In this article we will take a look at the 17 safest European countries for solo female travelers. You can skip our detailed analysis of the tourism industry’s outlook for 2021 and go directly to 5 Safest European Countries for Solo Female Travelers.
As governments begin mass rollout of COVID-19 vaccines all over the world, hopes of a much-needed rebound in travel are increasing. Domestic travel in the US is already rising with major airliners and travel companies like Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ: ABNB), Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG) and Tripadvisor Inc Common Stock (NASDAQ: TRIP) seeing record bookings and traffic. Perhaps now is the right time to plan your vacation. This article is especially for women who are planning to travel solo in the coming months.
In America, more than 32 million women chose to travel alone over the past year, according to reports from The Travel Industry Association. And more than 2/3rd of holidaymakers today are women. Hostelworld Group Plc. (LON: HSW), one of the major travel booking websites, saw an uptick of 45% in bookings made by women solo tourists from 2015 to 2017.
While many of us dream to explore the world, it's not as easy as it sounds, especially when you are a solo female tourist. Despite the improving law and order situation worldwide, risks of sexual harassment, theft, rape, verbal and physical attacks remain a formidable threat, especially for women.
Following is our list of the 17 safest European countries for solo female travelers. We based this list on statistics and tourism-related reports available on different sources, such as the Global Peace Index, the United Nations World Tourist Organization and Gallup surveys. The European countries listed here have positive reviews from solo female tourists who reported their experience in online forums of famous travel companies like Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ: ABNB), Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG) and Tripadvisor Inc Common Stock (NASDAQ: TRIP).
We also took into account the crime rate, government investments into security practices and overall attitude towards women in these countries while deciding ranks for the list.
Safest European Countries for Solo Female Travelers
The country scores 1.494 on the 2020 Global Peace Index. About 5.3 million crimes were reported in Germany last year. It is a sharp drop of about 2.3 percent compared to the previous year’s statistics.
A report from OSAC, a partnership of U.S. Department of State and private-sector security community that supports safe operations of U.S. organizations overseas, says that tourists can expect petty crimes in Germany like purse snatching, and pickpocketing on the busy tourist attractions. You need to take precautionary measures to avoid being a victim of these crimes.
You can stay safe by choosing safer options for staying in. For instance, you can opt for Frauenhotel Hanseatin, the female-only hotel in Germany. As a female solo traveler, you can also find the best-suited hostel option and research well before checking in.
The best tourist spots in Germany include Peterskirche, Frauenkirche, The Imperial City Museum, Plönlein, and Cologne Cathedral, among others.
It is highly unlikely to see violence (or other crime) in Greece because the crime rate is very low. The Crime and Safety Report 2020 by OSAC says the country is a low-threat with rare risks of sexual crimes with female tourists. It is a safe European tourist attraction for many solo female tourists. The country ranks 16th in the list of safest European countries for solo female travelers.
Tourism is thriving in the country, with 33.1 million foreign holidaymakers arriving Greece in 2018 alone, as per an OECD report. This makes it one of the most visited EU countries in the world. The number of female tourists was equal to the number of male solo and tourist groups.
Forget fear and explore the beauty of this historical country in Europe. The most favorite tourist attractions in Greece are Parthenon, Acropolis of Athens, Navagio, and Meteora. Also plan thoroughly and scour websites of Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ: ABNB), Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG) and Tripadvisor Inc Common Stock (NASDAQ: TRIP) to read fellow tourists' reviews.
For solo women globetrotters, Sweden is also a safe option in Europe. The country’s overall environment is progressive and secure for females.
Development in the tourism sector is estimated to reach 603 billion kronor in the next seven years. These statistics show tourists’ interest in visiting the country. You can walk alone anytime in the day or night in the streets of Sweden. Police in Sweden is very active and cooperative, as per online reviews.
So, if you are planning to visit Sweden, see the Royal Palace, Vasa Museum, and Skansen etcetera.
14. Czech Republic
The risks of violent crimes in the Czech Republic are not high. The streets of the cities are safe to walk. The Weekly Czech News report published in 2019 says that the crime rate is falling every year.
Moreover, the 2020 Global Peace Index rates Czech Republic as the 8th most peaceful country internationally – making it a safer option for women wanting to travel alone.
Some of the places worth a visit in Czech Republic include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and the Dancing House.
Also plan accordingly and research on forums and websites of Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ: ABNB), Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG) and Tripadvisor Inc Common Stock (NASDAQ: TRIP).
Italy is another hottest tourist attraction in the world. According to The World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism sector directly contributes to the country’s GDP. In 2019 alone, the country welcomed around 96.2 million international visitors.
Moreover, the rate of crime has seen a decline recently. In 2014, there were 2.8 million crimes reported. But within the next five years, the rate dropped to 2.3 million, making it another safe country to travel by solo female tourists
Did you know Denmark is ranked as the second ‘Happiest' country in the world according to the World Happiness Report by the United Nations? The report is mainly based on the Gallup World polls.
In 2019, Denmark recorded the highest number of international stays in its history. More than 56.1 million travelers chose the country to visit. Denmark is considered one of the most peaceful countries with no risks of natural disasters and an almost zero crime rate.
The country ranks 12th in the list of safest European countries for solo female travelers.
When in Denmark, do not forget to visit Tivoli Gardens, Nyhavn and Rosenberg Castle
Visiting Paris is a dream for many people. In 2018 alone, 212 million people visited the country, reports World Data. The country made more than $71.01 billion from tourism. The sector’s direct contribution to GDP is estimated at 82.7 billion euros.
Furthermore, there is a significant decrease in sex-based hate crimes in France, according to a recent report by France 24. In 2020, 90 crimes were reported while the total number of gender-based crimes was 146. All these facts indicate that France can be a good option to visit for solo women travelers.
The country ranks 11th in the list of safest European countries for solo female travelers.
Innovation and tradition meet in the Netherlands. There are many places that you can visit here like the famous Keukenhof, Anne Frank House, and Rijksmuseum.
For solo female travelers, it is considered a good option because of its low crime rate. On GPI 2020, the country score is 1.528. The OSAC report reveals the sex crimes in Netherlands decreased by twelve percent in 2018. However, petty thefts like pickpocketing are common in busy areas.
The country ranks 10th in the list of safest European countries for solo female travelers.
9. United Kingdom
UK is also a good choice for solo women holidaymakers. The country tends to be highly tolerant of all ethnicities and groups. Therefore, your risks of bumping into any trouble are slim.
Adding to the safety of the travelers is the country’s hustle and bustle. UK does not sleep. It means your risk of getting entirely alone during travel is minimal.
The country ranks 9th in the list of safest European countries for solo female travelers.
You can visit Stonehenge, the British Museum, and Lake District National Park, among many other places in the country
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Poland is one of the safest tourist destinations in Eastern Europe. The crime rate is not high and the country enjoys peace.
On the Global Peace Index 2020, Poland’s score is 1.654. It makes the country safer for women tourists traveling on their own. The transport and cab risks are also low. However, keep your wits with you when taking a walk at night.
The country ranks 8th in the list of safest European countries for solo female travelers.
Want to book a hotel? You will find a lot of good deals on Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ: ABNB), Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG) and Tripadvisor Inc Common Stock (NASDAQ: TRIP). The best hotels in Poland are Raffles Europejski, Hotel Stary, and Hotel Bristol, among others
Solo female travelers can also choose Croatia – a Mediterranean country full of beautiful landscapes and cooler summer days. The country also ranks high on the Global Peace Index with a score 1.645.
The country ranks 7th in the list of safest European countries for solo female travelers.
According to OSAC, there are no security and safety concerns for tourists in the country. However, petty crimes like purse snatching rise during the tourist season in summer. The country is also safe for using your debit and credit cards.
Plan to visit Dubrovnik and Split (the two safest cities of Croatia) when you visit. If you want to stay in a female-only environment, choose a hostel (Swanky Mint, Crazy House Hostel, and Main Square Hostel).
Portugal ranks third on the Global Peace Index 2020, scoring 1.247. The crime rate is extremely low. There are fewer chances of sexual assaults against female tourists in the country, according to OSAC. However, pickpocketing in some city streets is common.
Overall, Portugal is a beautiful country and the Portuguese are mostly sensible, open-minded, and generous. Some of the must-visit places in the country include, Lisbon’s Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Oceanário de Lisboa, and Palácio Nacional de Sintra.
The country ranks 6th in the list of safest European countries for solo female travelers.
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Disclosure: No stakes in Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ: ABNB), Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG), Tripadvisor Inc Common Stock (NASDAQ: TRIP), Hostelworld Group Plc. (LON: HSW). 17 Safest European Countries for Solo Female Travelers is originally published on Insider Monkey.