This month, we celebrate the contributions of women all around the world. We also celebrate women travelers—those who travel near and far to expand their horizons on their own terms. And helping women feel empowered to make informed decisions about their trips is one of the best ways to celebrate and support them.
To that end, we worked with our partner GeoSure (who powers TripIt’s Neighborhood Safety Scores feature) to understand what the safest destinations are for women based on their analysis of metadata captured from hundreds of trusted sources.
Some of these sources include OpenStreetMap; The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED); Legatum Prosperity Index™; Gender, Institutions and Development Database; National Partnership for Women & Families; Center for American Women and Politics; Planned Parenthood; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and Safety Experience Sharing from the GeoSure community.
Here are the top 20 safest cities for women according to GeoSure data, plus some tips on how to make the most of your time there.
20. Graz, Austria
Austria’s second-largest city after Vienna, Graz is home to two UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites—its historic city center and the picturesque Eggenberg Castle. For a contemporary twist, travelers can visit the Kunsthaus Graz museum—known locally as the “Friendly Alien” for its otherworldly design.
Did you know? Travelers can access hyperlocal safety ratings for myriad categories along any point within their TripIt itinerary for more than 65,000 cities and neighborhoods. Specifically, the women’s safety score incorporates factors such as verbal harassment, physical assault, violence directed against women, and adequacy of women’s support facilities, as well as the level of caution required at a location. In the TripIt app, Neighborhood Safety Scores focus on the level of risk (whereas the rankings in the post represent the level of safety).
19. Malmö, Sweden
Away from the hustle and bustle of Sweden's two largest cities (Stockholm and Gothenburg), Malmö offers a respite for travelers. Kungsparken, Malmö’s largest park, is located right in the center of the city, and boasts many unique sculptures, statues, and even a grotto.
Visitors might also want to pay a visit to Tilla Torg, the 17th-century square teeming with shops, cafes, restaurants, and charm.
18. Bern, Switzerland
Switzerland’s capital city is also known for its charm: narrow streets, historic towers, quaint cafes, and much more. The Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is best explored on foot—though there are myriad micromobility options and public transit for keeping a lower carbon footprint.
17. Porto, Portugal
The first of two Portuguese cities on this list, Porto is all about relaxed vibes, local vinho, and gorgeous vistas. Indeed, Porto is a beautiful city to explore on foot—but it is very hilly. If you’d like to see the major sights, consider an eBike tour with Ciclo eBikes. A tour with a local guide is always a great way to get to know a city, and an eBike takes away the worry of having to hike up and down (and up, and down). You can also rent eBikes from the shop to explore on your own.
Read more: City Break: Porto
16. Liège, Belgium
Like many cities on this list, Liège is not a capital city, nor is it the largest or even second largest in its country. While third in population size, Liège doesn’t lack in things to see and do. From art and architecture, to museums and (former) monasteries, visitors have many opportunities to immerse themselves in local history and culture.
15. Borås, Sweden
One of six Swedish cities on this list, Boräs is perhaps best known for being a city of creativity. Its many outdoor sculptures and street art make it a desirable destination for traditional and modern art lovers alike. The city boasts more than 40 murals, as well as innumerable street-art installations.
14. Innsbruck, Austria
Nestled in the Alps (among other mountain ranges), Innsbruck is as picturesque a city as they come. Visitors can enjoy world-class skiing, wandering the narrow streets of the Old Town, exploring centuries-old castles and palaces, and much more.
The sovereign city-state of Monaco is the world’s second smallest (behind Vatican City), and number 13 on our safest cities for women travelers. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco is perhaps best known for its decadence: stunning beaches, glamorous nightlife, and high-roller lifestyles.
12. Salzburg, Austria
When you think of Salzburg, The Sound of Music may spring to mind—and you would be in good company! Movie (and music) buff or not, the city has much (more) to offer, including beautiful gardens, historic landmarks, and one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe.
11. Linköping, Sweden
Linköping, located two hours from Stockholm, is Sweden’s seventh largest city. Its main attractions include Gamla Linköping, its historic quarter and open-air museum; Folkparkstheatren, a public theater in the park; Stora Torget, the main city square full of cafes and restaurants (and al fresco dining in the warmer months); and the Air Force Museum.
In the winter months, the city hosts its annual Winter Lights festival, and Gamla Linköping transforms into a traditional Christmas market.
10. Kristiansand, Norway
On the south coast of Norway lies Kristiansand—a popular retreat for locals in the summer months. Visitors can relax at the city beach, stroll the waterfront, and dine at Fiskebrygga—the city’s redeveloped wharf now home to restaurants and bars.
Visiting during the summer? Cross the bridge to Odderøya—the island hosts many outdoor concerts and music festivals in the warmer months.
Related reading: 10 Safety Tips for the Solo Traveler
9. Lausanne, Switzerland
One of four Swiss cities on this list, Lausanne is located on Lake Geneva—and is famously home to the International Olympic Committee headquarters, Olympic Museum, and Olympic Park.
Not in town for athletics? Visitors to Lausanne will enjoy its medieval church, many museums, and Michelin-starred restaurants.
8. Pamplona, Spain
To many, Pamplona is best known for its annual San Fermín Festival—which includes the legendary Running of the Bulls—that takes place each July. But the Spanish city offers much more.
To start, it’s one of the greenest in the region: Visitors can explore Riverside Park, Yamaguchi Parque, and Taconera Gardens, the oldest and one of the most beautiful parks in Pamplona. Travelers can also visit the nearby vineyards and wineries of Rioja.
7. Uppsala, Sweden
Known best as a university town, Uppsala is just a 35-minute train ride from Stockholm—and many locals take advantage of the easy commute by living in the former and working in the latter.
But Uppsala holds its own for visitors, as well; attractions include Uppsala Castle, Uppsala Art Museum, Vasaborgen, Gamla Uppsala Museum, and the Botanical Garden.
6. Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Vila Nova de Gaia, located immediately across the Douro River from Porto, clocks in at number six on our list. Another great reason to visit Gaia (as the locals call it)? The many Port wine cellars located along the river bank. Our pick? Head to Taylor Fladgate; opt for the cellar tour (or not)—then enjoy a Port wine tasting and a cheeseboard in their picturesque rose garden.
5. Västerås, Sweden
Västerås, Sweden’s fifth largest city and one of its oldest, kicks off our top five. The city offers a peek into the past in Kyrkbacken, with its traditional wooden cottages and cobblestone lanes, as well as its myriad museums.
If you’re a plant lover, head to Botaniska Trädgården—pack a picnic and enjoy the tranquility of one of Sweden’s oldest gardens.
4. Örebro, Sweden
Located (geographically) between Gothenburg and Stockholm, Örebro is Sweden’s sixth largest city—and its safest city for women travelers. Visitors can enjoy a mix of old and new—from Örebro Castle, which dates back to the 14th century, to Örebro Konsthall, a contemporary art museum featuring local and international artists alike.
Want to dig deeper into the local art scene? Open Art takes place every other year (the next is in 2024) and transforms the city into an outdoor gallery featuring sculptures, installations, and textile art.
3. Bregenz, Austria
Known as The City by the Lake, Bregenz is also Austria’s safest city for women travelers. Located on the eastern shores of Lake Constance, the city is home to many festivals and cultural attractions. For example, the annual Bregenz Festival features lakeside opera and orchestra concerts each summer.
If you’re an art lover, visit Kunsthaus Bregenz for contemporary art. Or, head to Vorarlberg Museum for a mix of art, history, and culture.
2. Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva, Switzerland’s second-most populous city, is not only the second safest city for women in Switzerland, but also the world. Located at the southern tip of Lake Geneva, it is also surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains—making it an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts.
From boating to biking, hiking to wine tasting, Geneva has something for just about everyone.
1. Basel, Switzerland
The fourth and final Swiss city on our list is also the world’s safest city for women travelers: Basel, Switzerland. Visitors will enjoy strolling its large market square, Marktplatz, with its sandstone buildings, cafes, and restaurants; exploring its myriad art and cultural museums; and catching a show in one of its musical theaters.
Given its location at the juncture of Switzerland, Germany, and France, Basel is a city with undeniable multicultural appeal.
Safest cities in the United States
Planning a trip to or within the U.S? While no U.S. cities made the top 20 global list, these are the safest destinations for women in America:
20. Sterling Heights, MI (GeoSafeScore™: 71/100)
19. Berkeley, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 71/100)
18. Boulder, CO (GeoSafeScore™: 71/100)
17. Torrance, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 71/100)
16. Scottsdale, AZ (GeoSafeScore™: 71/100)
15. Orange, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 72/100)
14. Edison, NJ (GeoSafeScore™: 72/100)
13. Stamford, CT (GeoSafeScore™: 72/100)
12. Amherst, NY (GeoSafeScore™: 72/100)
11. Simi Valley, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 72/100)
10. Sunnyvale, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 72/100)
9. Naperville, IL (GeoSafeScore™: 72/100)
8. Fremont, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 72/100)
7. Temecula, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 72/100)
6. Irvine, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 73/100)
5. Bellevue, WA (GeoSafeScore™: 73/100)
4. Fort Collins, CO (GeoSafeScore™: 73/100)
3. Thousand Oaks, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 73/100)
2. Roseville, CA (GeoSafeScore™: 73/100)
1. Cambridge, MA (GeoSafeScore™: 74/100)
Methodology: TripIt partnered with GeoSure, which analyzes metadata captured from hundreds of trusted sources, to determine the safest destinations for women. TripIt shows safety scores from 1 to 100, representing low to high risk, in the Neighborhood Safety Scores section (powered by GeoSure) within an itinerary. Women's Safety GeoSafeScores™ are defined as “safety from all forms of mistreatment, discrimination, and violence as well as access to equitable health care, civil rights, and liberties for persons who identify as and/or present as a woman.” Note that GeoSure scores are dynamic; reflecting new safety information. In safe, stable cities and countries, scores may not change as rapidly as they may in more fluid, less stable environments.