30 Best Places For Solo Female Travel – World Edition!

solo travel destinations

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I wrote this article because I was dismayed at some of the ones that already existed. Many big companies have written about places for women to travel alone with impersonal listicles. I doubt solo female travellers have even written them.

Once I’d seen one list the Cayman Islands, I immediately grabbed my laptop and started putting together this much more affordable and realistic guide!

I am a solo traveller. I have been for almost 10 years. I’ve taken on destinations including India, South Africa and Mexico. This is my life, my passion and now my career as I run this blog and provide solo travel tips for my readers. That’s why I believe I’m qualified to do justice to this topic!

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What’s the criteria for solo female travel destinations?

Many guides will tell you the best places for solo female travel are Switzerland and Iceland based on their impressive safety rating. I will tell you these ARE good destinations if you have a LOT of cash to splash AND don’t mind spending a lot of time alone.

I want to ground this guide in reality. There are destinations with worse safety ratings than Northern Europe that are far better for solo travel when you consider the bigger picture: affordability, year-round good weather and ease of meeting other travellers. After all, bad things can and do happen anywhere so I don’t advise choosing your destinations on crime stats alone.

Read next: the ultimate guide to solo female travel safety

Lisbon best solo female travel destinations
Lisbon is one of the best places for women to travel solo

Read next: 10 reasons to travel solo at least once

Want to stay connected while visiting the following places? I suggest downloading an e-SIM with Airalo, the world’s first eSIM network covering 200+ countries and regions. It allows you to purchase a package online and use mobile data as soon as you arrive. A real game-changer! Browse their packages

Best places for solo female travel in Europe

I have been to many places in Western Europe and I personally prefer leaving this more expensive region behind for places in Central and Eastern Europe like the Balkans.

Eastern Europe often gets tarred with a negative brush in terms of safety but I think this has a lot to do with politics, bias and outdated sources. I’ve had such fun and rewarding travels in this region, meeting fantastic people, and eating and drinking to my heart’s content without worrying about money.

Read next: best places for solo Europe travel

So, including both Western and Eastern Europe, here are my top picks…

Portugal

Solo travel rating: easy.

Portugal is a wonderful country and I could sing its praises on many topics, for example the weather, beaches, cities and delicious pastel de natas. But on the topic of the best solo vacation destinations for women, it’s a 10/10. It ticks every box.

Best places to travel solo in Portugal:

  • Lisbon – the capital is cool and cosmopolitan with majestic architecture, fun neighbourhoods and endless things to do including hidden gems. Read my dedicated guide to solo travel in Lisbon for more info.
  • Porto – I lived here for 3 months and did not want to leave. This beautiful city feels less cosmopolitan but more charming and traditional than Lisbon. Go read all my Porto blogs because there’s way too many to list here.
  • The Algarve – I was worried this region would be expensive and more family orientated but, depending where you go, it can also be a great backpacker destination with beautiful beaches, hikes and small towns. I loved Faro and Lagos. However, I would advise skipping Albufeira which is Brits on tour hell (as a Brit, I feel I’m allowed to say that!).

Safety: 10/10. Locals are friendly, attitudes are progressive to women, LGBT travellers and POC.

Meeting other travellers
: Super easy! Especially in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve, there are so many hostels and activities to jump on with Viator and GetYourGuide.

Cost:
It’s not as cheap as destinations in Asia or Eastern Europe BUT it’s considerably cheaper than France, Germany or the UK providing you avoid tourist-trap, city centre restaurants in Lisbon and the Algarve. In Porto, I found 3-course meals for under €10 and glasses of wine for €2! Buses and trains between cities can cost as little as €3.

Read next: is Portugal safe for solo female travel?

Ireland

Solo travel rating: easy

Ireland solo travel destinations

Ireland is great for solo travel because it’s safe, friendly, ruggedly beautiful and has no language barrier for English speakers. It’s a great place for outdoor activities but it’s equally appealing for city sorts: Dublin is one of Europe’s most visited cities. Visiting the Temple Bar area is a must!

I took a fun trip to Ireland between Christmas and New Year and flew home on the 1st of January covered in glitter with a sore head. I’m not sure I’d recommend this exactly 😉 but I would recommend a winter trip. Even though the weather will probably suck, it’s the perfect excuse to enjoy cosy pubs with a Guinness in hand and live Irish music playing!

Safety: 10/10. 

Meeting other travellers: easy peasy. I loved City Hostel in Galway. I would recommend a small hostel in Dublin because some of the big ones are so huge that everyone stays in their groups making it harder to meet people.

Cost: VERY expensive. Following 2022 inflation, I’ve recently heard that Dublin prices are on a par with the Nordic countries. When it comes to the pros and cons of solo travel, the cons are more prevalent in expensive places when there’s no one to split costs with. Time for some supermarket dinners and packed lunches, methinks!

Barcelona

Solo travel rating: easy

Barcelona places for women to travel alone

Could Barcelona be the city that has everything? Fantastic food, iconic architecture, lively nightlife, a city beach and easy access to hiking?

You could stay occupied for days but you could also move slowly and enjoy soaking up the sunshine and reading over tapas down the adorable backstreets. I’d recommend at least a 3 day Barcelona itinerary. The other option is staying in one of the many hostels and meeting people to enjoy the nightlife with.

The only downside to Barcelona is how (understandably) busy it gets. I would suggest visiting outside of July and August and avoiding the tourist traps of Las Ramblas. Follow these tips and I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic solo trip.

Safety: 7/10. There’s little violent crime but pickpockets are rife. Almost everyone I know has a story including myself: I had my phone stolen from a closed bag while travelling to the airport by Metro (what a nightmare that was when I couldn’t show my ticket and nearly missed my flight). Wear a secure bag and be vigilant in crowded spaces including public transport.

Saying this, it’s still a safe and popular option for solo female travel in Europe!

Meeting people: easy – check out some of the highly-rated hostels.

Cost:
hostels start from €18 and tapas can be affordable if you eat slightly out of the centre. I suggest browsing the famous La Boqueria market but shopping elsewhere. It’s expensive!

Read next: how to take photos of yourself travelling solo

Croatia

Solo travel rating: easy

dubrovnik
When I had Dubrovnik to myself in March!

Croatia is another place I’ve lived rather than just passed through as a tourist (although I have done that, too) so I feel qualified to vouch for it as a wonderful destination for solo female travel. If you love beaches and island hopping, you will be in HEAVEN.

Read next: a complete guide to solo travel in Croatia

Best places to travel solo in Croatia:

  • Dubrovnik – this is Croatia’s most famous city largely due to Game of Thrones filming. With a well-preserved Old Town and city walls, it’s full of architectural and cultural treasures, plus it has great nightlife
  • Split – an equally gorgeous coastal city with the historic Diocletian’s Palace at its heart, plus countless day trips to Krka Waterfalls and islands like Hvar and Korcula
  • Zadar – this city beside the sea is highly underrated. Watch wonderful sunsets beside the Sea Organ, a modern art exhibit harnessing the power of the waves and using them to make beautiful music
  • Zagreb – it isn’t the most exciting European capital but it’s pleasant and affordable. Read my guides to the best cafes, street art and how to take a day trip to Plitvice Nat Park.

Safety: 10/10. 

Meeting other travellers: easy thanks to hostels and bar crawls. If you get bored of travelling solo, take take a group tour for a day. There’s a big digital nomad scene due to the new visa they offer so, if you’re staying a bit longer, tap into communities via expat and Facebook groups.

Cost: not as cheap as I was expecting. Restaurants in Split and Dubrovnik city centres can almost rival London prices. Do some research or escape into the side streets for cheaper food. I found Zagreb very affordable.

Berlin, Germany

Solo travel rating: easy

Berlin destinations for women to travel solo
Berlin Wall street art

Quirky Berlin is one of Europe’s coolest capitals. It’s like nowhere else. Nowadays, it’s known for anything and everything quirky and alternative. But its complex history was at the forefront of world affairs 35 years ago, and the scars can be seen in places not limited to the street art-splattered remainders of the Berlin Wall.

Learning about the history is imperative but you can also indulge in the modern, quirky side of Berlin. Alternative finds include street art, discos inside phone booths, underground clubs, a museum dedicated to David Hasselhoff (yes, really) and repurposed Cold War bunkers and spy stations.

Vegans take note, this is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world!

Safety: 8/10. Like any large city, there’s crime such as pickpocketing. But you’ll only be targeted for looking like a tourist: Berlin is progressive with a thriving LGBT scene and international communities from around the world.

Meeting other travellers: easy, there are countless hostels and activities on offer from street art classes to bar crawls.

Cost: fairly expensive.

Although I’ve just listed Berlin here, the whole of Germany is a safe and rewarding place for women to travel alone. In particular, I love the fairytale cities in Bavaria like Nuremberg (although don’t expect so much of a backpacker scene).

Budapest, Hungary

Solo travel rating: easy

Budapest solo trip destinations for women

Affordable, fun, beautiful, great nightlife, hearty food, what more could you want from a solo trip? After several visits, Budapest in Hungary is firmly one of my favourite cities in Europe.

There’s tons to do from soaking in one of the many hot spas, riding a boat down the Danube, climbing or catching the funicular to Fisherman’s Bastion, enjoying the parks and Margaret Island in the summer, visiting the Jewish Quarter and getting stuck into the hearty Budapest food.

If you want to experience the cool ruin bars and clubs, you should definitely stay in a hostel to meet other travellers.

Safety: 8/10. Like any city, there’s the usual petty crime like pickpocketing. Hungary is not generally very progressive but Budapest is good for LGBT travellers. The local population is not so diverse but travellers of colour won’t be made to feel out of place.

Meeting other travellers: easy. Two of the best are The Loft and Carpe Noctem.

Cost: relatively affordable and definitely less than capital cities in Western Europe.

Around 3 days in Budapest is a great amount of time to spend. If you have time, catch a train to…

Prague

Solo travel rating: easy

Prague
John Lennon Wall, Prague

Prague is another city I have been to several times and can vouch for as a great solo destination. It’s fun and beautiful with great cafes, nightlife and tons to see and do.

The Prague food probably won’t make any lists of the world’s best cuisine but I personally loved the rich, hearty meals even if the national dish does resemble something Rachel from Friends would make by mistake!

Safety: 8/10. Watch your bags in tourist areas especially in the summer but, generally, the Czech Republic is a super safe country.

Meeting other travellers: easy. Just get yourself on the first bar crawl or free walking tour.

Cost: somewhere between capital cities in Western Europe and super cheap destinations like Albania. Expect to pay around €6-12 for main dishes in restaurants and €2-3 for a pint.

Slovenia

Solo travel rating: easy

Slovenia solo vacation females

As one of the safest countries in the world, Slovenia is an easy first time solo female travel destination. It’s also not too expensive AND it has a decent backpacker scene. Oh, and it’s STUNNINGLY beautiful. The dream destination for those who love hiking and nature!

The capital, Ljubljana, is a pleasant city especially in good weather when there are countless cafes and restaurants beside the river. Afterwards, visit beautiful Lake Bled.

I also added Lake Bohinj (near Bled) and Piran on the Istrian peninsular to my Slovenia itinerary. Both were gorgeous but didn’t have much of a backpacker scene.

Safety: 10/10. 

Meeting other travellers: pretty easy in Ljubljana and Bled but not so easy elsewhere.

Cost: hostels are around €20 a night and restaurant meals generally cost €8-12.

Italy

Solo travel rating: easy

You can’t go too wrong with solo travel in Italy, unless you go in peak season when you’ll need a high daily budget and tolerance to withstand the crowds. But generally, this is a fantastic and safe place to go alone with wonderful historical sites, mesmerising scenery ranging from sweeping Tuscan valleys to idyllic lake towns, and more delicious food and wine than you’ve ever encountered!

Safety: 8/10. Expect pickpockets in the summer, especially in Rome, and the odd creepy man, but there’s little violent crime.

Meeting other people: easy. There are endless hostels and activities and tours such as cooking classes and walking tours. I did a great pasta-making class in Milan!

Price: these range from extortionate to reasonable depending where and when you go. I found the northern cities are more expensive than those down south.

Greece

Solo travel rating: easy

Greek islands

I’m sure your minds-eye can draw up some postcard-worthy images of Greece that aren’t too far from reality. The islands have everything you’d want from a beach break with nightlife and fantastic food thrown in, while the cities are full of famous Greek landmarks with historical and cultural significance.

It’s little wonder the world and his wife want to visit! Depending on your budget and tolerance for crowds, you may want to visit Greece slightly out of season (such as May or late September).

Some of the best Greek islands for solo travel include Crete, Kos and Rhodes.

Safety: 7/10. Expect pickpockets in the summer, especially in Athens, but almost no violent crime.

Meeting other people: easy. There are lots of party hostels if that’s your thing.

Price: ranging from affordable to insanely expensive on popular islands! For a cheaper alternative with great beaches, might I suggest…

Albania

Solo travel rating: medium

Anyone who’s seen me since I went to Albania is probably thinking ‘here we go again!’. I cannot stop raving about Albania. It was my favourite new destination of 2022 and it had Slovenia and many others to compete with!

It’s a destination with variety from beaches to mountains, history and culture. Tirana wasn’t my favourite city but it has some decent cocktail bars and third-wave coffee shops should you need your home comforts. Better yet, it doesn’t feel too touristy yet.

Best destinations for solo female travel in Albania:

  • Himarë – this beach town feels lesser-discovered than the more popular beach destinations of Sarande and Ksamil. Make sure to stay in Sun Bakers Hostel!
  • Gjirokaster – my favourite place in Albania was this adorable small city with cobbled streets, crafts markets, tasty regional delicacies and captivating views from the top of the fortress. Stay at Stone City Hostel.
  • Berat – this small UNESCO town is a pleasant one with fantastic countryside wineries and excursions to waterfalls and canyons.
  • Shkodër for Theth hiking – the highlight of my trip was taking the Theth-Valbona trail through the most stunning mountain scenery I’ve ever seen. It requires spending 2 nights away from the city but Wanderers hostel organise the whole thing.
Hiking in albania
Theth Valbona hike

The only downside to Albania travel is a lack of convenience: buses are slow and hot, you can rarely pay by card, and there are no taxi apps. But these small inconveniences are made up for by what a beautiful, friendly place it is. Plus, I like an adventure!

Read next: is Albania safe for solo female travel?

Safety: 9/10. 

Meeting other travellers: Really easy in hostels. I found them all very cosy unlike the impersonal backpacker factories you get in better-known travel destinations. There aren’t quite as many tours and activities as some places; I mainly booked these through the hostels.

Cost: ridiculously affordable! Hostels cost from €10-20 and usually include breakfast. Intercountry bus journeys cost €4-10.

Montenegro

Solo travel rating: easy

Montenegro is easily one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and a real hidden gem!

Kotor is like a less crowded and cheaper Dubrovnik (with a lot more cats and a cat museum!) while Budva is a more fancy beach destination, and the adorable town of Stari Grad is an ideal place to unwind.

If the idea of long bus rides and constantly moving accommodation sounds tiring, you’ll like Montenegro because the country is so small you can pick a base and do day trips. From Kotor, I took Viator trips all over.

Safety: 10/10.

Meeting other travellers: easy if you stay at Old Town Kotor hostel and join their boat tours and other day trips.

Cost: Somewhere between cheap Albania and touristic Croatia. I found Kotor and Budva to be the most expensive places by far, especially in summer.

Romania

Solo travel rating: medium

romania best solo female travel places

I had a great time travelling solo in Romania from exploring colourful Timisoara (visually my favourite city in Romania), the idyllic villages of Transylvania, visiting Dracula’s Castle from Brasov and meeting other travellers for a night out in Bucharest (although – heads up – I didn’t find much else to love about the capital).

Safety: 7/10. Parts of Bucharest feel slightly sketchy but Transylvania is super safe.

Meeting other travellers: easy in Bucharest hostels but harder in Transylvania.

Cost: very affordable compared to Western Europe.

The only downsides? Getting around is longwinded because trains are so slow, and I got slightly bored in the evenings in the small Transylvanian towns.

Best places for solo female travel in Asia

Ahh, Asia, my first love of travel! My first experiences of different cultures unlike my own took place in Asia, as did my first experiences of being independent and self-sufficient as a solo traveller.

When I talk about Asia in relation to first-time solo travel destinations, I mainly mean Southeast Asia. Around here, there’s a clear backpacker route so it couldn’t be easier to make friends on a similar journey to you.

Read next: the best places for solo travel in Asia

Thailand

Solo travel rating: easy

Not to be dramatic but Thailand is probably the best place in the world AND it’s safe, friendly and affordable. For a fantastic solo female travel destination, it’s a winner especially if you’re keen to meet other travellers and enjoy the nightlife.

Best destinations for solo travel in Thailand:

  • Chiang Mai – this charming city is one of my favourites in Asia. There’s a ridiculously high number of temples within the Old City Walls, and even more coffee shops and street food markets. Stay in a hostel to meet travellers to explore Northern Thailand with. Riding a motorbike to Pai in the mountains should be on your Asia bucket list!
  • Bangkok now here’s a city people don’t give enough time! It’s most famous for tacky Khao San Road but there’s so much more for example world-class art galleries, peaceful riverside walks, incredible temples, world-class gastronomy and third-wave coffee shops
  • The islands – there are countless islands depending what you’re into. Learn to dive on Koh Tao, party under the full moon on Koh Phangan, relax on luxurious Koh Samui, enjoy the hippie vibe of Koh Lanta or get off-grid on Koh Mak or the Koh Yao islands.

Safety: 9/10. There’s not much crime in Thailand. It’s also an LGBT-friendly destination.

Meeting other travellers: probably the easiest place in the world!

Cost: very affordable. You can eat street for a dollar and stay in world-class hostels from $7!

Malaysia

Solo travel rating: easy

melaka malaysia
Culturally diverse Malaysia

Malaysia is another place I’ve travelled solo and had a FANTASTIC time. Malaysia is a country with a rich, colourful culture, friendly people and amazing diversity. You could bask on a beach, trek in the rainforest and shop in a global megacity within the same 2 week Malaysia itinerary!

Malaysia feels slightly more Western and a bit less chaotic than Thailand so it’s a good place for first time solo travellers. I love the glitzy capital but two days in Kuala Lumpur is probably enough. My favourite place is Penang Island with its amazing street art, street food and cool cafes.

As far as charming small cities go, I love Melaka and Ipoh. Langkawi is your easily-accessed beach destination but if you have time and visit between April and August, find paradise in the Perenthains! Then, soak up the countryside and drink tea in the misty Cameron Highlands. Oh, and spot wildlife on jungle walks in Taman Negara Nat Park. Told you Malaysia has everything!

Safety: 9/10. There’s little crime. Although Malaysia is not an especially progressive country in terms of women’s or LGBT issues, this shouldn’t affect tourists.

Meeting other travellers: easy. KL and Georgetown (Penang) have the liveliest backpacker scene. The only places you might stay solo are the Perenthains and Taman Negara.

Cost: very affordable. Hostels start from $7 and street food can cost less than $1.

Read next: solo female travel in Malaysia

Rishikesh, India

Solo travel rating: advanced

Rishikesh india
Beatles Ashram, Rishikesh

India won’t come up in many guides to the best solo travel destinations but it depends what you’re looking for. If you have yet to bite the bullet and travel alone, then no: solo travel in India probably isn’t a great idea. But in 2019, when I was comfortable travelling in Southeast Asia and wanted a new challenge, it was rewarding, liberating and life-affirming!

One of the best places to travel solo in India is Rishikesh. This wonderful city in the state of Uttarakhand is known for its many yoga retreats and studios where you can try meditation, sound healing and so much more. It’s super popular with travellers so it’s easy to make friends.

Other things to do in Rishikesh include visiting the Beatles Ashram (where they wrote songs in the 60s) and visiting the waterfalls and riverside beaches around the town. The staff at Shiv Shakti Hostel take guests on fun day trips.

Not only are there cheap and delicious local restaurants serving authentic fare but there are gorgeous cafes in Rishikesh serving coffee, baked goods, veggie burgers and falafel. If you need a break from Indian food then Rishikesh is one of the best places to do it. (NOTE – Rishikesh is a dry state so don’t expect a glass of wine each night/ever!).

Safety: 6/10. Attitudes towards women in India have a long way to go; always be cautious. Although you may receive a lot of stares, I find these are mostly just curious. I have visited India 3 times and nothing bad has ever happened.

Meeting other travellers: very easy especially if you stay in hostels or take a yoga retreat.

Cost: India is one of the cheapest places I’ve been; read the India budget travel guide I put together.

Taiwan

Solo travel rating: medium.

Taiwan
Colourful Kaohsiung city

In terms of cost, safety and ease of getting around, Taiwan a fantastic destination for women to travel alone. I’ve only listed it as a ‘medium’ rather than easy destination because I didn’t meet many other travellers and therefore felt a bit lonely.

Taipei and Kaohsiung are cool cities with loads to do and fantastic food, Taroko is a wonderful place for hiking and there are beautiful beaches in Kenting National Park. It truly has a bit of everything and is one of my favourite Asian countries!

Read next: solo travel in Taiwan

Safety: 10/10. 

Meeting other travellers: Not the best. I found it was mainly locals in hostels and they didn’t always speak much English.

Cost: accommodation isn’t too cheap but everything else is, especially if you eat at the amazing night markets.

South Korea

Solo travel rating: medium

south korea

South Korea is a wonderful country for any type of travel. It was Seoul that I really fell in love with: there are endless museums, food markets, shopping streets, nightclubs and temples, plus it’s easy to escape the city for hikes.

There were other places in Korea I liked such as Jeju Island (although this wasn’t the best place for solo travel because it was hard to get around), Jeonju, Busan and Gyeongju. I hope to return to South Korea many more times!

Read next: complete guide to solo travel in South Korea

Safety: 10/10. 

Meeting other travellers: easy in hostels in Seoul and during activities and day tours.

Cost: pretty expensive by Asian standards.

I gave Korea a medium difficulty rating because there are a few meals – like Korean bbq – that aren’t accessible for solo travellers. I’m still bitter 😉 Aside from that, Korean food is AMAZING and part of the reason to visit!

Bali

Solo travel rating: medium

Bali indonesia

Why travel solo to Bali? Well, it’s one of the closest places on earth to paradise. Balinese food is delicious (especially for vegans), the people are friendly and the rich Hindu culture is fascinating.

Having spent several months doing the digital nomad thing in Bali and travelling the island extensively, I can vouch for Canggu, Ubud and Uluwatu as well as closeby islands like the Nusas, Gilis and Lombok to add to your Bali itinerary.

It’s a little harder to break off the tourist track than in places like Thailand and Vietnam but it’s doable, and worth it when you do.

What I didn’t like about solo travel in Bali? There’s no public transport. Scooter is the best way to get around cheaply but as a solo traveller who isn’t a confident driver, I felt stuck. Between destinations such as Ubud and Canggu, I had to rely on taxis as there were no buses.

Safety: 10/10. 

Meeting other travellers: easy thanks to loads of hostels and day tours etc.

Cost: it can be super cheap if you eat local food and travel around by scooter. But due to its reputation as a honeymoon destination, it’s easy to splash the cash on fancy hotels, floating breakfasts, flower baths and boujee brunches if you wish.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Solo travel rating: easy

Borobudur Java solo travel destinations women
Borobudur

Want to see more of Indonesia than Bali? Well, in my opinion, the best destination for solo female travel in Indonesia is Yogyakarta on Java island. This pleasant, safe city is centered around the beautiful Sultan’s Palace complex and there are lively markets to try Javanese food like Malioboro.

Prawirotaman Street is where to get your Western comforts at the many cafes. I can recommend a great hostel near there called Good Karma. Best yet is watching sunrise over Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple site in the world.

Safety: 9/10. 

Meeting other travellers: I met nice people in Good Karma hostel but generally you won’t meet as many travellers here as some other places in Southeast Asia. But the locals are so friendly!

Cost: very very cheap!

Vietnam

Solo travel rating: easy

vietnam
Imperial city, Hue

I’ve raved about other countries in this blog post. Forget them all. Vietnam had my heart before I even arrived and I can never return enough times.

It’s safe, cheap and beautiful with a diverse range of destinations from beaches to mountains, captivating cities and idyllic small towns. OH, AND THE FOOD. Drool. If you’re looking for easy solo female destinations, shut the computer and jump on the first flight to Saigon or Hanoi!

But first, read my manymanymany Vietnam blogs, please.

Wonderful experiences include taking a multi-day cruise through Ha Long Bay, hiking and visiting local communities in Sapa, wandering the charming streets of Hoi An, finding the best banh mi in every city, exploring ancient temples in Hue, driving the Hai Van Pass, marvelling at cave complexes in Phong Nha Nat Park, eating street food in Hanoi, and floating through the Mekong Delta.

Safety: 10/10. 

Meeting other travellers: incredibly easy.

Cost: probably the cheapest place I’ve been apart from India.

Read next: a complete guide to solo travel in Vietnam

The Philippines

Solo travel rating: easy

Philippines Backpacking
Cruisin’ through El Nido

I had the time of my life solo backpacking in the Philippines. The beaches are out of this world and the people are the friendliest I’ve EVER encountered. There’s a great backpacking scene especially in Palawan (there are countless boat trips and other things to do in El Nido) and Siargao.

There are Filipino islands for everyone whether you’re looking to party or get off-grid. As a foodie, the only thing I didn’t love about the Philippines was the food: it was usually fried without much fresh stuff in sight.

Safety: 8/10. Manila can be sketchy but everywhere else is great.

Meeting other travellers: very easy. Stay in hostels, go island hopping… You’ll meet lots of people doing the same!

Cost: although everything else is cheap, many of the islands require a flight to reach. Factor this in if you plan to visit multiple islands.

Best places for solo female travel in the Americas

Latin America may not have the best reputation for travel safety but, like any continent, there are good and bad places. I’m here to tell you some of the best!

Oaxaca, Mexico 

Solo travel rating: medium

oaxaca mexico
Charming Oaxaca

Mexico is a diverse destination but so often it gets cast into two basic camps by Western media: dangerous or basic (think Cancun resorts and Tulum Insta-cafes). I live in Mexico City solo and don’t see either side to the country. With many microclimates and subcultures, it’s one of the most exciting and rewarding places to travel.

For solo travel in Mexico, I don’t recommend Cancun because it’s crazy expensive and focused on resort tourism which doesn’t cater well to solo travel. Then, of course, there are places in Mexico that aren’t safe for travel. For a VERY happy medium, I would like to introduce one of my favourite places: Oaxaca!

Oaxaca is a city and a state and I mean both, but mainly the city. It’s the most charming, gorgeous place with so many wonderful cafes, restaurants and amazing street food. Do your shopping here because it’s an arty city with many crafts markets and art studios.

While in Oaxaca City, take some day trips. Visit Hierve el Agua by day tour or local bus & colectivo (although this is, shall we say, an ‘adventure’), take a day trip to Monte Alban ruins, and see the world’s largest tree and learn about handicrafts in Teotitlan del Valle.

If you visit at the end of October, the Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca are some of the best in Mexico.

Other places for solo female travellers in Oaxaca include the beach towns of Puerto Escondido and Mazunte.

Safety: 8/10. 

Meeting other travellers: very easy; there’s loads going on.

Cost: super cheap if you eat street food but close to Western prices in upmarket restaurants.

Havana, Cuba

Solo travel rating: advanced

cuba solo travel

This is somewhere I debated including because it’s not a great place for first time solo travellers. However, I’m so grateful for my rich and rewarding solo travels in Cuba so I decided to include it with the caveat that it’s not a very sociable place to travel and, without easy access to the internet, it can be isolating and hard to do research. Do all your Googling in advance!

Only you know whether you could handle that at this stage in your solo travel journey.

So, why visit at all you might wonder? From the fantastic old buildings to the classic cars, rooftop bars, free-flowing cocktails and amazing beaches, Cuba is captivating. Hearing about this bizarre and unique country from the locals was a learning curve I’ll remember.

Safety: 6/10. There’s no crime in Cuba so you’re very safe but I would note that men often stare and catcall. Although they won’t hurt you, it’s not pleasant.

Meeting other travellers: not the easiest as there aren’t many hostels. I would suggest joining Airbnb experience bar crawls. I had a great time on these!

Cost: fairly affordable if you stay in casa particulars (local homes). Street food is cheap – but not very tasty – and restaurants aimed at tourists aren’t cheap.

Guatemala

Solo travel rating: easy

Lake Atitlan

Guatemala is one of the safest countries in Central America known for its striking, volcanic landscape and Mayan culture.

The most popular city for travellers to visit is Antigua, a UNESCO Heritage Site. This charming colonial city has lovely cafes and plenty of Spanish schools should you wish to learn more of the local lingo. This is a good idea because it can be hard to travel in Central America without at least basic Spanish. For a physical challenge, spend 2 days hiking Acatenango Volcano!

Lake Atitlan is a wonderful place to spend a week with some of the most popular towns being San Pedro, San Marcos and Panajachel… Although I personally preferred the less touristic ones of San Juan, Santiago, Santa Catarina and San Antonio.

Read more in my Guatemala solo travel guide!

Although it’s a long journey (10 hours from basically anywhere else you’ll go), Semuc Chapey is a stunning region with waterfalls, caves and brilliant blue pools for swimming. I also loved spending a few days on Flores island close to the border with Belize (side note, Belize is also good for solo travel!). From here, you can take a day trip to Tikal, some of the most impressive Mayan ruins in existence.

solo travel Guatemala

Safety: 8/10.

Meeting others: you’ll meet plenty of travellers in tourist hubs including other solo women travellers. The hostels are great!

Cost: affordable compared to touristic places in Mexico and Belize. Volcano hikes will be your main cost! Hostels start from $10 and activities and day tours from $15.

New York

Solo travel rating: easy

As one of the world’s most iconic cities, New York is a must for museums, galleries, food, shopping and green spaces… Whatever you want, NY has it!

By travelling alone to New York, you won’t have to worry about what anyone else wants to do. You’re in charge of your own itinerary and can do, see and eat whatever, whenever and wherever you want. There’s so much to do that you won’t get bored, plus New Yorkers are too busy to think twice about the fact you’re alone!

Great things to do alone in New York include heading up to the Top of the Rock for pano views, admiring modern art at MOMA, walking the High Line and even catching a Broadway show. Why not, it’s not like you can talk in the theatre anyway!

high line new york
Walking the High Line

Safety: 7/10. Big cities are never the safest but there’s no reason you shouldn’t travel to New York solo.

Meeting others: Americans are friendly although everyone in New York is in a rush. Hostels aren’t generally on the level of Europe/Asia but The Local NY is a good one with a cafe/bar and nightly entertainment, located in Queens just a 15-minute subway ride to Times Square and Broadway.

Cost: New York is one of the world’s most expensive cities. After taxes, I paid $100 a night to stay in a 4-bed female dorm at The Local NY and this is one of the most affordable places in the city! To keep costs down, ride the subway for $2.75 a journey and eat casual takeout food like bagels and pizza slices (Joe’s and Bleecker Street in Greenwich do mean $4 slices!).

Canada

Solo travel rating: easy

canada
Joffre Lakes hike near Vancouver

Canada is a year-round destination (well, depending how you handle the cold) with something for every season, such as skiing in winter and hiking in summer. Getting into the outdoors while travelling solo provides the ultimate me-time, while cities like Toronto and Vancouver will provide your city fix.

There are working holiday visas available in Canada for many nationalities (ages 18-30) so it could be a great opportunity to work and travel.

Vancouver solo travel: after my recent 2023 trip, I can vouch for Van as a fantastic, walkable city with an outdoorsy feel. Sure, there are some city pleasures like museums and galleries (the Anthropology Museum is worth a visit) and neighbourhoods such as Gastown and Chinatown, but the main appeal is getting into nature.

For a mini dose of nature without leaving the city, take a walk around Stanley Park. Nearby the Kitsilano and Spanish Banks areas have great city beaches and skyline views, and you can walk the Seawall to Granville Island and eat your heart out at the Public Market. 

For trips further afield into BC:

  • Take the ferry to Vancouver Island for a couple of nights and stay in Victoria
  • Ride the gondola up Grouse Mountain (or brave the difficult hike)
  • Take a day or overnight trip to Whistler Village for skiing in winter and hiking in summer
  • Walk the Capilano Suspension Bridge or find the free alternative at Lyn Canyon
  • Go hiking at Joffre Lakes (pictured above) not far from Whistler.

Tip: bring practical footwear and a good raincoat. It’s nicknamed ‘raincouver’ for a reason! Also, be careful around the Chinatown area especially at night as locals with drug-use problems congregate here.

However, the downside to travelling solo in Canada is that hiring a car is the best option outside of the big cities which is an expensive and tiring option for 1 person.

Safety: 10/10. Canada is safe for solo travellers and the locals are a friendly bunch.

Meeting others: easy enough in hostels.

Cost: Canada isn’t a cheap place to travel (especially considering the cost of car hire for one) but there are hostels with kitchens to keep the costs down.

Want more South America inspo? See my guides to solo travel in Patagonia and Chile

Best places for women to travel alone in Oceania

The continent of Oceania has some great destinations for solo women travellers although sadly no cheap ones…

West Coast, Australia

Solo travel rating: easy

Australia is suitable for all types of travel from backpacking to luxury travel. The weather is blissful and there are abundant hostels and excursions to meet other people such as island hopping. Many nationalities qualify for working holiday visas (up to age 35) so it’s a great place to temporarily live as well as travel.

Some of the best solo trips for women include Fraser Island, the Gold Coast, the Whitsundays, Magnetic Island and Cairns. Australia is full of places you have to visit once in a lifetime like the Great Barrier Reef!

In terms of the big cities, Sydney is glamorous with some fantastic hikes (and side trips such as the Blue Mountains), while Melbourne is cool and quirky with unrivalled brunch and coffee culture.

Safety: 10/10.

Meeting other people: super easy. It’s backpacker heaven! The only problem is that, in the cities, dorms are full of people doing working holidays who don’t always want to socialise and explore in the same way as travellers.

Cost: quite expensive. Hostels start from AUD$40. Restaurants can be expensive but hostels generally have kitchens so you can save money by cooking.

New Zealand

Solo travel rating: easy

new zealand travel solo
Cycling between wineries near Queenstown

New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places in the world so it’s little wonder travellers flock there. Aside from one heartbreaking incident that could have happened anywhere, New Zealand has a clean crime record for solo female travellers.

Highlights include exploring the cool city of Wellington, adrenaline-inducing adventures around Queenstown, hiking in Abel Tasman National Park, spying glowworms in Waitomo caves, bathing in bubbling mud spas in Rotuara, trekking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing from Taupo, and landing on Fox Glacier by helicopter. The bucket list experiences are endless!

Like Australia and Canada, there are working holiday visas for many nationalities.

The downside to solo travel? New Zealand is hella spenny. Van life or private rooms are cheaper for those travelling in pairs (an annoying disadvantage of solo travel) so your best bet is to stay in hostels. The other downside to solo New Zealand travel is that some off-grid places and activities – like hiking Mount Cook – can be tricky to reach by public transport but car hire is an expensive option for 1 person.

Safety: 10/10.

Meeting others: this is best done in the bigger towns and cities with hostels.

Cost: bankrupting 😉

Best places for solo female travel in Africa

Africa doesn’t have a great reputation for travel safety. But, having spent months there solo, I know it’s a solo travel myth that Africa is off-limits to solo women. Here are my top picks…

Cape Town, South Africa (and the Garden Route)

Solo travel rating: advanced

cape town travelling alone women destinations

Let’s break this down. Can you visit Cape Town and act as you would elsewhere, walking around alone at night and flashing your valuables? Well, no.

Can you have a safe and trouble-free trip by following the rules while travelling solo in South Africa? YES.

Cape Town is one of my favourite cities in the WORLD. There’s fantastic food, coffee, beaches, hikes, sunsets, wine tasting… It’s bliss!

The other safe place for women to travel solo is the Garden Route: the stretch from Cape Town along the south coast. The best stops include Mossel Bay, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Coffee Bay. Here you can hike, visit beautiful beaches and snorkel with seals.

Safety: 6/10. So long as you take taxis after dark, research new areas (or ask hotel staff) before visiting, wear a secure bag and don’t flash valuables or cash, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Meeting others: very easy thanks to hostels and the Baz Bus, a service connecting destinations along the Garden Route.

Cost: Pretty affordable compared to Western countries. I found things to cost half what they would in the UK.

Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

Solo travel rating: medium

zanzibar

Zanzibar island is one of the safest places in Tanzania which is one of the safest countries in Africa. If you need more persuasion, Zanzibar is idyllic with white sand beaches and numerous opportunities for boat trips, snorkelling and diving. Stone Town is the gorgeous capital with cute alleyways, handicrafts for sale and wonderful food.

Although it has more of a luxurious reputation, there are a few hostels should you want to meet others and keep the costs down during solo travel in Zanzibar.

Safety: 8/10. It’s best not to walk at night (apart from short distances in the tourist centre of Stone Town).

Meeting others: it’s not known as a backpacker’s haven like the Southeast Asian islands but you may have good luck in hostels and during excursions.

Cost: although prices are geared towards tourists, you get good value for your money. In Stone Town, there are lots of cheap local restaurants and a night market with street food.

Thanks for reading!

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SOLO TRAVEL RESOURCES

Getting around by air – I use Skyscanner to find the best-value flights, using the ‘search by month’ tool to find the cheapest dates. You can also use the ‘to anywhere’ feature if you’re flexible on where you’re going.

For Asia buses and trains, I use 12GoAsia. The search feature allows you to compare prices and durations.

For Europe trains, I always check RailEurope and Trainline to compare fares. For buses, I use Flixbus wherever it operates and Busbud elsewhere. Omio is a handy platform that compares the price and duration of all transport options between any two points.

To stay connected, buy an e-SIM with Airalo and use data as normal. Browse their packages for 200+ regions.

I use Booking.com for accommodation. They have the best range of hotels and self-catering apartments, plus you can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use Hostelworld.

To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets.

For activities, I use GetYourGuide and Viator as they have a huge range of affordable tours.

Need travel insurance? I use True Traveller (for UK & Europe residents) since it’s affordable but covers everything you’d need including various activities, valuables and pre-existing conditions. Unlike some companies, they insure you if you’re already travelling / don’t yet have your flight home booked. Get a quote.

For travel insurance for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing.

Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and tips!

2 thoughts on “30 Best Places For Solo Female Travel – World Edition!

  1. Tabitha says:

    Hi Rose,
    really interesting and affirming info on your site, but I would like to know how you dealt with animal welfare, especially in the Philippines , Korea and Taiwan. I have avoided visiting them because they eat dogs! Did you see this happening? I’m travelling in Nepal and India at the moment, then onto the Maldives and a big leap to Costa Rica.
    Cheers, Tabby

    • Rose says:

      Hey Tabitha. Yes, I did see dog meat served in Vietnam. It is certainly a different cultural norm and can be distressing for us when that’s not part of our culture. But ultimately, these are such rich and wonderful travel destinations.. I wouldn’t let it put you off going. Enjoy your travels!

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