6 Amazing Destinations for Black Travelers

Not all travelers have the same experience when exploring the world. Lawrence Phillips. founder of Green Book Global, shares destinations around the globe that are warm and welcoming to travelers of color, and offer a wealth of cultural experiences, activities, traditional food, and history.

Shares

A man runs along a beach in Barbados carrying a boogie board. Photo © Getty Images / Jack Hollingsworth

There's a whole world out there to explore, and Black travelers are seizing the opportunity to see as much of it as possible. But what makes a destination special – and more importantly, is there a warm and welcoming community that is awaiting Black travelers?

I founded Green Book Global to answer all those questions and more. As the first review site dedicated to helping Black travelers explore the world safely, Green Book Global is the go-to source for Black travelers looking for honest and unbiased reviews of destinations. We already have more than 5,000 crowd-sourced destination reviews from Black travelers from all over the world.

Each destination has an overall score, with various sub-scores that include categories such as "Things to Do," "Adventure," "Affordability," “Relaxation,” and most essentially, what it’s like "Traveling While Black". Using our Destination Discovery Tool, you can filter locations based on your travel needs and start researching what our community has to say.

Green Book Global's website showing their travel filter.
Green Book Global's Destination Discovery Tool. Image credit: Lawrence Phillips

Here are six of the highest-rated “Traveling While Black” destinations based on our community of Black travelers.

North America & Caribbean: Barbados

Although my family is from Barbados, and you may think I’m biased, the numbers don’t lie. Boasting an overall 4.6/5 rating and a 5/5 "Traveling While Black" score, it’s our highest-rated TWB destination for North America & the Caribbean (Jamaica was a very close 2nd). Black travelers can feel safe and comfortable while enjoying all that this island has to offer. Barbados is a great place to relax on the beach, explore the local culture, and try delicious local food. Some of my favorite food spots include Cuz’s Fish Stand for their fish cutters and going to Pat’s on a Friday night during Oistin’s Fish Fry.

For the best nightlife, take a look at the South Coast, close to St. Lawrence Gap. This area is home to a number of bars and clubs that stay open until the wee hours and offer various types of food. They’re all close to one other, making bar hopping a breeze.

And though Rihanna may have shined a light on Barbados in recent years, it’s always been home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with some of my favorites being Pebbles Beach and Brownes Beach. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and there are many activities to choose from such as a tasting of the world’s oldest rum or a catamaran cruise on the southwest coast of the island. There is plenty to keep you busy.

South America: Medellin, Colombia

This city has a lot to offer Black travelers, including a rich culture of music, art, and history that’s been strongly influenced by its Afro-Colombian heritage. Couple that with beautiful scenery, extensive biodiversity, and vibrant nightlife, and it’s a destination to remember.

Medellin is the second-largest city in Colombia and along with the nightlife and amazing food, it’s also home to a number of museums and historical sites. The city has gone through a re-birth in the last decade. It used to be plagued by the Medellin Cartel and the names Pablo Escobar and Griselda Blanco (the Black Widow) would strike fear into anyone that heard them. But those days are long gone, though you can still explore that part of Medellin’s history with various tours around the city.

Throughout the day, the city is buzzing with visitors and locals. The locals are very gracious and always willing to point you in the right direction.

The city is located in a valley, which provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The weather is also very pleasant, with an average temperature of 70°F, making Medellin a great place to visit all year round.

Best of all, you won't have to worry about feeling safe as a Black traveler since Medellin is full of Afro Colombians. With a 4.9/5 "Traveling While Black" score, you can rest easy. (Cartagena was a close #2.)

Europe: Florence, Italy

Get ready to be in full travel mode when you land in Italy. A beautiful and historical city, Florence is known for its art and architecture. It’s home to many famous museums, including the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery, which house some of the world's most famous paintings and sculpture (including Michaelangelo’s David).

Florence is also known for its outstanding regional food, from fresh pasta and pizza to mouth-watering gelato. Set in the heart of the Chianti wine region, it’s the perfect place to go for a wine tasting once or twice, or three times (who’s counting!).

When it comes to safety, Florence is generally a safe place for Black travelers. With a 4.56/5 "Traveling While Black” (the highest for Europe) and 4.8/5 “History” score, it's ideal for those who want to learn more about Italy's past.

A woman pedals a bike past the Duomo in Florence.
Biking through the Piazza del Duomo in Florence. Image credit: Getty Images / Westend61

Asia: Philippines

With stunning beaches, amiable locals, and famously excellent food, it's no wonder the Philippines is popular with Black travelers.

One of the best things about this archipelago is that it's an affordable destination with plenty of budget-friendly accommodation and food options.

Additionally, it’s a fantastic country for experiencing new things. Snorkel with the turtles in Moalboal, enjoy the thrilling nightlife in El Nido, swim and kayak on one of the 7,600 islands, or relax in the sleepy town of Coron. It's easy to see how the Philippines got a high 4.76 score in "Adventure” but also a 4.82 score for “Traveling While Black” due to its welcoming community. For those who love Bali, don’t worry – it wasn’t far behind the Philippines as a great place for Black travelers to visit in Asia.

Oceania: Sydney, Australia

Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and the most famous city in Australia. I stayed in Sydney for about a week as part of my gap year back in 2015 and it was during this time that I came up with the idea of Green Book Global. During my stay I visited famous landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

There are also plenty of museums and art galleries to explore, making it the perfect destination for those who love to learn. I recommend the Camden Museum which provides an in-depth history of the First Nations people of Australia that migrated out of Africa 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.

The city is also home to some of the best beaches in Australia. I went to Bondi Beach and really enjoyed the Bondi to Coogee Costal Walk and its proximity to so many restaurants.

When it comes to Traveling While Black, Sydney has the top score in Oceania with a 4.3/5. I can attest to that as I didn’t have any problems and felt very welcome.

Africa: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar tops our list for Africa as the best destination for Black travelers with 5/5 for a "Traveling While Black" score. In Zanzibar, the locals are friendly and welcoming, and on top of that it’s an incredibly beautiful place.

An overhead view of Stone Town, the old part of Zanizibar City in Zanzibar.
Historic Stone Town in Zanzibar. Image credit: Getty Images / Moiz Husein/EyeEm

This archipelago off the coast of Tanzania is famous for its beaches, blessed with crystal clear water and soft sand. There are also tons of activities to enjoy, including snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. And Tanzania is one of the few African countries where you can witness the great wildebeest migration, typically from December to March.

Additionally, Zanzibar is home to several historical sites. Visit the Old Fort, stroll through the Stone Town market, or take a tour of the architecturally unique House of Wonders. For its darker history, learn about how the slave trade became the pillar of the Zanzibar economy by visiting the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral, formerly one of the biggest slave markets in East Africa, and Prison Island where rebel slaves were imprisoned.

Whether you're looking to relax on the beach, enjoy unique local dishes that blend East African, Arab, and East Indian influences, or explore the island's history, Zanzibar is well worth visiting. (It barely inched past Accra for the #1 spot in Africa, if you were wondering.)

Green Book Global’s mission

There's no doubt that Black travelers have a unique perspective on what we can potentially experience, due to colonialism and racism. But we also have a unique perspective to share after visiting a destination. That's why Green Book Global exists – to inspire Black travelers to see the world but to also share insights through a lens that is not typically captured. So, if you're looking for an unforgettable travel experience, as a Black traveler or an ally to the Black travel community, be sure to check out one of these destinations. You won't be disappointed.

Related articles

Travel Insurance

Simple and flexible travel insurance

You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.

Get a quote

No Comments

Add a Comment