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9 Best Places to Travel Solo as a Female

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While I definitely have a soft spot for romantic vacations and everything cheesy that goes along with it, that honestly hasn’t been my personal experience with travel thus far. I’ve been mostly single since traveling professionally and because of that, I’ve either traveled with friends or gone on trips alone. Yes, alone.

Solo travel can be an incredibly powerful thing, and in this post, I wanted to share my favorite places to travel to without a significant other, because—yes—you can travel alone, and yes—it can be awesome!

But why would you want to travel solo in the first place?

Well, there are a lot of reasons. The biggest one for me was that I personally couldn’t find someone who was willing or able to take all the time off work that I wanted to for travel during my round-the-world trip in 2016. Rather than sit around waiting for someone to join my plans, I decided to continue on with them solo and meet people along the way.

Besides logistical reasons, solo travel as a woman can also be extremely rewarding. All of my solo travel experiences have boosted my confidence, given me time for self reflection and growth, and shown me that I am capable of so much more than I gave myself credit for. I believe solo travel is one of the greatest teachers and I recommend that everyone try it at least once!

In this post, you’ll find a list of my top 9 favorite spots for solo female travel. All the destinations below are locales that I’ve personally spent time in by my lonesome, and guess what? I had the time of my life.

Sure, there were lonely moments here and there. But mostly, all of my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. Whether you’re looking for your next solo adventure or are dipping your toes into the solo travel waters for the first time, consider giving one of these places a try.

I handpicked these destinations particularly for first time solo travelers because I know how intimidating (or downright terrifying) it can be rocking up to a new country by yourself for the first time. I promise if you just take the chance on solo travel to one of these places, you’ll soon realize just how rewarding the experience can be and I know you’ll be hooked.

Here are the best places to travel solo as a female in the upcoming year! 

But First, How do You Even Determine the Best Places to Travel Solo as a Female?

Passport and airline ticket in lap

If you’ve never traveled solo before, you might be wondering ‘how do I even figure out which places are great solo travel destinations?’ Well, that’s why blog posts like this one are great, to help you find these places. However, there are a few key factors I like to keep in mind and I’ll share them here.

  • Is it a safe environment for women? If you’re a veteran solo traveler, that’s one thing. But if it’s your very first time, I believe it’s best to stick to places that are safe and comfortable environments for women so you have the best experience possible. How high is the crime rate in the destination? What have you heard about other people’s experiences with safety in this city or country? Is it a culture that respects and values women? These are all helpful questions to keep in mind as you research.
  • Is it set up for meeting new people? You may choose to do a more retreated solo adventure, but when most people travel solo that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to meet other great humans. Check if your destination has highly rated hostels, plenty of local tour options and activities like cooking classes—these are all great ways to meet other travelers.
  • Are the locals friendly? This one is harder to determine just by a Google search, but there are so many awesome female travel groups on Facebook where you can crowd source for this kind of information. I find that where the locals are the friendliest, I feel the most comfortable on my own. Plus, if you lose your way a bit someone will be there to point you in the right direction.
  • Is there a specific activity to partake in? Destinations that are popular for things like surfing schools or getting certified in diving often attract a young, fun crowd looking to meet other travelers. Find a place that’s known for a specific activity you’re excited to try, and join the community that’s already there.
  • Are there simple transportation options? If you’re traveling in a new country, you definitely don’t want to feel stranded or like you can’t get around easily from point A to B in a way you’re comfortable with. Make sure you research your destination ahead of time and figure out if you’ll be OK taking the available transport options solo on your trip.

Iceland

Road tripping through Iceland

If safety is one of your top concerns when it comes to traveling solo as a female, then Iceland should be at the top of your list—that is, as long as you’re comfortable driving in potentially dicey weather situations. I’ve rarely felt more safe with my surroundings in a country than I did in Iceland, and it’s a great destination for solo travel if you’re in search of deep solitude and reflection. 

Picture long days on the road, stopping off at black sand beaches and epic waterfalls along the way, and treating yourself to a dip in one of the country’s famous spa-like lagoons to reap the skincare benefits from the rich silica. 

One of my personal favorite solo experiences in Iceland was hiking up to the Reykjadalur Steam Valley about an hour from Reykjavik at sunset, where I sat in the hot springs for hours chatting with fellow travelers as we crossed our fingers for a nothern lights show. It was no such luck this time around, but it still remains a memorable experience to this day. 

Who This Trip is Great For:

If you love road trips, quiet days lost in your own thoughts, and exploring some of nature’s most epic sights, than Iceland is the place for you.

Tokyo, Japan

Crowds at a temple in Tokyo, Japan, one of the best places to travel solo as a female

Tokyo was the first place I ever traveled completely solo. I’ll be honest. I was initially super nervous because not only was it across the world in Asia, but I was terrified I’d have a difficult time communicating or navigating my way around on my own.

Turns out, Japan was an amazing first solo destination for me. At the beginning, it was challenging figuring out the public transportation system—but a fun sort of challenge that has you on your toes rather than pulling out your hair. Once I got the hang of it, I found it super easy to zip around between Tokyo’s various neighborhoods, and I felt instantly more confident for doing it all on my own.

Tokyo is also endlessly entertaining. Between the bright lights, Harajuku girls, insane fashion, beautiful temples and endless amounts of delicious food to eat, you honestly can’t get bored in this bustling metropolis. Another bonus: the city is super safe (and the locals are super polite!), so I never once felt uncomfortable as a solo female traveler here.

Pro tip: Plop yourself at a sushi bar day 1 and make friends with your fellow travelers around you!

Who This Trip is Great For:

If you’re craving a great food and coffee destination where you can create an itinerary full of culture, food and design, you’ll fall in love with Tokyo.

Read More: Tokyo’s Coolest Coffee Shops to Get Your Caffeine Fix 

Ubud, Bali

If you’re looking for more of a recharging vacation that’s less social and more about inner exploration, head straight to Ubud, Bali where yoga, fresh juices and nourishing food are all a short scooter ride away.

If daily downward dogs are on your itinerary, basing yourself near the Yoga Barn (Ubud’s most loved yoga studio) is a must—plus, they have an incredible cafe on site that’s perfect for refueling after you’ve gotten your sweat on in the intense Bali heat.

Who This Trip is Great For:

Those in search of more reconnection with themselves, peace and calm, healthy food and activities that connect the body and mind.

Read More: A 1 Day North Bali Itinerary From Ubud

Cusco, Peru

I had the best time exploring Cusco with one of my best girlfriends, but when she had to head home after our two weeks together, I was left alone to explore this mountain town solo for an additional week. The great thing about Cusco is that it’s the base for visiting many of Peru’s ancient Inca ruins, so unless you want to pay extra for a private guide, all of the sites are visited by hopping onto a tour with one of the many operators littered around the city (and this is a great way to meet other travelers).

When shopping around for the best tour company, it’s good to pop into different offices around Cusco and inquire about pricing and itineraries, but also make sure to ask about the size of the tour and the typical age demographic. This will give you an idea about your chances of meeting other travelers while exploring the amazing sites this region has to offer.

Need an easy way to break the ice with a potential new friend? Just ask them to take a photo of you for an easy segue into conversation.

Who This Trip is Great For:

There are tons of hostels in the city and day tours you can join from here, so this is a great destination for anyone who’s especially nervous about meeting others on their solo adventures.

Read More: These Amazing Peru Landscapes Will Blow Your Mind

Hội An, Vietnam

Streets of Hoi An, Vietnam, one of the best places to travel solo as a female

Hội An can be quite a romantic city if you go with a lover, but it also caters to the solo backpacker nicely. There are loads of cheap hostels where you can meet other travelers, and there’s so much fun shopping in this town that you’d probably be better off going it alone than making your significant other wait while you “just pop in quickly” to yet another shop.

A few things I enjoyed by my lonesome in Hội An: tea tasting at a local shop, getting a (practically) entire new wardrobe tailored for me for a total of $50, and taking a traditional cooking class with Thuan Tinh cooking school.

Who This Trip is Great For:

If you’re looking for a smaller town feel that still has lots to do, then Hội An is a great place to start. Plus, you can extend your trip and travel the entire country or make it a larger Southeast Asia tour, which is a favorite on the solo backpacker trail.

Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Boats tied up along the beach at Gili Trawangan - Best Places to Travel Solo as a Female

Gili Trawangan can have the reputation as a party island, but if you’re not the type to rock up to the bar solo, that’s ok. It’s easy to meet tons of people on Gili T during the plethora of daytime tours and activities offered out on (and under) the water.

One of the main reasons people visit here is to get their scuba diving certification, as it’s one of the cheapest places in the world to do so. You’ll find that many of the dive shops are like a little family, so don’t be surprised if you go from daytime dives to sharing a beer with your dive master at a reggae bar later that night.

I recommend enrolling in any dive courses immediately upon your arrival, as the typical three-day commitment will allow you to mingle and make friends with your dive instructors and fellow classmates early on.

Who This Trip is Great For:

If getting your scuba diving certification has always been on your bucket list, the Gili Islands are the perfect place for you to do so solo. You’ll make instant friends with your dive instructors and fellow classmates and gain confidence not only in the fact that you traveled halfway around the way solo, but that you picked up a new skill to boot.

Sydney, Australia

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Sydney may not be the most affordable place to travel solo, but there’s so many free ways to enjoy the outdoors here that you can easily make up for it in the activities you choose to do. During my solo days in Sydney, I preferred to fill up my time along the coast, as it’s the most beautiful part of the city.

If you’re like me and are obsessed with stopping to take photos everywhere you go, doing this part of the city alone will ensure you never feel rushed by your travel buddy to keep the pace moving. Don’t miss the Bondi to Coogee walk, and make sure to give yourself extra time to enjoy Tamarama Beach and the plethora of rock pools that dot the coastline.

Who This Trip is Great For:

If you’re less interested in the backpacker scene and more interested in working remotely from a fun new city, Sydney is perfect for that. There’s reliable wifi and all the amenities you’d need to work like you’re back in the U.S. Plus, there’s plenty to do and see including gorgeous beaches to visit during your hours off the clock.

Hong Kong, China

Skyline over Hong Kong - one of the best places to travel solo as a female

I personally find that cities are great destinations to visit alone because there’s way more to occupy your time and pique your curiosity than at say, a beach town where the list of activities involves laying on the sand and reading a book.

Hong Kong is an endless land of shops and restaurants waiting to be explored, and the city is super safe so there’s no need to stress about your belongings or personal safety more than you would in any other city. 

Hong Kong also boasts a huge expat community, so it’s easy to find faces from all over the world if you’re interested in making new friends. Head to HK’s Soho neighborhood first if you want to dive into the local expat scene.

Who This Trip is Great For:

If you thrive in big, bustling cities like New York and London, then you’ll fit right in in Hong Kong. You can really choose your own adventure here and make it what you want, but if you’re looking for something quiet and peaceful, you’re probably better off visiting elsewhere.

Read More: 10 Ways Hong Kong Completely Surprised Me

Prague, Czech Republic 

Exploring the town center in Prague, Czech Republic

After really diving into the business side of my blog, I took a step back from solo travel for awhile as I started to travel more with other travel bloggers and friends. However, in between a trip to Oktoberfest and Christmas in Germany in 2019, I decided to spend a few days solo in Prague and absolutely loved it. 

Prague is an incredibly walkable city which makes it super fun as a solo female traveler—getting lost on foot and seeing where my curiosity takes me is one of my favorite pasttimes while traveling.

Plus, there is a LOT here to keep you busy and meeting fellow travelers. Besides checking out all of the most famous landmarks like the Astronomical Clock, Prague Castle and Charles Bridge, one of my favorite activities was hopping onto a local beer tour, where I drank some of the best beer of my entire life (no joke) and met some other cool travelers along the way. 

Who This Trip is Great For:

If you go gaga for charming European cities and want to get your 10,000 steps in each day, then you can’t miss Prague. This is an ideal destination for architecture lovers who want to feel like they’ve stepped into a fairytale.

Read More: Prague Photography Guide
Have you traveled solo before? What are some of your favorite places to visit alone? Let me know in the comments below! 

Planning a trip right now? Don’t miss my go-to websites for booking everything from flights and tours, to accommodation and more:

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  • Ceruleanblueskies February 15, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Michelle, I love the information you are sharing about a solo valentine trip. You make all these destinations sound so enticing. Thank you for inspiring us to get up and go. You are an inspiration!

  • Barcelona Rental September 8, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah, Asia is great for traveling solo. Sometimes dangerous but still awesome.