When you’re at home, you know the places to avoid at night, which intersections are most dangerous, and how to be alert for whatever natural disaster your area is prone to.
But when you travel, you don’t want to stumble into the wrong neighborhood, get scammed by a taxi driver, or be caught unawares by a monsoon.
Depending on where you’re going, you might worry about pickpockets on crowded subways, a terrorist attack at a big event, or driving on the wrong side of the road.
The U.S. State Department issues travel advisories for many countries, to warn U.S. citizens what to watch for, or whether it’s safe to travel to the country at all. A level 1 advisory is safe, while level 4 means "Do Not Travel."
The list in this gallery is based on information from an app called SafeAround, which compiled and analyzed data from several public sources to make a safety index that ranks about 140 cities around the world for safety, where a score of 100 is perfectly safe, and 0 is very dangerous.
Data and scores were not available for some cities that are generally considered very safe, these include Kyoto, Japan, which previously had a SafeAround rating of 88.8; Auckland, New Zealand; Reykjavik, Iceland, where crime is almost non-existent; and Helsinki, one of the safest city in Europe and previously scored 86.
These are some of the safest cities in the world, followed by some of the most dangerous.
15 of the Safest Cities in the World
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Safety score: 88.6
The tiny country of Andorra, nestled in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, is often considered one of the safest countries in the world. Its capital, Andorra la Vella has a population of about 22,000.
Safety score: 86
Switzerland is generally extremely safe.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Safety score: 85.3
Although some petty crimes occur here, Niagara Falls is a very safe city. Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the area.
Safety score: 85
Austria is a generally safe country, occasional pickpocketing or bag snatching can occur in Vienna.
Seoul, South Korea
Safety score: 84.8
There are no travel advisories for South Korea, and crime is very low in Seoul.
Safety score: 84.6
Munich is a safe city, the risk of mugging, scams, terrorism and risks related to natural disasters and transportation are all considered low by SafeAround, and medium for pickpockets, notably during the Oktoberfest.
Safety score: 83.2
The risks for women travelers, muggings, scams and terrorism are all considered low in Rhodes, except that there is some pickpocket-related risk in the old streets of Rhodes, especially in summer, according to SafeAround.
Safety score: 82.7
Oslo is a very safe city.
Safety score: 82.2
Calgary has a relatively low crime rate, and very little of what does occur is directed at tourists.
Safety score: 81.8
Violent crime is rare in Prague, the most common crimes are theft and pickpocketing.
Safety score: 81.8
Toronto is known as one of the safest cities in the world, although there are some areas that should be avoided after dark. Pictured is Toronto’s Distillery District, a pedestrian-only village of brick-lined streets and restored Victorian industrial buildings popular among tourists.
Safety score: 81.2
Australia is one of the safest countries in the world. Risk of crime is low; the often-empty train stations in the suburbs have safety zones with security cameras. There is medium risk of natural hazards in Melbourne, but forgetting to wear sunscreen is likely your biggest worry. In January, as almost 200 wildfires burn across Victoria and New South Wales states, air quality is very poor in Melbourne.
Safety score: 81
Although there may be some risk of pickpockets in dense areas, Taipei is very safe. The biggest scam, according to SafeAround, is mixing cheap tea leaves from China with premium Mountain Tea.
Safety score: 80.7
Warsaw is very safe, there is no violent crime here, though you should watch for pickpockets as you would anywhere else.
Safety score: 80.7
Osaka is very safe; use common sense with your belongings to avoid pickpockets. Pictured is the Dotonbori shopping area.
This list of dangerous cities shows scores from SafeAround. We included only the scored cities that are among the 100 most visited in the world (with the exception of Acapulco) based on a report by Euromonitor.
Scores below 60 are considered high risk, and scores below 40 are "extremely dangerous."
Safety score: 38.3 (extremely dangerous)
The state department issued a level 2 travel advisory for Egypt — exercise increased caution — due to terrorism, with riskier areas including the Sinai Peninsula, although terrorist attacks have occurred in a variety of areas, including Cairo. SafeAround says security has increased in Cairo, and there is a special police force to assist tourists with distinctive arm bands saying, “Tourism and Antiquities Police.”
Safety score: 38.5 (extremely dangerous)
According to SafeAround, the risk for women travelers and of scams and mugging here is high, and there is a medium risk of pick pocketing and medium risks associated with transport and taxis.
Safety score: 39.5 (extremely dangerous)
There is a level 2 travel advisory from the state department for Russia: Exercise increased caution due to terrorism, harassment, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. The risks are higher in areas such as Chechnya and Crimea.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Safety score: 40.5 (high risk)
There is a level 2 travel advisory from the state department for Russia: Exercise increased caution due to terrorism, harassment, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. The advisory says the U.S. government may have delayed ability to provide services to U.S. citizens, especially in the Saint Petersburg area.
Safety score: 42.5
There is a level 2 advisory for Mexico as a whole — exercise increased caution — due to crime and kidnapping, but a level 4 (do not travel) for the state of Guerrero, including Acapulco. According to the advisory, crime and violence are widespread, and armed groups operate independently of the government, frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers.
Safety score: 43.7 (high risk)
While there is not much violent crime reported against tourists, there is opportunistic theft, and the overall safety risk is high.
Rio de Janeiro
Safety score: 43.2(high risk)
The risk level here is high for pickpockets and muggings, according to SafeAround, and medium for scams, transportation, natural disasters and for women travelers. Above, Brazilians celebrate during a carnival street party along Ipanema Beach.
Safety score: 44.3 (high risk)
The state department issued a level 2, increased caution, advisory for Mexico City, due to crime. According to SafeAround, there is high risk of pickpocketing and from transport and taxis. The risk level is medium for mugging, scams, natural disasters and risks for women, and low for terrorism. Pictured is the city with Popocatepetl volcano in the background. The active volcano is about 40 miles from the city and spewed a cloud of ash 19,000 feet high on Jan. 9.
Safety score: 44.4 (high risk)
SafeAround says be vigilant in Delhi and do not believe the advice of taxi drivers. The travel advisory is level 2, exercise increased caution.
Safety score: 47.6 (high risk)
According to the state department, exercise increased caution when traveling to Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions. Some areas in eastern and southeastern Turkey are level 3 (reconsider travel) and the areas near the Syria and Iraq borders are level 4 (do not travel) but these regions do not include Istanbul.
Safety score: 51.1
There are scammers, fake police officers, and tuk-tuk drivers trying to take advantage of tourists, according to SafeAround. Phuket is generally safe for women travelers.
Safety score: 50.8
The risk of pickpockets and muggings is low in Bangkok, but high regarding transportation, due to the heavy traffic, SafeAround says. Women should avoid walking alone at night.
Safety score: 54
There is some pickpocket-related risk in the touristic parts of Miami, and muggings in some parts. Miami is generally safe for women travelers.
Safety score: 55.6
The U.S. state department, which issued a level 2 advisory for Israel, says violent clashes, protests, and terror attacks have occurred throughout Jerusalem, including in the Old City, and acts of terrorism have killed or injured bystanders. During periods of unrest, the government of Israel may restrict access to and within portions of Jerusalem.
Safety score: 55.7
There’s a medium risk of pickpockets, muggings, scams and terrorism, in Los Angeles, according to SafeAround, although the city has not recently been targeted for terrorism.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Safety score: 56
Flooding is common during the rainy season, especially in the city center and downstream areas.