The 5 safest countries for women to travel alone in 2023

Despite the growing trend of solo travel, women still face unique challenges when venturing abroad on their own.

To find the top five countries in the world making the most progress when it comes to safety and equality for women travellers, the BBC consulted Georgetown University’s Women’s Peace and Security Index (WPS), the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report and the Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index.

The BBC spoke to women who have traveled alone to the top-rated countries to understand what makes them feel safe, listen to their travel tips and discover the best places to see and do as a solo adventurer.

Here are the five safest countries as ranked by solo women travelers:



Slovenia ranked at the top of the WPS Index for Central and Eastern Europe, with 85 percent of women feeling safe there according to the index.

Adventure consultant at Wildland Trekking and director of the travel blog The Detour Effec Claire Ramsdell tells of the first time she visited Ljubljana, the capital and largest city of Slovenia, after coming specifically to explore the vast Alps.

Ramsdell said she roamed the streets at night to take pictures.

“Nobody ever bothered me at all during my time in the country and I didn’t have trouble with navigation, a language barrier or anything else that might sometimes seem intimidating to figure out when you’re solo.”

The city was very walk-able and public transportation across the country was reliable and extensive.

“While I often felt like I was in the wilderness, I also always knew a town was nearby if some kind of emergency were to come up,” said Ramsdell.

Ramsdell recommended visiting the scenic turquoise Soca River, located on the western side of the country, take the Ljubljanayum Food Tours and Food Tour Ljubljana, order a buckwheat walnut Struklji, and try the world-famous gelato at Cacao.



Rwanda ranks first globally for gender parity in the parliament according to WPS.

It also ranks highly in the index’s perception of a society’s well-being, and ranks sixth in the Global Gender Gap Index, which measures how fair a country is in terms of the economy, education and welfare health and political participation.

Rebecca Hansen saw this firsthand when she moved to Rwanda from Denmark in 2019, and found it very safe to travel on her own.

“There is police, security and military around at almost all locations and all times of day and night,” she said. “It may seem intimidating at first, but you will quickly learn that all of these uniforms are friendly people who are always willing to help out.”

Hansen suggests visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial in the capital, in addition to visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park in the southwest, and Volcanoes National Park in the north to see monkeys, or Akagera National Park in the east for hunting trips.




The UAE continues to lead the way in gender equality in the region, recently reaching gender equality in its parliament.

The UAE also topped the WPS Index 2021.

Dubai, in particular, has been ranked as the safest city for solo travelers based on an index by travel insurance company InsureMy Trip.

Influencer Sandy Aouad says she always feels safe in the city, and recommends solo travelers book a desert safari.

“One time I had a flat tire, I left my car in the middle of the desert, unlocked with the keys inside,” she said. “I knew fully well that I could trust the taxi would come to pick me up, and I would be sure the car would be safe.”

For adventurous travelers, she added she loved skydiving over the Palm Dropzone.

Dubai's Burj Al Arab. Photo credit: CNN
Dubai’s Burj Al Arab. Photo credit: CNN



Ranked as one of the ten safest countries in the world by the Global Peace Index, Japan also has a culture of dedicated subway cars and women-only accommodations that can help it feel safer for women traveling alone.

Lulu Assagaf, who moved to Japan from Indonesia 20 years ago and works as a tour guide for Intrepid Travel, said she felt safe from her very first moments in the country.

Assagaf recommends that travelers visit the coastal city of Kanazawa, known as the home of the samurai; Takayama in the Japanese Alps, and the Takayama Showa-kan Museum, which displays pop culture artifacts from the reign of Emperor Hirohito from 1926 to 1989.


Fujiyoshida, Japan. Photo credit by David Edelstein.
Fujiyoshida, Japan. Photo credit by David Edelstein.


Norway ranked first in WPS for its highest scores in women’s financial inclusion, absence of legal discrimination and safety of women’s society, and has also consistently ranked in the top ten of the most gender-equitable and happiest countries in the world.

Oslo-based Torunn Tronsvang and founder of Up Norway says she’s proud of the number of women-run businesses there, who have created unique places to eat and stay in rural areas across the country.

To get the most out of a visit, Tronsvang encourages visitors to embrace the Norwegian concept of “friluftsliv” – the philosophy of living within the outdoors.

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