solo female traveler portugal

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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.

10 Best Solo Female Travel Destinations

solo female travel asia
Alena Ozerova / Shutterstock

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!

1 – Bali, Indonesia

solo female traveler bali
Campuhan Ridge in Ubud, Bali | Breslavtsev Oleg / Shutterstock

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.

solo female travel ubud
Lempuyang Luhur Temple | Guitar photographer / Bali

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:

  • Sacred Monkey Forest
  • Ubud Hot Springs
  • Mt. Batur (Sunrise Hike)
  • Nusa Penida Island Tour
  • Lempuyang Temple (Gate to Heaven)

2 – Japan

solo female traveler japan
Bamboo Forest, Kyoto | Guitar Photographer / Shutterstock

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.

Tokyo

solo female travel temple gate
Temple Gate, Tokyo | Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

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:

  • Tokyo Skytree: world’s tallest tower at 634 meters and second tallest structure.
  • Meiji Jingu Shrine
  • Sensō-ji Temple
  • Tsukiji Fish Market: the world’s biggest fish market and home to the most delectable tuna on Earth
  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
  • Imperial Palace and Gardens
  • Shibuya Crossing

Kyoto

solo female travel kyoto
Kyoto | Patrick Foto / Shutterstock

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:

  • Kinkakuji Temple
  • Kifune Shrine
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Kiyomizudera Temple
  • Yasaka Pagoda
  • Bamboo Grove

Mt. Fuji

solo female travel mt fuji
Mt. Fuji and Kawaguchiko Lake | Guitar photographer / Shutterstock

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 pilgriims 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.

3 – Singapore

solo female traveler singapore
Downtown Singapore | Jo Panuwat D / Shutterstock

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.

solo female travel singapore
Supertree at Gardens by the Bay | Nattawat_SPhoto / Shutterstock

Top Singapore activities:

  • Watch the gorgeous light show at Gardens by the Bay
  • Ride the Singapore Flyer
  • Enjoy the incredible view from Marina Bay Sands Pool or Observation Deck
  • Shop until you drop on Orchard Road
  • Enjoy delicious food at Makansutra Gluttons Bay
  • Marvel at the orchids in the Singapore Botanic Gardens

4 – Taiwan

solo female travel taipei
Archway of Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei | Guitar Photographer / Shutterstock

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.

Taipei

solo female travel taipei
National Theater and Guanghua Ponds, Taipei | FenlioQ / Shutterstock

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:

  • Din Tai Fun Dumpling Shop
  • Elephant Mountain & Xiangshan Trail
  • Taipei 101
  • Shilin Night Market

Taiwan Island Tour

solo female travel taiwan
Thousand Island Lake, Taiwan | YUSHENG HSU / Shutterstock

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:

  • Rainbow Village
  • Dragon and Tiger Pagodas
  • Sun Moon Lake
  • Yushan National Park
  • Alishan Scenic Mountain Area
  • Taroko Gorge

5 – Iceland

solo female travel iceland
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland | Blue Planet Studio / Shutterstock

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’s 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.

solo female travel blue lagoon
Blue Lagoon, Iceland | Alla Laurent / Shutterstock

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:

  • The Northern Lights
  • The Blue Lagoon
  • Glacier Hike
  • Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Skogafoss Waterfall
  • Puffin Watching
  • Lake Myvatn Geothermal Area
  • Whale Watching

6 – Finland

solo female travel finland
National Park Nuuksio, Finland | yari2000 / Shutterstock

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.

solo female travel finland
Finland | Parfenteva Tatiana / Shutterstock

Top Finland activities:

  • Santa Claus Village in Lapland
  • See the Northern Lights from Lapland
  • Salla Reindeer Park
  • Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
  • Lumilinna Snow Castle
  • Helsinki Zoo
  • Olavinlinna Castle
  • Levi Ski Resort
  • Archipelago National Park
  • Lake Saimaa

7 – Switzerland

solo female traveler switzerland
The Engelberg, Switzerland | Alex Tor / Shutterstock

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.

solo female travel switzerland
Mt. Schreckhorn and Wetterhorn, Switzerland | Creative Travel Projects / Shutterstock

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:

  • The Golden Pass Line
  • Swiss National Park
  • CERN Large Hadron Collider
  • Hike in the Alps
  • Cheese-making in Gruyères

8 – Austria

solo female travel austria
Salzburg, Austria | And-One / Shutterstock

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

solo female travel vienna
Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria | Anrephoto / Shutterstock

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:

  • Schönbrunn Palace
  • Belvedere Palace
  • The Hofburg
  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • Vienna State Opera
  • Prater
  • Naschmarkt

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.

9 – Portugal

solo female traveler portugal
Porto, Portugal | Ross Helen / Shutterstock

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.

Lisbon

solo female travel lisbon
Triumphal Arch, Lisbon | RossHelen / Shutterstock

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:

  • Oceanario de Lisboa
  • Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
  • Torre de Belem
  • Pastéis de Belém
  • LX Factory
  • Bairro Alto
  • Alfama District
  • Tram 28
  • Trip to Sintra
  • Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Porto

solo female travel porto
Porto | RossHelen / Shutterstock

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:

  • Livraria Lello
  • Sao Bento Train Station
  • Dom Luís I Bridge
  • Bolsa Palace
  • Porto Cathedral
  • Duoro Valley Tour
  • Matosinhos beach

Related Content: 26 Best Things to do in Porto, Portugal

10 – Spain

solo female traveler spain
Guell Park, Barcelona | Ross Helen / Shutterstock

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!

Barcelona

solo female travel barcelona
Guell Park, Barcelona | RossHelen / Shutterstock

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:

  • La Sagrada Familia
  • Park Guell
  • Casa Milà
  • Visit the Gothic Quarter
  • Exhibitions at the Picasso Museum

Valencia

solo female travel valencia
Plaza de Ayuntamiento, Valencia | Mego studio / Shutterstock

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:

  • The City of Arts and Sciences
  • L’Oceanogràfic
  • Shopping in Central Market
  • Valencia Bioparc
  • Playa de la Malvarrosa

11 – Romania (Bonus)

solo female traveler romania
Romanian Mountains | Bogdan Vacarciuc / Shutterstock

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.

Bucharest

  • Old Town (Centru Vechi)
  • Palace of the Parliament
  • Arch of Triumph
  • Unirii Square Fountain Show

Brasov

  • Bran Castle
  • Poiana Brasov
  • Black Church
  • Strada Sforii (or String Street)
  • Eat at Kurtos Kalacs.

Lastly, if you have time, ride along the Transfăgărășan. This is a road that runs through the Carpathian mountains with dramatically beautiful scenery.

Related: 12 Beautiful Cities in Romania You Should Visit

From One Solo Female Traveler to Another

travel with solo female travelers
Syda Productions / Shutterstock

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.

How to Meet Other Solo Female Travelers & Advice from Female Travelers

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.

15 Solo Female Travel Tips

solo female travel thailand
Phang-Nga Bay | Day2505 / Shutterstock

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:

  • The name and address of your hotel
  • The local emergency number
  • Contact numbers for your emergency contacts
  • The number of your local embassy

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.

I generally use World Nomads or Safety Wing while traveling.

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!

Quick Booking Links

Solo Female Travel Destinations Summary

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.

You Might Also Like to Read

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10+ Epic Destinations for Solo Female Travellers! Check out this list of best solo female travel destinations to add to your bucket list for 2020 and beyond. #solofemale #solotravel #tripinspiration #amazingdestinations
10+ Epic Destinations for Solo Female Travellers! Check out this list of best solo female travel destinations to add to your bucket list for 2020 and beyond. #solofemale #solotravel #tripinspiration #amazingdestinations
Are you planning your next trip as a solo female traveler? Here are 10 best solo female travel destinations for 2020, ideal for your first time traveling alone. You can also find a list of travel safety tips for women to make your solo travel adventure an INCREDIBLE one! #solofemale #solotravel #tripinspiration #amazingdestinations #tripinspiration #travel
10 Perfect Destinations for Fierce Solo Females

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