Top 10 Destinations for the Solo Travel Beginner

I am an advocate of solo travel trips.

Solo travel is awesome because you get to learn so much about yourself, get out of your comfort zone, and push yourself to limits, mental and emotional, you never thought possible.

If we had to wait on all of our friends or family to be ready at a certain time, have their money available, have the same dates and length of time available we would be waiting forever…or never. Honestly, this is the perfect opportunity to test the waters and just go buy yourself.

You are probably like, “omg no I can’t go by myself, it is scary. Honestly, the thought of being in a foreign country alone is scarier than actually being there alone. If you can eat at a restaurant by yourself or go to the store by yourself then you will be just fine.

“Ashleigh! It is not the same thing!”

But it is my dear. People will not stare at you because you are alone and they won’t care. In my experience, most citizens of the world are warm and friendly.

 

Criteria

If this is your first or fourth solo travel trip check out my 14 tips on solo travel and let me know if you have any more to add.

There are many locations that are conducive to solo travel and these are my top 10 destinations for beginner solo travellers.

When I was thinking up this list my main criteria were:

  • Safety
  • Activity/ies
  • Ease of getting around
  • English speaking – this was a half criterion

I chose these destinations because they aren’t boring, there is so much to do and see, they are safe, and you can meet a lot of people. Most of these places if not all have fantastic nightlife as well. All of these destinations are located in North America or Europe; in my opinion, these are the 2 easiest continents to navigate as a beginner and especially for someone who does not travel much. I believe Asia can be a little overwhelming for a first timer but if you’re up for and adventure try it out.

There is nothing to be afraid of. You will have so much fun and learn so much about the destinations and about yourself.

Cancun

My list begins with Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, or something similar. Mexico is a great place to travel to solo or otherwise regardless of what the news says or what rumors you hear. Mexico is a great starter location for a solo trip. The coastal and tourist destinations speak English. You have your choice of day trips to Chichen Itza or to the agave farms in Jalisco to see how tequila is made. There is plenty of shopping, nightlife, and culture to be seen in Mexico.

Budapest

Budapest is a great city. It is awesome during the day and beautiful at night. There is plenty to do in Budapest, from the museums, tours, and markets to the different day trip options. Take it all in and just roam around the city. Don’t forget to grab a photo of parliament at night. It is just spectacular!

Rome

Many people may disagree with this location but the reason I chose Rome is because there is so. Much. To. Do. and you won’t have enough time to do it all. The sites are so close together you can walk to everyone. Most within a quarter of a mile of each other. You won’t have issues getting around and you won’t really get lost. Technically you might get lost; it is a good kind of lost though. You will happen upon the river or another monument that will get you back on track to where you want to go.

A small snippet of your amazing Roman options:
• Throw a coin or 3 in the Trevi Fountain
• Have a café in Trastevere – you will get lost inside Trastevere but it’s great don’t freak out lol.
• Hard Rock café – right next to the Trevi fountain – if you’re into the hard rock souvenirs
• Go to the spice market, flower market, eat pizza, have wine, or go to a bar in Campo di Fiori. You won’t have any issues meeting anyone here after 5!
• Obika!
• Triomfale Market
• Picnic in Villa Borghese, take a walk or bike in the Borghese Park
• Segue yours

There are plenty of day trips to take. Lake Bracciano, Tivoli, Florence, and more. My favorite are wine tours! You cannot get bored in Rome and if you’re bored it is because you are literally staring at the wall.

London

London might also be a controversial place because it is more active than NYC in my opinion.  I chose London because you can go on day trips to Stonehenge or castles, they speak English and there’s always something to do no matter what time of the day it is. London is a bit much but I love it!It is an overall a fantastic place.

One of the best places to go for shopping, I mean if you want an adventure go hang out at Harrods. You will probably be there all day. Hang out in Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus, go see a play, have tea in Chelsea, go to the design museum, Rooftop bars, the London eye, walk from the eye to the Jubilee market, take a picture on tower bridge, or go get fudge at the Jubilee market. The list is endless.

Costa Rica

People in Costa Rica are super friendly and helpful. It is one of the safest countries in the world and one of the happiest. The Sun sets, oh my God, especially on the Pacific side, are phenomenal. I’ve never seen prettier sunsets.

There are so many different things to do. Many excursions like ATV tours, going to volcanoes, waterfalls, hiking, beaches, zip lining, bars with locals and expats and a fun nightlife You’ll definitely meet people at your hotel or hostel. Costa Rica is definitely for the outdoorsy and adventurous person. You will find yourself trying to decide what to do inside your timeframe. different excursions so if you’re by yourself you won’t be by yourself the whole time especially if you’re into doing fun things

Austria

Austria is a great place to go by yourself. Salzburg is absolutely beautiful no matter what time of the year you go. Spring time is gorgeous, autumn is beautiful, and Christmas is magical with the snow and. There are palaces and museums as well as day-trips to Bratislava which is pretty cool – cross another country off of your list!

Switzerland

Switzerland is equally as awesome. Again, plenty of day trips to explore the country or head over to Austria. If you are up for an adventure you can go sliding down the natural slides. My friend did it and said it was amazing.

Switzerland is a beautiful country. My favorite thing was going to Interlaken where you get a train to the highest point in Europe and explore ice caves or go skiing.

Germany

The Brandenburg gate in Berlin at night.

Germany is a great place to go by yourself. It might seem a little overwhelming but many Germans speak English. There are so many different things to do whether you go to Berlin, Munich, the Rhine Valley for a little boat tour, various castles, or even the countryside.

Spain

Spain is a great place for solo travel. It is very safe and a gorgeous country. So many cities and so much history. Barcelona is a great place for activities. Seville, Granada, and Malaga are great places for history. And if you’re into Game of Thrones you might want to visit Malaga.

There are so many expats and university students in Spain in case you don’t want to be by yourself or want someone to show you around.

A few ideas may be partying and eating at the Cavalli restaurant in Ibiza, go to that place in Majorca, or visit some of the best coastal towns in Spain. I mean you can’t go wrong in Spain and you’ll have a great time by yourself.

If you find yourself in Barcelona go visit my favorite restaurant!

Stockholm

Stockholm is always a great idea, in my opinion, because it is just beautiful, probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen nature wise. From walking around the city to going on nature day trips, where you might find some moose, there is really something for everyone in Stockholm. The shopping was great, I bought my favorite scarf and a fun hat from there. And obvi, you have to visit H&M and Ikea! There is nothing like the original. I felt extremely safe and stock home loved looking around at everyone – they are all so tall, I’m 5’1 — and I just thought it was it was a great time.

Honestly, I could be here all day for good beginner solo travel locations but I chose the best and most fun ones, in my opinion, that I’ve been.

 

What do you think of my list of destinations for the beginner solo traveler? Comment below and tell me which destinations you would add to the list!

 

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  • This post is so inspiring! I’ve always wanted to travel but like you said the thought of actually going is so daunting! This post has definitely made enough me want to go even more!

    • Rome is by beloved! I lived there for about 2 years and don’t feel at home anywhere else. YOu definitely have to go and make sure, when you do, you go off the beaten path and away from the touristy stuff. Rome has so much more to offer than the attractions.

  • All I can say is, GIRL YOU ARE BRAVE! I’m scared to travel overseas PERIOD!!!! I guess I watch too many lifetimes movies. I gotta give it to you though I bet you are having a hell of a time traveling with no one complaining or no one telling you they are tired and don’t wanna go where you want to go. If I could go somewhere out of the USA it would definitely be Cancun, Mexico & Bora Bora, they are both so gorgeous and the beaches are amazing (in the pictures anyway LOL).

    • lol you’re funny! I think the thought of travelling alone is scarier than actually travelling alone. It may get lonely but that’s why you have to pick exciting destinations. Copenhagen is a good solo travel destination because it is safe but it didn’t make the list because it is boring AF to me lol.

      As far as Mexico, don’t miss out on Mexico City! Cancun is great but Mexico City has so much going on!

  • Such a great list of amazing places. The only one I have been to is London and that’s only because I grew up in the UK! Would love to go to Cancun though, well actually, all the places you have listed! x

  • Ive actually travelled to most of these destinations solo! There is something very brave and freeing in travelling by yourself. I’ve now found a partner who loves travelling as much as me and we both enjoy travelling together which is even better. But I know a lot of people who can’t find friends who’s itinerary aligns with theirs and they love the freedom of being able just to up and go by themselves and also are able to make new friends throughout the world

    • Yes, coordinating friends and schedules is the most frustrating part of traveling. I think traveling alone for the first time makes you feel kind of like a superhero. During and after the trip you realize you are brave enough to do almost anything you want. Making friends is my favorite part. I have met some of the most amazing people on my travels.

      I’m glad you found a partner who loves to travel as much as you do, that must be fun!

  • Oh wow these are all such lovely destination! While I’ve never travelled solo I have been to London – it would be fun to see some more destinations on your list! 🙂

  • I went travelling to Europe by myself when I was 18 and it was the best thing I ever did! Germany is a great country, you’re right so many people speak English there that it’s perfect for the solo traveller.