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If you want to travel the world, or at least travel more often, you don’t have to wait to find the perfect travel partner to do it with. Traveling solo can often be just as rewarding, if not more so, as you’ll have a better opportunity to connect with others and meet new friends as well as see and do everything you want to do without having to compromise with someone else. Of course, some destinations are a lot more conducive to solo female travel, including these.
Norway, like the other Scandinavian nations of Denmark and Sweden, always show up in the top 10 lists when it comes to equal treatment for women, and it’s also very safe, with a low crime rate. This beautiful country offers a wealth of magnificent landscapes and outdoor adventure, and in its capital city of Oslo you can take in plenty of culture and a thriving nightlife. Be sure to check out the amazing art at Vigeland Sculpture Park with its more than 200 pieces of iron, granite, and bronze art.
If you’re on a tight budget, the best way to experience more of this expensive country on a solo trip is to hop aboard one of the Hurtigruten coastal steamers that sails up its 1,000-mile-long coast to the city of Bergen, and through some of the most beautiful fjords, with stops at dozens of ports along the way.
Copenhagen is another great Scandinavian city for solo travelers. It’s not only one of Europe’s most underrated capitals, crime rates are very low and it’s also one of the easiest on the planet to meet up with friendly locals and other single travelers. Most Danish speak English as their second language, which means communication is rarely a problem. This magnificent city is home to spectacular architecture as well as renowned shopping. Hire a bike by the hour, day or week, and explore. Copenhagen’s parks are a perfect place to mingle with travelers as well as locals, in fact, they might just ask you to join in on a game of football or a picnic.
A top bucket list destination for women, New Zealand seems like it was made just for solo travel as a safe place that’s easy to get around. It’s home to some of the most stunning landscapes on the planet and plenty of outstanding hostels that are great for meeting up with other travelers. You can look forward to the breathtakingly lush setting of the “Lord of the Rings” films, treks through the rainforest, adventures on glaciers, soaking in hot springs and even extreme sports like zorbing, a unique experience in which riders roll down a hill in a large inflatable globe. Whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, sky diving and jet boating are just a few of the other options, and you don’t need a travel partner to enjoy any of those heart-pounding activities.
But if you’d like some company, know that Kiwis are renowned for their generous, often exuberant nature and positive attitude toward life. Every dig from a New Zealander is delivered with a smile – and everyone you meet is especially welcoming.
Canada as a whole is a fantastic place for a first-time solo trip, safe, scenic and some of the best scenery in the world for enjoying all types of outdoor adventures. But the easternmost province of Newfoundland is perhaps the very best of all, with exceptionally friendly people who will go out of their way to make you feel welcome, and be there to assist should you run into trouble – although here, the crime rate is extremely low and violent crimes are practically non-existent. In fact, many Newfoundlanders still leave their doors unlocked.
If you’re looking for city life, St. John’s is ideal without being overwhelming. Founded in 1610, this beautiful and historic capital is home to outgoing, friendly people. They love their Celtic music – among other types of tunes, and George Street, a two-block long stretch houses nothing but bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs as the main center of nightlife. Just minutes outside of the city, you can enjoy whale watching, puffin and iceberg cruises, kayaking, spectacular hiking opportunities and much more.
Costa Rica was recently ranked as the world’s happiest country and is popular with adventure travelers. If you’re looking for a tropical destination where you can enjoy soaking up the sun and the sand with a drink in your hand as well as taking part in all sorts of active pursuits from surfing and whitewater rafting to hiking and thrilling zip-line rides, this may be your spot. Costa Ricans are cheerful, friendly and more than willing to help, so you won’t be nervous being on your own, and you might even make a friend or two. While there are all sorts of accommodation available, including hostels and B&Bs, one of the best options in Costa Rica is the eco-lodges.
You might be surprised to find that Vietnam is actually one of the safest and appealing places to visit for solo female travelers. Streetlife is colorful and safe, even in the largest cities, whether you want to explore the massive Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi or Ben Thanh market in Ho Chi Minh. You can find unique, one-of-a-kind clothing and souvenirs as well as gorgeous flower arrangements, and the women running the stalls at many of the markets tend to be very willing to help too. Active travelers won’t want to miss hiking the mountains of the Central Highlands on a trek with a local outfitter or practicing tai chi with hundreds of others at the edge of Hoan Kiem Lake. Of course, you can always lounge on the picture-perfect beaches of Phu Quoc Island and do nothing but relax.
Scotland is also very safe, incredibly beautiful, and, although you might have to struggle a bit to understand the accent, everyone speaks English here too, which makes it easier to get around. The Scottish are extremely warm and welcoming, and there are many good hostels across the country offering safe and easy ways to meet other travelers. With its soaring mountains, castles, glens and breathtaking beaches, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped right into the pages of a fairy-tale. Edinburgh is a city that’s considered a must-visit with its picturesque hilltop castle, but for the best look at the country’s true beauty, you won’t want to miss exploring the Highlands, and particularly the Isle of Skye.
One of the most underrated countries in Europe, Slovenia has the beauty of Austria and Switzerland minus the hordes of tourists and high cost. The lakes and meadowlands of this small nation in central Europe have long been under-visited, and it was recently ranked as one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Slovenia is safe and well-connected to most of Europe’s major cities by both train and budget airlines too.
The capital city of Ljubljana, nestled in an alpine valley along the Ljubljanica River, is especially picturesque. This very walkable city is filled with cobblestone streets lined with charming cafes and trendy bars as well as museums and art galleries. By heading to the hilltop castle, you can take in especially impressive views of Ljubljana and well beyond. Don’t miss a visit to Bled, located near the border of Austria, not only is it breathtaking to see with its jade waters overlooked by a Romanesque castle, but thermal springs keep it a toasty 79 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for a swim.
Ireland is not only one of the world’s safest and most peaceful countries, but the Irish are also renowned as some of the friendliest on the planet. You’ll enjoy plenty of Irish charm and legendary hospitality, along with those lush, green hills, a stunning wild coastline, ancient castles and more. No matter where you go in Ireland, people are more than willing to lend a hand or offer advice. The Irish love to gab too, so if you won’t find yourself alone for long whether you’re in a pub or a park.
While the highlights are enough to fill at least a 30-day trip, favorites include the Dingle, Iveragh and Beara Peninsulas, Wicklow National Park, Connemara and the Aran Islands. By traveling to the smallest of the Aran Islands, Inisheer, home to a population of only about 250, you’ll have an even better opportunity to get to know the locals while exploring ancient historic sites and walking Mediterranean-like stretches of sand.
Thailand is surprisingly pretty amazing for female solo travelers. Part of the reason for that may be because of its Buddhist mindset, which promotes equality among the sexes. The country that was ranked one of the happiest on the planet is also renowned for its friendly hospitality, and as there are so many travelers here at any given time, it’s easy to meet up with a travel buddy too. Just book a day tour or stay in a hostel and you’re bound to meet someone compatible. Plus Thailand tends to be rather inexpensive, which helps a lot when you don’t have someone there with you to split the costs.
Of course the country has lots to offer all types of travelers, from the party-central of Bangkok to stunning beaches and tropical jungle. If you want to experience Bangkok, this city offers a lot more than partying too – while, there are plenty of nightclubs and go-go bars, there are also a multitude of Buddhist temples and monasteries that offer an unsurpassed experience for solo travelers.
It’s easy to be a woman traveling alone in Stockholm. The Swedish capital is a compact city that’s safe, clean and easy to navigate. Plus, it’s surrounded by the waters of the archipelago offering all types of fun water activities that don’t require a companion to be enjoyed. Spend the morning sea kayaking and the afternoon exploring the city’s parks on two wheels. Shopping enthusiasts will love the artistic treasures found at the Moderna Musset as well as the opportunities at Östermalm, a posh neighborhood with high-end local designer boutiques. After dark, take part in exciting nightlife in bohemian Södermalm.
If you want to explore more of the great outdoors farther away from the city without being totally on your own, that can easily be done with an outfitter.
Australia is another one of the best countries for women traveling alone. Australians are incredibly friendly, and you’ll never be short of company. With its relaxed vibe and opportunity for plenty of outdoor adventure, it almost feels like home. Perth is one of its especially fabulous destinations, renowned for its beaches that can rival those found anywhere in the world. Plus you can explore the popular wine region in nearby Margaret River or take a day trip to the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park, filled with thousands of limestone spires that rise up from the golden sands, creating one of Australia’s most unique landscapes. Emus, cockatoos and gray kangaroos can often be spotted here too, while in nearby Hangover Bay, bottlenose dolphins are frequently seen.
Many women who consider traveling solo in Europe make plans that involve a rail pass and a busy itinerary through countries like Italy, Spain, France and Portugal. If you want to do something a little different, you might want to go to Iceland. It boasts some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, plus it’s safe and incredibly peaceful. That may be in part thanks to all of its hot springs that Icelanders can enjoy soaking in. While you’re here, you can enjoy a dip too, with pools found throughout the country.
The famous Blue Lagoon is a must-experience for some heavenly pampering with its healing warm waters surrounded by lava rocks. If you want to delve into Icelandic culture a bit, pay a visit to the Elf School, which teaches students and visitors about Icelandic folklore. You’ll learn all about the mystical creatures, including 13 types of elves, four kinds of gnomes, three types of troll and three fairy varieties – all from locals who claim to have had personal encounters with them.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Another great Canadian destination can be found on the country’s west coast. Vancouver is renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It’s also exceedingly clean and relatively safe. Especially enticing in the summer months, with the multitude of options for outdoor activities, you can explore beaches and towering mountains all in one day. The transit system is convenient and safe, though the city is ideal for experiencing on foot or two wheels, with lots of bike-friendly paths and bridges. Take a stroll around Stanley Park, explore museums and sample the many culinary delights including everything from fantastic food trucks to the Granville Island Public Market and a wide variety of world-class eateries.
While Boracay can get a bit crowded in the summertime, it’s considered a safe place to travel for those who are looking for affordable fun in the sun. This tropical paradise offers plenty of pristine white beaches and crystal clear waters as well as fun nightlife. But the highlight here may be its people – visitors to this island have noted that the islanders are some of the friendliest in the world.
The Netherlands is such a great destination for those traveling on their own, some call it the solo traveler’s Disneyland. The Dutch are among the most accepting and laid-back people in Europe, and it’s wonderful getting lost in the tiny streets of Amsterdam, wandering by picturesque canals, colorful houses and coffee shops while stopping to explore world-class museums. You can easily walk and bike anywhere in the city, in fact, most locals get around by bicycle. It’s also exceptionally safe and a good bargain when it comes to accommodations, particularly in the B&Bs and hostels. It’s also simple and inexpensive to get to other great cities throughout the country, like The Hague, Utrecht and the art capital of Maastricht. Plus, the high number of English speakers in the Netherlands makes it simple to converse with locals too.
Berlin is a fantastically cool city with a free-spirited vibe that makes it easy for a solo female traveler to feel like she instantly belongs. Enjoy sightseeing at the Mitte, the central district, home to a multitude of historical points of interests, and then hop on the Metro to hit up some of the city’s very best clubs and watering holes like the Green Door and Stattbad, a hopping venue inside a swimming pool. If you like to shop, this is one of Europe’s best cities for opening up your wallet with a jumble of diverse elements, including traditional items at classic department stores and home-grown fashions at places like DSTM to lively farmers markets with outstanding regional produce at Markthalle IX and Winterfeldt Market.
Melbourne is one of Australia’s best cities for foodies, and it may be number one when it comes to wandering alone, with just about everywhere within walking distance. It packs in a ton of art, shopping and intrigue in an organized rectangular route which is all accessible via the free City Circle tram line. If you like great street food, this city is also home to thriving marketplaces that provide a culinary mash-up of Eurasian street fare as well as a multitude of fancy food trucks that include everything from po’ boys, burgers and meat pies to authentic Indian curry and Vietnamese Banh Mi. Even fast food is high end here, with burgers made with prime wagyu beef and pizzas topped with prosciutto and figs.
If you want to do some people watching, grab a deck chair at Federation Square, a favorite locals hangout. You can check out a number of iconic landmarks at the same time, including the abstract Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the ornate Flinders Street Railway Station.
Italy is not only beautiful, but the food is amazing, the weather often idyllic, and the people are warm, friendly and helpful. Plus this is a country that’s easy to get around, making it a must to not only visit Rome but the spectacular Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, Tuscany and everywhere in between. While it’s important to use common sense in any major city like Rome, such as paying attention to your surroundings and keeping a close eye on valuables, it’s a very walkable city, filled with amazing energy that has to be experienced to be understood. And, then there’s Venice. Well, it’s magical – and although it’s a very romantic city, there’s no need to walk its ancient streets with a travel partner, it’s really just as incredible when you’re on your own.
Bali is considered a staple for solo travelers of all types. Its combination of friendly, hospitable people and magnificent visual culture, has made it Indonesia’s most popular destination. You definitely won’t be the only solo traveler here either, making it easy to meet up with others along the way if you choose. In this spiritual place that offers lots of yoga, spas, organic eateries and beaches, you’ll find plenty to do too. The small village of Ubud makes for an especially tranquil retreat. Best known from the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and the subsequent movie starring Julia Roberts, it’s truly a place that can heal the soul – if that’s what you’re in need of. Although you’re unlikely to get lonely with such welcoming locals and so many other travelers, if it does happen, taking a stroll through Monkey Forest is sure to transform your mood with the hundreds of monkeys there to greet you.