Out of all the nearly 60 countries I’ve visited (and most of them alone), there’s some that stand out to me as being safe to travel in as a female solo traveler. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t depend on which country you go to, but rather the people you meet. This list is based on my own experiences and perceptions of the countries, the culture and the people I met. Take it with a grain of salt and remember to always be aware of your environment when you’re traveling solo.
With that being said, here are the countries that I deem are the safest if you’re a female solo traveler.
It’s one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing countries in Asia to visit, which many people have discovered by now. There’s majestic mountains, an incredible coastline, rice fields as far as the eye can see, underground caves, metropole cities, and much more. Vietnam hasn’t gone unnoticed and people from all over the world are starting to discover this Southeast Asian gem. Luckily, it’s also one of the safest countries to travel to, according to me. Never once did I feel unsafe walking around, even in the bigger cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. I think this depended on the fact that the locals were so warm and welcoming, and I didn’t once get catcalled. Sure, you will probably get a few glances every now and then, but it was far from being intimidating. Although the locals are so used to foreigners by now, their curiosity still lingers on, and they’ll be happy to practice their English whenever they can. If you’re looking for a country where you’ll be able to travel solo without feeling uneasy and where you can just enjoy your trip, Vietnam is definitely one of the best destinations for you to go to.
Portugal is known for being one of the safest countries in Europe and rightfully so. After living and traveling there for almost 7 months, I quickly came to realize that Portugal is probably one of the safest countries in the entire world! There were many times when I decided to pack my bags and head to a small town all by myself. Never once did I feel scared or had an uneasy feeling. The Portuguese are very warm people with incredibly good English, so it’s easy to get by. They’ll go out of their way to help you out as well. Not only are the locals one of the kindest I’ve met, the country itself is also extraordinary, with beaches that are just waiting to be explored, and where you can visit the colorful capital city Lisbon and divulge in pastel de nata’s. No matter where you go in Portugal, you’ll always feel welcomed and safe. And that’s, unfortunately, quite rare these days.
Of all the countries I went to in South America, Peru stood out to me the most. Yes, it’s deemed as quite the dangerous country, but from my own personal experience, it was really far away from the truth. Traveling around the country for 3 weeks were nothing but a life changing experience, seeing a completely new word unfold, meet Peruvians who were all eager to tell you more about their country, or teach you Spanish, and finally hike the Inca Trail to see Macchu Picchu. It’s an experience I’ll never forget and I often dream of going back to Peru. The country is now quite an established tourist destination, so if you want to stick to the “gringo trail”, it’ll be easy for you to do that here. There’s dozens of international hostels, restaurants and bars, where you’ll be sure to meet other travelers as well. But word of advice – try to meet some locals too. You might even pick up a few Spanish words.
It’s difficult to not put Japan on a list of countries that are deemed safe. There’s probably no country in the world besides Japan where you can leave your bag unattended and no one will touch it. And if there’s one country where you will be, as a woman, safe from cat calling, it’s Japan. The country is also known for the safety and there’s almost no criminality in Japan. Traveling around Japan as a female solo traveler was a big relief after having visited other countries in Asia – ehum, Sri Lanka, ehum – and that’s one of the reasons why it became one of my all time favorite countries to travel around in.
Kiwis are known for their hospitality all around the world and you can definitely count on them if you’re in any sort of trouble or can’t find your way. New Zealand is one of the most amazing countries in the entire world and the fact that the locals are so friendly just makes the entire experience so much better. I couchsurfed, hitchhiked, got lost (more times than I probably should’ve), met new friends in bars and spoke to strangers on the street. Never once did I feel unsafe, but rather the contrary. I felt like I was at home. It’s a place you must visit.
Bosnia & Hercegovina
Probably the most “what the heck” country on this list, but this gorgeous European country is one of my absolute favorites. The minute I stepped out from the airport, I already knew I’d like it. Although the country’s history is tumultuous, and you can still see the aftermath of it, the locals were very eager to show you that Bosnia & Hercegovina is very much alive. Whether it was the bus driver, hostel receptionist, waitress, or tour guide, they were all equally as sweet and warm. It’s one of those countries where you want to stay just because you fell in love with the locals.