If you’re planning a solo trip next year (subject to travel restrictions), I’ve got some excellent suggestions for you. I asked some of my fellow female travel bloggers to share their recommendations for the best places for solo female travel in 2021, which I’ve included alongside some of my own recommendations. You’ll find inspiration for solo travel around the world, so let’s get planning!
The Best Places for Solo Female Travel in Europe
Europe is a wonderful place to travel alone. The infrastructure is generally excellent, so getting around is easy and there are plenty of options for places to stay in hostels, hotels, Airbnbs and more. It is a varied continent, with something for everyone. I’ve chosen a few of my favourite solo travel destinations – although you can’t go wrong wherever you choose!
I toyed with suggesting Porto instead of Lisbon, but you could always combine the two if you have enough time! Lisbon is a great place to explore on foot, or you can hop on one of the trams to whizz you across the city. I also loved taking photos of the trams, they are just so damn pretty!
Foodies will also love Portuguese cuisine, which is cheap and delicious. Don’t miss a day trip to Belem, the home of the pasteis de nata custard tarts, and I’d also recommend taking a cooking class to learn how to make them yourself!
Sintra is THE day trip to take from Lisbon, although spending a couple of days there won’t be time wasted. Sintra is a magical place, home to several fairy-tale castles with gorgeous views from the castle walls. Pena Palace is probably the most colourful castle you’ll ever see, and sunset from the Moorish Castle is stunning.
Barcelona is one of my favourite cities, and where I spent 4 years living before I set off to go backpacking around South America. The city has everything you could wish for – beautiful beaches, gorgeous architecture, fabulous food and a night life that varies from late-night dinners and drinks in tiny local bodegas, to super clubs and live music venues.
Hit La Rambla early in the morning to avoid the crowds, and be sure to stop in at La Boqueria market to pick up some snacks. Stroll around the Gothic Quarter and take a walk along the beach front, but don’t neglect the other more local neighbourhoods like Gracia which has some fabulous restaurants and Poble Sec.
You can’t talk about Barcelona without mentioning Gaudi, whose bizarre yet beautiful work dominates the city. La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and Casa Batlló are my personal favourite places to admire his work, although there are plenty more to see.
I adored Edinburgh. It’s a beautiful city, full of fascinating history, interesting architecture and delicious food. Harry Potter fans will love hunting down the places where J K Rowling found inspiration for her famous books, and there are various tours to join which will take you to all the sights.
There are lots of things to do in the city too, from invigorating hikes up to Arthur’s Seat, to museums packed with artefacts and plenty of lovely places for photographing the very instagrammable city. Nightlife is also great fun in Edinburgh – if you’re into that I’d suggest staying at a hostel so you can meet people to party with.
I’d also highly recommend exploring more of Scotland outside the city too; I joined a 5-day tour of Scotland which included visiting Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye and Glencoe which was fabulous. This 7-day Scotland itinerary will give you some more ideas of where to go.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast is often overlooked when planning solo trips to the UK, but I fell in love with the city. It has a troubled history which is still evident in some places around the city where there are murals and dividing walls between the protestant and Catholic areas of Belfast. To learn more about the history a Black Cab tour is a must.
However, Belfast has changed a lot in the last twenty years or so, and it is now a buzzing cultural centre with an amazing foodie scene. The Titanic Museum is one of the best museums I’ve ever been to, although it’s not cheap! If you’re there on the weekend then treat yourself to an afternoon tea in the ballroom which has a replica staircase from the Titanic so you can pretend to be Kate Winslet for the day!
You can also take a trip up to the north coast to see the spectacular Giant’s Causeway, either on a day tour by coach or spend a couple of nights up there to explore the Causeway Coastal Route.
Budapest is one of the best budget destinations in Europe and is great for solo female travellers too. It is cheap, and you can find delicious food, drink, and fabulous things to do in Budapest without breaking the bank.
However, Budapest is not just for backpackers – you can have your fair share of luxury here too, relaxing in thermal spas, enjoying the nightlife, and soaking up the culture and history of this fascinating city.
Don’t miss the gorgeous views from Fishermen’s Bastion – best at sunrise if you can get up that early – and the stunning Parliament building on the banks of the Danube. You can take a guided tour inside the Parliament building which is well worth it, but you’ll need to book a slot in advance.
Foodies will want to check out the Central Market Hall, and I’d also recommend a food tour and a wine tasting tour to taste some delicious Hungarian wines and find out exactly what to eat in Budapest. Make sure you also spend some time in the old Jewish Quarter, learning about the history and checking out the famous Ruin Bars.
If you’re wondering why I would choose Galway over Dublin, there are many reasons why I prefer this much smaller city; it’s prettier, cheaper, and closer to some of Ireland’s most beautiful destinations so you can stay here for a few days and explore.
Galway is famous for its pubs and nightlife and joining a pub crawl is a great way to experience the ‘craic’ if you are a solo traveller. Otherwise, it’s a pleasant town to walk around, watch the street performers and have a meal at one of the pubs or restaurants. Check out the Galway City Museum, walk along the river and watch the sunset over the sea.
A day trip to the Aran Islands was one of the highlights of my trip to Ireland, these islands off the coast of Galway have retained a more traditional culture, with Gaelic being the most common language. I went to Inis Mor and was blown away by the beautiful natural and man-made sights on the island.
You can also take a day trip from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher, another spectacular place in Ireland which is definitely worth a visit.
Foodies will be in heaven in Bologna. Although there is no bad place to visit in Italy for food, Bologna has to be one of the best. It is a lovely city to explore, with its orange and yellow painted buildings, miles of porticoes and impressive main square.
A visit to the roof of the cathedral is not for the faint-hearted but the views are spectacular, as is the sunset from the Two Towers. Don’t miss the tourist train ride up to the Sanctuary of the Madonna si San Luca either, for impressive views of the countryside around the city.
However, I won’t judge you if you prefer to spend all of your time eating and drinking your way around the city. You could take a food tour to find some of the best spots for gelato, freshly made pasta, cured meats and cheeses, or just explore yourself.
One thing you absolutely have to do is to take a food tour outside of the city, which include a visit to a parmesan cheese factory, a winery, a prosciutto ham producer and a balsamic vinegar producer. Some tours also include a visit to the Ferrari factory and a substantial lunch as well. Food heaven!
The Best Places for Solo Female Travel in Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Solo female travel in South Africa is a rewarding experience. While it’s ideal for solo travellers with a little experience, it can be managed by beginners with their wits about them.
One of these best things about travelling to South Africa is the affordability. If you’re used to travelling in Western Europe or the US, you’ll probably find prices to be about half what you’re used to. Cape Town in particular has a plethora of stylish bars, brunch cafes and world cuisine so it’s a great place to dine for less.
In fact, Cape Town is one of the world’s most underrated cities. There are glitzy neighborhoods with upscale bars like Camps Bay and hipster, up-and-coming neighborhoods like Woodstock with street art and food markets in refurbished warehouses. The city also has some spectacular beaches and excellent hikes up Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.
Another reason to visit South Africa is the fantastic nature and hiking opportunities. The Garden Route is a stretch of coastline running from Cape Town to Durban comprising beach towns and national parks. The scenery is second to none so it’s a fantastic place to get lost.
Solo female travellers might want to watch the Baz Bus which is a backpackers service dropping passengers safely from door-to-door of their accommodation.
By Rose, Where Goes Rose
Morocco might be a surprising addition to this post, but I’ve included it as I was due to visit this year before YOU KNOW WHAT ruined my plans. I admit I was hesitant about going to Morocco as a solo female traveller as I have heard mixed reviews – some women adore it while others had unpleasant experiences here. That’s why I had booked a group tour to explore Morocco safely travelling alone but with a group.
Morocco is famous for delicious foods, for bustling markets and maze-like streets. The blue city of Chefchaouen is a popular place for instagrammers who will revel in the painted houses and pretty doorways, whereas the more adventurous will want to head out to the desert, go hiking in the mountains or surfing on the coast.
There are now several companies offering women-only group tours to Morocco, or tours focused on specific interests such as food or hiking – or just to cover the highlights of the country. I had chosen one of the highlight tours, to include Marrakech, Essaouira, Casablanca, the Sahara Desert and more. I’d also planned to join a yoga retreat afterwards near Marrakech, then spend some time surfing. I hope I can do this next year instead, and write a full review for you!
The Best Places for Solo Female Travel in the Americas
Toronto is one of my favorite places to travel solo. The locals are friendly; the city is simple to navigate, it’s fairly cheap and there are lots of museums to wander around.
You should aim to stay in downtown Toronto for the best experience. My favorite neighborhood to stay in is the Fashion District. It’s filled with cool shops, restaurants, and rooftop bars. Plus, it’s walking distance from the Entertainment District where a lot of tourist attractions like the CN Tower are located.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous while you’re sight-seeing, check out the Edge Walk at the CN Tower. You’ll literally walk along the rim’s edge 1168 ft above the street.
You should also hang out in Toronto’s Distillery District. It’s a small street filled with old industrial buildings that have been transformed into cool shops and restaurants.
While you’re there, I highly recommend checking out a show at The Second City. They’re famous for their sketch comedy and have churned out some legends including Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Gilda Radner.
The best part about visiting Toronto solo is that the locals are beyond friendly. People strike up a conversation fast after they see you’re alone. I guarantee you’ll end your trip with at least one new friend.
By Ally, Ally Travels
Cusco is a special city, and a great base for exploring Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It’s a fascinating place, and was the capital of the Inca Empire which dominated Peru before the Spanish Conquest. Solo travel in Peru has its challenges, but it is definitely worth the effort!
The trek to Machu Picchu is certainly one for the bucket list, although I’d recommend getting in shape and doing plenty of practise hikes before you go! You’ll need to join a guide for the trek, although if hiking isn’t your thing then you can also go to Machu Picchu by train.
Machu Picchu may be touristy but it is popular for good reason – it is mind-blowing. That said, take time to explore some of the other archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley such as Moray, Maras, Ollantaytambo and Pisac. A trip to see the weaving communities at Chinchero is also well worth it.
Another highlight of my trip was the food in Peru. From fresh ceviche to juicy steak pieces and the less appealing roasted guinea pig, Peruvian food is an adventure! Try to take a food tour or join a cooking class, as well as stopping off at the Chocolate Museum.
This brightly coloured colonial city is probably the most popular city in Colombia for foreigners, thanks to the cruise port. If you prefer to get more off the beaten track, then the Colombian coast offers an array of adventures. I’d suggest spending a couple of days in Cartagena, then heading off to explore.
In Cartagena, stroll around the streets of the old town, visit the castle and the gold museum and check out the street art in the Getsemani neighbourhood. Popular day trips from Cartagena include a mud volcano and the white sands of Playa Blanca beach on the Rosario Islands.
Further afield, Tayrona National Park is a beautiful natural park, which is home to indigenous communities who still live in the area. Please be respectful of the park’s rules and regulations as you enjoy the beautiful beaches and forest. The trek to the Lost City through the jungle is another highlight for many, although you’ll need a minimum of 4 days to trek there and back with your guide.
Tulum is one of my favourite places in Mexico. It’s not quite as touristy as Cancun, but it is no longer a hidden gem, and is rapidly becoming THE place to go in Mexico. The town is roughly split into two zones, the inland town centre, and the beach area known as the Zona Hotelera where the more expensive beachfront hotels are.
The town centre has the cheaper options for accommodation and is just a bike ride away from the beach and the Mayan Ruins at Tulum. You’ll also find more local restaurants in the centre, and some of the tastiest tacos and street food here too!
As well as the beaches and ruins, Tulum has some spectacular cenotes – natural limestone sink holes which make for unique snorkelling and diving. Tulum is also within reach of other popular attractions in the Yucatan Peninsula, such as Coba Mayan ruins and Chichen Itza, one of the modern seven wonders of the world.
Guatemala may not be top of the list for solo female travel destinations, but I loved it here! Antigua is the former capital city of Guatemala, a title which transferred to Guatemala City after a series of earthquakes in the 1700s destroyed most of the town.
These days, some of the old churches are still in ruins, never having been rebuilt, and are dotted around the town amid the colourful painted houses. Perhaps what is most impressive about Antigua Guatemala is its proximity to several volcanoes.
Agua Volcano towers over the town, and nearby Fuego can often be seen smoking and spewing lava (the last major eruption was in 2018). Excursions to hike the adjacent volcano for views of Fuego are very popular here, as are climbs of the still active Pacaya volcano where you can walk across old lava flows and toast marshmallows in holes in the lava!
As well as volcanoes, you could take a cooking class in Antigua, learn about the local cuisine, coffee and traditions of weaving. I’d also recommend a trip to Lake Atitlan for at least a couple of days, to learn more about the indigenous communities who live in villages surrounding the lake.
To get around Guatemala, its recommended that tourists get the more expensive shuttle buses instead of the colourful “chicken” buses that the locals use – unfortunately hold-ups and robberies on the local busses aren’t uncommon.
The Best Places for Solo Female Travel in Asia
Kaohsiung in Taiwan is the perfect city for solo female travellers. It is a great introduction to Asia. You get the Asian culture, food, and architecture, but it is very modern and not as crowded as many other Asian countries.
Kaohsiung is located in southern Taiwan and is home to some of the best attractions in the country. You can visit Fo Guang Shan Monastery, reverse your luck at the Dragon and Tiger Pagoda at Lotus Pond, and explore Cijin Island.
The best part of all these attractions is that they are completely free! Kaohsiung is extremely affordable, which is another reason it is the perfect destination for solo female travellers.
Taiwan is a very safe country. You can walk around at night alone without any issue. The locals are extremely friendly and are more than happy to help you out if you’re lost or need help. If you look lost, a local will probably come up to you to ask if they can help before you get a chance to ask them for help!
Kaohsiung is the perfect mixture of tastes, sounds, and sights. Be sure to get there soon before the secret of how amazing Kaohsiung gets out, and it gets flooded with tourists!
By Erica, Travels with Erica
Seoul, South Korea
One of the coolest places that I recommend to fellow solo female travellers is Seoul in South Korea. The capital has just so much to offer, each district has its very own vibe.
For high end shopping and the tallest ice cream cones, head to Insa-Dong. Dongdaemun features an amazing food market while Insa-Dong has more expensive restaurants as well as museums. My favourite district is Hongdae and its attractions that cover both day and night, ranging from nightly street performances to hip cafes in the day.
My special tip for ladies is to rent a hanbok for half a day and then visit the main sights in the centre for free! See the old palace grounds and temples and feel like a true Queen because people on the street will stop, clap and call you beautiful when they see you in their traditional robes! That for sure is a great ego boost. Be prepared to potentially take photos with other people. (That actually happened to me.)
Besides the great food and shopping scene, you should pack hiking boots and try out the wall hike, which leads you around the entire city centre and up on mountainous vantage points. It’s not an easy hike and you will pass Seoul Tower and two military zones (where they do a quick ID check), but it’s so worth it for the views!! If you collect stamps along the way, you get a free badge to show off to your friends.
While I was in Seoul, I never felt unsafe or weirded out. There was no catcalling, no odd looks and people were very helpful when I asked them for directions or tips. It’s good to have the places you’re looking for in Korean type.
But with the amazing local transportation network, it’s extremely easy and affordable to get around and navigate the city.
By Annemarie, Travel on the Brain
Koh Phangan, Thailand
Koh Phangan belongs to the best destinations in Thailand and Southeast Asia and is extremely friendly for solo female travel too. The food is cheap and delicious and you can rent a simple bungalow on a beach for about $200 per month.
Koh Phangan has a thriving yoga community. The whole island is dotted with yoga and mindfulness centers, so a trip there can serve as the ultimate self-care retreat. You can also make use of the many yoga teacher-training courses. Vegan food is available not just at expat-run restaurants, but also at tiny Thai eateries lining the road.
The only challenge to overcome as a solo female traveller is riding a scooter, otherwise getting around is a pain.
If you dive into the expat community on Koh Phangan, there are a lot of guys ready to mingle. And then there’s the nightlife, with Full Moon parties at its core. If you choose to go to one, it’s best to bring a friend and not to go too wild.
Ultimately, Koh Phangan is a cheap and safe destination with a lot of diverse things to do. To stay 100% safe, exert caution at the uber-popular Full Moon parties and wear a helmet when riding a scooter.
By Veronika, Travel Geekery
Kerala in Southern India is one of the best solo female travel destinations in Asia. Some might be surprised to hear this, because India’s reputation in regard to solo female travel isn’t that good. However, Kerala is quite different in many regards.
Kerala is not only one of the most beautiful states in India, but also one of the safest and most developed states. Many of the difficulties solo female travellers face in India simply don’t exist in Kerala where the people are friendly and helpful.
Kerala is a place of beautiful nature with palm-fringed backwaters, picture-perfect beaches, misty hill stations and national parks teeming with wildlife. It’s a place to pamper yourself and there are excellent resorts as well as ayurveda and yoga retreats.
Kerala is India at its best and also a great budget destination. Things like accommodation and food are very cheap. For very little money you can indulge in delicious southern Indian food, stay in nice homestays or boutique hotels and travel by train to see India’s most spectacular sceneries.
By Ellis, Backpack Adventures
Queenstown, New Zealand
If you’re looking for a destination ideal for the solo female traveler, it’s hard to go past New Zealand. Whether you are in search of epic scenery or adventure, Queenstown on the South Island has something to appeal.
Being a popular tourist destination, and the adventure capital of the South Island, there are plenty of things to do in Queenstown. If adrenaline is what you seek you can bungy jump at the world’s first commercial jump site, white water raft or jet boat, sky dive or if you are visiting in the winter the region is famous for its ski season. Many Hollywood blockbusters, most famously Lord of The Rings, were filmed in and around Queenstown. The number of tour options make it perfect for the solo traveler to join and meet people.
Queenstown is on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, so if the solo road trip is more your style there are some truly epic views driving around the lake. You won’t regret taking the trip out to Glenorchy, and for some history the quaint old gold mining town of Arrowtown is a short drive away. The picturesque town of Wanaka is only an hour.
New Zealand is a super safe country, and the locals are friendly and welcoming. If you happen to be in Queenstown over a weekend, it’s worth joining one of the organized pub crawl events to make some new friends and see the best spots in town.
By Holly, Globeblogging
With rich culture, incredible sites, and some of the most delicious food on the planet, Tokyo is truly a city that has it all. While Tokyo isn’t typically considered a budget destination, it can be totally affordable. Plus, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, making it an ideal place for solo female travelers.
When visiting Tokyo, one of your biggest expenses will likely be lodging – hotel rooms in the city can be quite expensive. If you’d like to stay in a hostel, you can find plenty of options. Nui Hostel is a great option close to a ton of Tokyo attractions. If you’d prefer to stay in a hotel, consider staying in a business hotel. APA Hotels are a chain of business hotels that can be found all over Tokyo, and while they’re a little more expensive than a hostel, they’re still very affordable. The rooms are small, but perfect for if you’re traveling solo.
Tokyo is home to a ton of amazing activities and attractions, some that allow you to experience the city’s culture and others that let you see the city’s modern side. For culture, don’t miss a visit to Senso-ji Temple and Meiji Jingu Shrine. A trip to teamLab Borderless is a must to see incredible digital art. More fun attractions and activities to add to your Tokyo bucket list include the Tokyo Sky Tree, go-karting through the city streets, bar hopping in Golden Gai, and trying all the delicious food.
By Sydney, A World in Reach
Singapore is one of the best places to visit for a female solo traveler as it has a very low crime rate and is widely considered one of the safest cities in the world. While accommodation is expensive compared other cities in Southeast Asia, it is easy for solo travelers to save money by focusing on its amazing free attractions.
There is also plenty of cheap and tasty street food to enjoy at Singapore’s many hawker centres and using public transportation to get around is another money saver. Most of Singapore’s popular tourist attractions can be easily reached using the excellent MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system which is fast, clean and efficient.
Singapore has tons of fun and unique things to do and see. One of the best things to do in Singapore is to walk on the waterfront promenade while enjoying the beautiful views of the skyline and famous landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands, Helix Bridge and the iconic Merlion statue.
The indoor and outdoor gardens at the Gardens by the Bay are not to be missed, especially the Supertree Grove which is lit up at night. The temperature is hot year round so female travelers can wear their cutest outfits to take photos at the many instagram worthy spots in Singapore.
By Matilda, The Travel Sisters
Myanmar, or formerly known as Burma, is an excellent destination for solo female travellers. It’s very safe, and the main areas of interest are well connected. Also, Myanmar is a gorgeous country which is not as popular as its neighbours Thailand or Vietnam, which means no mass tourism and you can feel like a real explorer!
Myanmar was the first country where I travelled by myself, and I had an awesome experience. The country is incredibly affordable, especially when you don’t have anyone to split the cost. I found that hostels are the best option for accommodation in Myanmar. I stayed in Ostello Bello, which is a chain of very reliable accommodation in main cities such as Bagan and Mandalay.
The main tourist sites are well connected with cheap local flights or even cheaper and safe night buses that cost just a couple of dollars.
There is so much to discover in Myanmar! Head to Bagan and hire an electric scooter for the day to explore thousands of ancient temples scattered in the area. Catch a glimpse of a rising sun on a hot air balloon. Cycle the Inle Lake loop and go around Mandalay on a tuk-tuk and visit the giant stupa made of gold – the glorious Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.
Most western visitors will need a visa, which can be easily obtained online.
By Mal from Raw Mal Roams
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam is a great place to visit for solo female travelers. This quaint town is so fun to explore and easy to walk around. The vibe here is very relaxed and it’s easy to spend several inexpensive days here. There are cute cafes to people watch from and lots of historic temples to explore during the afternoon. Most hotels or hostels will have bike rentals so you can explore the town by bike as well! Cua Dai beach is a short bike ride down the road and a great place to relax.
Hoi An is also known for getting custom clothes made. There are fabric shops everywhere and it’s easy to pick out something from a catalog or draw a picture of what you’d like to have made. You can spend a few days exploring the town while checking in periodically for fittings on your custom outfits.
Perhaps the best part about Hoi An is the lanterns. This town comes to life at night and is lit up with hundreds of lanterns in the shops. Night strolls here are a must and as a solo female traveler, I never felt unsafe here. It’s got a lot to see and do and is definitely a highlight of Vietnam!
By Ashley, Jet Set Jansen
If you are looking for a city to travel to solo that has it all look no further than Almaty, Kazahkstan. It’s a city that has history, a great food culture and nature that is unbelievable. Flying into the city you get some breath-taking scenery that makes you want to get out and explore straight away.
You can spend a day wandering Central Park, stopping at the little restaurants that are dotted all through it for an amazing shashlick or a cold drink in the sun. This is where many families visiting Almaty go so the park is a great place to meet fellow travellers. Just be warned that there are people walking around with small animals like rabbits and they encourage you to pick them up and then demand payment.
After visiting Central Park you can catch a Yandex (Kazakh Uber) to Panfilov Park. Here you can see the Zenvok Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox Cathedral made from wood but without a single nail. The gardens that surround it are beautiful and you will also see the monuments to fallen soldiers throughout the park.
For nature lovers, a trip to Big Almaty Lake is a must. For solo travellers I’d recommend taking a guided tour there as transport back to Almaty can be difficult. Another epic adventure just out of Almaty is a trip up to the Shymbulak Ski resort, either for skiing in winter or hiking in warmer months. The ride on the cable car is an adventure in itself that will take you all the way 3200meters above sea level in three amazing sections.
A great way to end your trip is a visit to Kok Tobe. You can visit the Beatles monument and then have dinner overlooking the city and watching the sun go down.
by Bec, Wyld Family Travel
I hope these suggestions have given you some inspiration for where to go on your next solo trip, these are certainly some of the best places for solo female travel anywhere in the world!
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