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If you’re traveling alone to Europe and feel concerned about personal safety, I want to tell you not to worry in the slightest! Solo travel is safe if you take care of yourself, physically and mentally, with the same amount of effort you do at home.
And I feel like I can speak as an expert on this topic. I’ve traveled to Europe several times (well into the double-digits) alone without any major issues.
However, even though European travel is super safe, I completely understand why new travelers would want to know the safest cities to visit. International travel is overwhelming even at the best of times.
Obviously, safety is a concern that will come up time and again, especially for people determined to go to a new place alone.
In this post, I tried to include cities from a variety of countries, and picked smaller cities as well as the famous capitals. Keep in mind too that I loved most of the destinations I’ve visited in Europe, and if your favorite city isn’t on this list, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is unsafe, but probably more suited for a solo traveler with a bit more confidence and experience.
No offense is meant. I promise, haha.
Finally, as a side note, just to show I am fair about this topic, I also wrote a similar post about the best cities to travel alone in the United States, which I’ve also been asked about on numerous occasions.
Safety Tips for European Travel
Before I discuss the safest European cities to travel alone to, I wanted to share my top three safety tips for independent travel here in this post.
No matter where you decide to go in Europe, if you follow these three very basic rules, you’re doing all that you can to ensure a safe vacation.
Sure, no one can guarantee anything and life comes with risk, but applying these rules on your travels will help keep you safe and happy. Let’s discuss.
Buy Travel Insurance
First and foremost, even though solo travel in Europe is safe, you still want to purchase travel insurance to protect yourself against unexpected events. A lot of credit cards have built-in travel insurance, so call your credit card company to find out what coverage you have overseas.
However, if you want to be fully covered in the event of injury, sickness, or cancellation, purchasing your own travel insurance policy is a very good option.
On my own trips, I have used World Nomads travel insurance several times. I have zero complaints!
WN policies are affordable and cover a wide variety of factors. You can even upgrade to adventure insurance if you plan to ski or paraglide or raft in Europe’s spectacular nature (outside the cities, obviously). Travel insurance goes a long way to ease your mind even in the safest European cities to travel alone.
Share Your Itinerary
I know, I know, I know. You’re a big and brave solo traveler like me. I completely get it.
Still, it’s smart to send your itinerary to a couple friends and family members. You can always update them on the road with any changes, but sharing a rough idea of your plans is smart if god forbid an emergency happens.
I’ve traveled to Europe alone many times. I still share my itinerary, such as accommodation and airfare, with a couple of people. It’s a simple action that puts everyone’s minds at ease, even if you choose one of the safest European cities to travel alone on this list.
Use “Common Sense” Measures
Common sense truly goes a long way, my friends.
And while I’d never ever suggest that anyone “deserves” to fall victim to a crime due to personal choices (crimes happen because of criminals, end of story), I still recommend erring on the side of caution whenever possible, especially as a solo traveler.
Solo Travel in Europe Safety Common Sense
- Bring a Secure Bag: If pickpockets are a concerned, bring a bag with extra protection. I highly suggest a Pacsafe purse or a Pacsafe convertible backpack. You’ll be able to relax more.
- Have Boundaries with Strangers: Meeting locals and other travelers is one of the best parts of visiting a new country alone. You don’t want to be rude and cut off potential friendships. At the same time, trust your instincts and limit what information you share. For example, don’t tell someone who you just met what hotel/hostel you’re staying at.
- Increase Awareness at Night: No matter where you are in the world, you ought to increase your awareness at night, especially if there aren’t many other people around. I’m not saying never explore at night, but exercising a bit more caution such as taking a rideshare or asking your hotel/hostel for recommendations is always a smart idea.
- Limit Alcohol: I promise I don’t want to be a buzzkill, but you ought to limit your alcohol if you’re alone. I personally think two drinks is a reasonable amount for a solo trip to a bar or restaurant.
19 Safest European Cities to Travel Alone
I thought a lot about my list regarding the safest European cities to travel alone. This list isn’t meant to be exclusive or exhaustive. Instead I’m basing my choices on my own trips, and how I felt as a solo traveler on the ground.
Now, to tell you the truth, I think most major and smaller cities in Europe are safe for visitors, even though some destinations may feel more challenging than others.
However, if you’re a new traveler or just a person who is concerned with physical and emotional safety, I think these cities are wonderful choices.
First on my list of the safest European cities to travel alone is the Italian lakeside city of Como. In Como, I took leisurely walks day and night, admired stunning mountains on boats, practiced my photography skills in the mountains, and so much more. And, as a solo female traveler, I felt incredibly safe on my entire visit.
Now Como is great for a day trip and easy to link with Milan, but personally, I think it’s even better staying here overnight. I spent 2 days in Como as a solo traveler, and I already want to go back in the near future.
For independent travelers, Como offers an easy springboard to the other small towns, such as Bellagio and Varenna, that hug the lake’s picturesque shores. Seriously, the infrastructure, including boats, buses, and funiculars, is fantastic and simple to use.
Where to Stay
- B&B Convento S. Antonio: Do you want a unique experience in Como? Then check out this gorgeous bed and breakfast set in a 17th century monastery. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Ostello Bello Lake Como: Como’s top rated hostel has clean and welcoming rooms, and a beautiful garden complete with a bar. Perfect for meeting other travelers. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Copenhagen is consistently ranked among the safest European cities to travel alone. The Danish capital is a gem to visit in the summer, and solo travel in Copenhagen is perfect for someone who might feel a little nervous about safety.
Copenhagen has a state of the art public transportation system, but it’s also a very friendly city for bikers, so going from one neighborhood to another is an absolute breeze.
Your risk of falling victim to a violent crime in Copenhagen is astronomically low. And like other cities in this post, I felt very safe walking around day and night, as long as I used simple common sense. Honestly, the most danger you will experience as a solo traveler in Copenhagen is damage to your bank account! This is not a cheap place to go, haha.
Where to Stay
- Urban House Copenhagen: This fun and trendy hostel is set in Copenhagen’s youthful Vesterboro district, which is perfect for solo travelers. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Woodah Boutique Hostel: Another hostel in the Vesterboro district that is both small and family-run. A true “home away from home” experience. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Delft is a small university city in the Netherlands. This small town is packed with colorful squares, canals, unique cafes, museums, and so much more. Trust me, you won’t run out of things to do in Delft. I had the best time learning about Delft Blue and William the Silent.
Solo travelers will also feel more laid back and at ease in a smaller city, but at the same time, they won’t feel isolated. Delft has a lot of train connections to other parts of the country, which is wonderful.
Where to Stay
- Casa Julia: Do you want to stay in a really pretty hotel in Delft? Check out Case Julia. You’ll relax in a 1920s building that’s complete with a scenic little garden. See prices on TripAdvisor.com or Booking.com.
- The Student Hotel Delft: This social and fun hotel faces a canal, and is a perfect choice for solo travelers visiting Delft. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Dresden is mostly known for The Bombing of Dresden in WW2 when the allies heavily bombed the entire city. Today, however, Dresden is a beautiful place for solo travelers to visit. Over all, Germany is a very safe destination for solo travelers and Dresden is no different.
Dresden is one of the safest cities in this part of Germany. I walked around with new travel friends to many of Dresden’s bars at night and felt zero concerns. I also liked that Dresden had fewer tourists than Munich and Berlin (love both those cities, by the way), so I felt like I was part of the local community rather than a traveler passing through.
I highly recommend Dresden as a city for solo travelers coming to Germany for the first time.
Where to Stay
- Cityherberge: This vibrant hostel/hotel offers visitors the very best of both worlds! Not to mention, the location is smack in the Dresden Old Town. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Hostel Lollis Homestay Dresden: One of the most popular hostels in all of Dresden! You’re pretty much guaranteed to make new friends if you decide to stay here. I know I did! See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Ahhhh, who doesn’t have Dublin on their European bucket list? Anyone? Not anyone I know! Ireland’s capital city is loads of fun for all visitors, including solo travelers.
Solo travel in Dublin is very popular so it’s super easy to make new friends if you’re looking to socialize on your adventures. Free walking tours, literary pub crawls, guided day trips to Ireland’s countryside all provide opportunities to connect with other travelers.
And, for a capital city, Dublin has a very low crime rate. My only suggestion would be to watch how much pints of Guinness you’re drinking on a fun night out!
Without a doubt, Dublin is one of the safest European cities to travel alone.
Where to Stay
- Gardiner Lodge: You can’t go to Dublin and not admire the gorgeous 18th century townhouses. Gardiner Lodge allows you to stay inside one. How elegant is that? See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Jacobs Inn Hostel: One of Dublin’s best hostels allows you to see this thriving Irish city with new friends. The price is right too! See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities in the world, and definitely one of the safest European cities to travel alone. It was actually the first place I’ve ever visited overseas all by myself! Solo travel in Edinburgh is a lot of fun in the summer when animated festivals bring the streets to life.
For a tourist, Edinburgh is a very walkable and accessible city. All the major tourist attractions, such as Edinburgh Castle and the Real Mary King’s Close, can be easily discovered on foot. English speakers will feel comfortable visiting Edinburgh, too, since the language barrier is pretty much non-existent.
Over all, Edinburgh is a super safe city for solo travel. Like I said, Scotland is very used to international tourists and as a result, you’re bound to have a pleasant experience. Usual street smarts apply, of course.
Where to Stay
- Castle Rock Hostel: Edinburgh’s most popular and highly rated hostel is only steps away from the famous Edinburgh Castle! Location doesn’t get much better than this. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Elder York Guest House: This small and cosy guesthouse is only 12 rooms! You will be close to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, so no worries about location either. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Amsterdam. Love it. I would seriously move to Amsterdam if I had an opportunity to. However, I know areas such as the Red Light District might make some solo travelers uncomfortable.
I personally recommend opting for Haarlem if you want easy access to Amsterdam, but also love the atmosphere of smaller European cities. Haarlem very easy to reach from the airport by bus, so it’s not too hard to visit if you’re arriving off an international flight.
Haarlem has plenty to do and see, including museums, windmills, and canals, and any solo traveler will feel relaxed exploring the quaint cobblestone streets and squares.
Where to Stay
- B&B Het Hart van Haarlem: Travel can be stressful at times, and there’s nothing like a big and beautiful leafy garden to help travelers unwind. Look no further. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Hello I’m a Local – Boutique Hostel: This highly-rated hostel in Haarlem offers private rooms and dorms, and is considered a boutique hostel, which is more upscale than you may expect! See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Another one of my most memorable solo travel experiences was in Lisbon. In a lot of ways, I think Portugal should be your first solo trip to Europe. Portugal has glorious weather, affordable prices, and some of the best hostels in all of Europe. Honestly, I think it’s hard to go to Lisbon and not make any friends, haha.
As a solo traveler in Lisbon, I felt very safe exploring the different neighborhoods and taking day trips to the surrounding areas. Public transit is efficient and directions are clearly marked. While some small scams target tourists, I wasn’t approached as a solo woman on my visit and didn’t feel too paranoid about watching my bags closely.
Where to Stay
- Goodnight Hostel: This adorable retro hostel is located right near Baixa-Chiado metro station. This hostel offers heaps of tours to show you the best of Lisbon and beyond! See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Home Lisbon Hostel: One of my favorite hostels in the world! Everyone is so, so friendly, and Mama makes exquisite dinners. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Lucerne is an absolute gem since it offers a perfect mixture of classic Old Town medieval charm and spectacular natural wonders. And one pleasant day in Lucerne doesn’t have to break the bank either. Affordable accommodation is available on the lake.
In spite of its popularity, Lucerne is still one of the safest European cities to travel alone. This small city is delightful to explore both day and night, and the combination of the old town and mountains means that there’s something for every type of traveler. Truthfully, Lucerne is a wonderful place to recommend to new solo travelers who want to get their “feet wet.”
Lucerne is also centrally located in Switzerland, which makes taking day trips around this mountainous country incredibly easy and fun. Well worth it.
Where to Stay
- Backpackers Luzern: Personally, I think the shores of Lake Lucerne is the best location for visiting this city, and this hostel is very close to the water. Beautiful. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- The Bed + Breakfast: If you’re a solo traveler who prefers a quiet and pretty residential neighborhood, then this bed and breakfast option is great for you. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Beautiful and sunny Madrid is another incredibly popular destination for international tourists coming to Europe. And who can blame them? I absolutely fell in love with all of Madrid’s world class art museums and fascinating variety of day trips, such as Toledo and Segovia.
Solo travel in Madrid is always a good idea, because the tourism infrastructure is one of the best I’ve ever seen for a larger city. Not to mention, most the popular attractions are within close proximity to each other, allowing a solo traveler to walk in colorful neighborhoods in between sites.
Even though it’s a capital, Madrid is still one of the safest European cities to travel alone. You can join group tours for tapas and bars if you’re nervous about going out at night. Last but not least, Madrid also provides a well-connected springboard, with abundant flights and trains, for additional solo travel in Spain.
Where to Stay
- Sungate ONE: Goodness, Sungate ONE is one of the most delightful hostels that I’ve ever stayed at. The free dinners are delicious and perfect for connecting with other likeminded people. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- The Central House Lavapiés: This Madrid hostel has plenty of great amenities including a lounge, bar, and restaurant. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Another smaller Italian city that I love for solo travel is Padua (Padova). You can see the best of Padua in a day, but I recommend staying an entire weekend to enjoy an appretivo and leisurely meal, as well as shopping excursions.
Like other cities in this post, Padua is home to a well-known university, which contributes to a youthful and creative atmosphere that solo travelers will absolutely love. On my visit, everyone was friendly and welcoming, and I didn’t feel on edge about pickpockets like in other Italian cities.
Ultimately, Padua is another wonderful option where solo travelers won’t feel overwhelmed by tourist crowds. Not that tourist crowds are inherently unsafe, but there is much less of a chance of falling victim to a scam or pickpocket.
Where to Stay
- Casa Giotto: A cosy and luxurious bed and breakfast that is the perfect “home away from home” for a solo traveler seeking a more local experience. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Scrovegni Room and Breakfast: An ideal and affordable bed and breakfast for solo travelers who want to be close to all of Padua’s best attractions! See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Are you tired of Italy yet? Never! Haha.
Another one of the safest European cities to travel alone (in my experience) is Parma, which is located in Italy’s delicious Emilia-Romagna region. I was surprised at many things I could see and do in Parma, and wondered why it isn’t a more popular destination with solo travelers coming to Italy.
In Parma, my favorite thing to do as a solo traveler was taking a guided tour to the incredible Parmigiano Reggiano factory! A delicious way to make new friends. Not to mention, I felt very comfortable as a solo traveler exploring and dining in this adorable city.
Where to Stay
- B&B Podere Merlo: Staying at this impeccably restored farmhouse is an experience that a solo traveler won’t forget! See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Palazzo Gozzi Bed & Beauty: Another quaint little bed and breakfast that is located right in the heart of Parma’s downtown. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Iceland is one of the best countries for solo travelers who are nervous about safety. I even recommend Iceland for anxious travelers who’ve never been overseas on their own since this destination is so, so, so, so safe.
I especially love all the day trip opportunities from Reykjavík. It’s easy enough to book many tours from the city, and venture out into Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes, while making new pals along the way. Is it expensive? Sure, but the memories are worth the costs, in my honest opinion.
All in all, traveling alone in Iceland is a wonderful experience, and Reykjavík makes the perfect base for all times of the year, even in the winter.
Where to Stay
- Freyja Guesthouse & Suites: If you’re looking for an adorable family-run guesthouse, this place is perfect, and also conveniently located next to one of the city’s most popular attractions — Hallgrímskirkja or the large white church. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Guesthouse Galtafell: Another highly rated guesthouse close to Hallgrímskirkja Church. You will also stay in an older building from 1916, which is always enjoyable. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Sound of Music fans will feel very happy to see Salzburg as an addition to this post. Salzburg is smaller than Vienna and offers a low key experienced surrounded by culture and mountains. It’s easy for a solo traveler to spend at least two days in Salzburg and not run out of things to see and do.
Salzburg is packed with history which includes one of the oldest fortresses in all of Europe – Fortress Hohensalzburg. These attractions are all within walking distance of the New and Old Towns, making Salzburg a delightful place to switch off Google Maps and explore without a care in the world.
Again, Austria is ranked as one of the safest countries in Europe, and Salzburg offers a wonderful small city experience for all sorts of travelers.
Where to Stay
- Pension Katrin: This peaceful pension has reasonable prices for a solo traveler and offers a great location in the green district of Nonntal. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- YoHo – International Youth Hostel: An unassuming hostel that is also one of Europe’s Famous Hostels. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
St. Gallen, Switzerland
It’s no secret that I love St. Gallen and think it is one of the safest European cities to travel alone. I even wrote an entire post explaining why St. Gallen is worth visiting on a vacation to Switzerland. This beautiful university city is a gem for solo travelers who are past the “partying stage,” and want an authentic and relaxed corner of Switzerland to explore more in-depth.
Furthermore, St. Gallen provides easy access to Appenzell. A day trip to Appenzell is a peaceful experience for solo travelers, and as long as you respect nature, this region is very, very, very safe. Appenzell is Switzerland’s most traditional canton. An independent traveler will enjoy stunning green mountains and learn all about local history.
And in St. Gallen, I felt very comfortable walking around day and night. Win/win.
Where to Stay
- Hotel City Weissenstein: This peaceful hotel is located in the heart of the action and only two minutes away from St. Gallen train station. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- The Hotel Gallo: An affordable and pretty option that is set inside a classic traditional stone building. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Ahhh, I wish I spent more time in Stockholm in Sweden. You’ll discover so many things to see in Stockholm that you’ll plan a return visit without thinking twice about it.
Stockholm’s metro is safe and clean, and as you go from one neighborhood to the next, you’ll see splendid art throughout the pristine stations. As a generalization, locals are content and introverted, so you will not stand out as a solo traveler, nor do you need to worry about scams nearly as much as other comparable cities.
Is Stockholm expensive? Sure, but worth it. All in all, I definitely think that Stockholm is one of the safest European cities to travel alone.
Where to Stay
- Castanea Old Town Hostel: Do you want to stay in Stockholm’s beautiful old town close to a metro station? Look no further. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- City Backpackers Hostel: One of Stockholm’s most highly rated hostels and perfect for travelers who want to be social. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Venice is a bucket list destination for many travelers coming to Europe. While this unique city enjoys popularity among couples, solo travel in Venice is an absolutely delightful experience, especially if it’s your very first visit to Italy.
What makes Venice one of the safest European cities to travel alone is that you don’t need to worry about getting lost here. Aimlessly wandering the stunning canals and narrow alleyways is one of the best things to do in Venice. I personally encourage it, especially in the early mornings when it feels like you have Venice all to yourself. And, as a solo traveler, if you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed at any time, just remind yourself that you’re on an island that you can’t physically get off.
Venice is also completely traffic-free. Solo travelers can drink at wine bars with ease and not have to worry about driving or mistakenly stepping out into a busy street.
Where to Stay
- Ca’Riza: At Ca’Riza, you will enjoy gorgeous rooms for a reasonable price in the heart of Venice, and eat one of the best breakfasts ever. Their croissants are to die for. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Combo Venezia: This is, without a doubt, one of the grandest hostels I’ve ever stayed in. Only a 16 minute walk from Piazza San Marco too! See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Vienna is a magical place for coffee, cakes, and art museums. Solo travel in Vienna feels very elegant in many ways. For example, my perfect day in Vienna starts with coffee at an ornate cafe followed by a visit to a beautiful art museum such as Belvedere Palace. Which reminds me … solo travelers will love feeling carefree as they roam Vienna’s many nearby palaces, including splendid Schönbrunn Palace.
Throughout my stay, I felt very safe exploring Vienna’s neighborhoods. I didn’t feel uncomfortable going out at night for drinks, nor did I constantly check my purse. I truly felt safe here.
Not to mention, Vienna has a tremendous quality of life for residents, and visitors can easily enjoy the city’s many green spaces, reliable public transportation, and pedestrian-friendly streets.
Where to Stay
- Vienna Boutique Hostel: This safe and cozy hostel does all it came to welcome solo travelers with Viennese decor and charm. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Vienna Hostel Ruthensteiner: Voted Austria’s best hostel two years in a row, this wonderful spot is a close walk to the train station and offers solo travelers a fun and safe experience. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Last, but certainly not least, is Zurich in Switzerland. The country’s largest city may not have tons of attractions. And honestly, if you’re looking for lots of sightseeing to keep you busy, Zurich feels pretty boring.
However, Zurich is well-known for having a very high quality of life. I loved solo travel in Zurich. In particular, visitors will feel very relaxed wandering Zurich’s Old Town and eyeing all the tempting displays in boutique windows. Even if you don’t have tons of money to splurge (Zurich isn’t cheap), I recommend grabbing a cocktail or coffee at a nearby cafe, and enjoying some good old-fashioned people watching.
Zurich’s public transportation is clean and efficient, and offers plenty of connections around the entire country. Practically perfect for one of the safest European cities to travel alone.
Where to Stay
- Walhalla Guest House: This simple guest house is very close to Zurich’s main station, making it a convenient choice for solo travelers. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- Zurich Youth Hostel: Zurich’s centrally located hostel is located on a pretty tree-lined street and offers opportunities to meet other travelers. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
I hope you enjoyed reading all about the safest European cities to travel alone! Which cities have you visited? Which cities do you want to go to? Feel free to reach out! And as always, if you want one-on-one travel planning advice, check out the services at my shop.