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Solo travel is a wonderful experience. You’ll meet amazing people, experience new things, and learn so much about yourself along the way.
As a female traveler, finding a balance between off-beat adventures and places where women can travel safely is the perfect blend for memorable experiences.
Together, we’re going to take a look at 10 of the best solo female travel destinations on the planet. From paradise islands to mouthwatering cuisine, we’ve got you covered.
I’ve compiled my top picks of solo female travel destinations below and thrown in plenty of solo female travel tips for good measure, too.
So, without any further ado, let’s start globetrotting!
What better place to start than everyone’s favorite Indonesian paradise island? If you’ve done a little digging online, you’ve probably seen Bali pop up more than a few times.
For most digital nomads and female solo travelers, Bali is the perfect place to start your adventure.
With a thriving expat community, an economy built on tourism, and dainty compact towns, you’re never more than a few feet away from a friendly face.
The Balinese are also some of the most humble, friendliest, and respectful people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
There are plenty of places to visit in Bali, but the two most popular places to stay are Ubud, in the forest, and Canggu, at the south coast.
If you want tranquillity or are big into yoga, head to the heart of the forest. In Ubud, solo female travelers from all over the world come to meditate, practice yoga, and enjoy great food.
The zen of the forest, however, is not everyone’s vibe. If you’re a keen surfer or want a livelier area, head to Canggu.
With bars, markets, and a vibrant nightlife, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to having a great time.
Top Bali activities:
Related: Most Popular Indonesian Food
My next stop takes us north of Southeast Asia. Here, we’re heading to one of the world’s most vibrant, eccentric, and beloved islands: Japan.
Ranked #13 of the safest countries in the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report’ by the World Economic Forum, Japan should be a must-see on any female solo traveler’s itinerary.
If the language barrier concerns you, or the cuisine makes you wonder if you’ll be able to find food you like: fear not.
Due to the country being chosen as hosts for the 2021 Olympic Games, the major cities have undergone huge transformations.
Japan has gone to great lengths to make the country far more accessible globally, with millions of people set to visit in the near future.
English signage has been added throughout major cities. Subway routes have also been simplified.
Simply put, there has never been a safer, more accessible time to visit an already safe and developed country.
A host of Japanese cities all come with their charm and quirks and are all easily accessible via the high-speed bullet train.
You can get a Japan Rail Pass and explore the entire country via the high-speed rail.
For my picks, let’s focus on the awe-inducing capital of Tokyo, the gorgeously back-dropped Kyoto, and, if you fancy a taste of rural Japan, the jaw-dropping Mt. Fuji.
From the world’s tallest tower to the dashing, neon lights of the bustling streets, there truly is something for everyone in one of the world’s most talked about and beloved capital cities.
Top Tokyo activities:
Considered to be the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is home to numerous Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, palaces, and gardens.
Kyoto is a delightful blend of architecture, greenery, and mountainous backdrops. Plus, catching the cherry blossoms in bloom during March and April, truly is a sight to behold.
Top Kyoto activities:
Finally, no visit to Japan can be fully complete without experiencing, first-hand, the awe and beauty of Mt. Fuji.
Japan’s highest volcano, and the 7th highest peak in the world, is a place that has inspired artists and pilgrims for centuries.
Don’t worry if you’re not much of a hiker: there are plenty of tours and activities in the area that don’t involve hiking.
A great place for solo female travel. Only two hundred years ago this metropolis of finance, innovation, and technology, was a humble trading post of the British East India Company.
Situated at the very southern tip of Malaysia, arriving in Singapore’s airport makes you feel as though you’ve time-warped fifty years into the future!
Ranked #6 of the safest countries in the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report’ by the World Economic Forum, this highly developed country prides itself on its multiracialism.
The city of Singapore itself boasts luxuries unparalleled by most large cities. It has a sparkling skyline you could daze at forever.
It’s safe for solo females to walk around Singapore. There’s plenty of grand buildings and luxury shopping to enjoy when you want to take a break.
Top Singapore activities:
From Singapore, a short flight across the South China Sea will take you to Taiwan. This is a wonderful destination for solo female travelers.
An island surrounded by turquoise waters and charcoal coastline, Taiwan is one of Asia’s hidden gems when it comes to beach destinations.
In Taipei, you have a capital city that fuses an eclectic mix of Chinese, Japanese, and American culture.
It’s also a prosperous hub of finance, technology, and innovation. If you love your hi-tech gadgets, there’s so much to see.
Taiwan is ranked #26 of the safest countries in the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report’ by the World Economic Forum.
You can see two sides of this magical place. There’s the energy and awe of Taipei and the majestic landscape that spreads to the edges of the island.
For Taiwan, I recommend you first spend some time in Taipei. Then, using the country’s rail or bus system, go off and explore some of the beauty and culture the island has to offer.
In a similar vein to Singapore, Taipei has prospered immensely from its investment in technology.
But beyond the glistening lights and the impressive engineering, simmers an alluring blend of Taiwanese architecture and mouth-watering street food.
The night markets are not to be missed. If you’re a big foodie, you’ll instantly fall in love with Taipei.
Top Taipei activities:
Taiwan Island Tour
If nature is more your jam, then Taiwan has it by the bucket load. Naturally, there are plenty of tours that operate around the island.
But if you want to be on your own schedule, you can use the trains, buses, or even rent a car to explore.
I’d highly recommend making it out to some of the beautiful beaches, but just be mindful of the language barrier.
The more rural you go; the less likely English will be spoken. Be sure to have a few phrases in your back pocket handy, just in case.
Top Taiwan activities:
Next on my list is a country that’s somewhat off the beaten track. Fly north-west of the U.K., over the Norwegian Sea, you’ll reach gorgeous Iceland.
Imagine a geography textbook coming to life all around you, and you’ve pretty much imagined Iceland.
Ranked #2 of the safest countries in the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report’ by the World Economic Forum, this unique little country is blessed with natural beauty by the acre.
Furthermore, the people of Iceland are some of the friendliest in the world.
You’ll want to base yourself out of Reykjavík, the country’s capital city. For your downtime, there are lots of museums and great street tours.
Iceland’s real magic is in its rural landscape. There are so many tours and excursions to its geographical wonders.
Most of these tours are by bus or car. More often than not they’ll happily pick you up from your hotel.
This is what solo female travel is all about. Experiencing the awe of nature in its purest form. You’ll see such wonder in Iceland.
Top Iceland activities:
Next up, we’re going to sail back across the Norwegian Sea, and to Scandinavia.
With its remarkable aurora displays, beautiful forests, and cozy cities, Finland is a place that will never fail to take your breath away.
Finland is ranked the safest country in the world in the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report’ by the World Economic Forum.
It is a developed, democratic country that combines natural beauty with post-modernist architecture. It fuses delicious cuisine with fun and friendly nightlife.
Home to a handful of cities, Helsinki, the capital, is a great place to visit in the summer.
If you visit in the winter, you’ll have a lot more fun if you head north, and experience the country the way Mother Nature intended you to.
Top Finland activities:
Switzerland is a wonderful place for solo female travelers. It’s contemporary cities and dashing landscape will have you falling in love from the moment you arrive.
It’s ranked #4 of the safest countries in the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report’ by the World Economic Forum.
If you’re a lover of nature, history, and chocolate (guilty!), you’ll find plenty in Switzerland to keep you entertained.
If you love to ski, the resorts that boast a breath-taking Alpine backdrop are some of the best in the world. However, if you’re looking for adventure a little closer to the ground, Switzerland’s landscape, dotted with lakes, villages, and peaks, is a must to explore during the warmer, summer months.
Bern, the capital city, is rich with medieval architecture, and quirks at every corner. Lucerne is also a great city to visit if you have the time.
Top Switzerland activities:
Our Central European voyage continues to a country that has counted Mozart, Strauss, and Freud among its citizens.
Vibrant green mountains and breathless Alpine terrain are the hallmarks of its geography.
Its charming towns and cities are awash with baroque architecture and hearty, stomach-soothing cuisine.
Ranked #14 of the safest countries in the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report’ by the World Economic Forum, Austria is a place for all the senses.
Vienna, Austria’s capital city, is a place rich with arts, music and culture. From its grand concert halls to food markets, there’s so much to get excited about.
Top Vienna activities:
Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Hallstatt are all charming little towns and cities in their own right.
I’d also highly recommend venturing into rural Austria. Spend some time at the Bohemian Forest and Traunsee Lake in the north. The beauty is mind-blowing.
Our final leg of destinations takes us to Europe, and the sun-kissed shores and cobbles of Portugal.
Portugal is ranked #14 of the safest countries in the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report’ by the World Economic Forum.
It’s a great place to experience cities with rich history, and lazy afternoons on the golden sands of the Portuguese coast.
While the likes of the Algarve and Albufeira are great if you’re looking for sun, sand, and package holidays, I’ve decided to focus on the country’s two largest cities: Lisbon, the capital, in the south, and Porto, in the north.
If you’re keen for a thriving nomad scene, artsy, hipster vibes, and the energy and bustle of the likes of Barcelona and Amsterdam, Lisbon should be on your radar.
It’s a marvelous city with lots of innovation and plenty of great food. The digital nomad scene is more prolific in Lisbon than Porto.
There are plenty of meetups and tech events to attend, if you’re looking to meet other solo female travelers and find communities.
Top Lisbon activities:
If you prefer your cities a little calmer and compact, rich in historic architecture, you’ll instantly fall in love with Porto.
There’s plenty of delicious food and grand architecture throughout the city. It’s cobbled streets and green parks have plenty of charm.
While not as grand as Porto, it’s beauty and quirky vibes make it a fun and friendly place to spend time as a female solo traveler.
Top Porto activities:
Known for its vibrant, mountainous landscapes, glorious weather, and culturally rich cities, Spain is a must-visit for any solo female traveler.
Spain is ranked #16 of the safest countries in the ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report’ by the World Economic Forum.
It’s a country full of delicious cuisine, Instagrammable architecture, and thriving nightlife.
There’s pretty much a festival going on every day, somewhere, in the country!
A wonderful city for solo female travelers. Barcelona is a vibrant city, full of unique architecture, delicious food and plenty of arts and live music.
Due to its cosmopolitan demographics, there are plenty of female-led meetups and events to attend.
You can also spend hours walking around Barcelona. The interesting buildings and vibrant streets will have you in awe for hours on end.
Top Barcelona activities:
A stunning city that’s calmer than both Madrid and Barcelona. Valencia is blessed with beautiful green parks and a gorgeous beach.
For solo female travelers, Ruzafa is the vibrant, trendy part of the city to spend time in. It’s full of trendy bars and quirky shops.
If you’re looking for a safe, friendly city that’s a little more relaxed, Valencia is a great place to steer your solo female adventure through.
Top Valencia activities:
Related: Most Popular Spanish Food
Just when you thought we were done and dusted; I’ve got one bonus recommendation that I’d love to share with you!
Blessed with rolling mountains, sweeping valleys, and picturesque cities, Romania over the last decade has emerged as one of the top places to visit in the solo female travel community.
If you can see some of rural Romania, I’d highly recommend it. But the Romanian cities, particularly Bucharest, and Brasov in the mountains, are packed with more than enough to keep your eyes wide and ears in tune at all times.
Lastly, if you have time, ride along the Transfăgărășan. This is a road that runs through the Carpathian mountains with dramatically beautiful scenery.
Before Dale and I began traveling together, I spent a fair amount of time as a female solo traveler.
I vividly remember those late nights back in the U.S. in 2016, on the couch with my laptop.
I’d scroll through Pinterest boards and blog posts, gathering as much information as I could before settling on an itinerary.
Fortunately, there has never been a safer and more accessible time to travel the world as a female solo traveler.
As countries across the globe invest heavily in tourism, connectivity improves, safety increases and attitudes towards women improve drastically.
If you’re reading this and are feeling nervous about hitting the road for the first time, you’re not alone: many other women out there and I know exactly how you feel.
Don’t let the horror stories online derail your epic travel plans: those instances are few and far between.
However, just like anything in life, a little planning and know-how will go a long way to keeping you in control, having fun, and safe.
While traveling, I was able to learn a great deal about do’s and don’t’s, particularly relating to specific places.
On the ground, Meetup is a great place to see what’s going on, and to connect to other travelers.
You’ll be surprised at the number of female organized, and female-only, events hosted by expats in many cities.
Facebook ‘solo female travel’ groups are also a great source of information as well as great for meeting other solo female travelers.
There are three groups, in particular, I would recommend joining:
All three I learned a lot from. Whenever you ask a question, there’s always at least one fellow female traveler who has an answer with great insight.
1. Research as much as you can in advance.
Research the local customs, dress codes, etiquette, local emergency numbers, change rates, public transportation system, and phone plans.
2. Keep all important information handy.
Have all the information stored in your smartphone offline where you can access it without wifi (e.g., in your ‘notes’ app) but also write the important things down in a notebook. What important things:
3. Print and keep copies of your passport, as well as storing them on Google Drive or another cloud storage provider.
4. Get travel insurance.
5. Carry a doorstop.
I’ve used this doorstop before but there are many other options to suit your needs.
6. Blend in by dressing like a local.
Looking like a tourist instantly makes you a target. You’ll be able to find plenty of local attire at street markets.
7. Trust your instincts, and don’t be polite at the cost of safety.
8. Bring a slash-proof bag, such as the PacSafe cross-body bag.
9. Keep your family & friends updated on your itinerary.
10. Get a sim card and plan that works abroad as soon as you step off the tarmac.
Google Fi (formerly Project Fi) is my plan of choice, but local, pre-paid SIMs are generally easy to purchase at any international airport when you land. Just make sure you bring an unlocked phone.
11. Don’t post on social media in real-time.
Whether you’re at the coffee shop or at a tourist attraction, wait after you’ve left the location to post your picture.
Smartphone pictures now often have the location embedded and it’s easy to extract such information from the pictures you post on social media.
Also, for those reasons, don’t post pictures from your home, hotel, or Airbnb.
12. Avoid local taxis if possible, and instead, opt for Uber.
13. Wearing a wedding band can often help you avoid unwanted attention.
14. Carry a safety whistle or pepper spray (only if it’s legal in that country)
15. Finally, budget some extra money towards safety.
Don’t pick the cheapest flight, if it lands in a city in the middle of the night.
Don’t pick the cheapest Airbnb, hostel, or hotel, as they’re more likely to be situated in an isolated and dangerous neighborhood.
Wherever your adventure takes you next, stay diligent, strong, and prepared.
And remember, there’s always a huge online community of female solo travelers a couple of clicks away!
I hope my list of top solo female travel destinations has inspired you to travel to some truly wonderful places.
From making lifelong memories to discovering more about yourself, there are so many great reasons to travel solo as a female.
And with all the great solo female communities active and busy, help and advice are never too far away.
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