Solo Travel in Europe – Best Places, Tips & Safety

destinations solo europe trip

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Hi friends! After a whole year travelling around Europe (with some periods settled in one place while working), I’m here to tackle the biiiig topic of solo travel in Europe. Since I recently wrote a guide to the best solo female travel destinations in the world, alongside a solo travel Asia edition, this guide to travelling alone in Europe is overdue!

Obviously, Europe is a huge continent with over 44 countries but I’ll try to do the topic justice so you get an idea of the best solo travel destinations in Europe alongside other useful details like cost, safety for solo female travellers, logistics, making friends and more!

Read next: the ultimate guide to solo female travel


Accommodation: / Hostelworld

Getting around: flight / car / bus / train

Activities: GetYourGuide / Viator

Travel insurance: True Traveller (UK & Europe residents) / Hey Mundo (all travellers) / Safety Wing (digital nomads)

Pin this solo travel Europe guide on Pinterest!

Note – this guide isn’t too much about gender; I wrote a separate guide to solo female travel in Europe for that!

How to get around Europe as a solo traveller


Buses are the cheapest way to get around, and although they’re slower than trains, they can still be comfortable and easy to use. Flixbus offers affordable rates on bus routes to most major cities, or book tickets at local bus stations for the cheapest rates.

Note – in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, there is less availability of Flixbuses but plenty of local buses.


Train services across Europe are reliable and easy to navigate, particularly in Western Europe. Book train tickets in advance on Trainline or Raileasy for cheaper rates on long journeys or cross-country routes. Or just grab a ticket from the local train station when taking less-congested routes.

If you plan on visiting multiple places during solo travel in Europe, look into the Eurail Pass, which covers 33 European countries. However, the Pass requires taking many journeys to justify the cost, so it’s best for multi-city holidays. For many travellers, avoiding the pass and spending longer enjoying fewer destinations is often cheaper. 

Tip: use a comparison website like Omio to compare train and bus routes across Europe and book tickets in advance.


Budget carriers like RyanAir and EasyJet provide cheap flights around Europe. This isn’t the most sustainable option (and France has famously banned short-haul internal flights), but often necessary at the beginning and end of your Europe solo travel adventure. I use Skyscanner to compare prices and book tickets.

Renting a car

If you choose to rent a car, you’ll have the advantage of exploring remote areas that are tricky to reach on public transportation. On the downside, driving alone could be quite isolating and harder to meet people – both locals and other travellers. It’s also a pricey option if you’re travelling alone.

If you choose to rent a car, make sure you have the correct license (and know the local traffic laws). Getting insurance is an absolute must. Finally, consider the cost of gas when deciding if driving is the right option for you. Taking the bus is usually more budget-friendly for one person.

Use Rentalcars to compare rental options and find the best deal

Tip: Check in with your hostel (or accommodation) to ask them for directions to your next destination – they know the area better than we do and often know what the cheapest travel option is.

Best places to solo travel in Europe

I’ve always had a fantastic time backpacking Europe alone, and don’t think you can go wrong when exploring this beautiful continent unless you pick somewhere very expensive when you’re travelling on a low budget.

Below, I’ve considered aspects like safety, affordability, convenience, ease of meeting people and variety of attractions to put together this list of the best solo travel destinations in Europe…

Porto, Portugal

Solo travel rating: easy.

After 3 months living in Porto, I can’t even tell you how much I love this city in Portugal or how many fond memories I’ll always have of being there! As well as being very liveable, it’s a fantastic European city for solo travel because it’s safe, friendly and relatively affordable. There are plenty of things to do in Porto for city lovers and foodies!

Complete guide to solo female travel

The city is an aesthetic dream drenched in blue and white azulejos (tiles) with fantastic sunset viewpoints. It’s also a must for history lovers with countless heritage buildings.

The cuisine of Porto won’t win any awards but I personally adored the pastel de natas and even the OTT francesinha sandwiches! Famous port wine can be sampled in the Nova de Gaia neighbourhood or during a day trip to the Douro Valley.

Follow my 3 day Porto itinerary

Safety: 10/10.

Meeting people: easy as there are plenty of hostels, good nightlife, and tours and activities from food tours to day trips from Porto.

very affordable compared to other European capital cities (I’ve had 3-course meals with a drink in the centre for €10!) although I’m not sure how long this will last as Porto becomes better known…

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Although Europe is safe for solo travel, I would never advise travelling without travel insurance. Available to UK and European travellers, True Traveller offer 24-hour emergency assistance. You can buy cover when you’re already travelling and don’t need a return flight 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.

Lisbon, Portugal

Solo travel rating: easy.

After my many months in Porto, I confess I am biased and prefer this smaller Portuguese city, however Lisbon is undeniably one of the best places in Europe to travel solo. Its large, cosmopolitan nature (with plenty of hidden gems thrown in) make it a winner for those that love big cities with lots to see and do.

It’s safe and easy to navigate thanks to the extensive Metro network and city buses. Top attractions include São Jorge Castle, Carmo Convent, Jerónimos Monastery in Belem, the many miradouros (viewpoints) and Sintra Palace.

Read next: complete guide to solo travel in Lisbon

Some of the best neighbourhoods are Chiado (the shopping and entertainment hub), Bairro Alto (charming cobbled streets and nightlife), Alfama (historic hilly streets with impressive viewpoints) and Anjos (cheaper accommodation and easy access to the city centre on the Metro).

Try ginja (cherry liqueur), pastel de natas (especially at Pastéis de Belém), and don’t miss the nightlife and fado music in Barrio Alto! The Time Out Market is a cool but pricey place to eat.

belem lisbon Europe solo trip destination
Cool street art in Lisbon (by Bordalo II)

I’d recommend at least a 3 day Lisbon itinerary but you could easily spend longer taking day trips and enjoying the cafe culture and nightlife.

Safety: 9/10, there’s not much to worry about apart from pickpockets in the crowded summer months.

cheaper than the UK, France or Germany but catching up these days, especially if you eat in the city centre.

Meeting people: so easy since there are literally hostels designed for solo travellers such as Goodmorning Solo Traveller Hostel with 3 free meals a day plus beer and sangria!

Note – there are few places in Portugal unsuitable for solo travel, apart from certain places in the Algarve like Albufeira aimed at families and partyers on package holidays, and Madeira Island and the Azores where you NEED a car (which are expensive to hire) and the driving is difficult and hilly.

Prague, Czech Republic

Solo travel rating: easy.

I’ve always had an amazing time visiting Prague while solo travelling in Europe. It’s an ideal city break no matter your travel preferences, with a great cafe scene, dynamic nightlife, and many historical and cultural attractions.

While the city won’t make it onto a list of the world’s best foodie destinations soon, I enjoyed sinking my teeth into the Prague food after a busy day exploring. 

Safety: 8/10. The Czech Republic is one of the safest countries in Europe to travel solo; just watch your bags in touristy areas, especially in peak season. 

Meeting people: easy! Especially if you stay in a hostel and join a bar crawl. If that’s not your thing, join a free walking tour to meet other travellers.

Cost: mid-range, at least by European standards. It’s about halfway between European budget favourites like Albania and pricey Western capitals, so you can expect to pay around €6-12 for a main meal in a restaurant and €2-3 for a pint.

Hostel: Hostel One Home for partying, Hostel Downtown for cosy vibes just moments from the Old Town, or Sophie’s Hostel for stylish, well-located accommodation popular with solo female travellers.

Budapest, Hungary

Solo travel rating: easy.

There are many great reasons to consider Budapest in Hungary as the best city in Europe for solo travel: it’s cheap, safe and has great nightlife and many hostels. I’ve been several times and can definitely vouch for it as a great European destination to travel alone.

It’s easy to keep busy during a Budapest itinerary, from treating yourself to a relaxing soak in a hot spa, cruising down the Danube by boat, visiting the beautiful Fisherman’s Bastion or eating your way around the best Budapest food spots.

For social travellers, stay in a hostel and check out the cool ruin bars or clubs with new friends. If you prefer travelling at a slower pace, you’ll be happy for hours strolling around the gorgeous local parks, visiting Margaret Island in summer, or people-watching in one of the iconic coffee shops.

Safety: 8/10.

Meeting people: easy.

Budget: affordable, at least compared to other Western European capital cities.

Best hostels: two of the best are the Loft and Carpe Noctem.

Barcelona, Spain

Solo travel rating: easy.

With delicious food, incredible architecture, lively nightlife, and even a city beach and hiking trails, you won’t regret picking Barcelona as a solo Europe travel destination. I recommend spending at least three days in Barcelona, so you can enjoy the city at a relaxed pace, exploring the charming backstreets and tucking into every tapas dish on offer. 

If you want to avoid the crowds, avoid Barcelona in peak season (July and August) and forgo tourist traps like Las Ramblas. Otherwise, it’s one of the best solo city breaks Europe offers.

Safety: 7/10. You don’t need to worry about violent crime but it’s common to hear pickpocketing stories. I have one myself: my phone was stolen from my closed bag! It doesn’t put me off going back, but next time I’d wear a secure bag and keep my eye on it in crowded spaces and on public transport.

Meeting people: easy. From meeting people in hostels to joining group tours, there are plenty of ways to make friends solo travelling in Barcelona. 

Cost: Barcelona can get expensive quickly if you feel like splurging but there are a few ways to save on costs. Stay in hostels starting from €18, find affordable tapas by avoiding the touristy centre and don’t pick up your souvenirs from the iconic La Boqueria market. It’s worth a browse, but too pricey to buy!

Hostels: Top-rated Hostel One Sants is ideal for solo travellers who want to meet people, but the eco-friendly Casa Jam Barcelona is perfect if you want a more relaxing, bohemian vibe.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin ireland

Solo travel rating: easy.

Ireland is definitely one of the best places in Europe for solo travel, and Dublin is an ideal pick for first-time solo travellers. It’s safe and welcoming with the added bonus of having English as a first language. Plus, there’s a fab mix of outdoor adventures (the rugged Irish landscapes are beyond beautiful!) and city activities to entertain you. 

Speaking from experience, Dublin is also a great solo travel Europe winter destination! Nothing beats hiding from the rain in a cosy Irish pub (visiting the Temple Bar area is a must!) and enjoying a Guinness to the tune of live folk music. 

Safety: 10/10.

Meeting people: easy! I recommend choosing a small hostel unless you’re super confident and can break the ice at one of the massive chain ones!

Cost: EXPENSIVE! Unfortunately, inflation has only raised the cost of your dream trip to Dublin. So make some packed lunches, take advantage of the free activities (like walking tours – which are also a great way to meet people) and maybe order one Guinness instead of three. 

Hostel: Jacobs Inn is one of the most popular hostels in Dublin. I stayed at City Hostel in Galway and loved it! 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

amsterdam europe solo travel

Solo travel rating: easy.

Amsterdam is a great European city for solo travel if you’re looking for a thriving party scene that welcomes people travelling alone. However, there’s tons to do besides nightlife.

With scenic canals, numerous cultural attractions (including the famous Anne Frank House – well worth a visit) and picturesque architecture, Amsterdam always makes for a memorable trip. 

Safety: 9/10.

Cost: Certainly not the cheapest of European cities. Take advantage of free attractions, cycle around the city and avoid touristy restaurants to save some cash.

Meeting people: pretty easy with hostels, free walking tours and other organised activities such as bar crawls. 

Hostels: ClinkNOORD is a popular option for solo travellers, though the comfortable and award-winning Cocomama is worth a look, too. 

London, England

Pretty Notting Hill

Solo travel rating: easy.

As a Brit who lived in London for years, I know A LOT about this city although, of course, I’ve never visited as a tourist. It’s a fantastic city with SO much to see and do, plenty of free events and activities (greatly needed given the cost of UK travel!) and cool areas like Brixton, Shoreditch and Camden Town.

Some of the best things to do alone in London include visiting museums like the British Museum and the National History Museum, relaxing and walking in parks like Hyde Park, Primrose Hill and Greenwich Park, and grazing around the many London food markets like Borough Market and Maltby Street.

Safety: 7/10. It has all the same risks as any big city but the central areas are safe.

Meeting people: Brits aren’t always the most openly friendly but we’re nice when you get to know us! Still, everyone is in a rush in London, but there are always countless internationals around so check events on Meetup, Couchsurfing and traveller Facebook groups.

Cost: SO expensive. It’s best to visit for just a few days or utilise supermarkets and hostel kitchens to save money. Take the Tube, local buses and walk whenever possible.

Hostel: easily one of the best London hostels is Wombats located close to cool Shoreditch.

Berlin, Germany

Solo travel rating: easy.

TOP PICK for LGBT and vegan solo travellers in Europe!

Considered one of Europe’s trendiest capital cities, Berlin is much more than just quirky attractions…although there’s a lot of those to be found, from street art to underground clubs and a weird AF museum dedicated to David Hasselhoff!

There’s plenty to learn from Berlin, with museums depicting the city’s complex history and the remains of the Berlin Wal, now decorated in colourful street art. 

Some of the historic destinations, such as Cold War bunkers and spy stations, have now been repurposed into modern attractions, highlighting the shifts the city has been through and the vibrant place it is today.

Safety: 8/10. Pickpocketing is a problem in any city, but on the whole, Berlin is very safe.

Meeting people: easy peasy, from hostel activities and bar crawls to historic walking tours and even street art classes.

Cost: unfortunately Berlin is pretty pricey!

Hostels: EastSeven Hostel Berlin and the Circus Hostel are popular with solo travellers.

Paris, France

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Solo travel rating: easy.

Paris is an expensive and busy city yet still one of the most popular destinations in Europe for solo travel known for its history, food (éclairs and croissants, come at me!) and sights like the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Essential sights include the Louvre, Notre-Dame and the Musée d’Orsay, but you could also spend a lifetime exploring smaller museums and galleries (many of which are free), taking a boat ride along the Seine, reading or writing in a beautiful cafe or bookshop, and eating to your heart’s content!

Safety: 7/10. Like London or any big world capital, there are always opportunists who will prey on tourists, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t visit Paris solo.

Meeting people:
also like London, this isn’t a city known for overly accommodating locals but you shouldn’t have any problems making friends in hostels.

‘spenny especially in touristic locations. At least the bakeries are next level so you can avoid pricey restaurants.

The People Paris Bercy and St Christophers are two unbeatable options.

Best European countries for solo holiday vibes

Now we’ve covered the top mini breaks, I decided to talk about the best solo holiday destinations in Europe. Some vacation spots are unsuitable for solo travel in Europe, for example places that are very expensive or radiate honeymoon vibes (an awkward trip for one!).

I’ve picked some places well-known enough that you can meet other travellers and benefit from good tourist infrastructure with the option to party if that’s your thing…

Dalmatia, Croatia

zadar croatia europe breaks solo travel
Zadar is the perfect holiday for solo travellers in Europe

Solo travel rating: easy.

Croatia boasts beautiful beaches, waterfalls and other natural features, plus lots of history and culture AND great nightlife. How many places can offer all of these?

Depending WHEN you visit Dalmatia, it can easily be considered one of the best Europe solo travel destinations. However, I would avoid visiting Dubrovnik or Split Old Town in July and August otherwise it won’t be pocket-friendly, plus you won’t be able to move for crowds! The coastal cities are largely closed over winter but, if you can visit in shoulder season, both cities are fantastic.

I can vouch for the many things to do in Split after spending 3 months living there. With islands nearby like Brac, Vis, Hvar and Korcula plus the famous Krka Falls and Klis Fortress used for Game of Thrones filming, the city offers better day trips than Dubrovnik.

There are also some great lesser-visited coastal destinations in Dalmatia like Zadar, Omis and the Makarska Riviera.

Flixbus operate between bigger cities otherwise you can rely on local buses. On the gorgeous Istrian Peninsular, I caught Arriva buses booked via the Omio website.

Read next: solo travel in Croatia

Safety: 10/10.

Meeting people: very easy in Split and Dubrovnik, harder in more family-orientated destinations like Istria.

Cost: reasonable during the off-season but expensive in peak season. Avoid city centre restaurants in Split and Dubrovnik.

Hostels: Hostel Angelina in Dubrovnik, Backpackers Fairytale in Split and Downtown Boutique in Zadar.

Greek island-hopping

Image by Sofia from Pixabay

Solo travel rating: easy.

From its tranquil, picture-perfect coastline, fantastic Mediterranean cuisine (I’m hungry just thinking about it) and iconic landmarks that are historically and culturally significant worldwide, Greece is perfectly suited for solo travel in Europe.

There are many excellent Greek Islands to choose from. Crete, Kos, Corfu and Rhodes are among the best beach holidays in Europe for solo travellers as they’re safe and easy to navigate. Santorini and Mykonos are gorgeous but very crowded and pricey in summer. Both are great for nightlife.

If you plan on island hopping, make sure you book your ferry tickets in advance, especially in the peak summer months or you might miss out. 

Safety: 7/10.

Cost: expensive. Beds in dorms on the popular islands can easily cost €40 in summer and get booked up months ahead. On the popular islands, food and drink is pricey.

Meeting people: easy on well-known islands although if you don’t like to party, you may struggle to meet like-minded types.

Hostels: try Crossroads in Thessaloniki, Sunrock in Corfu and Caveland in Santorini.

Italy – anywhere!

Solo travel rating: easy.

With excellent food, beautiful old-town architecture and plenty of buzzing attractions, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Italy, whether you stick to the cities or head to the coast.

Best of all, it’s easy to get around this tourist-friendly country by bus, train or tour so you don’t have to choose between historical beauties like Rome, Florence, Bologna, Venice, Milan, Verona and the sparkling Amalfi Coast. Read my guide to the best places to travel alone in Italy for women!

Safety: 8/10 – aside from petty crime like pickpocketing, Italy is a popular Europe solo female travel destination. You’ll feel safe taking trains and wandering around the tourist hotspots alone. 

Cost: prices add up quickly in tourist hotspots but a holiday in Italy (especially if you head south) isn’t as expensive as some European countries. 

Meeting people: easy in any of the major tourist destinations.

Hostels: Yellowsquare
in Rome, Milan and Florence is a popular choice.

Best budget destinations for solo backpacking Europe

Many publications will just list destinations in Western Europe for solo travel, perhaps due to not being particularly open-minded, or relying on outdated sources. The countries below are safe, affordable, adventurous and interesting. Don’t overlook them!


Romania europe solo trip

Solo travel rating: medium.

From the colourful city of Timisoara to idyllic towns throughout the fascinating region of Transylvania (including a visit to Dracula’s Castle from Brasov), I loved my solo trip to Romania!

Although travelling around Romania’s key attractions might feel breezy to an experienced solo traveller, the public transport and tourism infrastructure in Romania isn’t as streamlined as in some parts of Europe so that’s something to bear in mind if it’s your first time backpacking Europe alone.

Safety: 7/10. Some parts of Bucharest felt a bit sketchy (I could’ve skipped the capital, honestly), but Transylvania is safe. The locals were very accommodating, even when we couldn’t speak a word of the same language!

Cost: cheap – especially compared to Western Europe! 

Meeting people: easy in Bucharest hostels but trickier in small Transylvanian towns (especially if you’re travelling during the off-season).

Hostels: Secret Boutique Hostel in Brasov and Freeborn Hostel in Timisoara are two of the best.


Hiking the Albanian Alps, a highlight of solo travel in Europe

Solo travel rating: medium.

If you want to find the most magical (but budget-friendly!) solo beach holidays Europe offers, this is where Albania enters the chat! 

Despite the cheap costs, you’re not sacrificing quality by choosing Albania for your solo trip to Europe. On the contrary, it’s one of my favourite countries – ever! – and I’ve been to a lot of places!

The minor disadvantage of visiting Albania solo is that the tourism infrastructure isn’t excellent. The buses are hot and inconvenient, you always need to get cash out as you can rarely pay with card and there are no taxi apps. Tirana isn’t my favourite European capital by any means, although it has some trendy coffee spots and eateries alongside a decent selection of attractions.

But when it comes to stunning outdoor adventures, a trip to Albania is worth it. Head to Himarë for beach town vibes (or go resort-style on a budget in the more touristy destinations of Sarande and Ksamil), Shkodër for hiking the Theth-Valbona trail through beautiful mountain landscapes, and the UNESCO town Berat for wineries and waterfalls. 

Read next: complete guide to solo Albania travel (for women)

Oh, and not forgetting Gjirokaster, my fave place in Albania. I still dream about its cobbled streets, cute markets and tasty regional treats. Definitely make the effort to see the view from the top of the fortress!

Safety: 8/10.

Cost: CHEAP. Hostels cost from €8-12 (usually including breakfast) and cross-country bus trips cost about €4-10.

Meeting people: easy in hostels – Albania is clearly making waves as a great Europe solo backpacker destination.

Hostels: Wanderers Hostel for hiking in Theth (they’ll even organise everything for you), Stone City Hostel in Gjirokaster and Sun Bakers Hostel in Himarë.

Elsewhere in the Balkans

Solo travel rating: easy to medium.

From the stunning and safe Slovenia (the capital, Ljubljana is one of the safest European cities for first-time solo travellers – and don’t miss Lake Bled or Lake Bohinj!) to majestic Montenegro, the Balkans is one of the best places to travel solo in Europe if you’re on a budget. 

Speaking of Montenegro, I adored Kotor where I took several Viator day trips to see the country’s breathtaking scenery. Meanwhile, Belgrade is the fascinating capital of Serbia with culture and cool cafes, and Kosovo is an excellent pick if you’re willing to embrace its underdeveloped tourism scene.

Another great Europe solo travel destination is Bosnia and Herzegovina. From beautiful waterfalls to the fascinating capital of Sarajevo where east meets west, and historic Mostar, there’s tons to see and do, plus tasty cuisine and rich yet heartbreaking recent history.

Read next: the ultimate Balkans travel itinerary

sarajevo bosnia
Sarajevo is worth visiting

Safety: 7/10 – 10/10. Most places in the Balkans are safe to travel alone, though there is some unrest in more remote regions. 

Cost: generally VERY cheap, but pricier in Slovenia, Croatia and some capitals.

Meeting people: easy in capitals and touristy spots. However, hostels can be pretty quiet elsewhere, especially in the off-season.

When is the best time to travel solo in Europe?

Easily the best time is the shoulder season of spring (March-early June) and autumn (September and October) for lower prices and fewer crowds. This is particularly true for Western Europe especially cities like Paris, London, Barcelona and the touristic Italian cities.

If you’re wondering where to travel in July and August, it’s all about the Balkans if you ask me! I was there throughout peak summer, and it wasn’t too expensive or crowded. But it was very hot!

When it comes to winter solo Europe travel, cities in Spain and Portugal don’t get too cold. Then, some cities in Germany, as well as places like Copenhagen, Budapest, Vienna and Prague, are fantastic winter cities due to their world-class Christmas markets.

Tips for solo travel in Europe

Planning a solo trip to Europe? Here are a few tips so you feel confident during your trip!

Safety tips for beginners:

  • Keep an eye on your drink (and don’t leave it unattended)
  • Trust yourself – if it doesn’t feel right, say no! There are endless other things to do in Europe if any particular activity makes you feel uncomfortable. 
  • Keep your belongings secure using hostel lockers and a secure, cross-body bag when you’re out and about.
  • If your home SIM plan doesn’t allow for roaming, pick up a local SIM when you get there.
  • Download offline Google Maps so you can get around with ease.
  • Don’t stress too much! Thousands of people are having fantastic, trouble-free solo trips in Europe as we speak – and I’m proof that going to Europe alone can be the trip of a lifetime!

Budget tips for solo travel in Europe

You may be wondering about the cost of a solo trip to Europe. It highly depends on where you go. In Albania and the rest of the Balkans, you could keep it close to €1,000 a month if you stay in hostels, get local transport and cook your own food from time to time. For the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, you may need to triple that!

Here are a few things to bare in mind if you don’t want to watch your bank account slowly whither away and die in Europe.

How to budget for a Europe solo trip:

  • Although Scandinavia and Iceland are rated highly for safety, they might not be the best solo travel destinations in Europe if you’re worried about your wallet. If you’re on a travelling on a budget, head to the Balkans or Eastern Europe. Or try mid-range city breaks such as Budapest.
  • If you’re deadset on visiting famous European countries, set a daily budget and stick to it. Save extra costs by staying outside of central areas or visiting second cities.
  • Save money on food by swapping touristy city centre restaurants for local places a few streets out. Pick up local snacks at markets or cook meals at your hostel. And go easy on the pints and cocktails 😉
  • Loads of European cities have tons of free activities, such as museums, galleries, walking tours and outdoor activities like hiking. Free city tours are a great option, or look into City Passes to see multiple ticketed attractions at a discount. 
  • Save accommodation costs by bunking in hostels or staying with a local in an Airbnb. 
  • Take the bus over trains and look for budget flights in advance using a tool like Skyscanner.
  • Use a travel-friendly debit card to save on expensive bank fees. I use Revolut and Wise.
  • Visit during shoulder seasons to avoid the pricey European summer.
dalmatia off season
Visiting Dubrovnik in March was a budget option

Ultimate budget travel tip – save on accommodation and food by volunteering using Worldpackers or Workaway. Other benefits include meeting new people and contributing to a worthy cause.

If you decide to sign up, I can offer you a discount on both Workaway and Worldpackers memberships).

Visas and the Schengen Zone

Many nationalities can travel to the European Union without a visa. But, an important thing to note is that, if you don’t have an EU passport, you can only spend 90 days in the Schengen Zone (most of Western Europe AND central Europe) in a 180-day period.

To get ‘out of the zone’, European countries not in the EU include the UK, Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Turkey. From 2024, travellers from outside the EU will have to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation to enter the EU.

Do sufficient research because you can get in trouble for overstaying in the Schengen Zone!

Festivals and events in Europe

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland – bonus points for the fact that the festival takes place when the students are off for summer, so there are some great, central university rooms up for grabs – perfect for your Europe solo trip if you can snag one before they’re all booked up.

La Tomatina, Spain – get stuck in (or just sticky) at the iconic tomato-throwing festival. The easiest way solo travellers can get involved is by joining a tour. 

Shambala, England – this mid-sized fest isn’t too overwhelming for solo travellers, primarily since it’s known for its inclusive and sustainable vibe. In fact, you’re sure to find another friendly festivalgoer to help you pitch your tent. (Not to say you’re incapable of doing it on your own, of course… Just that I am!)

Tomorrowland, Belgium – known for its top safety measures and friendly vibes, it’s a great choice for solo travellers who don’t wanna miss out on the European tradition of endless music fests.

Zagreb Folk Fest, Croatia – showcasing the music and culture of Croatia and surrounding countries.

Keukenhof and King’s Day, the Netherlands – friendly Amsterdam is already one of the best solo city breaks in Europe. However, visit during Keukenhof, the Tulip and Flower Festival, for extra charm. If your trip coincides with Kings Day, you’ll see locals and tourists fill the streets wearing orange.

Christmas markets – perfected in Germany but found in capitals and towns all around Europe in winter. Between the festive light displays, great food and mulled wine, they’re perfect for adding a bit of festive sparkle to any solo travel Europe itinerary.

Hogmanay, Scotland – Europe’s coolest NYE party, filled with local tradition and fireworks. 

Thanks for reading!

I hope you’re feeling clued up on Europe solo travel and you have the best trip!

Solo Asia travel guides:

Solo Americas guides:


Getting around by air – I use Skyscanner and search by month to see the cheapest dates.

Driving in Europe – use to compare car rentals in European countries (and all around the world).

For trains, I use RailEurope. The search feature allows you to compare prices, and they show live departure times on the website.

For buses, I use FlixBus. Find journeys between European countries from €1! 

Use Omio to compare trains and buses in one search. It’s so handy!

For hotels and self-catering apartments, I use You can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use

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

Browse tours and activities on GetYourGuide.

To stay connected, download an e-SIM with Airalo and connect immediately. Browse packages for different European countries or get their Eurolink SIM for 39 countries.

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 budget tips from my 10+ years on the ro

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