With half-term coming up and the summer holidays being planned, many families will be organising a break away from the winter blues to a new and exciting city.
Just recently The Economist released a report on the world's safest cities, named the Safe Cities Index 2015. The report took a number of factors into consideration based on the availability of data, and comprised a list of the world's safest cities for personal safety and security.
Here we list the safest city in each of the five continents.
In North America, Toronto in Canada is listed as the safest city, closely followed by New York in the USA. Despite New York's status as a world capital, crime rates have been decreasing as the population continues to rise. New York now sees fewer homicides than Chicago – a city with under one-third of New York's population. If you fancy a family holiday in North America, these cities are your best bet.
In South America, Santiago de Chile, Chile's capital is the safest city, followed by Buenos Aires in Argentina. Santiago de Chile is a stunning city, filled with 19th century neoclassical architecture and charming side streets set against the picturesque backdrop of the Andes. Buenos Aires is the most visited city in South America, and with its rich cultural life it is often referred to as the "Paris of South America". If you're planning a trip to this region, you won't go wrong with either of these two cities.
The Swedish capital of Stockholm ranks as Europe's safest city, followed rather surprisingly by Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Stockholm has been settled since the Stone Age, and is the most populous city in the Nordic region. Its beautiful metro stations make for as grand a sight as the city's many museums, and it is the perfect city for those wishing to get a taste of Scandinavia.
Amsterdam may have a dubious reputation for its revellers, but in 2012, the city was ranked as the second best city in which to live by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Its numerous fascinating features, museums and historic canals make it a draw for many.
Middle East and Africa
Abu Dhabi in the UAE is the safest city in the Middle East, whereas the South African city of Johannesburg is the safest city in Africa. Known for its riches, Fortune magazine and CNN stated in 2007 that Abu Dhabi is the richest city in the world. With its skyscrapers, beautiful parks and stunning mosques, it is a great getaway for anyone interested in exploring the opulent side of the Middle East.
With a tumultuous history of apartheid, Johannesburg is an intriguing city to explore, boasting interesting history museums and the Mandela Museum at the former home of Nelson Mandela. The city also offers fantastic shopping opportunities for visitors, and the Johannesburg Zoo is one of the largest in South Africa. As well as this, numerous nature reserves allow tourists to see the famous African wildlife in all their glory, including rhinos, cheetahs and the exceptionally rare White Lion.
Tokyo came top of the list, not only for the safest cities in Asia but also for the world. It was followed by Singapore as both Asia's and the world's safest city. Sydney tailed them, being listed as the safest city in Australia.
For those interested in the Far East, Tokyo offers a wonderful fusion of the modern and the traditional. It is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, and in 2014, Tokyo was ranked first in the "best overall experience" category of TripAdvisor's World City Survey.
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia. The city has been consistently ranked amongst the top 15 cities in the world since 2000, with its friendly multicultural population, stunning beaches and cultural sites such as the Sydney Opera House and the Blue Mountains among the main attractions.
If you're not sure where your next holiday should be, the cities on this list are a wonderful place to start!