So, you’re looking for the best places for solo female travel? You’ve come to the right place. For the last eight years I have been travelling the world solo. I have crossed 6 continents, entered almost eighty country borders and had such a fun time along the way.
But I was nervous when I first started solo travelling as a woman.
I was twenty years old when I took my first adventure overseas alone. I was a bit of an introvert, more inclined to read a book at night over bar hopping. But over the years I have become so fond of solo travel that despite having friends I could travel with, I still prefer to go solo. Here’s why, how and the best places for solo female travel!
The best places for solo female travel
When it comes to choosing a destination for a solo adventure, as a woman some destinations are inherently better than others. Whether it be that they are safer or easier travel alone, these destinations are my top picks. Each of these destinations I have visited alone, so I’m coming to you with first hand recommendations of the best solo female travel destinations. All of them are tried and tested!
There are few destinations as whimsical and ethereal as New Zealand. With epic mountain ranges and endless landscapes to enjoy, New Zealand is the capital of adventure travel. This is a great choice for solo females as New Zealand is safe but more importantly, there are plenty of activities and adventures to keep yourself busy. I’d recommend opting for the South Island and if you’re up for it, rent a van to explore solo!
Next on our line up is a country that never ceases to amaze me – Japan. This is hands down one of my favourite countries to explore and even better, it is perfect for solo female travellers. If you’re looking for a quick escape, you can see the highlights of Japan in just 7 days. Alternatively, you can take your time and spend up to a month riding trains around the country. My favourite cities include Kyoto, Tokyo and Osaka. But my favourite experience of all was staying with Buddhist Monks.
Onwards to Canada: the land of open landscapes, long highways and incredibly friendly locals. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Canada a handful of times over the past few years and each visit is better than the last. Cities like Vancouver are a great place to start, however my all time favourite experience was driving the Icefields Parkway. There’s something so magical and surreal about a length road trip on your own.
Germany will forever hold a special place in my heart as it is the first country I ever lived as an expat. Around 6 years ago I grew tired of non stop travels and after a year on the road, I settled in Berlin for a few months. Germany is a great country to explore solo by train and even better, to live as an expat. Berlin is full of them!
I’ve always wanted to explore the countryside of France with a boyfriend (probably French) in tow. But guess what? Life had other plans. I visited the countryside of France solo and had a blast. Europe is filled with great destinations for solo travellers so don’t just stop there. Scan the rest of this article for some great add-ons!
Spain is one such perfect add-on for your European itinerary. I’d recommend a solid three month stint in Europe if you really want to see it all. Alternatively if time is not on your side, you can really see a lot of the continent in just one month. A great itinerary would include France, Spain, Italy and Croatia. Whilst in Spain, make sure you don’t miss Barcelona – this city has my heart!
There are few trips that are as prominent in my mind as my time in the Scottish Highlands. The scenery can be so surreal that you begin to believe the tales of fairies and giants (no kidding!) If I could choose anywhere to return to solo and spend more time, it would be far away in the Scottish Highlands. I did my trip in one week but I’d recommend two.
Another trip I wish I spent longer on is my visit to Sri Lanka. This tropical oasis has become increasingly popular of late as an alternative to Bali and indeed, it is the perfect place to have your own Eat Pray Love moment. There are some great yoga retreats and surf camps on offer, so you can also meet fellow travellers.
A lot of women ask me on Instagram what I’d suggest between a solo trip to New Zealand and a solo adventure in Australia. The answer is: why choose just one? You can travel by plane between Australia and New Zealand in just a few hours, so this is a great combination for solo female travellers. When in Australia be sure to take your adventure outdoors into the Aussie outback. You won’t regret it! If you’re more of an island gal, check out these secret islands in Australia.
I don’t know if I love Italy as much as a love pizza or I love pizza as much as I love Italy. Regardless, I love eating pizza in Italy. Adventuring around the Italian countryside and once-in-a-lifetime cities like Rome is one of my favourite pastimes. This is a country perfect for solo travellers as it is full of history, great food (hello carbs) and so much to explore. I’ll never tire of Italian adventures.
Another great alternative to Bali for fans of the book Eat Pray Love is nearby Thailand. This is one of the first countries I visited back in 2010 and I instantly fell in love. There is something so mesmerising about the temples, matched with the chaos of Thai street markets. If you’re a solo traveller who prefers to get lost in the thick of it, Thailand is a great place to do just that.
When I first landed in Portugal some 6 or 7 years ago my instant reaction was “how did it take me so long to get here?” There’s something about the city of Lisbon that feels so inviting – the sea of colours, fun bars to discover and great food. The locals are extremely warm and welcoming, so it is little wonder I returned a few years later to explore the South of Portugal. I’d recommend at least four nights in Lisbon, with a further week or two if you plan to adventure through the countryside.
The United States sometimes gets a bad reputation for not being adventurous enough. I disagree. There are so many adventures to be had throughout the States, from epic cities like New York City through to soulful escapes in Arizona. I will never tire of exploring this country!
Montenegro is one of the most surprising countries I have visited. I had never heard about it before I was invited to speak at a media conference, so I jumped at the opportunity to go. This country in the South of Europe is incredibly underrated and one of my favourite finds in the past two years. It is extremely safe to visit solo – I rented a car for a two week adventure.
Iceland will forever be one of my favourite countries. Before I even visited I was obsessed. If you can time your visit outside of the colder months (no one likes driving in a snow storm) Iceland is one of the best places for solo female travellers. Who doesn’t love an epic adventure!
Malta is a country that surprised me when I visited a few years ago and I only wish I had have spent more time there. This is a great add on to an itinerary in Greece or Italy, as it is a short flight away and much cheaper than other countries with mass tourism.
If you’re looking for a country in Europe that is flying under the radar, look no further than Slovenia. I recently spent two weeks exploring the country solo in a rental car and it was a jam-packed itinerary! For a country that is small in size it sure offers a lot to visitors. Be sure not to miss the famous Lake Bled, one of the most beautiful lakes on earth.
Of all the countries I visited solo in South America, Chile was not only the safest as a solo female traveller but it was also my favourite. There’s a lot to see in Chile without adding other countries to your itinerary. Start with Santiago and then make your way North to the Atacama Desert, South to Patagonia and if your budget allows, visit the mysterious Easter Island.
I travelled to The Netherlands solo for ten days on my book tour back in 2017. I still can’t believe my book was translated into another language and better yet, I got to meet some of my Dutch readers! I was amazed at how much more there is to see in The Netherlands beyond Amsterdam. You can easily spend 1-2 weeks travelling the country by train visiting other cities like The Hague, Delft, Utrecht and Maastricht!
Of all the best places for solo female travel, Bali has got to top that list. There is perhaps nowhere else on earth as soul-fulfilling as Bali, hands down. My favourite area to stay is in Canggu, which has become really popular over the last few years. Regardless, it is still here where you will find the best cafes and co-working spaces, so it is perfect for female entrepreneurs!