the Swiss Alps for your mountain adventures, and is also home to the Bahnhofstrasse, one of the busiest shopping streets in the world.
Berne is right in the center of Switzerland, meaning it’s easy to travel to other cities from here — and it’s safe too, with its 81.53 safety index. History, museums, public art, and parks abound here.
The capital of Idaho lies in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. That makes for beautiful hiking trails, but Boise also has plenty of museums, galleries, and restaurants to explore too, and it’s only growing. It has a safety index of 82.29.
Taiwan is another great East Asian destination, and Taipei comes in quite high on this list with a safety index of 82.62. Taipei 101 (officially the Taipei International Financial Center) dominates the skyline but there are plenty of beautiful temples and buildings closer to the ground. Take a trip to the National Palace Museum to see one of the most significant collections of Chinese imperial artifacts in the world.
Quebec City is one of the few cities in North America that still has its original city walls (all of the others are in Mexico or the Caribbean). Its Old Town was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and as a city with just over 700,000 residents, it’s got a safety index of 82.92. It’s also home to one of only two ice hotels in existence, open from January until early April.
Singapore is actually a city-state, meaning it’s a nation that consists of a single city — but there’s quite a lot happening in that city. The second most densely populated country in the world with a population of 5.6 million, Singapore is full of workers and expats from all over the world, and its food scene is impressive too, with influences from the Chinese, Malay, and Indian communities that have thrived here.
Munich is definitely a mandatory stop if you’re ever in Germany. Some of its museums are considered to be of better quality than the ones in Berlin, and with so many schools and multinational companies based here, it’s no wonder it’s considered a leading city in engineering, research, business, and more. It has a safety index of 83.60, and it’s also the birthplace of Oktoberfest.
A day trip to Basel is not a bad idea if you decide to visit the other Swiss countries on this list. It’s the third safest city in the world with an index of 83.66, and it’s also the heart of Dreiländereck, or “three countries corner,” sharing a border with both France and Germany. It has over two dozen museums, and it hosts several events and festivals throughout the year, including BaselWorld, the largest jewelry and watch trade show in the world.
Qatar is currently embroiled in a major diplomatic conflict with many other countries in the Middle Eastern region, but visitors to its capital, Doha, will still find themselves in the second safest city in the world, with an index of 84.13. It’s home to the Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M. Pei with inspiration from traditional Islamic architecture, which houses Islamic art from three different continents that span over 1,400 years.
The safest city in the world is Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, with a safety index of 86.46. While it has a population of just over one million, it only 420,000 are actually citizens — whose average net worth is $17 million dollars. (Most of the rest are expatriates, primarily from other Arab countries, South Asia, the UK, and the Horn of Africa.) Luxurious hotels and skyscrapers characterize this city, which also has huge gardens and parks. It is also home to the picturesque Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the country’s largest, as well as many camel races.