It’s not an uncommon occurrence for women to draw themselves away from gallivanting around the world to discover their identities. With the baggage that has become our womanhood; we can’t add the burden of spirited living as a carry-on. Well, we can finally say – down with the patriarchy! Pack your bags and not be gripped with the fear for our lives as we tell you the safest and most exciting countries for solo women travellers. The list of countries below are 10 safest countries in the world, deemed so not by individual experiences or personal European biases; but by the Institute for Economics and Peace which prepares the Global Peace Index (GPI) every year, and the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. The following countries have been named “safest” for the year 2017.
1. Qatar (GPI- 1.568)
Quite possibly every little girl’s Prince of Persia dream come true- Qatar is the most majestic country on this list. It combines the middle-eastern mystique with its dusty markets, and a hint of Westernisation with air-conditioned shopping malls to help you feel acquainted with the way everything works. To be able to truly enjoy the experience of living in Qatar, you have to plan a trip during the winter months between November and March. These months provide a window for outdoor activities. The most important tourist spot would be Souq Waqif where you can buy all your souvenirs, traditional garments, statement jewellery and soak in the mild sunlight during scenic walks.
2. Norway (GPI-1.393)
Norway is one European gem and it needs to be explored effectively to be understood. It demands attention. Strategise your vacation in a way that you can attend the Stavanger Jazz Festival held in the month of May. What better way to unwind than jazz? Since Norway is known as the land of fjords, don’t be one of the ignorant travellers and miss out on them. If you’re in a mood for adventure sports, North Cape – the northernmost tip of Europe is great for trekking and hiking.
3. Czech Republic (GPI-1.341)
Placed in the heart of the European continent, Czech isn’t like any other European nations. It’s a small country with fairytale-like castles and old breweries scattered across its map. The people are so friendly that it will take some time for you to accept that they don’t have an ulterior motive. Of course, what you can never miss abroad are the markets- where else can you use your bargaining skills and a keen eye for the obscure trinkets? There’s too much to this little country. Gulp the world’s finest beer down, take out the road map and do not hesitate to go around without a care.
4. Canada (GPI-1.287)
Home to the most sought-after leader of our time (for all kinds of reasons)-Justin Trudeau, the Great White North is an underrated country. It has a lot to offer to its tourists – from the Bay of Fundy where you can laze around watching the beautiful tides, to the wondrous Niagara Falls. If in the mood for a history lesson, you can visit the Old Quebec and if you want to experience utter madness travel to Canada in July when the ten-day long Calgary Stampede takes place.
5. Finland (GPI-1.277)
‘My, my, what a country”, are the only words that you will utter once your return home from Finland with all the quirkiest tourist attractions assembled within the stretches of one nation. It has everything – Air Guitar World Championships, sleeping in an ice hotel, a Santa Clause village where it’s Christmas all year long, ice climbing and the historic Helsinki. It allows you to be one with nature and then takes you on a cruise around Harbour Islands.
6. Switzerland (GPI- 1.275)
If you’ve been in love with the film ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ then you must have dreamt about going to Switzerland and living your Simran moment! Visiting Switzerland seems as though all the picturesque sceneries from story books and Windows wallpapers have come alive on this land. There are endless opportunities for shopping in Berne and enjoying the nightlife in Zurich. You can always defy all societal expectations and go mountain biking.
7. New Zealand (GPI- 1.241)
Ever heard about the backpacking stories in Europe? Most of them begin here. New Zealand is most famous for its wilderness. Try and explore the woods as much as possible here since security is absolutely assured. Visiting Auckland should be on your checklist without fail, as should educating yourself about the Maori culture. Make your palate taste the splash of wine and your tongue swirl around in exotic cuisines.
8. Austria (GPI-1.265)
If you are a fan of old Hitchcock Hollywood and you’ve seen Waltzes from Vienna, you won’t be able to contain your happiness flying to this beautiful, beautiful country. Hohenwerfen Castle when seen from afar reminds you of the castle you imagined the twelve dancing princesses escaping from or where Cinderella worked her hours like a distraught maid. Eisriesnenwelt Cave will have stories tucked in every nook and cranny that it echoes back to you. Attending a ball at Vienna State Opera will make all your Princess Diaries dreams come true.
9. Portugal (GPI-1.258)
No, Cristiano Ronaldo is not the main tourist attraction for Portugal. The country sells itself pretty well without a billionaire football player leading people to it. With a high happiness index, political neutrality and very low crime rates, Portugal is easily very safe a country. It offers a lot of engagements like traversing around Minho, partaking Atlantic delicacies, exploring the magnificent structure of Mafra which constitutes a palace, a monastery, and a church, etc. Do not miss the Curral das Feiras, a small village tucked away in the mountains waiting to be found.
10. Iceland (GPI-1.111)
Not only is Iceland the safest country in the world, it’s also the most magical. Albeit, the Northern Lights shine in other Scandinavian countries too but they don’t blanket the skies and scream over the horizons in these countries like they do in Iceland. On a cold, winter night, if you’re fortunate, you can see the lights dancing around without the use of any sort of substance. If these aren’t enough of for you to experience transcendence, you can always dip in the Blue Lagoon Sea where the water is always just the right temperature. You can’t go for a casual stroll and end up trekking across a glacier in any other place in the world.