10 of the Safest Destinations to Visit

Posted on March 8, 2010 by

Some travelers still have qualms about traveling to certain places. That’s understandable as you want to make sure you not only enjoy your trip but also come home safe and sound. With the help of CNN and MSNBC, I have chosen 10 of what I deem the safest destinations in the world to visit. The factors weighing into these rankings are the number of natural disasters, as well as the prevalence of social unrest, terrorism, and crime.

1. The Dutch ABC Islands

The Caribbean Islands as a whole have a reputation that can be shaky at times. In some of the neighboring countries, there have been times of violent crimes and political unrest, but many of the other islands in the group are doing well in terms of security and stability. The ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) exemplify this phenomenon and are some of the safest vacation destinations in the world. Crime rates on the ABC Islands are comparatively low when looking at the region as a whole. There is no political unrest (as far as we know) and they lie far from the usual hurricane route. They get a top vote for a heavenly combination of security, scenery, and serenity.

How to: You can book a flight into any of the three islands – Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA), Flamingo International Airport (BON), or Hato International Airport (CUR).

Aruba - beautiful Caribbean islandFlickr image by Travelling Pooh

2. New Zealand

Known to many as the land of The Hobbit and Lord of the RingsNew Zealand is one of the safest places in the world. It could be due to its size and population, or maybe its isolated distance from the rest of the world that the country is generally peaceful, calm and stable. With organized cities and tranquil rural settings, New Zealand definitely makes for an excellent security hub for travelers. It is highly developed and provides all of the comforts of home to curious travelers. In addition to its safe environment, the country is home to stunning mountain landscapes, myriad adventure activities, and thousands of sheep.

How to: If you’re traveling on your own, you can fly into major international airports at Auckland or Christchurch. You can also do as we did and explore New Zealand on a tour with G Adventures.

Franz Josef, New Zealand

3. Ireland

Ireland boasts fascinating seaside views, large rock formations, and ruins from civilizations past. Historically, the Irish have gotten a bad reputation for being fighters, drinkers, and the early mafia; however, travelers should overlook this gruff persona when considering Ireland as a travel destination, as it is one of the safest and most naturally beautiful countries in the region. The Emerald Isle was just voted by the WHO as the least violent country in Europe, so travelers can feel safe and free from riots, political unrest, and violence within its shores.

How to: Book your flight into Dublin Airport, which gives easy access to the rest of the country. There are various areas to explore in this region, and you can plan your itinerary via bus.

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridgeFlickr image by Supermac1961

4. Cyprus

People often overlook Cyprus, the small island-country in the Mediterranean, but this little country packs a punch in terms of things to do and see. Cyprus is another place that has historically had a notorious reputation jeopardizing the safety of travelers and inhabitants. This reputation has since been debunked. With its booming economy and Orthodox churches at the center of its culture, Cyprus has evolved into a haven for travelers. This Eurasian island located in the East Mediterranean packs both the laid-back beachfront lifestyle and a low cost of living into one treasure trove, set on a backdrop of stunning blue seas and impressive rock formations.

How to: You can fly into Cyprus’ largest airport, Larnaca International Airport. This is the country’s largest international airport, and can be accessed via public bus.


5. Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world – divided into three main linguistic and cultural regions. Famed for the Alps, chocolate and high standard of living, Switzerland is often on the dream list of those chasing after the high life. It is also well-known for having peaceful foreign policy and overall happy inhabitants. Consequently, this is one of the safest countries in the world to visit. Whether you’re here for a winter break or a new permanent home, the security will definitely make you feel at ease.

How to: Switzerland’s largest airport is Zurich International Airport, however this country is centrally located within Europe and can also be accessed by international train or bus lines from various cities across Europe.


6. Singapore

My hometown Singapore makes a clean and safe destination thanks to its extremely low crime rate and stringent law. Its track record is impeccable since the ruling of first Prime Minister. Singapore is a place worth visiting not just for its safety but also its myriad of mixed ethnics and traditional heritage. It is a very culturally-rich country with a lively culinary scene and a sophisticated, metropolitan vibe. With such diversity, there is so much to explore and learn in the economic hub of Asia.

How to: Singapore’s Changi International Airport is arguably one of the nicest airports in the world, and welcomes thousands of flights each day. Getting around Singapore is fairly easy with the city’s extensive metro system, which extends from the airport to the main downtown areas.  

Singapore skyline  

7. Seattle, USA

Seattle is a tourist-friendly city, with well-equipped hostels, gorgeous scenery, and some of the best outdoor recreations in the country. A city that takes good care of its bike paths and recreational facilities deserves a nod for the world’s safest cities. The local government is so concerned about its inhabitants that Seattle was also deemed the #1 safest city for pedestrians in the United States. In every corner there is a café, coffee shop, or pub for visitors to hang loose and unwind.

How to: Fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where you can take public transportation straight into the heart of the city. Within the city, there are many hotel options to choose from, most of which you can book online.

Seattle by night Flickr photo by Bala


8. Luxembourg

The crime rate in Luxembourg is one of the lowest when compared to other European countries. Though there are a few incidences of crimes like petty theft or infrequent break-ins, it has topped the list of world’s safest cities for years and deserves a visit for the traveling perks and well-developed infrastructure. This tiny country is home to beautiful architecture, rolling hills and easy access from many major cities in Europe. How to: You can fly into Luxembourg’s Findel International Airport, or you can take a train or bus into Luxembourg from any of the neighboring European countries.

vianden luxembourg panoramaFlickr image by marius

9. Finland

Finland has been voted by many as the safest country in the world. It has a fairly large population, but most people live in the capital city Helsinki. There is an unlimited array of fun activities to do, like outdoor exploring and overnight trips. It also works well as a jumping-point for access to the Northern Lights in the wintertime. Often a country overlooked by most travelers, Finland definitely deserves to be in the limelight.

How to: Fly into Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport, then catch a public bus (which runs every 30 minutes) from the airport into the city center. Sometimes the bus timetables vary by season, so it’s best to check with the information desk when you arrive.

3231119034_fbba86239f_o Flickr photo by Taiva Salla

10. Japan

Ranked 35th on the Mercer stats for safest cities, Tokyo ranks top in the list of safe Asian cities to visit. Much like Seattle in its urban influence, the city has a powerful economy and commercial strength. Its population is huge, its area expansive, but it still remains a secure society. With its unique culinary experiences, its colorful neon lights, and its crowded but energy-laden streets, Tokyo is definitely a city to see at least once in your lifetime.

How to: Fly into Tokyo-Haneda International Airport, where you can easily catch a train into the city center. You can also fly into Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, though the journey into the city is considerably longer from there.


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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

43 Responses to “10 of the Safest Destinations to Visit”

  1. Jen Laceda March 8, 2010 9:23 am #

    Great round up!

    • veer June 16, 2012 2:38 pm #



      • Nellie June 17, 2012 12:34 pm #

        Yes Im originally from Singapore and I can definitely guarantee it is one of the safest places in the world – there are obviously statistics to back that up, such as low crime rates. You will have to visit for yourself to find out!

  2. GregQ March 8, 2010 10:11 am #

    Well it all depends on what you mean by "safe". If you mean safe from earthquakes and typhoons then you might need to take Japan off the list. If you mean safe from execution then you might need to take Singapore off your list. One of my countrymen (Australian) was hung there a year or two ago.

    • Nellie March 8, 2010 4:06 pm #

      I wouldn't think 'safe from execution' meant being in a secure and crime-free environment. Singapore is definitely a country safe from violence and natural disasters.

      You're right – Japan is unfortunately not safe from natural disasters. But since this list is a roundup of destinations that are safe in terms of tourist-targeted crimes, I'll keep Japan on the list. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Adam March 8, 2010 3:14 pm #

    By Ulster, I'm assuming you mean Northern Ireland? Certainly is very safe, except for Belfast where race crime is 3x higher than the rest of the UK.

  4. backpacking-travel March 8, 2010 6:25 pm #

    Thanks for the list! I think this should be forwarded to any overbearing parents out there. Love it how #'s 5, 6 and 7 all begin with "S"… I have heard good things about Singapore; Aside from being very conservative, I did recall someone sharing that city is ver,y very clean.

    • Nellie March 9, 2010 7:31 am #

      lol yes, this might ease your parents' mind! Singapore is quite an interesting melting pot of conservative yet progressive people and a cosmopolitan yet down-to-earth culture.

      I'm from Singapore, so obviously I'm biased towards my home country – but they're right, it's very clean! We're also known as the Garden City – there's a side to us that many don't get to see: there are plenty of green spaces, tropical forests in the heart of the city.

  5. Jen @ApproachGuides March 8, 2010 10:25 pm #

    Wonderful list and beautiful photos. I like @backpacking-travel's idea of forwarding it on to parents, who may be concerned about where their children travel! For myself, I have found that every place is both safe and dangerous – it just depends on your timing.

    • Nellie March 9, 2010 7:37 am #

      I totally agree with you Jen – this post was written by a guest blogger, I personally believe there is not a big line of difference between safe and dangerous. There are obviously places that are not wise to thread but mostly it's up to our own discretion. While travelling through Central America and Tanzania recently, we'd heard so many horror stories of fellow travelers getting robbed at gun point or kidnapped and thrown off a moving vehicle, but we still left without any bad experience and felt relatively safe. We might have been lucky, but such things depend on how one behaves in a foreign country.

  6. Trisha Miller March 9, 2010 1:14 am #

    Great list Nellie – makes me want to pack my bags again! Something to fit everyone's travel style and budget. :)

  7. cattello March 10, 2010 5:52 pm #

    what about naples? just kidding. new zealand is surely the safest places we have been but as second most safe place to visit, for our personal experience, we would include malaysia, people were so respectful unlike thailand where many tried to rip us off at the first occasions and had to kept my bag under vigilant eyes at all times, maybe it was only our impression…

  8. marta March 10, 2010 5:53 pm #

    what about naples? just kidding. new zealand is surely the safest places we have been but as second most safe place to visit, for our personal experience, we would include malaysia, people were so respectful unlike thailand where many tried to rip us off at the first occasions and had to kept my bag under vigilant eyes at all times, maybe it was only our impression…

  9. Anil March 12, 2010 12:33 pm #

    I've walked up and down Seattle when I was there and never felt I was in a seedy part of town, which most cities around the world have. Great place to walk around, even though there are fare-free bases in some zones close to the city center.

  10. Expat Heather March 21, 2010 12:18 pm #

    Now how about 10 of the Most Dangerous Places to Visit? : )It's interesting, while my husband would go for countries on this list, I tend to look to the US Travel Warning List for inspiration.

    • admin March 22, 2010 4:01 am #

      That’s a good idea Heather, right I shall write a post on that. I’m quite similar in that sense, I like the thrill of going through harsh conditions and experiencing something out of the normal – dangerous places excite me!

  11. Wynn March 30, 2010 1:20 pm #

    Of course Singapore is on the list.

  12. Thailand breeze April 8, 2010 5:15 am #

    I also love delicious clam chowder soup served in a crispy bread bowl in Seattle!

  13. mapquest April 17, 2010 4:11 am #

    some say afg other colombia, who knows

  14. Juno May 19, 2010 6:44 pm #

    Wow. All great places! Safe and awesome too. Cyprus seems very nice! I’ve never thought USA is safe place to travel. :) thanks for great list!

  15. Charlotte June 8, 2010 10:41 am #

    Fantastic, though I am sure you have missed many ; I cannot believe that the safe haves are in such short supply. Please tell me this is not true! What about all those beautiful island in the south pacific. What about Victoria, Sydney, Adelaide in Australia. I would have thought at least Tasmania would have made the list.

    • admin June 9, 2010 4:25 pm #

      Thank you so much for dropping by Charlotte! Yes I probably missed out so many places in the world – I’d definitely like to visit the islands in the South Pacific – oh and Fiji, the French Polynesia and so many more. A guest blogger wrote this piece, a great list isn’t it!

  16. bartcatapult June 9, 2010 4:47 pm #

    really impress me much :), I need to go to one of them except Sing, I did it this year.. I wanna go to the other. Need to take some good shots ;) ..

    well done and thanks for shared

  17. Samui Guy March 24, 2011 12:55 pm #

    Impressive list and sure to be useful to those out there looking for a hassle free vacation. For me however I can't imagine safety trumping many of my goals in a holiday. Not that I'm a risk taker or looking for thrills, it's just that for me if I wanted total safety I could just stay at home!

  18. Roberto Ricolli June 19, 2011 7:58 pm #

    I have visited most of these countries. I really liked Singapore and Cyprus and have to admit they are in the top 10. Great places to visit. BTW, didi you know that Cyprus has 56 Blue Star Beaches (Cleanest Beaches) !!

  19. Andrea November 14, 2011 5:22 pm #

    Ulster = Northern Ireland (UK), not Ireland and the Emerald Isle comprises two countries. Politics aside, I love NI and would recommend it as a travel destination to anyone.

    • Donegal Man June 27, 2012 7:52 am #

      I'm from ulster. Dun na nGall. Which is also Northern Ireland (it is the most northern county in ireland afteral)but not UK. And i love NI too in fact i love all of ireland(apart from belfast and dublin , they feel like ano country) Overall its a decent wee island

    • Alhazred DeSane January 24, 2013 3:37 am #

      Ulster does not = Northern Ireland. Ulster is a province of Ireland, and includes 6 counties in the occupied north (Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Derry and Tyrone) as well as 3 counties in the Republic (Cavan, Donegal, and Monaghan).

  20. Tasha December 4, 2011 2:47 pm #

    I am 13 and i have lived in Belfast and am now living in Singapore. I think that, as much as i loved Northern Ireland, that Ulster should definitely not be in the top 3. I moved to Belfast when i was ten, even at that age i had witnessed horrible things and was never surprised when my school or train was canceled because of bomb scares. I remember i was once chased on my way to school by a couple of rowdy drunken men. I find Singapore so much safer. Besides that i found this very helpful with my geography homework.
    p.s. Be careful when you are stating weather Ulster is in Northern Ireland or Ireland. It can make people angry.

    • Donegal Man June 27, 2012 7:56 am #

      Tasha that is silly , ya silly billy :op what does it matter if you say ireland or nothern ireland its all the same as in ulster is in the island of ireland and has 9 counties 3 of which are in the republic. ulster can refer to any of the 9 counties.
      Proud Ulster man:o) and long for a day for a united ulster haha

  21. Dev de Silva July 3, 2012 8:44 pm #

    Seattle and Tokyo DO NOT deserve to be in the safest 10 – not even the safest 100. Instead, you can add Dubai and Scotland within the safest 10.

  22. Alhazred DeSane January 24, 2013 3:32 am #

    To the poster who said by "by Ulster I presume you mean Northern Ireland": Ulster is a province in Ireland, it comprises the occupied counties of the north of Ireland, as well as some counties in the free Republic. As a province, it has a lot to offer the visitor, and has some of the friendliest, most helpful people you'll ever meet.

  23. Joe Mann March 11, 2013 2:19 pm #

    I think there should be canada in this list its a very safe country and why should there be singapore in this list! f**kn ASIAN

  24. deviantman April 4, 2013 12:00 am #

    If you ask me, the safest destinations are the following :-
    1) Denmark
    2) Norway
    3) Switzerland
    4) Singapore
    5) Finland

    New Zealand cant be in the list due to frequent earthquakes and plagues that has becoming quite frequent. US is still a highly volatile and dangerous place to visit due to many threats from many countries and also with surging threats of natural disasters eg Katrina, Sandy, el-nino and others.

  25. @DWJustTravel April 12, 2013 7:40 am #

    Wonderful list. However, wherever you travel, do edge on the side of caution and don't act in such a way that you wouldn't at home. Be sensible and you will be safe and enjoy your trip.

  26. Marc October 22, 2015 3:01 pm #

    Seattle. No way it’s not that safe I just returned from Seattle from 3 weeks vacation and if you stay a little longer you might reconsider. Even in NZ the country is not safe from earthquakes I lived and traveled there for 6 months and I had my fare share of earthquakes.


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