Travelling solo is daunting for anyone and as a woman whose travelled alone, there can be that extra bit of concern before you set off. I’ve learnt it’s all about being prepared and safe; pack a whistle and make sure your accommodation allows you to lock the door or has night porters (most are open 24/7 and bustling even in the evenings).
Regardless of your initial worries, solo travel is a great achievement and can be highly therapeutic if you’ve recently been stressed and need to take time out. Travelling alone gives you time for yourself, time to think about the things which really matter to you in the long run.
Of course, some places are safer than others, so here’s just a quick rundown of places around the world which are known for their safety for solo and female travellers:
The city of London needs no introduction, but it truly is the best combination of old and new; with so much history and great travel connections it’s ideal for anyone exploring Europe. In short, the options are pretty limitless from taking in a show at the West End show to seeing the cityscape from the London Eye. If old London takes your fancy, you can find a lot of free exhibitions in the Natural History Museum and the V & A, and when you get peckish the best of international cuisine is right at your doorstep. Definitely head to China Town.
Personally, I go to London often as it’s close to me and there’s always something new to try out. If you’re looking for something alternative as a female going solo, I’d recommend trying out a free walking tour as it’s a good way to meet some other travellers and they can stop you from getting lonely.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Dutch Capital is one of the most recommended places for a single female traveller to go to and that’s not just because it occupies a central location in the diamond cutting industry; what was that Marilyn film called again? The city is a social hub and its nightlife is one of the most popular ones in Europe so there’s no chance of being alone if you don’t want to be. Ask in your hostel or hotel for group tours and see what they have on in the common room if you’d rather stay in for the evening.
There are many historical places to visit as well, such as Anne Frank’s House or the Van Gogh Museum. Whilst the Anne Frank museum is a must if time allows, be aware there are usually long queues but it’s worth it for the historical insight and to pay your respects.
Simply one of the most beautiful places in the world, Bergen was my first destination when I went interrailing in 2015. The city is also a growing metropolitan; it is the second largest city in Norway but still keeps a very authentic, friendly atmosphere.
My top recommendation would be a day spent at the fish market in the centre, followed by a visit to the UNESCO world heritage site, Bryggen, which showcases traditional architecture and hosts some get drinking spots. Food wise, you can enjoy whale and reindeer should you want to!
If you’ve read or seen Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet then you’re already familiar with this city as it’s the romantic setting where Romeo and Juliet fell in love, complete with the Capulet balcony! So popular, it’s thought even just visiting can improve your chances at love.
Yet, it’s not all about the balcony and thinking back to your school days learning about iambic pentameter, the entire city is filled with beautiful flowers and every street is lined with traditional Italian architecture and lots of greenery. It’s the ideal stop off from the hustle and bustle of Venice where you will meet the crowds. Come here to relax and regain some energy to tackle the pace of busier European cities.
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a really friendly (and hilly!) city with a grand castle and high towers amongst modern shopping districts and parks. The museums here showcase the best of Scottish art and culture and as they’re mainly free to enter, they’re perfect if you need to watch your budget. As a solo traveller, it’s also easy to navigate as there’s a tram system and also reliable buses. Again, if you feel like you want some company, join in the free walking tours, paid bus tours, or head to The World’s End pub on the high street – everyone is always welcome.
If you head here in August, make sure you take in a comedy show or two at the Fringe Festival, famous throughout the world. Or, if you visit in the winter months, enjoy a more Harry Potter ‘Hogsmeade’ look in frost or snow; just make sure you have a jacket to wear as well as gloves and a scarf because Scotland will make you shiver! Speaking of which, why not enjoy a ghost tour?
It’s very hard to not fall in love with this bright and beautiful city in Portugal. I’ve actually visited Lisbon on three separate occasions and can vouch wholeheartedly for it’s appeal; tiled streets, gorgeous wine bars and lots of history to explore. The view from the castle in the centre is stunning and really shows off the ceramic rooftops tiles. Something that can’t be ignored is the red bridge designed by the same architect as The Golden Gate Bridge in San Franciso.
Do any of these locations make your list as a female solo traveller? Maybe I shouldn’t be biased but London is truly inspiring when you first visit and Bergen is the ideal place to relax in beautiful scenery, with the added bonus of extra daylight hours in the summer months.