Greetings to you girls who are ready to conquer the world!
You’ve probably mustered up the courage to leave your comfort zone and have finally reassured your loved ones. Good for you!
Travelling solo can be liberating and exciting! Whether it’s a road trip you’ve decided to make on your own or a solo adventure journey, the experience promises to be empowering and highly rewarding. With a bit of luck, you’re in for a memorable experience!
And as luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, it’s always a good idea to research and choose your destination wisely. Especially, if you’re getting ready for your first solo trip.
Some countries and cities make solo female travel easier than others. They boast a low crime rate and good public transport. You can always count on the assistance of the friendly locals. You can easily find someone who speaks English to direct you to the nearby sights.
These countries and cities typically rank high in gender equality and healthcare. And, most importantly, they offer unparalleled natural beauty and amazing Unesco World Heritage sites.
Not sure where to start?
We’ve studied the rankings of the safest countries and cities in the world and the Best Countries for Women. We’ve researched the top ‘travel-ready’ countries in the recently published report of the World Economic Forum (WEF). We’ve also looked at advice shared by solo travellers. As a result, we’ve prepared for you our pick of...
The Best Places for Solo Female Travel
Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI). What is more, the country has held this top spot consistently for the last 11 years, which makes it the perfect destination for first time solo travellers.
The Nordic country is not only safe and easy to get around but is also famous for its natural beauty. Its dramatic landscape makes for breathtaking Instagram pictures: geysers, hot springs, volcanoes and lava fields.
You can drive the famous Ring Road, snorkel or hike a glacier. You can also dive between the continents in the Silfra Fissure or soak in the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon admiring the stunning scenery.
You can even see the glorious Northern Lights! The surreal colours of the Aurora Borealis require darkness so the best time of year to observe them is between September and March.
Reykjavík is well-known for its music scene and its nightlife. Yet make sure you explore the town during the day too - on foot or by bike. Enjoy the sweeping view from the rotating dome of the Perlan or the majestic Hallgrimskirkja church.
A must see for Viking history fans: the astounding Saga museum.
The birthplace of sushi, sumo and samurai is also a very safe destination.
Japan is known for its efficient train system and its female only train cabins and hotels.
The country preparing to host the 2020 Olympic Games offers great hot springs, scenic train rides and wonderful hiking opportunities.
If you plan your visit for the spring, early April is the best time for Cherry blossom viewing. Autumn is also a great season for travellers as they can enjoy the spectacular views of the Japanese maple trees turning red. For stunning autumn pictures, head to Kiyomizudera in late November or early December.
Tokyo is the safest city in the world. (A simple comparison: New York City comes 182!). Its infrastructure is top notch - comparable to that of Singapore and Hong Kong - two other popular destinations in Asia.
Head to the Japanese capital to see the colourful youth fashion of Harajuku, the famous Meiji shrine or to try singing in a karaoke bar. The city is also a good starting point for day-trips, so grab this opportunity to conquer the iconic Mount Fuji.
The old capital, Kyoto, is only 2 hours 20 minutes away by shinkansen (bullet train) and is famous for its Buddhist temples, imperial palaces, and Shinto shrines. Visit the Ryoanji temple to feel the Zen spirit in its stone garden or pass through the stunning tunnel of torii gates of Fushimi Inari.
Famous for its endless adventure and outdoor opportunities, the land of Hobbiton is also gorgeous and welcoming. New Zealand has excellent infrastructure and the Kiwis are known as the friendliest people.
Once here, you can go canyoning in Abel Tasman National Park or hike an active volcano on the White Island. You can enjoy the beaches, glaciers and fjords.
Take countless pictures of the unique wildlife - the cute kiwis, the yellow-eyed penguins or the New Zealand fur seals.
Try the traditional Maori hangi (slow cooked meat and veggies), the lobster and kina (sea urchin) and top it off with some jaffas and hokey pokey ice cream.
Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu offers a great view of the Southern Alps. Extreme sports lovers can enjoy bungee jumping, there’s also jet-boating and skiing in winter.
A must do for wine lovers: try some of the best Pinot Noir in the world on a tasting tour of the local wineries.
This vast North American country is famous for its multiculturalism and breathtaking landscapes. It ranked 3rd in the 2019 Best Countries for Women so you are sure to feel safe and treated well. Canada has excellent infrastructure and also ranked 6th in the Global Peace Index.
You can search for polar bears, go kayaking with beluga whales in Manitoba or go on a moose-spotting road trip.
Taste the Tourtiere (a recipe dating back from the 1600s), the Caesar cocktail and Beaver tails (no-hole doughnuts).
Toronto has been dubbed the safest city in North America. Canada’s culinary capital also features the iconic CN tower, and a fascinating Old town with a colourful market.
Toronto is also a good starting point for a day trip to the majestic Niagara falls!
Another English-speaking country on our ranking of the best places for solo female travellers. Australia is especially attractive for nature lovers with its diverse wildlife and amazing landscapes.
Come here to hike through the Kata Tjuta and snorkel in the Great Barrier reef. Don’t miss the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Daintree Rainforest.
Melbourne offers an amazing mix of sizzling beaches and great art galleries, theaters and museums. It would also make a wonderful destination if you want to take a break from winter in the Northern hemisphere!
Stop at Sydney to marvel at the fabulous Sydney Opera House and go to the Skywalk for a 360-degree view of the city and suburbs. While here, take a day trip to the spectacular Blue Mountains.
Best Places for Solo Female in Europe
Europe gets a special section on our list not only because it features popular destinations like France, Italy and Austria. In fact, most of the top ‘travel ready’ countries in the WEF report are European. The reason: countries in the Old Continent with advanced economies have well-developed infrastructure, low crime rate, and good health care. On top of that, they feature fascinating natural and cultural resources.
We’ve picked five of these that are especially welcoming for solo female travellers.
Scandinavian countries consistently rank as the best countries for women due to their gender and income equality, human rights and safety.
The Netherlands is celebrated as an amazing solo travel destination also due to its gorgeous canals, its flat landscapes, and its vast tulip fields. For marvellous flower photos stop at the 19th century Keukenhof Park which is open for visitors from March till May. Take shots of picturesque windmills and ride your bike down winding cycling routes.
Amsterdam - also known as ‘the Venice of the North’. Don’t miss the Van Gogh Museum and the house where famous diarist Anne Frank hid from the Nazis.
Visit the art galleries! After all this is the homeland of Rembrandt and Vermeer - the titans of the Dutch Golden Age.
One of the oldest countries in Europe (and homeland of Cristiano Ronaldo) ranked 3rd safest in the world. On top of the well-developed tourist service and transport system, Portugal has fantastic beaches, gorgeous weather and almost everyone speaks English. Its hostels are known for its cleanliness, good location and price as well as the walking tours and day trips they offer.
Go surfing in Nazare, enjoy the beaches and play golf at Algarve, drink some port in magnificent Porto. Travel around and admire the stunning 16-19 century architecture when the country was a powerful maritime empire.
Lisbon. The hilly coastal capital will welcome you with the pastel coloured buildings of its old city. Art lovers should see the amazing exhibits of decorative ceramic tiles in the National Azulejo Museum.
Don’t miss the colourful villas and palaces of Sintra and the cobbled streets of Obidos. The medieval old town and the Baroque library of University town Coimbra are equally fascinating.
The land of chocolate, cuckoo clocks and yodelling has much to offer the solo traveller.
The Swiss National Park has majestic peaks and glaciers, amazing waterfalls and moors. Keen observers can spot ibex and golden eagles. Try the outstanding walking trails in the Swiss Alps and the scenic train journeys.
Switzerland is a very safe destination and its great infrastructure makes it easy to travel around and explore. The Swiss Travel Pass, for example, grants you unlimited train, bus and boat travel for up to 15 days, plus free entry to 500 museums.
Geneva offers breathtaking views of Mont Blanc, the Alps, and Lake Geneva with its dramatic landmark water fountain. Visit also the 12-th century St. Pierre Cathedral, adopted home church of John Calvin during the Reformation. Top landmarks include the UN building and the iconic outdoor clock made of flowers.
A must see for Charlie Chaplin fans: Chaplin’s World. This museum for laughter, learning and entertainment, is housed in the mansion that was home to the great actor in the last 25 years of his life. Apart from photos and memorabilia, stop here to see the trademark hat and cane!
Paul Klee admirers should head to Bern and stop at the amazing wave-shaped museum devoted to the marvellous artist.
Germany ranks among the best places for solo female travellers thanks to its wonderful outdoor opportunities and its stunning cities.
Recreation lovers can head to the Bavarian Alps and try the Alpine roller coaster or go hiking or sledding. While here, visit the opulent 19-th century Linderhof Palace.
The famous Black Forest is a real hiker’s heaven with lush valleys and magnificent spa resorts. Make a stop at the fashionable spa town of Bade Baden to enjoy the curative waters of the thermal baths. Go hiking the Rhine Castle Trail.
Head to one of the intact medieval towns to walk the cobbled streets passing by the well preserved walls. Enjoy one of the festivals and fairs or the traditional Christmas markets (try the delicious wursts, candied almonds and Glühwein).
Berlin is home to the grand Brandenburg gate modeled on the Acropolis in Athens and the famous 19th century Reichstag, Germany’s Parliament. Another must see: the now graffitied Berlin wall that used to divide the city in two and the magnificent Museum Island. Here you can marvel at the immense reconstructed historical buildings like the Ishtar Gate of Babylon or the comprehensive collection of Egyptian artefacts at the Neues Museum.
Denmark is the 2nd best country for women and 5th safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. It is also one of the happiest countries in the world, along with the other Nordic states.
Denmark is famous for its butter and its bacon, which the English began importing in 1867. It is also known as the homeland of eminent fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen.
His hometown, Odense, is filled with fairytale related attractions. Bike to visit the local zoo, the open-air museums, and the impressive cathedral. Stop to marvel at the 16-th century Egeskov Castle with its dramatic moat.
Denmark’s capital - Copenhagen. For a photo of the iconic Little Mermaid sculpture, take a walk down the Langelinie promenade. To admire the colourful 17-th century buildings at the waterfront, go to Nyhavn. Take stunning pictures of the canals and stop for a short rest at the cosy cafes, bars and restaurants.
Don’t miss the famous Tivoli Gardens, a 19th century amusement park and pleasure garden in the very center of the capital.
Feeling inspired and excited about your next solo adventure?
Keep smiling and keep travelling!