On this chilly morning in Atlanta, I cannot help but let my mind wander to a warm tropical beach, with hammocks and palm trees. I long for the weeks ahead when temperatures rise and people shed their heavy coats and boots for t-shirts, shorts and flip flops. We are approaching the time of year when many are planning their summer vacations.However, I am aware that there are many single women who would love to jet-off to somewhere fun, but are too afraid to do so on their own.
We know that the world can be a dangerous place for women travelling alone. Just take a look at the statistics! However, it is not just the physical assault that concerns us, it is that we become easier targets for pickpocketing and for those seeking to con tourists!
The POWERHOUSE mission is to educate and empower ALL females to live Safe, Healthy and Active lives. This means we want women to enjoy living life to the full, which includes travelling the world, without the fear of threat to their personal safety.
So I have decided to make a list of the top 10 cities in the world which are safe enough for women to travel alone. This list is based on the low statistics for crimes against females.
1. COPENHAGEN (DENMARK)
Copenhagen is the capital city of Denmark, with plenty of attractions, sights and places to eat to suit everyone’s taste. Most of the attractions are within walking distance from each other, with the two most famous being Tivoli Gardens and the statue of The Little Mermaid.
Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park, founded in 1843. Tivoli is a MUST for all visitors. It is located just a few minutes from City Hall and the Copenhagen Central Station.
The Little Mermaid can be found at Langelinje Pier. It is a bronze and granite statue inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale about a mermaid and her handsome prince.
Other spectacular attractions include Nyhavn, Stroeget and Amalienborg Palace, home of the Danish Royal family.
2. OTTAWA (CANADA)
Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, standing on the south bank of the Ottawa River. It is a multicultural city where you will hear both French and English spoken.
No matter what time of the year you visit Ottawa, the city welcomes you with an abundance of attractions and historic landmarks. Two of the most popular attractions are the Byward Market and the Rideau Canal.
The Byward Market is one of the oldest markets in Canada, where you can shop for artisan breads, cheeses, clothing and jewelry.
The Rideau Canal is a 12.6 mile canal that connects the city of Ottawa on the Ottawa River to the city of Kingston on Lake Ontario. During the summer months the canal is open to sightseeing cruises and in the winter, it is turned into a skateway for skaters to enjoy.
Other attractions in Ottawa include the Parliament of Canada and the National Gallery of Canada.
3. AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND)
Auckland lies on the North Island of New Zealand and is the largest and most populous area in the country. It is known as the ‘City of Sails’ because of its vast amount of yachts in its harbour.
Auckland has many ‘must do’ activities and attractions, like the Sky Tower and Auckland Harbour Bridge.
The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower. It is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand, standing at 328 meters and offers breathtaking views with up to 80 kilometers in every direction.
You will get stunning views of the Waitemata Harbour from the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The bridge provides a walk-out, where the more daring can experience bungy-jumping, just to add some adventure and thrill!
Other wonderful attractions in Auckland include Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium and Waitenmata Harbour.
4. HELSINKI (FINLAND)
Helsinki is the capital city of Finland. It has the most amazing architecture and was chosen as the World Design Capital for 2012.
Helsinki has lots to do and see for visitors of all ages. Some of these include the Helsinki Cathedral and Linnanmaki Amusement Park.
The beautiful Evangelic Lutheran Cathedral is a symbol of Helsinki for many people. It was designed in the 19th century by Carl Ludwig Engel as part of the Empire-style downtown area.
Linnanmaki Amusement Park has been a hit for families since 1950. It has a large selection of rides, including a special wooden rollercoaster that is over 50 years old.
Other attractions in Helsinki include the Ateneum Art Museum and the Old Market Hall.
5. HILO (HAWAII)
Hilo is on the ‘Big Island’ of Hawaii. Hilo has the largest settlement on the Island with over 40,000 people.
With so much beautiful, natural scenery, a visit to Akaka Falls State Park is a must. With Hilo being home to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation, a visit to its farm will be lots of fun.
Your hike through Akaka Falls State Park will take you through lush rainforest filled with orchids and bamboo groves, to two gorgeous waterfalls. First you will see the 100-foot Kahuna Falls and then the Akaka Falls that plummets 442-feet into a gorge.
On the road leading to the Macadamia Farm, you will pass lots of papaya trees, followed by the macadamia nut trees. During your tour you will see how the nut is farmed, harvested and prepared for packaging. A real treat!
Other amazing attractions in Hilo include the Tropical Botanical Gardens and the Farmer’s Market.
6. PERTH (AUSTRALIA)
Perth is the capital of Western Australia with a population of over 1,800,000 people. The beaches in Perth are some of the most beautiful in the world. The Swan River flows through Perth, where you can see its famous black swans.
With so many fun things to do in Perth, do not forget to check out Kings Park and do a little surfing at Scarborough Beach.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden is one of the largest inner city parks in the world, with stunning views of the city of Perth. You can take an indigenous tour of one of the oldest surviving cultures on earth.
Scarborough Beach has the best surfing conditions in the Perth area with its waves being suitable for surfers of all abilities.
Some other wonderful attractions in Perth include the Swan Bell Tower and Rockingham Dolphins, Penguins and Sea Lions.
7. OSLO (NORWAY)
Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway. Each year the Scandinavian countries rank highly for their equal treatment of women.
With Oslo being steeped in history, there are many things to do and see for people with various interests. Two recommendations are the Viking Ship Museum and the Akershus Fortress.
The Viking Ship Museum displays the world’s two best preserved wooden Viking ships that were built in the 9th century. It also holds sledges, tools, textiles and household utensils.
The Akeshus Fortress is a medieval castle located in the city center by the Oslo Fjord. This is a perfect place to discover Oslo’s history on a beautiful summer’s day.
Other amazing attractions include the Royal Palace and the Nobel Peace Center.
8. SETUBAL (PORTUGAL)
The city of Setubal is located about 25 miles from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, with a population of around 800,000 people. Though Setubal is a busy industrial port, it is the perfect place to visit if you want a nice, quiet and relaxing vacation.
Sebubal is a vibrant and energetic city with plenty to do and see, including Castelo de Sao Filipe and the Nature Reserve of Estuaria do Sado.
Castelo de Sao Filipe dominates the skyline high above the city of Setubal. It was built in 1595 on the orders of King Phillip II of Spain. It is the amazing panoramic view of Setubal that draws tourists to this 16th century fort.
The Nature Reserve is a 23-hectare wildlife park that is home to around 220 variety of bird species. A perfect place for a budding ornithologist! The main draw to the Nature Reserve is its estuary which is home to bottlenose dolphins, where you can come up close and personal to these beautiful, intelligent mammals.
Other wonderful sights in Setubal include the National Park of Arrabida and the 16th century Monastery of Arrabida.
9. MALMO (SWEDEN)
Malmo is located at the southern tip of Sweden and is its third largest city. Sweden and Denmark are linked by the Oeresund Bridge, which runs 10 miles from Malmo to Copenhagen (the safest city for women to travel alone).
Just like all the Nordic cities, Malmo is steeped in history, with many attractions for visitors of all interests. Two of these are the Turning Torso and Emporia.
The Turning Torso is a building at the Western Harbour. It stands at 190 meters high and twists 90 degress from the base to the top. Take a leisurely stroll too through the winding alleyways of the Western Harbour, with its fascinating architecture and beautiful bathing sites.
The Emporia is one of the biggest shopping malls in the Nordic Region. You can find everything under one roof, from clothing stores and sports shops to restaurants and hairdressers.
Other great sights that you can either walk to or bike to are Lilla Torg, a cosy sport in the heart of Malmo and St Peter’s Church.
10. MARSEILLE (FRANCE)
Marseille is the second largest city in France, lying in the south on the Mediterranean Coast. It is well known for its beautiful beaches and delicious seafood.
With its busy harbor and cosmopolitan feel, Marseille is very appealing to visitors of all ages. The city’s colorful heritage makes it quite a fascinating place, with lots to do and see, including the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde and the Old Harbour.
The Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde stands on the summit of Marseille and is a landmark that is visible from afar. The lavish and opulent design of the church is mesmerizing. The terrace offers a beautiful, panoramic view of Marseille, the Old Harbour and all the way to the Frioul Islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Old Harbour is the birthplace of Marseille. Take a walk around the Harbour to get that bustling, Mediterranean feel. The waterfront is a focal point for visitors and one of the best places to find authentic bouillabaisse, which is a specialty of Marseille.
Other beautiful places in Marseille to visit include Chateau D’If and Le Panier (Old Town).
Although these are the top 10 safest cities in the world for women to travel alone, you should always apply Powerhouse’s rule of PROI: PREDICTION of misplaced situations; that is being aware of anything that appears out of context. RECOGNITION of potentially harmful behavior. OBSERVATION of your surroundings. Look for street signs and landmarks. Know exactly where you are at ALL times. INTUITION: Trust your gut and when in doubt, both feet out!
Jennifer Riis-Poulsen is the Founder & CEO who formed POWERHOUSE as a response to the ever-increasing statistics on emotional and physical attacks on females each year. She made reducing these statistics a mission and personal goal and has set out to develop a comprehensive, HOLISTIC Personal Safety and Empowerment Program focused on awareness and powerful techniques to build courage and confidence and self-esteem. For more information visit http://powerhouseselfdefense.com