Travelling solo is becoming more and more popular worldwide. There are many reasons to travel alone – you can focus more on the destination, you can travel at your own pace without considering the preferences of your travel companion and do everything you want to do, all the time. You have the freedom of changing plans and finding your own rhythm. Also, if you are travelling solo, you will meet more locals and make new friends from all over the world.
Many travellers say that their first solo trip was a life-changing experience; they all agree that it means more than just a trip, it is a path of self-discovery. You will have both time and space to think in peace. Since there is no person next to you, you will also become more decisive and self-confident.
If you have restless feet, but there is no one to join you, check out our guide of best destinations for single travellers!
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague could be a perfect destination for every solo trip first-timer. It is is a great place to visit during any season. All major sites are within walking distance, the public transportation works great, including Uber as well. If you are staying for more than one day, consider buying a transportation pass, available for a day, three days or one month and offering unlimited rides and changing between all public transport types. The first must-see on your list is the Old Town with its amazing architecture and history. Join a free walking tour, breathe in the city atmosphere and don’t forget to tip the guide, it’s the only salary they get. Head over the Charles Bridge, the most known landmark in all of Prague. Wander around Mala Strana, a very charming neighbourhood and make sure you don’t miss Trdelnik, famous sugar-bomb topped with cinnamon and filled with ice-cream. In case you get lost, you will probably discover some new interesting landmarks.
You have probably heard that beer is cheaper than water here, and the most known one is pilsner; representative brands are Pilsner Urquell and Budweiser-Budvar. U Fleku is one of the most popular pubs in the city with over 1200 seats. If you wonder where to stay, there are plenty of hostels with cool vibe or cozy apartments with friendly hosts, most of the people speak English so you shouldn’t have any communication problems.
The city of Berlin perfectly balances between old and young, historical and modern and classic and cutting edge. As soon as you step into the city, you will get that sense of special Berlin energy that everyone’s talking about. In the German capital, art and history institutions stand by modern skyscrapers, and it is common to see hipster people dine in haute cuisine restaurants. The city is generally safe, easily accessible and affordable, and English is widely spoken. The city has an excellent transportation system with three fare zones; U-Bahn stands for metro and S-Bahn for train system above the ground. The symbol of the city is Brandenburg Gate, dominating the east side of Tiergarten, green area filled with different landmarks. Make sure you visit Reichstag or Parliament building and its glass dome but keep in mind you have to book your tour in advance. Berlin Wall Memorial with remaining wall sections witnesses the past. Another memorial with an emotional weight is Holocaust Memorial, standing in tribute to all Jewish people that lost their lives during the Holocaust. For all museum lovers, Museum Island is home to 5 magnificent museums in Berlin, as well as Berlin Cathedral. If you wonder where to stay, there is a lot of cheap accommodation in the city and you can also rely on Couchsurfing hosts.
Amsterdam, also known as the Venice of the North, is an easy place to travel on your own. English is well-spoken and public transport includes trains, buses, trams and metro. However, cycling around the city on your own could be the nicest way to explore it. The city is perfectly safe and has a ton of sights and attractions to visit. The best thing you can do is wander along the canals and enjoy long walks around the town. Districts to explore are Jordaan, a UNESCO world heritage site, and The Negen Straatjes. In Amsterdam, there is a museum for almost everything, from vodka museum to Rijksmuseum holding incredible artworks. Van Gogh Museum holds the largest collection of works by this great painter. Anne Frank House is a house and biographical museum dedicated to Anne Frank, Jewish wartime diarist who lived there hiding for over two years. Don’t forget Amsterdam also has a more rebel side; the infamous Red Light District houses the oldest profession in the world; there are prostitutes offering services behind the window, sex shows and shops, strip clubs and many more. There is no age restriction for a walk in the area but other types of entertainment are for adults only. Cannabis cafes are popular among tourists and locals. Any season in Amsterdam has its charm, but if you are there during the spring, make sure you visit tulip fields in the area.
London is the city you will never get tired of; the capital abounds in excitement, history and culture. It is an excellent solo destination because locals are friendly and English speaking. There are many accommodation options; private accommodation units and hostels are probably the cheapest. Public transport is easy to navigate, Underground covers 270 stations and there are also Overground, buses, trams and river services. Keep in mind that London is among the most expensive European cities but there are also free things you can do; first of all, entry to all state museums is free of charge, including British Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum and many more. There are numerous parks you can enjoy, including royal parks such as Hyde Park or St. James Park. Sky Garden is one of the most amazing viewpoints in town and the entrance is also free of charge, just make sure you book your spot in advance.
When sightseeing, visit Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a photo at Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station. Afternoon tea is a well-known tradition and options for it are endless. Another not-to-miss while you are staying in London is Borough Market, the best place to fill your stomach with delicious food.
Iceland is one of the safest and most beautiful countries in the world. Reykjavik is a small town with a population of just 300,000 very friendly and trustful locals and most of them are fluent in English. There’s almost zero chance you will experience some travel scam or witness any rowdiness, the crime rate generally is incredibly low. It is expensive, but staying in a hostel and buying fresh food from the grocery store instead of eating out will help your budget. Perfect day activity in Reykjavik would be hiring a bike and exploring the city on wheels. If you team up with locals, they will be more than happy to show you around. Locals often take a dip in the cool Atlantic Ocean and later in natural hot pools beside it so prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience. Food tours are also a great way to get to know the city and make new friends. If you want to see more of Iceland, our recommendation is visiting the Golden Circle, the most popular sightseeing route, Skaftafell Nature Reserve, Eastfjords, and a small town of Husavik for a whale-watching experience.
The capital of Portugal is one of the most beautiful cities to explore, and also one of the most affordable ones. The most popular time to pay a visit to Lisbon is from May to October because of the mild climate with warm summers. The city is pretty safe and locals tend to be friendly and kind. Still, be careful when visiting crowded tourist areas and choosing a restaurant, some will try to overcharge you, avoid that and always ask for a menu. Most of the attractions are located within walking distance but there are also bus, tram and metro services, all using the same ticket system. Taxis are also an affordable way to get around the city. There are a lot of reasons to fall in love with Lisbon such as rich culture and architecture.
Wondering what to visit? Belém is a museum district with majestic monuments and amazing river views. Torre de Belém is an iconic symbol of Portugal and the era of Discoveries. Castle of São Jorge provides one of the best views of the city. Vintage tram 28 crossing over the city center is a must. Make sure you visit and grab a bite at Time Out Market, some of Lisbon’s best restaurants have their stalls here. Since the Portuguese are known for their sweet-tooths, you should try pastéis de nata and arte de maçã, custard and apple tart. If you are wondering where to stay, Chiado and Baixa are popular areas with a range of accommodation options.
It is no wonder that Florence is a popular destination for tourists since this place offers pretty much everything you could ask for; rich history and art, amazing food and entertainment and overall, the special Italian charm. Italy is generally safe, the violent crime rate is low but beware of pickpockets. It is easy to explore the city alone because all sights are within walking distance and there is so much to see and do: Uffizi Gallery with a huge collection of art masterpieces, the Cathedral with remarkable Dome and Ponte Vecchio bridge crossing over the Arno river. Several viewpoints in town will blow your mind away, one is Piazzale Michelangelo, a square with a panoramic view of the town and others are Boboli and Bardini Gardens, green havens in the middle of the city, best to escape the city buzz. While you are there, Italian food is a must-try. It’s impossible to find a better pizza anywhere in the world, and let’s not forget pasta. Bistecca Fiorentina is a T-bone steak, the region’s specialty. After dinner, or before – we don’t judge, have a gelato. Embrace that dolce far niente spirit, be carefree and enjoy this dream destination.
Traveling alone for the first time might seem scary, so we have prepared a list of essential tips that you need to know.
- Know your strengths – Think about what you enjoy more; a big city with bright lights or more scenic and quieter location, and choose your destination based on your preferences.
- Pack light – Pack only essentials into your carry-on backpack or suitcase, you can always wash the clothes or buy whatever you’re missing.
- Book yourself a hostel – There is no better place to stay if you want to meet new people on the road than a hostel.
- Make document copies – It’s better to be safe than sorry so make copies of your documents and carry them with you.
- Learn a bit of the local language – Learn a few phrases before you go, knowing basics makes the difference.
- Get an early start – Wake up early and seize the day. You travel to see, learn and enjoy so don’t waste half a day staying in bed.
- Be careful at night – Be a responsible traveller and avoid dark, suspicious places. We all know that bad people get a bit bolder during the night. Also, if drinking, know your boundaries.
- Book a group tour – When travelling alone, you will probably enjoy quality group tour and it is likely you share the same interest with other people on the tour.
- Be on guard, but leave some windows open – Generally, people are nice and helpful. Use common sense and choose your company, but don’t avoid people.
- Stay in touch with family and friends at home – It’s easy to forget about everything and everyone when travelling but make your mom happy and give her a call. Also, letting someone know what you’re doing is a smart move.