7 Reasons I Love Traveling to Europe Alone

traveling to europe alone

Reasons I Love Traveling to Europe Alone

solo female travel | traveling alone | solo travel europe | travel to europe alone | travel tips

If you’ve read my “Destinations” page, you can tell I love traveling to Europe alone a lot. Some of you probably wonder if I’ll ever add different continents to my (ahem out of date) destinations list. I will, I promise. New Zealand has beckoned for ages. So has Peru. And Japan.

However, I ADORE Europe – especially for solo travel. It rocks. 99.5% of the time, I travel alone to new countries, and Europe makes me feel … comfortable. Relaxed. Excited. I can’t get enough of the place.

Like a lot of “wanderlust obsessed” bloggers, sometimes I feel pressured to travel to new countries every time I book a plane ticket. I want this blog to have a never ending supply of fresh material for you guys. Plus I want to impress friends and family with a mind boggling country count. Hey, I never said I wasn’t vain or a show off, but still. This pressure is silly.

Travel ought to cater to your needs, especially you’re booking a trip for one. If you want to travel to Paris once a year, do it. If you’ve taken your ninth trip to Scotland, but want to go again in the near future, go. If you only want to explore Italy and have no desire to go elsewhere, you do you. Travel makes no demands.

So why do I love traveling to Europe alone? Keep reading.

traveling to europe alone

traveling to europe alone

1. Visiting different countries is a breeze.

Europe is super fun for solo travelers, because of the diversity you can experience on the continent. You can wake up in London and fall asleep in Paris. You can enjoy a breakfast in Stockholm and then take a quick cheap flight to Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. You can book a lazy week stay in Vienna, but then enjoy a quick afternoon trip to Bratislava, a funky capital located in a completely different country!

If you stay in the Schengen area, border controls between countries are either quick or non-existent for certain passport holders. Visa rules are the same in every country, too. Simple.

On a tight budget? Visit Europe on a shoestring.

traveling alone to europe

traveling alone to europe

2. Meeting other travelers and locals is also simple.

“Backpacking Europe” is almost a traveler rite of passage. It doesn’t matter if you’re a college student, young professional, new parent, or senior citizen. I’ve met travelers of all ages on my backpacking adventures – which is great.

Since this type of travel is so insanely popular, every major European city as well as a lot of smaller cities and towns have hostels available for your stay. Now don’t get grossed out. Hostels are fabulous, because they promote a community atmosphere, allowing people to meet and make fast friends. You can even opt for a private room if you’re not feeling the whole “dorm” thing. 

Europe also has many free walking tours that attract tons of chatty visitors. SANDEMANs NEW Europe Tours runs a ton of them. Take advantage! You make friends AND learn about your new temporary home.

As a solo traveler, you want to meet other people. You can create friendships that span many years.

Check out The Savvy Backpacker’s guide!

traveling to europe alone

traveling to europe alone

3. The flight is far … but not too far.

Okay, this tip doesn’t apply to everyone, sorry! If you live in Australia, you’re rolling your eyes at me. I know.

However, if you’re like me and live on the eastern coast of the United States (or Canada), Europe isn’t too far of a flight. Newark to Reykjavik, for example, can take less than five hours. You could make a long weekend trip out of a five hour flight! And if you live in Germany or the UK or another country in the area? Even better for you.

Additionally, you may be like me and want to travel faraway countries when you have the chance to do it. I plan to explore more of the United States this year, but a part of me can’t help feeling like “the USA will always be there” so I aim for more distant shores instead.

Check out my own packing tips for nervous flyers.

traveling to europe alone

traveling to europe alone

4. Lingering in museums rocks.

Personally, I adore museums. History museums, art museums, you name it! When you travel alone, no one ever nags you to rush through your favorite artwork. For example, I fell madly in love with the Lourve. I could stare at the Mona Lisa for ten minutes without a worry in the world. Sigh. I want to return and spend an entire afternoon ogling at sculptures and paintings.

And Europe, without a doubt, is home to some of the greatest museums in the world. Not only can you enjoy famous museums like the Lourve or Prado, but you can enjoy unique and funky museums too! My personal favorite “off the beaten path” museum was the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb! And I’m not just saying that because I’m bitter about not having a Valentine either.

So spend a solo afternoon learning something new. You’ll love it.

Need more ideas? Try these 100 creative tips for visiting Europe.

traveling to europe alone

traveling to europe alone

5. Safety isn’t a huge issue.

Okay, even though headlines discuss terrorist attacks as of late, it’s important to remember many European countries have low rates of violent crimes. As a solo traveler, you don’t have to constantly worry about being robbed by a gun slinging opponent. Honestly, I feel safer in a lot of European cities than I do at home. I live in the United States, New Jersey to be exact, and my state’s cities have some of the highest crime rates in the entire country. Ever hear of Camden and Newark? Europe’s cities are Disneyland in comparison.

Now I’m not claiming no crime exists. You should always do your research and know what neighborhoods to avoid, but most of these locations are well outside the tourist areas and hard to stumble upon by mistake. The most you need to worry about are pickpockets (who rarely turn violent) and tacky scams.

You can fully enjoy Europe since safety isn’t your biggest priority.

Anxious? Check out these cool places for nervous solo travelers.

traveling to europe alone

traveling to europe alone

6. Getting lost stops being a nuisance.

Since you don’t have to worry about safety too much, you can throw away your maps (or turn off google), and roam a city without any sense of direction. You never know what magical markets, shops, museums, or cafes you’ll find in the backstreets of Europe’s cities and towns. Plus roaming away from the big attractions allows you to connect more intimately with locals and gives you a chance to try some authentic food (restaurants are MUCH better away from tourist zones). Getting lost is truly a wonderful experience.

Furthermore, when you’re alone, no one’s complaining about the fact that you’re “wasting time” in a foreign city. Take in the senses, baby, you’re free!

Check out “Europe Through the Back Door” by Rick Steves

traveling alone to europe

traveling alone to europe

7. Finally a chance to think and reflect.

In New Jersey, I have a busy life. Teaching, although rewarding at times, requires early hours and intense dedication. By worrying so much about my students, I have an unfortunate habit of ignoring my own wants and dreams. Not good.

Traveling alone allows you to enjoy your own company and reassess what you want out of life.

And what better place to reflect about life than in Europe? I mean, come on! In particular, Europe’s diverse natural beauty takes my breath away. You can muse about your dreams and goals while in the lush Scottish Highlands, for example. 

Have I convinced you that you really should be traveling to Europe alone? Do it. You’ll fall in love.

Here are some damn good reasons why all women should travel solo.

traveling to europe alone

Do you plan on traveling to Europe alone? Do you like solo travel? What’s your favorite European destination (ouch, tough one!)? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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

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23 Responses to 7 Reasons I Love Traveling to Europe Alone

  1. Enni Maria February 15, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    Europe rocks! I have been mostly travelling solo in Europe as well. I find it super easy, safe and worry-free! What I love about Europe is that even though it is rather small, there is so much to see! You hop on a train for a couple of hours and you arrive in a whole new world! I need to explore more of Europe, especially the Eastern part! Thanks for sharing!

    • Rachel Elizabeth February 25, 2017 at 10:37 am #

      Enni Maria —

      Eastern Europe is AWESOME for solo travel! Definitely do it!

  2. Monika February 15, 2017 at 9:33 am #

    I totally agree. Europe is safe and the distances between countries are so small that it is easy to have amazing road trips! Also, many International travellers come here so you can make the best friends ever

    • Rachel Elizabeth February 25, 2017 at 10:38 am #

      Monika —

      I do love the small distances. I get bored during transit, haha.

  3. Jain February 15, 2017 at 10:59 am #

    Love Europe in summer but during winter it is a big No for me..except if you want to see northern lights/ wander through christmas markets. Your pictures are awesome!! Happy travelling

    • Rachel Elizabeth February 25, 2017 at 10:38 am #

      Jain —

      Hahahah! It was super cold in Iceland and Budapest when I visited in December.

  4. Leigh | Campfires & Concierges February 15, 2017 at 11:48 am #

    I haven’t been to Europe in over 10 years, which is so sad! Excited to travel to Switzerland this summer for 2 weeks of solo hiking, with an Iceland layover on the way home 🙂

    • Rachel Elizabeth February 25, 2017 at 10:39 am #

      Leigh —

      OHHH, you will LOVE Iceland! And I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland. Jealous!

  5. Emily | Em's on the Road February 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

    I’ve never done Europe alone but you make it seem totally doable. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Cheeky Passports February 15, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

    We’re from Europe and we totally agree with all you said! It’s pretty easy travel around especially with more and more routes becoming available by low cost airlines!

    • Rachel Elizabeth February 25, 2017 at 10:39 am #

      Cheeky Passports —

      I’m sooooo jealous of all the low cost airlines you folks have!

  7. Kelly February 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

    I am right there with you sister!! I travel alone all the time and think Europe is a great place to do this. So many backpackers to meet and I totally get the whole museum thing. I hate feeling like I have to rush for someone else, so it’s great to be by yourself and not have to think about others. And while I am not a huge hostel person, i do book private rooms and can have my own space but still meet others. Great article.

    • Rachel Elizabeth February 25, 2017 at 10:40 am #

      Kelly —

      Private rooms in hostels are da bomb! You get the best of both worlds!

  8. Maartje February 15, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

    Although I prefer travelling with my family, friends of boyfriend, I think Europe is perfect to discover on your own! I live in Amsterdam and have been on many trips in Europe – I always realise how beautiful and safe the different countries. It’s all well organised and on short distance, most of us speak English and are open minded 🙂 I love my continent and I’m happy to read you do so too <3

    • Rachel Elizabeth February 25, 2017 at 10:41 am #

      Maartje —

      I’ve always wanted to come to Amsterdam! Someday soon, I hope!

  9. Getty February 15, 2017 at 10:49 pm #

    I haven backpacked through Europe 3 times now and I can relate to most of these, easy to roam around for cheap, backpacker friendly, safe, museums for days, and just a really great spot for a first time solo traveler!

    Great article!

  10. Haylee February 16, 2017 at 7:55 am #

    I’m planning to move to the UK/ travel through Europe in July, and I’ve been super nervous (and, of course, excited) about doing it solo! But this post has made me even more excited about it. I currently live in Australia, which is so far from so many places I’d love to travel to so i’m super excited for how easy it is to travel through Europe.

  11. Adventure Catcher February 16, 2017 at 8:15 am #

    Love your writing style! Im from Poland and I definately agree that Europe is amazing for solo travelers! Traveling is very convenient and easy! People are super nice and kind. You have to visit Poland! Im sure you are gonna love it! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Lesley February 16, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    I’m an Aussie who moved to Europe to explore! I love it here – living in London for 3 years and now Amsterdam for 10 months, European life is great! The architecture and history of so many of the places is remarkable and being able to spend a quick weekend in another city eating local fare is such a strange and awesome concept, coming from Australia where you just cannot do that! Enjoy your European adventures!

  13. Cliodhna Ryan February 16, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

    Living in Ireland, most of my travel as a teenager was in Europe. I can totally vouch for how easy it is. I took my first solo trip to London at 17 and it barely felt like leaving Ireland. To be honest I barely even plan for most European trips I take. I’m so glad that you love coming here too!

  14. Therie March 16, 2017 at 12:41 am #

    There are many cities in Europe I find very romantic and I agree with the countless magnificent museums you can visit, it’s just so rich in history and culture! Great list, Rachel!

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