Solo travel has its perks.
It allows you to create your own schedule and itinerary. It forces you to form opinions of new sites for yourself. It encourages you to meet people that you may not have otherwise met. Plus, there's something about overcoming travel challenges on your own that leaves you with a ton of confidence.
But of course, it’s much easier when you choose the right place. Here’s a list of cities that are, for the most part, safe, easy to navigate, and full of unique sites to get you started livin’ that dream.
Barcelona has a ton of flavor, and it's conveniently walk-able for the solo traveler. Explore Park Güell, designed by the famous architect, Antonio Gaudi, or checkout La Boqueria, Barcelona’s well-known public market. In between sites, you can grab food at one of the many tapas bars.
Dubrovnik is well-known as a film site for Game of Thrones, but there's a lot more to the city even aside from the GoT fame. Visit Banje Beach, walk the city walls, or go for a hike up the beautiful Mount Srđ. Crime rates are low and the beach scene will keep you relaxed and entertained.
If you’re going to Austria solo, Salzburg is smaller and a bit more manageable than the other popular option of Vienna. Head to Hohensalzburg Castle, one of the most visible and famous sites in the city, and walk around the gardens at Mirabell Palace. After exploring some of the beautiful backstreets, you can grab a coffee at the impressive Kaffee-Alchemie.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House are two of the city's most well-known sites. Amsterdam is also home to the Rembrandt House Museum, a National Maritime Museum, and the Heineken Museum, so you can keep yourself entertained for hours. It's a good idea to learn some basic Dutch phrases before you go, although with the large English speaking population, you won't have to worry too much about a language barrier.
Take in the views from the Kapellbrücke, a wooden footbridge that’s one of the most iconic spots in the city. Lucerne is known for it's well preserved medieval architecture and gorgeous mountain backdrop. A trip up to Mount Pilatus (and a drink at the top) is a must.
Edinburgh is a quick flight away from Dublin and probably the most convenient location on the list. Perfect for a beginner solo trip over a weekend! Take some photos from Arthur’s Seat and explore Holyrood Palace. Hikes and walking trails are at the top of the to-do lists for many Edinburgh tourists.
Manarola is a good option if you’re looking for some warmer weather. It’s the second smallest of the reputable Cinque Terre towns and is a bit more low key than the larger cities mentioned. Hiking is a highlight of Cinque Terre trips, and it'll be easy to meet plenty of other travelers on the trails. If you want to take advantage of the warmer temperatures, you can take a boat tour for views by water.
Enjoy the vibrance at Nyhavn, the iconic 17th century waterfront entertainment district, known for its canal and multi-colored houses. If you're looking for more excitement, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world, and is full of rides, musicals, and shows.
Portugal is often underrated, but is more affordable than several other countries in Europe, is generally safe, and is known for its friendly residents. Checkout the Praça do Comércio, a public square that's lined with shops and cafes. And of course while you're there, you have to taste some port wine! Lisbon also has an exploding craft beer scene.
Despite its reputation as a romantic getaway, Paris is actually an amazing option for solo travelers as well. Pretty much every street is absolutely gorgeous, so feel free to put away the GPS and wander aimlessly. You're bound to come across a historic site, delicious bakery, or creperie. Hit up Stohrer, the oldest Patisserie in the city that once baked goods for Marie Antoinette. Explore the Luxembourg Gardens or window shop on the Champs-Elysées.
Prague, Czech Republic
The architecture in Prague is unforgettable and will catch your attention pretty quickly. The Vltava is one of the most picturesque rivers in the world and is the longest in the Czech Republic. Prague is full of beautiful castles, churches, and palaces that will make you forget that you’re traveling by yourself.
Enjoy the freedom because how often do you get to travel (or do anything else) alone? Now's the time!