“Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.”“I’ve never found my sex a hinderment; never faced a difficulty, which a woman, as well as a man, could not surmount; never felt a fear of danger; never lacked courage to protect myself. I’ve been in tight places and have seen harrowing things.”~ Harriet Chalmers Adams
The benefits of traveling and seeing the world have far outweighed the risks. Unfortunately, for solo female travelers, the world still poses a major security threat. To help fellow female travelers plan trips without the stress of their safety, journalists Asher and Lyric Fergusson created a list of 50 of the most popular travel destinations and ranked them based on how safe they are for solo female travelers.
They scored each country on the basis of eight parameters: safe to walk alone at night, intentional homicide of women, non-partner sexual violence, intimate partner violence, legal discrimination, global gender gap, gender inequality index and violence against women. They awarded double points for street safety and intentional homicide while the rest earned a point each. Unfortunately, no country earned an A rating.
Here is a look at the top five safest places to travel alone as women.
Spain was ranked the safest country on the list after scoring a B+. The haven for art lovers is also the second most visited destination on the list being beaten by France. A cultural melting pot, Barcelona is a must for those in search of Gaudí and architectural enthusiasts who will love exploring the remnants of the Art Nouveau movement in Cataluña. Spain whispers to the artistic hearts of architects with sites like Gaudí’s Casa Vicens, Casa Milá, Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera and Parc Güell. Aside from the sites, the country is known for its food and music.
Also gaining a B+ rating was Singapore. From its delectable street stalls, endless hawker markets and a variety of cultures, Singapore has something for everyone. The city is a foodie paradise and boasts local cuisines from Malaysian curries and to Indian Rotis. One of the most popular dishes in the country is Chilly crab which is often eaten with steamed buns. Chicken and rice, as well as Laksa (a fish soup), are also abundantly available. Other popular options are Hong Kong-style wonton soup, Malaysian Lontong curry, and Indian roti prata.
Graded B+ is Ireland is the third safest country for women on the list. According to those who have visited the gorgeous country, the best way to visit Ireland is to explore the country via a road trip. From Dublin to Portlaoise the natural beauty of the mountains, Powerscourt Waterfall and Sally Gap’s pass will leave anyone stunned. Another must-see is the Burren National Park with its breathtaking limestone landscapes and unique biodiversity. Visiting the Boyne Valley Scenic Loop is also a great idea.
Austria received a B. Famous for its rich history in classical music, a must-see is the Sound of Music tour. Salzburg has over two dozen locations that were featured in the 1965 classic. From the Mirabell Gardens from “Do-Re-Mi,” to the Leopoldskron Palace gazebo from “Sixteen going on Seventeen” and the Hellbrunn Palace gardens, these sites are worth seeing at least once for any fan. Other attractions include the von Trapp house, the fruit market, the Mozart footbridge, and the steps leading down from the Modern Art Museum.
The fifth safest country on the list, Switzerland also received a B grade. Known for cheese, Switzerland is the perfect place to travel and test different varieties of unique cheese. Appenzeller, a hard cow’s milk cheese that’s cured in wine or cider, is made in Appenzell in the northeast of the country. Visitors should also try Sbrinz, a unique parmesan substitute made in only 42 dairies across the country. In the Canton of Glarus region try Schabziger or Sapasago and then visit the canton of Fribourg for some semi-hard Vacherin-Fribourgeois.
Norway, Portugal, Croatia, Canada, and Poland, were also amongst the top ten safe countries on the list. The each graded B.