Skip the mundane and head straight for the 12 best places for solo travel in the world! From Japan and Iceland to Bangkok and Bali, these spots are perfect for a solo trip.
You’ll feel liberated and full of wonder as you take on some of the world’s most incredible destinations as a solo traveler with a flexible itinerary that leaves you with fulfilling new experiences.
Take a look at why you should travel solo, the 12 best places for solo travel in the world, and tips and FAQs to see if solo travel is in your future!
Why You Should Travel Solo
Total freedom to build your trip itinerary around your wants and needs is one of the biggest draws of traveling alone. You’ll eat, shop, and sightsee where you want – and nowhere you don’t.
If you find yourself bored with one place, you can freely move to another place nearby or change your travel itinerary entirely! With only you on the journey, the independence of solo travel is refreshing.
Mental health benefits are another reason to consider traveling solo. You’ll feel liberated, confident, and like you can take on the world when you travel alone.
Hostelling International found that solo travel encourages you to be more social and open to new experiences, both of which result in the release of “happy hormones” that provide mental health benefits.
Traveling alone presents you with more opportunities to connect with fellow travelers and locals. From staying at a hostel to taking tours, solo travel is filled with chances to meet new people.
If you’re on a trip with your family or a group of friends, you may not feel the same push to get out and meet new people as you do when you’re traveling solo.
Worried about traveling solo? You’re not alone and it’s smart to prioritize your safety. Some places are safer than others, so taking a look at the list of the best places for solo travel below is a great place to start.
As long as you’re heading to a safe destination, take the proper precautions, and stay aware of your surroundings, traveling solo is a wonderful way to get to know yourself and the world around you on a new level.
The 12 Best Places for Solo Travel in the World
Think you’re ready to step out for a solo trip? You’ll want to head to one of the best places for solo travel and avoid wasting your time with cities that feel unsafe, don’t feel welcoming to solo travelers, or are lackluster in terms of things to do and see.
The best places for solo travel in the world might be subjective, but millions of solo travelers can agree that the following 12 destinations are the top choices:
- Bali, Indonesia
- Costa Rica
- Barcelona, Spain
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Berlin, Germany
- Australia’s East Coast
Keep reading to learn more about each of the best places to travel alone and what makes each one stand out!
Solo travelers love Japan, where tradition fuses with the futuristic on this string of islands off Asia’s east coast. It’s the best destination for first-time solo travelers and visitors will feel warmly welcomed here.
The food? Incredible. The scenery? Beyond gorgeous. Seamless public transportation (get the Japan Rail Pass), quirky shops (hedgehog cafes, anyone?), historic temples, modern skyscrapers – it’s truly an unforgettable place to visit on your own.
From exploring bustling Tokyo to summiting iconic Mount Fuji, there are so many places to visit in Japan that you’ll have trouble seeing – and tasting – it all in one trip.
Iceland is an amazing destination for solo travelers with stunning natural beauty, reliable public transportation, and tons of English speakers for easy communication.
You’ll relish the chance to head to the best places to visit in Iceland, from the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa in the southwest to camping under the dancing Northern Lights on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Spend some time in the capital city, Reykjavik, where you’ll find lots of hostels and get to know the Icelandic culture. Leave the capital to take a dip in hot springs, hike and climb mountains, see volcanoes, and explore islands.
3. Bali, Indonesia
Few destinations are as famous for solo travel as Bali – a magical island dotted with stunning beaches, Hindu temples, and endless outdoor adventures off the coast of Indonesia.
People love the bohemian vibes of Bali, nicknamed the “Island of the Gods.” Many people speak English, there’s a large expat community, prices are affordable, and the food is phenomenal.
You’ll spend lots of time around Canggu and Seminyak (beachy vibes with tons of cafes and restaurants), or Ubud (the “spiritual capital” with outdoor adventures, yoga classes, and markets) – these are the travel hubs.
With warm weather year-round, top-tier snorkeling and diving, and amazing hikes that take you through rainforests, past waterfalls, to mountain peaks, this is a place where it’s easy to connect with the scenery and get to know yourself better.
4. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is the perfect place to go solo and experience “Pura Vida.” It’s safe to visit, packed with outdoor adventures, great food, and full of friendly people that welcome travelers warmly.
Costa Rica offers a tantalizing peek at Latin America with steamy rainforests and cloud forests, relaxing beaches, excellent diving and snorkeling, and towering volcanoes that lend it an otherworldly vibe.
When you’re here, book group tours to easily see the best the country has to offer and try some fun outdoor activities while meeting new people (there’s also a big expat community).
Manuel Antonio National Park is a favorite place to visit in Costa Rica, but you might like checking out the Nicoya Peninsula (hippie vibes), Osa Peninsula (tons of wildlife), and Turrialba (whitewater rafting).
Portugal is a wonderful destination for solo travelers, immersing you in a sea of color, delicious aromas, and seaside charm where castles, vineyards, and beaches will set the scene.
There are so many places to visit in Portugal, but Lisbon (the colorful capital), the riverside Porto (the home of Port wine), and Nazare (known for massive waves) are some of the best for solo travelers.
You’ll explore this hilly land with wonder and excitement, tasting local wines, trying Portuguese seafood and delectable desserts, popping into unique shops, and sightseeing around historic castles, landmarks, and monasteries.
Solo travel in Switzerland is truly stunning amid the majestic Swiss Alps, crystal-clear lakes, fairytale villages, and bustling cities packed with restaurants, bars, shops, and sightseeing opportunities.
If you’re going alone, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the best places to visit in Switzerland. Ride a cable car or hike up Matterhorn Mountain, step into alpine villages that feel frozen in time, and see medieval castles in the countryside.
Explore Geneva, the capital, to meet new people on your trip and discover local haunts for great food and drinks. Outdoor adventures are never far away (summer or winter) and transportation is impeccable in Switzerland!
Albania is becoming more popular as a solo travel destination because it’s so affordable, beautiful, and authentic. From ancient architecture and villages to sunny beaches and thermal baths, Albania offers a lot for solo travel.
Outside of Saranda, gaze into the crystal-clear water of the Blue Eye spring – no one knows how deep it is and the surrounding scenery is beautiful. Excellent beaches on the Albanian Riviera make for great sunbathing, snorkeling, and water sports.
Take a dip in the healing Benja thermal baths, journey to Berat to see historic architecture and castles, and spend time in the capital, Tirana, for hostels, shopping, yummy food, and sightseeing.
If you want authenticity in a gorgeous setting where you’ll find as many outdoor adventures as you will shops, markets, and restaurants to check out, Cambodia is your destination.
Solo travelers should start their trip in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital on the mighty Mekong River. Try foods from familiar (spring rolls) to out-there (fried tarantulas), take a sunset cruise, explore stunning palaces and temples, and peruse museums while you’re here.
You’ll find quiet moments admiring the massive 12th-century Hindu ruins at Angkor Wat near Siem Reap. Shake things up by checking out beaches around Sihanoukville and Koh Rong Island.
Outdoor adventures abound with dense jungles, waterfalls, and sightseeing tours. Because Cambodia is so popular with solo travelers, you’ll find plenty of hostels where you can meet people and stay affordably.
9. Barcelona, Spain
Oceanfront Barcelona, Spain is a favorite spot for solo travelers with eclectic and historic architecture, bustling urban areas pulsing with lively energy, and beautiful beaches to lounge on.
Dance the night away, listen to live music, eat your fill of paella and hang out at tapas bars, admire artwork and architecture as you stroll through the city, and pop into unique shops along the way.
Barcelona’s energy and party vibes make it easy to arrive and feel like family. Wander into a bar, dance club, hostel, or restaurant and you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms.
You’ll end up on one of Barcelona’s excellent beaches – nude or in bathing suit – where you can soak up the sun on a sandy shore with stunning views.
10. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is one of the best places for solo travel in the world, offering so much in the way of traditional architecture and temples, fascinating scenery and natural beauty, and authentic Thai culture permeating the cities and rural areas.
You’ll have a real adventure in Bangkok, where you can tour the royal Grand Palace complex with iconic Ayudhaya architecture and temples, wander through the noisy street markets, and try some incredibly tasty, unique foods.
Ride in a tuk-tuk to get around the city easily and cheaply, visit a tour company or stay at a hostel to link up with others, and check out Khao San Road if you’re looking for vibrant nightlife.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a must-see, and the riverfront Lumphini Park in the city’s center is the perfect place to relax by the water.
11. Berlin, Germany
Known for its alternative and trendy vibes with endless examples of historic architecture and landmarks, Berlin, Germany is the perfect city for a solo trip and a great place to meet other solo travelers.
German culture thrives in Berlin with modern global influences to produce a diverse array of foods, shops, and things to do around this massive city. Take a train to see it all without worrying about driving!
The once-split Berlin is now one city, so there’s a lot to see and explore throughout. You’ll see the 18th-century Brandenburg Gate, the Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin Cathedral, and the Zoological Garden while you’re here.
Take a walking pub tour, head to Museum Island to see artwork and trace Berlin’s history, and sample as much German food as you can in restaurants and street carts along the way.
12. Australia’s East Coast
If diving on the Great Barrier Reef, exploring Sydney, and wine tastings on the Gold Coast sound appealing, Australia’s East Coast is the ideal place for your solo trip.
Australia is massive, so concentrating your visit to the East Coast is a great way to sample it all without spreading your time too thin. From Cairns and Whitsundays Islands to Brisbane, Canberra, and Tasmania, this is the best of Australia.
The most popular route for solo travelers is from Cairns to Sydney, taking you through the Gold Coast, near the Great Barrier Reef, and to beautiful offshore islands like Fraser Island and the Whitsundays.
Visit the iconic Sydney Opera House, sightsee in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra, laze on a golden beach, go skydiving or deep sea fishing, and take your pick from tons of popular hostels along the entire route.
Things to Consider
The best places for solo travel are even better when you’re armed with tips that help you travel like a seasoned pro. Here’s what you might not have considered about traveling alone – but definitely should!
- Stay alert and aware, always. No matter where you decide to travel on your own, you should commit to being aware of your surroundings and staying on alert when you’re out and about. Petty crime, like pickpocketing and street scams, are a problem in any populated area, so keep your belongings close and don’t bring valuables.
- Be careful going out at night. Even the safest cities and countries have a few bad apples in the bunch, so be careful if you plan on going out at night alone. Stick to busy bars, clubs, and restaurants and arrange transportation to get back to your hotel or hostel. Don’t walk down dark streets alone and always keep an eye on your drink!
- Do your hostel homework. Some hostels are better than others, especially if you’re a female solo traveler. Do some research ahead of time to see reviews and check in on the “vibe” of the hostels you’re considering. Some are more popular with younger/older, male/female, or laid-back/party crowds.
- Get out of the tourist zones. When you’re traveling alone, you’ll want to see many of the big attractions in the region, but don’t let that be the end of your trip. Talk to locals and find out what must-see spots, landmarks, scenic areas, and restaurants/bars are worth checking out off the beaten path.
- Make communications a priority. As a solo traveler, you’ll want to ensure you’re never without communication. That might mean getting a special SIM card in some countries, bringing portable cellphone battery chargers, and never leaving your room without a fully charged phone. Let someone back home know your general itinerary and when you’ll be home, and don’t forget to check in regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learning the best places for solo travel is just the beginning of the questions you’ll have about traveling alone. Check out the most frequently asked questions below to learn more!
Where can I travel solo for the first time?
Japan, Iceland, and Berlin, Germany are the best places to travel solo for the first time. Japan and Iceland rank at the top of nearly every solo travel destination list and offer a wide range of things to do and see in unique settings.
Berlin is a big city with cool, grungy vibes and thriving solo travel scene that helps new travelers feel welcome and part of a larger community.
Where can I travel single?
Japan, Iceland, Bali, Costa Rica, and Portugal are the 5 best places to travel single because they’re packed with attractions, outdoor adventures, and are popular with solo travelers.
These places have plenty of hostels and hotels so you can choose the right accommodations for your budget and needs. You’ll find tons of things to get into, from city and temple exploration to beaches and rainforest tours.
What is the safest country to travel to alone?
Japan is currently the safest country to travel to alone, according to traveler safety data from Bounce Luggage Storage.
Solo travelers enjoy hanging around Tokyo and Osaka thanks to the very low crime rates and safe public transportation with so many attractions and restaurants within walking distance.
How do you travel solo with anxiety?
Traveling solo with anxiety is possible! Try taking a guided tour so you don’t feel lost and study maps of the area to familiarize yourself.
Try a new food and practice the local language to ease solo travel anxiety. Don’t feel pressured to dive into activities on day 1 - use it for rest and getting to know the area.
Relying on bus circuits that will deliver you back where you started is a good idea, and taking walks to learn the area you’re staying in helps a lot.
How many days are enough for a solo trip?
A solo trip should be as long as you’re comfortable with - some take a month or more when traveling alone. For a first-time solo trip, aim for about a week in a destination that excites you.
Depending on where you go, you might spend the entire trip in one city or moving around the region to explore and see as much as possible!
So, What Are the Best Places for Solo Travel?
The best places for solo travel are scattered across the globe, from countries in Asia and Europe to Australia and the Americas. But the only way to discover the best place for you to travel solo is doing some research and considering your goals for the trip.
You can’t go wrong with the amazing destinations on this list – from Japan to Australia’s sunny East Coast – but it’s going to take some soul-searching and thinking to narrow it down to the place that’ll leave you with amazing lifelong memories.
Whether you’re seeking lazy days on a shore somewhere foreign, a bustling international city, somewhere with endless outdoor adventures, or the chance to explore an iconic country alone, you’ll find a promising spot on this list.
The world is a beautiful place to discover, and when you’re traveling solo, there’s nothing to break your focus from the new experiences you’ll have in stunning locals around the globe.
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