Deciding to travel solo can sound quite freighting and intimidating, but it's something that everyone should experience at some point in his or her life. There are many reasons why you should travel alone and believe it or not, there are numerous destinations across the world that are ideal for exploring solo.
Solo traveling can be therapeutic and is the ideal opportunity for you to discover something new without having a companion influence your decisions. Learning new cultures, meeting new people and experiencing new adventures while traveling alone has a lot of benefits. You are on your own voyage of discovery and you might just enjoy it even more than with a friend.
You can pretty much travel anywhere around the world, but you might be faced with a few challenges if you aren't prepared. Is the place I'm traveling to overall a happy place? Are the locals accepting and willing to help if I get lost or confused? And most of all is this place safe? If you're new to traveling alone, we're here to help. This list of 25 places around the world to travel solo is countries and cities that are safe and are excellent places to discover if you're just starting your journey of self-discovery while on your solo adventure.
25 Paris, France
Traveling to Paris sounds like a vacation for couples in love since it has a reputation for being one of the world's most romantic cities. However, that's not all true and Paris is a fantastic place for someone to explore. The city is very walkable and is full of history and charm. There are numerous sites to explore like the Sainte-Chapelle, a royal chapel where you can admire the stunning assortment of stained glass windows, the Musee D'Orsay, a museum housed in a stunning railway station with plenty of awe-inspiring French art, and the famous Musee du Louvre, the world's largest art museum, where you can spend an entire day admiring the artwork. You'll also want to walk along the Seine, grab a bite to eat, drink a glass of wine and admire Parisian lifestyle.
24 Rome, Italy
Rome is full of history and you'll probably benefit from exploring it on your own because there is just so much to see and you don't want to feel limited. While here you'll have to explore all the ancient sites, the Pantheon, Roman Forum, and Coliseum, the Trevi Fountain and feel like you've stepped back in time during the Roman Empire. Make your way to the Vatican City to see the pope's home and see the glorious St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, which is most famously known for Michelangelo's 16th century painted ceiling. Don't be shy to explore the numerous Piazza's or squares, like the Piazza Navona, where you'll find street artists, bars and lots of shopping.
The most peaceful country in the world is Iceland, which has been on the top of the Global Peace Index since 2008. Iceland is defined by its dramatic landscape, with volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs and glaciers. These natural wonders of Iceland are a must see like the Blue Lagoon, a famous geothermal spa with seawater, the Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the most stunning and impressive waterfalls on the island, and the jaw-dropping Northern Lights, the glowing and flickering displays of colors in the sky. Take the Golden Circle Route, which is probably the easiest way to see all of these spectacular attractions and you'll find other solo travelers on this route as well. Make your way to Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik also to learn more about Iceland's Viking history and do a little shopping.
22 New York City
New York City is an amazing city to discover alone because there are endless things to do. Check out a few of the cool art museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or discover human cultures at the Natural Museum of History. There are a plethora of cool and hip bars and restaurants serving food from different nations around the world for you to try and it's very okay to eat alone here. With an easy public transportation system, you can go from checking out trendy Brooklyn to the posh Upper East Side in Manhattan. Escape crowds and avoid Times Square as much as you can. After you've done your sightseeing, you must grab a New York slice of pizza at the many local spots around the city.
21 New Zealand
Like Iceland, New Zealand has been called one of the safest and friendliest countries in the world, so it's a good place to start if you're traveling for the first time on your own. New Zealand is a great country to travel to if you consider yourself the outdoorsy type with its stunning landscapes, its many black sand beaches, fjord-filled national parks, and caves, you can find yourself busy exploring every inch of the nation. Even though you'll be alone, you don't have to worry about being lonely because you'll meet a ton of other people traveling solo and seeing the same sights at you. There are plenty of backpack adventure tours offered and you'll instantly make friends while you're summiting a peak or exploring Auckland, a large city where you'll find wineries, volcanoes, beaches and walking tracks.
Guatemala is a popular destination for solo travelers with the main attractions including its colonial city Antigua and tourist-friendly town Flores, which is also the gateway to the countries most famous cultural attraction, Tikal. Antigua is extremely picturesque situated in a valley surrounded by volcanoes. The city is famous for its cobbled streets, baroque architecture, restaurants and bars, and you can easily find other solo travelers exploring this historic city. Make your way to Flores, which is packed with tourists, and while there you'll make your way through dense jungle to see the famous ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal.
19 Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is a city in mountainous northern Thailand with a vibrant culture and is home to hundreds of intricately decorated Buddhist temples. A city is an amazing place for photographers, especially when you explore the Old City, which is practically a living museum with the best temples and historical buildings surrounded by crumbling ancient walls and moats. You'll want to explore Doi Inthanon National Park, known as a sanctuary for a wide range of animals and natural beauty. Visit the busy markets that have just about everything you can think of and where after 5 p.m., these same markets buzz with music, street food and plenty of tourists so you won't feel alone.
18 Glacier National Park, Montana
If you want to explore a natural wonder in the United States and enjoy hiking, backpacking or camping, you can easily do it on your own at Glacier National Park in Montana. The park is a 1,583 square mile wilderness area in the state's Rocky Mountains with more than 700 miles of hiking trails for you to discover. If you consider yourself an expert hiker, make your way to the heart of the park and find the famous Grinnell Glacier. Hidden Lake is one of the most awe-inspiring places in the park, with views of a lake surrounded by numerous mountain peaks. If you're driving, Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the most scenic roads in the Rocky Mountains that will leave you speechless.
17 Melbourne, Australia
To see all the sights in Melbourne, Australia, a great activity as a solo traveler is to go on a tour. According to Culture Trip, a tour is a great way to meet other people who want to explore the same areas as you. A tour will take you to see the amazing Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, visit wildlife like penguins at Phillip Island and you'll love walking around the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne which encompasses 94 acres of greenery. Before you leave this exhilarating city, you must grab a coffee. Degraves Street is one of the most famous streets to grab a cup of Joe, however, there are other cafes serving up warm and tasty coffee whichever way you look.
16 Alberta, Canada
If you're looking for another outdoor adventure closer to the states, make your way to Alberta, Canada. For a safe and friendly destination to hike and explore, you'll love Alberta, which encompasses mountains, parries, desert badlands, and vast forests. Check out Kananaskis Country, which features Rocky Mountain vistas, pristine glacier lakes, and beautiful alpine meadows. You’ll also want to make your way to Moraine Lake, a dramatic, glacier-fed lake with a pretty blue-green color and plenty of hiking trails. After you've trekked your way through the wilderness, visit Calgary, a cosmopolitan city with plenty of places to eat and drink, museums and shopping.
15 Cusco, Peru
Cusco is a well-preserved historic city in the Peruvian Andes that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Everything you want to see is easily done on foot, with churches, museums and ruins are located within walking distance. Cusco is literally surrounded by Inca ruins with Plaza de Armas is the center of the Old Town and the prime sightseeing location. Some of the unique places to visit include the Pisaq Market, which sells handicrafts, medicinal herbs, jewelry, and local food and if you don't want to stay in town for your entire trip, make your way to Sacsayhuamán, a monumental Inca fortress that still today is an archeological mystery.
According to Expert Africa, Kenya is a fantastic country to visit if traveling solo. Most small safari camps and lodges are sociable and guests have the ability to dine together and take part in safari trips together, so you won't be alone most of the time. Locals are friendly and will help if you aren't familiar with transportation. Discover Africa notes that on safaris, small private camps and private concessions' reserves are better suited for solo travelers than larger lodges because you'll experience a more hands-on and personalized service. The main highlights in Kenya are of course the thrilling safari rides through the bush seeing the wide array of wild animals like elephants, lions, zebras, and giraffes. You'll also want to check out Kenya's coastal resorts with Malindi being the most popular and sociable.
13 Hokkaido, Japan
Hokkaido is the northernmost and least developed island of Japan's four main islands, which means its a heavenly destination for those who like to be outdoors. Not many people have heard of this island, but it makes it all the more thrilling to check out on your own. One of the main attractions here is the stunning Daisetsuzan National Park, it's the largest national park in Japan with miles of volcanic peaks, rivers, dense forest of fir, a species of evergreen coniferous trees and beech, a large tree with glossy leaves. Make your way to central Hokkaido to Furano most famous for its colorful fields of flowers that are a photographers dream. When you make your way south of Hokkaido you can take a gondola to see the "sea of clouds," when a dense river of fog blankets over the cliffs of Unkai Terrace.
12 Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is a laid back and easy city to explore on your own and you'll find a number of things to do. The colors of the boathouses and the mix of old and new architecture are definitely mesmerizing. If you want to get to certain places, it seems like biking is the way to go and it’s certainly a cheaper option. Spots like Nørrebro are a must for first-time travelers who want to check out a hip neighborhood, which features late-night bars and eateries and trendy coffee shops. To feel more relaxed, you might want to walk through The Kings Garden, the oldest park in the city where you can end up chatting with a local. Culture Trip advises first-time travelers to the city to explore it by water, taking a boat tour and seeing the famous Little Mermaid statue, Christiansborg Palace and many interesting museums.
Cuba is rich in history and culture and exploring the country solo may sound a little scary at first, but the country is safe and there are low crime rates. Havana will take your breath away with and make you feel like you've stepped back in time with the plethora of colorful 1950s Chevys, cigars, salsa music, and the crumbling old architecture. Blogger Justine Mfulama took a trip solo to Cuba and mentioned that you should definitely explore outside of Havana. "In Varadero, you will find some of the most beautiful beaches and fun nightlife. In Vinales, on the other hand, you can relax in the middle of nowhere and explore the local tobacco plants. Finally, in Trinidad you will feel like a real Cuban Girl, dancing to beautiful Salsa and Bachata rhythms all night," she writes.
Traveling to Vietnam alone might sound intimidating, but it shouldn't and there are plenty of people who travel here solo. According to Intrepid Travel, blogger Amanda Williams traveled alone to Vietnam and wrote that the nation has an established tourist trail that will make first-time visitors feel at ease. The main sites on the trail include places like Ha Long Bay, known for its dazzling emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands, Hoi An, a well preserved ancient town, Ho Chi Minh City, a city with tons of energy and entertainment and the Mekong Delta, which is a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands.
9 Vienna, Austria
Vienna has a rich 2000-year long history and there is a long list of sites to visit here while you are discovering the city solo. Of all the city's main attractions, its Imperial landmarks stand out the most. You must check out the museums at the Hofburg Imperial Palace and make your way to the Ringstrasse, a circular boulevard that features many of Vienna's most important buildings and sights, including the Opera and the Fine Arts Museum. The area is also a great place to walk around and explore all the tourist sites. Sologuides recommends walking along the Danube banks or taking a walk in the City Park to do some solo discovery and take in the beauty of this city.
Norway has a lot of charm and its beautiful natural landscapes and small cities make it a great solo destination. Norway is one of the safest countries in the world and natives speak some of the best English outsides of native English-speaking countries. Norway is a large country, so if it's your first time, you'll want to stick to going to city’s like Oslo, where you'll find museums showcasing Norway's vast history like the Viking Ship Museum, or the city of Bergen, with its picturesque colorful wooden structures sitting between the seven mountains and breathtaking fjords. If you're looking for some quiet time and maybe a little self-discovery, make your way to the Norwegian countryside. Take on a track and go hiking or even arrange a day trip sailing to see the stunning fjords.
7 Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a great place to have a solo adventure, and unless you really want to seclude yourself from the rest of the country, you most likely want to be someplace where you have the chance to meet other people, try a bunch of different foods and be within close proximity to a number of outdoor activities. Some of the nation's main attractions include Tamarindo, a place known for its beaches and strong surf, and where you can also take your very own surfing lesson. The beautiful Santa Teresa, where forest frames a small beach and there is an absence of buildings and where you can find yourself lying under a palm tree and reading a book is also a great option. Culture Trip recommends travelers to take up a yoga class or a guided nature tour to see all of the natural beauty of this nation.
6 Lagos, Portugal
Lagos, Portugal is an important city with a lot of history, pristine beaches, and a buzzing nightlife. Lagos is considered a resort town, however, it is filled with history and contains a plethora of historical monuments and buildings of the past. Some of the most notable buildings include the San Antonio church and the 17th century Bandeira Fort. Lagos has a beautiful harbor and you can easily spend a whole day walking down its cobbled streets. You'll love spending a relaxing day on the golden sands of the Meia Praia, but to see some of Lagos' natural wonders, join a boat tour to see the Ponta da Piedade, a series of beautiful sandstone cliffs that are surrounded by turquoise sea waters.