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Tera
Utah

General Travel

Solo travel for women?

What destinations are relatively safe for a woman traveling alone for the first time? Budget not a huge issue. Open to all suggestions! Time of year and accommodations are also pretty flexible. 


24 Answers

top answer by
Amy from Dublin

Hi Tera! I've been travelling about on my own on-and-off since I was 20 and everywhere I've been I've felt safe - it's all about acting smart. Be cognizant of yours surroundings, don't go in dark alleys or abandoned streets by yourself at night, don't get intoxicated with strangers, etc etc. 
Places I've been include ViennaVeniceFlorenceRomeLondonParisBudapestBratislavaDublinPlaya FlamingoEdinburghGlasgowTokyoNagoyaKyoto, and all around the US. I've lived in Vienna, Nagoya, Playa Flamingo, and am currently living in Dublin. I probably felt safest in Vienna, Nagoya, and where I currently live in County Dublin, but I think that's because of my familiarity with those cities.  There are places I would avoid in some cities (such as certain areas of Dublin at night), Every city around the world has its dark corners. However, so long as you're smart and don't let yourself appear as a target, you'll be fine!

Solo travel is absolutely essential to discovering yourself, your boundaries, and your strengths. European cities are good starts if you're new to solo travel - they've a similar culture to the US and you can pretty much speak English anywhere. Good luck in your travels! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vienna (city)
  2. Venice (city)
  3. Florence (city)
  4. Rome (city)
  5. London (city)
  6. Paris (city)
  7. Budapest (city)
  8. Bratislava (city)
  9. Dublin (city)
  10. Playa Flamingo (city)
  11. Edinburgh (city)
  12. Glasgow (city)
  13. Tokyo (city)
  14. Nagoya (city)
  15. Kyoto (city)
10 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Merideth from Oakland

You kind of have to go out of your way to feel unsafe in Western Europe so it's a good first-time solo destination. In Italy and Spain you WILL get lots of attention from men as a solo female traveler so if you don't feel comfortable with that or just don't want to have to deal with it save those countries for a trip with a friend.

London is a great first time solo destination if you like cities. There is tons to do and it's easy to just blend in to the city like any other traveler or resident. 

As Reunka and other commenters have said, just use your wits and you'll be fine. If you are at all social, you'll probably end up making friends with other travelers which could lead to exploring other destinations and countries with them. This has happened to almost everyone I know (including me) on at least one solo adventure.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Western Europe (region)
  2. Italy (country)
  3. Spain (country)
  4. London (city)
7 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Jinny from Los Angeles

Hi Tera, 

I've been traveling alone ever since I was 16 and though I have a lot of repeated destinations, these are definitely my favorite amongst where I feel the safest. I just wrote in list format, but if you want to read more description of why I love these places/what makes them feel so safe, you can read about it on my blog post: Safest Places I’ve Been as a Solo Female Traveler

North America:

1. Manhattan (NYC) USA

2. Chicago, USA

3. O'ahu (Hawaii) USA

4. San Francisco, USA

5. Cozumel, Mexico



Europe:

1. Lyon, France

2. Annecy, France

3. Florence, Italy

4. Lausanne, Switzerland

5. Prague, Czech Republic



Asia:

1. Seoul, Korea

2. Jeju, Korea

3. Yangshuo, China

4. Shanghai, China

5. Hong Kong



Hope that helps! Cheers :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Manhattan (region)
  2. Chicago (city)
  3. O'ahu (island)
  4. San Francisco (city)
  5. Cozumel (island)
  6. Lyon (city)
  7. Annecy (city)
  8. Florence (city)
  9. Lausanne (city)
  10. Prague (city)
  11. Seoul (city)
  12. Jeju (city)
  13. Yangshuo (city)
  14. Shanghai (city)
  15. Hong Kong (city)
6 thankscomments (1)


answered first by
Coco from Dijon

I've been renting out an apartment in Dijon (Capital of Burgundy) for 9 years now and welcomed many solo travellers (women from 25yo to about 70yo coming from the USA, Australia, France and South Africa) and they all loved the atmosphere here. So I'm sure it is a good destination :)



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dijon (city)
6 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Ross from Fort Collins

I truly think it depends on the traveler, not the destination. knowing the area and doing your research goes a long way! i find that girls can dress in a disrespectful way in religious countries. you don't want to be in a skimpy tank top and mini skirt in a Muslim area or a very catholic area for that matter. i was in remote Guatemala with a girl in skimpy clothing and the local guys let her know how appreciative they were of her choice in outfit. my wife let her barrow some clothing to stop the whistling and hissing lol.

        http://wanderingross.com      


4 thanks


answered by
June from Charleston

I have traveled alone for business and pleasure. All the answers are good here so I would add only take advantage of being alone to meet people all over the world in the strangest places. Go anywhere and stay in a good area well researched when alone. Be open to meeting people in resturants, go to a top end resturant and sit at the bar and order food. I have met great couples from around the world and they are happy to talk with someone new as well. I just finished months in Australia, Turkey, Amsterdam and more. Made many friends everywhere. And I'm over 50 so ok for any age. Just go with it and have a blast!


3 thanks


answered by
Lissa from Portland

Good on you for pursuing solo travel, Tera - it's incredibly rewarding!  I'd say you can go just about anywhere that appeals to you (at 67, in the last year alone I've traveled to Morocco, Spain, Turkey, Croatia and Slovenia).  Just use the same informed judgement in picking a destination to visit alone that you would when paired or in a group.

My most reliable solo travel resources are http://solotravelerblog.com and http://www.affordabletravelclub.net (I've belonged for 12 years and have traveled the US and the world with them; it's great to have local folks looking out for you!)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Morocco (country)
  2. Spain (country)
  3. Turkey (country)
  4. Croatia (country)
  5. Slovenia (country)
3 thanks


answered by
Rachel from Boston

The world is your Oyster! How exciting! I completely agree with traveling to Italy but most especially the Amalfi Coast. Be prepared to fall in love with all things Italian... beaches, small cafes, food, margarita pizza, vino blanco, laughter, cappuccinos! Oh and I forgot to mention, the adorable Italian dogs that live better than 99% of the world. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Italy (country)
  2. Amalfi Coast (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Pamela from New Canaan, Connecticut

Anywhere in Europe!  I say, go to Italy:  fly to Rome, and take the train to Florence, then Venice, and fly out of Milan...so you'll get to see different parts of the country.  I would avoid tourist-heavy summer, though, and go in fall or spring.  


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Europe (continent)
  2. Italy (country)
  3. Rome (city)
  4. Florence (city)
  5. Venice (city)
  6. Milan (city)
3 thanks


answered by
Jaleh from Baltimore

As long as your safe and not running around flashing diamonds in people's faces, there are so many safe places to travel alone as a woman! Some places that immediately come to mind are ItalyFranceCzech Republic, and Germany. All are great places where you can see a lot, get by on your own, and can usually communicate without knowing the language. Of course, London and Ireland are great places to start out too- in London, you can get around pretty easily and you'll never have to leave the city if you don't want to. Ireland's a little bit harder to get around, but if you rent a car or check the bus schedules, you can see a lot.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Italy (country)
  2. France (country)
  3. Czech Republic (country)
  4. Germany (country)
  5. London (city)
  6. Ireland (country)
3 thanks


answered by
Julie from York

Hi Tera

If it's your first solo trip, I'd recommend Europe or SE Asia. As a previous answer said, Italy is a brilliant destination. If (the non-threatening) cat calls bother you, then the north is a "better" option than the south :) I had zero cat calling in Bologna

Slovenia is super-safe, and I've also travelled solo in the Balkans and Spain without any problems.

I've written about my recent European solo travels here if you want more of a feel of different places: http://www.thegapyearedit.com/travel/europe/

In SE Asia, ThailandCambodia and Laos are particularly fantastic and you'll meet lots of other solo travellers there. Laos is the most chilled out of the three. Vietnam is also safe, though you may get sick of having to bargain intensively the whole time if you're travelling solo - that (and the crazy traffic) is the only hassle there.

As another poster said (and going slightly off-track), I also love Mexico, though I've only travelled there as part of a couple. None-the-less, I've spent a total of a couple of months there with zero hassle.

Have a fantastic time!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Italy (country)
  2. Bologna (city)
  3. Slovenia (country)
  4. Thailand (country)
  5. Cambodia (country)
  6. Laos (country)
  7. Vietnam (country)
  8. Mexico (country)
3 thanks


answered by
Staci from Cleveland

Italy is a great place for a woman traveling solo. The transport system is easy and English is generally spoken across the country. You'll get cat calls from guys, but I think that happens pretty much everywhere. 

I took a three week trip and visited PalermoLipariNaplesCapri, ItalyAmalfi CoastRomeRadda in ChiantiFlorenceVenice and Milan (in that order). I was with two other girls, but feel that I would have been good solo. 

I recommend going in the beginning of summer, like end of May beginning of June. We went end of June through mid-July and it was super hot in July. The waters are calmer in the summer, so the Blue Grotto is normally open unless there is a storm. I highly recommend visiting this country if you can. :) Good luck! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Italy (country)
  2. Palermo (city)
  3. Lipari (city)
  4. Naples (city)
  5. Capri, Italy (attraction)
  6. Amalfi Coast (attraction)
  7. Rome (city)
  8. Radda in Chianti (city)
  9. Florence (city)
  10. Venice (city)
  11. Milan (city)
  12. Blue Grotto (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Christine and Jules - from Melbourne

Even though it might not spring to find, Mexico has some really awesome spots to travel as a solo woman. Of course a lot depends of how adventurous you want to make your travels. My first ever backpacking trip was to Mexico alone, and it worked out great. There are some well populated spots along the trek that have lots of safe and secure spots for solo women. San Miguel de Allende, Puerto Escondido, San Cristobal de las Casas and pretty much anywhere in the Yucatan
Hope you find somewhere fun!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mexico (country)
  2. San Miguel de Allende (city)
  3. Puerto Escondido (city)
  4. San Cristobal de las Casas (city)
  5. Yucatan (state)
3 thankscomments (1)


answered by
claus

I  am traveling a lot in Vietnam both for work and pleasure and I meet a lot of single women traveling there and they generally tell me that it's a very pleasant and safe country to travel as a single female.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vietnam (country)
3 thanks


answered by
Christine from Auckland

Hi Tera, I have travelled solo all over the world including weeks in South Americaand Central America. In 8 weeks I probably only had a couple of evenings on my own. My tips include: stay in backpacker or budget hotels, you are much more likely to meet people than in up market hotels. I always get a private room and ensuite as I'm way to old for dorms, but enjoy the relaxed, info-sharing atmosphere. Personally I'm really happy doing my own thing during the day, but like to have someone to have dinner with in the evening and so just ask people I meet during the day, (often more than one person so can end up with 3-4 new friends at dinner) to share stories and recommendations, swap notes. Just talk to them find out where they are going, where they have been.... The don't have to be your new BFF, everyone has enough conversation for one night out.

whilst on Central America, the dodgiest place I've been on my travels was Colon I'd stay away from there even if in a group. Even Bogota felt fine and I felt safer in Colombiathan on the Caribbean side of Panama

In places where you might get hassled ie Istanbul, Athens etc I suggest walking with purpose, speed and attitude. That's what the local women do ...And avoid looking dodgy guys in the eye.

I also would not go to India on my own, but not because of safety issues, I just think you would get too much hassle/ attention and you need someone to laugh with, it can be stressful.

Just get out there, you'll meet some great people.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. South America (continent)
  2. Central America (region)
  3. Colon (city)
  4. Bogota (city)
  5. Colombia (country)
  6. Panama (country)
  7. Istanbul (city)
  8. Athens (city)
  9. India (country)
2 thanks


answered by
Melissa from Chicago

I want to throw New Zealand into the mix. Friendly, beautiful, easy to get around and safe.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. New Zealand (country)
2 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Yah from New York City

Hi Tera,

I spent 7 months traveling through Thailand and felt pretty safe. I usually don't go out to clubs at night. If I do I usually meet with other travelers first.

Traveled through Spain alone for 3 months and never thought twice about my safety.

I've even gone to Mali and Morocco alone even though people warned me not to. 

I personally wouldn't go to India by myself.


2 thankscomments (1)


answered by
shawn from Portland

Hi. While I love traveling with my husband and little boy, I also really love to travel solo, so I try to get in one solo trip abroad once a year. I see you have some really great recommendations and advice from others and wanted to add two places in Mexico you might want to consider. Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende are both great places to take in art, culture, and good food. I went to Oaxaca at 6 mo. pregnant and to San Miguel last May. Traveling as a solo woman, I had no worries whatsoever in either place. I hope this helps and that you have a wonderful first solo trip!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mexico (country)
  2. Oaxaca (city)
  3. San Miguel de Allende (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Brenda from Long Beach

Tara, congratulations on your decision to go solo. I agree anywhere in Europe is safe. My favorites as a single woman are Barcelona, Paris, Prague, the Amalfi Coast, and Southern Spain. If you are going to be gone for awhile, try and link up with a friend for a few days somewhere along the road. Also check out journeywoman.com for tips on all things solo travel related.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Barcelona (city)
  2. Paris (city)
  3. Prague (city)
  4. Amalfi Coast (region)
  5. Spain (country)
1 thanks


answered by
ronald from Roanoke
1 thanks


answered by
Brenda from Long Beach

Travel solo all the time. Just hold your head high and walk with confidence. I like reasonably sized cities as a hub with smaller towns that you can visit by train or bus. Agree Southern Italy with a base in Sorrento is safe and charming. Do a walking tour of Naples and you will feel comfortable enough to go back to the great national museum on your own. Barcelona and believe it or not Paris are both great for solo females. Also, give Southern Spain a shot (Seville, Cordoba (Spain), Granada) great places to stay and eat and alot to see. And super friendly people. Check out journeywoman.com and click on solo travel.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sorrento (city)
  2. Naples (city)
  3. Barcelona (city)
  4. Paris (city)
  5. Seville (city)
  6. Cordoba (Spain) (city)
  7. Granada (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Izabel from Lisbon

Tera, Portugal is a great destination to visited any time of the year. We have regions with snow during the winter, we have world class recognized beaches during the summer, ballon tours around Alentejo, cruise sail boats and yatchs where you can do wine tasting and enjoy the amazing cuisine by renowned chefs. During all year you can visit famous cities that are known by their architecture, beauty and history, like Lisbon, Porto,  Alcobaca, Cascais, Sintra, Tomar or if you prefer tours based on your preference or historical choice, that could make you travel in periods that date from 3.000 B.C. 

As long as accomodations go, there is a range of choices that you could choose, from palaces to hostels, I need you to be more specific so I could help you plan your trip if you wish.

Come to Portugal and enjoy this magical country.

If you have any other question you would like to ask, or maybe take a look in other tours and experiences Lisbon has to offer, please take a look at my website:

www.tiptravelinportugal.com ( is google translation friendly)

Or you can send me a e-mail:

izabel@tiptravelinportugal.com


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Portugal (country)
  2. Alentejo (city)
  3. Lisbon (city)
  4. Porto (city)
  5. Alcobaca (city)
  6. Cascais (city)
  7. Sintra (city)
  8. Tomar (city)
1 thankscomments (1)


answered by
James from Bon Aqua

Check out www.bestsinglestravel.com, they pair you with other singles of the same sex and try to pair you according to what you preferences. There is also www.singlescruises.com. Also Norwegian cruise lines has singles cabins on Norwegian Epic, Getaway and Breakaway!


1 thanks


answered by
Peter from Vienna

Whats missing in the answers given: Scandinavia. A friend of mine travels a lot on her own and she always enjoys the northern countrys like SwedenNorwayDenmark. I prefer the citys more than the countryside, e.g. Copenhagen is a great city to explore, but it is also a little expensive.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Scandinavia (metro area)
  2. Sweden (country)
  3. Norway (country)
  4. Denmark (country)
  5. Copenhagen (city)




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