Statistics firmly indicate that now more females are traveling alone more than ever. In fact it has been put forth that a whopping 84% of those of us who travel alone are actually of the fairer sex. Furthermore, a considerable number of these ladies are doing so internationally.
But engaging in travel, especially when you’re venturing far from home, has its inherent risks. And of course, it can be said that the prospect of facing some of those dangers is significantly magnified for a lady who is traveling alone.
If a woman is determined to travel anyway, she isn’t likely to be deterred by crime statistics or what have you. But that doesn’t mean that it’s wise to venture off to just anywhere. Instead, there are certain countries which are known to be rightfully accommodating to women. And the nations that are considered utmost in that regard are the ones that have made this list.
It should be noted that, as research would have it, the overwhelming majority of the entrees on this list are found in Europe. But that shouldn’t be overly surprising, considering for instance that this continent and Western Europe especially is generally understood as the part of the world which is most liberal in terms of women’s rights.
So it would be fitting that at the top we do have a Western European nation, Ireland. That’s not to say that the Emerald Isle doesn’t have its issues, because ultimately all countries do. But based on the compilation of studies which served as the basis of this list, Ireland would be the safest place to go for a solo-female traveler.
2. NEW ZEALAND
Next up is New Zealand, which is the highest non-European country on this list. In fact, recent studies have revealed that the Land of the Long White Cloud is indeed one of the safest countries for women and particularly in that regard as far as the Asia Pacific is concerned.
Those two studies were compiled by an organization based in New Zealand but are buttressed by verifiable facts. Moreover, our own research has supported this idea, that New Zealand is safe for women, including those who are traveling alone.
Based on your point of departure, this nation may be a bit out of the way as compared to some others on the list. But it appears as if, as a woman venturing alone, you can have an especially safe time in this part of Oceania.
Out of all the entries listed, Spain ranks highest in terms of overall visitations. This Western European nation is far from a crime-free paradise. But it is known to be particularly safe for women traveling alone, so long as you take the proper, common sense precautions in terms of not making yourself vulnerable to the likes of pickpockets.
It should be pointed out that some nations on these list have their respective issues with violence against women, but they don’t tend to extend to female travelers. For example, despite being “ultra-safe” in general, the small Western European country of Austria has been dealing with a notable uptick in femicide in recent years.
But those are indeed incidences of domestic violence, i.e. being perpetrated by a spouse and not onto outsiders. So to reiterate, what has been noted more generally is that the Austrians are peaceful towards women who enter their country alone – more so than most other countries in fact.
Switzerland, which borders Austria to the west, is a comparable nation. That is to say that though known for having its domestic violence issues, most reports indicate that Switzerland is actually “one of the best places to be a woman”, only falling under Norway (which we will get to next) in terms of how safe females feel therein.
As with the likes of Ireland and Austria, Switzerland is a country that you’re likely going to come across on every list of this type, in terms of being peaceful towards women, including those who visit alone.
Concerning that aforenoted study, Norway is the sole country to rank above Switzerland, in other words being renowned as the safest for women in the entire world. So logically that protection also extends to solo female travelers, in addition to individuals who are considered part of the LGBT community.
Iceland is a pretty-safe island off the west coast of mainland Europe. As far as official statistics go, it is considered to be the safest country in the world and has reportedly held this honorable distinction for some time.
It is also one of the least-populated European nations, meaning that it would have a higher sense of homogeneity than other parts of the continent. So yes, from a logical standpoint, if anyplace would be safe for solo-female travelers, it would be Iceland. But perhaps the reason it didn’t make more lists in that regard is due to its relative remoteness.
Slovenia is a country just south of Austria which, unlike its northern neighbor, is unanimously considered to be part of Central Europe. But whatever you want to call this particular segment of the world map, it appears to be generally safe for solo females, including of the international variety, with Slovenia, like Austria, ranking within the top 10 of the Global Peace Index (GPI). Relatedly, this country has been heralded by a number of different outlets as being a peaceful place for women to visit on their own.
Of late, Portugal is trending as a popular option for the likes of foreigners intending an extended stay. One of its draws, from a crime-prevention perspective, is the nation having a high ratio of police to citizens – an approach to law enforcement that has apparently worked. So the Portuguese happen to be yet another nation on this list that, as of 2022, enjoys a top-10 GPI ranking.
Canada is the only North American country to make this list. It is also the sole nation in that part of the world to have a top-20 GPI. Yes, the Canadians are known to have some issues with crime, but that’s not of the domestic violence variety. In actuality, Canada is one of the least-violent countries towards women in the world. Therefore, a solo female traveler wouldn’t be a common target, despite trekking alone.
Finland could have made the top half of this list, and according to at least one study, is it the safest country for solo female visitors. However, that sentiment is not reflected across the board. But what is known is that the Finnish are generally regarded as being cool with the fairer sex, and they’re also known to adopt such a disposition with pride.
So everything you read coming out of Finland regarding female safety may not be pleasant. But this country can still be regarded as a by and large safe place for a woman to travel alone.
Denmark, which is just north of Germany, is a high-ranking GPI nation which, accordingly, is known to be peaceful towards people from all walks of life. When you combine those two factors, what you’re likely to get is people who also aren’t going to take particular notice of a female traveling alone. And so it is said with Denmark, with its capital city, Copenhagen, being particularly-highly regarded as a place ready to receive lone females.
Eventually, this list was bound to become less focused on Europe and more on other parts of the world. After all, the truth is that there are peaceful countries all around the globe, if you know where to look. For example, few people would be cognizant of the fact that Uruguay, a smaller nation found between Brazil and Argentina, is ranked the most peaceful in all of South America.
Montevideo, its capital, is also an underrated city (though one which you have to know what time it is). A couple of sources have recommended this country in general as the best place on the continent to visit as a solo female traveler. So the Uruguayans may have their own issues or what have you, but they aren’t that severe, and it isn’t such that outsiders are relatedly in danger.
Other sources may argue that Chile, which is ranked a few spaces lower than Uruguay on the GPI, is rather the safest South American country. Whereas it is a developing nation, it is also amongst the more well-to-do ones. So Chile is generally deemed to be safe for solo females, even as far as some of the remote areas are concerned, though common sense should be practiced throughout.
Belgium just barely missed making the top 20 of the 2022 Global Peace Index. Besides being peaceful, it is also regarded as a relatively-safe country, and some have also placed the Belgians high on their list as being accommodating to women who venture to their land on their own.
Belgium is neatly tucked away in Western Europe, which again can be considered the most-liberal part of the world as far as gender equality. So all things considered, a solo female traveler can take going there as being similar to some surrounding countries, such as the Netherlands, which we are about to get to next.
16. THE NETHERLANDS
Maybe the reason the Netherlands didn’t make it onto more lists like this one is because of its relatively-small size or the fact that such compilations already tend to be replete with higher-ranking European nations. But there are plenty of personal accounts available which do attest to the reality that the Dutch properly welcome travelers, including women on their own. And this in part speaks to the fact that the Netherlands just missed out on earning a top-20 GPI grade.
Singapore is a country that we have talked about numerous times in the past as an exceptional place to visit. Usually we focus on aspects of the Lion City such as its cleanliness and strict law enforcement, and it has been dubbed the safest country in Asia (alongside New Zealand) for women. Further along those lines, Singapore has a top 10 GPI. But that said, women therein are still encouraged to exercise the proper level of street smarts.
Mauritius is an African island nation found in the Indian Ocean that many people aren’t really aware even exists. But it is one of the Motherland’s more ideal landing spots for a number of reasons. One of those is that out of all African nations, it scored highest on the Global Peace Index.
Secondly, the Mauritians have a notable tourism industry. And third, as far as this list goes, is that by all accounts this country is more than safe enough for a woman to come to alone, though such visitors should be cognizant throughout that they are in fact in a foreign land.
19. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The UAE may not have overly impressed on the latest GPI rankings. Perhaps that would have something to do with the region of the world it’s found in, being firmly entrenched in the Middle East. But it is in fact known to be one of the safest places for women on Earth, i.e. in terms of females who actually feel safe therein.
It appears that reality, to some degree, is attributable to the country as a whole operating under Islamic law. Said religion is often regarded as one that is oppressive against women but that is not TRUE! For example, in the UAE, the laws are very liberal towards the fairer sex and actually give them great protection.
And yes, these benefits do extend to the UAE’s premiere city, Dubai, which is likewise considered one of the safest on the planet for female travelers doing the solo thing.
The handful of countries listed below may not be commonly mentioned in conversations concerning safe places for females to travel but perhaps should be, given certain considerations.
The Land Down Under has a top-30 GPI score. But domestically, Australians aren’t particularly known to be any kinder to women than the next man. However, here’s an interesting fact. More solo female travelers, indeed people traveling alone in general, visit Australia than any other country. So accordingly, women are known to be able to go to and from, as well as traverse within, this island-continent with a high level of peace and ease.
It seems as if the overwhelming majority of safest countries’ lists are biased towards European nations. There may be some solid reasons for that, but it also feels like in the process some worthy mentions, such as a few acknowledged above, get neglected.
Another such country that falls into that category is Ghana. The Ghanaians scored relatively high, within the top 40, on the latest Global Peace Index (i.e. the second-highest in Africa). And by all accounts, this country isn’t called “the Gateway to Africa” for nothing.
So solo female travelers can come to experience African culture proper amongst a people known not to be intolerant towards violent-criminal behavior. However, it isn’t such that a person coming from another part of the world wouldn’t draw attention. So some guys may attempt to shoot their shot, though most citizens are generally-helpful.
Japan placed within the top-10 of the latest GPI ranking, which would strongly imply that it is by and large safe for women. But this country is known to have its issues also. So if as a woman traveling alone you desire to see the Land of the Rising Sun, you shouldn’t be discouraged from doing so.
But at the same time there’s certain issues to be mindful of, such as the “chikan” phenomenon, that women can fall victim to, as well as the safety measures the government has put in place to prevent such victimization.
Interesting to note is that most of the countries which made this list fared exceptionally on the 2022 Global Peace Index. That would indicate that the generally-peaceful nations are also the most accommodating towards solo female travelers. And that actually makes a lot of sense. In other words, it probably wouldn’t be advisable for a woman to go to any country alone which is known to have major issues with crime. The vice versa would also be true, that those without such problems would be the most accommodating to a female visiting completely on her own.