No matter what precautions women take, it seems like we can never do enough to protect ourselves from potentially uncomfortable situations or, heaven forbid, violence. Safety and social climate are huge factors that have influenced our top picks for travel destinations, so without further ado, here are the top ten, highly recommended, safe travel destinations for women!
Not only is Spain a beautiful and scenic travel destination, but it is one of the safest places in the world for women to travel to. Spain is rich in cultural sites; natural beauties, like the Costa del Sol; and experiences of a lifetime. From the tranquil Mezquita in Cordoba to the lively Plaza Mayor in Madrid, you can find many places that will satisfy your wanderlust.
While it may be helpful to know a little bit of Spanish, no matter where you go in Spain you will be surrounded by tourists from all over the world. All major cities in Spain are very tourist friendly, so there are a wide variety of languages spoken at restaurants, stores, and hotels. Given that, if you are in the mood for some exploration off the beaten path, just know that it is actually just as safe as the touristy areas. Many tourists opt into traveling off the beaten path to partake in the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Traditionally, your pilgrimage to Santiago would have started from your home, but in modern times, there are nine routes starting in various cities in Spain, Portugal, and France that end at the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela. Each route has its own history and spectacular sights allowing you to explore what unique wonders each route has to offer!
What’s the secret recipe that makes Singapore an ideal place for women to travel alone to? 5.8 million hearts full of love welcoming you with open arms, 119 Mass Rapid Transit stations to take you wherever you please, 4 cups of official spoken languages, a heaping scoop of breath-taking modernity and a few dashes of Singlish. Singapore has it all. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to eat fantastic food, see beautiful art, and truly experience the culture.
You’ll be able to see other-worldly sites in Singapore, like the Bay East Garden.
When you step into the vibrant plant life and escape the city bustle, you can admire the beautifully designed green-spaces where the trees look like something from a sci-fi movie. If you’re looking for more thrills than serenity on your trip to Singapore, you should take a ride on the Singapore Flyer. Known as the world’s largest giant observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer allows you to be served and pampered day or night while enjoying a view that comprises of not only the striking Singapore skyline but as far away as the tropical Spice Islands of Indonesia and Malaysia’s 60-km-long Straits of Johor.
Just a little over 540 miles southeast of Luxembourg rests a country filled with music, art, and castles. This progressive country has women’s suffrage roots that started to grow as early as the 18th century and is a considered one of the most women-friendly travel spots in Europe. If Austria has caught your eye, you will find beauty in the astounding scenery and architecture.
Visitors that travel to Austria are drawn in by the picturesque backdrop of this Alpine republic’s provinces and lively cities like the country’s historical capital, Vienna. While you’re there, you simply must breakout the skis at least once. Or more, if you’re a fan of hitting the slopes. If Austria still hasn’t caught your attention, you’re probably a warm body. For those that prefer warmer temperatures, consider taking a trip through the snaking network of valleys in Austrian wine country. After sipping on fine wine made from Grüner Veltliner and Riesling grapes, take a tour in one of the many marvellous landmarks, like the Dürnstein Castle.
Switzerland is rated the 7th most peaceful country in the world, making it safe for women and solo travellers alike. This country is home to pristine sights, rich chocolates, and, you guessed it, Swiss watches. Train travel is by far the best way to travel in Switzerland; it’s economical and popular with both locals and tourists. After boarding one of the two world’s best train routes, the Glacier Express or the Bernina Express, you’ll see a vision of Switzerland that can’t be found anywhere else. Calling all outdoorsy and sporty ladies: explore the vast landscapes, mountains that pierce the clouds, and deep, deep valleys in yet another scenic top ten travel destination.
Hike or ski your way through the dense forests, alpine meadows, and glacier gardens in the resort town of Interlaken. Day or night, you will find plenty of fun things to do in and around Interlaken. Along with the almost endless list of outdoor excursions, there are many other sports available for active travellers, like golf, sailing, windsurfing, paragliding, horseback riding, and tennis. When it’s time to take a break from your alfresco adventures, maybe you can go visit royalty in musical Montreux. Scratch that, you can go visit the Freddie Mercury statue commemorating the multiple Queen albums that were recorded in this medieval town from 1979 to 1996.
In the land of fire and ice, solo travel is safe and easy, so get ready for an adventure filled with local lore and whimsy! You are guaranteed to come across many friendly locals during your travels around this small, Nordic island nation. Be sure to set some time aside to speak to one of those friendly faces to hear tales of elves, trolls, and other mystical creatures that trace back to the Viking age.
After getting up to speed on local culture and history, take a night to yourself to relax in the infamous Icelandic volcanic hot springs. As you look up at the sky, notice the spectacular sight known as the Aurora Borealis. From September to March, you have the chance of watching that natural phenomenon dance its way across the sky, and when it’s over, go grab some tasty Skyr, Saltfiskur, and Svið to refuel after a long days’ worth of journeys.
DENMARK, SWEDEN, AND NORWAY
A common conception that people have about Scandinavian countries is that they are hands down the happiest countries in the world. Denmark is one of the three countries in this northern region of Europe that has so much to offer women and solo travellers alike. Copenhagen, for example, has impeccable tourism infrastructure and safety standards.
If you are in desperate need of a break from mainstream society, you should visit Freetown Christiania, a small community tucked away in the heart of Copenhagen. This anomaly of a community has a history just as unique as the people who currently live and work there. In 1971, hippies, or members of the counterculture, and other free thinkers broke down the barricades of the former military barracks of Bådsmandsstræde and created what is now known as Christiana. This neighbourhood has a variety of trendy organic eateries and art galleries filled with artists’ take on the Human condition.
Sweden is also a beautiful Scandinavian country with so much to offer visitors. Stockholm, Sweden is safe and easy to navigate with over 86% of the city’s population speaking English. With the large number of sights and experiences to explore, you are sure to fall in love with the city a little more at each of your stops.
If you find yourself in Stockholm on a Friday night and the lights are low, head on over to the ABBA museum. All dancing queens that go will get the opportunity to experience the group’s fame virtually as you become the fifth member of the Swedish pop group. While you’re there, don’t forget to say “Hi” to Björn, Benny, Frida and Agnetha!
Last but most certainly not last of the Scandinavian countries is Norway. There are so many safe and beautiful cities in Norway, some of which are surrounded by water giving you a prime opportunity to post some stunning pictures on your Instagram. Oslo, the capital, is a city of full of green spaces, museums, and islands for travellers to visit.
Once you buy a 24-hour public transport ticket, you can get on and off as many ferries as you please so island-hopping is a must. Hovedøya is the closest island to the city of Oslo. There, you will be able to explore the Hovedøya kloster, a medieval monastery and fortress. Another island near by is Lindøya, an island jam- packed with colourful summer cottages and a nature reserve. Your next stop could be the island of Gressholmen, which has a hiking trail and a little cafe in the centre of the island called Gressholmen Kro.
After a long flight to the land down under, you will find yourself in one of the safest, easiest places to travel around. With its contrasting landscapes and specular attractions, Australia is one of those places where you’ll never be bored. You can visit infamous sights like the Sydney Opera House or the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or you can visit some of the less talked about attractions like the Daintree National Park or Fraser Island. You can choose to immerse yourself in nature in a number of these travel-hot spots or stick to the hustle and bustle of city life in this continent-country.
If you choose to visit Australia, New Zealand is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, and it is home to some of the most magnificent landscapes in the world. Similar to Australia, New Zealand is already attracting solo travelers from all over the world. The country has low crime rates, friendly neighborhoods, and not as many creepy critters as some other nature- based destinations. Coming in as the 4th safest country in the world, this is a perfect destination for women solo travellers to see.
Just off the coast of Kaikoura on the South Island is the Dusky Dolphin. There you can safely, ethically, and responsibly swim with the dolphins!
If you find yourself on North Island, Napier is famous for its decadent food and Art Deco architecture. After a 7.8 Richter earthquake destroyed the town in 1931, it was rebuilt in the Spanish Mission style and Art Deco design for which Miami Beach in Florida, United States of America is also famous for.
Written by Brynn Pierce