Solo travel has been growing in popularity over the last decade and especially with females. With the internet making it incredibly easy to share information about different destinations, it’s easier than ever to find the best places for solo female travel. By traveling alone, you have the chance to meet new people, see things at your own pace, and learn more about yourself. If it feels overwhelming to start the planning process, we’ve got you covered.
This article covers the best places for solo female travel both in the United States and around the globe. Many people focus solely on the crime rate, but so much goes into picking your perfect destination. It’s also important to consider what kind of travel experience you want. Even the safest countries may have pickpockets and scams, so when planning your first solo trip, step back and look at the bigger picture.
Solo Female Travel Destinations in the United States
Especially with the Coronavirus pandemic, many people have decided to travel domestically this last year. Here are a few of the most popular places to travel alone within the United States.
New York City, New York
New York City has a little bit of everything. Public transportation there is better than anywhere else in the United States, so you can easily get all over the city. See a show on Broadway, spend mornings doing people-watching in Central Park, do some shopping, and eat. New York City is home to some of the best restaurants in the world and it’s easy to find a spot at the bar without any reservations. It’s easy to spend an entire day just walking and exploring different neighborhoods. Stay in Manhattan for easy access to most of the famous sites in the city.
Los Angeles, California
The City of Angels is a perfect solo female destination for movie lovers and anyone that wants to have a little beach time. You can visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame and take a hike up to the famous Hollywood sign. For a deeper dive into the movie star lifestyle, you can take a tour of different star homes or a behind-the-scenes tour of Warner Bros Studio. Disneyland is nearby as well if you want to spend a day enjoying the magic of the theme park. When you’re ready to unwind a bit, take advantage of the famous California sunshine and spend a day or two on the beach in Malibu, Santa Monica, or Venice Beach.
Chicago is the largest city in the Midwest and it has some of the best museums in the country. Choose between the Field Museum of Natural History, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Visiting museums is a perfect solo travel activity because you can move at your pace and not feel like you are rushing someone or slowing them down. Spend time at the things you want to spend time at and skip the things that don’t intrigue you. Take the famous architecture river cruise to learn more about the city, enjoy the sights at Navy Pier, and test your bravery at the top of the tallest building in the city, the Willis Tower. Stay at one of the hotels on the Magnificent Mile for great views and easy access to many of the popular attractions.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Around 8% of visitors to Las Vegas are traveling solo and that number will most likely continue to grow. Vegas caters to tourists, so it’s remarkably easy to get around and see different things in the city. Each hotel and casino has a different theme, so you can find yourself in the pyramids of Egypt, the canals of Venice, and standing underneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris all within one day. There are so many world-class restaurants to enjoy. Find a solo ticket to a show that you’ve had on your bucket list. And you can always spend an hour at the poker table doing a little gambling.
There is so much to do in Sin City and the surrounding area is filled with natural beauty if you want to extend your trip and take a day trip to the Grand Canyon or one of the state parks nearby.
The Hawaiian Islands
Hawaii is one of the most beautiful states in the US and it is a perfect escape for solo female travelers. Each island has a different vibe, so you can visit multiple times and have totally different experiences. If you want an active trip, you can take a surf lesson, hike to waterfalls, do some cliff jumping, and even explore the tops of volcanoes. For more relaxation, you can spend your entire vacation lounging on the beach and by the pool, enjoying some tasty seafood, and sipping on some tropical cocktails. You can find accommodations of all types, from hostels to five-star resorts, so don’t assume that it’s too expensive.
Another popular destination in the United States is Seattle, Washington and it has a lot to offer solo travelers. The food scene is top-notch with some of the best seafood in the country and wonderful coffee culture. Each neighborhood of the city is unique. Don’t miss the Scandanavian fishing village of Ballard. The surrounding area is incredible too with three National Parks within two hours of driving. There is a large number of homeless in Seattle, but that shouldn’t scare you from visiting. It’s easy to get around in Seattle, the views are breathtaking from every different area, and there are few places in the country where you are so close to the water and mountains at the same time.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is located in Sunny California but doesn’t quite have the same beach feel as Southern California. Instead, you’ll be able to enjoy incredible museums, unique neighborhoods, and some quirky places to explore like Alcatraz. There are lots of walking tours and bus tours where you can easily join and find new places to explore. Catch a concert while you’re in town if you want a night out, there are so many great live music venues to choose from. You can also extend your trip and visit Napa Valley or the beautiful central coast of California as well.
The United States is filled with wonderful cities, gorgeous natural landscapes, and plenty of history. The best way to see more of the US is by taking a road trip. There are parts of the country that you can go a few hours between towns. You can travel over the water on a series of bridges on Highway 1 from Miami to the Florida Keys. Take small two-lane highways through the small towns of New England or through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. No matter where you decide to explore, you’ll be treated with natural beauty. Pack your road trip essentials and hit the road.
Best Places for Solo Female Travel Internationally
Women traveling internationally have a lot of great options as well. We have a list of 20 countries that make up some of the best places for solo female travel.
Japan is one of the safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate, so it’s very appealing to solo female travelers. The two main cities of Kyoto and Tokyo have so much to explore. The language barrier can be tricky, but people are so friendly and polite, so it can just add a little extra challenge to your adventure. Outside of these giant metro areas, you’ll find mountains, culture, beautiful coastal areas, and incredible food. With the language barrier, it might be best to take a few tours with a guide to help dive into the culture and get more comfortable navigating.
If you have a larger budget and longer period of time, New Zealand is an incredible option. Its location makes it hard to get to and there is a big time difference, so it is good to have at least 10 days. Road trips are popular in New Zealand because so much of the country is occupied by beautiful mountains and some wild geological features that aren’t close to the major cities. English is the primary language, so it’s easy to navigate. If you love the open road and doing some hiking and exploring nature, this would be a great destination. Just make sure to communicate with loved ones often on your plans because there are some remote areas where you won’t run into too many other people. If you are craving connections, stick to the major cities and popular national park areas.
London, England is one of the most popular cities in the world for tourism. With all the signage in English and a great network of public transportation, it’s extremely easy to get around and navigate. There are some higher crime rates in the city compared to other places on the list, but it will be easy to stay in busy places. Visit the historical buildings, walk through the large city parks, and see if you can spot any royals. You can also head out of the London area and visit some of the other beautiful spots in England. Join a tour group and visit Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, the Cotswolds, Oxford, and more. Harry Potter fans can even take a tour of the Warner Bros Studio and see many of the sets they used for filming the movies.
Singapore is a tiny country that is often just a stopover on a longer trip through Asia, but it belongs on the list because it has so much to explore. It’s easy to get around the city with public transportation and there is so much to do. Visit the famous Cloud Forest and the waterfront park, Gardens by the Bay, with gorgeous lit-up treelike structures. Sip a Singapore Sling at the Raffles where the drink originated or take a boat tour through the middle of the city. Chinatown and Little India are great neighborhoods to eat and explore, but make sure to visit one of the giant markets for at least one meal. Singapore is expensive, but it’s a great destination for solo female travelers and has so much to offer.
Pizza, pasta, wine, and tons of UNESCO heritage sites to tour and explore, it’s easy to see why Italy is one of the most popular countries for all kinds of travelers. It’s extremely easy to get around the country on the train, so you can see a lot. From the seaside towns of Trieste and Venice to the art and culture havens of Milan and Rome, each city has its own flavors and stories. Naples, Florence, the Cinque Terre, and the Dolomites are other popular spots. With so much art and history to explore and marvelous food and drink options, it’s easy to spend weeks exploring Italy.
Known for its picturesque beaches and very low prices, Thailand is a great country in Southeast Asia for solo females and backpackers. Bangkok is a huge city with tons to do. You can head north to volunteer with Elephant sanctuaries, explore the mountains, and learn more about the spirituality of the locals. The southern part of the country is where you’ll find all the beaches and islands. Attend one of the full moon parties and meet travelers from all over the world. The crime rates are low in Thailand and there are so many other visitors, so it will make it so easy to meet other people. One thing to know is that the trains and buses can be a little less punctual than some other countries, so be prepared to go with the flow a little and keep a loose schedule.
Located in Central America, Costa Rica has some perfect beach weather throughout the year. It’s a popular destination for surf and yoga retreats which would be a great option for a solo trip. Organized retreats give you opportunities to meet others and plenty of times to enjoy some time to yourself. In addition to the beach towns, you can also explore the rainforest areas in the center of the country with volcanos and incredible adventure activities. Enjoy the Pura Vida lifestyle on your next solo trip.
Our northern neighbor has a huge variety of travel destinations that are great for female travelers. In the west, you can explore the beautiful parks in the Canadian Rockies or visit Vancouver and spend some time on the Pacific Coast. On the other side of the country, you can visit the French-speaking cities of Montreal and Quebec City. You can road trip for months to see more of the smaller towns and cities and some of the lesser-visited places like Newfoundland and Winnipeg. Canada is giant and has so much natural beauty to take in. It is very safe and people are so friendly so it’s a perfect place to go for your first solo trip.
Portugal is another underrated European destination that isn’t as popular as its neighbors. Lisbon and Porto are the largest cities and have tons of things to explore. Lisbon is a favorite for many nomads and gives off some hipster vibes. Enjoy the cafes and take advantage of the different meetups in town for travelers. Porto is a little more laidback. You can walk the streets marveling at the historical buildings and homes. If you want to spend time on the coast, add Algarve to your list.
Slovenia is a small country in eastern Europe that has so much to offer, but it’s still very affordable and underrated. The Julian Alps cover the northern part of the country with the famous Lake Bled in this region. You can find a hostel in many of the mountain towns and join up with group hikes. Ljubljana is the largest city in Slovenia. You’ll find a beautiful castle in the center of the city and a few different historic neighborhoods. The coastline is similar to the Croatian coast, but you won’t have the crowds that flock to Split and Dubrovnik. Trains and buses are easy to navigate in this country and it’s easy to reach from other places and people are very friendly.
Berlin is one of the coolest cities in the world. It’s filled with creatives from all over the world, so you’ll likely find people to connect with while there. The country is well connected and it’s easy to get around to other places. Munich is a great city in the Bavarian region where you can visit the original home of Oktoberfest. If you are visiting during the holiday season, the Christmas markets in Germany are incredible. From the small towns to the large cities, Germany has some crazy history and you can dive in and see places firsthand that you learned about in history class.
Bali is an island in Indonesia that has been incredibly popular for tourism and digital nomads for the last few years, but it’s not the only destination that is great for solo female travelers. Lombok is a quieter and less-visited island that offers a lot of the same beautiful scenery and friendly locals. Choose from yoga retreats, surf lessons, beach days, or hiking and exploring the tropical forests. It’s an extremely affordable destination with accommodations as cheap as $5/night and inexpensive meals and drinks. Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands, so there are tons to explore. Bali and Lombok are two that would be great for your first solo female trip.
Austria is located in Central Europe. It’s home to a few larger cities and gives you easy access to the Alps. Visit Vienna and tour the palaces and museums there. In Salzburg, you can take a bicycle tour to see the filming locations of the Sound of Music and see the birthplace of Mozart. Innsbruck is right in the middle of the mountains and will take your breath away. Neighboring Switzerland has some incredible cities and mountain towns to visit as well. The location in central Europe can make it easy to add on other destinations to your travel.
Quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations, the word is officially out on Iceland. This small island nation in the northern Atlantic Ocean is home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes, incredible waterfalls, and unique experiences for travelers. Soak in a geothermal lagoon, hike on a glacier, or try the fermented shark, plus the people of Iceland are incredibly friendly and welcoming. You can stay in the capital city of Reykjavik and head out to the rural areas from there for different adventures. You’ll find a great variety of restaurants and accommodation options in the city, so save a little time to explore the city too.
As the second most visited country in the world, Spain is a great option for solo female travelers. Tourists are very common and there is good infrastructure set up to manage it. You are likely to meet other solo travelers during your trip as well. Barcelona is full of history, architecture, and beaches. Madrid has many museums to explore. Outside of the cities, you’ll find all kinds of different landscapes and it’s easy to get around via train travel. There is so much to choose from in this one country and it is so welcoming to travelers of all kinds.
Really, we could include any of the beautiful Scandanavian countries on our list, because they are all progressive and rank top for gender equality. Finland gets the top spot because it’s less-visited than Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, so you will be able to experience destinations with less of a crowd. It has also earned the name of the safest country in the world. Lapland is an adventure destination that is famous for the likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights and visiting the Santa Claus Village. Helsinki is the capital city of Finland and has some great markets, waterfront neighborhoods, and interesting Finnish heritage on display. Pair a trip here with the other Nordic countries or just simply enjoy everything Finland has to offer.
The land down under is one of the safest countries to explore. It’s a long flight, but the country is large and has much to offer visitors who want to spend more time exploring. The size of Australia is close to the size of the United States. Most of the population lives along the coastline, but the red desert in the center of the country is an incredible place to visit while you’re there. From the Great Barrier Reef to the graffiti-covered alleys of Melbourne, you can get a good mixture of large cities and beautiful landscapes. It’s a great country to road trip in a campervan or use buses or rental cars to get around.
Whether you have a quick weekend or a long time planned, an itinerary for Ireland can fit into any timeline. The cities are small and easy to explore on foot. The countryside is beautiful and welcoming to outsiders. Explore Dublin by touring the cathedrals, visit the Temple Bar, and stop at Trinity College. Then head out and explore places like Galway, Belfast, and Giant’s Causeway. Just be careful to not get overserved at the pubs (which can be easy to do in Ireland.)
South Africa is a popular destination for solo female travelers, but it might not be the best for your first trip. Poverty levels and crime are high in some parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have this on your list. It’s important when traveling here to be sensible and aware of your surroundings. You’ll want to do a little more research and lean on local experts and connect with others. It’s affordable and breathtaking. You’ll have the chance to see animals in the wild that you can’t see anywhere else on this list. Read up on more details about solo female travel in South Africa before you go to get advice and suggested places to visit.
Amsterdam is sometimes overlooked for some of the larger cities in Europe, but it is a magnificent place for solo female travelers. You’ll be able to easily navigate using Google maps and the public transportation options. The museum selection includes the Anne Frank House, a Van Gogh Museum, and the giant Rijksmuseum. There are plenty of day trips on the train you can take from Amsterdam to explore the countryside and other cities in northern Europe. The canals and historical buildings and bridges make the entire city so picturesque.
Frequently Asked Questions
When searching for tips and the best places for solo female travelers, it’s important to decide what challenges you’re ready for. Consider your language proficiency, check your cell plan, and stay safe!
Remember that you don’t want to choose a place that’s too challenging for your first experience! The best places for solo female travelers include New Zealand, London, Canada, Spain, and Singapore.
Need a gift for a solo traveler? Consider upgrading their backpack or luggage. Travel guidebooks can help inspire their next trip, and journals are also extremely thoughtful and useful!