Photo Credit: pexels jermaine ulinwa
Are The Top 10 Best Cities Of 2022 Safe For Black Travelers
Recently, I came across an article highlighting the 53 best cities in the world. It was a list called the Time Out Index 2022 and the publication collected survey data from thousands of people around the world to gauge what were the best places to visit and live this year.
Time Out based its list on many factors including whether the city had a thriving nightlife scene and the availability of and diversity of food and drink venues. They also took a look at the art culture in the city and if there were a multitude of attractions, museums, and entertainment options in the area. They also threw in extra points if the destination had more practical amenities like a good public transportation system, walkability, and eco-friendly landscapes.
I found the list incredibly fascinating and a great future resource for folks looking for the ideal place to visit. However, I immediately wondered if these places would be safe spots for someone like me; a young, millennial, Black woman. I took some time to investigate the top 10 best cities of 2022 on Time Out’s list to find out which destinations were safe for Black travelers and which ones would be best to stay away from.
Time Out Top 10 Best Cities of 2022
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Chicago, USA
- Medellin, Colombia
- Glasgow, Scotland
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Marrakech, Morocco
- Berlin, Germany
- Montreal, Canada
- Copenhagen, Denmark
Safe or Not Safe
After doing a little bit of research, I discovered that the majority of the cities in Time Out’s top 10 best cities of 2022 were physically safe for Black travelers. From Chicago to Prague, pretty much every destination checked out as a safe place for people of color. When I say safe, I mean you’re not likely to be physically attacked, robbed, or harassed because of your skin tone. Although violence and crime happen everywhere, you probably won’t find a lot of cases of blatant violence against people of color in the majority of these places.
The only city on Time Out’s list that made me raise an eyebrow was Berlin, Germany. According to many Black ex-pats and locals, Germany has an issue with systematic racism in its police system and there are no-go areas in the country that many Black people do not go to out of fear of being attacked. Many also expressed they have been racially profiled in German airports by customs staff, so it may be wise to remain aware of your surrounding at all times if you are Black and visiting Germany.
Racism is Everywhere
While the countries that made Time Out’s top 10 best cities of 2022 aren’t necessarily places where Black travelers will be beaten up or killed because they’re Black, racism is still alive and well in every corner of the globe. Chicago is a given being that it is in the US where systematic racism seems to rear its evil head any chance it gets. But racism doesn’t end when you exit American borders.
Nearly every city in the top 10 held some level of racism many Black travelers had experienced during their stays there. For example, there were many reports of people of color experiencing racism when visiting Scotland. Black folks living in the country say they have seen racism in places like jobs and schools, while one Black ex-pat mentioned he’d never experienced racism until he arrived in Scotland.
Medellin, Montreal, and Copenhagen seemed to have the lowest reports of unsafety and racism towards people of color. Meanwhile, one Black traveler encountered racism many times when visiting Marrakech in Morocco.
Although Amsterdam has long been considered a place of tolerance and freedom, one Black traveler noticed many anti-Black sentiments in historic art and architecture throughout the city. Blatant images of Black face can be seen in older pharmacies and stores documenting a racist undertone that may still live in the city.
Being a Black traveler is just different. Somehow, no matter where you go, Blackness still lands at the bottom of the totem pole. Regardless, it’s still our birthright to see the world and, when discovering new places, it’s always important to be safe and do ample research before visiting any new destination.