12 Best Destinations for Solo Female Travelers

destinations for solo female travelers | solo female travel | europe | north america | wanderlust | travel tips | inspiration | travel blogger

I adore wandering the world. 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. Taking risks has transformed me into a much stronger, more independent person. 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. 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.

These 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!

destinations for solo female travelers

1. Vienna, Austria

There are so many reasons why I love Vienna. The museums, palaces, coffees and cakes, opera performances. Plus the Austrian capital is smack in the middle of Central Europe – which makes it a great base for taking day trips. The tourism infrastructure is 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. When I visited 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.

Book your accommodation in Vienna.

destinations for solo female travelers

2. Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland is known as one of the safest countries in the world. If you’re fearful about solo 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.

Reykjavik, the 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 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.

Book your accommodation in Reykjavik. 

destinations for solo female travelers

3. Lisbon, Portugal

I’m sure this inclusion will come as a surprise to no one. After all, I’ve already advocated Portugal as my number one destination for solo travelers. 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. I loved exploring Lisbon’s different neighborhoods, especially Belem and Alfama, and felt that I could walk anywhere without being hassled. Lisbon’s proximity to the beach offers visitors “the best of both worlds:” urban sophistication and fun in the sun.

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.

Book your accommodation in Lisbon. 

destinations for solo female travelers

4. New York City, USA

I have a soft spot for New York City. Big time. While it’s an overwhelming place, New York is still an incredible destination for solo female travelers, especially those who love action-packed cities. 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 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.

Book your accommodation in New York City.

destinations for solo female travelers

5. Scottish Highlands, Scotland

Ahhh, Scotland. I can’t go five minutes without gushing about Scotland. Edinburgh is great, but the Scottish Highlands will slay any solo female traveler’s heart. 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.

If you’re young (or young at heart) and not opposed to guided tours, then I highly recommend a trip with Haggis Adventures. You’ll meet a LOT of solo travelers, and your guide will tell you spell-binding Scottish legends. So worth it.

Book your accommodation in Fort Augustus, the heart of Loch Ness.

destinations for solo female travelers

6. Banff National Park, Canada

If you’re “outdoorsy” and go gaga for crystal clear lakes and mountains, then the Canadian Rockies are totally for you! Banff’s hikes offer some of the prettiest nature that I have ever seen in my life. It doesn’t even matter if the lakes are cold. The water looks freakin’ photoshopped and it’s delightful. Plus 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 plus, it’s Canada. You’ll meet a lot of friendly people.

Book your accommodation in Banff.

destinations for solo female travelers

7. Paris, France

Ahhh, the City of Looooove. Who doesn’t adore Paris? 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! While Paris has a lot of famous attractions, like the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, I personally liked taking a walk with no set destination in mind. I’d constantly stumble on cool boutiques and cafes.

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!

Book your accommodation in Paris.

destinations for solo female travelers

8. Napa Valley, USA

I’m a sucker for fine food and wine. And you’ll be hard pressed to find a sweeter food and wine destination than Napa. 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?

Book your accommodation in Napa.

destinations for solo female travelers

9. Stockholm, Sweden

Like Vienna, Stockholm is another very livable city. Gender equality is important in Sweden, so you won’t have any issues as a woman traveling alone. 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 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.

Book your accommodation in Stockholm.

destinations for solo female travelers

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.

Book your accommodation in Montreal.

destinations for solo female travelers

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.

Book your accommodation in Bled.

destinations for solo female travelers

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.

Book your accommodation in Austin.

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.

Note: Some links are affiliate-based, meaning I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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19 Responses to 12 Best Destinations for Solo Female Travelers

  1. Danijela WorldGlimpses August 8, 2017 at 5:46 am #

    Oh, I just loved Lisbon, Paris… Amazing destinations, a lot of things to see and explore, and so safe for solo traveling. You’ve had fun yourself, it shows on your photos! 🙂

  2. Kavita Favelle August 8, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

    Some wonderful choices, including some of my favourite places. I’ve not travelled to them alone but I totally appreciate what you are saying about the feeling of safety and friendly welcome in these places.

  3. Colby August 10, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    I typically travel solo. So many of these places are on my to do list. Glad to hear that they are solo female travel friendly!

  4. The Wanderer August 12, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    I agree. I have visited Vienna & Paris from your list and they are really travel friendly destinations. I had a great time there, not to mention solo!!

    • Rachel Elizabeth August 12, 2017 at 10:04 am #

      The Wanderer —

      Both awesome choices! I was actually thinking about Vienna the other day!

  5. Danik August 12, 2017 at 11:45 am #

    I love all these places, totally amazing. Great places to be on top of the list of solo female traveling or any sort of traveling.

  6. amit August 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    You’ve got some great destinations on this list 😀 – As a long-term Male solo traveler I can see myself getting sucked in by Lisbon. I’m hoping on stopping over there for a while before I head off to the Azores Islands which is my next destination.

  7. Soumya Nambiar August 12, 2017 at 5:16 pm #

    As a solo traveler myself, I have been to a few of the ones you have mentioned. Lisbon is one of my favorite places and it is relatively safer compared to other cities. I would love to add Prague to the list.

  8. Karla August 13, 2017 at 5:47 am #

    Nice citiies you’ve chosen. I found the Balkans and Batics easy for solo travel too.

  9. Kim Casey August 13, 2017 at 8:02 am #

    I love this post Rachel, I’ve travelled a lot as a solo female traveller and I love seeing others do it and inspire others with posts like this 🙂 I’ve been to 8 of your 12! Interestingly the first place I ever travelled to alone was Vienna, Austria, Your number 1!

  10. Wiebke Siemering August 13, 2017 at 9:08 am #

    Great list and they are all indeed pretty safe and good for solo travellers! I’d like to add Japan as well:)

  11. Sumti Bhadani August 13, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    I agree with your list. If you ask me I would rank Vienna at the top. I have been to Vienna and it is amazing. Paris comes to second in my list because of it romantic atmosphere. Thanks for sharing this list. And yes the photos are really great 🙂

  12. Patricia August 13, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    Great post!! Lisbon is definitely on my travel wish list for next year. It looks amazing! I want to return to Paris and Vienna, as I visited both during a very cold winter, and I’d love to be able to walk around without freezing. 🙂 I was excited to see Napa make the list. I was going to add Carmel-by-the-Sea, too, for a small city/town that is great for the solo traveller. Pinned!

  13. Claudia August 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

    I love all of your tips for great cities in which women travelling solo can feel comfortable and free. I’ve visited many both on my own and with family – they’re all amazing. NYC, Montreal, and Stockholm are among my absolute favorites.

  14. Paige W August 15, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

    These are definitely great destinations! I think that Reykjavik is one of the best destinations for solo travelers. It was just so safe and so beautiful. I’m very glad that it made your list!

  15. Tracy Schwartz September 8, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

    Loved my solo trip to Napa a few years back for my birthday! As a female traveler who lives in New Jersey I love that NYC is on the list and would add doing a road trip through New England! Perfect in the fall!

    Austin is on my list to visit!

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