There is no perfect country, and each destination has its pros and cons when it comes to travel, but there are some countries which are considered much safer than others. These countries are more appealing for the solo or female traveler, who doesn’t want to fear to look over their shoulder when they walk the streets in the middle of the day, and who wants to get the most out of their vacation.

Nordic countries tend to dominate not only the lists of the happiest people in the world, but also the safest countries to travel, but they are joined by other countries in Europe, North America, and even Asia. These places are exceptionally beautiful with many points of interests but also benefit from low crime rates and a sense of overall safety for those who live there. On the other end of the scale, there are countries which are in many ways remarkable, like South Africa, but tourists are recommended to avoid these spots because they are dangerous and traveling here would put them at high risk of an incident.

Below, in no particular order, are 10 of the safest countries in the world, and 10 you should visit with some degree of caution, or not visit at all.

There are many ways to measure a country's safety, one of which is the Global Peace Index, and according to The Independent, this index rates 163 countries on certain factors including terror threats and homicide. Among the safest countries in the world is Ireland, which came in 10th spot.

The country has become an incredibly popular tourist destination, with millions of people visiting each year, often without problems. But Ireland is not a perfect country, and some precautions should be taken. According to Lonely Planet, these include not leaving anything visible in your car and covering the ATM pin pad when using it.

19 Iceland Has Just 300,000 People And It's Perfect For Solo Travelers

Ireland may have come in a respectable 10th place on the Global Peace Index, but the top spot went to Iceland. The Nordic island nation has incredibly low crime rates, and according to The Independent, it is home to just 300,000 people.

TripSavvy notes that even in the capital, Reykjavik, petty crimes do not happen often, although the site does warn that solo female travelers should avoid Austurvöllur Park late at night. Outside of the city, the rural areas are incredibly safe.

18 Norway Is One Of The Happiest Countries, And One Of The Safest

Scandinavian countries often top lists for being the happiest places to live, and considering that, for the most part, security is not a major issue, it’s not too hard to see why. According to the 2018 Global Law and Order report, by US researchers Gallup, which rates a country based on its citizens' confidence and the fears within society, Norway, Iceland, and Finland came in joint second place as the safest countries in the world. These destinations were beaten only by Singapore.

17 Singapore Is A City You Can Walk Around Without Fear

The island city-state of Singapore is considered a fantastic place to visit and it’s run efficiently. CNN Traveler notes that visitors seldom have to wait for public services, there are affordable taxis which are well maintained, and impressive man-made structures, including the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay. It’s also a country that is known for its low crime rate and topped the 2018 Global Law and Order report by US researchers Gallup.

It was also within the top ten on the Global Peace Index.

16 Denmark Has Lower Crime Rates Than Other Europe Countries

It’s not surprising to see a list of safe countries with more than one Nordic country, and according to World Atlas, Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) is considered to be the safest region in the world. The publication notes that in addition to having some of the happiest people, this region also has homicide rates that are a quarter of those seen across Europe.

Apart from safety, travelers will find Denmark appealing because of the way of life, and the many popular things to do. These include big tourist attractions like Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid, The Round Tower and Tivoli Gardens.

15 Austria's Serious Crime Rates Are Incredibly Low -- So Enjoy This Beautiful Country

In winter, Austria is a popular destination for skiing and offers a variety of options, while in summer its a fantastic place to explore the nature and take in the beauty of the countryside, including lakes and mountain ranges. The country also offers a wide range of cultural experiences and as such appeals to many tourists.

But what makes Austria even more appealing is that it is considered one of the safest countries in the world, and according to Safe Around, the country has one of the lowest serious crime rates in the world.

14 New Zealand's Citizens Feel Safe And Secure In Their Beautiful Homeland

You may have noticed that this list has a bit of a trend; most countries are western and in Europe, however, New Zealand is a country that scored second on the 2018 Global Law and Order report by US researchers Gallup.

It’s a country that’s celebrated for its natural beauty, walking, and hiking routes, and food and wine. But the standard safety precautions should apply when visiting New Zealand, and according to New Zealand Travel Insider, these should include not walking alone at night, telling someone where you’re going, and locking your door and car.

13 Traveling In Switzerland Is Safe And There's So Much To Do

Citizens of Switzerland perceive their country to be safe, and the country was in joint seventh place with Canada on the 2018 Global Law and Order report. According to Safe Around, traveling in Switzerland is safe, and the publication scores the country 89 percent on its safety index and claims that the government goes to great measures to ensure the overall safety.

Tourists love the country for skiing, or to explore the diverse natural landscape, but perhaps one of the most appealing things about visiting Switzerland is that visitors can do these things without a risk to their well-being.

12 There Are Places To Avoid In Japan, But Overall It Gets High Marks For Safety

Historic temples, impressive views, and iconic peaks, these are just some of the reasons millions of travelers visit Japan each year. The country is considered to be safe for travelers, but Safe Around notes that the country does have some unsafe neighborhoods, namely the red-light neighborhood and slums.

While the overall safety is good, there is a medium risk for muggings. World Nomads also notes that travelers should be aware Japan has some organized crime, an organization known as Yakuza, and although unlikely to harm tourists, the normal safety precautions should be taken.

11 Canada Is An Impressive Country And One That's Worth A Visit

Canada is a country filled with impressive national parks, points of interest like the Notre-Dame Basilica and Rue St-Paul, and some of the friendliest and most polite individuals in the world. This is definitely a country that is appealing for many tourists, and it’s also one of the safest countries in the world, ranking joint 7th with Switzerland on the 2018 Global Law and Order report.

World Nomads notes that petty crime and property crime does happen in the bigger cities and tourists should apply common sense.

10 Colombia Is One Of The Most Dangerous Countries In The World

The South American country of Colombia may be an appealing spot for tourists to visit, but it’s also a place that requires extreme caution. According to World Atlas, when it comes to safety and security, the country ranks very low and this is in part because of the drug wars between the government and drug cartels.

The World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report found Columbia as its most dangerous country in the world, based on safety and security threats.

9 South Africa's Income Inequality Makes It A Hot Spot For Crime

It may be one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but South Africa is definitely not topping the top ten lists when it comes to the safest countries in the world. In fact, according to Safe Around, it is ranked 112th out of 162 countries in terms of safety. One of the reasons for the high crime rates is the income inequality, and there are certain neighborhoods that need to be avoided at all times.

Precautions should be taken when traveling in South Africa, these include being alert when you use the ATM to avoid a scam or having your money taken, leaving your expensive jewelry and equipment in the hotel, and never walk alone at night.

8 El Salvador Is Rich In History But Also High In Robberies And Scams

El Salvador may be a small Central American country, but unfortunately, the crime rates are not small, mostly because of the gangs. According to Safe Around, it is listed as a medium risk destination, however, the risk of pickpocketing, mugging, and scams remain high.

The publication states that solo travelers are often targeted by criminals and it is Safe Around’s recommendation that travelers avoid quiet, dimly lit areas. In fact, even walking a few blocks at night is not recommended, and taxis should be used after dark.

7 War Torn Syria Is Not A Place Travelers Want To Find Themselves In

Considering that Syria is a war-torn nation, it should not come as much of a surprise that it is one of the most dangerous destinations in the world and one that many travelers want to avoid. Especially female travelers, as Haaretz lists Syria as one of the 10 most dangerous countries in the world for women, noting that the country came in second place because of the lack of access to health care, and the treatment towards women, both conflict-related and domestic.

The United States’ Bureau of consular affairs states that tourists should not travel to Syria, and no part of the country is safe.

6 Those Who Want To Visit Honduras Should Travel With Caution

Honduras is home to spectacular coral reef dive spots and beaches, as well as ancient ruins and sites of archaeological importance. There are many reasons to visit this country, but there is also a reason to proceed with caution, and that is because of the high crime rates.

According to The Independent, The World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report found the country to be among the 20 most dangerous in the world and notes it lacks police and military presence.

5 A Few Of Kenya's Neighborhoods Should Be Avoided At All Time

The African country of Kenya was listed by the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report as being one of the 20 most dangerous countries in the world, The Independent reports. One of the major reasons for this is the terror-related incidents which have happened in the capital, Nairobi.

Travelers to the city also run the risk of being involved in petty crimes like theft and pickpocketing, although Safe Around reports that this could be avoided if visitors stay out of certain areas like Mukuru Kayaba and Huruma.

4 Solo Female Travelers Need To Be Careful When In India

Travel to India requires travelers to exercise increased levels of caution, and there have been a number of incidents involving tourists in the country, The Telegraph reports. The publication reports that this is also a country that poses threats to women, and female travelers should use a pre-paid taxi or auto-rickshaw, and stay off the streets at night. Women should also ensure hotels have a bolt on the doors and use the women-only carriage on the metro.

Women are advised to not wearing revealing clothing and be brief in their interactions with locals and men who work in the hotel industry.

3 Nigeria's Terror Groups Target Tourists

Nigeria is a country that poses a threat to westerners and foreigners because of the Islamic Movement’s hatred towards Western influence in the country, World Atlas reports. As such, kidnappings and terror incidents have become increasingly common in places visited by foreigners in the country.

The United States’ Bureau of consular affairs advises travelers to reconsider travel to Nigeria because it poses a threat due to crime, which happens across the country, as well as terrorism, with targeted areas including shopping malls and hotels.

2 Visitors To Pakistan Are Advised To Avoid Crowded Public Areas

The Independent notes that The World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report found Pakistan to be among the most dangerous country in the world. One of the reasons the country finds itself so high on this list is the tension between religious groups, which has been ongoing for years. Travelers are advised to avoid public demonstrations and public events, because according to GOV.UK, these can turn violent quickly.

Westerners and foreigners may be targeted, and there is reportedly a high risk of terrorism and kidnapping.

1 Somalia Is A No Go Zone For Travelers!

Somalia is yet another country that has topped lists as being among the most dangerous in the world. According to Smart Traveller, tourists are advised not to visit any part of the country because of the conflicts, frequent risk of terror-related incidents and the high risk of kidnapping (which has happened to aid workers, journalists, and religious representatives) and crime rates.

This country is one that travelers should avoid, and scores just 17 percent on Safe Around’s Safety Index -- in comparison, Columbia has 42 percent.

References: The Independent, Lonely Planet, TripSavvy, CNN, World Atlas