If you're not sure whether you are ready to dive into a solo trip, start by wading through this list of safe (but not lame) cities around the world.
Why It’s Safe: The Economist’s Safe Cities Index 2017 lists Toronto as the fourth safest city out of 60 cities around the world.
What’s to Love: There are plenty of cool neighborhoods to explore on foot by day and fun cocktail bars (like Barchef andCocktail Bar) to explore by night.
Read More: It's All Good in Toronto's Up-and-Coming Neighborhood
Why It’s Safe: Switzerland has basically become a synonym for neutrality and peace, so it’s only expected that its cities would live up to that reputation. There have been no recent terrorist attacks and tourist directed crime is very rare.
What's to Love: Some things that come to mind when you think Zurich: banks, suits, businessmen. But there’s an edgy side in the city center, a thriving art scene, delicious restaurants, and incredibly beautiful landscapes.
Read More: There’s More to Zurich Than Fondue, Not That We Mind the Fondue
Why It’s Safe: 2018 marked the lowest level of crime in Japan in over 70 years and the feeling is palpable. Because of the discreet and unobtrusive nature of Japanese culture, everyone minds their own business. (People don't even lock up their bicycles!)
What’s to Love: Part of Tokyo’s charm is in the juxtaposition of old and new. Staggeringly tall skyscrapers overlook old temples and busy streets lead seamlessly to quiet Japanese gardens. There’s endless exploring to be done by the solo traveler. And everyone is very accommodating and helpful when you get lost.
Read More: Everything Old? It's New Again in East Tokyo
Why It’s Safe: The Qatari Ministry of Interior reported that Qatar was the top Middle Eastern country for security over the previous five years, based on the Global Peace Index and 2015/16 statistical data. Crime rates are incredibly low and Qataris are not pushy about their views. There is a mutual respect among tourists and locals (even for solo female travelers).
What’s to Love: Doha is an unexpectedly beautiful location full of wonders. There’s a lively souq, a staggering amount of delicious restaurants featuring local food, and impressive institutions. Considering that it is a Muslim-majority country, out of respect for the culture, travelers should dress somewhat modestly.
Read More: Shopping, Smoking, and People-Watching in the Best Souq in the Gulf
Why It’s Safe: Due to the huge impact tourism has on their economy, visitors are generally greeted with open arms. The city has very little crime (many locals cited the number as “virtually zero”) — even petty crime.
What’s to Love: The hospitality, colorful cars, and old-timey feel of the city is more than enough reason to fall in love with the place. Streets are lively with music and dancing; it’s easy to join right in. Literally: Take a dance class, and you’re sure to bump into the very same instructors prancing around in town squares.
Read More: A Local's Guide to Drinking, Dancing, and Cigars in Havana
Why It’s Safe: According to the UN’s World Happiness Report, Denmark is considered the happiest country in the world, scoring 7.6 points out of a possible 10. (You may even find babies in strollers unattended without stress.)
What’s to Love: Copenhagen’s neighborhoods, Vesterbro and Frederiksberg, are quirky and chic, offering up great shopping, delicious restaurants, and beautiful design.
Read More: Touring Copenhagen’s Two Coolest Neighborhoods
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Why It’s Safe:The Dutch are known to be extremely good-natured, and, as a general rule, many in Amsterdam speak nearly perfect English. Coffee shops (where you can enjoy pre-rolled joints and edibles) are closely regulated, meaning the police are very vigilant and you’ll be sure to spot them around. You should definitely look out for speeding bikes, but if that’s your biggest worry roaming a city alone, you’re in good hands.
What’s to Love: There are unique concept stores, charming canals, colorful buildings, and courteous vibes.
Read More: Amsterdam: A Labyrinth of Incredible Design Shops
Why It’s Safe: Sweden is one of the safest countries in the world, with a safety index of 83 out of 100. If that isn’t enough to comfort you, there are 20 hours of light on a summer day.
What’s to Love: It’s a charming and walkable city with loads of places to stop for a snack or drinks. Take in the Nationalmuseum and stroll over to the Östermalm Food Hall for crayfish and a crisp white. Tour the canals on ferry boats or cruise over bridges on bikes. Stockholm is known as the Venice of the North and is best seen by water.
Read More: Spend the Holidays in Stockholm
Why It’s Safe: It’s the seventh most livable city, according to the Global Liveability Report 2017, and you’re more likely to get into a street fight with a kangaroo (much less common than global media has lead us to believe) than encounter any criminal activity. In the middle of the city, shops generally close at 5 p.m. and restaurants are not open late, either. How wholesome.
What’s to Love: The most beautiful beaches you’ll lay your eyes on, coupled with a city packed with more restaurants per capita than any other state in the country. To name a few: Mary Street Bakery for delicious brunch, Market Grounds at Yagans Square for a trendy laid-back bite, and Henry Summer for a tropical drink and local feel.
Why It’s Safe: Everyone speaks English, making things much more manageable if you don’t speak one of the many local languages. The laws in Singapore are stringent, making crime nearly non-existent. For example, drunk and disorderly conduct results on penalties of up to $3,000. Needless to say, most people remain on their best behavior here.
What’s to Love: The city is modern and vibrant and there are endless areas to explore. Famous for its street food, Tiong Bahru Market is one of the best hawker centers in the city. It’s also known as one of the greenest cities in the world. MacRitchie Reservoir is just ten minutes out of the city center. Hike from Venus Drive through the tropical forest to Tree Top Walk, a free-standing suspension bridge 250 meters in the air.
Read More: A Jam-Packed Day of Food, Shopping, and Dancing in Singapore
Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Why It’s Safe: Arguably the friendliest place on earth, the population is about 9,000 and very neighborly. The island is really all about nature and beautiful hikes, made all the more comforting by the fact that there are no predators in New Zealand, unlike its neighboring country, Australia, which has some of the most varied and dangerous creatures on earth.
What’s to Love: It will take your breath away. Known for its beautiful beaches and unique wineries, it’s really the place for chilling and exploring. Oneroa village has a bohemian vibe with cute cafes and restaurants. Start your morning at Double Shot Espresso, the perfect stop for a casual caffeine fix.