Feeling safe and secure whilst in a new country is an absolute priority for every traveller. Threats such as terrorism and crime are sadly a part of the world that we all share, so doing research on the safest travel destinations before you book your next big trip is the best way to keep your concerns at the bay.
The good news is, there are plenty of countries out there for you to choose from. According to the 2019 Global Peace Index, which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness, the average level of peace in the world has actually improved in 2019, for the first time in 5 years. In total 86 countries around the world have increased their peacefulness score – positive news indeed for all those planning on travelling in 2020. Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world, with 22 of the continent’s 36 countries recording improvements in peacefulness.
Want to know the safest places to travel in 2020? We’re rounded up the top 10…
Retaining the top spot on the GPI for the fifth year running, Iceland is the world’s safest country to travel to. A place that has exploded in popularity over the past few years, Iceland is a tranquil and calm country that gives you the opportunity to escape into some of the world’s most phenomenal natural environments. In the winter months, there’s no better place to catch the Northern Lights dancing across the sky, whilst the summer brings with it the unique beauty of the midnight sun.
2. New Zealand
Everyone knows the kiwis are some of the friendliest and kindest people on earth, and so it’s little wonder their beautiful country comes in at number 2 on the GPI. And really, what’s not to love about New Zealand? The beaches are vast and stunning, the Maori culture is respected and woven through the country’s fibre, the South Island vistas are out of this world, and the wine isn’t half bad, either.
The kind of place you can never just visit once, everyone’s favourite, Portugal, has just provided another reason for you to add it to your ‘must visit’ list. The third safest country to visit in the world, Portugal has a little of something for everyone. City dwellers will be more than happy strolling the cobbled streets of Lisbon or Porto (pastel de nata and glass of port in hand, naturally), whilst those with a passion for culture and history could spend days exploring the Baroque-style Palácio de Mateus, or the monastery of Batalha.
Surprised to find Austria in the top 10 safest travel destinations? No, neither were we. The days of trouble in this picturesque, culturally rich country are long gone, although you can still learn about Austria’s role in the war by visiting such locations as the Eagle’s Nest, intended as a mountain retreat for Hitler and his inner circle. Other Austrian highlights include the alpine beauty of the Salzburg lake district, and of course Vienna, one of the best cities in the world for classical music.
Scandinavia is one of the world’s safest regions, with Denmark the safest Scandi country. The home of fairytales, hygge and Carlsberg has one of the world’s lowest crime rates, making it a safe bet for those concerned about safety. The country’s capital, Copenhagen, is a particular highlight thanks to its beautiful Old Town, colourful houses and Amalienborg Palace, whilst a visit to Odense will give you a fascinating insight into the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen.
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Oh Canada! Another country with a respectably low crime rate, not to mention locals who are known to apologise for absolutely everything, there’s nothing you can’t love about Canada. Toronto is a complete celebration of multiculturalism and amazing food, whilst Vancouver is one of the only places in the world where you can ski in the morning and take a dip in the ocean by late afternoon. And then of course you have the glacier lakes and Alpine forests of the Rockies region, a place that needs little introduction.
The first non Europe entry on the GPI, Singapore is the safest place to travel in Asia. In 2017, the Economist also listed it the second safest city to visit in the world. More than just a stopover city, Singapore combines opulence, glamour and unique culture to wondrous effect, with highlights ranging from the city’s colonial history, to visits to Chinatown and Little India, plus of course the UNESCO listed Botanical Gardens. And by night? The famous Gardens by the Bay, complete with cloud forest, a 35 metre tall indoor waterfall and illuminated tree structures, has to be seen to be believed.
Beautiful Slovenia has slowly but surely been capturing the hearts of travellers for many years, but it wasn’t until its capital, Ljubljana, won the coveted European Green Capital Award in 2016, did people really sit up and take notice. And now they have, more and more visitors are discovering why Slovenia really is one of Europe’s greatest hidden gems. Alongside the small but charming capital city, glacier fed Lake Bled is the other Slovenia star attraction you simply can’t miss.
As if the hosts of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics needed to give you another reason to visit… and yet they have. Curious, cultural and oh so delicious Japan is the kind of place that sets your imagination on fire, and that’s before you’ve even stepped foot in one of their famous robot restaurants. Tokyo was named the world’s safest city by the Economist in 2017, and is undoubtedly a bucket list must. Osaka, famous for its fairytale castle and world class food scene, is another must visit, whilst the hot springs of Kotohira and historical significance of Hiroshima are other highlights.
10. Czech Republic
Rounding off the top 10, Czech Republic takes tenth place on the world’s safest places to travel list. It was 30 years ago that communism finally fell in the country, and since then Czech Republic has emerged as one of Europe’s most popular, and safest, travel destinations. At the heart of it all is Prague, the epicentre of Czech culture boasting displays of Gothic architecture that date back over 500 years. Outside of the capital, the country’s castles and chateaux’s are simply awe inspiring, whilst beer drinkers will be more than happy cradling their pints of Budvar or Urquell.
So there you have it – the 10 safest travel destinations of 2020. If the top 10 places don’t set your heart on fire, perhaps locations 11 – 20 will. In order, the GPI listed these as Switzerland, Ireland, Australia, Finland, Bhutan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and Norway.
Will you be travelling to one of these country’s in 2020, or do you have any safety related travel tips to share with the community? Let us know in the comments below…