Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a newbie explorer, your priority should always be your safety and security. Cities with high crime rates, for example, are definitely off the list. So, too, are cities with poor and crumbling infrastructure. But have you ever thought about other factors that could also affect a city’s ranking on the safety index? Which cities are protected against cyber attacks? Which ones are more prepared for sudden diseases?
If you’re thinking of traveling this year, you might want to check out the 2015 list of safe cities compiled by The Economist below!
10. New York
The only US city in the top 10 list, New York has definitely reinvented itself—a far cry from way back in 1990 when it had an average of six reported murders each day. As Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to new York” song goes, “Everybody here was someone else before. And you can want who you want.”
The UNESCO City of Literature ranks second in the infrastructure safety index, which takes into account factors such as the quality of roads and the number of casualties from natural disasters. This is definitely important as Melbourne is home to a lot of established cultural institutions such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne Museum, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.
It may be Canada’s most populous city, but it also has more than enough public parks for everyone. If it’s your first time, do drop by the Casa Loma (Hill House) and The Spadina House—both stunning examples of 18th and 19th century Australian architecture respectively.
Locals live well in Zurich. In fact, apart from Mexico, it’s the only city wherein the residents felt as safe as is indicated in the statistics. A plus: Zurich actually ranks first in the healthcare index—the results of which are based on factors like the number of hospital beds to population size and life expectancy.
As one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Sydney is naturally diverse and vibrant in energy. The Sydney Opera House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, remains one of the most internationally recognized theaters in the world.
What originally began as a small fishing village is now a postcard-worthy city lined with 17th century water canals. Get to know the city by hopping on a boat or going around the city on a bike.
The city has festivals dedicated to the passing of the seasons, making your visit a lot more special, depending on when you visit. From Walpurgis Night in April to Lucia Day in December, there’s always something for you to do.
Ranking second in the personal safety index (even higher than Tokyo), Osaka is a wonderful mix of the old and the new. From traditional Osaka Castle to modern Universal Studios Japan, Japan’s city proves that opposites do mix.
Singapore is so safe, lah! Aside from the low crime rate—it actually ranks first in the personal safety index—the fact that almost everyone can speak English (or Singlish), makes it easy even for first-timers to navigate the city.
Noodles, sushi, and all things kawaii—Tokyo is number one on the list for a good many reasons. According to Fast Company, it “scores well for digital security, personal safety, and infrastructure safety, despite the risk it faces from earthquakes.” That’s the holy trinity of travel safety right there.
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