Best Solo Female Travel Destinations
It’s hard to narrow my adventures down to determine the best solo female travel destinations. I adore wandering the world, and have a special connection to many, many, many different places. Furthermore I spend too money much on plane tickets, watch too many travel orientated television shows, and stare at too many glossy pictures on Instagram. Naturally, I don’t let a lack of a travel partner stop me from pursuing my dreams to the fullest either. Taking risks has transformed me into a much stronger, more independent person, for which I’ll be ever grateful. I fully believe all women should travel alone to experience this empowering personal change.
I’ve talked a lot about solo female travel on this blog, even writing a beginners guide on the subject, but sometimes it’s overwhelming to actually pick a destination for that big (and awesome) trip. I’m indecisive myself so I know how tough creating an itinerary can be – especially if you have to do all the prep work alone.
I’m here to help! Here are my twelve favorite destinations for solo female travel. Keep in mind I’m speaking from my own experiences, and I welcome you to share your favorite destinations in the comments. I’m always dreaming about new and exciting trips, and may take your advice in the future!
1. Vienna, Austria
There are so many reasons why I love Vienna. The museums, palaces, coffees and cakes, opera performances. The list goes on forever. Plus the Austrian capital is smack in the middle of Central Europe – which makes it a great base for taking day trips to places like Bratislava in Slovakia. Vienna’s tourism infrastructure and public transportation are both top notch in its quality. And if you’re an English speaker, you won’t have any issues finding your way around the city.
Vienna has also been voted the World’s Most Livable City several times in a row. It’s wonderfully clean and safe. Speaking from personal experience, when I visited Vienna way back in 2015, I felt incredibly safe exploring all the tourist sites. I even felt at ease when a new friend (also female) and I returned to our hostel at four in the morning. No one caused us any problems!
2. Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland is well-known as one of the safest countries in the world. If you’re fearful about solo female travel, then Iceland and its capital city definitely need to come at the top of your travel bucket list. It’s a great place to “ease into” solo travel and build your personal confidence up to the sky.
Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital, offers a wide variety of enjoyable sites and accommodation, but it’s truly an excellent place to base yourself for a longer stay. Many, many, many adventure tours depart directly from Reykjavik, so you can easily enjoy Iceland’s wild and amazing natural beauty without the stress of driving and planning all the logistics yourself. Most tour guides will even pick you up right at your hotel!
Iceland is also a great place for a longer layover if you’re planning a bigger trip in Europe.
3. Lisbon, Portugal
I’m sure the inclusion of Lisbon as one of my best solo female travel destinations will come as a surprise to no one. After all, I’ve already advocated Portugal as my number one destination for solo travelers. So I’ll be brief.
First of all, Lisbon’s hostel scene is second to none. If you come here alone, I promise you will leave with a bunch of awesome new friends who you’ll remain in contact with. In addition, I loved exploring Lisbon’s different neighborhoods, especially Belem and Alfama, and felt that I could walk anywhere without being hassled by creepy strangers. Lisbon’s proximity to the beach offers visitors “the best of both worlds:” urban sophistication and fun in the sun. You’ll leave here sporting an adorable tan.
And if you’re tight on cash? You’re in luck. Lisbon is very gentle on your bank account. You can enjoy a delicious dinner (and wine!) for a reasonable price. And don’t forget the pastries. Mmm, the pastries.
4. New York City, USA
I have a soft spot for New York City. Big time. While it’s an overwhelming place due crowds and its massive size, New York is still an incredible destination for solo female travelers, especially those who favor action-packed cities over small towns and natural. In spite of its size, it’s still not too difficult getting around using the subway and cabs, and Manhattan itself is very walkable.
New York has many world famous attractions including Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and so much more! I still get excited when I hop on the train to and from New Jersey and have an unfiltered view of the Statue of Liberty, haha.
And if you love to shop? You will be in retail heaven. I’m not even kidding. New York City has allllll the shops, ranging from ultra thrifty to designer luxury brands, and even though I’ve been to this city a million times, I always find a new cool store to check out. Shoppers need, need, need to visit New York.
5. Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Ahhh, Scotland. I can’t go five minutes without gushing about Scotland. Edinburgh is great and another one of my favorite cities in the world, but the Scottish Highlands will slay any solo female traveler’s heart. Scotland is famed for its natural beauty. Pristine lochs, castles, lush greenery, friendly people, quaint hostels and B&Bs. What else could you possibly ask for? Just make sure you pack for all four seasons! The weather can be tricky. Rain one minute, sunshine the next minute, winds the next minute. You gotta be ready for everything.
If you’re young (or young at heart) and not opposed to taking guided tours, then I highly recommend booking your Scottish trip with Haggis Adventures. You’ll meet a LOT of solo travelers, and your guide will tell you spell-binding Scottish legends. The reasonable price makes a Haggis tour even more worth your time and energy.
6. Banff National Park, Canada
I already gushed about quite a few cities in this post. Let’s change gears for a moment. If you’re “outdoorsy,” go gaga for crystal clear lakes and mountains, and enjoy physical activities like hiking and white water rafting, then the Canadian Rockies totally exist for you! Banff’s hikes offer a chance to savor some of the prettiest nature that I have ever seen in my life. It doesn’t even matter if the lakes are cold to swim in. The water looks freakin’ photoshopped and it’s delightful. Plus, as I’ve already stated, the park has plenty of fun activities for adventure-minded travelers. I personally had a great time white water rafting.
Banff works for any solo female traveler’s budget. You can pitch a tent or enjoy a classy lodge. The possibilities are endless! And finally, it’s Canada. You’ll meet a lot of friendly people.
7. Paris, France
Ahhh, Paris also known as the City of Looooove. Who doesn’t adore Paris? I bet we can all think of one person who has daydreamed of a love dovey trip to Paris with a significant other. But Paris is great done solo too.
As for me, I spent an entire week here and alas, it wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy me. Stroll the streets, and you’ll feel as if you’re on a movie set. Maybe you’ll even find love, haha, if you’re searching for it! While Paris has a lot of world famous attractions, like the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, I personally liked taking a walk with no set destination in mind for that particular day. I’d constantly stumble on cool boutiques and cafes. So throw plans out the window.
Lastly, keep in mind Paris is one of the most visited destinations in the entire world, so you’re bound to come across other solo women if you’re looking to make new friends. Don’t forget a pleasant day trip to Versailles either!
8. Napa Valley, USA
We’re back in the United States! I’m a sucker for fine food and wine. And, if you’re a food writer or just a gal who loves a good meal, then you’ll be hard pressed to find a sweeter food and wine destination than Napa Valley. Each winery has its own distinct character and history, so even if you’re not a wine expert, you’ll still get a lot out of your visits.
Ultimately Napa Valley is ideal if you want a relaxing vacation instead of a jam-packed adventure trip. Not to mention, San Francisco is nearby and who doesn’t love San Francisco? Napa Valley is best explored by car, but if you don’t want the hassle of renting a vehicle, plenty of day tours leave San Francisco and all of them include a yummy wine tasting sure to satisfy your tastebuds.
9. Stockholm, Sweden
Like Vienna, Stockholm is another very livable city and one of the best solo female travel destinations on the planet. Gender equality is important in Sweden, so you won’t have any major issues as a woman traveling alone. Trust me, no one will raise an eyebrow. If price isn’t a deterrent (because let’s face it, Scandinavia isn’t kind on the wallet), then keep Stockholm in mind for your upcoming solo trip. Visit in the summer months to take advantage of the long days and the wonderful weather.
And even though Stockholm is pricey, you can do a lot for free or low cost. For example, visit a supermarket and have a picnic near the water, and take in the architecture of the Old Town. Stockholm offers plenty of great experiences waiting for you.
10. Montreal, Canada
Montreal is a super fun and unique city for any solo female traveler looking to speak some French and soak up some world class nightlife. Normal safety precautions are all that are needed here, meaning you can explore day and night. Some of my favorite spots include the Old Port, McGill University, and Mount Royal. Montreal is a fabulous destination for foodies, too. Take a food tour, eat poutine and bagels, and connect with other travelers.
Oh, and if you’re a hockey fan, then visiting Montreal is a total no brainer. Go to a game. You won’t regret it for a second.
11. Lake Bled and Julian Alps, Slovenia
Want to experience a “not so hidden” European gem? Then Lake Bled is for you, my friend. I promise you’ll fall in love here. The setting makes you feel like you’re in a fairy tale. And if endless lounging near Lake Bled isn’t your cup of tea, book yourself on a fun activity like paragliding or white water rafting.
I arrived in Bled halfway through an epic 7 week trip around Europe and was totally relaxed by the time I left. If only I could stay forever! For more information, check out my beginners guide to Bled.
12. Austin, USA
Solo female travelers will absolutely enjoy the “weirdness” of Austin, the capital city of Texas. You’ll enjoy live music, food trucks, cool museums, a cosmopolitan university, and beautiful weather on your stay. And don’t let any preconceived notions about Texas stop you. This city is wonderful.
What did I love most about Austin? The locals. Seriously, the people in Austin are super duper friendly. I lost track of how many times a kind stranger gave me directions, food recommendations, and more! These warm welcomes will make you feel as though you can take on the entire world.
What are some of your favorite destinations for solo female travelers? Share away! And if you need more ideas, here are some great destinations for 2017.
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