Dec 21, 2023
Soon, everywhere around the world, people will be clinking glasses with loved ones, adorning party hats, and resolving to make this new year, their year. For some, a new year will mean new adventures—with plans to kick the year off with a New Year’s trip. (Carpe diem, indeed!)
Whether you’re celebrating close to home, or in a faraway destination, knowing the level of safety at your destination can help ensure your New Year's Eve goes to plan.
That’s where GeoSure comes in. The GeoSure app shows safety ratings for over 65,000 cities and neighborhoods. And ahead of this New Year’s Eve, we’ve rounded up 24 of the safest cities—in 24 different time zones—to ring in 2024.
Compared to the cities in their respective time zones, these 24 cities ranked the highest for GeoSure’s Physical Safety GeoSafeScore™—defined as safety from all forms of physical harm, injury, or exposure to violence as well as the effects of environmental factors on opportunities to meet basic physical needs.
So no matter where you are—or when it’s your turn to say, “Happy New Year!”—you’ll feel empowered to make safety-minded choices for your NYE celebration.
Kicking off our list is the ancient city of Andijan, Uzbekistan—a destination rich in stunning architecture, delectable cuisine, and off-the-beaten-path experiences. Its mild winters make ringing in the new year here ideal for those who don’t aim to hunker down, but instead venture out—and explore.
Dreaming of a tropical paradise for your New Year’s getaway? Pago Pago—American Samoa’s capital city—is a series of villages with undeniable appeal. A port city, Pago Pago features a modern harbor, shops, and attractions, as well as beautiful beaches. It’s also the gateway to the National Park of American Samoa, a protected area home to diverse wildlife, coral reefs, and turquoise-blue waters.
Located off the east coast of Australia, Norfolk Island—and its capital city of Kingston—is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Head here for New Year’s if your ideal way to start 2024 involves hiking, scuba diving, or bushwalking (a local pastime) and/or digging into the past at places like Norfolk Island Museum and the island’s namesake cemetery.
Steeped in tradition but teeming with modern amenities, Nuuk clocks in at number 21 on the list. Though small by capital-city standards, Nuuk offers visitors unique experiences, such as exploring Nuuk Fjord—one of the world’s largest fjord systems—as well as Quassussuaq, a popular mountain for year-round hiking (snowshoes or skis required in the winter months). Visitors can also enjoy the city’s many gourmet restaurants, shops, and museums located right in the city center.
Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi is a vibrant destination for ringing in 2024. Though temperatures dip this time of year, many travelers prefer the cooler temps over the destination’s humid summers. Traveling to Hanoi? Explore the city’s Old Quarter and its Night Market, visit its many temples and pagodas, and sample local cuisine at high-end restaurants and street stalls alike.
Many winter-sports fans head to Urumqi this time of year to ski or snowboard the slopes of the Nanshan Mountains. Meanwhile, back in town, you can explore the Grand Bazaar and shop to your heart’s content. Or, enjoy a moment of reflection in Hongshan Park, an oasis in a busy city of four million people—and the perfect place to set your 2024 intentions.
Located on the shores of the Persian Gulf, Al Wakrah is a great place to spend a relaxing New Year’s getaway. Enjoy its many spas and peaceful gardens, stroll the authentic souq and shop for souvenirs, or head to its family-friendly beach and enjoy a seaside picnic.
Known for its thriving arts scene, Christchurch is a playground for the imagination—and an ideal destination to ring in 2024 feeling inspired. With the city as a home base, outdoor enthusiasts can start the new year getting back to nature, exploring Kaikōura and meeting the local wildlife, or soaking in the thermal waters of Hanmer Springs.
A seaside town, Khor Fakkan is probably best known for its namesake beach—but the city has grown in recent years, and with it, its popularity as a tourist destination. Visitors will enjoy exploring the souq for local treasures, taking in the vistas from Shees Park, and snapping photos at Khor Fakkan Waterfall. Pro tip: Return at night when the falls are illuminated.
Eats, treats, views, and brews—visitors to Halifax will enjoy all of these things, and much more. While temperatures this time of year are sure to be, well, downright chilly—your welcome to this Canadian city won’t be. On NYE, plan to cozy up in one of the city’s many breweries or pubs, or make a reservation (trust me on this one!) to enjoy the local fare at one of its excellent fine dining restaurants.
This time of year, Hawaii offers travelers a welcome warm-weather reprieve. The quintessential tourist destination attracts tourists year-round with its stunning beaches, myriad watersports, world-class hotels, and fine dining options. And lesser known Moanalua is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a quieter Hawaiian getaway.
If hitting the slopes of the Canadian Rockies is on your NYE bucket list, Edmonton is the place to go. But keep in mind that the destination—number 13 on the list—also offers so much more: biking the River Valley trails, stargazing in Elk Island National Park, or exploring its many museums, theaters, and art galleries.
Speaking of hitting the slopes, Marble Mountain Ski Resort is a jewel in the crown of Corner Brook—a small, and safe city located on the west coast of Newfoundland. Travelers visiting for NYE can traverse the mountain’s trails by day, and dine in one of its many restaurants by night.
The capital of Saskatchewan, Regina is another winter-sports enthusiast’s playground. Wascana Lake is popular for ice skating, and many of the city’s hiking and biking trails are accessible with cross-country skis, snowshoes, or fat-tire bikes. Prefer to stay indoors? Consider a visit to the city’s museums, galleries, and theaters during your stay.
Clocking in at number 10 on our list, Gold Coast might be the ultimate family-friendly destination for New Year’s Eve. The city is home to beautiful beaches, several theme parks, a wildlife sanctuary, shops, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and much more. All of this—in the safest city in the time zone.
Tiny Skagway is often a stop along the route of an Alaskan cruise, but the destination—number nine on the list—is more than meets the eye. The town is teeming with gold rush era history, with buildings preserved as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Want to explore with a local? Book a tour—from group tours to custom or private tours, there’s a tour right for every size and budget.
Love the idea of heading to Finland for New Year’s? Same. And just a 30-minute drive from Helsinki Airport is Espoo—or what the locals call, Finland in Miniature. The city boasts nearly 25 miles of waterfront walking paths, access to 165 Baltic Sea islands, Nuuksio National Park—one of Finland’s 40 national parks, as well as amazing cuisine, world-class museums, and stunning architecture.
Brush up on your French and head to Laval for New Year’s Eve. This time of year, visitors and locals alike head to Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Île for all things winter sports—including cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and more. Art and history buffs will enjoy the city’s many museums. And you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to cuisine—French, Canadian, Italian, Mediterranean, and more. All that’s left to do is raise your glass of champagne and say, Bonne Année!
Coquitlam—the sixth and safest Canadian city to make the list—offers visitors big-city perks with small-town charm, including museums, shopping, fine dining, and more. Be sure to check out one of the season’s main attractions, Lights at Lafarge, an annual outdoor winter lights display featuring over 100,000 lights around Lafarge Lake—on through the end of January.
A city known for its vibrant arts, culture, and culinary scenes, Parramatta clocks in at number five on the list. The Australian city is a melting pot of cultures, flavors, and experiences—making it an ideal place to ring in 2024 with friends new and old.
La Laguna, formally known as San Cristobal de La Laguna, is a city steeped in history. Step back in time as you explore the 16th century Old Town with its colorful buildings and historical churches and cathedrals. Then, ring in the new year under the stars—it’s one of the best places in the world to stargaze.
The modest Austrian city of Eisenstadt is number three on the list—with a not-so-modest safety score of 87(!). What does the city have to offer visitors? Its charming old town is a main attraction, as well as its 14th-century castle. Music buffs will appreciate the many monuments to composer Joseph Haydn, known as both “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet.”
Travelers often overlook our second safest city on their way to one of Taiwan's main attractions (Alishan National Scenic Area), but that’s a mistake. For foodies, Chiayi is a dream destination. Its many markets, including East Market, Wenhua Night Market, and Chia-Le-Fu Night Market, all offer unique bites in vibrant settings. The city’s botanical gardens and many temples are also well worth a visit—especially if you’re setting a zen intention for 2024.
Drum roll… Topping the list of the 24 safest destinations in each time zone is Funabashi, Japan. The city is best known for its temples, shrines, and parks, but what I love most about this destination is its slogan: “A city in harmony with nature.” An apt mantra as we head into 2024; let’s see the world—take care of it—and stay safe while doing it.
Amanda Wowk is a freelance writer, founder of Amanda Wowk Creative—a content writing services company—and avid traveler. Her experience spans the travel industry, supporting clients in travel tech, luxury travel, and consumer brands. When she's not helping clients tell their stories, Amanda writes about her own experiences to inspire others to travel as far, wide, and safely as possible.