From incredibly welcoming locals to high reputations for personal safety, these global cities have the perfect ingredients for an empowering solo trip. Be ambitious. Be self-indulgent. Most importantly, be an explorer in these companionless capitals by striking out on your own and experience travel through no one else’s filter but your own!
As one of Europe’s safest cities, Vienna is particularly encouraging to solo travelers. It’s compact city center is easy to navigate, and the city is particularly beautiful at night with all of the lights. You’ll feel perfectly safe walking around alone. When it comes to dining, sometimes eating alone can seem a little depressing, but with plenty of street-side cafés, there will be ample opportunities for people watching to pass the time.
Oslo is small, dense, and perfect for exploring on your own. With easy public transportation and innumerable cultural riches, there’s always something to see in the Norwegian capital. The city can be expensive, however. Instead of eating out, try visiting one of the many farmers’ markets for cheap and fresh produce that you can take back at your hostel.
Tokyo is the safest large city in the world. And with such a huge population, you won’t stick out for traveling alone. Most locals do it, too. English speakers shouldn’t be too hard to come by, especially in the most cosmopolitan areas. Navigation, on the other hand, might be a challenge at first. The subway system is extensive, almost too much so. Try your hand at smaller stations before trying to navigate the world’s busiest, Shinjuku Station.
The U.S.’s quirky Pacific Northwest is quickly becoming a vacation hotspot. Bike-friendly Portland can be easy to navigate, but if you want to pursue any excursions outside of the city, you’ll need a car. Rein in food costs by tracking down some of the many popular food trucks that criss cross the city’s streets.
Just north, on the other side of the border, Vancouver sits in the shadow of glaciers and the North Shore Mountains. This burgeoning foodie haven is also an outdoor lovers paradise. Grab a bite to eat from a food truck or one of the public markets, take a bike ride or a walk, and enjoy a picnic.
Queenstown might not be on your immediate radar when visiting New Zealand, but this resort town is nestled lakeside between mountains in what you would think was a movie setting. Use this trip to go outside your comfort zone. The Kiwis are known for their adventurous activities, after all. Bungy jumping, skydiving, and rafting are all available.
Walking or biking is the perfect way to get around the narrow streets of Dublin. The best aspect for solo travelers, however, is just how friendly the residents are. Pick any pub, and settle in for a long conversation. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Food and accommodations can be pricier than other European destinations, so take the time to search for a good deal.
Your plane ticket might be a little pricey, but once you get to Bangkok, you’ll find that everything is budget-friendly. With so many deals to be found (cheap in price, not quality), this city is a bargain hunter’s paradise. Bangkok is as safe as any major tourist-heavy city, but do be aware of your surroundings and the neighborhoods in which you are entering.
2. Kuta & Ubud (Bali)
If you’re wanting to renew your spirit and truly take a break from Western culture, Bali is the place to do it. The incredibly hospitable locals of this Indonesian island will literally open their homes to you in order to share their culture. Kuta, on the coast, is famous for its gorgeous beaches and is the main tourist hub. Ubud, in the interior of the island, is the cultural heart of Bali, complete with elaborate temples and beautiful crafts.
Not only is Reykjavik considered one of the safest cities in Europe, it also presents a strong case for being the safest city in the world. Alcohol is famously expensive, so most locals drink at home before heading out to bars. When they do make it out (usually midnight or later), things can become very entertaining and last well into the early morning hours. To relax after a long night of dancing, head to one of the many geothermal spas. Your body will thank you.