Each year, the Institute for Economics and Peace releases their list of the world’s safest countries. Whether you’re planning a vacation or thinking of moving abroad, read on to learn which countries are the most peaceful and why you should visit.
The Emerald Isle ranked as the number 10 of the world’s safest country in 2018 thanks to a general atmosphere of political stability and a low terror risk. If you’re one of the millions of people enjoying Irish descent, or you just really like beer, Ireland could be calling you home. Ireland may host some of the best beer and most vibrant pubs in the world, but there’s more to this island than drinking. Ireland is also paradise for history buffs. Check out the dozens of castles dotting the island or explore the rich prehistoric history. Ireland actually has historical sites dating back to 10,500 BCE! For lovers of religious studies, Ireland has some of the most fascinating and well preserved mythology in the world, including the famous leprechaun. Plus, the Emerald Isle is home to the world famous Book of Kells and some of the oldest monasteries in Europe.
Japan ranked highly on the list of the world’s safest countries due to a low homicide rate. That being said, Japan does have some of the highest suicide rates in the world. Right now is a great time to visit this high tech paradise; the country is in the middle of a push to double tourism by 2020. This initiative includes high speed trains to help visitors explore the magic of the land of the Samurai. If you do visit Japan, be sure to stop by an onsen. Onsen are hot springs traditionally used for relaxation and curing disease.
With its extremely strict laws, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise to see Singapore on a list of the world’s safest countries. With the world’s nicest airport and very low levels of conflict, both at home and abroad, Singapore is a traveler’s dream. Singapore is also a business and banking hub and is considered one of the strongest economies in the world. That means it has a very well developed luxury tourism center. From infinity pools overlooking the city to the world’s most glamorous spa experiences to Michelin rated restaurants, a visit to Singapore will have you feeling like a celebrity.
- The Czech Republic (Czechia)
The Czech Republic makes the list thanks to its low rates of violent crime and low military spending. Visitors fall in love with the scenic ambiance of Prague. Prague, the small nation’s capital, delivers the beauty and culture of Paris, but without the hefty price tag. Walk across Charles Bridge at sunset for some of the most beautiful views of this historic city. If you’re interested in a taste of the macabre, take a train one hour outside of the capital to Kutna Hora to see the famous Sedlec Ossuary, a Catholic church made of human skeletons.
Canada easily beats out the US to make the top ten list of the world’s safest countries. America’s famously polite northern neighbor boasts some of the most unspoilt nature in the world. Lovers of winter sports should head to Vancouver’s Whistler or Banff for incredible skiing and nature so mystical you’ll be wondering whether you’ve fallen into a different world.
Denmark is not only one of the most peaceful countries in the world, it’s also one of the happiest! Culture buffs will love exploring Danish art from the viking period all the way up to modern day. With fjords, beaches, and an abundance of biking trails, Denmark is also a haven for natural lovers.
Portugal is not only incredibly safe, it’s also super affordable. If you’re looking for a European beach getaway that won’t break the bank, Lisbon or Porto might be great choices. While many of Europe’s most famous beaches will be freezing cold and grey in the winter, Southern Portugal will still be serving up blue skies and temperate weather. Killer beaches is definitely a draw, but Portugal has more to offer than just sunshine. Portuguese cuisine and wine are considered some of the most underrated in Europe, while the architecture is sure to make for a unique photo-op. Did you know J.K. Rowling drew much of her inspiration for the magical world of Harry Potter from her time in Portugal? In fact, the Hogwarts library was inspired by the Livraria Lello in Porto.
The former Habsburg stronghold is now one of Europe’s foremost cultural centers and one of the top three of the world’s safest countries. Lovers of art and culture will never want to leave the Austrian capital, Vienna. See a performance at Karlskirche or explore one of the many epic art museums. Some of the most famous artists of all time from Gustav Klimt to Egon Schiele called Vienna home, so if you love the arts, Vienna is not a place to be missed. The Imperial City is also a culinary capital of Europe. Check out one of the nearby vineyards for authentic Austrian fair and definitely don’t leave Austria without trying their famous apple strudel.
- New Zealand
Of the big six English speaking countries, New Zealand is considered to have the most free economy. Unsurprisingly, the land of the Kiwi is also the second safest country in the world. From glaciers to hundreds of miles of coast, New Zealand is the go to spot for adventure travelers. Film buff? Native Kiwi, Peter Jackson chose to film the entirety of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in New Zealand. You can still visit parts Middle Earth today!
Iceland is not only famous for its geographical wonders, it’s also considered the safest country on earth with low homicide rates, low risk for terror attacks, few people in prison, and few international disputes. Iceland is home to some rather out of the ordinary cuisine. Here you can try blood pudding, fermented shark, sheep testicles, and whale. From volcanoes to views of the Northern Lights, Iceland is definitely an adventure, but if you’re looking for a more relaxing holiday, don’t miss the geothermal baths.