Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from The Safest Tourist Spots in the World

The Safest Tourist Spots in the World

Editor

Safety is important to consider when traveling. When choosing your next vacation destination, you should make sure you're prepared for any hazards you might encounter, whether that's inclement weather, labyrinthine train systems or pickpockets. Ultimately, you may decide that a location might have too many risk factors to make a visit worthwhile.

But sometimes a destination's reputation can be better or worse than reality. You might consider certain major world cities to be safe when in fact some have high rates of crime. Other countries could seem more dangerous when really they're among the safest places in the world.

Based on the Institute for Economics & Peace's 2018 Global Peace Index, the World Economic Forum's 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report the Economist's 2017 Safest Cities Index, here are the top world destinations with low risk to your health and personal or digital security, so you can have peace of mind during your travels.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Abu Dhabi has built itself up as a popular, dazzling tourist destination in the Middle East, and part of encouraging millions of visitors each year has been ensuring safety and security. In fact, the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranks the UAE as the second-safest country in the world. It has a low homicide rate, and crime and violence has little effect on local businesses. Abu Dhabi is a land of extravagant skyscrapers, resorts and restaurants for those looking to lounge in luxury.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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The sixth safest city in the world according to The Economist's report is Amsterdam. This bustling Dutch capital retains its history, charm and culture through its system of canals, its museums dedicated to Van Gogh and Rembrandt and its flower stalls flush with tulips. Take in a show at the Concertgebouw, which is world-famous for its acoustics, or take a somber journey through the Anne Frank House and Museum.

Bhutan

Bhutan

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Considered by the Institute for Economics & Peace and the World Economic Forum to be the safest country in South Asia, Bhutan has reliable police services, no incidents of terrorism and low crime and violence. This small Buddhist kingdom at the edge of the Himalayas is famous for its beautiful temples and for its government's focus on Gross National Happiness rather than Gross Domestic Product. The country is a bucket-list destination for trekkers and hikers looking to explore the area's natural wonders and rich culture.

Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

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Brussels ranks high in safety and security for tourists, with the main threat being pickpockets or scammers in crowded hot spot areas. International organizations such as NATO and the EU have their headquarters in Brussels, so it is worth noting that it is considered a potential terrorist target. But Brussels is still a beautiful, safe city full of delicious specialties like chocolate, beer, waffles and speculoos as well as quirky culture and rich history.

Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca, Morocco

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Morocco is the safest country in North Africa, according to the Global Peace Index, and its largest city, Casablanca, is a must-visit destination. Known by many because of the Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman movie, it is surprisingly less touristy than Marrakech. This means you'll have more space to stroll through markets and along the Atlantic coast, linger in European-style cafes, take in the gorgeous Hassan II Mosque and savor the city's nightlife scene.

Doha, Qatar

Doha, Qatar

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While Qatar is currently facing diplomatic and economic embargoes from neighboring countries the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, it's still one of the top three safest countries in the Middle East. Its capital, Doha, is an off-the-radar, world-class destination on the rise that will play host to the 2022 World Cup. It's home to the expansive Museum of Islamic Art, thousands of shops at the Souq Waqif and the Corniche promenade along the turquoise bay.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

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One of the Global Peace Index's top 10 safest countries, Ireland has countless amazing sights, but Dublin is the heart of Irish culture. Stroll the medieval streets of Temple Bar and explore the city's literary history at the Writers Museum or the James Joyce Centre. Once you're thirsty, tour the Guinness Storehouse or the Jameson Distillery at Bow St.

Georgia

Georgia

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The former Soviet republic of Georgia is an up-and-coming tourist destination because of its unique Eurasian culture, natural beauty and safe, welcoming cities. There's the capital city of Tbilisi, the Black Sea port city of Batumi, and Ushguli, the highest village in Europe. The country also has a burgeoning wine industry, natural hot springs and sulfur pools, and opportunities for great hiking in the Caucasus Mountains.

Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt, Germany

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Known as the "Gateway to Europe," Frankfurt is a centrally located metropolis brimming with history dating back to the Roman Empire. It's a mix of old and new, with quaint taverns and its medieval old town giving way to glittering new skyscrapers housing the European Central Bank and other major institutions. You can tour the home of famous writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and dozens of quality museums as well as enjoy the city's modern wave of art and music.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

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Finland is the safest country in the world, according to the World Economic Forum, and its largest city, Helsinki, is a peaceful place to enjoy the city's design history. An internationally influential city in fashion, textile, furniture, lighting and more, Helsinki is home to cutting-edge boutiques and workshops as well as the Design Museum. Helsinki is also surrounded by natural beauty such as lakes and forests perfect for both summer and wintertime outdoor excursions.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

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The densely packed autonomous territory of Hong Kong is known for being at the forefront of innovation from land use to technology to security. One of the top 10 safest cities in the world, according to The Economist, Hong Kong has spectacular shopping and food. Outside of the jam-packed city, about 75 percent of Hong Kong is actually undeveloped and preserved as country parks where you can experience beautiful scenery.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

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The tiny country of Luxembourg is often overlooked as a tourist destination. Tucked away between Belgium, Germany and France, the idyllic, serene country is brimming with rural European charm. Its countryside is dotted with bridges, fairytale castles, rivers and valleys.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Slovenia isn't heavily militarized or involved in international or domestic conflicts, but just because this central European country is calm doesn't mean it's boring. The country's capital, Ljubljana, hosts more than 10,000 cultural events every year. It's built for strolling, with car access restricted in the city center to let pedestrians and cyclists enjoy the city's architecture, green spaces and riverfront. Outside Ljubljana, Slovenia is one of Europe's most forested countries, making it ideal for outdoor explorers.

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

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Both Madrid and Spain as a whole rank highly in safety thanks to reliable, responsible law enforcement, creating a city that's comfortable for foreigners to explore. The capital and largest city in Spain, Madrid has a bit of everything, including art, architecture, street markets, upscale shopping, fine dining and, of course, bustling nightlife and dancing.

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia

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The fifth safest city in the world according to the Safe Cities Index is Melbourne, Australia. Despite being a coastal city, it experiences few fatal natural disasters and has low theft, crime and risk for terrorism. Considered Australia's cultural capital, Melbourne is a hot spot for sun and sports, such as Formula One, cricket and horse racing. The city also has vibrant ethnic communities and a hip dining scene.

Muscat, Oman

Muscat, Oman

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Though the Middle East and North Africa are considered turbulent regions, the country of Oman is a safe, stable country and often overlooked country in that area worth exploring. In fact, Oman scored a zero on the Global Terrorism Index, meaning it's experienced no impact from terrorism. Oman's capital, Muscat, is surrounded by natural beauty and has gorgeous mosques, bustling markets and more.

Osaka, Japan

Osaka, Japan

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Japan is among the safest countries in the world, and two of its biggest cities are in the top three safest cities in the world, according to The Economist. Even though Osaka is the country's second-largest metro area, it is the third-safest city in the world. Osaka is nicknamed "the nation's kitchen" and is home to some of the best food and restaurants in the world. Osaka is also known as the birthplace of Japanese puppet theater and has shopping, spas and hopping nightlife.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

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Iceland is the safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index, and the third-safest in the world, according to the World Economic Forum. Its capital city, Reykjavik, is nontraditional in that it's both metropolitan and quite close to glaciers, fjords and more otherworldly natural features of Iceland. According to SafeAround, there's no "bad" part of town and crimes like theft and mugging are uncommon, so there's nothing but the low temps to discourage you from visiting this bucket list destination.

Rwanda

Rwanda

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Though it has a violent history, Rwanda actually ranks ninth in world safety and security, according to the World Economic Forum. The government prioritizes travel and tourism and it thus focuses on domestic safety. There's also very little effect of terrorism in Rwanda. Its majestic mountains, volcanoes, and bamboo forests are home to some of the world's only endangered mountain gorillas. Aside from the stunning scenery, cities like the capital of Kigali are evolving and have unique shopping and dining opportunities.

Singapore

Singapore

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The city-state of Singapore is more densely populated than Hong Kong and yet the country is known for its cleanliness and safety, ranking among the top in the world. Its food scene is a mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences, and it has shopping ranging from outlets and street markets to high-end boutiques. Its botanic gardens are perhaps the most iconic in the world, helping Singapore live up to its ideal of being "a city in a garden."

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

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One of the top 10 safest cities in the world, Sweden's capital of Stockholm is a series of 14 connected islands with a well-preserved historic Gamla Stan district that seems straight from a storybook. The city also has a dynamic food culture, beautiful natural surroundings, an entire museum dedicated to ABBA and plenty of places to experience Nordic traditions like saunas.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

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Australia's most distinctive city is also one of the safest in the world. Known for its innovative opera house, harbor and beaches, Sydney is also surrounded by national parks, making it a perfect escape to soak up the sun. After a day of playing, it's also perfect for hitting the town to enjoy the vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene.

Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan

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Taipei is one of the safest and the most fun-filled cities in the world. This East Asian destination is famous for its skyscrapers as well as its temples and museums. Its unique culture includes wacky themed restaurants, sumptuous street foods and creative parks with pop-up exhibits and performances. Hike up Elephant Mountain outside the city for a majestic skyline view.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

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The medieval capital city of Estonia is entrancing all year long. A popular summer destination, it also hosts one of the most magical Christmas markets in the world during the wintertime. Its high safety ranking means you can confidently stroll through one of Europe’s most complete walled cities and enjoy its charming culture and architecture.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

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Located in one of the top 10 safest countries overall, Japan's colorful capital of Tokyo takes a top spot as one of the safest cities in the world according to The Economist's Safe Cities Index. Tokyo is safer than ever thanks to efforts to increase security and infrastructure ahead of the 2020 Olympics. At once modern and ancient, Tokyo is home to stunning temples and shrines, world-class designer shopping and bustling street markets, and amazing street food and world-class dining.

Toronto, Ontario

Toronto, Ontario

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Toronto is by far the safest city in North America. Canada as a whole outranks the United States by more than 100 spots in the Global Peace Index, and its cities also outpace U.S. metropolises, with Toronto being considered one of the safest major cities in the world. Toronto ranks high in digital protections like cyber security for residents and visitors, has fewer car accidents and has high personal security, so vacationers can feel at ease enjoying this bustling lakeside city, which is among the most culturally diverse places in the world.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

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Austria is the second-safest country in Europe, considered the world's most peaceful region. Austria is a dazzling destination due to its coffee house culture, classical music history, local wineries and majestic Hofburg palace complex. Its historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Vienna keeps old traditions alive through the famed Vienna Boys' Choir and the Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School.

Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington, New Zealand

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New Zealand is the second-most peaceful country in the world thanks to its almost nonexistent domestic and international conflict, including crime rates, according to the 2018 Global Peace Index. The country's capital, Wellington, located on the North Island, may be safe, but it's far from boring. You'll have days jam-packed with opportunities to hike, see stunning wildlife, explore the country's history, tour Peter Jackson's Weta Cave workshop, tackle extreme sports and more.

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

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Croatia has become a hot European destination in recent years because it has something for everyone — history, music, art, culture. The bustling capital city is full of beautiful architecture and sights that you can take in by foot without worrying about your safety. Croatia is one of the top 25 safest countries in the world, according to the World Economic Forum.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

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Zurich is known for having one of the highest standards of living, and part of that is definitely due to its level of public safety. With a high average income, the city can provide quality health and emergency services as well as well-maintained infrastructure. The Swiss capital is a gastronomic destination as well as a mecca for arts and culture, both traditional and contemporary. On the flip side, if you're looking to break out of your comfort zone, consider adding one of these incredible travel experiences to your bucket list of things to do before you die.

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