The Institute for Economics and Peace has announced the top eight safest countries in the world. The countries were listed in an annual report known as the Global Peace Index. The index ranks countries based on instances of violence, well-functioning government, acceptance of other’s rights, and many other factors. The eight countries considered the safest in the world were Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, and Ireland. So, what makes them so safe?
Located between North America and Europe, Iceland is a popular destination for travelers looking for adventure and natural beauty. Ice climbing, seeing the northern lights, and geothermal spas are popular choices for visitors. Iceland is designated as the safest country in the world. Its low crime rate, high degree of equality, and culture of non-violence all contribute to making this the safest destination for travelers in the world.
Off the coast of Australia and across the Tasman Sea lies the world’s second safest country, New Zealand. A popular destination for Lord of the Rings fans, the country boasts lakes by the thousands, beautiful mountain ranges, and diverse landscapes for travelers to explore. New Zealand has a low crime rate, with hardly any occurrences of violent crime. The only crime that visitors should be wary of is petty theft or pickpockets. Precautions should be taken, especially in busier areas such as Auckland.
A Scandinavian country north of Germany, Denmark is regarded as one of the safest places in the world to visit. Viking burial grounds, the wild horses of Langeland, and Egeskov castle are popular sights for tourists. Denmark has a very low crime rate. Although uncommon, tourists only need to be concerned about potential pickpockets in popular tourist areas and train stations.
Bordering western Spain, Portugal is listed as the fourth safest country in the world. Castles, beaches, and the famous aquarium, Oceanário de Lisboa, are some of the many attractions tourists take in during their visit to Portugal. Petty theft and pickpocketing are really the only things to worry about for tourists, and typical precautions against losing personal items are sufficient.
A central European country, Slovenia takes fifth place on the world’s safest countries list. Popular attractions in Slovenia include Lake Bled, the cave castle of Predjama, and Tolmin Gorge. Continuing the trend of previous countries on the list, the only crime travelers should be too worried about here is petty theft and pickpockets.
Another central European country along Slovenia’s northern border, Austria ranks sixth on the list of the world’s safest countries. Popular Austrian attractions include the Schönbrunn Palace, Lake Worthersee, and the nation’s capital, Vienna. Violent crime rates here are very low, and Austria is safe at any time of day. However, pickpockets are still an issue in popular tourist areas.
A central European country on France’s eastern border, Switzerland is regarded as the seventh safest country in the world. Zurich is a popular starting point for visitors. Switzerland’s biggest city is well connected to the rest of the country’s popular attractions, including its numerous lakes, mountains, and resorts. As has been the case with most countries on the list, crime rates are low, with pickpocketing being the only thing travelers should be wary of.
The Republic of Ireland
Sharing the island of Ireland with Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland is 8th on the list of the world’s safest countries. Known as the “Emerald Isle” because of its rich landscape, the country boasts stunning natural wonders like the Cliffs of Moher and Killarney National Park. Petty theft is the most common crime in Ireland, and travelers should take precautions against pickpockets.
Keep Your Belongings Close
Even in the safest countries, there will always be those looking for an easy score. While the above countries are considered the safest in the world, they all share the risk of being pickpocketed. Leaving valuables at the hotel, keeping bags in view, and avoiding the use of back pockets are all measures that help reduce the chances of being pickpocketed.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com