Destinations for solo travel: our top 15 + 1 hidden gem
Our top 15 destinations for solo travel + a hidden gem!
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- United States
And last but not least, our hidden gem of solo travel destinations: Albania!
Which solo travel destinations would you add? Post in the comments!
Australia has won the badge of safest country 2 years in a row, followed by Iceland, New Zealand and Canada, which are also on our list!
Its Diverse landscape simply has something for everyone. From the Famous Sydney skyline, over the colourful Great Barrier Reef, to the wide open and red Outback. Yu can even head up north to see some rainforest!
Despite a lot of cultural slang with tons of own words, the locals are super friendly do speak all English.
East Coast Solo Travel Road Trip
On top of all that, you will find a very well established trail of hostels where you can easily meet fellow travellers. Especially along the East Coast. It’s just perfect for an extended road trip! But you can also easily hop on and off the many buses that go up and down the East Coast.
Another one of the safest countries in the world!
If you’re looking for one of the more outdoorsy destinations for your solo travel, then Canada is another great choice. You can get everything in culture rich and classy cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ontario. You even get to brush up on your French skills, if you like, depending on which part of Canada you’re in! The big bonus, though? You can be easily in the middle of nature in virtually no time.
Mountains? Beaches? Tundra? Lakes? You name it – you got it. Basically, you can go from food markets to kayaking in one day and maybe add in some hiking for the fun of it. Or snowboarding and skiing in winter!
Another country that seems to have it all. Being very thin but extremely long, Chile covers a lot of climates. If you go from West to East, you will go from beaches to mountains. If you want to spend your nights under the starry night sky in the desert, just head further North. If you’re more into glaciers: head South! It is also considered one of the safest countries in South America. Probably largely due to being also of of the countries with the best economy in South America.
A good starting point for your solo travel, and with an international airport, is Santiago de Chile – the capital. It is a very friendly destination with great local cuisine. And if you want to learn more about the country’s wines, we recommend touring the gorgeous vineyards!
4. Costa Rica
Let’s just start by saying that it has the reputation of being one of the happiest countries in the world. It holds spot number 1 of 140 on the happy planet index! Now let’s add that it’s also one of the safest in Central America and throw in some gorgeous beaches. Voila – another amazing choice for your list of solo travel destinations!
There are a lot of great starting points for your solo adventure. For example Tamarindo, Santa Teresa, Puerto Viejo, La Fortuna and Nosara. They all have lots of hostels catering towards solo travellers.
Costa Rica is also one of the most bio diverse nations. It prioritises wildlife preservation but adds in some outdoor adventure and a focus on hydro and wind energy. Understandably, this makes it a hub for eco-minded adventurer favouring a sustainable solo travel destination.
And you’ll never run out of things to do and see!
Wildlife? Be prepared to spot sloths, toucans, macaws and monkeys!
Relaxing? Head to the hot springs in Arenal!
Adventure? Do some zip-lining through the jungle or explore batcaves, volcanoes and go chasing waterfalls! 😉
Another country that is frequently in the top 10 of both happiest and safest countries in the world. On top of that, most Danes speak great English and are very happy to help. They even welcome travellers into their homes for dinner!
Denmark has a very outdoorsy culture with a lot of ancient history. A lot of viking history to be precise. You will find lots of bike routes across the country, along with medieval castles. The Kronborg Castle, which is a UNESCO World heritage site, inspired the Elsinore Castle in Shakespeare’s Hamlet!
In cities like Copenhagen you will see iconic wooden ships, colourful townhouses along canals and gorgeous flower gardens.
Another bonus? Denmark is quite centrally located in Europe. So you can easily hop into surrounding countries and keep exploring.
First of all, Germany is very safe and most Germans speak great English. Secondly, the infrastructure is great. Whether you pick a train or rent a car and make use of those Autobahn stretches without a speed limit, you will get around easily. Additionally, Germany is super centrally located in Europe. So, if you decide to extend your trip or just pop over to a neighbouring country, you can do that without a hassle.
Now what you can do there? Well, you choose. Berlin is very well know for its nightlife and party scene. Especially the electronic music lovers will be happy in places like Berghain Sisyphos and Tresor.
But if you’re more into culture, you can head over to an abundance of museums, the Holocaust Memorial or many of the other historic sites.
Did you know that Germany has over 20,000 castles?? We recommend checking out Schloss Neuschwanstein. It was the inspiration for the dirst Disney castle!
Explorers, I’m talking to you!
Another of the top safest countries in the world. And in fact, the most peaceful country according to the Global Peace Index. So you can explore worry-free!
Iceland is basically a solo travel outdoor haven. It comes with waterfalls, caves to explore, volcanoes to climb up, glaciers to hike and at the end of the day: hot springs to relax in.
If you’re in the capital Reykjavik, which is really more of a town than a metropole, you should make sure to hop over to the ever-popular Bule LAgoon or go whale watching in Faxafloi Bay. And if you’re feeling a bit more active, then how about camping and horseback riding in Thingvellir National Park? Either way, the geysers and waterfalls will take your breath away!
Because Indonesia is such a beautiful and diverse country, you will find a lot of tourists loving to visit. Alongside the second largest tropical rainforest, you will also find pristine beaches with great diving spots and surfing waves. There are also plenty of hikes with active volcanoes and lots of wildlife.
One of our suggestions is to visit what basically forms a triangle: Kuta, Nusa Islands and Gili Air.
Kuta, Lombok – is probably what you’re picturing when thinking of Indonesia. It’s rural, it has empty beaches and great surfing. The south eastern tip of Bali, you’ll find Nusa Islands. There are several different ones. Our favourite? The rugged Nusa Penida!
Gili Air, Lombok – if you’re in the mood for no roads and therefore no car noises and just pure silent bliss.
Ireland is another great solo travel destination and yet never being really solo at all. Just head to one of the thousands of cosy pubs around the country, order a pint of Guinness and you’ll probably end up in some conversation with a local or maybe fellow traveller.
Belfast in North Ireland, which is technically the United Kingdom, has a lot to offer in itself with its newly minted “Titanic Quarter” is a large-scale waterfront stretch. It hosts historic maritime landmarks, film studios, education facilities, apartments and lots of riverside entertainment.
We recommend doing a trip from there to Giant’s Causeway. Very unusual, yet absolutely stunning basalt columns right by the ocean. Make sure to not get swept away!
Further down in the country of Ireland, definitely visit Dublin. It has a lot of culture and even more pubs to offer – head to the Temple Bar district or take a guided walking tour through the UNESCO city of literature.
You can easily get to places with the local buses, since the country is quite small. So you could being seeing the iconic Cliffs of Moher. Or you can head further and relax in the picturesque city of Galway and hop on a ferry to explore Aran Islands.
Routinely voted one of the cleanest, politest and safest places ever, Japan makes for yet another great solo travel destination.
It’s a brilliant mix of unique culture, amazing food and a delightful mastery of technology in contrast with a ton of ancient history.
Despite English not always being spoken, fear not. The locals are extremely friendly and very kind. As Alyssa Ramos from My Life’s a Movie tells it about when she was travelling solo and looking lost: “It happened to me three times, and one of the people even missed their train to walk me to mine to show me where it was.”
Also, eating alone is not only acceptable but also quite the norm in Japan, in case that’s something you would dread. Same with solo on the transport. There are even women only overnight buses.
Want the hustle and bustle? Head to Tokyo with luxurious shopping, tall towers and traditional Japanese gardens.
Want something more relaxed? Make a trip to Kyoto! You’ll see shrines gardens and temples. Also, make sure to include a traditional tea ceremony, since it has its root there.
If you’re lucky to be free to visit around spring time, then definitely book that. Cherry blossom season will leave you speechless!
We have a Japan tour guide coming out soon, since including more, would just make this post burst…
11. New Zealand
Welcome to the second safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index mentioned earlier.
If you’re the type to get lost or a bit anxious when not sure where to go next, then you’ll be pleased to hear that almost every city has its own visitor info centre. Because New Zealand is such a popular and safe solo travel destination, they’ve made sure to take great care of their tourists.
We’d recommend to get a car and do a road trip. While the infrastructure is very good, it can be difficult to get to the offbeat destinations. If you can’t drive or it’s too expensive, then why not team up with other travellers and rent a van together? There are plenty of hostels where you can meet fellow travellers! If you need more ideas on how to find travel buddies you should check out our post on it.
You’ll find everything in New Zealand. From Stunning islands, dolphins, rugged glaciers and gorgeous lakes to fjords, rainforests, waterfalls and whale watching. And Lord of the Rings of course. And wineries. What else do you need?
For example, on the south island, you can go surf on the east coast, drive an hours and a half and go hiking in the southern alps! Another bonus? It might be close to Australia but has no snakes or deadly animals!
Tanzania is a great choice if you’re looking for a solo travel destination but also would consider a group tour. Because group tours are very common for safaris. You get more out fo your experience by bundling in several activities into it. Especially, because the transportation is completely organised for you already, which is a dream since it can be very exhausting to figure out all the logistics, especially in that hot weather.
You can also look for camps or lodges that offer communal meals, if you’d rather not travel in a group and find your own tribe, though! But in the end of the day, we’re really here for the Big Five, right?
Tip: keep an eye out for discounted or waived single-traveller “supplement” costs: that will make your trip cheaper during the low season. The reason: solo travellers usually pay a little extra for that single room, if they can’t or don’t want to be paired with a stranger. But you could always easily test our prototype and find a like-minded and verified TravelSister to go on this adventure with!
If “the land of smiles” isn’t an inviting enough title yet, then read on.
Thailand had 36 million tourist arrivals in 2019! Because 2020, doesn’t count in the travel industry, right? #covid… So, you can imagine that Thailand is used to tourists and has learned to accommodate for them. The locals are very friendly, the country is quite affordable and has lots of delicious food!
Two great starting points we’d recommend are either Bangkok, the capital, or Chiang Mai up north. The country has so much to offer! Whether you want to do cooking courses to connect with locals and other solo travellers, visit temples or do a silent meditation retreat, you will find something fun. If you’re looking for something more active, you could go play ethically with elephants (no elephant riding please!) or learn scuba diving on one of the many islands.
And if you’re now all comfortable with solo travel, you’ll be pleased to hear that extending your stay is fairly easy. Just as easy as hopping over to surrounding countries by bus, train or plane.
14. United States
It’s a big big country… where do we even start?
So many solo travel destination choices!
To keep it brief, here are our top 3: California, New York and Hawaii. Why?
California: road trips
There’s of course the iconic Pacific Coast Highway which will give you the most spectacular views and that pure feeling of freedom.
But even if you stay in San Francisco, with its vibrant culture and high walkability, you won’t run out of things to see and do. Conveniently, you have Napa Valley with all the wine tasting close by and also Muir Woods with its tree giants just across the Golden Gate bridge. Both are always worth a day trip or two.
And of course there’s also Los Angeles further down south. Just so many options!
It might not sound like one of the typical destinations for solo travel, but you’d be pleasantly surprised! Hawaii does feel more like its own little country rather than being another SU state. That’s because of its richt and uniw culture and the tropical climate.
We’d recommend a road trip taking the Road to Hana. The scenic drive is located on the northeast coastline of Maui. Officially, the road is named the Hana Highway. You can also learn surfing in a camp specifically designed for solo female travellers!
New York City: city break
Is there any city more vibrant and bustling than NYC? Hardly!
You will never be bored with all the things to do. Also, New Yorkers simply don’t care if you’re eating alone or just in your underwear – just another day in the big apple. The feeling of freedom and anonymity is enticing!
The best way to explore it is probably do just throw that to-do list away and get lost. You’ll be walking in central park soon enough. Then finding yourself in front of one of the many museum nearby. A bit further and you’ll either be shopping the iconic brands at Fifth Avenue or maybe find yourself buying tickets for the next broadway show. If you wander a bit further, you can also crawl the vintage boutiques in Williamsburg or try out all the delicious Jewish delis in Manhattan. And have we mentioned the wineries in Brooklyn yet?!
This one is battling for the number one spot with Thailand when it comes to food. The subtle flavours, the outstanding variety – a dream! You’ll find yourself mingling with locals over breakfast, meeting fellow travellers over lunch and have new friends by the time you get to dessert. And don’t forget the rice wine that you can find in Vietnam’s many regional markets!
And if you’re really into it, why not take a cooking class? It makes for a very social environment in the cities.
But once you’re full, you can go trek the hills around Sapa or take a boat tour from Ha Long to Bai Tu Long Bay. And definitely visit Hội An for full moon to see hundreds of lanterns floating down the river during the city’s full moon festival. Think: Tangled!
Our hidden gem: Albania!
Did you know that according to travel statistics, Albanians are one of the most well travelled people? Yet, when asking for travel destinations, Albania does not come up often – countries ike New Zealand or Thailand stealing the spotlight.
Yes, Albanians tend to have questionable driving habits, but other than that, it makes for one of the most underrated destinations for safe solo travel.
Albania has a gorgeous coastline with lovely traditional hamlets and cobblestoned streets. You will find plenty of beaches with pristine waters, rivalling the the nearby Greece. And the best of it? It’s much more affordable!
With its azure blue waters, nestled right between northern Greece and Italy, it really should be a tourist mecca. Additionally, it has a fascinating history and to-die-for Mediterranean cuisine.